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Top-Rated Budget Friendly Gaming Headphones
HyperX Cloud II
The Cloud II by Hyper X will get rid of echoing, ambient noise, and block noise from the outside. You’ll be able to relax with no distractions once you put these on.
Kraken Gaming Headset
Comfort is what Kraken is all about. These headphones are light and cool while still being flexible and durable in the long run.
Steelseries Arctis 5
If you’re a gamer who likes to chat and game at the same time, these are the headphones for you. Adjust the volume of speech and gaming as you play along.
Turtle Beach Stealth 600
The audio in Turtle Beach Stealth 600 comes from the powerful speakers. Listen to crisp highs and lows all from the comfort of your home.
Corsair Void Pro
Long battery life, comfort, and easy storage too: that’s what you can expect with the Corsair Void Pro. Don't forget about the low latency and crystal-clear audio either.
Sennheiser GSP 300
These professional grade wireless bass headphones are equipped with 45 mm aperture drivers to provide greater clarity to your listening experience. A mic and touch controls are built into the ear cup to make it easy to use.
HyperX Cloud Alpha
You have a lot of control with the HyperX Cloud Alpha. Detach your headphones or plug in the cable as you relax and listen to your game.
Whether you're fighting dragons or solving puzzles, the right gaming headset will enhance the reality of the game and make you feel like you’re there. These headphones can get pretty pricy though, which is why you should look here for the best gaming headphones under $100 first.
HyperX Cloud II
HyperX Cloud II is made to sound amazing. Put these on and you'll notice the 7.1 virtual surround sound included with the USB audio sound card. With this headset, you get big 53mm sound drivers with impressive sound components. All the sound is made to be circumaural, with no echoing or ambient noise included.
Your gaming experience will be enhanced, with the softer and not so obvious sounds being boosted. Not to mention that these headphones block noise from the outside too with the memory foam earpads and detachable microphone.
This is widely touted as the most stylish headset you can get for its price point, thanks to its leatherette ear cups and band. Leatherette is often found on the more expensive headsets and is a delightful bonus at this price.
Kraken Gaming Headset
Whether you're gaming on your Switch, PC, Xbox, or PS4, the lightweight Kraken Gaming Headset will work all day. The oval, cooling gel-infused cushions are made to sit comfortably, and even have indents for those of you who wear glasses. There won't be any overheating or pressure on your ears.
You'll have a retractable noise-canceling microphone, as well as in-line audio controls to adjust the volume. The Kraken is specifically branded as the headset to go for when it comes to eSports. Lightweight yet durable, its metal frame makes it sturdy and not easily bendable. If you’re looking for an affordable option that’s fairly comfortable with good sound, the Kraken will end your search right here.
Steelseries Arctis 5
The sound quality on the Steelseries Arctis 5 is meant to be top-notch, including a detachable USB soundcard with ChatMix. This means that you’ll be able to adjust the balance between gaming volume and chatting volume quickly and efficiently. Use them on all types of gaming devices without hurting your ears thanks to the ski-goggle suspension headband for comfort that will last all day.
Gamers love this headset for its sleek design. It’s not too bulky and has really modern lines that will please any gamer who’s fashion conscious. The buttons and features are all positioned so that they’re really easy to reach. With its elastic headband that comfortably molds to your head, you’ll love the comfort these headphones provide. Overall, the Arctis 5 gives other gaming headphones some strong competition in terms of its refined and rich sound, comfortable design and super sleek look.
Turtle Beach Stealth 600
These Turtle Beach Stealth 600 headphones are made to work specifically with your Xbox but are compatible with Windows 10 PCs as well. They include surrounding sound to immerse you in your virtual world, whether you're playing a game or watching your favorite TV show. Thanks to the bigger speaker, you'll be able to listen to higher-quality audio that doesn't hurt your head or put pressure on your glasses.
The Stealth 600 is most well loved for its wireless function. The connection is excellent and easy to connect. If you use your headphones for a long time, you’ll love how comfortable these feel. With their slight swivel ear cups and thick foam padding, you won’t feel the strain and pain that most other headsets cause. Sound-wise, you’re able to choose from surround sound or stereo sound. Whichever you pick though, you’re assured of crisp and rich sound quality.
