Best Gaming Headsets

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DuhPanda22

These are all great headsets, the only issue I see here is that one criterion ignored here is affordability. Some of us cannot afford to drop nearly one months worth of rent on something like a headset. Also I see that a few of these headsets are stereo line in with an included USB sound card. I think that if anyone wanted to get an exception setup for under 100$ you could buy a TTe Shock and a Creative Usb Soundblaster and get just as good results as with a $300 alternative. I did a review on the TTe Shock, feel free to check it out by heading to this webpage http://www.tunetowntroll.com/apps/blog/show/41116044-tte-shock-gaming-headset-review

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TinCity

Picked up a pair of those green ones on Amazon for a cheaper rate with free 2 day shipping. Here's the deal that I got: http://amzn.to/1lyDifv - Can't wait for them to arrive. The reviews are also awesome.

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chuckh89

How about doing the leg work and finding the best in each category.
Below $100
Between $100-200
Above $300

I have been disappointed with Maximum PC's choice of reviews lately, you guys have the resources. Find the best in each category, and tell us the pro's and cons of each one.

And why does it take you guys months and months to review games. I remember when Starcraft 2 came out, and it didn't show up as a review for 4 months...Why? Come on guys...your smart, make smarter decisions.

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TopCommenter

Bought my brother a pair of gaming headphones from the biggest online retailer in the world. I only trust reviews from people who actually bought these headphones and this is how I got a great deal and free shipping: http://amzn.to/1eQZHBL - Pretty hard to beat that.

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rocket1420

Are any of these sets over-ear? I hate on ear headphones, and they all look like they're on-ear.

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OpTic SwAmpeR

I have a pair of Tactic 3D Alphas and those beat out all other headsets I've owned up to this point and are comfortable as all hell to boot. They go for $50-$70 on eBay but now and then you find them new for under $25.

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Timberbeast

I can only afford $50-$75 on a headset. I have young kids that I dont wont to wake up when I play. Any recommendation?

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Xiinc37

I'll just leave this here...

http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20121226002636/installgentoo/images/8/88/1320020147396.png

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methuselah

Nice! A rant filled with incoherent babbling, random swearing, and ZERO data to support your argument, make you sound so incredibly intelligent.

I foresee the whole internets will take your rant under careful advisement and ultimate implementation.

You sir have won the interweb. Congratulations.

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methuselah

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Scatter

I guess you're just cooler than the rest of us.

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And3rs0nTX

Got a set of Razer Kraken Pros the other day and I love them.

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methuselah

I prefer the Cooler Master CM Storm.
TRUE 5.1, USB interface, very solid build construction, very nice sound, comfortable during long gaming sessions.

Cost is about $100

The software interface is nice and very configurable but a bit wonky to get into.

Initially I bought a 3.5mm headset to plug into my SB Audigy however, I got too much board interference and thus opted for the USB. The downside is it uses its own soundcard instead of my SB Audigy but at the end of the day, it didn't matter because the CM Storm sounds really really nice.

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maddingo

hmm... I wouldn't recommend any of that stuff clip on mic and a decent set of headphones..

i my case I have a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and a Sterling Audio ST55 mic (over kill for gaming but I have it for other stuff so I use it for games.) and headphones (driving the headphones with a vintage Yamaha C60 preamp) either

Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO (80ohms)
ATH-M50
Pioneer SE-A1000
and my oldest pair of headphones JVC HA-RX700

decent headphones and a $8 clip on mic will run circles around any of that gear.

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bjoswald

I use a $30 set of Logitech speakers with an Audigy SE (also $30). I can't justify spending hundreds of dollars on just headphones.

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methuselah

For sound quality my friend.

I'm sure those Logitechs sound OK but they certainly can't compare to a nice set of audiophile speakers or headphones.

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Overclockedx86

MadCatz... and not a single Sennheiser set?! This article is invalid.

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kellytm3

I'm still using my old Razer Barracuda Sound Card with the Razer Barracuda 5.1 Headphones, the sound quality is so good from the pair, I bought a backup card and 2 additional sets of the headphones a few years ago to last me several more years.

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Techrocket9

Unfortunately the Gamcom Commander has a design flaw. The earpieces, while adjustable, do not stay where positioned; they always fall down to the lowest position. Plantronics support said that this is intended behavior, and when I eventually got the headset RMA'd anyway the new pair did the same thing.

