ps4 headphones

When it comes to video games, the best way to enhance and fully enjoy the experience, is via a set of headphones or headset. These devices not only allow you to appreciate the sound design of any given video game much more than the naked ears, but also immerses you in the game world a lot more. Weapons fire sounds booming, ambient noise sounds hyper-realistic, and video games with epic orchestral battle music has you feeling like the orchestra is in your living room.

But the biggest advantage of a headset when gaming (Emphasis on headset and not headphones), is the ability to communicate with teammates in multiplayer games. If you even slightly serious about team-based online gaming of any kind, then you need to get a headset. It allows you to strategize with your teammates, make call outs, and even make friends. Sure, it also puts you at risk of having to hear some obnoxious 12-year-old taunt you during a match, but that just comes with the territory.

Consoles have come a long way, and the PS4 is no exception. Whether it’s Fortnite, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Grand Theft Auto: Online or any other multiplayer game, you’ll want to grab yourself a headset. And don’t worry; these headsets won’t be breaking the bank.

Here are out top picks for best PS4 headsets under $100.

Features

  • 7.1 Surround Sound
  • Memory Foam
  • Noise and echo cancelling microphone

Overall rating: 4.1 out of  5 

Coming in at first place, is the HyperX Cloud II. These are without a doubt; the best headset $100 bucks can buy. It has all the bells and whistles that you can hope for. It sports a fantastic black and red design, and the materials this headset is comprised of, are top class. Aluminum metal frame, a braided cable, and ear cups padded with Memory Foam. If Memory Foam sounds familiar to you, that’s because the stuff is also used for mattresses among other things. Memory Foam is designed to mold itself to your body in order to maximize comfy. And boy, are these ear cups comfy.

Kingston HyperX

The frequency response of this headset, is 15,000- 20,000 Hz. The technical highlights of the HyperX Cloud II would be the new and improved USB sound card which is capable of 7.1 Surround Sound, which is as amazing as you think it is. 7.1 Surround Sound makes discerning directional sound so much easier, which is really quite crucial in competitive multiplayer games; especially FPS titles. Sound effects are crisp and booming, and there’s really nothing to complain about in this category.

In addition to being capable of 7.1 Surround Sound, you can also use this headset as a standard pair of headphones as it is 3.5mm stereo compatible. So, if you don’t feel the need for 7.1 Surround Sound, or want to use these to listen to audio on your smart phone, you can. Utility is always a nice feature in any product and the audio toggle box makes adjusting your settings quite easy.

And how is the microphone you may ask? Excellent. The microphone on hand here, cancels out both noise and echoes, which goes a long way towards improving the quality of voice chatting. The HyperX Cloud II has been officially certified by TeamSpeak, one of the most popular VolP communication systems for online gaming. It is also optimized for other popular gaming chat options like Skype and Discord.

If you purchase this headset, you also get some extra odds and ends to sweeten the deal. A second set of ear cups, some ear cushions, an airplane adapter, and a mesh bag so you can take it on the go.

As far as negatives go, it’s hard to think of any. This is a top of the line headset, and for just $100 no less. The only thing I can think of, is the fact that this is a wired headset. If you are one of those people who just really disliked wired peripherals, then maybe that’ll turn you off the HyperX Cloud II, but you’d be missing out on a fantastic headset.

Pros

  • Capable of use with 7.1 Surround Sound and compatible with 3.5mm audio jacks
  • Memory Foam padding is extremely comfortable
  • 53mm drivers
  • Awesome, sturdy design

Cons

  • Not wireless if you care about that sort of thing

Features

  • Ski-Goggle suspension headband
  • ClearCast Bidirectional microphone
  • DTS Headphone:X v2 Surround Sound

Overall rating: 3.8 out of  5 

Coming in at second place, is the SteelSeries Arctis 5 2019 Edition. There is also the SteelSeries Arctis 5 Legacy Edition from 2016 which is an excellent headset as well, but there is no reason to buy it over the 2019 Edition. The 2019 Edition improves up Legacy’s design in pretty much every way, and only costs $8 more.

SteelSeries is a powerhouse when it comes to gaming mice, and they make pretty fantastic headsets as well. When it comes to quality at an affordable price, the Arctis 5 2019 Edition is SteelSeries crowning prince.

As stated earlier, the 2019 Edition improves upon the Legacy in every way.  The new and improved ear pads are thicker and more comfortable, the cable from the ChatMix dial to the headset has increased in length, and the bass has been much improved. SteelSeries AirWeave technology keeps your ears cool and dry and the Ski Google Suspension headband makes the weight of this headset both light and evenly distributed.

