Best Gaming Headsets under 100 – Welcome to the comprehensive buyer’s guide to the best gaming headsets and best gaming headphones on the market. our definitive list has been put together to make sure you make the most informed choice when it comes to adding a headset to your Rig.
Overviewback to menu ↑
6 Best Gaming Headsets under 100: Round UP
We’ve got a pile of fantastic options for you, whether you’re a gaming laptop or a gaming desktop type of person. We’ve also got some top-notch recommendations to cover the best gaming headsets for PS4, the best gaming headsets for Xbox One, and the best gaming headsets for the Nintendo Switch as well.back to menu ↑
1. HyperX Cloud Alpha
In short, the HyperX Cloud Alpha was designed from the very beginning with durability and comfort in mind. The band and forks are solid metal, and each movable part of the headset is protected by robust joints, or thick padding. The earcups themselves are made of a thick plastic encircling a metal backing, and they use a super thick ear pad to seal to your head.
- HyperX Dual Chamber Drivers for more distinction and less distortion
- Signature award winning HyperX comfort
From the moment you take it out of the box, to the moment you hurl it across the room after your squadmates screw up for the thousandth time, the HyperX Cloud Alpha is probably one of the most durable headsets on the market.
When you start using the HyperX Cloud Alpha, you’ll notice that it creates a very good seal against your head after adjusting the band, which is important for two reasons:
- A good seal means your headset won’t jostle around if you move, or slide down your head as the sweat builds
- If you want to block out noise from around you, a good seal is imperative for isolation
It’s a given that you want solid isolation if you’re a gamer or work at home while the world around you is pretty loud, but ear pads this deep and soft are an unfortunate rarity.
About one third of the way down the included cable is a remote that houses a microphone mute switch, and a volume wheel. It’s definitely convenient to be able to adjust your master volume without changing your computer’s settings when you move back and forth between programs.
I’ve enjoyed my time with the HyperX Cloud Alpha, and I can understand why this headset is so beloved by the online community. It sounds great, and provides really good isolation from the world around you. Sure, it’s not the highest of the high-end gaming headsets, but it offers a known quantity and it’s pretty good.
The cherry on top of a headset that isolates well is that you won’t wake anyone else up with noise leaking out of the ear cups. On more than one occasion, I used the Cloud Alpha sans microphone with my Switch with my wife sleeping soundly next to me.
It won’t mute a train going by, but this is one of the best-isolating headsets we’ve tested by a country mile. To do better, you’d need active noise cancellation.
Low notes aren’t going to rattle your skull, and there won’t be a lot of boomy echoes to deal with. That may not be what you’re looking for, but this type of sound means you won’t lose quiet sounds in the low end, like heavy footsteps behind you. When you switch to music, you’ll be able to hear vocals and synths in a good balance of loudness, and you’ll be able to hear the qualities inherent to the instruments, like the distortion added to the low synth in Childish Gambino’s Sober.
The most interesting feature of the chart above is that dip at 4kHz. While it may seem out of place, it’s not an uncommon way to sidestep some issues that many consumers have with headphones. Namely, it takes the edge off of loud sibilant sounds like f, s, sh sounds, cymbals, and ringing. You won’t Get any better gaming headset other than that.
The microphone is a little wonky, but otherwise it’s intelligently-tailored to the demands of voice chat. If you have a very deep voice, you may find that it makes you sound a bit different over voice clients like Discord. However, the vast majority of people won’t have the same problems that I had with it.
Additionally, gaming headsets in the sub-$100 range are typically made of materials that are either easily broken or will decay quickly with heavy use. You can easily spend over $500 over a few years if your headsets keep breaking or getting worn down. The HyperX Cloud Alpha can be maintained with replacement parts, and is built like a tank to boot.back to menu ↑
2. Logitech G533
The G533 headset looks fairly unassuming. It eschews the lighting effects of the G933 in favor of unlit, plain black plastic. This doesn’t mean the headset looks cheap, however. The earcups are a nice combination of textures, with attractive flat, glossy back panels raised over matte contours, which are in turn ringed with more glossy plastic.
