The best gaming headsets in 2023 could offer this game-changing upgrade

Qualcomm has broken Bluetooth's low-latency barrier, delivering sub-20ms latency for future gaming headsets

eSports gamers wearing gaming headsets and fist-bumping
(Image credit: Marko Geber / Getty Images)

When it comes to the best gaming headsets – whether you're looking for PC, PS5 or Xbox – there are lots of options on the market. And future high-end gaming headsets could be getting a major upgrade in 2023.

It comes courtesy of a breakthrough from Qualcomm, which has announced its S3 Gen 2 Snapdragon Sound platform will be able to deliver hardware in a dongle format, just as you'd expect from the best gaming headsets, and bring with it leading low-latency for the quickest possible Bluetooth delivery.

So just how fast are we talking? Having attended a Snapdragon Sound briefing in London, I was shown the company's proof-of-concept hardware taking Bluetooth latency down to sub-20ms. Yup, under 20 milliseconds

That's super-fast and, even for high-end gamers, means there will be next to no delay over a Bluetooth connection with a compatible headset. As far as Bluetooth LE Audio goes you're not going to get faster than this. The system supports up to 24-bit/96kHz high-resolution audio too. 

LE Audio low-latency gaming goodness

Girl wearing a beanie using a gaming headset

(Image credit: Marko Geber / Getty Images)

So what's the catch? Well, at the time of writing the hardware isn't available in any form that you can buy in an actual gaming headset – but knowing how many devices feature Qualcomm chipsets inside, I suspect the wait won't be especially long.

Secondly, there are solutions out there which don't use Bluetooth, such as 2.4GHz Wi-Fi compatible products, which can net you upwards of 15ms. But that's not Bluetooth, that's a whole different system and to support both systems for best compatibility of course means greater expense. This new Qualcomm route, therefore, could mean access to more affordable and more capable kit in the future.

During the demo of Qualcomm's low-latency kit, colleagues did comparison tests with concept hardware compared to Apple's AirPods Pro and the difference when connected to an iPhone 14 Pro Max was night and day. Concept proved, I'm sold gamers will want this next-gen tech in their next gaming headset. 

Until then I'll be sticking with my Turtle Beach Stealth Pro and its 2.4GHz connectivity. But if you can't afford such a pro-spec headset then Qualcomm may be your future saviour in a future gaming headset release...

Mike Lowe
Tech Editor

Mike is the Tech Editor and AV Editor at He's been writing about consumer technology for 15 and, as a phones expert, has seen hundreds of handsets over the years – swathes of Android devices, a smattering of iPhones, and a batch of Windows Phone products (remember those?). But that's not all, as a tech aficionado his beat for T3 also covers tablets, laptops, gaming, home cinema, TVs, speakers and more – there's barely a stone unturned that he's not had a hand on. Previously the Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint for a 10 years, he's also provided work for publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Metro, and more. In addition to his tech knowledge, Mike is also a flights and travel expert, having travelled the globe extensively. You'll likely find him setting up a new mobile phone, critiquing the next MacBook, all while planning his next getaway... or cycling somewhere.