What is a Gaming Headset?

Beth Huston Profile image

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Updated October 26, 2022

If you have a quality gaming headset, you’ve probably wondered, “What is a gaming headset?” It’s a fair question, and one quickly answered.


  • Gaming headsets bring excellent sound technology to the table for better gaming sessions, with several audio and microphone quality features.
  • A wired pair of headphones use an audio jack to send audio signals to your device during gaming sessions.
  • Wireless gaming headsets use Bluetooth technology, so you can avoid the hassle of plugging a physical cable into your audio jack.

In short, the best gaming headset provides Dolby Atmos 7.1 surround sound technology for lifelike sound. They should also have a quality detachable mic so you can chat during your favorite games.

For more information and qualities each type should have, keep reading.

Is a Dedicated Gaming Headset Necessary?

If you game over long periods of time, then absolutely. Comfortable headsets with virtual surround sound by Dolby Atmos boost your experience with unbelievable, lifelike sound.

With over-ear headphones, it’s crucial to make sure you look at comfortable headsets. Our article on what is gaming headset clamp force will help inform your final decision.

Wired Headsets

Physical audio connections always provide the best audio quality. This type of connection instantly transfers game audio signals from your computer to your headset’s audio drivers through the cable.

Keep in mind if the audio keeps breaking up, you may need to repair a short in a wired gaming headset. Moreover, learn what size driver you need in a gaming headset before buying one.

Insider Tip

Using background noise canceling technology for consumer headphones helps avoid the urge to override headphone safety guidelines.

This style of over-ear headphones uses an audio cable that plugs into one of the following: a Micro USB port, headphone jack, or HDMI port.

The biggest issue is that not every pair of headphones will pair with all consoles. If you use Xbox, a big question you may have is, “What if your gaming headset doesn’t work on Xbox One?

Desirable Features in Wired Headsets

If you go with a wired pair of headphones, keep the following qualities in mind:

  • Creative sound quality with positional audio
  • Inclusion of 7.1 surround sound for lifelike sound
  • High built-in microphone quality

Wireless Headsets

Wireless technology has come a long way, and Bluetooth is now the leading technology for connecting third-party systems to gaming laptops. The audio signals travel through the air from the USB dongle to your Bluetooth-enabled headset.

Remember that a wireless connection will lower overall audio quality since they lack physical audio connections.

Desirable Features in Wireless Headsets

Those looking for a wireless connection should keep the following qualities in mind:

  • High sound quality despite Bluetooth
  • Removable cable for more balanced connections
  • Hours of battery life for marathon gaming sessions


Headphone safety is crucial for consumer headphones, so avoid overriding maximum volume controls.


What are the best headsets for a lifelike sound profile?

For lifelike sound, you need 7.1 surround sound. Nowadays, 7.1 surround sound comes standard with most models. Here are some great options:

  • SteelSeries Arctis Pro
  • HyperX Cloud Stinger
  • HyperX Cloud II Wireless
  • Razer BlackShark

What is a reasonable price range for headsets?

The price of a headset depends on the features. You’ll find that there’s a wide price range available, from $30 to $500 and more. Upgraded features increase the price, like a stainless steel build or background noise cancellation. Watch for any limited-time deal announced on high-end headsets.

How do I get rid of background noise?

External noise can ruin any gamer’s day. Look for a headset with active noise cancellation. These over-ear controls remove external noise from your headset and the built-in microphone. Check out our guide to understanding gaming headset controls for those still learning about headsets.

What is headphone safety for consumer headphones?

Headphone safety guidelines in consumer headphones prevent the volume from reaching dangerous levels. You can override headphone safety headphones. However, overriding headphone safety for ear controls can permanently damage hearing.

If you’d like more tips on gaming headsets, check out our info articles covering what does gaming headset latency mean and what is voice monitoring in a gaming headset.

STAT: Founded in 1929, ASA has published noise safety standards, but they relate solely to noise safety in the workplace. (source)

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