- Total freedom with up to 20 meter wireless range and Lightspeed wireless audio transmission. Keep playing for up to 29 hours of battery life. Play in stereo on PlayStation(R) 4.
- Personalize your headset lighting across the full spectrum, 16.8 M colors. Play in colors with front-facing, dual-zone Lightsync RGB lighting and choose from preset animations or create your own with G HUB software.
The earpads and the padding under the headband are fabric-covered foam. The padding isn’t very thick compared with the Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament Headset, but there’s just enough material to let the headset comfortably rest around your head, and the fabric ensures your ears and scalp can breathe.
Logitech designed the G533 as a PC gaming headset, and it works with the Logitech G software to adjust audio settings. It also worked perfectly fine with a PlayStation 4 in our tests, registering to the system as a headset as soon as the rectangular USB transmitter was plugged in. Because there’s no wired option, you can’t use the it with an Xbox One.
The boom mic is an important aspect of any gaming headset, and the G533’s performs very well. Test recordings of my voice sounded clear and crisp, without too much sibilance or any noticeable popping. It’s a solid microphone for voice chat both in games and out.
The swelling, epic movie-style soundtrack of Overwatch kept its presence through the fighting, complementing the action with its bombastic horns. However, with all of this standing in the front of the mix, character voices ended up slightly in the background. This becomes a bigger concern when you add team voice chat to the mix.
It can’t create a genuine surround experience due to the use of stereo drivers and the acoustic limitations of headphones, but it does a laudable job of presenting some form of directional imaging. I couldn’t discern sound sources from directly in front of or behind me in Overwatch, but the left-right sweep of the headset gave me a good sense of where action was taking place at my sides.
The G533 is quite capable at playing music, which is almost unfortunate considering you can’t use it with a smartphone. It handles our bass test track, The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” without a hint of distortion even at maximum and borderline unsafe volume levels.
This is also noticeable in Jethro Tull’s “Aqualung.” The track’s signature distorted bassline stands in front of the vocals only slightly, and because the drums are less prominent than in “Chains of Love” and “Silent Shout,” they don’t completely overwhelm the mix.
The Logitech G533 is a comfortable PC gaming headset that pales in comparison with its pricier sibling, the G933 Artemis. It lacks the G933’s high-frequency finesse and flexible, wired connection options, two of its most appealing aspects. What’s left is a bass-heavy headset designed only for PCs.back to menu ↑
3. SteelSeries Arctis 5
In terms of raw technology, gaming headsets have never been better. They sound great, and their microphones provide a distinct advantage for competitive players. For overall user experience, though, they leave a lot to be desired. The SteelSeries Arctis 5 provides a promising remedy for the problems facing its often garish and uncomfortable competitors, maintaining a sleek design that’s wearable for hours on end.
- Arctic 5 combines cutting edge audio technology with independent game and chat controls and RGB illumination for an immersive gaming experience
- Arctic speaker drivers produce ultra-low distortion, paired with DTS headphone’s v2.0 surround sound for rich, immersive audio
SteelSeries wanted to reimagine the gaming headset with the Arctis 5, and for my money, the result is an unqualified success. Neither bulky nor overdesigned, the Arctis 5 is a sleek black (or white) peripheral with smooth, over-the-ear cups and a flexible Velcro headband.
Although the Arctis 5 is somewhat large, it lacks a single extraneous bump or curve. This elegant peripheral would look equally at home in a gaming nook or on a crowded subway, and not many gaming headsets could make that claim.
SteelSeries has generally put other headset manufacturers to shame when it comes to comfort, and the Arctis 5 is no exception. Not only does the elastic headband instantly conform to your head, but also, if it’s even slightly off, you can just adjust the Velcro straps.
I handed the Arctis 5 off to a co-worker who agreed with my assessment that the headset was comfortable, light and easy to manipulate for a perfect fit.
The Arctis 5 has more potential configurations than you can shake a joystick at, so finding the ideal settings for a game can be both satisfying and tedious. (We’ll talk more about this in a later section.) For example, I wanted to give The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt a shot first to see how the system handled an immersive, single-player adventure.