Very disappointing, as the sound quality is quite good.

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5150Arcticwolf

Granted I'm nearly deaf from spending 8 years in loud night clubs playing security, but I really like the sound and diversity of my Turtle Beach PX5. They are bluetooth 7.1 but sound awesome! They not only connect to my PC, but also my PS3, and iPhone. I am very surprised I do not hear more about them.

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Rift2

After reading this review I bought two pairs of Razer Krakens they are awesome for most games the bass is awesome I wish the cord was braided though cause I ran over the extension and severed it.

I have a audiophile set a JVC 700 and it sound ok minus the bass so the Kraken's are really good actually.

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BrainFlush

For two years now, I have used this combo. Yet to replace anything but the ear pads. I started with only 80 hours on Steam, I am currently up to 4000+ hours now with these 2 luxury items. I recently bought the M-100 from VModa $300. I have 2 AntLion mics and now 2 VModa headphones. I will put this in perspective as far as price concerns go. Buddy I met on Steam has gone through 3 headsets in the time I have known him, sub $100. Another buddy using sub $200 headphones has gone through 2 pairs. I have yet to even come close to breaking. Metal and plastic fused in a beautiful symphony. I will never go back to anything else. Got questions, I will answer them. I wear these things for 6-12 hours a day, don't even notice them, and the mic is unmatched in quality. Don't believe me? Add me on Steam and I will prove it to you. Check my MPC profile for my link.

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Crossfade-Over-Ear-Noise-Isolating-Headphone-Gunmetal/dp/B003BYRGKY/

Manufacturer http://v-moda.com/

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/AntLion-ModMic-Attachable-Boom-Microphone/dp/B005IT9P3G/

Manufacturer http://www.modmic.com/

Otherwise great article. I just wish more people would think outside the box.

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JimmyJamesRoS

I bought the chrome version of the Crossfade LP's and a V-Moda mic to go with it based off of this thread. After years of dealing with headsets that never lived up to their touted greatness I can say I am very happy I read your comment.

They are hands down supior in build quality to all of the headsets I have owned. The only thing even close was my Beyerdynamic MMX 2's. Again I just wanted to thank you for the great recommendation.

http://amzn.to/18tgpSx - Headset
http://amzn.to/H1RpHS - Mic

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BrainFlush

That's great man. I cannot attest to the quality of the V-Moda mic but from what they told me it is supposed to be damn good. And it sure looks nice attached to the headphones.

Sorry this response is so late as MPC has no notification options. Stupid if you ask me.

Enjoy them. You won't regret the purchase.

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smashingpumpin

Nice! I miss my hd25-1 which I sold 2 years ago. I should've EQd the heck out of it before giving up on them. Clear sound all around, fast bass response and clear vocals, but it did gave me headaches with its V-shaped signature sound on marathon gaming sessions. Its sound reminds me alot of turning Creative X-Fi's "crystalizer effect" on by default which is not really bad for music and gaming but too much is just too fatiguing.

I've downgraded to a KSC75 and my only gripes is that they're open back and I cant seem to enjoy them when playing atmospheric horror games with my PC humming like a MFO. Time to mod these inside gun earmuffs! They're the best entree/budget audiophile I've ever owned compared to overrated Portapros and Monoprice 8323s IMO.

I'm currently in the market for somewhere around m100's price range. Have you own m50s, hd25-1s? How does it compare to M100? Your link sez Crossfade LP, so you mean you own both? I've yet to wait for Joker to review m100's on HeadFi. :(

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BrainFlush

I have never owned any other headphones besides some garbage Beats. I always had speakers.

I currently own the V-MODA Crossfade LP2 and the M100. That being said.

The difference between the LP2 and the 100's is minimal. Both offer great outside noise suppression without using battery. Both offer great bass and mids. But something about the M100's makes it stand out. I am comfortable in both but the M100's speak real class. Maybe it is the price tag that is making me think they are better but when I put them on, I feel like a king. And yes there is a sound difference between the two. The M100 just have more sound. More comfort overall.

As I said earlier, I wear them constantly. For everything. Both pairs never leave me feeling tired around the ears or head. And the M100 has the added benefit of allowing dual audio input. Sometimes I will plug in my TV shows while gaming from one computer to another all into the M100's. Dual audio input on one pair of headphones is the best thing ever, and VModa gives it to you in the M100's. Their cords are incredibly durable. The ear pads last god knows how long with normal use, I am not normal use. And they are made of metal and plastic, what more could you ask for? Amazing build quality.

