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Best Gaming Headphones in 2024

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What Gaming Headset Does Ninja Use?

Gaming headsets typically dominate audio setups for gaming. While they do offer excellent performance and convenience, it is hard to rival the sound quality of a pair of dedicated headphones. For around the same price point as many gaming headsets, gamers can pick up a pair of headphones that have HiFi sound quality, immersive sound stages, and are incredibly comfortable. And don’t worry; these headphones can easily be paired with a gaming microphone to make communicating with teammates sound excellent all around.



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Key Factors For Choosing The Best Headphones For Gaming

  • Sound Quality: The most significant factor, first and foremost, when deciding on a pair of headphones is the sound quality. The benefit of going with a dedicated pair of headphones over a gaming headset is the better sound quality at around the same price, so make sure to find a pair of headphones with excellent sound quality that can help make games more immersive.
  • Comfort: No one likes uncomfortable headphones, especially when gaming for hours. Things like earcup pads, weight, and headbands all play a critical role in the comfort of a pair of headphones.
  • Latency: Because these are intended to be used while gaming, having low latency is critical for an excellent gaming experience. For the most part, audiophile and higher-end headphones tend to be wired, so this is not an issue, but when it comes to Bluetooth headphones, make sure to look for options with latency under 30ms.


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The Best Headphones For Gaming

Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO Studio Headphones

Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro

Best Overall Gaming Headphones

The Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro are audiophile-quality headphones ideal for content creators recording and editing their own productions. The over-the-ear DT 990 Pro perfectly balances low, mid, and high tones with a transparent listening experience. The headphones have exceptionally comfortable and stylish gray velour earpads for hours of pain-free listening. The adjustable steel headband is equally pleasant to wear, part of the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro’s durable yet lightweight construction.

Brand
Beyerdynamic

Material
Steel, leather, plastic

Noise Cancellation
No

Weight
370 g

Frequency range
5 – 35,000 Hz

Impedance
250 ohms

Connectivity
Wired

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Excellent sound
  • Affordable price point
  • Long cable
Cons

  • Requires an amp to sound best
  • Cable is not replaceable

Good-sounding headphones can easily cost upwards of $500, so when headphones like the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro sound like they do and cost under $200, it is hard to pass up these headphones as the best overall. They might not be the most aesthetically pleasing headphones, but even years after their original release, these headphones are some of the best-sounding headphones at this price point.

The DT 990 Pro is intended for studio use, but with an EQ that emphasizes the 50-300Hz and 2kHz-20kHz ranges, these headphones are excellent for gaming. Most of the time, footsteps and little sounds that allow one to tell when an enemy is approaching live in these ranges. In other media, these headphones sound excellent, with bass still present, but they don’t overwhelm mids and highs.

The DT 990 Pro has three versions: 80-ohm, 250-ohm, and 600-ohm. For most cases, Game Rant suggests picking up the 80-ohm version, but if users already have an amp, the 250 ohms is an excellent option and provides a bit more power. The 600-ohm version is only suitable for niche use cases, like if users listen to music on out-dated equipment.


OneOdio Monitor 80 Open Back Headphones

OneOdio Monitor 80

Best Budget Gaming Headphones

$100 $130 Save $30

The OneOdio Monitor 80 are headphones made to be a reliable daily driver for audiophiles. Using high-precision audio drivers, these headphones deliver solid bass and clear mids combining to make an incredible audio experience. With an impedance of 250 ohms, these headphones do need an amp to properly drive them, but the fantastic sound quality is worth it.

Compatible With
Tablets, Music Production Equipment, Laptops

Sensitivity
100 dB±3 dB

Frequency Response
10Hz-40KHz

Connection Type
3.5 mm/6.35 mm stereo

Impedance
250 Ohms

Noise Cancellation
No

Foldable
Yes

Driver size
40mm

Pros

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Two cable options
  • Very comfortable
Cons

  • Squeaky adjustment points
  • High-end frequencies are a bit compressed

OneOdio is a relatively new brand to the headphone game, but with products like Monitor 80 open-back headphones, they are sure to make a name for themselves quickly. These headphones produce impressive sound, are incredibly comfortable, and have a ton of accessories out of the box. All for a very reasonable price.

In Game Rant’s full review of the OneOdio Monitor 80, we found that lows are powerful and crisp without being overbearing, and mids are incredibly clear. However, the sound gets a bit compressed and tinny at the high end of frequencies. This is most apparent while listening to music with a heavy bass line and higher-pitched vocals, but in game, there are very few problems with this tinny high-end.

