20 Best 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headsets

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If you are looking for a way to make your gaming sessions more immersive, there is nothing better than buying a 7.1 surround sound gaming headset. A few years ago, surround sound headsets were just a marketing gimmick and most of them were actually quite poor when it comes to simulating surround sound experience. The situation is a little bit better today. There are many 7.1 surround sound gaming headsets and some of them can deliver an impressive surround experience, perfect positioning, and great sound quality.

The main goal of our article on 20 best 7.1 surround sound gaming headsets is to help you understand what makes a great surround sound headset and to present to you to some of the best models on the market. We are going to talk about differences between stereo and surround sound headsets, discuss the advantages of surround sound headsets, and give you some tips on what to look for when buying a 7.1 surround sound gaming headset. If you are looking for some suggestions, there’s a whole list of headsets divided into four categories based on their prices.

If you don’t want to read the whole article, here’s a simple breakdown – these four headsets are our favorites.

This is not an easy choice. Generally speaking, surround sound is definitely better and more immersive than the stereo sound, and it is much better for movie watching and for gaming. You would assume that buying a surround sound gaming headset is always a better option, but it’s not that simple.

Stereo Headsets VS Surround Sound Headsets

Having a 5.1 surround sound system with 6 separate speakers and placing them correctly around you in order to get true surround sound would be a much better option than having only two stereo speakers but it’s not like that with the headphones/headsets. The thing is – most surround sound gaming headsets are actually regular stereo headsets with some software improvements that are supposed to play with your hearing and your mind and create the space around you. Some of them do a decent job (and they are usually quite pricey) while the others only sound strange.

There’s a special group of surround sound gaming headsets with multiple drivers installed inside each earcup. They are usually called true 7.1 surround sound gaming headsets and most of them are quite bulky and really expensive. There is one more problem (besides the price and bulkiness) – the drivers are way too close to your ears to create a great sense of space. It’s not the same thing as having real speakers located all around you and it’s not equally accurate.

So, is buying a surround sound headset a smarter move than buying a stereo headset? To be completely honest, we don’t have a definite answer. Many gamers (even the professional ones) would discuss that buying a great stereo headset with a wide soundstage or even a pair of noise-canceling earbuds made by a reputable audio company and combining them with a good bi-directional mic would be a smarter choice than buying a surround sound headset. Still, it’s not like they don’t improve the situation at all. It’s probably safe to say that if you want a good surround sound experience, you should spend at least $100 (HyperX Cloud II, for example). Those cheap surround sound gaming headsets offer very good value for the price but they are, in terms of performance, closer to stereo headsets than to surround sound gaming headsets.

ProductPriceOverall RatingReview
SADES SA902Under $504.2Read Review
TRITTON Kunai ProUnder $503.9Read Review
Mpow EG3Under $504.1Read Review
Logitech G430Under $503.7Read Review
Corsair HS60Under $503.9Read Review
HyperX Cloud IIUnder $1004.1Read Review
SteelSeries Arctis 5Under $1004.0Read Review
CORSAIR VoidUnder $1004.0Read Review
Logitech G533Under $1003.9Read Review
Creative Sound BlasterX H7Under $1003.8Read Review
Razer Kraken TournamentUnder $1003.9Read Review
Razer Kraken 7.1Under $1003.7Read Review
Turtle Beach Stealth 600Under $1003.9Read Review
LucidSound LS41Under $2004.0Read Review
SteelSeries Arctis 7Under $2004.0Read Review
PlayStation PlatinumUnder $2003.8Read Review
HyperX Cloud Revolver SUnder $2003.8Read Review
Logitech G935Under $2003.7Read Review
ASTRO Gaming A40Over $2004.2Read Review
Audeze MobiusOver $2004.1Read Review

Now that you know some basic things about stereo and surround gaming headsets, here’s our selection of 20 best 7.1 surround sound gaming headsets. The reviews are divided into 4 groups – best under $50, best under $100, best under $200, and best over $200. After you set your budget, you can select the price range that fits your budget, and see our favorite headsets.

Best 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headsets Under $50

These are the cheapest headsets on the market. You will find a lot of generic brands in this price range and, even though some of them are actually decent, they wouldn’t be our first choice. Also, we have some concerns about their surround sound performance. If you want a satisfying performance and good surround effect, go for the well-known brands. Our top picks are Corsair HS60 and Logitech G430.


SADES SA902

SADES SA902

Editor’s Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

SADES SA902 is probably the cheapest gaming headset that’s advertised as 7.1 surround sound, but don’t raise your expectations too high. For the price, this is a great buy but don’t expect crazy immersive surround sound experience.

Impressions

The headset comes in a simple illustrated box. Besides the headset, you’ll get the user manual (which is awful and completely useless), and a CD with the drivers (for simulated 7.1 surround sound). It’s a decent presentation considering the price.

You won’t be impressed by the build quality – it’s all cheap-looking plastic (glossy plastic for the cups, matte plastic for the headband). The headset is not too heavy but it’s really large. We’ve had no issues with comfort. The paddings on the earcups and headband are not the softest ever, but they do provide a decent amount of comfort.

The headset has a long cable and allows you to move freely. On the cable, there’s a simple inline controller with some basic functions (2 volume buttons, mic-mute, and volume mute). The controls look cheap but are responsive. The only problem we’ve had with the controls is their position – the controller is located too far away from the cups and it’s not that easy to reach.

SADES SA902 is quite versatile. It’s compatible with PC, Mac, and PS4. Sadly, the headset doesn’t work with Xbox One.

The headset delivers some kind of surround sound only when connected to a PC (you have to install the included drivers) but it’s not going to blow you away. It gives you some sense of space but it doesn’t sound like a real 3D space. It basically widens the soundstage a little bit. But, considering the price, the surround sound effect is satisfying. When connected to PS4, the headset will deliver stereo sound (not surround). You can change the audio input to USB headset and audio output to headset mic and you are ready to go. The same thing applies when the headset is connected to Mac (you don’t need to install the drivers since they are made for Windows – the computer is going to install generic drivers).

The mic quality is surprisingly good. This is a simple and cheap-looking flip-up mic with two small holes at the end of the mic arm but it sounds much clearer than you would assume. The only thing we didn’t like is that it doesn’t mute when you flip it up (you have to press the mute button on the controller).

The sound quality is pretty much on par with the price. You can’t really compare its sonic performance to some $100 headsets but it’s quite satisfying. It delivers very loud and pretty clear sound at moderate volumes. Cranking up the volume above 50 or 60% will cause some distortion, but you don’t really need to push it that hard. It’s loud enough even at 30%. Noise isolation is also quite impressive thanks to those huge earpads.

Advantages

  • Inexpensive
  • Compatible with PC (Windows XP and higher), Mac, and PS4
  • Comfortable
  • Simple and easy-to-use controls
  • Satisfying surround sound effect when connected to PC
  • Pretty good stereo performance
  • Surprisingly good mic performance

Disadvantages

  • Not compatible with Xbox One
  • It can deliver surround sound only when connected to PC
  • Crappy user manual (poorly translated)
  • Poor build quality
  • Bulky (not made for people with small heads)
  • Inline controls are too far away from the cups

TRITTON 2019 Kunai Pro

TRITTON 2019 Kunai Pro

Editor’s Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

TRITTON is another generic brand. Kunai Pro is one of their bestselling headsets and it’s the only 7.1 headset made by this company. It’s designed for PCs and it will deliver surround sound only when connected to a Windows PC but it will also work with Mac and PS4 (stereo sound). It delivers slightly better performance than the previously reviewed SADES SA902.

Impressions

Inside the box, you will find your headset, detachable mic, and user manual. The packaging is not premium but it looks nice.

We’ve not been amazed by the construction. It’s a nice looking and a bit bulky gaming headset but it’s completely made of plastic which doesn’t feel very durable. You need to be quite careful with this headset and try not to bend the headband too much. A few previous customers complained about the headband being too fragile.

We have no complaints when it comes to comfort. The headset is light, the paddings are thick and soft, and the clamping force is not too strong. The manufacturer checked all the boxes and made a very comfortable headset.

There’s a simple controller with separate volume controls for the mic and for the headphones. The controls are simple and responsive. The controller box also has 2 LED indicators. They will tell you what kind of sound you are listening to (7.1 surround or HD stereo).

Kunai Pro features a long undetachable audio cable that ends with a USB connector. The headset is made for PCs, but it’s also compatible with Mac OS and PS4. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work with Xbox One.

The headset will deliver surround sound only when connected to a Windows PC. After you download the software (drivers) for TRITTON headsets, you’ll be able to activate surround sound, adjust EQ settings, etc. When connected to other sources, the headset will deliver stereo sound.

Surround sound experience is quite fun. It doesn’t really create three-dimensional space around you and it’s not perfectly accurate but it gives you a good sense of space and improves awareness.

Considering the price, the audio output is quite impressive in stereo mode. The sound is loud, balanced, and very much enjoyable.

The mic is detachable, which is definitely a plus. It’s a simple boom mic and it does the job well. Your voice will be clear on the other end most of the time. We’ve experienced a problem with some kind of odd static noise but detaching the mic and attaching it again solved the issue for us.

Advantages

  • Affordable
  • Compatible with PC, Mac, PS3, and PS4
  • Very comfortable
  • Simple inline controls with separate mic and volume knobs and mute buttons
  • Good surround sound experience (when connected to a Windows PC)
  • Great stereo sound (considering the price) when connected to Mac, PS3 or PS4
  • Very good mic performance
  • The mic is detachable and works well most of the time

Disadvantages

  • Not compatible with Xbox One
  • Poor build quality – the weakest link is the plastic headband

Mpow EG3 Gaming Headset

Mpow EG3 Gaming Headset

Editor’s Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Once a generic Asian brand, Mpow made its name for manufacturing very good and very affordable audio equipment. Along with TaoTronics and a few more brands, Mpow truly earned our trust and trust of many customers around the world over the past few years. Their headphones really offer more features and, in some cases, better sonic performance than you would get with a more famous brand at a higher price. Mpow EG3 is our top pick when it comes to budget gaming headsets under $30.

