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Rezo Frolov
Rezo Frolov

Headset Buying Guide

Wireless headsets use Bluetooth or DECT technology to connect to your laptop, smartphone, or tablet. They have a wireless range of almost 100 meters, so you can leave your desk while on a call to e.g. pick up printouts or find documents. Most models connect to multiple devices at the same time, letting you easily switch between making calls on your smartphone or work PC. Some are equipped with a special base and a touchscreen that lets you manage your calls. Wireless headsets are available in mono (one ear) and duo (two ears) versions.

headset buying guide

Generally speaking, over-ear headphones have an easier time reproducing accurate audio across the frequency spectrum, from sub-bass to treble notes. These large drivers, typically dynamic, can move more air at once. This is key to loud bass notes, something smaller headsets like earbuds struggle to do without introducing multi-driver systems.

Proper isolation, the ability for a headset to block out background noise, is difficult to maintain with on-ear headphones. An innocent wiggle of the ear could set the whole fit off-kilter, and let in all of the environmental noise around you. This is a bad position to be in, because good isolation yields optimal audio quality.

Gamers have their own category of headphones to consider, and gaming headsets are a dime a dozen, making it much more difficult to separate the good from the gimmick. Whether your console of choice is a PlayStation 5, an Xbox Series X, or a Nintendo Switch, a gaming headset can improve your experience, and that of your teammates.

So you're wondering which gaming headset you should buy, rent or otherwise try out. In this comprehensive buyer's guide, we'll go through everything worth considering before you make any decisions about a gaming headset.

Consider the cost-to-benefit ratio of the purchase of the gaming headset. For example, if the headset is needed for business, perhaps stretching the budget is more appropriate. On the other hand, if you don't plan on making money with the headset, perhaps a more conservative budget is appropriate.

Look for options that are somewhat breathable, so heat isn't trapped as much. Find a fit that's adjustable to tighten and loosen the headset as you continue gaming. Opt for breathable earpads that don't cause too much friction on and around the ears.

In terms of headphones and headsets, isolation refers to how the earcups block external noise from the listeners' ears. It's fairly obvious, but more isolation from external sound offers a more immersive experience. Players will have the advantage of hearing sound cues in the game and can even listen effectively at lower volumes, thereby keeping their hearing healthy.

Just as we optimally want breathable earpads, we also want earpads that mould to our heads and create that isolation seal. The size and material of the earpads play a role, as does the overall fit of the headset. Velour material is among the best options on the market for earpad moulding, especially if you wear glasses.

Finally, some higher-end models offer active noise-cancelling, which effectively records the environmental sound and produces anti-noise signals to cancel it out. These headsets will go beyond physical isolation and allow even more immersion into the game.

In other words, frequency response is the frequency-dependent sensitivity of the headset. Will the headset produce too much bass, will it lack in the mid-range, will it sound perfectly accurate? The frequency response answers these questions.

Unfortunately, most headset manufacturers do not include a frequency response graph to show us exactly how the headset produced sound across the audible range. Third-party measurements can be found for more popular models. I recommend checking out for superb third-party measurements on headsets and headphones.

Ideally, we want a headset that has a flat frequency response, so there's no colouration to the intended audio. However, a bass boost here or a presence boost there may be what the gamer ultimately prefers in their headset.

Though some gaming headsets have been designed with this concept, having multiple drivers in each earcup to achieve surround sound, they're rare. Instead, we most commonly have virtual surround sound, where two drivers (left ear and right ear) are driven with audio from a virtual sound standard.

With a microphone, a headset would simply be a pair of headphones. These microphones are typically small electret capsules with noise-cancelling technology. Most headset microphones work fine for gaming purposes but aren't expected to sound recording studio quality.

If you're planning on using your headset as an everyday pair of headphones, opting for a detachable mic will rid of the mic and boom when not in use. Some headsets even offer mic boom intractability, where the mic and its boom arm can be pushed and locked into one of the earcups.

Wired connectivity doesn't rely on batteries, so you won't have to worry about charging these headsets. They're also arguably more convenient in setup since plugging in a cable physically is often easier than pairing two wireless devices.

Additionally, having a physical cable connecting the headset to the gaming console means both the cable and the connections are prone to damage. Accidentally yanking the cable out of the headset or console can potentially cause damage. Even worse, pulling the cable could cause the devices to fall from their position, resulting in greater damage.

Another pro of wireless headsets is in futureproofing. The Bluetooth standard, for example, works diligently to maintain backward compatibility across its devices. Though USB and analog 3.5mm connections also tend to maintain backward compatibility, these physical connections are increasingly phased out of devices.

If the headset feels cheap, it likely is. If you can't try before you buy, there will surely be product reviews worth checking out (the gaming community is huge). Take these with a grain of salt and weed through the fake reviews to find the information you need regarding build quality.

A headset/headphone stand will hold the headset in an optimal and easily accessible position when it is not in use. Stands are helpful for keeping expensive headsets from poor storage conditions between uses.

More people than ever are working and gaming from home. Finding the right headset can make all the difference in your user experience. Gaming headsets' affordability and functionality are great for more than just playing games, and they have quickly evolved to become sophisticated communication devices.

Finding the right headset for you can seem overwhelming with all the many features and specifications available today. This buying guide will help you find the perfect gaming headset by going over the many facets of modern headsets and how they can affect your gaming experience. Continue reading below to help you make the most informed decision possible on your next headset.

There are many headset options on the market, but not all over-the-ear headphones can be considered gaming headsets. First and foremost, a distinction between headphones and headsets needs to be made. Headphones do not have a microphone or any built-in two-way communication features. Headsets, on the other hand, have built-in microphones and other features that aim to benefit communication. Beyond the microphone, many other features can be present on gaming headsets, such as added tactile buttons on the device or noise-canceling sound isolation. Gaming headsets also share a similar aesthetic, with some offering addressable RGB lights or shared logos and patterns.

Typically, wireless options are more expensive than their wired counterparts, but they can also come with added features. Some wireless headsets even support connecting to multiple devices at once, which can be great for both gaming and remote work. Wired headsets are an excellent choice for many users because you can often get a high-quality device at an affordable price, and there is never a need to recharge or wait to use your headset.

When choosing either type of headset, it is important to first determine how your headset needs to connect to your other devices. Most wired headsets will either use a 3.5mm jack or a USB cable to connect to devices. Wireless headsets can be a bit more complicated, because they can use many different connections such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or other proprietary technologies to interact with your devices.

Deciding on a gaming headset is just like purchasing any other piece of technology. The first step should always be to determine what you are going to use the headset for. Depending on the types of games you like to play or the different chat services you wish to utilize, specific headsets are available that may be a better choice for you. Knowing how you will use your headset will make understanding the many features much more manageable and the buying process overall more enjoyable. Read below for a list of typical headset specifications and what they can mean for your device.

The overall feel and sturdiness of your headset can be referred to as its build quality. While this feature may not be listed on a box or web page, it is arguably one of the most important to consider before buying a headset. Be aware of cheap deals or severely marked down headsets, because this is often a major sign that the device was produced as cheaply as possible. A headset with a poor build quality may work in the short term, but it is likely to fail or cause problems down the line. An easy way to ensure a high build quality is to look for reputable brands of headsets that come with high-quality cables or other accessories.

One of the key defining features of a gaming headset is the microphone. Attached microphones will never match the quality of dedicated recording devices. However, they are an excellent affordable alternative for most gamers out there.

There are a few different kinds of microphones available, and each has its pros and cons. Most commonly, gaming headsets will feature either an omnidirectional or unidirectional microphone. The main difference between the two is how the microphones pick up sounds. 041b061a72


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