Ultimate Gaming Headset Buyers Guide
Having just the right headset is so important for creating a truly immersive gaming experience. These days a mid-level price range for PC gaming headsets is around $100. I wanted to review a selection of different headsets at this price range while sticking to USB digital audio for quality.
Not only was I looking for a perfect headset for video games but also for livestreaming which requires a high quality microphone. Comfort is also very important for lengthy livestream sessions which can last for hours.
Corsair H1500 Dolby 7.1 USB Gaming Headset – $104.99
(PC only – USB)
Corsair is world renowned for their power supplies, computer cases and memory but they have been making efforts to break into the gaming peripherals market.
The physical quality of the headset is top notch. The over ear cups and the band have thick comfy padding and it fits snugly to cancel background noise if you are in a noisy environment. The surround sound quality is amazing both in video games and for music and the cord is very long – 3 metres or ten feet.
Sadly, the device driver software has a major issue. The microphone emits a strange static buzz when livestreaming or using voice communications and although I am a technical wizard I could not solve the problem within Windows settings. The quality of the microphone itself is not good either.
Steel Series Siberia V3 Prism Gaming Headset – $119 CDN
(PC, Mac, PS4 – USB)
I’ve owned other Steel Series products in the past and this company invests into technology that is built to last. They live up to their Steel name in that regard, these products can take a beating.
This sturdy headset felt comfortable on my giant melon head and there was no need for adjustments. The ear padding is made of a faux leather material that can get kind of sticky with disgusting face grease after an 8 hour session. It’s cool that this is a multi-platform headset and can work on multiple devices.
Although the stereo sound quality was decent it should be noted this is the only headset reviewed without surround sound. I felt that the mic wasn’t good enough for broadcasting purposes and seemed tinny. There was no noise-cancelling feature and it was apparent.
Logitech G430 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset – $99.99
(PC only – 3.5mm & USB)
First of all this headset felt very light compared to the other two headsets and it just gives off a cheap plastic vibe. I’ve owned the Logitech G930 headset in the past and its plastic housing broke after only six months so I’m wary of Logitech quality. I took out the 2 year extended warranty for $20 which I would recommend.
After installation of the drivers and a firmware update I could hear a constant buzzing which was coming from the microphone and my heart sank as I thought this was a faulty product. After tinkering with some sound settings and following instructions from a YouTube video I solved the problem and it now works great.
The noise-cancelling microphone is the best quality of the bunch but I was disappointed with the low volume of the speakers. The 7.1 surround sound works well but it’s not as bassy as the Corsair or Steel series ones are – this headset delivers crisp hi-mids and trebles. The G430 also has on-cable controls for volume and mic mute.
I bought this headset at a big box retailer and because they do price matching with amazon.ca. I got it for only $76 which is really great value.