Impressions

Inside a simple cardboard box, you’ll find your headset with an undetachable audio cable and undetachable microphone. You will also get the user manual and a 2-year warranty.

The construction is much better than we expected. It’s a combination of aluminum and plastic. The headband frame is entirely made of metal and looks very solid and durable. We are pretty optimistic about this headset’s durability. It’s so much sturdier than the previously mentioned TRITTON Kunai Pro (which is, by the way, pricier).

We have no major complaints when it comes to comfort. The earpads are quite large and can fit the largest ears. The padding is thick and comfy. The headband is self-adjustable and it can fit different sizes and head shapes. The audio cable is 7.2ft long which is more than enough if you are sitting in front of your PC. The only ‘’downside” could be the fact that the earcups can’t swivel but that’s just a minor issue. The overall comfort these headphones offer is more than satisfying. They are great for long gaming sessions.

The controls are not located on the cable – they are located on the headset itself. The volume knob is on the left earcup (there are no separate volume controls for mic and headphones) and the mic ON/OFF switch is located on the microphone. It’s clean and simple control scheme. If you want to adjust additional settings, change the EQ settings or select a different EQ preset, you have to install the Mpow gaming software.

Just like the previous two models, Mpow EG3 features USB connection and it’s made for PC but works with Mac and PS4. It doesn’t work with Xbox One. The headset can deliver surround sound but only when connected to a PC and only after you install the drivers. You won’t get surround sound if you connect the headset to your PS4 or Mac (there’s no need to install the drivers – the Mac will install generic drivers).

The headset delivers quite an impressive surround sound performance. It’s not something we have expected from a cheap headset. It really helps you to pinpoint the direction the gunshots or steps are coming from. It’s not perfectly accurate but it’s more than good considering the price.

Stereo sound is also great and it’s customizable in many ways thanks to all kinds of EQ settings (you have to install the gaming software in order to adjust the EQ settings). You have 12 EQ presets and 10 adjustable EQ bands. The soundstage is wide, very immersive, and the imaging is quite accurate.

The mic is omnidirectional and features some kind of noise canceling technology. It’s very sensitive and it picks up the voices well but it doesn’t do a flawless job when it comes to isolating the ambient noise. It will occasionally pick up some keyboard and mouse clicks and other noises and it could muffle your voice a little bit. Still, the voice will be clear most of the time.

Advantages

  • Inexpensive
  • Great build quality (considering the price)
  • Above-average comfort – light frame, self-adjustable headband, thick and soft earpads
  • Simple controls
  • Great surround sound effects (when connected to a Windows PC)
  • Great stereo output
  • Adjustable EQ settings (12 EQ presets + 10 adjustable EQ bands)
  • Decent mic quality

Disadvantages

  • Not compatible Xbox One
  • It can deliver surround sound only when connected to a PC
  • The mic will occasionally pick up some ambient noise (it’s not great when it comes to noise canceling)

Logitech G430

Logitech G430

Editor’s Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Logitech is one of the most popular brands when it comes to gaming equipment (headsets, mice, keyboards, joysticks, gamepads, etc.). G430 is their cheapest gaming headset (currently priced under $40) with 7.1 surround sound. Naturally, this is not a completely flawless headset but it can deliver pretty immersive virtual surround sound and nice gaming experience.

Impressions

The package includes your headset (the mic and cable are not detachable), USB adapter, user manual, and a 3-year limited warranty.

Construction quality is probably the only really bad thing about this headset. It’s not completely awful but there’s a problem with the hinges connecting the headband and the earcups. These hinges are really brittle and many customers reported this issue. The manufacturer really needs to improve the design and fix this flaw. Other than this, we have no complaints regarding the headband and earcup design.

The comfort should not be a problem, even if you have a really large head. In fact, this headset looks like it’s made for people with large heads. People with small heads will have more problems centering the earcups and keeping them in place. The earpads are large and have some kind of cloth finish which feels a bit scratchy at first but it gets comfier after a few hours of use. We have no complaints when it comes to headband padding. The cups can swivel and rotate. The cable is not detachable which is a minor inconvenience.

The controller is located halfway along the cable. It’s a simple two-button plastic box. You can use the mic button to mute/unmute the mic and volume knob to adjust the volume.

The audio cable ends with two 3.5mm audio jacks (one for the mic and the other for the speakers/headphones) which is fine if you want to connect it to your PC but could be a problem if you want to connect it to a single 3.5mm port (like the one on the Xbox controller). If you want to connect this to your Xbox, you are going to need an adapter (dual 3.5mm F to a single 3.5mm M). Along with the headset, you will get a USB adapter which allows you to connect it to your PS4 or to your PC or Mac. This USB dongle is the only way to get surround sound. The surround sound will only work on Windows computers. When connected to your PS4 or Mac, it will deliver stereo sound.

Once you perform all the necessary installation steps, you will finally experience that immersive surround sound. And yes, it’s really great and it helps a lot in pinpointing the direction the sound is coming from.

Here’s a fair warning – this thing works better on PC than on PS4. The headset is, for some reason, much louder when connected to a PC. So, if you are looking for a PC gaming headset, G430 is a great choice.

In stereo mode, the sound is a little bit on a bassy side with a brighter treble. If you are into bass, you will be happy and if you are not, you can easily adjust the EQ settings through the Logitech’s gaming software.

The mic delivers an average performance for the price. Your teammates will hear you loud and clear. There’s some barely noticeable static noise but it’s not distracting or annoying. We’ve also noticed that the mic is not equally sensitive/loud when connected to a PC and when connected to a PS4. It definitely works better on PC. One more thing – if you want to mute the mic, you have to press the mute button on the controller. Flipping it up will not mute the mic automatically.

Advantages

  • Affordable
  • Pretty good comfort – light, large earpads, adjustable headband, rotating cups
  • Removable and washable earpads
  • Simple inline controls – mic mute switch and headset volume knob
  • Compatible with Windows PCs (7, 8, and 10), PS4, and Mac
  • It can deliver virtual surround sound when connected to a Windows PC
  • Great surround sound awareness
  • Bassy sound signature in stereo mode

Disadvantages

  • Not compatible with Xbox One unless you buy an adapter
  • Poor construction quality (too much plastic)
  • Poor mic sensitivity (especially when connected to PS4)

Corsair HS60

Corsair HS60

Editor’s Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Corsair is another reputable name on this list and their HS60 is our favorite budget gaming headset, especially when it comes to durability, versatility, and performance. HS60 is specially designed for PC use and it will deliver the best results when connected to a Windows PC but it will work with Mac, PS4, and Xbox One. This is an affordable, comfortable, and durable headset with above-average performance. The only thing we didn’t like is the microphone – it does cancel the ambient noise well but it’s not loud enough.

Impressions

The headset comes along with a detachable unidirectional mic, USB dongle (for connecting to a PC and PS4), user manual, and a warranty card.

This is one of the most solid budget headsets. It’s quite sturdy and durable. The frame is made of metal and the cups are made of hard plastic. The only thing that could be a problem is the cable. It’s not braided and it’s prone to tangling. There’s nothing else to complain about when it comes to construction quality, especially at this price point.

We were also happy with the amount of comfort this headset provides. There’s some room for improvements (clamping force, for example) but the overall impressions are quite positive. The headband padding is very thick and doesn’t put too much pressure. The earpads are not as thick as headband padding but feel nice and comfy. Your ears will get sweaty after a few hours of gaming but that’s completely acceptable since this is a closed-back headset.

The controls are located on the left cup. You have one volume knob and mic-mute button. Everything is pretty simple and self-explanatory.

The audio cable is not detachable and it ends with a single 3.5mm jack. You can connect this jack directly to your PC, Mac, laptop, or Xbox controller and get stereo sound. If you want to connect it to your PS4, you will have to use the included USB adapter. Unfortunately, you will only get stereo sound. If you want surround sound experience, you’ll have to connect it to your PC (via USB dongle) and install the Corsair gaming software (aka iCUE). You can use this software to adjust all kinds of EQ settings and activate/deactivate surround sound. The default surround sound settings are not that great and they make the sound tiny but a few tweaks in the iCUE software can make a huge difference. If you don’t like the surround sound or if it doesn’t feel immersive enough, play a little bit with the EQ settings and surround sound settings. We are pretty sure you are going to like the sound after you find the right settings.

When used in stereo mode (especially when connected via 3.5mm jack), HS60 delivers surprisingly accurate and very balanced audio output. You don’t expect this kind of accuracy from a budget headset. This thing is much better for music listening than some much pricier gaming headsets.

The microphone is detachable. It’s a simple unidirectional noise-canceling microphone. It does most of the job well – the voice is perfectly clear on the other end and the noise canceling works flawlessly. Our only complaint is that it’s not loud/sensitive enough. We have tried to increase the volume through the iCUE software and it did make some difference but it still wasn’t loud enough.

Advantages

  • Affordable
  • Compatible with PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox One, etc.
  • Great construction quality
  • Pretty good comfort
  • Simple and easily reachable controls
  • It delivers surround sound when connected to a PC via USB dongle
  • Great stereo sound (very accurate midrange and treble with a slightly elevated mid-bass)

Disadvantages

  • The mic is not sensitive enough (your voice will be intelligible but quiet)

Best 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headsets Under $100

HyperX Cloud II Gaming Headset

HyperX Cloud II Gaming Headset

Editor’s Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

HyperX is one of our favorite gaming equipment manufacturers, especially when it comes to headsets. Their gaming headsets are not that tacky or flashy as some other gaming headsets which is great if you are not going to use it only for gaming. If your budget is set at $100 or $90 and you want a super-versatile surround sound headset, you won’t regret buying HyperX Cloud II.

