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What features make the best gaming headphones without a mic? Like any product in the best gaming headset category, the best gaming headphones without a mic should, first of all, have excellent audio quality with faithful, detailed sound across a wide frequency range. They should also excel at producing directional sound, so you get positional accuracy from in-game sounds.
Whether they’re wired and wireless, gaming headphones should offer great ergonomics and fit for all different head sizes — you’ll even find gaming headsets for those with big heads. They should come with adjustable headbands and dense, quality foam padding. Finally, most of the top-rated over-the-ear headphones for gaming have features to dampen ambient noise.
You might want a new pair of headphones without a microphone for gaming if you already use a desktop microphone or if you’re planning to use a headset for gaming and a separate set of high-quality headphones for listening to the sounds of your favorite games. Competitive gamers and streamers often prefer to use a standalone microphone with a pop filter and background noise cancellation and thus may want a set of gaming headphones without a mic.
Keep reading to learn more about how to choose the best gaming headphones without a mic for your gaming experience.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This model offers durability and comfort for users that spend a lot of time playing games or listening to music. Thanks to the multifunctional input, users can take this pair from their gaming PC to their bedroom music production setup without losing sound quality.
The OneOdio Pro-10 gaming headset is a fantastic pick for users looking for a versatile device for games, music, and enjoying their favorite streaming media. Thanks to the multiple included cables, users can utilize this headset across game consoles, PC, or music production equipment. While the dual-sided cable is a bit short, it keeps this headset compatible with devices that support 3.5mm jacks and other devices, like music equipment that utilize 6.35mm audio connections.
In addition to versatility, the OneOdio Pro-10 gaming headset provides users with a rich soundstage and great overall comfort for long gaming sessions. The 50mm neodymium driver inside each earpiece delivers a great dynamic range that gives users a greater sense of immersion and positional awareness in their favorite games. Additionally, users can share their music and movies with others without removing their headphones thanks to the share port technology and the multiple audio inputs in the headphones.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This excellent headset features great sound and comfortable all-around padding for users who want to stay immersed in their favorite experiences for hours at a time. Thanks to the removable cord and folding design, users will love the portability of this model.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x gaming headset is a stellar pick for users looking for portability and great sound quality. This over-the-ear headset features thick padding on the earpads and headband to deliver fantastic comfort over long hours of gaming or enjoying music. Thanks to the folding design, users can wear these headphones around their neck, or choose to fold them up and place them in the included carrying pouch. While the soundstage is a bit narrow, this unit provides excellent positional audio so users can pinpoint areas of interest in games or movies.
In addition to great sound and portability, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x gaming headset provides users with multiple cables to fit any occasion. This model includes a coiled audio cord that rests at 1.2m and stretches to 3m long to keep you mobile at a desk. Additionally, users enjoy two normal audio cords and a 6.3mm audio jack adapter for plugging this headset into music equipment or a professional podcast setup.
Award: BEST FOR CASUAL GAMERS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This headset features excellent padding and an open headband to promote breathability and comfort over long gaming sessions. Additionally, the extended cable allows users to sit back on the couch or in their office without feeling restricted.
The Panasonic RP-HT161-K gaming headset is an excellent choice for users looking for decent sound quality with excellent comfort for hours of gaming or audiobooks around the house. The massive audio cable is 6.5 feet, so users can freely sit back or move around their office without feeling restricted. While the dynamic range is limited, users looking for decent audio for movie nights or casual gaming will enjoy the immersive sound stage this headset has to offer.
In addition to cable length and decent sound quality, the Panasonic RP-HT161-K gaming headset focuses on comfort for users that need all-day listening for passing time at work or a restful afternoon. Additionally, this full-sized headset provides users with over-the-ear earpads that deliver good sound isolation and great padding. The plush-padded earpads compliment the easily adjustable headband that ensures users can find their preferred fit. Lastly, this headset offers wide compatibility thanks to the 3.5mm audio jack connection.
Award: BEST FOR COMPETITIVE GAMERS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This unit features comfortable all-around padding and excellent build quality to provide users with a rich audio experience that will last for hours at a time. This pair of headphones features a retractable mic and a great soundstage for keeping in contact with your team during a heated battle.