Honestly, if you are buying, get them and try them out, worst case, you have to return them. Also their warranty is unmatched. 2yrs replacement and after that if they break you can replace them with another pair for 50% of the price. Who does that? Sold!

PS: I am not an audiophile. And I don't have specs or freq ect. I just game, movie and music with them. They sound awesome and that is the best it is going to get from me. If I missed anything, ask me.

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BrainFlush

Let me get back to you. Busy gaming session. :D

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smashingpumpin

Very informative reply, Thanks a bunch!

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HouseFoxx

Thank you, we need more people like you, those M-100s are great, aren't they?

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BrainFlush

So worth it. I will include my opinion in my reply above.

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trgz

I've had a pair of Speedlink Medusa 5.1 'phones now for several years and the biggest difference/advantage I've found with them over other 'phones is that they have their own external amp. I have a pair of Sennheiser 585s that I connect to the hi-fi/iPod but do find that the Medusa's fair well in a gaming environment and have enough grunt to tickle my ears and send shivers down my spine with the bass. They're not the best made (having taken them apart top fix the mike) but they are comfortable and seem to surpass equivalent Logitechs (sorry, no model number) 'phones I've tried which sound thin in comparison and weren't that comfy.

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John Pombrio

I loved my Speedlinks but I found them too fragile and broke several pairs. I donno if they have improved in the past few years but...

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trgz

As a Speedlink user (powered variety?) have you ever found something to match/surpass the sound/comfort? I have to admit that my friend had a pair of the USB driven ones (same headphone build though) and he managed to snap the headband and the mike on mine broke once (and I replaced by canabalising another broken pair)

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mvalles19

Has nobody heard of Psyko Audio...

http://www.psykoaudio.com/GetPsyko/PsykoCarbon.aspx#axzz2hlclCCx5

I own a the Psyko Carbons 5.1 PC gaming headset, they deliver the most precise directional audio soundscape available. Unlike all these other gaming headsets that simulate surround sound, the Carbon's use front and rear wave-guides to channel sound over the front and back of both ears. It works the same way as a 5.1 home theater system, naturally. They are analog as any true 5.1 surround should be. Don't get me wrong, I own the Kraken Pro and Sound Blaster Tactical Rage, they both sound great. However, when it comes to directional accuracy in all the twitch shooters I play so much, nothing comes close to the Psycho Carbons. That is just my opinion...

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HouseFoxx

You mean Sennheiser's E.A.R. technology, right?
No sorry, the Stax Sr-009 delivers the best sound of any headphone ever made, in precision, detail, soundstage, etc.

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mvalles19

Negative, Wave-Guide tech as mentioned by Psyko AudioLabs. Keeping things relative, you are going to compare a $300 5.1 Gaming Headset to Stax Sr-009's a pure studio, audiophile grade quality Headphones. Be real, the comparison was between what MPC mentioned in the article. Not a $4k+ pair of headphones from Stax...

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JosephColt

PC gamers are very gullible when it comes to accessories.

Gaming headsets(99%) are the biggest load of crap quality wise. Gaming/Tech(not all) review sites are not qualified to review headphones/headsets, and it's funny when they do.

Buy a good pair of headphones instead of garbage like the Razer Kraken Pro. The review for the Razer Kraken Pro for example is complete garbage unless you have very low standards or don't know audio.

My short advice for you gamers, go buy some good audiophile headphones/sound card, and enjoy your games! You want headphones with good sound stage and a sound card if possible to provide you with CMSS-3D or Dolby for surround!

This quote too:
" A USB headset connects to the PC using the USB bus, which allows it to process the sound before you hear it, increasing audio quality. "

Increase audio quality by using the DAC from a USB headset? Nope, you will likely get worse sounding audio quality unless your motherboards on board DAC is from the stone-age. While on-board isn't the best thing, USB implementations are far worse.

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HouseFoxx

Unless your USB DAC/ AMP is from the stone age, it's using asynchronous-mode data transfer with at least 16/48 sampling (I own both the Behringer UCA202 and the FiiO e07k; $25 and $90 respectively) which means that unless your computer only has the blazing-fast bandwidth USB 1.1 provides, you should get pretty damn good sound from any reputable current USB DAC.

