Many PC gamers spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on their gaming rigs. These gamers invest in everything from multiple video cards to massive sound cards.
However, a vital and often overlooked element of any great gaming rig is a stellar gaming headset. Keeping in touch with your allies and hearing your enemies coming is crucial to any game.
Dedicated gamers demand only the best, so we convened a group of hardcore gamers to help identify the five best gaming headsets under $200 and pick a winner.
After hours inspecting and testing some of the best offerings from all of the major manufacturers, we finally settled on our favorite:
Table of Contents
- Quick Summary:
- How we chose the Best Gaming Headset under $200
- The five Best Gaming Headsets under $200
- The most important consideration when choosing the Best Gaming Headset under $200
- Other considerations when choosing the best Gaming Headset
- The best Gaming Headset under $200
- The four other Gaming Headsets we tested
- The bottom line
Here is a quick summary of our review for those that want to skip ahead.
Best For Competitive Gaming: Steel Series Arctis 7
Most Comfortable Option: HyperX Cloud MIX
Best Budget Option: Razer BlackShark V2
How we chose the Best Gaming Headset under $200
To pick the best gaming headset for the high-end market we surveyed groups of serious gamers that demanded only the best from their gaming hardware. For these gamers, good sound and microphone quality was already considered a given for a great headset.
To make our list of the top five gaming headsets under $200 products needed to go the extra mile in terms of performance and features. That said, providing excellent basics such as comfort and audio quality were still paramount in our gamers’ needs.
The features our gamers cared most about, ranked from highest to lowest, were as follows:
- Sound Quality
- Microphone Quality
- Control Features
We then took this list and hunted down the top five high-end gaming headsets under $200 that fit the bill.
The five Best Gaming Headsets under $200
Here’s the list of the five best gaming headsets under $200:
The most important consideration when choosing the Best Gaming Headset under $200
Comfort is king. Regardless of the price point of your headset.
No matter how many cool, cutting edge, technologies they cram into your headset; if the headset is uncomfortable in any way it will quickly become useless. This rings especially true in the high-end market.
For high-end gaming, headsets manufacturers walk a fine line between weight and features.
Adding new features will inevitably add weight so it is important that any new features have been designed in such a way that any added weight does not also produce discomfort or fatigue.
In this market, comfort is defined by memory foam ear pieces and fully adjustable suspension headbands.
These premier headsets should not apply pressure to the cartilage in your ears, nor should they be pinching around the ears or pressing too hard on the top of the head. Your head should feel as though it is awash in a cloud of soft leatherette.
Other comfort related features in high end gaming headsets include breathable padding to help remove sweat when the fighting heats up. Plus, many companies will supply replaceable ear pieces in case you wear out your pads while logging thousands of hours.
The importance of comfort in a headset cannot be overstated. To put in the, long, eight hour plus days of die-hard or professional gamers, headsets must, first and foremost, not cause any discomfort.
We have here the best of the best headsets. There is no reason to accept anything less than an excellent fit.
Other considerations when choosing the best Gaming Headset
The next feature that our professional gamers identified as their top priority after comfort was sound quality. When it comes to high performance gaming, hearing audio cues can be the difference between life and death.
With that in mind, one of the most important features of a gaming headset is having crisp and clear directional audio.
Sounds quality is a driving feature behind any headset, regardless of price, and can be expressed in terms of audio range. In addition, elements such as speaker driver also play a significant role in determining audio quality.
Another important aspect of audio quality is how audio is decoded and delivered to a headset’s speakers.
Popular schemes include stereo and surround sound configurations of up to 7.1 channels. Surround sound is desired by most gamers, as it provides a more acute sense of sound direction.
Elite and professional gamers have a lot riding on their gaming success. When we surveyed these gamers for their requirements in high-end gaming headsets they insisted that stellar microphone audio quality was a must have.
Our gamers also mentioned that a sensitive, but also noise-canceling microphone configuration was key for communicating clearly with their team-mates, without the interference of noisy and distracting background sound.