Impressions

Cloud II comes in a much richer packaging that the previously reviewed budget headsets. Besides the headset, you will get a detachable boom mic, USB adapter (for surround sound), additional pair of earpads (different from the one that’s preinstalled), airplane adapter, simple carrying pouch, and a user manual.

The design is simple and casual. The build quality is quite impressive. The frame is made of metal and it looks like it can survive some serious abuse. The cups are plastic but quite sturdy. The only thing that casts a shadow over all the positive impressions is the audio cable connecting the cups – the cable is exposed and it could be the weakest link.

The manufacturer did everything to make this headset perfectly comfortable. They have even included an additional pair of plush earpads. We loved the paddings on the headband and on the earpads. The headband is adjustable and the headset is perfectly stable. The clamping force is maybe a bit stronger than it’s supposed to be but it’s not going to crush your skull or anything like that. You will experience some fatigue and ear sweating after long gaming sessions which is not a deal breaker.

We are not fans of the control scheme. You have two simple master volume and mic volume buttons on the USB dongle but if you don’t want to use it and you want to connect the headset via 3.5mm jack, there’s no way to control the volume. I mean, you can access volume controls on your PC or Xbox, but there are no inline controls on the AUX cable and no control buttons on the earcups. That’s the only thing that really needs to be improved on this headset.

The headset has a relatively short undetachable audio cable that ends with a single 3.5mm jack. You can connect it without the dongle to your PC or Xbox. If you want to connect it to your PS4 or if you want to experience surround sound on your PC, you will have to use the dongle. Surround sound is only available on PC and Mac. Unlike some other headsets, this one doesn’t require any kind of gaming software or drivers, and it is pretty much plug-and-play device. The USB dongle will do all the job and you can start playing the moment you plug it in. We were not absolutely happy with the dongle since it’s kind of flimsy. This could be a problem if you tend to move too much (if you pull it out just a little bit, the sound will immediately become hollow and strange). Surround sound effect is pretty impressive and it really improves awareness and positioning.

When connected to a PS4 or Xbox One, the headset will deliver stereo sound. In stereo mode, the audio output is very good. Bass and midrange reproduction are perfectly accurate and very consistent while the treble is not on par with the mids and lows (it’s not as detailed). The soundstage is not that wide but the imaging is quite precise and it improves your gaming experience.

The microphone is one of the best things about this headset. It’s great when it comes to isolating ambient noise. It picks up the voice flawlessly and it doesn’t make it muffled or muddy. It’s perfectly loud and clear. On top of all that, the microphone is detachable/replaceable. The only problem could be the lack of auto-mute feature.

Advantages

  • Simple but visually pleasing design
  • Great build quality
  • Very comfortable
  • Compatible with all kinds of devices – PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox One, etc.
  • It can deliver surround sound when connected to a PC or Mac
  • Great audio reproduction in stereo mode (with perfect imaging)
  • Excellent mic quality

Disadvantages

  • The wire connecting the cups is exposed (it’s not inside the headband)
  • Volume and mic controls are located on a detachable USB dongle (not on the headset)
  • Can’t deliver surround sound when connected to a PS4 or Xbox One

SteelSeries Arctis 5 (2019 Edition)

SteelSeries Arctis 5

Editor’s Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

SteelSeries Arctis 5 is, in so many ways, an amazing headset. It’s very unique in terms of design, it delivers really good surround sound gaming experience, it’s quite comfy, the controls and the microphone are really great, and it doesn’t cost much. Our biggest concern about this headset is the build quality. The headset is entirely made of plastic which is not reassuring but if you handle it carefully, it could last for years.

Impressions

The headset comes along with a proprietary 4-pole audio cable (it’s detachable), USB adapter with a chat/game mixing dial, 4-pole to 3.5mm adapter (for connecting the headset to your Xbox or phone), and a user manual.

We were quite impressed by the design. The whole Arctis series of headsets look truly unique. The most noticeable details are the hinges connecting the headband to the cups and the LED circles on the earcup covers.

The build quality is not exactly on par with the design. Choosing some light aluminum alloy instead of plastic would be a much better idea. We are not saying the headset is extremely brittle or fragile but this kind of all-plastic build doesn’t feel reassuring.

The headset comes with a detachable audio cable which is a great thing. What’s not so great is the connection type – this is a proprietary cable with 4-pole connectors. So, if you lose it or break it, you will have to order it directly from the manufacturer. This audio cable has to be attached either to the 4-pole to 3.5mm adapter (if you are connecting the headset to your Xbox controller) or to the second cable with a game/chat mixing dial. This second cable ends with a USB connector and you can connect it to your PC, Mac, or PS4. 4-pole connectors are not very secure and even a small twitch could disconnect the audio cable which is pretty inconvenient. We were quite annoyed by this proprietary connection.

The controls are located on the left earcup – you have one volume knob and one mic-mute button. The chat/game mixing dial is on the other cable (the one with a USB connection). It’s a useful and fun tool.

When connected to a PC or Mac, the headset can deliver surround sound but you have to install the SteelSeries Engine which is a gaming software made for SteelSeries headsets. The software has a simple user interface. It allows you to enable/disable surround sound, play with EQ settings, and adjust different mic settings (noise canceling, volume). Some people had issues with this software after installing the Windows updates but, other than that, the software works flawlessly.

Surround sound is available when the headset is connected to a PC or Mac (you have to activate it through the SteelSeries Engine). We didn’t like the default settings (the sound was hollow and echoey) but after playing with the EQ settings, we’ve got a much better surround sound effect.

When connected to a PS4 or to Xbox One, the headset will deliver only stereo sound. The audio reproduction in stereo mode is quite bassy (the emphasis is on the mid-bass and upper-bass frequencies). Strong bass doesn’t affect the midrange and it’s doesn’t overshadow the voices. All in all, the audio is quite enjoyable and offers quite accurate imaging which is very important for positioning and situational awareness.

The microphone is one of the most important highlights. This is a retractable bidirectional microphone. It handles the noise exceptionally well and it delivers crystal clear and airy voices. There’s one tiny complaint regarding the mic – it doesn’t have the auto-mute feature (it will not mute when you retract it until you press the mute button).

Advantages

  • Unique design
  • Detachable audio cable
  • Pretty good comfort
  • Simple and responsive controls
  • Great versatility – compatible with PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox, etc.
  • Pretty good surround sound experience (when connected to PC or Mac)
  • User-friendly gaming software
  • Pretty good sound reproduction in stereo mode
  • Great noise-canceling microphone

Disadvantages

  • Too plasticky
  • Proprietary audio cables with 4-pole connectors
  • The 4-pole connection isn’t very secure
  • Surround sound is not available on PS4 and Xbox

CORSAIR Void PRO RGB Wireless

CORSAIR Void PRO RGB Wireless

Editor’s Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

This is the first wireless surround sound gaming headset on this list. The biggest downside of this headset is that it’s not compatible with Mac and Xbox One. It’s made for PC and it could offer some limited functionality when connected to a PS4 (you might not be able to use the controls). It’s definitely more convenient solution for PC gaming than any of the previously mentioned headsets but it’s not really better than the Hyper X Cloud II or SteelSeries Arctis 5 when it comes to performance and audio reproduction.

Impressions

The headset comes along with a USB wireless adapter, charging cable, and user manual.

In terms of design, CORSAIR VOID Pro Wireless is an interesting, unusual, and a little bit futuristic gaming headset. It doesn’t feature the same kind of construction quality as some other CORSAIR headsets (HS60, for example) but there are some metal reinforcements and that’s reassuring. I guess it’s fair to say that the build quality is on par with the price.

Comfort is quite satisfying. The headset is unusually bulky but it’s not too heavy. The earcups are huge and squarish. The padding on the cups is made of foam and has a nice cloth finish which improves breathability. The headband is adjustable and can fit very large heads. People with really small heads will have more problems finding the right position. The clamping force is optimal for gaming. The earcups and the headband don’t put any additional pressure onto your skull. All in all, we have no complaints regarding comfort.

The controls are simple and intuitive. You have two buttons (power and mic-mute) and one volume knob. They are all located on the left cup. Besides their primary functions, all the buttons have some additional functions. Pressing the volume knob shortly will change the EQ preset and pressing the knob for 3sec will enable/disable the surround sound. Long-pressing the mute button will activate/deactivate ‘’side tone’’ (mic monitoring). Short-pressing the power button will turn on/off the headset and long-pressing (for 8sec) will initiate pairing with the USB dongle. The headset is pre-paired with the dongle and you are not supposed to pair it manually unless you experience some problems with the connection.

The CORSAIR gaming software (CUE) is available for Windows 7, 8, and 10 and it will allow you to adjust different aspects of surround sound, play with the EQ and mic settings, etc. The user interface is pretty simple and intuitive.

The USB dongle creates a proprietary 2.4GHz wireless network (it doesn’t use Bluetooth). The connection is quite strong and reliable. We haven’t experienced any noticeable delay. The range (with obstructions) is longer than 40ft which is pretty impressive.

The battery is built inside the left cup. The advertised playtime is 16h. In reality, we’ve got 12h at 50% volume, which should be more than enough, even for the longest gaming sessions. The recharge takes up to 3 hours.

The headset is made for PCs. It’s partially compatible with a PS4 and it will deliver stereo sound but some of the control buttons might not work.

The default surround sound settings are problematic and the sound is kind of tiny but you can improve the experience a lot with a few simple adjustments in the CUE software. For starters, you can crank up the rear surround speakers. Once you find the right settings, you will get a much better and quite immersive surround sound.

The default stereo sound settings are quite good. There’s a subtle emphasis on the mid-bass frequencies and on the vocals (around 1kHz). The sound is fun and enjoyable. Thanks to the breathable earpads, the soundstage is pretty wide which makes it great for listening to music.

The microphone is made of some kind of rubber and it’s not detachable. It’s a simple flip-up noise-canceling unidirectional mic and it’s very good but not exceptional. It handles the noise really well and it doesn’t muffle your voice. Our only complaint is related to its loudness – it really needs to be just a little bit louder.

