Best Headphones for Gaming 2024

Updated:

When it’s time to get your game on, nothing should distract you from being totally immersed in the experience. What’s arguably the most important piece of equipment in your game setup, something that can help keep you focused and maximize your enjoyment? A gaming headset with excellent sound quality, one that shuts out the world around you and keeps you in your chair for as many hours as you like.

All eight of the gaming headsets in this guide can do this for you. But there are several factors we’d like you to consider when investing in a piece of gear that you’ll wear for so long that it’s really more like a piece of clothing. Which of the following topics is a priority is up to you, but all are important to a great gaming experience.

How We Chose These Headphones

In this list, we’ve selected our headphones based on popularity, sound quality, comfort, and compatibility. I ask the following questions with any new headphone or head set I encounter.

  1. Do they sound good?
  2. Can I wear them for long periods of time?
  3. How and what do they connect to?

Sound quality is of the utmost importance to me. If they sound bad, they don’t deserve to sit on your ears to begin with. Comfortability is a big topic. Consider this: one round of League of Legends can last upwards of 45 minutes to an hour. If by level 9 the head band is pressing on your head too hard, it can be incredibly uncomfortable, and can break concentration. LoL may not be your game of choice, but the logic applies the same to ANY gaming session. Lastly, what and how do they connect to? If you play strictly on PlayStation, well then getting a PC or Xbox only headset isn’t going to do you much good. A few other things to consider are things like wired or wireless? If it’s wireless how long does the battery last? Open back or closed back design? Is noise canceling or noise suppression built in? I think no matter the situation, at least one of these headsets will fit your need. So let’s take a look at our top gaming headphones/headsets!

Here Are Our Picks for the Best Gaming Headphones of 2024

  1. Best Gaming Headphones Overall: Audeze Maxwell Wireless Gaming Headset for PlayStation with Tempest 3D Audio
  2. Best Budget Gaming Headphones: JBL Quantum 610 Wireless Over-Ear Gaming Headset
  3. Best Premium Gaming Headset: Audeze LCD-GX Audiophile Over-Ear Gaming Headset (Red/Black) (Economy Carry Case)
  4. Best Wireless Gaming Headset: JBL Quantum 910 Wireless Over-Ear Gaming Headphones with Active Noise Cancelling, Bluetooth, & Head Tracking (Black)
  5. Best Wired Gaming Headset: Audio-Technica ATH-GDL3 High-Fidelity Open-Back Gaming Headset (Black)

Best Gaming Headphones Overall

Product Image

Audeze Maxwell Wireless Gaming Headset for PlayStation with Tempest 3D Audio

Regular price $299.00
Sale price $299.00 Regular price
Save $-299.00 (%)
  • Style: Over-ear, closed-back
  • Driver size: 90mm
  • Frequency response: 10Hz – 50kHz
  • Weight: 490g
  • Compatibility: PlayStation, Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Nintendo Switch
SHOP NOW

The MAXWELL gaming headphones from Audeze are absolutely and utterly amazing. The amount of technologies employed in these headphones to improve your gaming experience is nothing short of incredible, to be perfectly frank. Sound like something that you might be into, dear reader? Please continue reading then!

To help keep things simple, we are going to chat about the MAXWELLPS, the PlayStation headphones from Audeze, but we will mention the slight differences between them and the Xbox headphones near the end of this article.

To start with, the MAXWELLPS headphones look the part of a gamer’s headphone choice: the all-black coloring (minus the Audeze logo – which is blue for the PlayStation-compatible variant) is sleek and unassuming. The detachable boom mic made by Shure, a leading microphone manufacturer, is easy to move and manipulate to get to that “perfect” position. The reinforced chassis is made of a mix of aluminum and steel for long-lasting performance and comfort. We should also mention that the weight of the headphones is about 490 grams.

When it comes to connectivity, here’s where you start to see the strive for perfection from the Audeze team really begin to emerge. Ultra-low latency permits high-resolution audio transfer when the supplied USB dongle is utilized with your system of choice. This means that you stand a great chance of hearing the details that can make you appear at the top of the leaderboard. Built-in Bluetooth 5.3 is also an option, particularly if you’re connecting the MAXWELLPS to your iPhone or Android. A 3.5mm analog audio input is on the gaming headphones too, which makes them compatible with anything that offers that kind of output (smartphones, handheld gaming devices, etc.). The PlayStation MAXWELL is also compatible with Sony’s Tempest 3D Audio to give you that truly immersive audio experience.