Corsair Void Pro
Use the Corsair Void Pro for a comfortable listening experience. These headphones use microfiber mesh fabric to provide comfort, without compromising the frequency or sensitivity of the sound at all. It feels a little loose compared to other brands and that’s to its credit. It’s unlike other uncomfortable headsets that tend to feel painful as it clamps down hard.
You might be listening for so long to the wireless audio that you'll forget the battery. But not to worry. Check the LED light on the side to see how much battery you have left. You do have 16 hours though before that's a problem. You’ll often be able to use it through one day without having to charge it.
If you like a brighter sound that is lighter on the bass, this Corsair Void Pro is your perfect pick. You’ll enjoy its virtual surround sound and how well it keeps background noise to a minimum. When it comes to sound performance, the Void Pro works just as well on non-gaming environments. Music audio performs well on this headset, although bear in mind that it’s still made with gaming in mind.
Sennheiser GSP 300
You might find it hard to believe that the Sennheiser GSP 300 headphones are still within your price range when you get a look at them. The GSP 300 includes memory foam earpads for the best noise insulation and comfort, not to mention exceptional bass performance and clarity. With the broadcast quality microphone, you can speak even in a loud room. Just reach up on the right ear to adjust the volume and keep playing.
When it comes to gaming performance, it doesn’t disappoint. The GSP 300 produces crisp and rich sounds to add a touch of reality to your gaming experience. Plus it is so comfortable to wear over a long period of gaming time. The GSP 300, despite sitting at a lower price point, is still delightfully in line with what everyone expects of a Sennheiser.
HyperX Cloud Alpha
Pick out the Cloud Alpha headphones from Hyper X for more distinction and less distortion in your sound. Even when you blast the volume to the highest range, there is very little distortion. This is impressive to say the least for a lower priced headset.
The HyperX Cloud Alpha is made with a durable aluminum frame with an expanded headband, so they'll work for anyone. Detach the noise-canceling microphone if you need it, or the braided cable for more convenient in-line audio control. The audio of the microphone is also excellent and performs well in a loud environment. When it comes to comfort, the Cloud Alpha doesn’t disappoint. The extra thick ear pads will allow you to use it for hours on end without feeling any strain. Overall, the Cloud Alpha is a balanced combination of great value, sound quality and durability to last for years.
Getting a Gaming Headset on a Budget
When you are looking to purchase budget gaming headphones under $100, you must consider some crucial factors. Getting the best audio quality as well as comfort without spending a large sum of money is actually possible.
One of the most important factors that you should consider is the type of headphones that you would like.
Stereo/Virtual Surround Sound vs Real Surround Sound
The true capabilities of Stereo Surround Sound in gaming headphones is hard to match. However, it requires the use of multiple channels. This is unlike stereo sound which only utilizes the left and the right ones.
Surround sound creates a 3D effect so the gamer feels like they are being surrounded in realistic audio from all directions. This enhances the gaming experience because it allows gamers to feel like the games are real. 3D sound also gives the gamer better cues, which allows them to locate the enemy easier.
Despite the amazing qualities that 3D sound comes with, it also comes with a high price tag. If you decide to splurge on 3D surround, you will most likely end up spending beyond your $100 budget. As a result, gaming headphones under $100 tends to use ‘virtual’ surround sound as an alternative.
Although it utilizes the same right and left drivers as stereo sound, it adds some pizazz to it to enhance the sound. This allows it to sound almost identical to surround sound.
It's available with most gaming headsets. However, stereo sound provides a lot less clarity which is very important for those who game a lot.
Qualities to Look For
There are several qualities to consider when choosing gaming headphones. After all, a pair of gaming headphones does not have to be too expensive to have quality. Here are some of the qualities that should factor into your selection process.
This is an obvious point. The fact is, good headphones do more than just emit sound. The most important traits the distinguish the great sound in headphones are clarity and bass.
Clarity: This is very important when it comes to sound. Any gamer would want to hear the sound of the game clearly and distinctly. Muffled audio is a definite dampener on any gaming experience.
Bass: This is important as well because the bass is what balances out the sound. A good gaming headset will have just the right amount of bass - not too much and not too little. Without bass, there is a good chance that instead of the clear audio of clashing of swords or weapons, there will be a bad quality "tearing" sound instead. This is not certainly not enjoyable for any gamer.
