Buying guide: How to choose the right gaming headset?

Guide d'achat : Comment bien choisir son casque gaming ?

With all the references that exist and not always obvious, it is difficult to find the rare gem in gaming headset models. If we talk about features, performance, and price, it is nevertheless possible to find them.

However, it is necessary to take into account the right characteristics. Here are some tips if you are looking for a high-performance and affordable gaming headset.

A few words about gaming headsets

Alongside traditional gaming gadgets such as controllers , mice, floor mats , gaming desks and even gaming chairs , the gaming headset is also a must-have item in the kit of a player worthy of the name . Although less popular than other gadgets, the gaming headset market is probably one of the most complex in terms of technology, connections and functionality.

As a gamer, you probably have a variety of expectations in terms of features, functionality, ergonomics and design. But the most important thing remains the sound quality, durability over time and of course the price for the features offered!

Regarding the platform and connectivity: A key point to check!

Before purchasing a gaming headset, you must especially take into account the platform on which you are going to use it. Indeed, apart from the fact that it absolutely must emit good sound, be aware that gaming headsets are not necessarily compatible with all devices such as smartphones, Apple gadgets, PCs, smartwatches, etc. On this point, connectivity does not solve everything, and this is where you should be careful before placing an order.

  • Jack connector:

The safest solution is to choose a headset that uses a jack connector. For what ? Quite simply because this socket is universal and suitable for most PCs as well as PlayStation or Xbox controllers .

Furthermore, these jack headsets are often affordable and the majority are compatible with almost all platforms. This is the best option if you don't want to break the bank. We did some research and the HyperX Cloud Alpha, for example, is a good choice.

  • USB connection:

As for USB, it is certain that headsets with USB connectivity have more useful features. Despite this great advantage, this in no way guarantees compatibility with other platforms. This is why you have to pay attention to details, especially the specificities of each model.

  • Wireless headset:

Finally, if you're a professional gamer who needs a little more freedom, wireless headsets may be the best option. Indeed, wireless models are generally based on a USB adapter or a base to connect the headset to the PC or console. In fact, these have almost the same compatibility as USB models.

Anyway, even when choosing wireless headsets, you should pay attention to the specifications.

Of course, when we talk about wireless models, we're talking about batteries! As you may have guessed, you should be patient and take the time to charge it properly before using it, although some models nowadays are very durable in terms of battery life. For example, the wireless Stealth 700 headset from the Turtle Beach brand is great for gaming.

Opt for a helmet that combines comfort and practicality

After the connections, we will now address the comfort side of the headset. And yes, what's the point of a headset that doesn't make you comfortable? Between us, this aspect is just as important as anything else!

Although each model is different, not everyone has the same taste when it comes to ergonomics. You must take into account the size of your head to find the ideal helmet for you.

The weight of the helmet is another point to check! Since you will have to wear it on your head for long hours, or even a whole day, and almost every day. Discomfort or pain caused by heavy headphones can have serious consequences for your health, which can degrade the user experience.

Apart from these main points, there are some features that will likely improve your user experience. For example, we can talk about the ROG Strix Go which is equipped with earcups that swivel up to 90°, thanks to this, it is easy to place the headset around your neck when you are not using it.

There is another more or less positive point, which is to choose a headset with a fabric covering on the earcups. Even if this can sometimes have an impact on the sound reproduction, this option will provide you with better comfort in the long term.

Knowing that most of these characteristics are not visible at first glance, but do not hesitate to browse the product sheet. You need to test the model before knowing if the helmet is ideal for you or not.

Consider features

Just like connectivity, features are certainly the main strengths of gaming headsets. Whether it is a jack or USB model, be aware that gaming headsets should have at least a remote control such as the ON/OFF button, or to increase/decrease the sound volume, or even the pause/ play. Some headsets like the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro go even further by offering a lot of functions as well as a dedicated base.

Generally speaking, wireless or USB models are equipped with controls directly integrated into the earpieces allowing certain specific functions to be activated. Some even have LEDs integrated and customizable according to your tastes.

Furthermore, there are also headsets compatible with software that can customize specific functions. Thanks to this option, you can modify the sound reproduction of the headset in a few clicks.

Sound quality: A factor to check

Since the headset is one of the essential gaming accessories for gamers, it is important to check the sound quality.

We agree that a headset is firstly used to broadcast sound. It is therefore essential to put this factor at the top of the list. Although, not all models are the same, there can be low-end models as well as gems that should be scrutinized meticulously. In terms of sound quality, it is preferable to opt for headsets that intensify low frequencies, sound localization as well as immersion.

If you like shooting games, it is advisable to choose a headset that emphasizes stereo reproduction. This will allow you to locate the source of the gunshot sounds, and therefore the position of the opponents. Great, right?

Some models offer a Surround effect which offers a more immersive audio experience by simulating a spatial distribution of sounds. The 5.1 format uses two speakers in the front and two in the rear, while the 7.1 adds two additional speakers on the sides for an even more realistic experience.

The Hi-Res Audio format offers more faithful and detailed sound reproduction, ideal for audiophiles looking for an authentic listening experience. However, this mainly concerns very demanding players.

To go further, some manufacturers even offer headsets with a Surround functionality which is capable of detecting 360° sound. However, the sound quality leaves something to be desired, which is why most gamers prefer stereo headsets.

The good news is that these days, it's rare to come across a bad headset, at least in terms of sound. Perhaps the best choice is to go for a versatile model, especially if you are looking for very specific functionality.

Prioritize a good microphone

Although the majority of streamers often opt for dedicated microphones, this is not often the case for gamers. As a reminder, gaming on console or PC sometimes encourages moments of sharing between friends or between online gamers. For this use, the microphone is essential and should not be neglected.

Some specialist brands equip their headphones with high-performance microphones. For example, unidirectional mics only pick up sound from the front, providing clear communication without external interference, ideal for online gaming.

However, beyond the performance of the microphone, its convenience is just as important. These features may seem insignificant at first, but can significantly change your experience as a user.

Conclusion

Choosing a gaming headset suited to your needs requires careful consideration of the different features and functionalities available on the market. First of all, the connectors must be chosen according to the platform on which the headset will be used, favoring models with jack connectors for maximum compatibility. Next, the comfort and ergonomics of the headset are essential for an enjoyable gaming experience, taking into account the weight, head size and materials used. Features like in-app controls, audio effects, and customization through software can also improve the user experience. Finally, sound quality and microphone performance are key criteria to evaluate, favoring headsets offering precise sound reproduction and clear communication. In short, choosing an optimal gaming headset will depend on the balance between these different factors, based on the preferences, price and individual needs of each gamer.

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