Best PC gaming headset 2021: get quality, immersive audio

We've got the best PC gaming headsets right here

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

When you've spent a small fortune on a powerful gaming desktop PC or laptop, you don't want it to be let down by sub-par audio – and with our guide to the best PC gaming headsets you can buy, that won't be happening.

The good news for the discerning shopper is that there are now so many different makes and models to pick from. Whether you want to go wired or wireless, whatever kind of colour or lighting effect you need, and however much you're willing to spend, there's bound to be a headset out there that's right for you.

Just as if you were buying one of the best gaming headsets for console use, audio fidelity is going to play a big part in your final decision, so pay careful attention to the specs in this regard, as well as the extra features (such as surround sound support) that tend to come with more expensive headsets. You can save money with a cheaper pair and still get great sound, but you might not get all the bells and whistles.

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

Asus ROG Delta S best PC gaming headset

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

(Image credit: Asus)

1. Asus ROG Delta S

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)

2. Audeze Penrose

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)

4. Creative SXFI Gamer

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)

5. Razer BlackShark V2

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.

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David Nield
David Nield

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.