Before we step into the listening experience, we could hardly contain our excitement to tell you that as good as everything you’ve read so far sounds, one amazing feature we have yet to mention is the 80 HOURS OF PLAY you’ll receive from these Audezes. Forgot to charge them? A 20-minute quick charge will give you a day’s worth of enjoyment!

Okay, that might be enough nerding out for the moment. Let’s take a moment to chat about the listening experience! Audeze continues to make use of their tried-and-true planar magnetic drivers for some superb sound reproduction. The manufacturer also boasts that the 90mm drivers in each earcup is over 3 times the driver area when compared to other leading manufacturers. How does this benefit you? The extended sonic performance improves the realism of the audio reproduction, which immerses you more into the game. The resulting sound is extraordinary! The earcups do provide pretty good sound insulation from the surrounding environment and whatever they don’t muffle for you, the on-board noise filtration technology built into the MAXWELLPS can handle. A button on one of the earcups will allow you to turn this feature on (or off).

Audeze knocked it out the park with their MAXWELL-series and we believe that you’ll agree!

Pros: Great sound quality. Superb build quality. Sound-insulating earcups AND noise-filtration built-in. Shure boom microphone

Cons: A tad on the heavy side.

Best Budget Gaming Headphones

Product Image

JBL Quantum 610 Wireless Over-Ear Gaming Headset

Regular price $149.95
Sale price $149.95 Regular price
Save $-149.95 (%)
  • Driver size: 50mm Dynamic drivers
  • Frequency response:20Hz – 20kHz
  • Microphone frequency response:100Hz – 10kHz
  • Max input power: 30mW
  • Sensitivity:100dB SPL @1kHz/1mW
  • Maximum SPL: 95dB
  • Microphone sensitivity:-40dBV/Pa @1kHz
  • Impedance: 32ohm
SHOP NOW

World Wide Stereo is no stranger to JBL or their excellent line of all things audio. Bluetooth speakers, Party boxes, Hi-Fi cabinet speakers, and even some of the greatest theater speakers all fall under the JBL umbrella. Headphones and headsets are no exception. The JBL Quantum 610s are an excellent value for someone looking in the $100-$200 range. Feature rich and widely compatible, no matter the gaming system you have, the 610s should be compatible. However, the 610s are the most optimized for the PC experience. Certified with Discord, and capable DTS and surround sound playback on PC, these are going to be best experienced on that platform. 

Boasting a whopping 40-hour battery life while listening to music, I don’t see how anyone would run into a mid-session battery crisis. With that incredible battery life comes a pretty steep charging time - up to 3 hours for a full charge. I would recommend letting these charge overnight once every 2-3 days at minimum. The Quantum 610 does support charging and use at the same time as well. Worst case scenario, you can plug these headphones into any standard 3.5mm headphone jack for a wired connection instead of relying on battery life and Bluetooth. 32 ohms is a light enough impedance load that any mobile device would be able to play these headphones back with no problem. 

Comfort is on the “less than Ideal” side for myself personally, but I would imagine many others would be perfectly satisfied with it. A rubber/pleather material is sued for the head band and ear cups. I much prefer a fabric that breathes more easily, but this is more of a budget focused option. Weighing in at 357 grams, it is a little heavier than some other headphones on this list, but not the heaviest by far.

The built-in microphone is passable for most people and is omnidirectional. Meaning, no matter where it is positioned in relation to your mouth, as long as it is a reasonable distance away, it should pick you up with no issues. Unlike many others in this list, the microphone is NOT removable. It does still have a quick mute feature by flipping the mic up though. 

I would say this is a perfect headset for a “Gamer's First Set-up" system. Regularly going on sale for less than $100, it’s perfect for kids or people prone to..... moments of extreme passion while gaming. That's not to say they are cheaply made or anything, but they are cost efficient enough where I wouldn’t feel heartbroken if they were damaged from misuse. Kids from 10-18 would find a lot of use in this headset. Or if you’re just looking for a budget friendly option for now, the JBL Quantum 610 would fit the bill.

Pros: Low cost. Both wired & wireless support.

Best Premium Gaming Headset

Product Image

Audeze LCD-GX Audiophile Over-Ear Gaming Headset (Red/Black) (Economy Carry Case)

Regular price $899.00
Sale price $899.00 Regular price
Save $-899.00 (%)
  • Style: Over ear, open back
  • Driver size: 106mm
  • Frequency response: 10Hz – 50kHz
  • Impedance: 20 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 100dB
  • Weight: 454g
SHOP NOW

Nothing improves the realism of your favorite games like a solid set of headphones that can faithfully reproduce every nuance in the game’s audio mix. Audeze’s LCD-GXE audiophile-grade open ear gaming headphones follow this credo and do it really well.

