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Sound is an important part of the audiovisual experience offered by video games. Unlike computer speakers, gaming headsets sit close to the ears and provide intimate listening sessions that fully immerse players in the digital worlds simulated by video games. In addition to speaker units, these headphones also come with built-in microphones for chatting with other gamers.
Top Features To Look for In Gaming Headsets There are a number of factors to consider when looking for the right gaming headset. The most important ones are sound quality and comfort. The best gaming headsets deliver impressive audio performance with rich bass. Their support for positional audio playback allows players to quickly locate in-game characters and events simply by sound. These headphones usually have big audio drivers with low impedance and a wide frequency response range spanning 20Hz to 20kHz.
Comfort is also an important consideration, since most gamers keep their headsets on through long gaming sessions. The ideal gaming headset cups the ears and cuts off ambient noise, and it should be the correct weight and fit. Cushioned earcups and an adjustable headband are necessary features.
Choosing Between Wired and Wireless Headsets Wired headsets use either 3.5mm stereo jacks or USB plugs to connect to gaming PCs, while most wireless models come equipped with Bluetooth. The 3.5mm stereo jack is a universal standard found on all PCs. On the other hand, USB cables can transmit both power and audio. Therefore, gaming headphones with USB plugs are usually more powerful. Wireless gaming headsets eliminate the need for cables and allow greater freedom of movement too.
Do Gaming Headsets Work With Game Consoles? While most headsets work with PCs, only some are compatible with Xbox and PlayStation consoles. A gaming headset with a 3.5mm audio jack will work on any gaming PC or game console. However, this is not always the case for USB and wireless headsets, because some of these require special adapters to work with certain game consoles.
Should You Get a Surround Sound Gaming Headset? Regular headsets can deliver stereo audio that gets loud and comes with punchy bass, but surround sound headsets make gameplay more immersive by providing positional audio. By delivering accurate sounds of game characters and objects located outside the player's field of vision, a 5.1 or 7.1 virtual surround sound headset gives a clear advantage over those listening with stereo headsets.
What Should You Look for in a Gaming Headset Microphone? A noise-canceling option is the most important feature to look for in a gaming headset microphone. This isolates the gamer's voice and cuts out static and ambient room noise. Some headset mic stalks are detachable, and other mics go mute when flipped up.
What Else Can You Use a Gaming Headset For? Besides listening to in-game sounds and chatting with other players, a gaming headset is also useful for enjoying music and movies. Wireless gaming headsets can easily double as Bluetooth headphones for listening to music, podcasts and audiobooks streaming on mobile devices. Furthermore, having a built-in microphone makes a gaming headset ideal for placing video calls on PCs.