The band is the piece of material that sits on top of your head. This is a very important part of the headphones in terms of comfort. For starters, you want something that has plenty of padding. It is also a good idea to buy headphones that have metal for the band’s frame.
Because it is the most adjusted part of the headphones, it is also the second most part of the headset. For this reason, you will want to steer away from cheap polymers because they will crack and break very easily.
Quality of the Microphone
Unfortunately, it tends to be difficult to purchase gaming headphones with great microphone quality without spending a large amount of money. However, the microphone is usually what makes or breaks a good gaming session. Good microphone quality equals great communication, and this is very important when it comes to gaming.
Comfort is another important quality. Most people game for hours at a time. The last thing anyone wants is to suffer from painful ear cramps because the headset is uncomfortable.
Therefore, consider the amount of cushion on your headset before making a purchase. You should also consider the amount of sweat you could potentially build up in one seating. A headset with good ear pads should be able to soak in sweat without feeling soaked or damaging the audio.
Size of Drivers
What are drivers? They’re the mechanism built inside your headset that are responsible for creating soundwaves. Drivers do this through vibration, together with an electric current. When it comes to the driver size of your gaming headphones, the bigger the better.
Bigger drivers mean that more air can flow internally to create louder, richer sounds. You’ll also get to enjoy a wider range of frequencies to make your gaming experience that much better.
Wired vs. Wireless Headphones
Gamers typically prefer wired headphones. They are tried and true and gamers have been using them for years. Wired gaming headsets are typically connected with 3.5 mm jack or a USB or even both at times.
However, these headphones do have one flaw. And that is their ability to get tangled easily. Gamers also have a limited range of motion from wherever their headphones are plugged into. This is a huge deal breaker for many gamers.
Wireless headphones are the perfect alternative for those who get frustrated with wires. The very first benefit to these headphones is the sleek look they tend to have due to the absence of wires. Furthermore, they often sell for under $100 and still have good audio quality.
There are downsides to using wireless headphones, however. For starters, they are battery charged. This could be quite inconvenient because if you do not regularly charge your headset, it could run out of battery in the middle of a gaming session.
Another issue that could arise is interruptions. Wireless headphones work with Bluetooth. Therefore, any lag in the signal could result in the audio lagging. However, wireless headphones generally have a range of 33 to 100 feet depending on the Bluetooth technology that you are utilizing.
There are advantages and disadvantages for both wireless and wired headphones. For this reason, they both are preferred by gamers for different reasons.
Taking Care of Your Gaming Headphones
Taking care of your headphones is more than just making sure that you do not damage or break them. It’s crucial to keep them clean and looking great as well.
Here are a few great tips to remember so you can extend their lifespan and get the most out of them.
Invest in a good hard case to store your headphones in. This will provide a protective cover and prevent your headphones from getting bent and smashed as it gets jostled around with your other belongings. A good case will also prevent outdoor elements from altering the quality of your headphones too.
Maintaining Your Headphones during Usage
Taking good care of your headphones while you are using them makes more of a difference than you might believe. Even the smallest precautions that you take, such as making sure your headphones are kept out of high and low temperatures, can extend the lifespan of your listening device. You should also make a habit of checking for dirt after every use and cleaning that out.
Properly Storing the Cable (for Wired Headphones)
Many headphone uses don’t store their headphone cords correctly. This leads to premature breakage of the cord. With that being said, it is not a good idea to allow the cord to be stored in a tangled mess.
Another popular storage technique that should be avoided is wrapping your headphones' cord tightly around your device. Instead, you should be wrapping the cord in very wide and loose loops. This is so that you will not stretch or tear the wires inside of the cord.
Once you have finished wrapping it, you can take either a hair tie or hair clip to hold it together.
Cleaning your Headphones
Cleaning supplies and electronic equipment do not mix. However, there are good ways of keeping your headphones cleaned without using them.
All you need to do is use a soft cloth, warm water, and a little bit of soap. Be very careful while you do this, as you do not want to cause water damage to your headphones.
The ear cups are a very vital part to take care of. After each use, do a quick wipe down. The important thing is to remove the layer of sweat and dirt that has accumulated while you were using them.
Getting a gaming headset to enhance your gaming experience doesn’t need to burn a hole in your pocket. Thankfully, there are so many good brands and models on the market today. Take a look at any one of our best budget headset recommendations in this guide and you’ll be on the right track!