Advantages

  • Unique futuristic design with squarish cups
  • Good build quality
  • Very comfortable
  • Wireless – up to 12 hours of playtime
  • Delivers surround sound when connected to a PC
  • Decent audio reproduction in stereo mode
  • Very good mic performance

Disadvantages

  • Not compatible with Xbox and PS4
  • It lacks Bluetooth and 3.5mm port (the only possible connection is wireless)

Logitech G533

Logitech G533

Editor’s Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Logitech G533 is an upgraded version of the previously mentioned G430. Unlike G430, this gaming headset is completely wireless. The headset is compatible only with PC and Mac – it’s not made for Xbox. Also, G533 is not advertised or certified as PS4 headset but it will work with PS4 (only stereo mode).

Impressions

The headset comes along with a charging cable, USB wireless adapter, and user manual.

The construction quality is improved compared to the previous G430. It’s still mostly plastic but it has a metal frame which makes it significantly sturdier.

We’ve had one issue regarding the comfort – the earpads have some kind of sport cloth finish which, in our opinion, isn’t the most comfortable material. Some Amazon customers compared this padding to sandpaper. What’s great is that you can easily remove the earpads and buy some comfier ones. We’ve had no issues with the weight distribution, headband padding, and adjusting. The headband can fit even the largest heads and the cups can rotate. They look really bulky but they are not too heavy (compared to other gaming headsets).

The control scheme is perfect for gaming. All the controls are located on the left cup. You have the volume knob, power switch, and mic-mute button.

G533 is advertised/certified as PC/Mac headset but it can work with PS4. When connected to a PS4, it will deliver only stereo sound. In order to achieve full functionality (activate stereo or surround sound on PC, select different EQ presets or customize the EQ settings), you have to download and install the Logitech gaming software called Logitech G Hub.

Connecting the headset to your PC is done in no time. You just have to plug in the USB adapter and turn on the headset. The pairing is done automatically. The wireless connection is strong, reliable, and quite capable. The latency is practically nonexistent. The range is rated at 45ft and, in reality, you can achieve even more than 50ft.

The battery is built inside the right cup. It’s rechargeable and easily replaceable. It will deliver up to 17h of playtime at 50% volume. The recharge takes up to 4 hours.

The headset delivers really immersive sound in both surround and stereo modes. Surround sound works only when the headset is connected to a PC or Mac. Surround sound is the default sound mode and, if you want to deactivate it, you have to use the G Hub software. In stereo mode, the sound is very accurate and very balanced which makes this headset a good choice for music listening. Sound quality is probably the biggest highlight of this headset.

The mic looks really nice. It’s a retractable flip-up mic. What we liked about the mic (besides the looks) is that it features the auto-mute feature. Also, it handles the noise nicely and it manages to isolate most of the ambient noise. What we didn’t like is that the voices are not perfectly clear. Everything you say will be intelligible, but it’s not going to be perfectly clear (there’s some kind of hissing noise) and it will be quiet. So, to conclude, the mic is decent but not great.

Advantages

  • Decent build quality
  • Simple and easy-to-use control scheme
  • Reliable wireless connection with up to 45ft of range
  • Up to 17h of playtime per one charge
  • Simple and intuitive Logitech gaming software (Logitech G Hub)
  • Compatible with PC (Windows 7 and higher) and Mac
  • Immersive surround sound experience
  • Nicely balanced audio output in stereo mode with a subtle bass emphasis

Disadvantages

  • Not compatible with Xbox
  • Bulky
  • Uncomfortable earpads
  • Mic quality is not the greatest
  • Lacks Bluetooth and AUX input

Creative Sound BlasterX H7 Tournament Edition

Creative Sound BlasterX H7 Tournament Edition

Editor’s Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Creative Sound BlasterX H7 Tournament Edition is a great surround sound gaming headset for PC. This thing offers even better performance than the HyperX Cloud II or SteelSeries Arctis 5 when it comes to surround sound and PC gaming experience but it’s not that great in stereo mode (when connected to gaming consoles). Besides the performance, the greatest highlights are construction quality, comfort, and mic quality. We have some minor complaints regarding the build quality of the inline controller. If you are looking for a wired PC gaming headset under $100, H7 Tournament Edition is an excellent choice.

Impressions

The headset comes with a detachable mic, one AUX cable (for connecting to Xbox One controller), one USB to micro USB cable (for connecting the headset to a PC, PS4, and Mac), and user manual.

The design of the BlasterX H7 Tournament Edition reminded us of the previously reviewed HyperX Cloud II. It’s sleek and stylish without too many flashy details. The build quality is really exceptional. The whole construction is supported with a strong and flexible metal frame. We have no complaints regarding the construction and selection of materials.

The manufacturer did a great job of making the headset perfectly comfortable. There’s literally nothing we would like to change. The headset is supper-light (compared to other gaming headsets), the headband and the cups have thick and soft paddings with a faux leather finish, the clamping force is optimal. Since these are closed-back headphones, some ear sweating is inevitable but that’s perfectly acceptable. H7 Tournament Edition headset is a perfect choice for long gaming sessions.

The headset has an undetachable cable connected to the left cup. The cable is relatively short (approx. 20ft) and it ends with an inline controller. The controller looks cheap and plasticky which is one of our main concerns regarding this headset. Also, the micro USB connection is a bit flimsy and not very secure. You should try not to make any sudden moves. The controller features two input ports – micro USB and 3.5mm. Micro USB is used for connecting the headset to PC, PS4, or Mac. AUX port is used for connecting the headset to your Xbox Controller or even to your phone. The controller also features the mute switch (for the mic), volume knob, and a multifunction button that can be used to pay/pause the music or answer calls (when connected to a phone). As you can see, the controls are simple and intuitive.

The surround sound is available only when the headset is connected to a PC. In order to activate surround sound and play with settings, you need to install the proprietary gaming software called BlasterX Acoustic Engine Pro. The software is truly great and it gives you so much freedom and control over the headset, especially when it comes to surround sound modes. You have so many surround sound presets. There are even some presets for specific games (Call of Duty, Dota, Counter-Strike) and specific genres (driving simulation, FPS, etc.). There’s also a tab called ‘’Scout Mode”. Activating this feature is going to improve your situational awareness, make the ambient noise clearer and louder, and allow you to hear your opponents from further away.

We were all amazed by the surround sound experience this headset delivered. It’s very immersive and fun.

When it comes to stereo sound, especially when the headset is connected to a gaming console (PS4 or Xbox One), it doesn’t deliver the same kind of performance. The sound is not as clear and balanced. There’s an emphasis on the upper-bass and low-midrange frequencies and the treble is a bit too bright. Playing with some EQ settings on a PC definitely makes some difference, but we still prefer some other headsets (Hyper X Cloud II, Arctis 5, and G533) when it comes to sound quality in stereo mode.

The microphone is detachable. This is probably one of the best-performing headset microphones under $100. It’s unidirectional and it’s quite sensitive. The voice comes out perfectly clear and intelligible, and the noise is handled very well. Some long-term users complained about the occasional voice cut out which could be a result of constant bending of the mic arm. Our mic worked great.

Advantages

  • Great build quality and exceptional comfort
  • Simple and intuitive controls
  • Very useful gaming software (BlasterX Acoustic Engine Pro)
  • Great surround sound experience
  • Very good mic quality
  • Great versatility – compatible with PC, Mac, PS4, and Xbox One

Disadvantages

  • The cable is not detachable
  • Cheap-looking inline controller
  • Flimsy micro USB connection

Razer Kraken Tournament Edition Gaming Headset

Razer Kraken Tournament Edition Gaming Headset

Editor’s Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Razer Kraken Tournament Edition wouldn’t be our first choice in this price range (mostly because of the audio performance) but it’s a decent and versatile surround sound gaming headset with a great microphone.

Impressions

Razer Kraken Tournament comes along with a USB dongle and user manual. The headset has an undetachable cable (4.7ft long) with inline controls (volume and mic-mute). The USB dongle comes with a 7ft long undetachable cable.

Razer Kraken Tournament Edition headset is quite bulky and heavy (0.9lb). It’s also sturdy and feels solid. There are some plastic parts but the headband frame is made of metal which is reassuring and gives the impression they can survive occasional dropping.

We have some mixed feelings about comfort. The paddings are thick and the weight is nicely distributed but the clamping force could be too strong, especially if you have a large head. This is not something you should neglect. Razer Kraken Tournament Edition headset is not the best choice for long gaming sessions.

The controls are simple and intuitive. You have dual mic-mute and volume controls – there’s a small inline controller on the cable and mic and volume controls on the USB dongle. The USB dongle has two additional control buttons/dials – chat/game volume mixer and THX surround sound switch. The controls are simple and perfectly responsive. If the headset is connected to your PC, you can install the Razer Synapse app which gives you more freedom and allows you to customize surround sound, stereo reproduction, and mic settings. The app is very user-friendly.

Surround sound performance is good but not as immersive as with some other headsets. You can adjust surround sound to your likings through the app (only when the headset is connected to your PC) and get slightly better performance and more immersive experience.

In stereo mode, especially when the headset is connected to a gaming console and when you can’t play with the EQ settings and presets, the sound is not on par with the price. You can find quite a few cheaper headsets with a better audio reproduction. The sound is too bassy which could be a problem if you are playing a game with lots of explosions. Strong explosion sounds could be immersive but you still need to stay aware of your enemies if you want to win. Too much bass emphasis is never good for gaming.

What we really liked about this headset is the mic performance. The microphone is retractable but not detachable.  Your voice will be loud and clear on the other end and there will be no static noise. The mic also delivers exceptional performance in loud environments and isolates a great chunk of ambient noise.