The absolute first thing one notices upon receiving the LCD-GX headphones is the sturdy case they come in. Opening this case reveals foam padding with cutouts to accommodate the headphones in addition to the cables provided with them. The two included cables are a 8’ 3.5mm cable with in-line boom mic as well as an 1.9-meter LCD-series cable ending in a 1-4” audio termination. Additionally, there are two adapters: a 3.5mm splitter for microphone and headphone connectivity to a computer as well as a ¼” to 1/8” adapter.

Removing the headphones from the case shows that they have some weight to them (they weigh in at just over a pound), but putting them on doesn’t feel like they would be uncomfortable for extended listening sessions. In fact, there is something endearing in how they fit one’s ears, if we are to be honest. The nearly all metal design feels great in-hand and looks really sharp.

The fit and finish is superb – we really like the red accents you’ll see on each can. We do wish that more colors were available to better match the aesthetics of one’s gaming rig, but that’s a small gripe on our part. The synthetic leather pads on the inside of each can feels nice when the headphones are perched on your head.

In terms of performance, the Audeze folks got it right. They employed their tried-and-true planar magnetic technology to get some truly impressive sound from their LCD-GXE headphones. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to listen to (or own) Audeze headphones, you would know that they are very natural- and lifelike-sounding, and these gaming headphones follow that same path. Everything from the bits of music employed in games to the ambient sound of birds chirping in a forest before chaos erupts is on-point. When we switched over to music, that’s where we were really blown away. Listening to bits of music from all sorts of genres (jazz, hard rock, hip hop, etc.), it all sounds just plain good. The open back design permits some really good sound-staging – you just want to ensure that since folks nearby can hear and you can hear them talking or doing things that you use these in a quiet setting.

Since the LCD-GXE headphones have an impedance of only 20 ohms, we were not surprised when they ran exceedingly well off our test rig. We even used them on an Apple iPad Air and were pleased with the outcome. Sure, you’ll receive better performance if you throw a headphone amplifier into the mix, but we wouldn’t list an amplifier as a critically needed component.

If you’re looking for a great-sounding pair of headphones for both gaming and music listening when you’re at your gaming computer, we don’t believe there is a better option that Audeze’s LCD-GXE gaming headphones. Try them out, we think you’ll agree.

Pros: Super fit and finish. Lifelike sound quality. All required cables/adapters supplied in the box

Cons: Only available with red accents. Open back design allows noise to come in and out of your listening experience

Best Wireless Gaming Headset

Product Image

JBL Quantum 910 Wireless Over-Ear Gaming Headphones with Active Noise Cancelling, Bluetooth, & Head Tracking (Black)

Regular price $299.95
Sale price $299.95 Regular price
Save $-299.95 (%)
  • Style: Over ear, closed-back
  • Driver size: 50mm
  • Frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Weight: 420g
  • Battery life: 37 hours
  • Compatibility: PC, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch
SHOP NOW

JBL is a well-known and well-respected brand that makes all sort of speakers: wireless Bluetooth speakers, premium car audio systems, and headphones (among many other things, of course!). For some time now, they have made some really good gaming headphones and we want to share one of our personal favorites: the Quantum 910 wireless gaming headphones.

The Quantum 910s quickly step away from the pile of available headsets that exist because of a few built-in technologies and conveniences. Our first takeaway is related to PC gaming and that technology is JBL’s QuantumSPHERE 360™. When the headset is paired to the supplied USB-C dongle (a USB-A adapter is included with the headset, too), spatial audio is granted to you. This permits you to move your head to better position the precise location of those footsteps you heard, for example. If this doesn’t improve your K/D ratio, we don’t know what will. If your gaming systems consists of a console, know that you would instead enjoy JBL’s QuantumSPATIAL 360™ to better ascertain your enemy’s movements thanks to the integrated head-tracking technology. If you’re using a console, you will still have to use the USB-C/USB-A dongle set up.

Built-in ANC (active noise cancelling) mitigates annoying background voices or noises to help immerse yourself into the gameplay. This is handy for gamers of all types – from casual to professional.

If you’re one to remain connected to friends or listen to music while gaming, the Quantum 910 headset allows the user to connect to the game audio via the USB dongle and then a smartphone (or other Bluetooth-enabled device) for music or calls.