I selected the DTS 7.1 surround sound with the Game preset, and the Immersion equalization option. I quickly discovered, though, that while the music and sound effects sounded gorgeous, everyone’s dialogue seemed like it was coming from the bottom of a well. Simply disabling the surround sound set everything right again, at the expense of a little richness.
It’s worth pointing out that the Arctis 5 also works with the PS4 and Xbox One thanks to the headset’s 3.5mm audio-jack adapter. The sound isn’t as good using the adapter, but is perfectly functional. Check out the next section for a more thorough evaluation.
If you already own a set of decent headphones for music, the Arctis 5 probably won’t replace them. The headset delivers perfectly competent sound via its 3.5mm jack, complete with clear vocals, strong treble, and a surprising amount of punch from bass and percussion. On the other hand, you can’t toy around with the equalization options, so all genres tend to sound somewhat alike, and just a little muffled.
On the other hand, if you want an everyday headset for your computer, the Arctis 5 can work wonders for both music and video. The SteelSeries Engine 3 software offers presets for both music and movies, and both work extremely well, with or without surround sound.
As stated above, you can use the software to activate and deactivate surround sound, select equalization options (Immersion, Performance, Entertainment, Music and Voice are just a few of the useful choices), and customize a ton of mic options, including side tone (how well you can hear your own voice during chat) and noise reduction. There are more options here than I think the average user will want to play with, but it’s better to have too much control over a product than too little.
The Arctis 5 is an excellent product overall, boasting refined sound, comfortable design and sensible software. It’s also a frustrating product, because a few minor tweaks could have made it that much better. The cords are too long and unwieldy; the surround sound doesn’t play nice with every genre, and the amp gets in the way for most games.back to menu ↑
4. CORSAIR Void PRO
It’s a wireless headset that gives you the freedom of movement you’d expect that comes from ditching the cords – but does this freedom come at the expense of sound quality? We gave it a whirl to find out.
- Hear everything from the lightest footstep to the most. Thundering explosion thanks to premium, custom-tuned 50 millimeter high-density neodymium Audio drivers with an expanded frequency range of 20 Hz - 30, 000 Hz
- Constructed for enduring comfort through long gaming sessions with breathable microfiber mesh fabric and plush memory foam ear pads
Corsair positions the Void Pro RGB as a premium headset (with a price tag to match), and its design certainly helps to create a premium impression, with a design that, will nicely understated, should still please gamers thanks to its RGB lighting.
The Void Pro is otherwise pretty solid though. While sporting a bit more plastic than some of its competitors, the reinforced metal headband gives it a decent heft. The headband also slants forward a bit, which balances its weight better than some other headsets.
While the outside is plastic, it features metal pillars that make the Corsair Void Pro RGB feel like a durable headset that won’t break easily, and padding on the ear-cups, and on the band that goes over the top of your head, help make this a very comfortable headset to wear.
Sound quality is the most important factor when it comes to headsets, and in this respect the Corsair Void Pro RGB doesn’t disappoint, especially considering its price and the fact that it’s a wireless headset aimed primarily at gamers. Gaming headsets will often concentrate on delivering skull-rattling low tones to make explosions and other action scenes feel more ‘impactful’, but the Corsair Void Pro RGB is pretty well balanced, with non-gaming media, such as music, coming through well.
Battery life was good. There’s an auto-shutdown feature that turns the Corsair Void Pro RGB off when not in use, and we rarely found ourselves unable to use the headset due to a dead battery – you just have to remember to plug it into the USB. The Corsair ST100 headset stand can be used in conjunction with the Corsair Void Pro RGB, with the RGB lighting matching up between the two devices.
The Corsair Void Pro RGB is a good-looking wireless gaming headset, and if you have quite a few Corsair products already, it will fit in well. Sound quality is also very good, and the virtual surround sound is a decent effect that can help make games more immersive.