To achieve this, microphones in most headsets in this price range will include a combination of both high quality noise-canceling features and an isolated, directional, microphone boom.
As all gamers knows, life is not without its distractions and disturbances. Whether its your wife or husband returning from work, the kids getting out of school, or an urgent call from your boss at work.
Chances are good that you won’t make it through a full gaming session without some sort of interruption.
For this reason, it is important that, as a gamer, you have the ability to quickly adjust your headset volume, mute your microphone, or remove part of your headset.
This is where headset control features come into play. In the high-end headset market many headsets, especially wireless headsets, will include buttons, wheels, or other controls to adjust the settings of the device.
Important things to look for in headset control features include quick access adjusters for both game volume and microphone sensitivity.
Other items that our gamers repeatedly included on their wish lists were microphone mute buttons with state feedback and in-line audio equalizers.
In our review of budget gaming headsets, the connection interface options were limited to either USB or 3.5mm audio cable.
While both of these technologies remain popular options for connecting headsets to computers, the number of options available increases in the high-end market, most notably with the inclusion of wireless technologies.
The advanced (see expensive) materials used in these headsets helps to cut back on weight and allows for manufacturers to include, in the headsets, the hardware required for Bluetooth communications.
Connections with 3.5mm audio jacks are extremely versatile, allowing you to connect to a variety of devices. The 3.5mm jack still remains the gold standard for purely audio focused headphones.
However, the freedom of wireless headsets is a great advantage for many gamers. This is especially true for when gamers are logging long hours and want to be able to get up and move their bodies without removing themselves from the game.
One thing to note when considering wireless headsets is that they require batteries. Obviously, the longer the battery life the better when it comes to picking a headset.
Although needing an overnight charge is a negative for those considering a wireless headset, this con is often outweighed by the simple ability to get up and run to the fridge without needing to remove your headset.
The best Gaming Headset under $200
After consulting with our hardcore gaming advisers, our pick for the best gaming headset under $200 was the Steel Series Arctis 7.
This wireless headset roped in the number one spot by providing superb comfort and audio quality while checking all the boxes when it comes to the headset’s microphone and features.
The Arctis 7 is not only the best gaming headset under $200, but also one of the best overall deals on the market.
Featuring a brilliantly designed Velcro-adjustable headband and memory foam ear pieces, this headset provides excellent comfort in a simple design.
The SteelSeries provides a fit that is firm but not tight, leaving your headset well secured on your head without sacrificing any comfort.
The gaming sound quality of the Arctis 7 is stellar and is further enhanced by DTS 7.1-channel surround sound. The microphone that accompanies this headset is fully flexible and provides clear vocals while cutting down on background noises.
On the go adjustments are made easy with a straightforward and simple set of on-ear controls, for both microphone volume and audio volume, hanging at your fingertips.
This wireless headset sports up to 15 hours of battery life and connects to your PC via a USB Bluetooth dongle.
Additionally, it has an optional 3.5mm audio jack so you can connect it to all your favorite hand-held devices. A mere 280 grams it is no wonder why the SteelSeries Arctis 7 got the top spot.
- Designed for gaming, the 2.4 grams connection delivers rock solid, lossless...
- Widely recognized as the best mic in gaming, the discord certified clear cast...
- Sound is your competitive advantage with the s1 speaker drivers, engineered to...
The four other Gaming Headsets we tested
Here are the four other headsets that made our list. We tested each and every one of these and they all performed with perfection so any of these would be a good choice for your gaming needs.
Famous for aggressive and edgy designs, Razer has decided to restrain themselves for the ManO’War.
This bulky headset is impressively comfortable, providing a cosy fit at a surprisingly light weight, given the size.
Both audio and microphone quality are top notch on this offering from Razer.
The headset submerges the user in beautiful and clear 7.1-channel surround sound.
Meanwhile, the flexible microphone does an excellent job reducing background noise.
The ManO’War provides excellent on-ear control features in the form of dedicated microphone and game volume knobs.
