To be able to make one of the best gaming headsets around, a lot of different ingredients need to come together: you want a headset that's well designed and well put together, one that's constructed from premium materials, and comfortable to wear. And, as this guide is for students heading back to class, you'll want one that's sensibly priced too!
On top of all that you need something that's simple to setup and operate, something that just works out of the box when you plug it in – and that applies equally whether we're talking about the best PC gaming headsets or the best gaming headsets for the PS5 or your Xbox.
Then, of course, we get to perhaps the most important aspect: the quality of the sound. A great gaming headset should be just as good at broadcasting the quietest of footsteps and the loudest of explosions, as well as coping well with music and movie dialogue too. And you'll want something good enough to drown everyone else out in your student accommodation.
Having tested dozens and dozens of gaming headsets for T3, I'm a dab hand when it comes to these products and know what I'm talking about. Certain devices have really stood out from the crowd recently – and these three options are the ones I would honestly buy myself.
1. Razer Barracuda Pro
The Razer Barracuda Pro is going to cost you a little more than the average gaming headset, but in my opinion it's well worth the money as it'll last you for years to come. What really appeals about this particular device is that it's great for gaming while also being versatile and stylish enough to work as a premium pair of headphones for everything else too, so that'll save you needing to buy a pair of the best headphones too. Win-win!
As you would expect from Razer, the design of these headphones is top-notch, and I can personally assure you they're a pleasure to wear – the comfortable leatherette memory foam earpads mean you can game in comfort for hours. There's 40 hours of battery life between charges as well, which is impressive.
When it comes to the all-important sound quality, the Razer Barracuda Pro scores highly here too. The TriForce Bio-Cellulose 50mm drivers – using an organic compound for a more natural sound – really excel, and there's plenty more advanced tech built in here to give you a listening experience that's difficult to beat. Oh, and there's hybrid active noise-cancelling (ANC) so you can drown out the outside world wonderfully, which adds to the must-have features list.
2. SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless
At this point SteelSeries is a brand name synonymous with quality when it comes to gaming headsets – and the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless does nothing at all to damage that reputation. The wireless headphones offer 40mm drivers, lots of thump at the lower end, and plenty of customisation options to play around with.
I'm impressed by the connectivity choices here, even though there's no wired option – which is something to note if that bothers you. However, Bluetooth can be used to hook the headset up to just about any console, phone, tablet or computer, while the 2.4GHz USB-A dongle offers lag-free connectivity from multiple devices too – you can even use both options simultaneously.
Add in the rather impressive 38 hours of battery life, the very reasonable price for what you're getting, the stylish design and the comfortable fit, and you've got one of the best gaming headsets on the market at the moment. There's a very handy equaliser and tweaking tool to make use of on Windows PCs as well, so if you're using them as headphones in-between study time then I think that adds to their versatility.
3. Corsair HS65 Wireless
What stands out most about the Corsair HS65 Wireless is the value for money of the proposition, which is why I think many students may find this the best option (even if I prefer the quality of the other two headsets above).
You get plenty of functionality and audio fidelity in return for not all that much money at all, and while there are better-specced headsets out there, I think you're going to struggle to get more bang for your buck.
As the name gives away, this is a wireless headset, and there are two ways to connect: a 2.4GHz USB-A dongle or classic Bluetooth. That means just about any device can be hooked up to the Corsair HS65 Wireless, so you've got plenty of flexibility when it comes to the hardware that you want to be doing your gaming on.
Audio performance is great across the board thanks to the 50mm drivers and Dolby 7.1 surround sound support, and your voice comes through loud and clear on the mic too. With 24 hours of battery life available between charges, you don't need to panic about recharging every day, and Windows and macOS users can download a free companion app too. I think they're great all-rounders and I'm sure you'll agree.