Comparing pure sound quality to the Sennheiser HD 600s, these headphones have similar performance. But when it comes to build quality, the Monitor 80 shows its budget price a bit more. Everything is plastic, and there is a creaky sound on a couple of the adjustment points. But once users adjust the headphones to their size, they are incredibly comfortable, and the creaky parts are less of a problem.


Sennheiser HD 599 Open Back Headphones

Sennheiser HD 599

Best Mid-Range Gaming Headphones

$150 $200 Save $50

Topping Sennheiser’s 500 series, the HD 599 is a full-sized premium headphone that offers near-audiophile levels of sound quality and exceptional wearing comfort thanks to the large ear cups and soft replaceable ear pads. The Sennheiser-engineered transducers use aluminum voice coils, delivering high efficiency, excellent dynamics, and extremely low distortion.

Brand
Sennheiser

Frequency range
12 Hz to 38,500 Hz

Driver size
38 mm

Cable length
3 meters

Impedance
50 Ω

Connectivity
3.5mm and 6.3mm audio jack

Pros

  • Very comfortable
  • Strong bass for open-back headphones
  • Removeable cable
Cons

  • Frequency response is not ideal for all music
  • Some distortion with loud volume

Riding the line between audiophile and general user headphones, the Sennheiser HD 599 is a great middle-ground for most gamers who want to improve their sound quality but don’t want to invest in an amp.

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Most reviews about gaming headsets are centered around how the headphones sound, but the other half of a great headset is how good the mic sounds.

These headphones have an open-back design, which will give gamers a more immersive sound stage while gaming, but they also retain a strong bass response, unlike many other open-back headphones. This more powerful bass response is very nice for gaming to really feel the rumble of explosions and heavy action scenes, but it also doesn’t get too tiring like other bass-heavy headphones. With an impedance of just 50 ohm, the HD 599 can be driven on almost any device with a 3.5mm jack, so gamers on a console can even get some HiFi sound.

Build quality-wise, Sennheiser is known for its attention to detail, and it really shows with the HD 599. The divisive beige and white colorway is not for everyone, but for gamers who want a more retro look, these headphones fit the bill nicely, and they are incredibly comfortable to wear all day long.


Sennheiser HD 600 headphones

Sennheiser HD 600

Best Premium Gaming Headphones

$350 $450 Save $100

The HD 600 is the audio purist’s choice for reference playback. An instrument of Sennheiser’s passion for perfect sound, it is globally recognized as the standard for analytical high-fidelity listening – even 20-plus years after its release. The velour HD 600 padding is supple to the touch for extended listening, and everything on the headphones feels extremely well-built, making the HD600 a pair of headphones that can last for years to come.

Noise Cancellation
No

Weight
260 g

Foldable
No

Frequency range
12 Hz – 40,500 Hz

Cable length
3 meters

Impedance
300 Ω

Connectivity
Wired

Pros

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Easy maintenance
  • Straightforward design
  • Replaceable cable
Cons

  • Needs an amp to sound the best
  • A lot of sound leakage

The Sennheiser HD 600 is over 25 years old now, and it goes to show that in the world of audio equipment, the latest and greatest is not always the best. These headphones are designed for one thing: to sound absolutely outstanding, and they nailed it. The Sennheiser HD 600 is perfect for gamers who want incredible sound and don’t mind not having special features that come with other headphones.

In the world of utilitarian HiFi headphones, many other options forego the need for a comfortable fit and feel for more horsepower and bigger drivers, but luckily, the HD 600s don’t fall into that trap. The velvet padding and surprisingly lightweight build make these headphones very comfortable for all-day use. The combination of the open-back design and velvet earpads makes these headphones very breathable as well, so there is no need to worry about heat build-up.


Most headphones will sound stunning at this price point, so what sets the HD 600 apart from the rest? These headphones have a sound profile that is excellent for pretty much any case. Whether it’s listening to music, playing games, or even mastering and mixing sound, these headphones deliver exceptional results time and time again. But be aware that with an impedance of 300 ohm, gamers will definitely want to pick up an amp for these headphones.

SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless Gaming Headset

SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless Gaming Headset

Best Wireless Gaming Headphone

The Arctis Nova Pro Wireless gaming headset from SteelSeries is a serious gamer’s tool. A gamer who wants the convenience and quality of a feature-rich wireless gaming headset need not look elsewhere. The headset’s premium high-fidelity drivers deliver a clear soundscape and a fully customizable experience with the Sonar Software. It supports 360-degree spatial audio for a more immersive gaming experience and helps the user to hear every audio cue around them clearly. 
With active noise-canceling technology enhanced by a four-mic hybrid system, gamers can use transparency mode to tune out any annoying background noises.

