We're here to help you find the best gaming headset for whatever console or PC you're connecting it to – a device that can seriously level up the immersiveness of your gaming experience.
These headsets will give you features such as surround sound, automatic noise reduction, and boosts for quieter sounds and dialogue – as well as top-tier audio in general, of course. We're not exaggerating when we say that the right gaming headset can actually improve your chances of winning.
Our advice is to not just go for the cheapest option without any other considerations – we'd say finding the right cans to clamp on top of your head can be as important as investing in the best gaming monitor and the most comfortable gaming chair.
Best gaming headsets 2023: Top 3
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The best gaming headset for most people is the Asus ROG Delta S. This headset has so much to offer, including Quad DAC technology, a noise-cancelling mic, plus it looks pretty funky with its RGB lighting.
The best premium gaming headset is the Turtle Beach Stealth Pro. The 2023 T3 Awards winner of the Best Gaming Headset is super powerful, comfortable to wear, and a great buy if you've got the extra cash.
The best cheap gaming headset is the Trust Thian. When every penny counts, this affordable option still delivers great audio.
From gaming hardware veterans Asus comes the very impressive Asus ROG Delta S headset, which will work with just about every device out there – though the customisation and equaliser software is only available for Windows. This won't suit anyone who definitely wants a wireless set of headphones, but it's well worth considering for everyone else.
It works with a host of gadgets and gizmos via USB-C (or USB-A), from PCs to consoles, and it produces audio quality of the highest order – whether you're wanting to rock out to some tunes or you need to hear everything that's happening during intense gaming sessions.
The headset is comfortable to wear for extended periods of time, and is well put together too. Add in extras like simulated 7.1 surround sound and support for the high-resolution MQA audio format, and it's easy to see why this made it on to our best gaming headsets list.
They don't come cheap but we challenge you to find a better-sounding gaming headset. The immense noise-cancelling helps absolutely immerse yourself in the game and play undisturbed while the over-ear fit and 50mm drivers offer supreme comfort for longer sessions.
As for battery life, the Turtle Beach actually have a cheat code: two batteries, each lasting 12 hours, are swiftly interchangeable and you can charge one while using the other for a technically endless cycle of power.
If you can make room in your budget, this is the premium headset to pick. We've written about the three best features in this Stealth Pro article.
You know what you're getting with the Trust brand: solid, affordable hardware that you can rely on. That's certainly the case when it comes to the Trust Thian gaming headset, which gives you great audio quality in return for not much money at all compared to many of the other options on this list.
Okay it's not the most stylish or well-built pair of headphones out there – and you don't get a detachable mic or any customisation software – but there's no faulting the audio performance, and there are both wired and wireless options to choose from when it comes to getting connected.
Setup is an absolute breeze no matter what device you're using, and these are headphones that are comfortable to wear for an extended period of time too. Think of what else you could spend all the money that you're saving on...
Best gaming headsets 2023: The best of the rest
As you can see from our Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 Max review, this is undoubtedly one of the best gaming headsets on the market at the moment – it combines superior audio quality with stylish design and plenty of comfort, and it works with just about any device you want to attach it to.
It might not be the most stylish or the lightest headset but it scores highly in terms of what really counts, and that's the audio that comes through into your ears. The 50 mm neodymium drivers bring with them a lot of fidelity and a lot of clarity, and that applies across music and movies as well as games.
What's also impressive here is the 40-hour battery life, so you can get a whole lot of enjoyment from these headphones between charges. Even in a product category as crowded as this one, the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 Max stand out in terms of what they bring to the table.
We like the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro wireless gaming headset for lots of reasons, lot least the excellent sound quality and the superior comfort that these cans offer. They're great for games of course, but they also work really well when you're kicking back and listening to music.
Connections are achieved via a wireless base station and two USB ports, so you can hook these headphones up to two devices simultaneously. The stylish base station also handles equaliser settings as well, so you don't have to fiddle separately with software or controls on the cans themselves.
Battery life is listed as 18-22 hours without noise cancelling – that noise cancelling is very good, by the way – and we're pleased to report that SteelSeries has included a second hot-swappable battery in this package too. It'll cost you quite a bit of money, but we think that this headset is worth it.