The SteelSeries Arctis 3 gaming headset is a compelling pick for users who value premium build quality and occasional chats with friends. This over-the-ear model features durable lightweight materials to ensure a secure fit on most users that won’t get uncomfortable after multiple hours in the game. The headband suspension features ski goggle material to contour to a user’s head and promotes a balanced fit. While the cord length isn’t very long, it gives users more than enough length for plugging into a PC or modern gaming controller.
In addition to a comfortable headband and a serviceable cord length, the SteelSeries Arctis 3 delivers a fantastic soundstage for users looking for increased immersion in their favorite games. The S1 speaker drivers deliver a balanced soundscape for positional audio and stereo surround sound in movies, audio dramas, and games. Additionally, the retractable microphone easily extends for quick chats with friends, and the onboard controls give users supreme command over their audio and chat experience.
Award: BEST FOR VR GAMERS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This excellent headset features a comfortable over-the-ear design that keeps users immersed and aware in their favorite VR experiences. Thanks to the included adapter and long cord length, users will enjoy a headset that’s just as good in a music studio as it is in their favorite games.
The Sony MDR7506 gaming headset is an excellent pick for users who value sound quality across music, movies, and games. Thanks to the over-the-ear design this unit can easily fit over leading VR headsets to provide an immersive soundstage and enhanced positional awareness in your favorite games. Thanks to the astounding 9.8-foot cord, users can easily move around their office or home while listening to audiobooks or gaming soundtracks. While the ear padding isn’t very breathable, users will enjoy excellent comfort while they game or listen to music.
In addition to sound quality and cord length, the Sony MDR7506 gaming headset provides users with a versatile unit that is compatible with tons of devices. Thanks to the 3.5mm audio jack, you can use this headset on a PC, laptop, game console, or compatible smartphone. Additionally, this unit features a ¼ inch adapter so users can bring this headset to the studio or use them to quietly practice electronic music. Lastly, this unit features a folding design and carrying case so users can easily travel without damaging the headset.
Award: BEST FOR MULTIMEDIA
WHY WE LIKE IT: This innovative headset features a wide dynamic range and great build quality to provide users with a great all-around audio experience. Additionally, the thick padded earpads and headband will keep users comfortable for hours of extended use.
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO gaming headset is a fantastic choice for users who want a rich soundstage for their favorite games and media. This model features a strong build quality that will stand up to hours of use. Additionally, the thick earpads are replaceable and feature a soft velour that keeps users cool during intense gaming sessions. The excellent headband easily adjusts to fit most users and promotes a balanced fit. While the noise isolation isn’t the best, this model features an open-back design to deliver an enhanced soundstage.
In addition to comfort and breathability, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO gaming headset delivers an excellent listening experience across games, music, and movies. The open-back design gives an impressive sense of scale in games and enhances a user’s positional awareness during heated multiplayer matches. Additionally, the one-sided cable design lets users stay active at their desks or in a VR headset without getting tangled up in the long audio cable.
Gaming headphones without a mic are over-the-ear headphones specialized for gaming audio. Unlike the more common gaming headsets, these headphones don’t come with a built-in microphone, meaning that for games where two-way audio is essential, you’ll have to connect an external mic. However, these headsets usually produce much better sound quality.
As opposed to the typical cheap gaming headsets, gaming headphones without microphones lack a built-in mic. They also tend to have better audio quality than regular headsets for video games. Headphones deliver more realistic surround sound effects from their larger dynamic 2-channel drivers and produce crisp stereo sound. They pair well with desktop microphones and work alongside a standard headset mic.
Like gaming headsets in general, headphones without a mic tend to use some type of noise-canceling technology to help gamers maintain focus and reduce the impact of external noises. Also, like most gaming audio solutions, the best mic-less headphones offer high-quality audio, delivering subtle sound and pinpoint accuracy across a virtual “wide soundstage.”
As with other types of headsets, gaming headsets without mics can use wired or wireless headphones. Compared to regular headphones, gaming-focused models more often come with features designed to enhance the gaming experience on PCs or consoles such as Xbox One. Reduced lag and more aggressive active noise cancellation characterize some of the top-rated gaming headphones.
Gaming headphones connect to a console, PC, or other devices, using either a wired or wireless connection. They use stereo drivers with small but powerful speakers on each side, allowing them to simulate the effect of directional audio in gaming.