When you grasp the Quantum 910 headphones in-hand, you immediately notice that they’re lightweight and solid in design. It certainly gave us the impression that these things are built to last. And, in typical JBL fashion, they sound great too. The built-in 50mm drivers deliver a solid audio experience and, thanks to those large drivers, pretty good bass response to help round out that bottom end. The LED lighting that illuminates parts of the earcups is customizable, so you’re free to change it to fit your lighting scheme or your mood. You can also turn the lighting off for a more “traditional” look, if that’s your thing. We found the headset to be comfortable, if a tad heavy. Sometimes it felt as if that weight wasn’t evenly distributed because if we leaned forward or back while using them, they slid around a little bit on our heads. There was never any concern of it falling off, mind you, but it a little disconcerting.

With all of these built-in technologies/customization options coupled with the 37-hour rechargeable battery, the JBL Quantum 910 gaming headset is definitely a gaming accessory you should own.

Pros: Great build quality. Spatial audio compatibility. Simultaneous dual wireless connections. Great sound quality

Cons: A tad on the heavy side. Headset slid around on the head from time to time.

Best Wired Gaming Headset

Product Image

Audio-Technica ATH-GDL3 High-Fidelity Open-Back Gaming Headset (Black)

Regular price $129.00
Sale price $129.00 Regular price
Save $-129.00 (%)

ATH-GDL3 Specifications:

  • Style: Over ear, open back
  • Driver size: 45mm
  • Frequency response: 10Hz – 35kHz
  • Impedance: 45 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 98dB
  • Weight: about 220 grams

ATH-GL3 Specifications:

  • Style: Over ear, closed back
  • Driver size: 45mm
  • Frequency response: 10Hz – 35kHz
  • Impedance: 45 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 98dB
  • Weight: about 220 grams
SHOP NOW

Audio-Technica’s ATH-GDL3 and ATH-GL3 gaming headsets over tremendous value versus performance. So much so, in fact, that we found ourselves playing with them quite a bit even after our review time had gone by. They are simply amazing for the price!

In our intro just now, we rattled off two different headsets and wanted to clarify exactly what those two were: the ATH-GDL3 is an open-back over-ear gaming headset while the ATH-GL3 are the closed-back over-ear variant. For the purpose of keeping this succinct, we will be reviewing the ATH-GDL3 headphones, but we will touch upon the slight differences at the end of this article.

Tucked into the box with the headphones are a bunch of accessories that all-but-guarantee connectivity to just about any game system. Included accessories are a detachable boom-style microphone with foam windscreen, a 3.5mm stereo mini cable (1.2m in length) for console use, and a 3.5mm-to-split 3.5mm cable (3.0m in length) for PC use.

Upon removing the headphones from their box, we were startled to feel how lightweight they were. Perhaps we were just used to handling some of the other headsets we tested, but the ATH-GDL3 headset just seemed too light - and boy, we were quickly reminded how wrong that assumption was by the sound that these Audio-Technicas produced! The matte black finish is nice and the blue-accented pieces behind the mesh grilles add a little flair, too!

The ATH-GDL3 plugged into our gaming rig via that split 3.5mm cable we mentioned (one end plugs into the audio output while the other plugs into the mic input). As an aside, if you’re going to use this headset with a PlayStation or Xbox, you’ll use that other 3.5mm cable. When the Audio-Technicas were then utilized, it was again amazing to feel how light they are – and this is very important to those who plan on using them for longer gaming sessions as there isn't much that's more annoying while gaming then when your headset feels like a weight on your head. We were a little disappointed on the headphone’s padding for the ears – it just felt a little too shallow.

In terms of fidelity, the frequency response range was pretty close to being faithfully reproduced. Our one gripe would be that the bass response seemed a bit thin from time-to-time. This was more noticeable when enjoying music that we were familiar with. This isn’t necessarily an Audio-Technica issue, as open-back headphones tend to suffer from thinner bass response when compared to their closed-back brethren. The open back design also permits external noise to potentially put a damper on your listening experience, but if you’re using them in a quiet area, that design gives you such a wider soundstage that’s it’s worth that compromise in many cases.

Like we promised earlier, we did want to take a moment to talk about the closed-back variant – the ATH-GL3. The weight and sound were about the same, but the bass response in the GL3 headset was noticeably better. The GL3 would also work better in a noisier environment, so keep that in-mind, too. We believe that you’ll be satisfied with either headset as they both work really well!

A. ATH-GDL3 High-Fidelity Open-Back Gaming Headset

Pros: Extremely light weight. Great sound quality. Works with gaming computers as well as consoles

Cons: Open-back design allows external sound in. Thin bass response at times.

B. ATH-GL3 Closed-Back High-Fidelity Gaming Headset

Pros: Extremely light weight. Great sound quality. Works with gaming computers as well as consoles.

Cons: Sound stage is much narrower compared to open-back variant.

