If you love gaming, then you need a complete setup to get the most out of it. One of the most important computer peripherals when it comes to gaming is the headset. In this article, we reviewed the 5 best budget gaming headsets available in the market for this year. We spent around 23 hours researching them and came up with this list.
1. Steelseries Arctis 5
High-end gaming headsets, all sound great and have great microphones, which in turn give players advantages while competing. However, they often lack some feel and some general usability outside of gaming. The SteelSeries Arctis 5, providing a gaming headset, that is not only for gaming. Comfortable, with raw power, while maintaining sleek design.
SteelSeries has recreated the gaming headset with the Arctis 5. It is not large and not overdesigned, like most of the gaming peripherals. It comes in black or white color schemes, it also has smooth over the ear cups and a Velcro headband that is pretty flexible. The whole headset has a quality feel to it, they feel more expensive and luxurious than their price point. With the lack of any bumps or curves, it is extremely elegant. You can easily wear these in the street, not a thing many gaming headphones can do. In fact, it can even go head-to-head with more aesthetic designs such as Beats.
It also easily takes the top spot when it comes to comfort. The velcro elastic headband takes the shape of your head immediately if the fit is off you can adjust it with the velcro straps. The ear cups are very breathable and cushy and never gives a tight grip to your head even with eye-glasses.
The headphones run on on the SteelSeries Engine 3 software, that gives you a wide array of options you can choose from, depending on your need and preferences. The gaming performance is perfect, with the game preset on and some tweaks to the equalization and you can see that the music and sound effects all sound amazing, but the dialogue were a bit off, however, by disabling the surround sound fixes this issue. The surround sound really shines while playing competitive first-person shooters. The directional sound was perfect, you could hear every footstep and shot and locate quite spots, which can make the difference between a win and a loss. It will also work well with gaming consoles. Music quality is pretty good, if you do not have a separate music headphones, this will do the job as well. It is an excellent product with a refined sound, good software, and beautiful design. Best gaming headset to date, without a question.
2. HyperX Cloud Alpha
As the gaming peripheral market grows, the best keeps getting better, and there is HyperX delivering high-quality products delivering the expected quality for its loyal and growing fan-base. HyperX Cloud Alpha is a mid-range priced headset that provides incredible sound quality tuned to enhance your gaming experience, and that makes it one of the best gaming headsets on the market for this year.
While being smaller than its main rivals, it is not larger than most headsets. Design wise it is not understated and a bit on the flashier side. However, it is pretty cool looking, it looks a little futuristic, throughout is aggressively designed. It is built around a solid aluminum frame, has a very firm but not tight grip around the head with plenty of memory foam on the ear cups and the headband. The microphone, cable and earcups can all be disposed and replaced, adding to the lifespan of the headset. The new leather-like material used in the cups is pretty comfortable and creates a tight seal. The microphone is removable and pretty adjustable.
It is the best analog headset based on its price by a light year. The HyperX Cloud Alpha brings awesome audio with near to none distortion. It also has a lot of nuances in mid-tones and the bass is more robust compared to the rivals. It only offers stereo sound, but its channels sound very natural. In gaming, the directional sound was perfect and every detail was audible. Also the cinematic experience and cut-scenes in games were perfect. The tonal separation is extraordinary due to its dual-chamber design. The microphone is also pretty good with active noise-canceling audio is pretty clear and audible.
HyperX Cloud Alpha has 50mm drivers with frequency ranging from 13Hz to 27000Hz, which is a pretty wide frequency range for gaming headsets. Also, there will be no leakage from the HyperX Cloud Alpha. The passive noise canceling is a joy to use, totally cutting you off from the external factors that may distract you in the middle of your gaming session. The HyperX Cloud Alpha is one of the best gaming headset providing pretty natural reproduction, while also being comfortable and being built to last. While not being overly priced, they are not the cheapest option, but the price is justified completely.
3. Logitech G430
Gaming peripherals generally are pricier, and the more you pay the quality gets better. But once in a while comes a model that provides more than its price tag. The Logitech G430 is a gaming headset with a crisp microphone, a good amount of comfort and 7.1 surround sound all while retaining a low price. Making it appealing even for beginners.
Logitech G430 is a large gaming headsets, but surprisingly lightweight. With a wide headband and catchy color accents, to give you that performance feel. The ear cups swivel adapting to your ears, the headset clamps a little tight but should loosen up after a while. The cloth used in the ear cups is soft and nice, it won’t cause any discomfort or irritation. The whole headset is bendable but feels sturdy at the same time. The earcups are fairly breathable and because of that there will be a sound leakage, it is a price you pay for staying comfortable. However, it is perfect for your prolonged gaming sessions.