-greetings from the past 10 years

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JosephColt

Not talking about stand alone USB DACS like a FiiO, I am talking about headphones that plug directly into the PC(Razer Megaladon for example). This is an article about gaming headphones, how many gamers use DACS with their "gaming headphones." Plug and play USB gaming headphones are not good at all.

Not sure why you even thought I was talking about a normal USB DAC...

I have a few USB dacs such as the Shiit Loki, ODAC, Fiio, etc.

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TheITGuy

How is the e07k? Been thinking of picking that one up myself

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Ghost XFX

Still is and always has been for me, Corsair Vengeance 1500.

I like the Skull Candy sets, have their 50/50 blk chrome buds, great response. Luckily for me, I could careless about being self conscience about the little skull on the side.

At nearly age 40, that little skull could be painted flat black, nobody would be the wiser for it. Get a pair of Skull Candy headsets, try them out, you might be surprised at what you hear.

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SEALBoy

I just want to give a shout out to a pair of wireless headphones I've been using: the Skullcandy PLYR 1.

Normally I wouldn't touch Skullcandys, but their PLYR/SLYR line has been developed with technology from Astro A40/A50's. I'm no audiophile, but mine are fantastic. The surround sound is pretty decent as well.

If you're still in doubt, they were featured on Head-Fi's Summer Buying Guide as one of the best gaming AND music wireless headsets you can buy.

I don't trust Skullcandy, but I normally trust the folks over at Head-Fi, and they didn't disappoint with their recommendation.

Also FYI, the mic on the PLYR 1 is USB, but the audio input has to come from an optical source.

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borkbork

Would be interesting to see how the Gamecom Commander compares against the Astro A40s as far as sound quality goes..

Never heard of the Commander before.

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HouseFoxx

"Open-Back vs. Closed-Back: Open-back headsets do not form a complete seal around the ear. This can create a more natural-feeling sound, but allows sound to leak out more easily, potentially disturbing anyone nearby. Most gaming headsets, including all the ones in this article, are closed-back."

I would like to specify here that most open-BACK headphones DO form a seal AROUND the ears, but the space/air BEHIND the speaker/driver is open as opposed to being blocked by a piece of plastic/metal/wood.

In open-back headphones: (Sennheiser HD650)
Space between the driver and your head = sealed
Space between the driver and the outside world = open
[pic: http://goo.gl/QYQYNL ]

In -completely- open headphones: (AKG K-1000)
Space between the driver and your head = open
Space between the driver and the outside world = open
[pic: http://goo.gl/1eWtNb ]

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froggz

Good article, but it's missing surround sound comparison. I've purchased and returned many a headphones because their supposes surround capabilities sucked ass. As a gamer, it would be nice to know which headphones offered the most accurate surround sound on a few popular FPS and maybe throw in some sound comparisons on a movie or two. Maybe on a future follow up article?

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John Pombrio

Cooler Master Storm Sirius Headset. I own 6 pair of them. I have two pair on HTPCs (I use a pair of 10 foot USB extension cables to reach my chair or bed), two pair for my main PC and my son, and my other son has a pair at Brown. The last is a spare! I simply cannot live without them, heh.
Now what to do with all those $350 Logitech 5.1 speaker systems I used to have on these PCs? I have three sets of them in the basement!

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froggz

Dude my wife is going to kill me. Now I have to go out and get these. Hopefully they don't end up with the 3 other headsets I purchased that had zero surround sound accuracy.

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John Pombrio

Hmm, I definitely notice the rear sounds and all the volumes can be adjusted. The bass is good as you can get with these sized speakers. They are not as good as a 16 inch sub and a kick ass surround speakers but what is? I use them for games, movies, and TV shows primarily and they work well. The bleed thru to the outside is minimal keeping a very quiet household. Buy a pair from Amazon, try them out and return them if you do not like them. I LOVE them but I am CYA.

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jimmthang

We've done somewhat of a surround sound comparison piece here: http://www.maximumpc.com/razer_surround_impressions_2013  It may not be exactly what you're looking for but we do compare software surround support vs headsets that support natively. 

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froggz

Thanks for the link, I read the article when it came out. Actually it's because of that article that I'm curious to know which one has the best surround sound accuracy. I installed the Razer surround software and it works pretty good with my soundblaster wrath head phones. I was just wondering if there's a pair of headphones that are better than the razer software.