Review of the Best Gaming Headset
We recently did a review on 3 popular headphones for gaming. We wanted to focus on gamers looking for good and cheap gaming headsets that cost below $50. The Sentey Arches, Sades and Turtle Beach Ear Force all offered exceptional value for money.
Today we’re going to spend some time on the top gaming headsets that cost between $50 to $100. For those of you with some extra room in your budget, this review opens up an even bigger range of gaming headsets for you to choose from.
We’ll focus on 3 popular headphones for gaming, and the first of these is a crowd favorite – the Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma.
Best Gaming Headset Under $100
1. Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma Gaming Headset
Before we begin, we want to highlight that Razer puts out 2 versions of the Kraken – the Kraken Pro and the Kraken 7.1 Chroma. The main difference between the two is the Chroma offers a 7.1 virtual surround sound engine for an immersive experience. For this reason, the Kraken 7.1 Chroma is considered a significant upgrade.
Another significant feature is the personalized audio calibration that can be customized through Razer’s Synapse configuration software. This allows the gamer to tweak the sound settings and reposition each surround sound channel, boost the bass response and even adjust the incoming voice channel. So whether you’re gaming, watching a movie or rocking out to some tunes, the Kraken 7.1 Chroma’s got you covered.
One unique upgrade and feature is the Chroma’s 16.8 million color options which allows you to customize the look of the Razer logo on the ear cups. You can set your own unique color palette, or choose preloaded lighting effects. You can even do spectrum cycling and cycle through the entire spectrum of 16.8 million colors. Now this is customization on an unheard-of level.
In terms of comfort, the Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma has a perfect weight balance, plush ear cushions and a comfortable head-band. It was designed for extended gaming sessions, so if you’re looking for a pair of comfortable headphones for gaming, the Razer Kraken is the one.
Other features include a fully retractable digital microphone that pulls out from the ear cup, a closed ear cup design for maximum sound isolation, and foldable ear cups.
The Kraken 7.1 Chroma works with PC, Mac and PlayStation 4 as well. Some of you might find the Chroma color option gimmicky, but the Kraken’s 7.1 surround sound and plush head-band makes it one of the best gaming headset under $100.
- Drivers: 40mm neodymium drivers
- Frequency Response: 20Hz–20kHz
- Impedance: 32Ω
- Sensitivity at 1kHz: 112dB
- Output Power: 30mW
- Connector: Gold plated USB
- Cable Length: 2m/6.56ft braided USB cable
- Approximate Weight: 340g (including 2.0m cable)
2. HyperX Cloud Gaming Headset
The HyperX is a little-known gaming headset designed by Kingston in Sweden and favored by elite gaming teams (Team Liquid and SK-Gaming). There are two features that make it stand out as a favorite among gamers.
First, the HyperX Cloud comes with massive 53mm drivers. For comparison, even most audiophile headphones ship with 40mm drivers. So why 53mm? With larger drivers, you get a wider frequency response and better sound quality. In a nutshell – crystal-clear bass, mids, highs and an enhanced bass response.
Of course larger drivers means larger headphones, which can be impractical for audiophiles who just want to listen to music. For gamers, this isn’t much of a concern. Yes, looks do matter but gamers usually prioritise performance, and for that reason the 53mm driver is an excellent upgrade.
The second thing I like about the HyperX Cloud is the memory foam ear pads that are interchangeable. The’re made from leatherette and come with an extra set of velour ear cups so you can switch them out according to your preference. The ear pads are very comfortable and great at isolating noise.
Other features include a braided cable that’s tangle-free, a detachable microphone, and travel accessories such as an airplane adapter and mesh bag. The HyperX Cloud is also compatible with PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
It may not look as cool as the Razer Kraken 7.1, but the HyperX Cloud offers a ton of features that ranks it as one of the top gaming headsets.
- Drivers: 53mm
- Frequency Response: 15Hz-25kHz
- Impedance: 60Ω
- SPL: 98±dB
- T.H.D.: < 2%
- Microphone Transducer Type: Condenser
- Polar Pattern: Cardioid (Unidirectional)
- Cables: Tangle-free braided cables with inline volume and mic-mute controls
3. Logitech G430 Dolby 7.1 Gaming Headset
I almost hesitated on including the Logitech G430 as it was barely over $50. But stack it up against the Razer Kraken and you have a good and cheap gaming headset alternative with a 7.1 surround sound engine. So if you want a quality gaming headset without spending too much, the G430 is your choice.
The Logitech G430 comes with an immersive Dolby 7.1 surround sound system that puts you in the center of a 360-degree sound field. This means you get seven discrete channels of audio for hearing every sound detail as the game developer intended. The speakers are 40mm neodymium drivers – similar to the Razer Kraken.
The ear cups feature a sport-cloth material to reduce moisture and heat build-up. They can be removed for easy cleaning and swivel up to 90 degrees for the perfect fit.
The G430’s noise-canceling mic is not detachable like the HyperX Cloud, however it does fold up so you can keep the mic out of the way when you’re not talking. An in-line remote is provided for volume adjustment and muting. The Logitech G430 works with PC, PS4 and Xbox.
Would we recommend the G430 to gamers? You bet. It’s lightweight, immersive and at just over $50, is a good and cheap gaming headset with plenty of features.
- Drivers: 40mm
- Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
- Impedance: 32Ω
- Sensitivity: 90dB SPL/mW
- Mic Pickup Pattern: Cardioid (Unidirectional)
Final Thoughts: Headphones for Gaming
So which gaming headset should you pick? If price is your concern, then the Logitech G430 offers great value for money. With Dolby 7.1 built-in, the G430 is a reliable headset that won’t set you back by much. It’s no wonder the G430 is a top-selling and best gaming headset on the market.
For those who prefer something with a bit more edge, the Razer Kraken 7.1 is an excellent choice. It’s the best surround sound gaming headset that can be customized with Razer’s Synapse software, and the adjustable Chroma lighting effects makes this a good gaming headset under $100. Razer is known for creating excellent gaming peripherals, and its headphones are no exception.
The Kingston HyperX Cloud straddles the line between the Logitech G430 and the Razer Kraken. For the gamer who prefers practicality, its 53mm driver, interchangeable earpads and detachable microphone offers the most value for money.
Ultimately it really depends on what you want. If you only game at home, the HyperX Cloud is a great choice. If you game with friends or compete a lot outside, the Razer Kraken 7.1 might complement your style. For the budget-conscious gamer looking for a good and cheap gaming headset, the Logitech G430 is probably your safest bet.
Our Top Choice:
Best Gaming Headset: Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma