Best PC gaming headset 2022: get quality, immersive audio

We've got the best PC gaming headsets of 2022 right here, with all price points considered from budget to premium

Best PC gaming headset hero image showing SteelSeries Arctis 1
(Image credit: SteelSeries)

The best PC gaming headsets in 2022 will help you make the most of your gaming PC or laptop because you'll be able to get fully immersed in the action which will ultimately help boost your gameplay. 

Whatever you're looking for, there's sure to be something out there for you - whether you want to go wired or wireless, lit up with RGBs or not, premium or affordable. If you need something you can use with a console, check out the best gaming headsets for more options. 

Of course, the audio fidelity should play a big part in which you go for, but you'll also need to pay attention to the extra features on offer as well. Some headsets will come with surround sound support while others will have a detachable microphone. And do bear in mind that if you're looking to save some money then you will have to make some sacrifices.

Would you like to find out more about how we collated this list? Read how we test at T3. And when you've picked up the PC gaming headset that's right for you, we've still got plenty of buying advice to share: check out the best gaming mice, the best gaming keyboards, the best gaming desks and the best gaming chairs to make sure you have the perfect setup at home.

The best PC gaming headsets you can buy today in 2022

Asus ROG Delta S best PC gaming headset

The best PC gaming headset? That's the Asus ROG Delta S.

(Image credit: Asus)
The best PC gaming headset we've tried

Specifications

Drivers: 50mm
Frequency Response: 20Hz-40kHz
Wireless: No
Mic: Detachable unidirectional boom mic
Weight: 300 grams
Connectivity: USB-C

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent audio performance
+
Customisable lighting

Reasons to avoid

-
No wireless option

If you want the very best gaming headset on the market at the moment then we think the Asus ROG Delta S stakes a very good claim: this device, from the increasingly impressive Republic of Gamers line of accessories that Asus makes, will cost you more than the average headset, but we think it fully justifies the price. You won't be asking for a refund, let's put it that way.

It's fair to say that from the moment you put the Asus ROG Delta S atop your head and plug it into your computer, your gaming experience is going to be significantly upgraded. Across the full audio spectrum, and across every volume level, the headset delivers sounds that are sharp, distinct, and beautifully balanced. For all types of games and just about everything else, these headphones excel.

The microphone uses some special artificial intelligence trickery to block out outside sounds and make sure your voice is always clear and audible, and that works really well too. There isn't really anything bad to say about the Asus ROG Delta S, though you are limited to a wired connection.

Audeze Penrose best PC gaming headset

The best premium PC gaming headset? That's the Audeze Penrose.

(Image credit: Audeze)
The best premium PC gaming headset

Specifications

Drivers: 100mm
Wireless: Yes
Mic: Detachable
Audio: Stereo
Sensitivity: 120 dB

Reasons to buy

+
Planar magnetic drivers
+
Wired or wireless

Reasons to avoid

-
No surround sound

Those of you shopping for the very best of the best in terms of PC gaming headsets, and with a suitable budget available to spend, should take a look at the Audeze Penrose. There's some very smart, very high quality audio technology packed in here, and that really comes across in terms of what you can hear when you're in the middle of your games (or indeed listening to music or watching movies).

This is a headset that's really well put together, with no hint of cheapness or flimsiness anywhere – it feels like a piece of hardware that's going to last a long time. While it's robust, the Audeze Penrose headset is also comfortable to wear, and you'll have no problems wearing this for an extended period of time while you're gaming. The on-board controls are all easily accessible and intuitive to use, too.

It's the audio quality that really sets the Audeze Penrose headset apart though, and even though there's no surround sound feature, the special planar magnetic drivers that Audeze has developed do a wonderful job. You can use the headset connected to your computer or wirelessly, and if you choose the latter you get about 15 hours of battery life before you'll have to recharge the device again.

SteelSeries Arctis 1 best PC gaming headset

The best budget PC gaming headset is the SteelSeries Arctis 1.

(Image credit: SteelSeries)

3. SteelSeries Arctis 1

The best budget gaming headset

Specifications

Frequency response: 20-20,000Hz
Weight: 522 grams
Mic type: Noise-canceling bidirectional
Wireless: No
Cable: 3m
Connection: 3.5mm + Dual 3.5mm PC extension
Noise cancelling: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Won't cost much
+
Sounds great

Reasons to avoid

-
Lower-level specs

SteelSeries makes some of the very best PC gaming headsets around, and the Arctis 1 is well worth a look if you want some quality audio for your games but you don't want to pay over the odds – have a hunt around online and you can pick up this pair of wired, over-ear headphones (plus mic) for a very decent price (leaving you with more money to spend on expanding your AAA game collection).

Even at the budget end of the scale, you can be sure that this SteelSeries headset will transmit every single sound to your ears, no matter how subtle or faint, and you should get a significantly more immersive experience compared to using standard computer speakers. That top-quality audio extends to the microphone too, which can pick up everything you're saying while eliminating background buzz.

A note too on the design of the SteelSeries Arctis 1 headset, which isn't in any way flashy, but which has an understated style that we rather like. Black is your only colour option, but we don't have any complaints about that. Considering the price you're paying, we'd say this headset gives you your money's worth and then some.

Creative SXFI Gamer best PC gaming headset

(Image credit: Creative)
A perfectly priced PC gaming headset

Specifications

Driver: 50mm neodymium magnet
Frequency response: 20-20,000Hz
Sensitivity: 114 dB / mW @ 1 kHz
Mic type: Unidirectional noise-reduction
Wireless: No

Reasons to buy

+
Surround sound capabilities
+
Very comfortable to wear

Reasons to avoid

-
App could use some work

There's so much that's good about the Creative SXFI Gamer that it's difficult to know where to start, but the quality of the audio seems like a good place: the 50mm neodymium magnet drivers inside this headset ensure crystal-clear audio for all your games, and at all volume levels. From the loudest shout to the quietest whisper, everything comes through with excellent fidelity, and this headset is great for watching movies and listening to music as well as gaming.

It's also important to note that the headset comes with 7.1 surround sound capabilities. It's not quite the same as having seven satellite speakers dotted around the room where your gaming rig is, but it's a pretty close approximation, and again it really adds to the immersiveness of the experiences you're going to get – and don't forget this is a very affordable headset too.

We like what Creative has done with the design of the SXFI Gamer headset as well, with some subtle lighting effects, cushioning in all the right places, and an elegant but robust design that manages to both look good and feel good. If you're in the market for one of the best gaming headsets, then this has to be on your shortlist.

Razer BlackShark V2 best PC gaming headset

(Image credit: Razer)
An all-round fantastic PC gaming headset

Specifications

Weight: 263 grams
Type: On-ear
Audio output: 7.1 surround sound
Frequency response: 12-28,000Hz
Driver size: 50mm
Mic type: Boom
Wireless: No

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight, simple design
+
Great sound for the price

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the best for movies and music

As soon as you see the Razer branding on a gaming accessory you know you're in safe hands, and that's certainly the case with the Razer BlackShark V2 gaming headset: you can expect excellent audio fidelity in all of the games you play, the headset is stylishly designed and well put together, and the whole package is available for a reasonable price that isn't going to too big a dent in your savings.

This being a Razer product, there's an accompanying software package for Windows that you can use to fine-tune the audio settings to suit your preferences, but we reckon that a lot of people are going to be perfectly happy with the way that this headset sounds out of the box. The 50mm titanium drivers that Razer has installed here are just the ticket for picking up every single sound you need to hear.

To sweeten the deal even further, you get an external USB sound card you can plug into your PC for some extra audio processing – THX Spatial Audio is one of the enhancements that's enabled for example, and it works with titles such as Red Dead Redemption 2 and Apex Legends. You really can't go wrong with the Razer BlackShark V2, or indeed any other gaming headset that Razer puts out.

How to choose the best gaming headset for you

A Roccat gaming headset resting on a headset stand

There are a huge number of headsets and headphones out there for the keen PC gamer, with most manufacturers offering multiple products with only small variations. 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 2022 is going to be different for everyone.

How we've curated our best PC gaming headset guide

A woman wearing a pair of gaming headphones

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 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 2022 and beyond.

A woman using a pair of SteelSeries Arctis 1 gaming headphones


(Image credit: SteelSeries)

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.

A man wearing a pair of gaming headphones

(Image credit: SteelSeries)

T3's testing procedure for PC 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 on to 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 (opens in new tab), 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.

Dave has over 20 years' experience in the tech journalism industry, covering hardware and software across mobile, computing, smart home, home entertainment, wearables, gaming and the web – you can find his writing online, in print, and even in the occasional scientific paper, across major tech titles like T3, TechRadar, Gizmodo and Wired. Outside of work, he enjoys long walks in the countryside, skiing down mountains, watching football matches (as long as his team is winning) and keeping up with the latest movies.