Razer makes quite a few gaming headsets, but the Razer Barracuda Pro model is hard to beat in terms of overall quality – whether that's the quality of the sounds coming through your ears, or the quality of the fit and finish of the headphones (and indeed the included carrying case).
There's no doubt about it, this is a premium-level headset, and one that's very comfortable to wear. It comes with a host of customisation options if you're using it on a PC with the supplied USB-C dongle, and it can connect to plenty of other devices over Bluetooth as well.
Yes the price is a little on the high side, but we think that in the case of the Razer Barracuda Pro the outlay is worth it. You're certainly not going to be disappointed in terms of the sound that gets piped through, whether you're sitting back watching a movie or loading up the latest blockbuster game.
Check out our Razer discount codes for ways to lower the cost.
Check out our Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal review and you'll see just how much this headset impressed us: this is a set of gaming cans that demands attention. Bang & Olufsen is one of the world's finest and most storied audio masters, and here it has poured its expertise into gate-crashing the gaming headset market.
The audio quality is absolutely top-tier, with 40 mm electro-dynamic drivers with neodymium magnets, Dolby Atmos for Headphones, active noise-cancellation tech and the aptXTM Adaptive codec combining to deliver incredibly precise and immersive in-game audio.
The killer thing with the Portal, though, is that they are not just limited to use with Xbox or PC systems, with Bluetooth 5.1 and wired 3.5 mm connectivity allowing them to be used with basically any other piece of hardware you can think of. You can go from gaming on Xbox to listening to music streamed from your phone to watching an epic movie on your tablet in a blink of an eye.
In terms of sound quality and comfort, as we note in our Roccat Syn Pro Air review,
this headset absolutely nails it. For PC gamers, because this is a gaming headset designed specifically for them, if you prize those two things most (and we think most people do), then this is absolutely a headset to check out.
It's a wireless headset, too, meaning that on top of that comfort and sound quality you get to banish wires entirely thanks to a 2.4GHz wireless receiver, and on top of this great core functionality the Syn Pro Air adds 3D audio and a TruSpeak mic, too.
The comfort comes from the fact that the Syn Pro Air features ProSpecs-grade memory foam earpads and headband, while the defined and balanced audio reproduction comes courtesy of 50 mm Nanoclear drivers, with the headset's delivery of Superhuman Hearing tech boosting key in-game sounds.
What stands out first about the Audeze Penrose headset is its versatility: it can be used with a wired connection, over Bluetooth, or via the bundled 2.4GHz USB dongle, and you can connect it up to Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, the Nintendo Switch, PlayStations and Xboxes (if you want Xbox compatibility, go for the Audeze Penrose X model).
Despite the very reasonable price – these are expensive, but not really for what you get in return – the headphones feature top-tier 100 m planar magnetic drivers, which results in an excellent, rich sound whether you're watching movies on your laptop or gaming on your console.
Throw in a quality fit and finish as well, and you can see why we think this is one of the very best gaming headsets of the moment. Some more advanced features like surround sound would be welcome, but overall we can't fault the Audeze Penrose, especially in terms of audio quality.
How to choose the best gaming headset for you
There are a huge number of headsets and headphones out there for the keen gamer, with most manufacturers offering multiple products that only vary a small amount. While it might be easy to just go with a certain model because of a recognisable brand, before you spend any of your hard-earned cash, it's worth weighing up exactly what you need from your next headset.
Do you want a great-sounding headset for gaming that can also do double duty as a regular pair of headphones, for example? If so, you need to go for a pair of on-ears and, for style and portability issues, one with a built-in or detachable mic.
Equally, if you are looking for a dedicated, heavy duty headset for streaming and super-long gaming sessions, you'll need a set with excellent battery life, a good boom mic, and an over-ear comfortable fit. Everyone's needs vary to some extent, and the best gaming headset of 2023 is going to be different for everyone.
How we've curated our best gaming headset guide
So how have we made our choices? We've picked headphones from across the very best manufacturers in business today, so you're able to see what all the biggest brands offer and – crucially – how they differ. It's a fast-moving market, but we'll help you stay on top of the latest developments and products.
Every gaming headset might appear to offer the same functions and features at first glance, but in fact every device is unique: the build quality and the fit of it, the comfort of the ear cups and the connection method, the features you get as part of the package... the list goes on.
