Video game fans will know there is nothing quite like getting the very best sound out of your favourite games, from the rush of bullets to the deathly quiet of stealth missions.
Which is why many people turn to a gaming headset to get the top experience out of a new game. Whether for use on a console such as the Xbox One or PS4, or for hardcore gamers on PC or laptops, a great headset can transform your video game experience.
How to choose a gaming headset
There are a few things users should check when choosing a new gaming headset. As well as thinking about important factors like comfort and materials, you will need to make a couple of choices on your headset.
Know your platform
While you may want a certain pair of headphones, not all gaming earphones will be compatible with every console.
If you are an Xbox gamer, not all headphones will work with the Xbox One console, and most require an adapter. Others may not be compatible with operating systems like macOS, while others may not connect to the ports on your PC or laptops.
With lots of upgrades to the current generation of consoles coming in the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, some headphones may not be fully compatible with the latest models.
Wireless or wired
If you want extra freedom when playing your games, you may want to spend a little more for a wireless headset. These can be great if you want to play without a tangle of wires, but will only have a limited battery life so require charging, and can be more expensive.
Most gaming headphones are designed with multiplayer games in mind, therefore they come with a microphone attached. Having a decent microphone can be crucial for playing with teammates, but several headsets allow you to remove the mic all together if it is not in use, or upgrade it to an even better version.
Gaming headphones need not be expensive, and you can buy a decent wired headset for under £50 from the Steel Series range or from HyperX, which has become a go-to brand for even professional gamers.
More advanced headsets may include more comfortable materials or customisable microphones, while the most expensive headsets will have wireless capacities and a long battery life and cost in the region of £150 or more.
The best gaming headsets
Best for budget gamers – Steel Series 200
These entry level headphones from Steel Series really set the bar on the kind of experience you want from your basic gaming headset. They come in a variety of bold colours and have a retractable mic that can be stowed away when not in use.
It’s a relatively lightweight headset at 250g with comfortable leather earcups, although the Steel Series misses out on deeper bass levels. It comes with a 1.8m cable and can be immediately connected to PC, Mac or PS4. At under £25 the Steel Series is a bargain among the current line up.
Best for eSports fans – HyperX Cloud
A close to perfect gaming headset for those on a budget, the HyperX Cloud has plenty of customisation options while refusing to cut down on comfort. It is the gaming headset of choice for several major eSports teams and can be used for PS4, PC and Mac gaming out of the box, although you will need an additional Xbox One adapter to link it up to an Xbox controller.
The HyperX Cloud has padded memory foam ear cushions and weighs around 320g. You can also detach the microphone when it’s not in use, to store out of the way.
Best for comfort – Logitech G430
This Logitech headset has been around for a couple of years now, but it remains a solid headset for casual gamers. In smart sky blue with a comfortable cloth cover to the earphones, this headset puts comfort first.
It connects via two wires to PC or PS4 for mic connection, featuring an on-cable mic and volume controller. You can also connect using a USB adapter to get rid of some of the wired connections.
Best value for wireless – Asus Rog Strix Wireless
Asus ROG (Republic of Gamers) series is one of the biggest names in gaming, so their ROG headset is always worth a look. While this is the cheaper of Asus’s gaming headset offerings, with the added wireless capacity you get flexibility if you hate a tangle of wires across your desk.
These Strix wireless headphones work with PC and PS4 wireless, or can have a wired connection added to play across Xbox One or mobile. They have a reasonable ten hours to battery life to keep you playing when not connected and they weigh just 350g.
Best for Razer fans – Razer Man O’War
Gaming giant Razer’s only wireless headset, the Razer Man O’War works for PS4 and PC gaming consoles. The wireless set up gives you greater freedom with around seven days of charge, or 14 hours of continuous gameplay for hardcore players and has 7.1 virtual surround sound for incredible quality.
Customise the design with millions of colours, or watch colours fade in and out with Razer’s Chroma colour system. It has a retractable microphone, but don’t splash out on one of these for Xbox One, as it can’t be connected through an adapter.
Best for pro gamers – Turtle Beach Elite Pro
This high-end headset from Turtle Beach is designed for comfort and cooling while playing, featuring an easily adjustable band size. You will need an Xbox One adapter to ready this headset for Xbox gaming, but it works fine with PC and PS4.
With thick earpads it is great for comfort and delivers plenty of bass through 50mm drivers with full 7.1 surround sound, although it is on the heavier side at 390g. There are also plenty of extras available too if you are willing to spend a bit more, such as a mixing pad to adjust sound levels and a noise cancelling microphone made for pro-gamers.
These premium wireless headphones from Astro offer premium performance with wire-free staying power. With 15 hours of battery, the Astro A50 comes with a docking station, allowing you to rest the headset magnetically and charge wirelessly.
Compatible with Xbox One, the Astro A50 can also be bought for PS4 and is also compatible with PC. It has two 40W drivers and can be linked up to its own Command Centre to fully customise the sound. It weighs 380g, while its cushioned headphones make for gaming comfort.
The Telegraph makes a small amount of money by adding affiliate links to products mentioned in this article, however all products are picked independently by our journalists.[“Source-telegraph”]