And that’s the catch, right? Like I said with the original Void, you can easily get better audio—both from cheaper wired headsets and more expensive wireless ones.back to menu ↑
5. TURTLE BEACH STEALTH 600 GEN 2
Brand new though this headset may be, when it comes down to it you know what to expect if you’ve used on from Turtle Beach in last couple years. This looks and feels a lot like the company’s Recon line of headsets, with a few tweaks, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
- POWERFUL, AMPLIFIED AUDIO - Refined ear cup acoustics and expertly tuned 50mm speakers are powerfully driven to give you accurate, immersive audio
- GEN 2 FLIP-TO-MUTE MIC - A larger, high-sensitivity, high-performance mic enhances chat clarity and seamlessly integrates into the headset when muted
The Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 is an entirely plastic device, with a sturdy hinge system that allows for a decent amount of tilt and rotation. The headband features a leatherette-covered cushion, and has quite a bit of tension to it—at first I actually found it a little too tight. Regardless, the headset feels very secure, which is especially important with wireless gaming headsets, given you’re probably going to move around a little more with it on than with a wired headset.
Where older Turtle Beach models feature a microphone on the side of the left headphone, the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 microphone folds into the headset. It still works exactly the same—flip it up to mute and down to talk—but it looks a little subtler.
On the other hand, the controls look pretty much the same as other headsets, only more cluttered. The headset sports a power button, audio mode button, volume dial, and mic sidetone dial in a row on the back of the left headphone. I found myself fumbling back and forth between the mic and volume dials while trying to adjust volume mid game more than once.
Thankfully, there’s nothing you need to do to set the headset up past plugging it in—the Turtle Beach Hub app exists solely for updating the headset’s firmware, so it’s easy to skip. Pairing with the dongle can take a little bit longer than you’d expect—it sometimes took up to 30 seconds during the review process—but otherwise I didn’t really run into any issues.
While the software complement is blessedly minimal, the headset still has a couple bells and whistles. It comes loaded with four EQ presets you can toggle between using the mode button.
Turtle Beach advertises 15 hours of playback on a single charge and in our testing, we found it performed considerably better than that. Playing at a consistent output of ~75dB, the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 lasted over 21 hours of playback on a single charge. If you listen on a lower volume than that, you might get even better performance. There’s no reliable way to tell exact battery charge level, but after a couple hours plugged in with the included USB-C cord you’ll be ready to game again after the battery dies.
Just plug the headset’s dongle into your platform of choice and that’s all you’ll need to do to get stereo sound streaming through to your ears. When the PlayStation 5 launches, the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 with support the platform’s built-in spatial audio standard, but you’ll have to settle for stereo on the PlayStation 4.
A good example of this comes in Choke by I DONT KNOW HOW BY THEY FOUND ME. Pretty much every part of the song comes through clearly, but the tambourine that plays in the background during the chorus becomes difficult to hear if you’re not intentionally listening for it.
While the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 sounds pretty great, it really doesn’t do a great job with isolation. Blame the mesh covering the ear pads, or the rigidity of the foam, or even the grooves for the glasses—even with an adequate seal, this headset offers an inadequate level of attenuation. Don’t expect this to block out much of anything, whether you’re at home or not. Potential upside: you almost certainly won’t have to worry about missing the doorbell.back to menu ↑
6. HyperX Cloud II
The HyperX Cloud II’s stylish, understated appearance makes it one of the best-looking headsets you can get for less than $100. The black headset’s leatherette-coated band and ear cups are connected by metal forks on either side, which allow each ear cup to be adjusted about an inch up or down.
The Cloud II’s mic extends a generous 6 inches, and features a highly flexible coil and a large foam tip. The microphone is completely detachable, transforming the Cloud II into a pretty sweet-looking pair of headphones when removed.
- Designed for comfort: Exceptionally comfortable memory foam ear cushions and padded leatherette headband help keep you focused on gaming
- Supreme audio quality: Large 53 millimeter drivers provide high-quality audio. Hear in-game details better and get the in-game advantage on your opponents
The Cloud II’s included USB dongle sports controls for chat volume, game volume, toggling 7.1 surround sound and muting the mic, as well as a clip for attaching it to your clothing. If you want to use the headset on a PS4, Xbox One (adapter required) or mobile device, you can simply forgo the dongle and plug the Cloud II’s 3.5mm jack into your gadget of choice.
