back to article Playing by stealth: Twelve gaming headsets to plonk on your noggin

After receiving an email with the recommended specs needed to run Witcher 3, I reckoned that if I’m going to have to update my graphics card, then I might as well update my headset too. Experiencing immersive surround sound and can make a huge difference to enjoying high-intensity games where split-second decision-making means …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can we get more love for behind-neck headsets?

    This message brought to you by the society of people with massive noggins.

    1. N13L5

      Re: Can we get more love for behind-neck headsets?

      No, as there are none that are any good.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. N13L5

    Rather inconsistent on the reviews but still a decent read...

    One Headset gets a positive mention for being a USB (built in sound card) headset, while for another headset, the fact that its also a USB headset isn't mentioned,

    A few words about cup size would also be helpful.

    I had the Creative for a very short time, it was excellent in sound, but the bluetooth connection was unreliable, and the earpieces are small, don't fit around your ears, but instead press them to you head hard, which gets extremely uncomfortable after less than 30 minutes.

    The Razer has 5" drivers, not 4". At least that's what it says on my package. I guess that could have changed between revisions?

    On the expensive end of the spectrum, Samsung's Bluetooth headset might be worth looking at too. High build quality and their padding fits nicely around my ears without any pressure and they have both bluetooth and wired options. PHP 12,000 / 240 Euro at the local Samsung store.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. ckm5

      Re: Rather inconsistent on the reviews but still a decent read...

      I have a Nakamichi bluetooth headset which is excellent and was less than US$70. Very comfortable, I often wear it for hours and the battery lasts for at least 5 days (I leave it on all the time, even if nothing is playing through it....). Doesn't look particularly sexy, but after trying a dozen wireless headsets, this was the best.

  4. Sweeping Brush


    Can we get a brief comment on the relative comfort of these guys for glasses wearers?

    Years ago I had a pair of headphones with the softest foam ring I've ever encountered and never been able to find them again.

    they were the only pair I could wear that didn't give me blinding head pains after two hours of gaming.

    Now I'm reduced to using in-ear buds because nothing breaks immersion more than the screams of agony when you realise that your glasses are now embedded into the side of your head and you didn't notice until you went to adjust them

    1. John Tserkezis

      Re: Glasses

      "Now I'm reduced to using in-ear buds because nothing breaks immersion more than the screams of agony when you realise that your glasses are now embedded into the side of your head and you didn't notice until you went to adjust them"

      I'm in the same boat. Short of "try before you buy", read lots, and lots of reviews. You'll likely find someone else who's tried them, and if they're comfortable with glasses, or not.

      1. ckm5

        Re: Glasses

        Try the Nakamichi's I mentioned above. I wear glasses, they are perfectly comfortable.

  5. Rusty 1

    Never understood the combination of headphones and microphone.

    With a good set of headphones, such as Grado 125 (or 80), you will have all the fidelity you can possibly desire (e.g. hearing the 3rd harmonic of a rat farting at 200 Linguine), and truly epic dynamic range.

    Why not get a cheapo USB mike? All you'll be doing is calling the kid who whooped your arse a jerk anyway.

    1. Robin 12

      Why not get a Cheapo USB mike?

      Try having that cheap USB mike close to your mouth when you lean back in your chair zapping aliens. Cord to short or having to yell because you are far away from the mike. And then being told to quit yelling because of it.

      I do agree with the poster about the cup size of the ear pieces. Big heads run in our family and many headsets hurt the ears or head after a short time.

    2. Extra spicey vindaloo

      Using voice attack with a desktop mic is really awful, I don't speak very loudly, so it doesn't understand me at all.

      I'm currently looking for a USB throat mic, the only ones on amazon won't ship to me. grrr!

  6. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

    I recognise those headphones..

    The kingston look to be the same as Q-PAD's QH-85/90's... in otherwords actually beyerdynamic designed cans.

    Just sayin'

    1. Fai

      Re: I recognise those headphones..

      I have the Kingston variation - and they sound fantastic. I have Yamaha IEMs costing around £100, and wearing these cans, I don't feel like I'm missing fidelity. Not sure what the reviewer was harping on about wanting it to look more like the Steelseries designs - they're slightly more audiophile looking without being brash (although once you're wearing them you wouldn't be looking at them anyway).

      Wearing with glasses: together it's ok - not so gentle I forget I'm wearing glasses with a headset over it, but it doesn't noticeably affect the placement, and I can still adjust my glasses.

      Just a note on surround sound audio cards that reviewers seem to miss:

      If your computer can already process audio to output to 5.1 setups or mix/reprocess these down to headphones / 2 speaker setups (virtual speakers or the Dolby Headphone feature), then you could actually just purchase a decent headset with the standard 3.5mm jack and save money on skipping the USB audio box that comes with 'USB headsets'. Gaming headset manufacturers seem to add a large premium on those - like the Astro mixamp pro which cost £100 (though it does look nice).

      If you have a (for example) Xonar DX, then this should already have decent audio processing.

  7. Keith 12

    I've had a pair of Roccat Kave 5.1 Surround Sound Analog 'Phones for about 6 months now, it's not the model featured here - I got mine for around £50.

    I really can't justify spending much more on a set of 'phones, I do have a Creative 5.1 speaker system on the same machine connected to a Xonar DX card


    I have had genuine 5.1 'phones previously but I must say the Kave 5.1 gives superb directional and quality sound (gaming and music) and appear to be very well made. I do tend to chuck 'em around a bit and they are still in one piece. I'm also told that the (positional - ear to chin) Mic gives a good quality sound. Two drawbacks in my experience: can be uncomfortable to wear for long periods, it really needs a solid piece of foam to replace the 3 pads that sit on your head. Also the cable, whilst a decent length, is of the type that tends to bunch together in a knot and you do need to unwind it after a while. Apart from that I'm very pleased and would fully recommend them for the price.

  8. Innocent-Bystander*

    Nothing Too Exciting

    Still no reason to replace my Logitech G930 then. Good to see at least some of the hardware I own is not getting obsoleted by new stuff every 3 months.

    1. InfiniteApathy
      Thumb Up

      Re: Nothing Too Exciting

      Another vote for the G930's here, enjoyed mine so much that when they gave up after several years of daily abuse I bought another set. Battery life is top notch, range is equally excellent for 1200sqft.

      Improvements I'd like to see would be wireless charging on a proper stand. Sound quality could use a tweak but that's nit picking.

      1. ChaoticMike

        Re: Nothing Too Exciting

        It's comments like that that convince me that I am no longer built for this world. "They're great headphones, but the sound could use a tweak..."

  9. Kaltern

    G930's are excellent but the sound quality is lacking - it might SOUND good, but when you stick on another set of cans, the difference is quite outstanding.

    In my case, I happened to have a set of Xbox One headphones laying around. Coupled with my aging X-Fi XtremeGamer soundcard, the difference in mid and high range frequencies was quite impressive.

    1. dogged

      But if it sounds good, that's okay, right?

  10. Levente Szileszky

    The unbeatable: PlayStation Gold Wireless - great, universal PS/PC/etc, w/ BT adapter, bag etc

    Virtual 7.1 on PS4, built-in mic, Windows PnP (drivers download immediately), lasts hours with one charge but you can also use it while it's charging (everyday microUSB port.)

    Again, unbeatable for $99:

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