SteelSeries Arctis 5 2019

Audio can be adjusted via the ChatMix Dial, and via the ear phones themselves, which have conveniently placed buttons that allow you to mute game or microphone audio. Sound quality here is pretty great. The biggest issue consumers had with the 2016 Arctis 5, was sound out of the box sounding hollow. This is no longer an issue with the 2019 Edition, which is great.

The ClearCast microphone on hand here, is pretty much exactly the same as the 2016 microphone. This is not a bad thing however, since SteelSeries’ microphone is arguably the best in this price range. It possesses a high level of noise cancellation, and voice quality is very high. The built-in SteelSeries software allows you to make any modifications to your settings and it isn’t too hard to use.

The Arctis 5 is not without some flaws, especially for PS4 gamers. DTS 2.0 is fantastic, but you can only access it on PC, so PS4 gamers are out of luck. The bass has been significantly improved, but it still needs work and is definitely nowhere near best-in-class. A lot of consumers also take issue with SteelSeries’ quirky audio dial. Some find it to be clunky and too heavy for premium comfort, but this will vary from consumer to consumer.

If you already have the 2016 Legacy Edition, the 2019 Edition is not worth upgrading to, but if you don’t have the Legacy Edition, then this is an excellent option for a gaming headset. Even without DTS 2.0, sound is still very good. As with the HyperX Cloud II, if wired headsets bother you, then consider the Arctis 7 instead.

Pros

  • Better than the 2016 Legacy version in pretty much every way
  • Bass sounds a lot better
  • ClearCast microphone is fantastic and arguably best-in-class
  • Customization via SteelSeries software

Cons

  • Bass is still not the greatest
  • ChatMix Dial is hit or miss
  • DTS 2.0 only available on PC

Features

  • Kevlar reinforced cable
  • 50 mm Razer drivers

 

Overall rating: 3.9 out of  5 

Coming in at third place, is the Razer Kraken Pro v2. Just like SteelSeries, Razer is a powerhouse in the PC gaming department, but can also build a solid gaming headset. The Razer Kraken Pro v2, is a clear-cut example of quality and performance over appearance. The glossy black design appeals to some, but also appears bland to others, but appearance is not the focal point of this headset’s design. You can also circumvent this by purchasing the white version of this headset for just a few bucks more.

Sporting a Kevlar reinforced cable, the Razer Kraken Pro v2 is probably the sturdiest headset in this price range. The headband is made from Bauxite aluminum which is both durable and lightweight. This headset uses an oval-shaped ear cushions as opposed to the standard circular shape. This was intentionally done to ensure full ear coverage. These ear cushions are very comfortable without being overbearing which is great.

KrakenProV2

Sound quality here is good, especially considering the fact that there’s no 7.1 Surround Sound here. Sounds are crisp, and picking up on directional noises is pretty easy as well. The microphone on hand here is also decent, but far from the best. The Razer Kraken Pro v2 has a inline remote that you can use to adjust volume or used to mute sound, and it’s convenient to use.

As far as cons go, there is the fact that the standard Kraken Pro v2 is not capable of 7.1 Surround Sound. You could always purchase the Kraken 7.1 v2, but whether or not the Kraken 7.1 v2 is worth the increased price, is highly debatable.

Another thing to keep in mind, is that while the microphone is good, it is far from the best. Microphone volume can sound a bit on the low sound which may be an issue during furious online multiplayer gameplay. A headset isn’t too good if your teammates can’t fully hear what you are saying after all.

But given the extremely low price point, the Kraken Pro v2 is an excellent headset option to consider. If you are just getting into online gaming, I would say that this makes for a great entry-level headset that will serve you very well until you are ready to upgrade to a higher tier of headset.

Pros

  • Very comfortable
  • Extremely durable
  • Great sound quality
  • Cheap

Cons

  • No 7.1 Surround Sound
  • Microphone volume is low
  • Design can be bland to some

Features

  • 7.1 Surround Sound
  • DTS Headphone: X

 

Overall rating: 3.9 out of  5 

Continuing the theme of primarily PC-oriented companies dominating this list, we have the Logitech G430. Logitech has built a name for themselves for creating some of the best high-quality, low-price peripherals on the market, and they have achieved it in the headset industry with the G430. Where do we begin? For starters, this headset is capable of 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound, and costs less than forty dollars. Simply put, that is value that cannot be beaten. In addition to that, the Logitech G430 is also capable of DTS Headphone: X. The 40 mm drivers here do their job well.

The G430 features a pretty unique design. The somewhat bland and faded looking black with a nice blue cloth material. Not only does it look good, but it feels great as well. The cable is roughly 2.3 meters long, so even those adverse to wired headset should not be too bothered by it.