Advantages

  • Great versatility – made for PC but compatible with PS4, Xbox One, and Mac
  • Very good construction quality
  • Simple controls + dual volume and mic-mute controls
  • Pretty good surround sound experience (when connected to a PC)
  • Simple and user-friendly Razer Synapse app
  • Great mic performance

Disadvantages

  • Bulky
  • Comfort issues – too strong clamping force
  • Mediocre sound quality in stereo mode

Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma Sound

Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma Sound

Editor’s Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Here is another headset from the Razer Kraken series. This one is a little bit pricier than the previous Razer headset. In terms of performance, it’s not much different from the Kraken Tournament Edition but it’s not as versatile (not compatible with Xbox One) and it lacks some important features (like the physical volume controls) which, in our opinion, makes it worse than the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition headset.

Impressions

Inside the package, you’ll find your headset with an undetachable cable, the user manual, and 1-year warranty.

In terms of design, Kraken Chroma is very similar to the Kraken Tournament Edition – it’s the same kind of headband and the same shape and size. Like many other gaming headsets, Kraken Chroma is a bit bulky. The most interesting difference (compared to the Tournament Edition) is the LED lighting on the cups.

The construction quality is satisfying for a gaming headset at this price point. The frame is made of metal. A combination of metal and plastic was used for the earcups.

Like the previous Razer headset, Razer Chroma is a little bit tighter than some other gaming headsets and that could cause some fatigue after a few hours of gaming. Other than that, we have no complaints. The paddings are thick and they get softer over time. The earcups can swivel a little bit which improves breathability and allows them to adjust to the shape of your head. The weight is equally distributed.

The cable coming out of the left earcup is not detachable and it ends with a USB connector. The headset is certified for PC and Mac but it’s also compatible with PS4. Still, you’ll get much more freedom and more customization options when the headset is connected to your computer (thanks to the Razer Synapse gaming software). You are supposed to use this software to configure surround sound and other settings the first time you plug it in. The software allows you to adjust EQ settings, mic settings (sensitivity, volume, noise reduction), and lighting settings. The software is simple and intuitive.

What surprised us the most was the lack of physical volume controls. This headset doesn’t actually have a good control scheme and it’s practically one of the ‘’cleanest’’ gaming headsets on the market. The mic-mute button is located at the very tip of the microphone and that’s the only control button on this headset.

The surround sound performance is accurate and immersive. Playing FSP games like Half-Life 2, Counter-Strike or Call of Duty becomes much more fun with the virtual surround. When connected to a PS4, the headset delivers only stereo sound. The sound is quite bass-heavy in stereo mode which is not a great thing when there’s a lot of explosions since it reduces your awareness but it’s still really fun and immersive. You can play with the EQ settings and try to fine-tune the sound and get clearer midrange.

The microphone is one of the best things about this headset. It delivers perfectly clear sound and it isolates a great amount of ambient noise. We didn’t like the fact that it doesn’t have the auto-mute feature – it will not mute automatically when you retract it.

Advantages

  • Made for PC and Mac
  • Compatible with PS4
  • Good build quality
  • Foldable design, chroma lighting
  • It delivers surround sound when connected to a PC or Mac
  • Very user-friendly gaming software
  • Pretty good sound quality in stereo mode with a strong bass emphasis

Disadvantages

  • Comfort issues – too tight and bulky
  • There are no physical volume controls (you have to use the Razer Synapse to adjust the volume)
  • Not compatible with Xbox One

Turtle Beach Stealth 600

Turtle Beach Stealth 600

Editor’s Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Turtle Beach Stealth 600 is a great-sounding wireless surround sound gaming headset. The headset is available in two versions – PS4 and Xbox One version. They look and perform exactly the same, but you can’t connect the Xbox version to your PS4 and can’t connect the PS4 version to your Xbox. Both versions are compatible with a PC. The PS4 headset comes with a USB dongle while the Xbox version doesn’t come with one and you have to buy it separately if you want to connect the headset to your PC. Stealth 600 for Xbox One connects to the Xbox the same way the Xbox wireless controller does. We have tested the Xbox version.

Impressions

Inside the box, you’ll only find your headset, charging cable, and user manual. It’s not a very rich packaging.

Stealth 600 features the recognizable Turtle Beach design. The headset is kind of bulky. It’s not too heavy, it’s just big. The materials are not very premium. The headset is mostly made of plastic and it doesn’t look very solid. Because of all that plastic, it looks really cheap and fragile. We are particularly worried about the hinges. The headset can certainly withstand the rigors of everyday use but it’s definitely not the most durable gaming headset on the market.

The manufacturer really made this headset almost perfect for long gaming sessions. The paddings are soft and thick. The ear cushions have some kind of sports mesh finish which allows the air to circulate and improves breathability. The earcups can rotate and the headband is adjustable. The clamping force is strong enough to make the headset stable, but not too strong to cause fatigue. All in all, Stealth 600 is a super-comfy headset.

The headset connects only to the Xbox One and it has no additional connections. Not even an AUX port. So, it’s not versatile at all. You can make it compatible with your PC if you buy an additional adapter.

The control scheme is perfect for gaming. You have two dials on the left earcup – volume dial and chat dial. On the outer end of the left earcup, there are two buttons – power and mode (EQ/sound mode button). The controls are perfectly responsive and the volume dials are not too sensitive.

Wireless connection is very stable and reliable. The range is almost 50ft. The headset can deliver up to 16 hours of wireless gaming and it can be used while charging. The recharge takes 2-3 hours.

The audio performance is quite immersive. Surround sound is interesting but it doesn’t really improve the awareness that much (compared to stereo sound). The sound in stereo mode is surprisingly good and well-balanced. The bass is thick and punchy, the mids are detailed and clear, and the highs lack a little bit of detail but are very much enjoyable. This headset is actually quite good when it comes to music reproduction and it’s a shame that it doesn’t have an AUX input.

Stealth 600 has a short flip-up omnidirectional mic. We were not impressed by the mic performance since it lacks a little bit of airiness and fullness and it doesn’t handle the noise as good as some other headsets in this price range. Still, your voice will be clear and intelligible on the other end, and that’s the most important thing. We also liked the auto-mute (the mic mutes when you flip it up) and mic monitoring features.

Advantages

  • Very comfortable
  • Simple and easy-to-use controls
  • Hassle-free installation
  • Stable and reliable wireless connection
  • Up 16 hours of wireless gaming per one charge
  • Very good surround sound and great stereo sound
  • Decent mic performance

Disadvantages

  • Poor construction quality (entirely made of plastic)
  • Poor versatility – compatible with Xbox One only
  • The microphone doesn’t handle the ambient noise well

Best 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headsets Under $200

LucidSound LS41

LucidSound LS41

Editor’s Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

LucidSound is a young gaming equipment manufacturer but their headsets are already very popular among gamers. Their LS41 headset is one of the latest and most versatile wireless surround sound gaming headsets made by this manufacturer. It works with PC, Mac, PS4, and Xbox One. It can also be connected to your phone and used on the go. On top of great versatility, the headset delivers pretty good performance in surround sound mode and a bass-heavy sound in stereo mode.

Impressions

The headset comes along with a detachable boom mic, USB wireless adapter, TOSLINK cable, charging cable, AUX cable, and user manual.

The headset is sleek and stylish but not as flashy as some other gaming headsets. It looks more like an ordinary pair of headphones.

The build quality is good but there’s a room for improvement. The frame is made of some kind of aluminum alloy but there are a lot of plastic parts (hinges, earcups). LS41 looks and feels solid, but reinforcing some parts with metal would make it even better.

The comfort is not an issue with this headset. The manufacturer did everything right – the headband padding and the earpads are super-comfy, the headset itself is light, and there are no obvious pressure points. The clamping force is perfectly acceptable and it won’t crush your skull. In fact, the headset is just a little bit loose, especially if you have a smaller head. That’s perfectly fine if you are going to use it for gaming but it could be a problem if you are going to use it on the go.

The control scheme is truly unique and it’s definitely designed for gaming. The earcups are actually wheels/dials and the logos the earcups are actually buttons. The dial on the right cup is used to control the chat volume and the LS button is used to mute the mic. The dial on the left cup is used to control the game/master volume, and the LS button is used to mute the volume or answer call (when the headset is connected to your phone). The power/pairing button is located on the left earcup, and the EQ button is located on the right earcup. The controls are not perfectly intuitive and it takes some time to get used to them.

Unlike some other gaming headsets, this one doesn’t come with a gaming software. The controls on the earcups are all that you have which makes the use simpler but some gamers like playing with EQ, mic and surround sound settings.

LS41 is designed for PS4 but it’s also compatible with PC, Mac, and Xbox One. This is the first headset on the list that can deliver virtual surround sound when connected to a PS4 and Xbox One. Depending on the soundcard, you can get surround sound when the headset is connected to your computer but, in most cases, you will only get stereo sound. In order to get surround sound on your computer, you need an expensive soundcard with a TOSLINK port. When connecting the headset to your console/computer, you are supposed to plug in the USB adapter into the USB port on your console and then connect the console to the USB adapter via TOSLINK cable. After that, you have to adjust some audio settings (devices, output) which is not perfectly intuitive but, luckily, the manufacturer made a nice step-by-step tutorial for every console. Connecting the headset to your PC/Mac is trickier than connecting it to PS4 or Xbox One (especially if you want to enjoy surround sound).

The headset is completely wireless (chat + game) when used with PS4, PC, and Mac. When connected to Xbox One, the headset delivers the game audio wirelessly but, if you want to use the microphone, you will have to connect the headset to the Xbox controller via AUX cable. LS41 can deliver up to 16 hours of playtime. The recharge takes up to 5 hours and you can use it while charging.

Virtual surround sound is immersive and definitely makes the gaming experience much better. When used in stereo mode, the headset is a little bit bassy, but it’s still very enjoyable.

LS41 features two mics. It’s recommended to use the detachable one for gaming since it offers better performance. The built-in mic is designed for use on the go. The detachable mic delivers excellent performance. The voice is perfectly clear and full-bodied and the ambient noise is reduced to a minimum.

