You may think of gaming headsets as the sort of purchase limited to the most hardcore of hardcore gamers, but there are actually plenty of people who could benefit from a decent set.
Whether you want to play online and trash talk your competition, want surround sound audio to pinpoint enemy locations, or just want to save your family or partner from listening to the sounds of gunfire while you game, a decent gaming headset is worth the investment - though it doesn't have to cost a fortune.
Still, it's not always a straightforward decision, and you'll have to bear a few factors in mind.
First, there's the console you want to use it for. The Switch and 3DS only support wired headphones, so that rules out Bluetooth if your main aim is playing on a Nintendo console.
The PS4 will work with either, and the Xbox One depends entirely on which controller model you have - the most recent support Bluetooth, older models are wired-only, and the oldest even require an adapter. If you're a PC gamer, your PC may or may not have Bluetooth support - though you can always grab a Wi-Fi headset, or pick up a Bluetooth dongle for your computer.
Wired sets also tend to boast better response times and audio quality, and you also need to think about whether you want an in-line or boom microphone, whether you need them to be lightweight and portable or not, and how much muting and audio mixing functionality you need built-in.
That's not even getting into aesthetics - while gaming headsets have traditionally been garish, companies are designing understated sets that you'd be equally happy to use as your default audio gear - though check out our guide to the best headphones if you want to keep your gaming and music separate.
In our reviews below, we break each headset down by audio quality, features, design, and price, to offer buying advice no matter your budget or requirements. Before you buy, make sure to check out our best headphone deals to grab the cheapest price.
Best gaming headsets of 2019
1. Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2
It may be an expensive headset, but we think the Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2 is well worth a purchase. The Elite Pro 2 boasts incredible audio quality with crisp highs and rich, booming bass, directional audio thanks to 7.1 surround sound support and smartphone compatibility that allows you to take calls via the headset.
We haven't even begun to talk about how comfortable the headset is either. The Aerofit Ear Cushions are incredibly soft and cool to the touch, and mould to the shape of your head as you wear them for extreme comfort over long periods. There is even a gap for glasses wearers!
If money is no object, the Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2 is the best option right now.
Read our full Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2 review
2. 1More Spearhead VRX
The 1More Spearhead VRX is unique in that it’s the only headset in our chart to offer positional head tracking, and it works surprisingly well. The end result is a more immersive, realistic gaming experience where audio is affected by the way you turn your head. The audio quality is crisp and the bass is booming, thanks to the built-in 50mm vibrating drivers, making them perfect for gaming and listening to music too.
It’s also the only headset in our chart that doesn’t offer an adjustable mic, instead opting for a small microphone in the earcup much like with standard smartphone headphones. We were admittedly sceptical about how well it’d perform, and though it isn’t a perfect experience, it certainly exceeded our expectations.
Read our full 1More Spearhead VRX review
3. Best gaming headsets: SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC
You really can’t go wrong with SteelSeries products and the Arctis Pro + GameDAC is a perfect example of this - exceptional build quality and design meet harmoniously with exceptional, highly-customisable sound quality and diversity.
The GameDAC allows you to create your own audio profiles with ease and switch them on the fly, so you can manually boost the highs to hear those footsteps over the gunfire or drag the lows up for that thumping, concussive, immersive sound.
Read our full SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC review
4. Logitech G Pro
Despite a sub-£100 price tag, the Logitech G Pro headset looks and performs like a headset double the price. The understated all-black design is a refreshing change to then standard high-tech, flashy gaming headsets, making it ideal for both gaming and the morning commute. The large comfortable leatherette ear cups alleviate pressure around the ears over long periods of time, and help avoid sweating.
Of course, audio is the most important factor in a gaming headset, and the G Pro excels in that area too. The hybrid-mesh Pro G drivers deliver booming bass and crisp highs that’ll help immerse you in the game. It’s worth noting that it doesn’t offer the more advanced 7.1 surround sound support like the Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2 and other premium headsets in our chart.
Read our full Logitech G Pro review
5. Roccat Khan Pro
The design of the Roccat Khan Pro alone is enough reason to buy it; it's the lightest headset in our roundup, and the angled earcups really do make a difference during long gameplay sessions. The flip-to-mute microphone is a handy feature too, helping to avoid those awkward moments when you forget your mic is on.
But of course, it's the audio quality that makes the Roccat Khan Pro stand out; offering Hi-Res Audio support, the audio is bright, rich and crisp with booming bass. The headset is perfect for gaming and listening to music, which is handy because the 3.5mm headphone jack adaptor means it's compatible with a range of consoles and smartphones alongside PC.
Not bad for a sub-£100/$100 headset, right?
Read our full Roccat Khan Pro review
6. Razer Man O’War Wireless
Essentially, the Razer Man O’War is an impressive and rather intuitive wireless gaming headset that could easily take on gaming headsets double the price.
It ticks all the boxes, from wireless support to 7.1 surround sound support and great long-lasting battery life. It's good looking and thanks to large cushioned earcups, it's comfortable to use over long periods of time. And for the L33T gamers, it can also sync the LED-lit logo up with other Razer peripherals via the company's Chroma software for PC.
Read our full Razer Man O'War Wireless review
7. Plantronics Rig 500 Pro
Set the aesthetics aside, and the Rig 500 Pro is a really impressive gaming headset for its price. We've frequently forgotten that this is costs less than £100/$100 while we've been using it, happily switching between it and some far more expensive alternatives in our chart.
Solid metal construction means its comfortable and built to last, with powerful bass that’s perfect for driving shooters and refreshingly simple controls.
Read our full Plantronics Rig 500 Pro review
8. ROG Strix Fusion 500
With the recent price drop, the Asus ROG Strix Fusion 500 is now more tempting than ever before. It may not have some of the bells and whistles of other gaming headsets in our chart, but it’s well-built, comfortable to wear and most importantly, it sounds incredible. The virtual 7.1 surround sound support immerses you in your favourite games, allowing you to pick up directional audio that can enhance your overall gameplay experience – especially in fast-paced online shooters where split-second reaction times are a necessity.
Our only complaint is that despite being compatible with PS4 as well as PC, swipe input isn’t supported by the console.
Read our full ROG Strix Fusion 500 review