The microphone mute feature is enhanced by visual feedback in the form of a red ring that illuminates the boom when mute is turned on.
The Razer will keep your head in the game even if you need to run to answer the door with wireless Bluetooth connectivity. Estimated battery life is around 12 hours.
- Hypersense technology: features haptic technology that creates touch-sensory...
- Thx spatial audio: breaks the boundaries of defined 5.1 and 7.1 Channel surround...
- 2.4 GHz wireless Audio: with Audio controls directly on the Headset, you can do...
The third place goes to the Logitech G933 which only missed out on second to the ManO’War by the thinnest of margins.
In fact, both products are very similar.
They both share 7.1 surround sound, wireless Bluetooth connectivity, large bulky designs, and are approximately the same weight of 375 grams.
Otherwise, in the aspects where the ManO’War delivers, the Logitech headset is somewhat lacking.
While the G933 features excellent quality foam padding, the overall fit was too tight for many of our testers, leading to a significant amount of discomfort after several hours of gaming.
In the G933, Logitech included a very convenient microphone that easily folds into the left ear-piece. However, we found the microphone to be too sensitive, often capturing ambient sounds and bombarding our team-mates with noise from our environment.
As the final blow to the bid for second place, the Logitech G933 could only muster 10 hours of gaming before needing to be charged. The other wireless headsets we tested delivered at least 12 hours of battery life.
- Multi-platform Compatibility: Works with PC, mobile, home theater devices, and...
- Programmable G-keys: Assign custom commands using Logitech Gaming Software on...
- Soft and Breathable Materials: Designed for long gaming sessions. New sports...
Turtle Beach is famous for making great gaming headsets and the Elite Pro 2 is no exception.
This headset, while lacking some more sophisticated features, does the basics beautifully.
The Elite Pro was probably one of, if not the, most comfortable headset in our line-up.
Soft and cushy Aerofit ear pads pair with another well designed suspension headband to provide a fit that feels like it was custom made for your head.
The newly designed 50mm Nanoclear speaker drivers enhanced our gaming with wonderfully rich stereo audio.
At the same time, the removable boom microphone delivers crystal clear vocals to your team-mates with minimal ambient noise intrusion.
Utilizing a 3.5mm audio jack for connectivity, it is the lack of advanced features, such as Bluetooth, that kept the Turtle Beach from a higher ranking. The headset also weighs in as our heaviest at 390 grams.
- LARGE 50MM NANOCLEAR SPEAKERS - Large, powerful 50mm over-ear Nanoclear speakers...
- SURROUND SOUND READY - Optimized to support spatial audio technologies for...
- PRO GAMING MIC WITH TRUSPEAK TECHNOLOGY - Ensure your voice is always heard loud...
While the Cloud Revolver came in last on our list it is still no slouch.
This headset commands an extremely comfortable and highly adjustable design that includes replaceable, memory foam ear pieces and a suspension headband to ensure a great, fatigue-free fit.
The HyperX can also make a claim to having some of the clearest audio in our line up, thanks to impressive 50mm drivers that deliver high quality stereo sound.
Unfortunately, the Cloud Revolver fails to meet the mark when it comes to microphone performance. In particular, we found the microphone’s noise-canceling feature to be sub-par. It let in far too much background noise.
The headset, which utilizes a 3.5mm audio cable, was also on the heavy side for a wired device, weighing in at 360 grams. However, the extra weight can also be attributed to a durable steel frame that felt great in the hand and on the head.
- Wired gaming headset certified for Hi Res Audio, with detachable braided cable...
- Bluetooth wireless technology for on the go connectivity and intuitive onboard...
- HyperX dual chamber drivers for more distinction and less distortion
When it comes to buying the best gaming headset under $200 you have a lot of great options.
While we decided upon the SteelSeries Arctis 7 as the best combination of quality, comfort and features for gaming there are many other products that may suite your personal preferences better.
Rest assured, no matter which of these five gaming headsets you choose, you are sure to have a great gaming experience.