Whether you're looking for a top-of-the-range model or something just to dip your toes into the gaming audio market, we've got all the bases covered with this new and improved guide to the best gaming headsets for 2023 and beyond. We update this guide on a regular basis too, so check back often.
Who are the best gaming headset makers?
There are lots of gaming headset makers in business today in 2023. Some of these firms are specialist gaming headphone producers, who do nothing but that, and others are arms of much bigger companies, who produce a wide-range of gaming accessories and peripherals.
Equally, there are gaming headset makers who have decades of experience under their belt, as well as others who are more young, disruptive new challengers. Here at T3 we've found that while heritage does tend to indicated quality, that is not always the case, though, and often headsets from relatively new makers, such as LucidSound, can outperform similar products from more established producers.
Rating or not rating gaming headset makers is of course subjective, but here at T3 after decades of reviewing gaming headphones, we consider the best gaming headset makers to be:
5. Turtle Beach
This doesn't mean that headsets in this guide that are not from these makers are poor – far from it. These are just the top 10 companies that, based on empirical evidence, have consistently delivered great gaming headsets.
Gaming headset jargon explained
If you're new to the gaming headset market, or wearable audio products in general, then there's a fair bit of jargon that needs to be processed and understood. Right here T3 provides a small guide to some of the most important terms and phrases, in the aim to make it easier for each gamer to determine which headset will work for them, and which will not.
Type – There are multiple types of gaming headphone styles, but the two most common are over-ear and on-ear. Over-ear headphones have cups that fully encompass each year, and tend to be used on headphones with noise-cancelling technology and/or surround sound built in. On-ear headphones on the other hand have cups that sit on top the ears, and tend to be more compact and direct in terms of their audio delivery.
Drivers – The most important part of each gaming headset, drivers turn electrical signals into hearable sound pressure. In the simplest terms, the better and bigger the driver the better the sound quality will be. Drivers come in magnet, coil and diaphragm types, which determine how they work. Here at T3 we think, as a general rule, a good gaming headset should feature a 40mm or larger drivers.
Frequency response – This is important as it determines the entire range of audible sounds the gaming headset can produce. A wider range on paper indicates that the headset is probably more capable than one that has a smaller one, but it is not an indication of sound quality, just the potential of the headphones. Our top-rated gaming headset for PlayStation gamers, the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless, has a frequency range of 10–40,000 Hz.
Noise cancellation – Noise cancelling technology has developed rapidly over the past five years and is now offered on a fair few gaming headsets. There is both active and passive noise cancelling tech, with active the more desirable. In basic terms, active noise cancelling works by recording environmental sounds around the gamer and then creating an inverse sound wave to cancel them out within the headset. The result is exterior environmental noise is cut out making in-game audio clearer. Passive systems, on the other hand, just look to block out noise and don't actively try to cancel it out.
Sound pressure level – Finally, sound pressure level (SPL) is, in simple terms, a way of determining just how quite or loud a set of gaming headphones can go. SPL is often linked to decibels, so simply look for 'dB SPL' in gaming headphone spec sheets. Most gaming headphones will offer between 90 and 105 max dB SPL.
How we test gaming headsets
T3's testing procedure for gaming headsets is detailed and authoritative. Firstly, we examine the package contents and build quality of the headset itself from a fit and finish point of view. We look at this stage for deficiencies in the product and overall package, or things of particular note.
Next up we test out the headset purely from an ergonomic point of view. So we wear the headset and examine its ability to be adjusted for different head shapes and sizes. We wear the headset for a prolonged period to ensure we know how it feels during long gaming sessions.
Thirdly, we then move onto testing the headset's audio reproduction and mic quality. This is done by using the headset in a variety of game types, such as FPS, RPG and RTS, as well as out of game for applications such as Amazon Music Unlimited, Disney Plus, YouTube and Microsoft Teams.
Lastly, we consider the gaming headset in terms of everyday useability from an experiential point of view. This stage is particularly important for headsets that advertise themselves as general purpose headphones as well as a gaming headset, so we wear them while commuting or on trips out.
When these four stages are complete, we then judge the headset compared to its contemporaries on the market, both in terms of its quality and its price point. It is then here that we finally bestow a star score on a gaming headset, with 5 stars being the best score a product can achieve.