Whether you work at home and do a lot of video conferencing, or you love multiplayer games and want to hear your teammates as well as the background music and the ambient sounds, you need a good headset that can provide great audio and deliver your voice clearly to the people on the other end of the line. Thankfully, you have a ton of great options that don’t sacrifice one for the other. Here’s a look at five of the best headsets, based on your nominations.
Earlier in the week, we asked you which headsets you thought were the best for the job. As with many hardware hive fives, we’ll look at the brand-level as opposed to a specific model. You weighed in with your suggestions, and while there were dozens of great models and brands, we sadly only have room for the top five.
Astro makes some great headsets, and has been a popular choice specifically among gamers in recent years. The $199 retail A30 and $249 retail A40 sound systems sound great, both come with removable or retractable microphones, and sport an external mixamp that sits between your headset and your sound source to amplify your audio, whether you’re listening to music, playing video games, or sitting in a video conference or internet call, you’re guaranteed solid sound and voice. Depending on whether you use the cables or the mixamp, you can connect an Astro headset to your computer either via USB or 3.5mm jacks, and the microphone can be attached or detached as necessary. Bonus: the magnetic tags on the ears are customizable to suit your style.
Logitech G and H Series (G35/G930/H600/etc)
Logitech has always made great headsets, but many of you specifically called out the G35 gaming headset ($129 retail) and the G930 wireless gaming headset ($159 retail) for their superior comfort, on-ear audio controls, rich sound, and crisp voice quality. Both models connect via USB, but some of you mentioned some of Logitech’s other, more affordable options as drawing a line between audio quality and budget pricing, like the $50 wireless wonder, the H600. Whether you prefer wired or wireless, USB or 3.5mm, circumaural (around the ears) or supra-aural (resting on the ears), Logitech has a headset model for you, and probably at a price point you can live with.
Sennheiser PC and HD Series
Sennheiser has been known for superior sound quality in its products for years, and in many ways is still considered a high-end audio company, but the PC 350 and its successor the PC 360 swept the gaming community with its fantastic sound, huge, full circumaural earcups that are comfortable to wear for long periods, and its integrated retractable microphone that delivers crisp, clear voice to anyone on the other end of your videoconference, internet call, or multiplayer game. Most of you called out the PC 360 ($249 retail) and its older sibling the PC 350 ($179 retail), and rightfully so, but budget buyers shouldn’t overlook the less expensive ($129 retail) PC 330, which gives up some of the audio quality for a less expensive but still powerhouse package. Overall though, Sennheiser’s headsets may be some of the pricier ones, but they’ll last you for years.
Steelseries Siberia v2/7H
Not just Steelseries’ headsets in general, but enough of you preferred the Steelseries Siberia v2 that not only did it make the top five, it did so without being split among multiple model numbers, variations, or types. This $89.99 MSRP ($109.99 for the USB version) wonder features a retractable, pull-out microphone, 3.5mm audio jacks, in-line volume control, closed circumaural earcups, noise-reducing foam, just about everything you need to make the seamless transition from gaming headset to headphone powerhouse. They’re also available in a half-dozen colors, so you can pick the one that matches your style perfectly. Have a bit more money? Drop the cash for the slightly more expensive (but equally liked by many of you) Steelseries 7H ($129 retail), which has the same retractable microphone, collapsible design, interchangeable ear cushions, and sleek black design.
Plantronics Gamecom/DSP/CM Series
Plantronics is more than well known for headsets, both for consumers and for business purposes. Many of you pointed out that the Plantronics Gamecom series of headsets are affordable, with the 367 retailing for around $30, and the 780 retailing for about $80. They’re lightweight, offer top-notch voice quality and crisp audio, and depending on the model you want, can sport 3.5mm audio or USB. Plantronics’ PC and gaming line are great, but the DSP and CM series also offer great voice quality and comfort. Plantronics has made its name on its headset business, and while most people know them primarily for voice quality, their higher-end models are comfortable and sound great, too—especially for the price point.