Advantages

  • Compatible with PS4, PC, Mac, Xbox One, mobile phones, etc.
  • Good construction quality
  • Great comfort
  • Unique and interesting control scheme
  • Wireless – the battery delivers up to 16 hours of playtime
  • It can deliver surround sound when connected to PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Mac
  • Decent sound quality in stereo mode (a little bit bassy)
  • Dual mics (one built-in mic + one detachable mic)
  • Excellent microphone quality (handles the noise very well and delivers perfectly clear voice)

Disadvantages

  • The setup process is not very intuitive
  • No Bluetooth connectivity

SteelSeries Arctis 7 (2019 Edition)

SteelSeries Arctis 7

Editor’s Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

SteelSeries Arctis 7 is one of our favorites when it comes to price/value ratio. At this price point (slightly under $130), Arctis 7 is one of the best options. This is a very versatile wireless gaming headset. It delivers excellent audio performance and has an incredible battery life.

Impressions

The headset comes in a rich packaging along with a USB wireless adapter, proprietary charging cable, 3.5mm to TRRS adapter cable, and user manual.

The design is recognizable and very similar to other headsets from the Arctis series. The headset is solid but still flexible. It feels like it can survive all the rigors of everyday gaming.  

We have no major complaints regarding comfort. The headset has very thick and large earpads and adjustable headband (tension band). The earcups are rotatable. The clamping force is moderate – it’s strong enough to provide great stability but not too strong to cause any discomfort. Some kind of cloth material is used for earpad finish – it enables better breathability and improves comfort.

The headset is quite versatile. It can be wirelessly connected to a PC and PS4. When connected to Xbox One, it will deliver wireless audio but you have to connect the headset to the Xbox controller if you want chat audio. The headset also supports wired connection (3.5mm and TRRS).

The control scheme is simple and intuitive. On the left cup, there’s the game volume dial and mute button, and on the right cup, there’s the chat volume dial and power/pairing button.

If you want to play with the sound and mic settings you should install the SteelSeries Engine gaming software.

In wireless mode, the headset offers great connection quality with negligible latency and impressive wireless range (up to 60ft). The battery life is really amazing – you’ll get almost 25 hours of wireless gaming on a single charge. The recharge takes less than 4 hours and you can play while the battery is charging.

Arctis 7 will deliver surround sound when connected to a PC (you should activate the surround sound mode through the SteelSeries Engine software). It’s immersive, entertaining, and it really helps you improve your awareness and positioning.

When connected to gaming consoles (PS4 and Xbox One) the headset will deliver stereo sound. Sound in stereo mode is balanced and accurate. The bass is punchy, the midrange is almost flat, and some high frequencies are too emphasized which could cause some sibilance but it’s not fatiguing or painful. Imaging is very accurate which is perfect for gaming. The soundstage is quite wide for a closed-back headset.  All in all, the sound is very good in stereo mode.

The microphone is not detachable. It’s retractable and it delivers a really good performance. Your voice will be perfectly clear and airy on the other end. The mic handles the ambient noise better than the majority of gaming headsets on the market.

Advantages

  • Compatible with PC, PS4, and Mac
  • Very good construction quality
  • Great comfort
  • Simple and intuitive control scheme
  • Great connection versatility – wireless (USB adapter, 3.5mm, TRRS)
  • Wireless – stable connection, negligible latency, 60ft range
  • Useful and simple SteelSeries Engine gaming software
  • The headset delivers an immersive surround sound experience when connected to a PC
  • Balanced sound with a punchy bass in stereo mode
  • Excellent mic quality and noise handling

Disadvantages

  • No Bluetooth connectivity
  • Limited compatibility with Xbox One when used wirelessly (wireless game audio, wired chat audio)

PlayStation Platinum Wireless Headset

PlayStation Platinum Wireless Headset

Editor’s Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Platinum Wireless headset is specially designed for PS4 and PS3 but it’s also compatible with PC. The headset offers fairly decent performance and 3D sound but it would not be our first choice when it comes to wireless headsets. SteelSeries Arctis 7, for example, is just a few bucks pricier, but it has a much longer battery life and wireless range, it features better build quality and it’s more versatile. However, Play Station Platinum Wireless headset is not a bad buy. If you are looking for something that’s made specifically for your PS3 or PS4, this is the headset for you.

Impressions

The package is quite premium. You’ll get the headphones, USB wireless adapter, USB charging cable, AUX cable, and user manual.

Platinum wireless doesn’t look like other gaming headsets. It’s much sleeker and more stylish than the majority of other headsets on the market. It looks more like a stylish pair of regular headphones. It also doesn’t have an external mic – the mic is built inside.

The headset is not exactly the sturdiest and it doesn’t look very durable. It’s mostly made of plastic but it’s not cheap-looking. Still, you can get a better build quality at this price point.

Sony made a comfy headset. The headband is adjustable and the ear cushions are thick and plushy. The headset is relatively light, the weight is evenly distributed without any obvious pressure points. The cups can swivel a little bit. Finding the right fit is not going to be an issue. The only thing that could be a problem, especially for people with large heads, is the clamping force. The headset is a little bit tighter and could cause some fatigue and sweating. Still, we think it offers above-average performance when it comes to comfort.

The installation and setup are quite simple and you have everything nicely explained in the user manual.

All the controls are on the earcups. The control scheme is made for gamers but it’s not the most intuitive and it takes some time to get used to. Most of the buttons and inputs are on the left earcup. You have two separate volume controls (game and chat volume), SOUND/CHAT button (for mixing game and chat audio), power/audio mode switch, mic-mute/mic-monitoring button, charging port, and AUX input. The right cup houses only 3D SOUND button (activate/deactivate virtual surround sound). If you want even more control, you can download the Headset Companion app from the PlayStation Store and use it to play with different EQ presets or make your own EQ presets.

The headset is wireless but can be used as wired, too. Wireless connection works better on PS4 than on PC. We were not completely satisfied with the range and connection quality. If you stay within the line of sight, everything works perfectly fine and there are no issues of any kind. The advertised range is 35ft but you can get that far only if there are no obstacles between the headset and the console. The battery life is not the best – you can get up to 9h at moderate volumes. This is more than enough, even for crazy long gaming sessions but you can still get a much better playtime with other similarly priced headsets.

When everything works properly and when the surround sound audio track is played, the headset delivers incredible performance and brings the gaming experience to a whole new level. Even in stereo mode, unlike many other Sony headphones we’ve tested in the past, this headset doesn’t deliver bass-heavy audio. It’s more balanced and more natural. If you prefer bassy sound, you can boost the bass. This is, without a doubt, a great-sounding headset. Unfortunately, it will not deliver the same kind of performance when connected to a PC and it won’t deliver surround sound.

Instead of external gaming mic, the headset features dual noise-canceling mics. Their performance is only mediocre. The voice is loud and intelligible but not perfectly clear and full. Also, noise handling is not the best – the mic picks up a certain amount of ambient noise.

Advantages

  • Made for PS4
  • Compatible with PC
  • Decent build quality
  • Comfy enough for long gaming sessions (unless you have a large head)
  • All the controls you need are located on the earcups
  • Wireless connection + additional AUX input
  • Decent wireless connection quality, negligible latency, and 30ft of wireless range
  • 9 hours of playtime per one charge
  • Great surround sound performance and very good stereo performance

Disadvantages

  • The control scheme is not the most intuitive
  • Virtual surround sound is not available when connected to a PC
  • Mediocre mic performance

HyperX Cloud Revolver S

HyperX Cloud Revolver S

Editor’s Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Hyper X Cloud Revolver S is one of our favorites. We have liked almost every aspect of this headset’s performance. The only thing we didn’t like about it is the lack of wireless connectivity. Revolver S is one of the most solid and most comfortable gaming headsets on the market. It delivers great audio performance and has an excellent mic.

Impressions

The headset comes along with a detachable mic, USB controller box/soundcard, PC extension cable, and user manual.

The headset features the recognizable HyperX design. It’s kind of bulky and it’s maybe not the best-looking headset on the market, but it’s not ugly.

The construction quality is never an issue with HyperX headsets. This thing looks solid and durable. The frame and hinges are made of steel. The earcups are made of plastic but don’t look cheap or fragile.

We have practically no complaints when it comes to comfort. You have the same kind of self-adjustable headband we’ve seen on HyperX Cloud II. The earcups are really big and the padding is really soft and pleasant. We haven’t noticed any irritating pressure points. The clamping force is optimal for gaming – they are stable and don’t cause fatigue after long gaming sessions. Some ear sweating is inevitable due to closed-back design but it’s not alarming.

You won’t find any control buttons on the earcups or on the audio cable coming out of the left earcup. You can find all the buttons on the USB controller/sound card which is fine if you are going to connect the headset to your PC or PS4 but it’s not that great if the headset is connected to your Xbox One controller. The USB controller features the mic-mute and surround sound button, EQ button (you can choose between 3 EQ modes), and two volume dials (game volume and mic volume). Unfortunately, there is no gaming software that you can install and get more control over the sound and mic settings.

The headset offers great audio performance, especially in stereo mode. It’s so balanced and enjoyable with just the right amount of bass, clear vocals, detailed midrange, and sparkling highs. We have some mixed feelings about surround sound. When the game supports surround sound, the headset really does wonders. It makes the gaming experience much better and allows you to hear the tiniest details. If the game doesn’t support surround sound and you leave the surround sound activated, you will get some kind of tiny and odd sound. The USB controller tries to split 2-channel audio into surround sound and the result is not great. So, if the game supports stereo, you should disable surround sound on your headset.

The microphone is detachable. This is a simple unidirectional mic with a noise-canceling feature. The mic performance is above-average. The voice comes out clear and full-bodied. Noise-canceling is also great. The mic handles the noise incredibly well and almost completely eliminates it. The only bad thing about the mic is that it doesn’t support mic monitoring (sidetone).

