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Our Recommended Gaming Headsets for 2017

From IGN - November 22, 2017
By Kosta Andreadis

It can be a little overwhelming deciding on the gaming headset thats right for you, so to give you a better look at whats available, and what their strengths and weaknesses are, weve decided to highlight some of the best out there. These are headsets that weve tested and would recommend, and weve broken them up into budget, mid-range and high-end categories so you can see whats available in the price range(s) that work for you.

Turtle Beach Recon XO Three / Recon 150

Price: $99.95

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One

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Turtle Beach has been in the gaming headset, err, game, for many years now. And over that time it has garnered a rather impressive reputation thanks to its wide range of products built to suit just about any budget. Although not the cheapest Turtle Beach headset on the market, the Recon XO Three (and the PlayStation 4 variant Recon 150) is an impressive bit of kit that performs well beyond the sum of its price point. With large 50mm audio drivers and surround support when connected to either console you get immediate and impressive sound response.

But, like any headset in the lower price range, the extra oomph is predominately found and relegated to the bass department, so the Recon line doesnt perform as well across the broader frequency spectrum. That being said you do get somewhat of a premium feel with the design of the headset itself thanks to the sturdy leather-bound headframe and comfortable fabric cushions. Another standout aspect of this headset that has become somewhat of a Turtle Beach staple of late is the implementation of a high-quality microphone and focus on great chat functionality.

Standout Feature: Large and impressive 50mm audio drivers.

Astro A10

Price: $99.95

Platforms:PS4, Xbox One, PC (splitter sold separately)

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A great budget entry that showcases Astros commitment to quality design and game performance. Although limited to console and smart device use out of the box - were not sure why a PC splitter couldnt have been supplied - what you do get is a solid gaming headset that offers decent sound and a great mic for both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Whats surprising about the A10 is that at a glance it looks almost identical to Astros more premium offerings, but without the additional metallic parts. The cups and ear cushions showcase the sturdiness in the build and the 40mm drivers offer excellent audio for the price. They also, in fact, work surprisingly well across other media like music and movies.

If we were to lay one criticism at the A10, its that overall the headband feels a little stiff and the size of the ear cups themselves are a little on the small side. This can have a detrimental effect if you plan on using them for several hours at a time. Its a problem facing several budget headsets, and unfortunate that comfort usually comes at a price. But Astro hasnt cut back where it counts, and even after a few minutes you can tell that the A10s have been designed with pure gaming audio in mind. And after a few sessions with Forza Motorsport 7 on Xbox One or Gran Turismo Sport on PS4, youd be hard pressed not to walk away impressed.

Standout Feature: Same impressive Astro sound, on a budget.

Logitech G233

Price: $129.95

Platforms:PC, PS4, Xbox One

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When looking at headsets on the lower end of the pricing spectrum, heavy use is often one of the key things to look out for. Which then leads on to comfort, sound quality, build quality, and a decent microphone that doesnt need to veer into the realm of broadcast quality. Outside of the higher price compared to other headsets in this category, Logitechs G233 gaming headset is a definite workhorse. The solid foldable build and durable fabric cushions mean that its the kind of headset you can take just about anywhere without worrying about carefully packing it in a case or even setting it down neatly on a desk.

The 40mm drivers also offer up decent sound, thanks in part to Logitechs many years in the PC peripheral business. The modular plug-and-play design is impressive, extending to all the cables provided and the microphone too. It adds a layer of portability that coupled with the funky blue colour of the ear cushions results in the sort of headset that can also moonlight as a decent headphone when connected to a smart phone or music streaming device. That being said, the G233 does perform a lot better with games than it does other media with the overall sound emphasising the lower and higher end frequencies.

Standout Feature: Durable and modular design mean this is a headset that you can take on the go without worrying about it.

Sennheiser GSP 300

Price: $149.00

Platforms:PC, PS4, Xbox One

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The lack of out of the box virtual surround should never deter you from taking a good look at a headset. Why? Well, the reasoning comes down to the simple fact that its called virtual surround; an approximation that for the most part takes a stereo signal and transposes the audio across two channels to mimic spatial detail. This, naturally, can be accomplished by a decent sound card or audio amplifier offering the same feature. All of which is a roundabout way of saying that when testing any headset for sound performance, starting with a clean stereo signal is often the most telling.

The Sennheiser GSP 300 is the budget offering from the well-known headphone maker aimed at the gaming crowd, but you wouldnt know it judging from both the quality of the build and the balanced sound. In fact, the only real downside to the design of the GSP 300 is that even though its the sort of product that is meant to be used across both gaming and other forms of media, the microphone itself is rather large. Massive even. So, it would have been nice if it were detachable or less obtrusive. Outside of that minor complaint though, its hard to fault the GSP 300, even when squared off against some of the more premium headsets in this write-up. The sound quality is exceptional, as is the overall design and build quality.

Standout Feature: If youre looking for a great balanced sound that is great for gaming and other forms of media then you should check out the GSP 300s.

Logitech G433

Price: $169.95

Platforms:PC (DTS X), PS4, Xbox One

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On the flip side to a clean stereo signal, theres 7.1 virtual surround. This technology has been around for quite some time, and really is the sort of thing that has always come down to implementation and personal preference. In the case of the Logitech G433 wired headset the surround mode of choice is one of the better implementations youre likely to hear thanks to it being DTS X Headphone. This means that although in design you get modular connections like the impressive G233, the supplied PC USB connection is required to take advantage of surround.

With the dedicated hardware, in addition to the decent surround tech that is DTS X Headphone, performance of the G433 can be quite impressive across several different titles. I certainly found this to be the case when going through my Battle.net catalogue of Destiny 2, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, and StarCraft II. But it seems that outside of this one feature and the somewhat funky all-fabric design of the ear pieces the G433 offers no real benefit over the already durable G233 from Logitech. Well, there is one - a by-product of the supplied hardware USB audio connection is that microphone and chat performance is given a noticeable boost in quality over the standard 3.5mm connections.

Standout Feature: Thanks to the modular design the G433 can switch from surround gaming headset to portable music headphone in a matter of seconds.

Audio Technica PDG1

Price: $169.00

Platforms:PC, PS4, Xbox One

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Astro A20 Wireless

Turtle Beach Stealth 700

Turtle Beach Elite Pro

Audio Technica ATH-ADG1X

Sennheiser Game Zero

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