Microphone
Retractable, Noise-cancelling

Compatibility
PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, Bluetooth Devices

Brand
SteelSeries

Surround Sound
Yes

Noise Cancellation
Active

Weight
339 grams

Battery Life
36+ hours with swappable battery

Ear Cushions
Vegan Leather & Memory Foam

Pros

  • Dual wireless connectivity
  • Retractable noise-canceling microphone that sits flush with the body
  • Hot-swappable batteries
Cons

  • A bit on the heavier side

Blending the line between gaming headsets and travel headphones, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless are the best wireless gaming headphones when it comes to features and multi-platform support. They look and feel like traditional closed-back wireless headphones, sporting memory foam ear cushions made from premium vegan leather, but the look changes when the mic is pulled out. That’s right, the sleek form factor of the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless houses a bidirectional noise-canceling mic that sits flush when retracted.


The Nova Pro Wireless comes with 40 mm drivers with an impedance of 38 Ohm and a wireless frequency response range of 10–22,000 Hz. One of the best and unique features of these headphones is that they come with hot-swappable batteries, with each giving 36 hours of playback in Bluetooth mode. As long as the battery is swapped within 8 seconds, the headset won’t even turn off during the switch. The Nova Pro Wireless offers the best of both worlds when it comes to connectivity, as there is 2.4GHz connectivity for low-latency gaming on PC, PS5, PS4, and Nintendo Switch.

Those looking for a great dual wireless connectivity solution with low latency and solid battery life should consider the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless, especially since they are discounted often.

Anker Soundcore Space One Noise Cancelling Headphones

Anker Soundcore Space One Noise Cancelling Headphones

Best ANC Gaming Headphones

The Soundcore Space One is a pair of over-ear headphones with 40mm drivers that deliver hi-res audio and, on supported devices, LDAC audio. Paired with unparalleled noise-canceling that blocks out 98% of sound around the user, the Space Ones can make a change for anybody’s commute or music listening experience, not to mention that with ANC on, the battery lasts for 40 hours and with ANC off it last up to 55 hours.

Connection Type
Bluetooth and 3.5mm wired

Noise Cancellation
Yes

Battery Life
40 Hours ANC On 55 Hours ANC Off

Wireless?
Yes

Microphones
Yes

Brand
Anker

Transducer Size
40mm

Supported codecs
LDAC & Hi-Res Audio

Pros

  • Incredible sound quality
  • Impressively long battery life
  • Comfortable for long wearing sessions
  • Excellent ANC
Cons

  • ANC set to the highest setting creates a lot of inner-ear pressure
  • The Soundcore app is sometimes frustrating

Bluetooth headphones are not always the best choice for gaming; the latency is typically a bit higher, and there is more chance for connection interruptions. But for gamers who want ANC that can completely block out the outside world, the Soundcore Space One headphones are a perfect choice. Plus, they have pretty decent latency and a stable connection.


In Game Rant’s full review of the Anker Soundcore Space One headphones, we found that Soundcore’s claims of being able to block 98% of outside noise are valid. With these headphones and content playing, pretty much anything happening around the user is inaudible. However, if gamers are not used to this intense level of ANC, it creates a lot of inner ear pressure, which can get uncomfortable for longer-wearing sessions.

The Space One headphones will not have as fast of a response time as the wired headphones on this guide, but for a pair of Bluetooth headphones, the response time is very serviceable for gaming. The standard EQ out of the box is relatively neutral with a bit more emphasized bass than the Sennheiser HD 599, but not to the point where it overpowers the mids and highs. If a flat profile is not ideal, using Soundcore’s app, gamers can customize this EQ.


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Best Budget Wireless Headsets for 2024

Budget wireless headsets don’t make the headlines, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t options that sound fantastic and don’t break the bank.

Koss Porta Pro headphones

Koss Porta Pro

Best Lightweight Headphones For Gaming

The acclaimed Koss Porta Pro has captivated audiophiles and music enthusiasts for decades and is one of the most popular headphones worldwide. Its distinctive retro aesthetic, lightweight design, and adjustable headband ensure a snug fit, while the foam ear cushions provide long-lasting comfort during extended listening sessions.