Advantages

  • Made for PC but compatible with PS4 and Xbox One
  • It delivers surround sound when connected to PC and PS4
  • Great build quality
  • Very good comfort
  • Simple and easy-to-use controls
  • Simple setup
  • Very good surround sound performance
  • Great sound quality in stereo mode
  • Excellent mic quality and noise canceling

Disadvantages

  • It’s not wireless
  • There is no gaming app you can use to adjust sound and mic settings
  • The headset can’t deliver surround sound when connected to Xbox (only stereo)
  • Lacks mic monitoring (sidetone)

Logitech G935

Logitech G935

Editor’s Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

G935 is the latest and the most advanced wireless surround sound gaming headset made by the Logitech. This is, without a doubt, a great-sounding and very comfortable headset. It’s wireless, the sound and other things can be customized in many ways, and the controls are simple and responsive. Our complaints are mostly related to build quality and microphone.

Impressions

Inside the box, you’ll find the headset, USB wireless adapter, AUX cable, charging cable, and user manual.

In terms of design, G935 is quite similar to G933 and other G-series headsets made by the Logitech. The earcups are squarish and the whole headset is really bulky.

The construction quality is the only thing we don’t like about Logitech’s headsets. They simply look too plasticky – like a cheap Transformer toy. This specific headset has a steel frame and it doesn’t feel flimsy but it still looks cheap. Replacing some of the plastic parts with lightweight aluminum alloy (hinges, for example) would make this headset so much better.

We’ve had no issues with comfort. G935 is one of the bulkiest headsets on the market but it’s not too heavy. The weight is evenly distributed and the ear cushions are really big and soft. People with large ears will love this headset. The clamping force is strong enough to keep the headset in place but doesn’t cause any discomfort.

The control scheme is designed for gaming. All the buttons are located on the left cup. You have the volume button, mic-mute button, power button, and three multifunction buttons (G1, G2, G3) which can be used for many things. You can assign any function you want to these buttons through the latest G-Hub gaming software (only when the headset is connected to your PC). The headset is wireless but it also has an AUX input and can be connected to any audio source with AUX output.

G-Hub gaming software is available for Windows and Mac and allows you to control all kinds of EQ and mic settings. It can be quite handy but it cannot be used on consoles.

In wireless mode, the headset delivers impressive performance. It has an excellent range of up to 60ft (with obstacles). The connection is reliable and steady.

The battery is not that impressive. You’ll get up to 12 hours at 50% volume without the lighting. If you activate the lighting, you can get up to 8 hours. The recharge takes 3 hours. You can use the headset while charging but you can’t use the gaming software.

Surround sound is only available when the headset is connected to a Windows PC. When connected to gaming consoles and to Mac computers, the headset will deliver stereo sound. The sound quality is really good in both modes. Surround sound is super-immersive. It really gives you a great sense of space and allows you to hear your enemies before they hear you. Stereo sound is even better. It’s very accurate and balanced with a deep bass, clear mids, and sparkling highs.

We were not impressed by the mic performance. The voice is intelligible but not natural and clear. There is some kind of quiet static noise all the time. The mic ability to handle the noise is decent but not great. The mic is retractable, which is a nice thing if you don’t use it all the time. It features mic monitoring (sidetone) and auto-mute.

Advantages

  • Made for PC but compatible with Mac, PS4, and Xbox One
  • Delivers surround sound when connected to PC
  • Completely wireless (game + chat) when connected to PC, Mac, and PS4
  • Very good comfort
  • Simple control scheme
  • Very useful G-Hub gaming software (only when connected to PC or Mac)
  • Great audio quality in Stereo and Surround modes

Disadvantages

  • Can’t deliver surround sound when connected to PS4, and Xbox One
  • When connected to Xbox One, it can deliver only wireless audio (no wireless chat)
  • Too plasticky
  • Mediocre mic quality

Best 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headsets Over $200

ASTRO Gaming A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro (PS4 Version)

ASTRO Gaming A40 TR Headset

Editor’s Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5)

ASTRO Gaming A40 TR Headset with MixAmp Pro is probably the best headset we’ve had the chance to test. The only real downside of this headset is that it’s not wireless. If you want a wireless version, you can try ASTRO Gaming A50. Also, the price could be a deal breaker.

There are two versions of this headset – the one for Xbox and the other for PS4. Both versions are compatible with PCs and they both offer the same kind of performance. We’ve tested the PS4 version.

Impressions

Inside a premium-looking box, you’ll find the headset, the MixAmp Pro, detachable microphone and a set of cables (3m long TOSLINK cable, 2m long AUX cable with inline mic-mute button, 3m long USB power/audio cable, and .5m long daisy chain cable).

You are not going to be blown away by the design. The headset looks simple, stylish, and a bit bulky. It’s still very recognizable. The thing we liked the most about the design is the fact that you can remove the earcup covers (they are magnetic) and switch from closed-back to open-back design in a second. You can also customize the look (color-scheme) of the headset by buying one of the available mod kits, or you can buy only the earcup covers. You can even design your own earcup covers. If you are really into gaming or into some specific games, you are going to love these customization options.

The build quality and comfort are truly amazing. The headset has a steel frame and feels very solid. It can definitely survive some serious abuse. There’s nothing to complain about when it comes to comfort. The headset is adjustable and the earcups can rotate. The paddings are not crazy thick but they are still comfy. The headset only looks bulky but it’s not that heavy compared to other gaming headsets. The clamping force is optimal – it provides great stability but doesn’t hurt your ears and it allows them to breathe. A40 TR headset is perfect for long gaming sessions.

The control scheme is very simple. You have no controls on the headset itself. There is only the mic-mute button on the detachable AUX cable connecting the headset to the MixAmp Pro. So, all the controls are located on the MixAmp Pro. There’s one huge volume dial and a smaller chat/game mixing dial. You also have three buttons – the power button (also used to select the mode – console or PC), EQ button (with four EQ presets), and Dolby surround sound button (enable/disable surround sound). If you want more control, you can download and install the Astro Command Center gaming software (available for Windows and Mac OS). This gaming software is so versatile and allows you to play with many EQ and mic settings, save your customized settings, and assign them as presets. We are perfectly happy with the amount of control and customization options you get with this headset.

The MixAmp Pro is the heart of the system. The headset features only 3.5mm port for connecting the audio cable and 2 mic ports (one on each earcup). On the back side of the MixAmp, there are TOSLINK input, stream port (for connecting recording equipment), and a micro USB port (when connected to a PS4, the MixAmp gets the power through this port and has to be connected to a USB port on your PS4). On the front panel, you’ll find one daisy chain input and one daisy chain output (for connecting multiple A40 TR headsets together), headset input/output, and an additional AUX input/output. Connecting everything takes just a few minutes.

This headset is not only good-looking, durable, and comfortable. It also sounds great. In fact, it’s probably the best on the market when it comes to surround sound simulation. The manufacturer somehow managed to make the surround sound effect so real. It’s natural, immersive, and it makes you more aware of your surroundings than other surround sound headsets.

When it comes to stereo reproduction, A40 TR is not perfect. The most noticeable flaw is the treble reproduction – it’s inconsistent, it lacks some brightness, and it could sound a bit dull. On the other hand, the biggest highlight is the midrange reproduction which is almost flawless. The imaging is extremely precise and the soundstage is quite wide for a pair of closed back headphones.

The microphone is detachable and you can connect it to either earcup since they both feature mic inputs. The mic performance is excellent. The voice is clear, full, and natural. It handles the noise extremely well. The mic also has auto-mute feature – if you want to mute it, you just have to flip it up.

Advantages

  • Compatible with PS4, PC, and Mac
  • Simple, stylish, and customizable design
  • Very good construction quality
  • Great comfort
  • Simple gaming-oriented control scheme
  • Simple setup
  • User-friendly and versatile ACC gaming software
  • Excellent surround sound performance and very good stereo performance

Disadvantages

  • Not fully compatible with Xbox
  • It’s not wireless

Audeze Mobius Premium 3D Gaming Headset

Audeze Mobius Premium 3D Gaming Headset

Editor’s Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Audeze has become famous for their planar magnetic headphones but those headphones are known for great audio reproduction and are primarily made for critical listening and for audiophiles. Audeze Mobius is the first surround sound gaming headset with planar magnetic drivers. It’s a good-looking, relatively comfortable, very versatile, and great-sounding gaming headset with Bluetooth connectivity. It’s feature-packed and it delivers pretty good performance but, to be completely honest, we’ve expected a little bit more at this price point.

If you really like this headset and like the set of features it offers, our suggestion is to wait a little bit more and be patient. The new Hyper X headset called Cloud Orbit S was launched at the CES 2019 and it will hit the market soon. This model looks almost exactly the same as Mobius and has a similar set of features but it’s supposed to be $100 cheaper.

Impressions

Audeze Mobius comes in a premium box. Besides the headset, you’ll get a detachable boom mic, USB-C to USB-A cable, USB-C to USB-C cable, AUX cable, hard carrying case, and user manual. Along with the Asus Rog Delta, Mobius is one of the rare gaming headsets with a USB-C connection.

The headset is made for PC and Mac, but it can be connected to PS4 and Xbox. If you want to connect it to PS4, you should use the USB-C to USB-A cable and you will be able to use all the features. If you want to connect it to Xbox One, you should use the AUX cable. This means that you won’t experience surround sound when the headset is connected to Xbox. So, to conclude, Mobius is fully compatible with PC, Mac, and PS4 but there are some limitations when it comes connection to Xbox One. In all these cases, it’s not recommended to use the Bluetooth connection for gaming. This is just a nice bonus feature and you can use it to pair the headset with your phone or some other Bluetooth-enabled device.

The build quality is not impressive and it’s not exactly on par with the price. They are well-made and feel solid but most of the parts are made of plastic and that’s not something you would expect when the headset is priced at $400.

Comfort is satisfying. Long-gaming sessions could cause some fatigue and ear sweating due to clamping force and closed-back design but the overall comfort is definitely above-average. The cups can rotate and swivel, the headband is adjustable, the headset is perfectly stable, and the paddings on the earcups are plushy. The headband padding is not huge but it’s located in the right place. The headset is a bit heavier but the weight is evenly distributed and you won’t feel any excessive pressure.