The Cloud II might be the most comfortable gaming headset I’ve ever worn. Thanks to its feathery 11-ounce construction and memory-foam ear cups and headband, I never got the urge to take off the headset over two days of frequent use.
If the feel of leatherette on your ears isn’t your thing, you can swap the default ear-cup covers for a pair of included, similarly cozy plush ones. I personally preferred the leatherlike covers, but Kingston’s decision to give gamers an option is a great touch.
The HyperX Cloud II’s audio output was impressive but not as well-rounded as I hoped it would be. I battle-tested the cans during a few skirmishes in Titanfall and a quick, slightly bloody Paris adventure in Assassin’s Creed Unity, and experienced similar pros and cons in both games.
Turning on the Cloud II’s virtual 7.1 surround sound didn’t prove to be a game changer, but it definitely made a difference. The feature helped better highlight details such as the chirpy birds and chatty townsfolk of Assassin’s Creed, as well as the distant shoot-outs and ominous soundtrack of Titanfall.
Unfortunately, other than the volume and surround-sound controls built into the Cloud II’s dongle, you have little control over how the headset performs for each game.
Equally, if you are looking for a dedicated, heavy duty headset for streaming and super-long gaming sessions, you’ll need a set with excellent battery life, a good boom mic, and an over-ear comfortable fit. The best gaming headset 2020 is going to be different for everyone.
To get the best possible headset that lines up with your gaming needs, you’ll need to consider many different factors.back to menu ↑
What Makes a Good Gaming Headset?
One look at the gaming headset section of your local electronics store or favorite online retailer will likely become quickly overwhelming, with 100s of choices to choose from at one time. Before you even start to browse the selection of gaming headsets at retail, the first thing you need to do is decide the primary purpose of your gaming headset. For example, if you’re primarily going to use your headset for console games, choosing a headset that confers benefits to PC gamers is only going to result in you wasting your money on features you can’t use. Likewise, selecting a headset with the wrong type of connector, such as choosing a headset that uses a 3.5mm headset jack when your PC doesn’t have those connectors available, could leave you with a headset you can’t even use.
After determining how you are going to use your gaming headset, there are seven different categories you need to look at when buying a gaming headset:
- The quality of the microphone
- The design of the headset
- Wired vs. wireless
- Surround sound
Below, we’ll cover each of these categories more in-depth to give you an idea of what to look for when shopping for a gaming headset.back to menu ↑
How Important is Comfort?
Whether you play to play for one hour or all night, comfort is one of the most important things to consider when choosing a gaming headset. It’s also the most personalized category, as what one gamer finds comfortable, another may find irritating. However, one factor remains constant: The lighter the headset, the more comfort it will provide. After a few hours of use, a bulky headset is going to cause neck, scalp and ear discomfort no matter how comfortable the headset’s cushions are.
There are three main styles of gaming headsets: headphones that rest in the ear, headsets that fit around the ear or headsets that completely encapsulate your ear. Unfortunately, no one style is the best, as each gamer has their personal preference. If possible, attempt to try on a variety of different headset styles before purchasing one, imagining what they would feel like after a few hours of use. Keep in mind that what feels comfortable for the first few minutes may not feel comfortable after four or more hours.back to menu ↑
If you’re buying a gaming headset to augment the sounds of your single player games and don’t plan on communicating with other gamers, you can safely skip this section. In fact, by choosing a gaming headset without a microphone, you can save a couple of extra dollars.
If you do plan on doing a significant amount of streaming or online gaming, probably the most important aspect of a gaming headset is the quality of the microphone. Choosing a gaming headset with a low-quality microphone can leave your voice sounding distant, muffled or barely audible. Look for gaming headsets that provide features such as high-end noise cancellation for a clear vocal sound and adjustable boom arms that let you reposition the mic.back to menu ↑
What Design of Gaming Headset is Best?