Frequency Response
15-25,000 Hz

Connection Type
3.5mm wired

Impedance
60 ohms

Noise Cancellation
No

Foldable
Yes

Weight
60g

Pros

  • Sound quality
  • Inline mic and remote
  • Very affordable
  • Cool looking design
Cons

  • Not the most durable
  • Retro design is not for everyone

On-ear headphones are typically not the first choice for most gamers, but the refreshed Koss Porta Pro offers an excellent blend of a lightweight build that is comfortable to wear all day and has excellent sound quality that is great for gaming and enjoying all types of content. Plus, they have a fun retro design that sets them apart from most other headphones on the market.

These headphones might not look like they deliver audiophile-quality sound, but for their small frame, the Porta Pro sounds absolutely amazing. These are the type of headphones that are fun to listen to. They are not the most accurate or powerful, but listening to music or gaming with these headphones is an absolute joy. With an impedance of just 60 ohms, the Porta Pros can easily be driven by any device with a 3.5mm jack.

Despite the bare metal headband, these headphones are surprisingly comfortable. At just 60 grams, these headphones are a full 200 grams lighter than the Sennheiser HD 600, which is considered a lightweight pair of headphones. Of course, the light weight does mean these are not the most durable headphones, so gamers planning to take these headphones on the go will probably want to pick up a carrying case to keep them safe.


Hear The Difference

Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO with oarnge background

Gaming headsets have many pros, but the sound quality can’t compete with a nice pair of headphones. The Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro and Sennheiser HD 600 take sound quality to a different world compared to high-end gaming headsets like the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro. So, for gamers looking for the best sound quality, there is no better option than a pair of Hi-Fi headphones.

Of course, there are a ton of headphones to choose from, so keep in the three main factors when looking for the best headphones for gaming.


  • Sound Quality: The most significant factor, first and foremost, when deciding on a pair of headphones is the sound quality. However, it is not something purely objective, as people use headphones to consume a wide range of audio entertainment and there is not just one standard of sound quality. It also depends on the equipment being used to relay the sound and whether it is from a top-tier sound card or one of the audio ports on the computer. Another major factor that contributes to sound quality is whether the headphones are open-back or closed. While open-back headphones provide a wider sound stage, they suffer from audio leaking. On the other hand, closed-back headphones make a seal around the ears to prevent audio leaking but present a more enclosed or shallow sound stage.
  • Comfort: Things like earcup pads, weight, and headbands all play a critical role in the comfort of a pair of headphones. Gaming sessions usually last for several hours at a stretch, during which time the comfort of the headphones becomes paramount. A combination of lightweight build, soft earcups, and a supportive headband is what determines the comfort of headphones. Another component to keep in mind is that, in some cases, headphones offer large earcups that fit well around the ears, but are rather shallow, making the driver touch the ear. Additionally, the size and shape of the head and ears can render certain headphones unmanageable for long durations.
  • Latency: To put it simply, audio latency in games is the time it takes for the sound from within the game to reach a player’s ear. The quality of the headphones is defined by how little latency they can deliver. During FPS games, it is of the utmost importance that gamers can pinpoint the location of enemies from audio cues, and a delay in those cues will be a major bottleneck. In the current market of gaming headphones, wireless options have proven to be at par with wired ones. But, wireless headphones will generally be heavier to account for the weight of the battery.


More

Best Surround Sound Gaming Setups for 2024

Surround sound setups are an excellent way to upgrade the audio setup for any gamer to improve the immersion or give gamers a competitive edge.

FAQ

Q: Are all headphones good for gaming?

Not all headphones are suitable for gaming. To be good for gaming, headphones have to have low latency. For the most part, a wired pair of headphones will work best, but some wireless options also have low enough latency. And, of course, they also have to sound good and be comfortable to wear for long gaming sessions.

Q: Are expensive headphones worth it for gaming?

Typically, more expensive headphones will produce better sound quality, but that doesn’t mean the most expensive pair of headphones is the best option. That being said, getting a nice pair of headphones that help make gaming more immersive and sound better is a very worthwhile investment. Plus, these headphones can also be used for everyday use, so they are not just stuck to gaming like a gaming headset.

Q: Do gamers use wired or wireless headphones?

While wired headphones are generally preferred within the gaming community, wireless options have become just as good as wired options. Not only that, they offer additional features that wired options skip, such as RGB lighting, active noise cancelation, on-earcup controls, and more. On the other hand, wired headphones offer the convenience of never having to recharge them, as well as high-fidelity audio quality.


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