Gaming Headset with 3.5 mm vs USB

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Updated June 27, 2022

When selecting a sounds system for your gaming experience, you have to consider whether you want a gaming headset with USB vs a 3.5 mm connection. One of these options includes a wired connection to your controller or computer for games, while the other provides a semi-wireless connection to the best gaming headset.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • A 3.5 mm wired gaming headset provides a cheaper alternative to expensive wireless headphone products while maintaining sound quality.
  • USB headphones plug directly into the USB sounds port on your device and leave it plugged in when you use the console or computer.
  • Wireless headsets sometimes experience connection interference not possible for a wired connection related to the connection frequency.

Just as there are differences between gaming headphones vs normal headphones, you notice significant differences in the games’ noises between a 3.5 mm headset and a USB product. These variations result from the interference, the connection itself, and the price of either type of headset.

Difference Between a Wired and USB Gaming Headset

Insider Tip

If you move while gaming, you might want to consider a wireless USB headset.

To understand more about gaming headphones, you should consider the difference between a gaming headset vs an office headset. Gaming headsets are designed for comfort and long-term utility when playing games. Additionally, gaming headphones may not prioritize background noise cancellation in the microphone, and an office headset may be designed for ease of use rather than comfort.

The biggest difference between a 3.5 mm headset and a USB product stems from the connection method. However, these types of headsets differ in not only noises, but also the amount of interference, the comfort, and the cost of each model.

Ease of Access

The preference between audio wired and wireless gaming headsets depends on the person and the system being used. For example, a console player may prefer a wireless headset to match their wireless controller. Likewise, a PC player may use a wired connection with an audio 3.5 mm connection because they are already tethered to one spot.

However, the opposite may be true since many console gamers never leave their controller behind. The benefit of a wireless controller, in this case, relies on the fact that you can plug your USB headset into the gaming device and leave it there whenever you want to use it. With a wired 3.5 mm audio connection, you may have to unplug the audio cable and keep track of it between uses.

Interference

Some popular brands of wireless headsets use the same radiofrequency, potentially causing interference for their users regardless of the sound card. For example, if you live in a household or apartment building with multiple gamers, you could run into trouble with your sound cutting in and out. However, there are ways to curb these issues related to short-range audio receivers and audio transmitters.

Analog headsets rarely receive interference in sound features because the sound travels directly between the device and your headset. However, the headset cable may wear out with time and use if you move a lot, causing the sound to cut out. For some, the cord may poke into their shoulder as they use a wired headset. Meanwhile, some wireless users may notice the larger ears on most gaming headsets, causing theirs to fall. These headsets rely on the device’s sound card instead of a new one related to the USB connection to audio.

Ultimately, you should consider what will be the most comfortable for you. For example, both types of headphones feature microphones that can be adjusted to sit directly in front of your mouth. Similarly, you can find band-adjustable headsets that adapt to the size of your head.

Price

Wireless headsets remain more expensive than wired products because of the technology included within that adds to prices. A wired connection sends the sound and voice signals using the cable provided, and they do not require the same type of receiver and transmitter.

A wireless headset requires a short-range sender and receiver signal transmitter. Because of this addition, USB products retain higher prices in exchange for comfort and range, much like Bluetooth-enabled devices.

Warning

A wireless gaming headset may be more comfortable for you, but it also costs more than a wired model.

F.A.Q.S

Is there an advantage in a USB headset vs a 3.5 mm jack headset?

The main advantages stem from comfort since most wired headsets have a similar audio quality to a wireless stereo headset for gaming. A USB sound card may outrank PC sound processing in terms of positional sound and control depending on the PC. However, some prefer wired connections for their convenience.


How does a USB headset work?

To use a USB headset, you plug your transmitter with the USB sound card into the USB port and turn on your headset. The connection should be immediate in this case, and the headset needs to be charged to work.


What is meant by a 3.5mm jack?

The 3.5 mm jack refers to the size of the audio connector, which remains common for phone jacks, audio jacks, and headphone jacks.



STAT: Most USB headsets include their own DAC (Digital to Analogue Converter) and amp as part of the headset, which bypasses the onboard soundcard on your PC. (source)

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