Gaming headsets fall into one of two different design categories: open or closed. With the open style of gaming headset, you’ll notice small horizontal openings on your headset’s pads, and with the closed style of gaming headset, the pads are solid. Whether you choose an open or a closed design boils down to how much isolation you’re looking for while gaming.
An open gaming headset design provides ventilation to your ears, keeping them from getting too dry while still letting you hear slight noises around you. The closed design, on the other hand, sacrifices the ventilation for total isolation: You won’t hear your surroundings at all with this headset design. Competitive gamers prefer a closed design to give them an edge during eSports matches while most casual gamers prefer an open design so they can still hear their surroundings.back to menu ↑
Wired Vs. Wireless
When talking about any gaming accessory, eventually the choice between wired or wireless is going to come up. Which technology you decide to go with ultimately depends on which gaming device you’re going to use with your gaming headset.
Console gamers will likely prefer a wireless headset, as their gaming console is often 10 or more feet away from the couch. As most wired gaming headsets have short cable lengths, a wireless gaming headset is the best option unless you plan on placing your gaming console on your coffee table. However, you trade convenience for a heavier headset and one that needs recharging every few hours.
PC gamers will likely prefer a wired headset since they are likely near the area where they plan on plugging in the headset. Wired headsets provide a slightly better audio quality than wireless headsets and, for the small cost of being physically attached to your PC via a cable, you also get a lighter headset and one that doesn’t require batteries.back to menu ↑
Is 7.1 Surround Sound Necessary?
If you can afford the additional costs associated with a 7.1 surround sound gaming headset, it is absolutely worth purchasing one. While a stereo headset can still provide a great sound, nothing beats the immersive quality of a 7.1 surround sound gaming headset. Being able to accurately pinpoint an enemy on the battlefield in a first-person shooter will give you an edge while a 7.1 surround sound headset will make gaming soundtracks sound better than ever. In many high-end gaming headsets, the 7.1 surround sound is superior to what you’d hear from even top-rated surround sound standalone speakers.back to menu ↑
Whether you’re planning on traveling with your gaming headset or never taking them out of one room in your house, durability is an important factor to consider. After all, who wants to spend money on a product that will just fall apart in a few months time? While you can take a guess at the durability of a gaming headset just by looking at the materials used in its construction, the best way to determine durability is to find reviews by other gamers who have used a particular headset for an extended length of time. Durability is also where high-profile manufacturers come into play, as top-rated manufacturers like Turtle Beach and Sennheiser have a reputation for providing gaming headsets that stand the test of time.back to menu ↑
Stereo has been around for a very long time, the idea of having separate channels for the left and right ears is nothing new, however the advances in quality have are exceptional. The major advantage of going with a stereo headset is that the sound quality is unaltered. It is at it’s best unprocessed quality due to their being no need to virtualise the surround sound aspect. The speakers are also larger due to this lack of requirement for surround.
Don’t let this fool you though, a good quality stereo headset can still be great for positional audio. While you won’t hear something from behind, smart audio programming can give you a decent approximation of this. It can be best achieved as the audio is much clearer than in a surround headset.back to menu ↑
In-Ear of Over the Head
As with any type of headset you will have the option of in-ear vs over the head. For gaming this is a no brainer, over the head style will always be better do to the speaker size and comfort. In-ear has much smaller speakers and is poorer when it comes to positional audio. This is why you will be hard pressed to find a set of in-ear gaming headphones anywhere (rare but not un-heard of)back to menu ↑
Are Branded Headsets Better?
Occasionally, you’ll see gaming headsets that include unique branding, such as a limited edition Call of Duty gaming headset. If you see a gaming headset you like, look for the non-branded version unless you love the brand; as licensing these brands is an expensive process, the manufacturers often pass the costs down to the consumer in the form of a higher MSRP. Many times, you can find the non-branded version of a gaming headset for $20 to $30 cheaper than the branded one.back to menu ↑
With these best gaming headphones under 100 dollars, you are surely going to hear every sound from your game, which will make you truly enjoy it.
Amongst the three, though, we liked the HyperX Cloud Alpha most.
It has the best sound quality, which is completely customizable, and its overall sound and mic quality is also phenomenal.