There are a lot of different accessories and tools you need to buy after you’ve already invested in a game and a console. You have controllers, chairs, mice, keyboards, and most importantly, gaming headsets. As someone who has been playing competitive games for years, I can safely say that gaming headsets are absolutely worth it.
Gaming headsets are worth it, as they take your gameplay to another level. They are built with technology that makes important sounds like gunshots or footsteps easier to hear and also technology that shows where the noises are coming from so you can get the jump on enemies.
Out of all the potential accessories, you can get for your gaming setup; gaming headsets are easily the ones that are going to give you the most return on investment.
The difference you’re going to get in gameplay from having a good headset versus something like a controller is exponential, keep reading to know why they are so essential.
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Why Are Gaming Headsets Worth it?
So, yes, gaming headsets are really worth it, but just why is that? There are a few different elements that factor into why gaming headsets are such a good investment.
For starters, being able to locate where a sound is coming from in-game is going to help you tremendously in PvP. In fact, competitive shooters are practically unplayable without a good quality headset. Aside from that, a good headset is going to both make single-player games more atmospheric and allow you to enjoy soundtracks a lot more. Plus, it lets you keep the game audio to yourself during those late-night sessions.
Depending on what kinds of games you play, you’re going to be getting different benefits from a headset. Either way, though, it’s more than worth whatever kind of headset budget you give to yourself.
To see the other 5 essential pieces of equipment you need to have to be a pro gamer check out my guide here.
Gaming Headsets for Competitive Games
CSGO, Call of Duty, Warzone, Day Z, and more are all first-person shooters that pit you against enemies in some form or another. A major part of being good at any of these titles is the ability to locate an enemy before they locate you.
There’s only so much your eyes can do, so you need to start relying on your ears more in-game. Specifically, you need to start relying on a good gaming headset to hear your opponents before you see them.
You can tell if there are footsteps behind you, in front of you, to your sides, below you, or above you way before you even see anyone, giving you time to either get into a better position for a gunfight or rotate so that you can catch your opponent off-guard.
Gaming Headsets For Single Player Games
Gaming headsets aren’t just worth it for multiplayer games. Having good quality audio can be the difference between a game being enjoyable and being an unforgettable experience.
There are a few different genres that come to mind for this, but perhaps the most obvious one is horror. Try playing some Resident Evil without any sound. I guarantee you it isn’t going to be as scary. Horror and audio are tied together, so optimizing your audio is going to optimize the kind of horror you experience.
Imagine having a surround sound headset on blaring in the middle of the night while you’re being chased by an unkillable monster. You have no ammo, no health kits, and you’re miles away from any safe room; all the while, you can hear the creaks, moans, and screams of the world around you. That’s the type of gameplay experience you can’t get without a good headset.
As well as for horror games, you should remember that a good gaming headset is still… well… a headset. It’s a piece of hardware designed to make audio sound good, and that includes music. The difference in sound with games like Nier Automata and Persona 5 when I’m using my Razer headset versus the audio from my monitor is night and day.
Another way to enhance your gaming experience is having a display with a higher refresh rate, most televisions are only 60Hz, if you buy a 144Hz monitor that is over double the number of frames on screen making your gaming experience that much fresher! To see why gamers use two monitors and the best monitors to buy check out my article.
How Much Should I Spend on a Gaming Headset?
How much you should be aiming to spend on a gaming headset depends on what you need one for. For example, my current headset cost me around $300. Before that, I had one that was $50. That being said, I play FPS games competitively, and I write about games for a living, so I need the kind of hardware that allows me to experience everything a game has to offer. You, on the other hand, might only need a headset that lets you talk to your friends and teammates.
If you’re looking for something to communicate with, then a $30 to $40 headset is going to do you just fine. The next step up from that is $100+ for when you want to start taking your games more seriously. After that, you’re looking at a $300 and up price range either because you can afford it or you aim to take your gaming career to the next level.
For years, I was chaining together $50 Turtle Beach headsets. These weren’t particularly great, but they did get the job done and didn’t cost too much at all. This price range is always my go-to recommendation for newer or younger players.
If you’re a bit older and have a larger budget, aim for around $150. A headset at this price point should last you a good bit longer than a cheaper one and offers you a better performance.
What is the Best Gaming Headset?
There is no definitive best gaming headset. However, there are a few brands that I can recommend for people looking for headsets at different levels.
For anyone on a low budget, Turtle Beach is the way to go. While this company makes great high-end headsets, its budget models outperform all competitors at the same price point.
If you have a little more cash to spend, go with SteelSeries. This brand is relatively new, but it has already had a massive impact on the gaming headset industry thanks to its high-performance quality at a moderate price tag.
Lastly, if you’re looking to reach the highest end of the gaming headset spectrum, look at either Razer or ASTRO. Razer is my brand of choice and has been delivering market-leading gaming hardware for years, but ASTRO is arguably the single best gaming headset manufacturer on the planet. ASTRO headsets are what the pros use, so expect to pay professional prices for them.