All the controls and inputs are located on the earcups. Actually, they are all on the left earcup. There are two buttons on the earcup cover – power/pairing button and mic-mute button. Along the rim, you will see the 3D button, mic input, USB-C input, AUX input, and two volume dials (game volume and chat volume).

If you want more control and if you are using the headset with your PC or Mac, you can install the Audeze HQ app. Besides the standard EQ features, this app allows you to adjust the sound to your head size and shape and to control the game with your head movements, which is a really fancy feature. You can assign a certain head movement to a certain keyboard command and activate this feature by moving your head. This is one of the reasons why this headset is so expensive. On the other hand, the app doesn’t offer some more common gaming settings like mic settings (sidetone, noise canceling).

The headset features wireless connection (via Bluetooth) but it’s not recommended to use Bluetooth connection for gaming which is strange since Mobius uses Bluetooth 5.0 with LDAC support (LDAC is low-latency codec developed by Sony). We have tried to use Bluetooth connection for gaming and it sounds pretty good (no noticeable latency) but it definitely doesn’t offer the same kind of surround sound performance. Bluetooth range is really great (up to 40ft with obstacles) and the connection is quite reliable (no cutting out or signal loss).

The battery life is, besides the build quality, the most disappointing feature. You will get up to 9 hours of playtime in Bluetooth mode (with 3D mode enabled). The recharge also takes long (up to 4h). The good thing is that you can use the headset while charging.

One of the things we really liked about Audeze Mobius is surround sound effect (3D feature). Mobius is one of the best gaming headsets on the market when it comes to surround sound simulation. It’s unique, immersive, and allows you to easily pinpoint the direction the sound is coming from.

The audio reproduction is really good in stereo mode (without the 3D feature). The bass and midrange are almost perfectly balanced. The midrange reproduction is the greatest highlight. The only complaint is the treble reproduction which is not bad but it lacks some detail and sparkle.

The microphone is perfect. The voices are clear and full-bodied. The mic performance is equally great when there is some noise around you – the noise canceling feature works like a charm.

Advantages

  • Great versatility – made for PC and Mac but compatible with PS4 and Xbox One
  • Satisfying comfort
  • Simple and gaming-oriented control scheme
  • 3 connection types – USB-C (digital), AUX (analog), Bluetooth
  • Audeze HQ app is very user-friendly and offers some really great advanced features
  • Reliable and capable Bluetooth connection (Bluetooth 5.0 with LDAC support, 40ft range)
  • Immersive surround sound performance and great stereo performance
  • Exceptional mix performance – great voice clarity and noise canceling

Disadvantages

  • Too plasticky for a $400 headset
  • Surprisingly short battery life considering the price (8-9 hours of playtime per one charge)
  • Limited compatibility with the Xbox One

This is the end of our list of 20 best 7.1 surround sound gaming headsets. If you haven’t found anything you like on the list, check out our short buyer’s guide. You can find here a few tips on what to look for when buying a surround sound gaming headset.

Buyer’s Guide – What to Look for When Buying a Surround Sound Gaming Headset

There’s a lot of features and specs you can take in consideration but let’s try to keep it simple. Here are the most important things.

Price

As you can see, the prices vary a lot. The cheapest surround sound headsets are priced at $20 but there are also some models (like the Audeze Mobius or Astro A40) that cost more than $200 or even more than $300.

If you are on a budget and you can’t spend more than $50, it’s probably smart to stick to reputable brands (like Logitech G430 or Corsair HS60). There are many generic headsets priced under $50 but most of them are actually just odd-sounding stereo headsets. We’ve been pretty surprised by the Mpow EG3 headset and the performance it delivered – it would be our top pick if you can’t spend more than $30.

Things like compatibility and versatility could raise the price. So, if you want something that can be connected to multiple gaming platforms (PC, Xbox, PS3 or PS4, etc.), you will have to pay more. Also, if you want additional features like wireless connectivity or EQ settings (EQ presets), you will have to pay even more.

Most of the headsets under $100 are wired (USB connection) but there are also some decent wireless models (like CORSAIR Void PRO RGB Wireless). Our top picks in this price range are HyperX Cloud II and SteelSeries Arctis 5 2019 Edition.

If you are prepared to pay more than $100 or up to $200, you can find a few incredibly versatile wireless headsets that are compatible with all kinds of gaming platforms. When it comes to wireless headsets, our favorite would be LucidSound LS41. If you don’t mind the wires, you should try the SteelSeries Arctis 7 and HyperX Cloud Revolver S (both priced under $130).

If you don’t have any kind of limit when it comes to budget, you could spend almost $400 on Audeze Mobius surround sound headset and get an impressive audio quality provided by planar magnetic drivers.

The Number of Drivers – True VS Virtual Surround Sound

Basically, you can divide all the surround sound headsets into two groups – true and virtual surround sound headsets.

Most of the headsets have only two drivers (they are basically stereo headsets) but, thanks to some software tricks and hardware add-ons, they can simulate surround sound. Some of them can do a pretty good job.

The other group are true surround sound gaming headsets. They have multiple drivers installed in each cup and each driver represents one channel. This kind of driver arrangement is supposed to deliver the kind of experience you would get with a real surround sound system but the drivers are simply too close to each other to create that kind of experience. More expensive true surround sound headsets are not crappy but they don’t really offer a much better experience than the same priced virtual surround sound headsets.

Connection Type – Versatility and Compatibility

Some headsets are designed for one gaming console and they cannot work with others. If you want to use your headsets across different platforms, you should be looking for something more versatile (always check the compatibility list before buying the headset).

AUX, USB, and wireless (Bluetooth or proprietary Wi-Fi) are the most common connection types. Some headsets also support digital optical (TOSLINK) connection. Depending on the consoles you want to connect your headset to, you will be looking for a different type of connection. One more thing – the headsets with only 3.5mm jack cannot deliver surround sound. You see, there’s a limit when it comes to the number of audio channels you can get with a certain connection type and the limit for AUX connection are two channels (stereo sound). So, if a headset is advertised as virtual surround sound headset and if it only supports AUX connection, the headset can’t deliver surround sound (some manufacturers would say anything to sell their products). It’s up to you to understand the capabilities of each connection type and recognize false advertisements. This mostly applies to the cheapest generic headsets so be careful when buying headsets under $30 (things like RUNMUS, INSMART, ONIKUMA, and other generic brands). We are not saying these headsets don’t offer a decent stereo sound for the price. We just want to say that they are advertised as surround sound but they can’t deliver surround sound.

Always be sure to check which types of connection are supported by your gaming console or PC.

Mic Quality

The mic is very important if you are into team-based multiplayer games or esports. If you are only going to use your headset for single-player sessions, you don’t really need it and you don’t have to pay any attention to mic quality.

Most of the mics on gaming headsets are unidirectional. Unidirectional means they can only pick up the sound coming from one direction. So, if you place it right in front of you, they will only pick up your voice and all the other environmental noises will be eliminated.

Some more expensive headsets have bidirectional mics. These mics can pick up the sound from the front and back. This doesn’t sound like a great idea but it actually is. These mics boost the low-end and volume of all the sound sources that are less than 8in away (like your voice) and isolate the environmental sounds. That way, they make your voice clearer and richer. If you have the money, go for the bidirectional mic.

Noise cancellation

Active noise canceling is desirable but not absolutely necessary. Most of the closed back headsets will passively isolate a great chunk of ambient noise, and if you crank up the volume just a little bit, you won’t hear any ambient noise.

It’s much more important to get a noise-canceling mic – other players don’t want to hear your mom or your girlfriend yelling at you because you forgot to throw out the thrash.

Comfort – Open Back VS Closed Back, Weight, Earpads, Headband

Comfort is essential for gamers. If you are going to wear the headset for multiple hours without taking it off, you really need to pay attention to comfort. There are many factors you should consider.

First of all, there’s the earcup design. You have two options – open-back or closed-back. If comfort is your only concern, the choice is pretty simple – go for the open-back headphones. They will enable much better airflow and won’t make your ears sweaty. Unfortunately, there are two important downsides of open-back headphones – they don’t isolate ambient noise and they leak a lot of sound. So, if keeping the volume down and not being distracted by the noise around you is important to you, you have no other choice but to buy closed-back headphones.

You should also pay attention to the weight combined with the headband and earpad paddings. You don’t have to look for the lightest headband on the market since it’s not all about the weight. Thick and soft paddings combined with good weight distribution and optimal clamping force can make a heavy headset incredibly comfortable. On the other hand, light headset with poor paddings, strong clamping force, and too small earcups can be incredibly uncomfortable, even painful. So, the secret is in finding the right combination.

One more thing – hearing or reading about someone else’s impressions regarding comfort is never the best way to know if you are going to like the headset (unless it’s extremely comfortable or extremely tight and painful). It would be best if you could try the headset if you have the chance.

Additional Features – EQ Presets and Settings, Bluetooth Connectivity

You can find some interesting additional features on pricier headsets. They are not essential for your experience but they can be useful. Having the ability to play with EQ settings if you don’t like original sound signature is always a plus. Some headsets have only EQ presets while the other will allow you to adjust different frequency bands and finetune the sound to your likings.

Bluetooth is another nice addition to the package. In most cases, Bluetooth is not used for connecting to your gaming console and it will only allow you to pair the headset with your phone and play some music or answer calls.

Sound Quality and Surround Sound Effect

This is, by far, the most important thing. All the other features are completely irrelevant if you don’t like the sound. It’s hard to say what’s the best kind of sound for gaming. Gaming is not the same thing as critical listening and you don’t really need a perfectly accurate and balanced sound. Some gamers would prefer a bit bassier sound. What’s more important for a gaming headset, especially for a surround sound gaming headset is to allow you to register which direction the sound is coming from and to enable perfect positioning.

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