Is a Gaming Soundcard Still Useful if You Wear a Headset When Playing Games

Beth Huston Profile image

Written By:

Updated October 26, 2022

So, is a gaming soundcard still useful if you wear a headset while playing games? Even the best gaming headset requires a soundcard to enable audio features. In short, a sound card is always necessary because it’s the part of your computer that converts a digital signal into audible sound.


  • A soundcard is necessary for any sound function on your computer, so if you don’t have one, you won’t even have stereo sound when you plug in your audio cable.
  • Dolby Atmos makes THX spatial audio. If you want high-quality directional sound, then THX spatial audio is the best way to achieve that.
  • Using an audiophile headset will give better results than a cheap headset, especially if you need better audio quality for your multiplayer game.

The only thing that changes is the type you use, whether an integrated or USB sound card, because the quality of your soundcard dictates your audio quality.

How Does a Gaming Sound Card Affect Audio Features?

Without a sound card, you won’t have any sound function. When you plug a pair of headphones into your headphone jack, the soundcard is what enables its audio features. Different types of cards allow for a wide range of sound quality and audio enhancements.

And, if you already have a great soundcard but lack a nice headset, you’ll want to do some comparison shopping. In that case, you can start with our Alienware AW510H vs AW988.

Insider Tip

Dolby Atmos systems provide the best frequency range, so avoid cheap gaming headsets and go right for Dolby Atmos-enabled options.

Of course, there’s a wide range of issues that prevent accurate audio. For example, long hair can break the seal on an over-ear design. Learning how to wear a gaming headset with long hair will solve that problem.

How a Pair of Headphones Processes Game Sounds

Whether you prefer wireless gaming headsets or have a wired headset, they all process immersive audio the same way. The soundcard provides almost all sound for your computer and sends information to the audio jack. Your audio jack then passes that information through the audio cable to your headset’s audio drivers, which translate it into the audible sound you can hear.

If you’re not getting accurate sound or any sound at all, it might be a problem with the sound card. That said, if you have a PS4 headset with no audio playing, that’s another problem.

Using Virtual Surround Sound for Lifelike Sound

The THX spatial audio quality is more important than a sound card. This quality allows lifelike sound to shine through your wired or wireless headsets as an immersive audio quality.

Every sound card supports spatial sound. Using an audiophile headset will take positional audio to the next level. An audiophile headset is the best method if you’re looking for 3D audio enhancements.

If you want to further your headset experience, read our guides discussing how to use your Apple headphones as a gaming headset on PC and how to use a combo jack with a gaming headset.


Make sure you have enough hours of battery life for all cheap wireless gaming headsets, or your playtime will be cut short due to loss of power.


Is active noise cancellation necessary in wireless gaming headsets?

Active noise-canceling headphones are crucial to block out unwanted background noise. Using spatial sound by Dolby Atmos will help, but additional features are necessary for optimal spatial sound.

What features should I look for in wireless gaming headsets?

There is a wider range of features than you might think. Some to watch for include:

  • Lightweight design that blocks background noise
  • Hours of battery life for a wider range of playtime
  • Excellent mic quality resistant to ambient noise
  • Reasonable price range and a comfortable design

Do over-ear headphones have reliable audio quality for lifelike sound?

When it comes to lifelike sound, you won’t find better sound quality than with an over-ear design. This is especially true if Dolby Atmos is present. Even a cheap headset in this style will have better sound than an expensive in-ear option.

Which wired or wireless gaming headsets are the best for audio quality?

There are a few models you should consider that fit a range of head sizes:

  • Turtle Beach Stealth 600
  • HyperX Cloud Alpha
  • HyperX Cloud Flight S
  • Razer BlackSHark

STAT: In 1964 the beginning of the third-generation computers came with the introduction of the IBM System/360. (source)

Beth Huston Profile image