Logitech has included their software into the G430 which is not only more convenient (Though not for on the fly) but also helps to keep this head set lightweight. Sound quality is very good here, and the microphone performs adequately enough. It’s easy to maneuver around your face, and does a good job at eliminating background noise to make voice quality clearer.

Logitech G430 headset

Given that this is a budget option, you can expect some shortcomings as well. Although the Logitech software makes it easy to set up “master” audio settings so to speak, the on the fly options are quite limited. You’ve got a mute switch and a simple volume control wheel which in 2018 feel very rudimentary as a lot of headsets have audio switch options located on the ear cups themselves. Keep in mind that this headset is from 2013 however.

Another thing that consumers might not like, is the lack of programmable keys on the G430 which are available on later and more expensive models. This isn’t really isn’t a deal breaker, but still something to keep in mind.

All in all, I would have to say that the Logitech G430 is hands-down, the best entry level option for any headset buyer. It is missing some bells and whistles and may seem a bit outdated in some aspects when compared to the competition, but when it comes to core functionality it does very well. And it cannot be stated enough that the price cannot be beat. Originally retailing for $80, at $35, this headset is an absolute bargain.

Pros

  • Outstanding value
  • Cloth ear cups very comfortable
  • Excellent sound quality; especially for the price

Cons

  • Limited on-hand audio control options
  • No programmable keys

Features

  • HyperX memory foam
  • 50mm drivers

Overall rating: 3.8 out of  5 

Coming in at number five, is another headset from HyperX: the HyperX Cloud Stinger. Another budget option, the HyperX Cloud Stinger is an excellent entry-level headset that beats the Logitech G430 in some categories and loses out in others.

For starters, the HyperX Cloud Stinger sports HyperX’s trademark memory foam cushions. For a headset in this price range, this is a very pleasant surprise, as it cannot be stated enough how comfortable memory foam is. The HyperX Cloud Stinger also has 50mm drivers which is excellent. 50mm drivers are significantly better than 40mm drivers which is what most headsets in this price range use.

hyperx-cloud stinger

The Cloud Stinger has pretty good sound quality, although the lack of 7.1 Surround Sound makes it a bit underwhelming. Directional noise in some directions is not easy to pick up, and that’s where the lack of 7.1 Surround Sound, and the budget quality of this headset comes back to haunt it. It’s hard to say whether the Logitech G430 40MM 7.1 Surround Sound or the Cloud Stinger 50mm driver stereo audio is better, but have pros and cons and are at the top of the budget headset category.

The biggest issue with the HyperX Cloud Stinger, is the build quality or lack thereof. It feels shaky at best, and definitely inferior to that of the Logitech G430. The memory foam ear cups are great but for some, the relatively shoddy build may offset that advantage.

Just like the Logitech G430, on the fly audio control options are limited. The Cloud Stinger has no inline controls and no mute button. At all. This is definitely a sign of the Cloud Stinger’s budget over functionality design. The microphone also isn’t the greatest. It is decent at eliminating background noise, but it is fairly rigid and leaves a lot to be desired.

When it comes to budget headsets, you can’t really go wrong with either the Logitech G430 or the HyperX Cloud Stinger, as each has pros and cons. Both have their bells and whistles limited by their price tag, but both excel in certain categories. The addition of 7.1 Surround Sound, DTS: X and the lower cost is why we placed the G430 over the Cloud Stinger, but again, you cannot go wrong with either.

Pros

  • Very comfortable
  • 50mm drivers
  • Cheap
  • Good sound quality

Cons

  • No 7.1 Surround Sound
  • No mute button or inline controls
  • Build quality isn’t the greatest

Features

  • Stainless steel outer band
  • 7.1 Virtual Surround Sound

Overall rating: 3.8 out of  5 

Coming in at sixth place, is the XIBERIA T19 Gaming Headset. Something that you will notice right away with this headset, aside from the beautiful silver, red, and black design, is how durable it looks. That is the stainless-steel outer band at work. This headset is very durable and definitely has one of the best build qualities of this price range. Despite the stainless steel, the XIBERIA T19 isn’t bulky or heavy and is still pretty comfortable. The padding on the ear cups is thick and can be adjusted to fit your specific preferences.

XIBERIA T19

The 50mm drivers and 7.1 Surround Sound on offer here, sound great. Sounds are crisp, and the bass is above average overall although not the best. The microphone is pretty good, and detachable if that is your thing. Not the best in class, but it gets the job done. The XIBERIA T19 gaming headset is also a simple plug and play design, making it great for people who don’t want to be bothered with complicated software.

