As we mentioned earlier, there are a lot of headsets out there, with most firms offering multiple versions that might seem identical. It's easy to just go with a certain model because of a recognisable brand or a certain affiliated game licence, but before you blow all your cash on such folly, we've carefully collated 10 of the best headsets money can buy in the year 2016.
So have we made our choices? Well, we've selected headsets from across multiple manufacturers, giving you a chance to see what all the biggest brands are offering, and how they differ - such as the Astro Gaming A50 and its stunning 3D surround sound or the colossal 7.1 surround sound of Logitech G35.
Each one might appear to offer the same functions, but everything from build quality to the comfort of the cups themselves can differ making each one a unique investment.
We've made every effort to cover many of the bases you'd expect to cover with a gaming headset, and choose a series of models that cater to each one. For instance, the Astro A50 is perfect for full-time streamers and YouTubers thanks to its superb mic, while the Logitech G633 Artemis Spectrum an all-round set of cups that both looks and sounds good all in one package.
However, there can be only one winner and for us at T3, the SteelSeries Arctis 7 is something else. Even the models positioned below it - the still brilliant Arctis 3 and Arctis 5 - offer an incredible quality of audio that combines the virtual omni-directional immersion of its 7.1 Dolby surround sound with a ClearCast mic that offers proprietary bidirectional design and complete background noise cancellation.
It's also one of the most attractive headsets we've ever tested - considering gaming headsets are often bulky things with zero subtlety, the Arctis range includes everything from AirWeave cups to a stainless steel finish on the Arctis 7 model.
There is one downside - the price. It retails for around £250 for the top-end model (with the Arctis 5 retailing for £110 and the Arctis 5 for £90), so not everyone is going to have the cash available to sink into something as expensive as this.
So what headset should you go for if you can't justify the outlay for the SteelSeries Arctis 7? The G633 Artemis Spectrum from Logitech is far from a consolation prize - in fact it's one of our favourite gaming headsets ever - and offers so many great features for less than £100.
With that much more agreeable price tag, you get Pro-G audio drivers and 7.1 surround sound for incredible audio and a set of customisable LEDs complete with 16.8 million colour choices.
So whether you're looking for a super high-end model or something to dip your toes into the gaming audio market, T3 has all the bases covered with this new and improved headset guide for 2016 and beyond.
SteelSeries Arctis 7
Subtlety, style and serious sound
+ Understated design
+ Impressive bass and treble
+ Great for VR
- An expensive investment
SteelSeries' new Arctis range are probably the closest thing gaming headset market will come to works of art, thanks to a design that makes the three models feel more like something a pro DJ would use in the studio than a gamer in front of their console or PC.
Of the three (the other two being the Arctis 3 and 5), the Arctis 7 is the creamiest of the crop, offering a stainless steel finish and a balanced 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound that delivers powerful bidirectional sound and reliable noise cancellation. And its wireless connection is one of the clearest we've ever tested with nary a moment's lag.
Turtle Beach Elite 800
Affordable, but not the total package it should be
+ Sound profiles offer great customisation
+ Strong noise cancellation
- Battery life feels too short
- No Xbox One compatibility
Turtle Beach is clearly aiming to transform its headset lineup and shake-off that budget connotation that it's held for so long, with the Elite 800 sharing many of the high quality additions you'll find in the impressive Elite Pro.
For the most part it's an impressive bit of kit - the noise cancellation software makes for a great way to immerse yourself in your chosen game (especially in a busy house), while the audio transfer itself remained crisp and powerful across multiple titles. It's also surprisingly comfortable for a TB headset, making it ideal for long Twitch streams.
However, while it works right off the bat with PS4 and PC, there's no compatibility with Xbox One - purely for the fact TB has an Elite 800X model designed specifically for Microsoft's console. It's a tactic we wish TB would grow out of since it robs the Elite 800 of being a proper full package.
Price: £230 | Buy Turtle Beach Elite 800
Logitech G633 Artemis Spectrum
Logitech's wireless wonder hits all the right notes
+ Cup-mounted hot keys
+ Superior comfort on long uses
- Battery life a tad too short
- Needless neon lights
Logitech has really upped its headset game of late, and the G633 Artemis Spectrum is one such example of the firm bringing together a bevy of impressive highlights into one package. The build quality is great, feeling both light and sturdy all at once (they also look pretty rad as well). There are also a set of handy hot key-esque G-keys on the side of the headset that can be customised for certain quick in-game actions.
The wireless audio transfer never compromises on audio quality, and it's compatible with PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360 via 2.4 GHz wireless tech. The only slight niggling issue is the battery life levels out around the 10 hour mark - if you're a casual player, this won't be an issue, but for bigger sessions or pro tournaments.
