You spend hundreds of dollars a year on your gaming console, whether it’s the number of games you buy or simply replacing your controllers because you throw them to the floor in anger too much, it only makes sense that you spend some coin on good headphones. Gamers oftentimes skimp out with the cheapest headsets or in-ear pieces they can find just to have one, but result in poor quality and a less interactive experience. To truly get a rich gaming experience, check out these top 10 headphones we found to help your game play:
1. Sennheiser’s PC 350
Sennheiser is one of the global leaders in electro-acoustics, and their PC 350 headphones give gamers a true experience by optimizing these headphones for binaural perception, which are sounds audio game designers use to influence the mood of the gamer in a specific scene. Though their price range is a bit high ($230), for the serious gamer it’s a well worth the price.
2. Logitech’s F540 Wireless
Logitech is gamers’ go-to for sound devices, and it makes sense for those on a budget. With precision sound, a noise cancelling microphone and 10-hour play-time, the Wireless F540 gives great quality without the sound distortion that you get with bluetooth headsets, which require sound to compress before hitting your headphones. The design is similar to their PC version, but the difference between the two is that F450 does not include surround sound. Though, at a fairly reasonable price of $80, it’s a great buy that pairs great with your Xbox or Playstation.
3. Plantronics’ GAMECOM COMMANDER
For the uber serious, no B.S. gamer, Plantronics’ GAMECOM COMMANDER gives ultra quality sound for a fraction of the price of what competitive gamers would pay for with, for example, tournament headsets going for a few thousand dollars. The Commander has surround sound capabilities, noise cancellation and 7.1 Dolby digital sound. You can get it on Amazon for $190 if you’re lucky, but the list price is just under $300.
4. Tritton’s Detonator Headset
Designed specifically for XBox users, the Detonator headphones use 50mm speakers (the best speakers headphones use commercially) that create very deep bass and crisp treble. You’re more likely to damage your eardrums before you blow out these speakers at full blast. As an added bonus, the Detonator has dual audio controls, one for your headset and the other for the game itself. You can buy the headset through their website for $79.
5. CM Storm’s Sirus
Still within the $150 range and great in sound quality with 5.1 surround sound and interchangable noise cancelling or breathable over-ear pads, Sirus is a great investment for gamers who don’t need the heavy-duty auxilary of a tournament headset. Surround sound is virtually impossible for gamers given the web of wires required, and oftentimes when headphones try to mimic surround sound it turns out to be spoiled with pops and accentuated high pitches. Armed with 8 speakers located throughout the headphones (back middle and front), gamers can isolate whatever speakers they want, giving them full control of what they want to hear and a true surround sound experience.
6. Monster’s Carbon Headphones by EA Sports
When two giants of game and sound come together, you should already know that the product will be amazing. Gaming leaders at Electronic Arts and the audio-geeks at Monster combined their forces in early 2013 to create some of the best gaming headphones available within an affordable price range. Monster’s patented sound is made perfect for music, and EA designed speaker placement in these headphones with their games in mind. Later this year, EA is doing a another collaboration with Beats by Dre but will also include a music streaming service.
7. Psyko’s Carbon Surround Sound PC Headphones
Psyko Audio Labs in Canada have re-engineered PC headphones to create a truly unique surround sound quality, with superior stereos and extreme noise cancelling ear pads. Though the price range is up there at $400, for the real PC gamers that spend hours on end immersed in the digital world, Psyko’s Carbon Headphones are perfect. Carbon has five individual speakers in the bridge of the headset, along with pivot-open ear cups that keep your ears cool during extended play. If you want sound quality at it’s best during your PC gaming, you gotta’ be a Psyko.
8. Razer’s Kracken Pro
Marketed as the most comfortable gaming headset ever made, the Kracken Pro‘s flamboyantly green hardware is matched by it’s equally magnificent sound. The speakers are 40mm magnet drivers which allow super low bass and crisp voices, but the selling point of the Kracken pro is how wearable it is on the go. The Kracken Pro was field-tested by both gamers and athletes to generate the perfect weight-distribution.
9. Turtle Beach’s Ear Force i30
One of the premiere headset designers for gamers and game designers is Turtle Beach. Creating streamlined and dual-use headphones for even those who aren’t gamers, Turtle Beach’s i30 headphones are perfect for gaming and stylish enough to wear around outside the gaming den. MAde keeping Mac fans in mind, the headphones use bluetooth technology to connect to your sound system or phone. Though sound is usually ruined with bluetooth because of compression, the speakers on the i30 make for crisp tones and a moderately decent bass level.
10. Skullcandy’s PLYR 2
No stranger to anyone who collects headphones, Skullcandy may not be the best quality as far as hardware, but they consistently make great sound comparable to their more expensive counterparts. The PLYR 2 is no exception to this. Priced at $130, the PLYR 2 includes an in-headset equalizer, a boom mic and uses wireless opposed to bluetooth for the best sound. Although the comfortability of the headset has been blasted in multiple reviews, for the price of a dual gaming and music headset it’s well worth the investment.