On the negative side, the cable feels a bit short. This isn’t too big an issue, but it’s just something that some gamers may have a problem with. As stated earlier, the microphone does the job, but for $80, I expected the microphone to be a bit better. Another thing to keep in mind, is the XIBERIA T19 Gaming Headset can be a bit hard to get your hands on. XIBERIA isn’t a major hitting amongst juggernauts like Logitech, Razer, and HyperX, and currently it is sold out on Amazon. If you want to purchase this headset, then you will need to keep your eyes open for it.

Pros

  • Outstanding build quality
  • Easy to setup
  • Great sound quality
  • Fantastic aesthetic

Cons

  • Cord feels a bit short
  • Microphone could be better
  • Can be hard to find

Features

  • 50mm drivers
  • RGB LED lighting options

Overall rating: 3.8 out of  5 

The final entry in our list, is the Kotion Each G1000. A bit of an odd name, but that’s okay, because it more than makes up for it in aesthetics and performance.  Despite being the cheapest headset on this list, the Kotion Each G1000 is probably the coolest looking headset here. Available in 5 different color schemes, including Desert Camo, the RGB LED lighting options really make this headset pop.

Kotion Each G1000

Sound Quality is pretty good, especially considering these are $25 headphones. 50mm drivers, and the bass here is decent enough. The microphone is okay, although it doesn’t completely cancel out background noise so keep that in mind.

The onboard volume dial, is placed behind the left ear speaker, which is not exactly the most convenient place to put it. It shouldn’t be too annoying once you find a sweet spot, but I still wish it had been placed better.

I wouldn’t recommend the Kotion Each G1000 over the Logitech G430 in terms of performance, but if you want a headset that works well and looks cool while doing so, then the Kotion Each G1000 is a solid pick.

Pros

  • Amazing aesthetic design
  • Multi-color options
  • Great sound quality for this price

Cons

  • Onboard volume dial is placed awkwardly
  • Mic doesn’t cancel out all background noise

FAQS:

Q. Why are there no wireless headset options on this list?

A. Unfortunately, headsets are not in the same place when it comes to wireless as gaming mice are. They are still pretty significantly inferior to wired headsets, so unless you truly hate wires, I would not recommend a wireless headset over a wired one.

Q. Why are wireless headsets inferior to wired headsets?

A. The main reason is the battery life of wireless headsets. Or lack thereof. Most wireless headsets have very poor battery life and need to be recharged often. If you are a serious enough gamer to be considering a headset, then I think it is safe to assume you go on significantly long gaming marathons. Most wireless headsets simply can’t keep up. Not only that, but wireless headsets are also significantly heavier, which is a serious drawback for most gamers; especially during extended gaming sessions.

Q. Why is 7.1 Surround Sound a possible deal breaker for some consumers?

A. 7.1 Surround Sound makes a huge difference when it comes to gaming, thanks to directional sound. Being able to discern what direction an enemy or enemy attack is coming from, is pretty huge for gaming; even casual single-player gaming. For online multiplayer, especially FPS titles, this could be the difference between winning and losing a match.

Q. Is 7.1 Surround Sound important for every video game?

A. No, it isn’t! Mainly, 7.1 Surround Sound is most important for FPS games, since a single bullet might kill you. But for many other video game genres, such as sports, fighting, racing, etc. It’s not as big of a deal. 7.1 Surround Sound is point-blank superior to stereo sound, but if you mostly play NBA2K or Mortal Kombat, then you don’t need to worry if the headset you are thinking of buying does not have it.

Buyer’s Tips

Wait for Black Friday/Cyber Monday/Sales.

The best part about the headset market, is that upgrades aren’t too expensive. Many companies will release headsets in a series of three: Budget, Mid-Range, and Premium and the difference in price between Mid-Range and Premium is quite reasonable. All of the options listed above are great options for the price-range, if you are patient, you can wait for a sale and get even better options opened up to you. SteelSeries’ Arctis 7 for example, is roughly 50 bucks more than the Arctis 5. Wait for Black Friday/Cyber Monday to come around, and you should be able to pick up the Arctis 7 for about the same price as the Arctis 5. Stick to your standard headphones for a while longer, and you’ll be able to pick up much better headsets.

Depending on your video game genre of choice, 7.1 Surround Sound isn’t everything

7.1 Surround Sound and the increased quality of directional noise detection, is primarily needed for FPS titles. If you video game of choice is something like Madden or League of Leagues, then you can honestly stick with simple stereo headsets, and save a lot of money overall. Stereo isn’t bad, it’s great. It’s just that 7.1 Surround is a lot better, but it isn’t needed for everyone.

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