Sennheiser PC 373D
A top choice for PC and PS4… at a price
+ Top mic quality
+ Superb surround sound
- Very pricey
Okay, this is one of the most expensive headsets we've reviewed as part of this feature, but getting quality and comfort as good as this while still being lightweight comes at a price. For your money, you're getting one of the most comfortable professional headsets we've ever tested, with zero pinch and a lightweight design that never weighs on your neck.
The sound quality is killer, too - the 7.1 Dolby surround sound turns every game we tested it with into a cinematic theatre of immersion, with individual sounds kept clean and clear without being washed out by the bass. There's also a companion app for adjusting audio levels and tweaking profiles - ideal if you're partial to multiple game sessions.
SteelSeries Siberia 840
New Siberia model is hot stuff
+ Zero lag via wireless
+ Retractable mic
+ Dolby 7.1 surround sound
- Very expensive
Taking over from the already impressive Siberia 800, the Siberia 840 adds Bluetooth connectivity to the mix and creates one of the most reliable wireless headsets on the market. We didn't experience a moment's lag while testing them, but then again this is a premium PC gaming headset so high-quality performance is a prerequisite at this level.
While designed with PC gaming in mind, the headsets selection of customisable sound profiles (which can be tweaked from the OLED of its base unit or the SteelSeries Engine 3 app) so you can use it with PS4, Xbox One and old-gen consoles, too.
Stylish and affordable
+ Stylish design
+ Extra comfortable
- Not true surround sound
- Bass not powerful
While far from Logitech's most premium headset, the G35 is still an impressive and robust bit of kit for gaming sessions. Logitech has done wonders with the G35's design - its materials might not be the most deluxe, but the matte black colour choice makes everything feel distinctly less budget. The design also extends to the buttons on the cups, while include a handy mute button, a volume wheel and three customisable ones.
While the bass could be a little punchier, the use of two 40mm drivers provides an in-ear soundscape that's not a true surround sound experience. It's crisp and clear enough, but this is far from the 3D audio you can find elsewhere - but for the price, the highlights elsewhere still make it a decent set of cups.
Price: £80 | Buy Logitech G35
HyperX Cloud Stinger
Great sound at an ever great price
+ Great sound for the price
+ Extremely affordable
- Flimsy build quality
- Mic leaves a lot to be desired
While there are plenty of headsets out there with the oft-unclean word 'budget' stuck to them, that doesn't mean that every one has to feel like it's just fallen out of a cracker. The brilliant little HyperX Cloud Stinger is one such example, offering a crisp, punchy sound that belies its sub-£50 price tag.
That sounds driven by two 50mm drivers, with cups that swivel 90-degrees for ease of movement. Of course, this being a low-end model, there are compromises - while it is lightweight, the materials do feel very flimsy and the mic (which swivels rather than retracts) fails to offer a decent signal when chatting or streaming.
PS4 Wireless Headset 2.0
Sony's branded headset plays hard
+ Surround sound for PS4 and PS3
+ Clear internal mic
- Only eight hours battery life
- Foldable design doesn't feel solid
Sony's second swing at a first-party headset for PlayStation 4 offers much of the same features the original boasted, designed specifically for use with the firm's three major consoles - this means you can employ its 7.1 Dolby surround sound on your PS3 as well as your current gen machine. It'll also work with your PS Vita (but the surround sound won't work with the handheld, sadly).
It offers a clean audio transfer with a punch to its bass, and even the mic performs remarkably well for an internal version. It's just a shame the battery life (which offers a paltry eight hours) and foldable design bring it down.
Price: £50 | Buy PS4 Wireless Headset 2.0
Razer Man O' War
Razer blows other headsets out of the water
+ Super easy to set up
+ Powerful surround sound
- Bulky design
- Can pinch after prolonged use
With Razer pretty much dominating the PC gaming market in almost every sector, it only seemed a matter of time before the firm applied the same focus on the world of game-related headsets. The Man O' War is a beast, too - both in its huge size and considerable weight, but also in the power of its drivers, the sumptuously clear signal and bass with extra teeth.
It supports 7.1 Dolby surround sound so you're getting that full spectrum experience whether taking the fight online or relaxing in single-player. There's also a USB dongle that offers up to 14 metres of wireless coverage - and you can even store it in the headphones when packing it away.
Price: £155 | Buy Razer Man O' War
Astro Gaming A50
Gaming audio at the top-end
+ 7.1 Dolby surround sound
+ Three EQ preset modes
- Really pricey
- Separate versions for PS4/XO
If you're really serious about immersing yourself in a game, be it because of an extra in flow of cash or because you're preparing to go pro in the eSports arena, then you need a headset such as the Astro Gaming A50. It's just got it all - and for £250 you'd hope so, too!
All that hard-earned wonga will get you a top-of-the-line set of noise-cancelling cups that boast a sultry 7.1 Dolby surround sound and a brilliant mic for clear voice signal without any background interference - perfect if you're streaming over Twitch or relaying info to teammates while playing online. And with Kleernet 5.8 GHz wireless technology and a super-comfortable design you're getting a serious slice of premium for your lugs.