Wired headphones typically use a 3.5mm headphone jack, USB, or USB-C cable. Wireless gaming headphones use Bluetooth or WiFi and usually ship with a USB or Micro-USB charging cable.
Unlike most wireless gaming headsets, wired and wireless gaming headphones use over-the-ear speakers and, in this case, don’t come as a set with an attached microphone. Headphones can pair with a desktop microphone or a secondary wired or wireless headset for two-way communication.
Gamers and content creators often choose separate headphone sets for the sake of sound quality. Wired headphones for gaming may benefit from reduced input lag, and their larger driver size means they can often deliver a more immersive listening experience with deeper bass, more dynamic range, and better overall audio quality than you get from the average headset.
High-end gaming headphones use digital noise cancellation technology to help filter out unwanted sounds. Dual-chamber drivers, neodymium drivers, and a dedicated RF connection help deliver better acoustic properties such as frequency response, sound pressure level, detailed sound separation, and precise, positional audio.
Many of the top options for headphones without a mic also use faux leather headbands, soft memory foam ear cushions, and a design for ergonomic fitting. A comfortable padded headband can make for more comfortable wear over extended periods.
If your gaming setup already includes a high-quality microphone, you may want to skip the typical gaming headset choices and look for an audio solution that provides a higher quality of sound or a more comfortable design. Compared to headphones with microphones, those without often deliver a more comfortable experience when worn for long periods.
Serious gamers and streamers playing online multiplayer games that feature positional audio may also want to invest in a high-performance headphone set without a mic attachment so that they can get the most detailed audio possible. These headphones may offer a more expansive soundstage and produce a more immersive experience, boosting focus in competitive multiplayer game environments.
A new headphone for gaming set can boost the comfort level of your gaming time and provide high-resolution sound that allows you to better keep up with everything happening in the game.
If you have noisy roommates or family watching TV in the next room, a more dedicated set of comfortable headphones is especially important. Newer models have improved noise-canceling abilities as well as more textured, high-quality sound and a larger virtual “sound stage.” They may also have upgraded sound drivers and digital-analog conversion interfaces, allowing for clear detail with more natural sounds and less harmonic distortion.
Headphones, in general, last anywhere from a few years to decades, depending on their initial quality, use case, and storage conditions. Unlike wireless earbuds, wired analog gaming headsets aren’t limited to the lifetime of their built-in rechargeable batteries.
The parts that will wear out the fastest include the audio cable connection, earphone pivot, and speaker membranes. Sound drivers and headbands, by contrast, tend to be quite robust. Many analog gaming headsets feature a durable design with an aluminum or genuine leather headband, along with a heavy-duty braided cable that resists wear and tear. A coiled cable also tends to last longer since it won’t become kinked as easily.
Wireless headphones tend to last from a year to three years, depending on factors such as how often you travel with them, where you store them, and how often they recharge.
To prolong the life of all kinds of headphones, keep them on a dock or headphone rack if possible, and keep them away from moisture, excess heat, and very dusty environments. Avoid completely draining the batteries on wireless headphones, and try to plug and unplug wired headphones smoothly and gently.
To help choose the best gaming headset without a mic, experts suggest considering various factors, including what types of game you play, what systems and platforms you use, and whether you need a portable audio solution. In general, the best kinds of headphones without mics for gaming all feature a comfortable fit, great sound quality, and enough durability to handle extended gaming sessions.
Different types of headphones may work better for different types of gaming. These days, fast-paced online multiplayer games often feature directional sound, meaning you’ll want to consider headphones that deliver precise, positional audio. For mobile games, you might want lightweight headphones that prioritize comfort.
Device compatibility is another important factor in choosing the best headset without a mic for gaming. Wireless headphones pair more easily with mobile devices and some laptops, while traditional wired headphones work well on PCs and consoles with a built-in audio jack, USB ports, or USB-C ports.
Portability and ease-of-travel can be a consideration, too. If you often travel and use your gaming headphones for mobile or laptop gaming on the go, you might want to look for a set of lightweight headphones with a detachable cable for easier packing.
Streaming video creators and competitive gamers typically use some type of high-quality microphone for gaming. A separate mic and headset design may offer better sound and more flexibility, but you’ll want to make sure the devices sound good together.