Accessory Essentials: Choosing the Best Headset for Computer Gaming

June 4, 2020

When you’re in the market for a gaming PC you probably spend a lot of time researching and exploring the various components that are inside the computer—things like the processor, graphics card, cooling system, RAM, and hard drive. All those things are critical, but you should also spend some time on the various accessories that you will use along with your PC gaming computer because they can have a significant impact on the quality of game play.

Headsets (gaming headphones) are an accessory that you may have overlooked, but that can significantly improve gaming. They provide in-ear sound so you won’t disturb your little sister’s homework or your roommate’s phone call to his mom, but they can also help you coordinate game strategy and talk trash to your enemies throughout the game.

Key Features to Consider

Gaming headsets come in a wide range of price points, offering everything from basic sound and a microphone for around $20 to surround-sound quality for $250 or more. If you can afford the top-of-the-line headsets there isn’t much downside to getting them, but if you can’t, here are some features to weigh:

  • Wired or wireless – choose from headsets that connect to your PC or gaming console or those that have a Bluetooth connection without the wires. A wireless model will usually cost more, but it also gives you more portability and fewer wires to trip over or be worried about during play. Wired models will often have better sound quality and a stronger signal, and they won’t get disconnected unless you pull the plug. The other advantage of a wired headset is cross-platform use; most platforms have proprietary wireless connections so you need a separate headset for your Xbox and PS4 (some can be used with a PC along with a single console).
  • Surround sound – another key consideration is whether you want surround sound. Many of the higher-end headsets list surround sound as a feature, but it’s important to note that there isn’t enough space in a headset to get true “surround sound” like high-end home theater or movie theater audio. However, this feature in a headset can provide better directional audio that allows you to track sounds in a game coming from left or right (like an approaching enemy).
  • Microphone – if you play on your own, you won’t need a microphone, but if you plan to play with others you will probably want the ability to communicate with your teammates for a deathmatch, coordinate your battle royale strategy, or just talk trash to the guys you’re killing in Fortnite or Warzone.

While the headset might not be the most important thing you’re looking at as you build a custom gaming rig, make sure you spend a little time researching the various options so you have a gaming headset and you’re ready to play on day one when your Xidax PC arrives.

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