Considerations When Buying Gaming Headphones

Comfort

How long are your gaming sessions? An hour a day? 8 hours a day? More? These things are going to be on your head and on your ears for a long time, so they need to be more than just comfortable. They should be virtually unnoticeable.

All of the models in this guide have comfort at the top of their feature list. But look carefully at the materials of their ear cups and pads: Maybe leather is what you’re looking for, or maybe another material is best for your ears.

All are adjustable and can fit a wide variety of sizes of head and ears, but one consideration that is important for a lot of people is whether or not they’re comfortable for a user who wears glasses while they play.

Headset microphones

When you want to chat with your fellow gamers, you want a mic that make your voice sound crystal clear while blocking out all background noise in your environment. All of the headset microphones in this guide have excellent active noise cancellation, as well as fantastic voice clarity.

Another aspect of microphone comfort is how easily can you get it out of your way when you don’t want to have it there. Some models let you flip the boom mic up out of your way and then easily back down, while others have a removable boom mic that you can remove entirely and then reinstall it with a click.

Wired headsets vs. wireless headsets

If you’re prone to getting your headphone cable wrapped around the arm of your chair and then yanking your headset off your head every time you stand up, then you’re going to be very interested in the wireless headsets in this guide.

If you can hang with wires, and if you do a lot of cross platform gaming, one way to keep the cost of your headset down is to go with a wired model that is compatible with Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo, and PC games.

Battery life

Let's be honest. Sometimes the hours fly by and even an 8 hour gaming session is nowhere near enough time. If this happens to you a lot, then look for battery life in the 15 to 30 hour range.

Compatibility

Speaking of particular consoles, we’ve chosen the gaming headsets in this guide for their cross-platform capabilities, with a couple of notable exceptions. In those cases, the superior sound quality, comfort, or battery life make these worth considering, though they connect with only one or the other gaming platform.

Sound quality

All of the gamers on the World Wide Stereo staff have weighed in on the headsets in this guide. They all meet the very rigorous standards for sound quality of our gaming team. The highs, mids, and lows are exceptionally clear. And for those moments when it’s all about the low end, all of these models offer larger-than-life bass.

Soundstage

When you're deep into a multiplayer role, the last thing you want is to mistake the direction of the sound of footsteps sneaking up on you from behind. An accurate soundstage is a critical element for gaming headsets, and our in-house gamers have given the models included here the no-sneak-attack seal of approval.

These are the broad strokes to keep in mind as you shop for a gaming headset. All of the models we’ve chosen here have excellent build quality, and we're confident that they will last for years. They’ll contribute to that immersive gaming experience by effectively blocking out the world around you, and enhancing your connection with your games with very low latency wireless audio.

If after you’ve read the reviews above you still don’t see a clear choice, give us a call. One of our gamers will be happy to tell you about their gaming headset experiences.

Final Thoughts

Gamers take their gear seriously, and so do we! If you're not settled on your gaming headset yet, give our experts a call, they'd love to talk gaming with you!

At World Wide Stereo, we carefully vet all of our gear so you don’t have to. The best gaming headsets can give you years of pleasure — it's an investment, so be sure to buy it from a trusted dealer with a stellar track record.

We live for helping customers solve unique problems and coming up with the best solutions for them. When we do right by you, whether now, next year, or even years after a sale, you’re going to come back when you need an upgrade. If you’re ever in the neighborhood, stop by.

One more thing...

While many people have an attitude of "you pay your money, you take your chances" when it comes to purchasing gaming headphones, you can afford to have higher expectations than that. Our advice is to buy your next pair of gaming headphones from a trusted dealer, whether it's us or another retailer with whom you have a relationship. And the more experience and longer the track record, the better. A good dealer will take care of you in the event anything happens, and more importantly, they'll give you advice you can count on so that you'll purchase the right headphones the first time.

Speaking of trusted dealers…

World Wide Stereo is home to some 90+ industry-leading audio/video professionals who love what they do, and talking about it, too. We opened our doors in 1979, gained a small yet diehard following, won a slew of national awards for everything from killer car audio installations to customer service, grew the business online… and today we enjoy a faithful following of like-minded TV-watching, music-listening, gear-loving defenders of fun for the whole family. Our only rule: no one leaves unhappy. We’re brutally honest when it comes to this stuff. Want to know if something is as good as advertised? Even if you're shopping somewhere else? Call us or stop by one of our showrooms — we’ll give it to you straight. We love what we do, and we love sharing that love.

With us, you get our guarantee, which includes perks like free shipping, 60-day returns, and support even years after the sale — always. Hence our rule: "no one leaves unhappy." Ever.

Related Posts:

Leave a Comment

Related Articles