The gaming experience is pretty good in Logitech G430. In FPS games it provides you a lot of details regarding the position and movement of the enemy. The directional sound was almost perfect and sharp and details of action were easy to distinguish. While playing an adventure game it was pretty mediocre, everything is audible but not amazing, you can hear every sound but without highlights. The sound leakage in the earcups due to them being comfortable combined with the 7.1 surround sound only amplifies the problem. If they found a solution to this, we would have a perfect pair of headphones. The microphone provides noise canceling and is pretty clear when using it. Making voice chat very functional without statics.
While the sound quality is not amazing, it gets the job done. One would not expect more from a gaming headset. It is better than some other gaming headsets, but it is not the right tool for listening to music. The bass and the treble are not distinct, there is not a lot of nuance to the harmonies, you can hear every instrument, but you will miss slight details and nuances that complete the experience. A solid headset, all-around checking most of the boxes. If you want to learn more, you can read our full Logitech G430 review.
4. Logitech G231 Prodigy
Logitech has started producing entry-level peripherals to appeal to the new gamers. With quality build, cheaper prices and overly-simple design and hardware wants to give new gamers easier access to new experiences in a way that more complicated peripherals cannot. Logitech G231 Prodigy does just that. A decent headset with nice sound, good microphone quality, pretty comfortable and versatility across systems.
Logitech G231 Prodigy is a big headset with over-the-ear cups, cushy headband and adjustable microphone. Adding further to the comfort element is the automatic swiveling of the ear cups, to better suit the users’ ears. It is pretty comfortable to use for a long time, without any strains or hurt. Even if you carry eyeglasses. Just if the headband would have some amount of flex to it it would be even more comfortable. However the headband has a plush fabric making it fairly comfortable. The ear cups can be folded flat, making it easier to carry in a backpack. When folded they stay pretty cool on the desk too. It is a wired headset that connects via a 3.5mm audio jack. It is fairly simple, perfectly suited for newer players, but lacks any customization space.
Testing the Logitech G231 Prodigy through various games, you will notice consistency and solidity all-around. Directional sound is perfect, shots and footsteps clearly heard and indicated the direction of the enemies accurately. Mission dialogue and special effects came crisp enough. While being really clear and solid all-around, the sound is a little dull and flat, you can’t hear distinct differences between music, special effects or voice acting. The microphone is pretty good actually. the voice is very clear and distinguishable. However, it also picks up a lot of static as well. It is recommended to keep the microphone muted when you are not actively using it.
The headset provides OK sound quality, every instrument can be heard, the trebles and bass. The bass is a little weak, and the sound is not quite rich enough, it lacks a certain sense of soul to it. However, it is not uncomfortable to listen to music in these. Pretty solid all-around beginner headset that will be pleasant, very comfortable and easy to use for the new gamers.
5. Corsair HS50
Starting off our best budget gaming headsets list, we have a great product by Corsair.
Gaming peripherals as a general rule always have a unique feature. A feature that sets it apart from the competition. But Corsair HS50 has none, no distinct features that will set it apart from the crowd. However, it is truly fascinating. An entry-level gaming headset with a detachable mic. It does everything decently and has no weak points.
The headset is black throughout and mainly functional. It is rather large, has over the ear cups, an expandable headband with fabric cushion. The left cup has the detachable microphone and the volumecontrol and a microphone mute button. It has a single wired connection for consoles and mobile devices and split cable for PCs.
Corsair has stated that you can wear the headset for hours and feel no discomfort, and it is true. It is perfectly suited if you plan long gaming sessions. Feedback from the buyers tell the same, you will forget that you are wearing them.
The Corsair HS50 is pretty much universal meaning that it will connect to any device that has a 3.5mm audio jack port. The sound quality is decent, but the audio range is not really high. The distinct qualities of voice acting and sound effects in games were lacking. However, the directional sound is pretty good actually. With consoles the sound was even better and sharper. In general the sound quality for gaming is excellent for a basic stereo headset.
Even if you are not an audiophile the HS50 is not good for listening to music, there was a major lack of contrast between bass and trebles. Every instrument and melodies and vocals combined together to make it sound dull and lifeless, but it is a gaming peripheral and one should not buy gaming headphones to listen to music. Binge watching Netflix with these headphones would be very good and comfortable.
The HS50 is an entry level gaming headset, and it has no weak points in the gaming aspect. It is simple and functional, with high levels of comfort making it easy to wear through long gaming sessions. However, as stated earlier it is not the best headset for listening to music, because of inconsistencies in bass ranges.