Kotaku Gift Guides: Gaming Headsets

I tend not to use gaming headsets, so I'm really keen for your own feedback on this post: what do you use? What is your own personal favourite headset? Consider the following a quick guide, just a couple of examples and a starting point for conversation. Let us know what you use personally in the comments below!

Money To Burn

Astro A50 Wireless Gaming Headset

These are expensive but good. The wireless version of this headset will set you back $348 at EB Games, but features 7.1 sound and everything just feels so bloody comfortable. It's probably also worth noting you can pick up the wired version of this headset for $298 if you don't mind messing with cables. Cost: $349.95

A Man Of Moderate Tastes

Turtle Beach XP500

These are still pretty expensive, as Turtle Beach headsets tend to be, but it's hard to argue with the quality here. The range of options borders on the ridiculous, in a good way. But does anyone have over $300 to spend on earphones? Cost: $329.95 (at Dick Smith, but shop around you can probably find cheaper)

The Cheaper Option

Corsair Vengeance 1500

A really nice PC gaming headset. This should really retail at twice the price. Cost: $119.95


Comments

    I have a pair of Steelseries Siberia V2s. The USB powered ones.

    Not the best sound quality for the price (~$100) but definitely the most comfortable headset I've ever owned. They're like ear pillows.

      was looking at a pair of those for weeks, but couldnt find any place in that would let me try them on before i bought them, i cant have the cups touching my ears, they get super painful super fast.

      in the end went with a second pair of gamecon 7777's, i knew these to be a good quality headset with larger cups so that they sit in my head not my ears, and since i got them on special at EB for like $90 it was all round a good deal... i think they retail for like $180.

      Thirded on the Siberia, I got some to replace my gamecon 7777s which snapped like a twig at the top when my dog got tangled in the cord ( =( ). I own a pair of Turtle Beach PX5s for my ps3 as well, but these siberia are by FAR the most comfortable phones I've ever worn, and they look great.

      Fourthed'd, they are great set, looking to trade up to a good pair of senny's at some stage in the future, 2 years going strong with the v2's and an x-fi titanium card.

    One of these days I'm going to give some money to a friend in the US and get them to buy me two sets of really nice Turtle Beach headsets for the same price as buying one set here and have them shipped to me for a pittance.

    Even if I go directly to the Turtle Beach website, as soon as I tell the site I need shipping to Australia the prices double. And that's before shipping is added.

    Edit: Correction, I was thinking of another retailer. Turtle Beach doesn't seem to ship to Australia directly, you need to find a third party that'll ship to you.

    Last edited 12/12/12 3:55 pm

      US resellers on eBay are my go-to for all headphone purchases, and I usually save at least 50%. The kangaroo tax on portable audio is insane!

    Grabbed a set of XP500's from the US recently. Really good quality but they use AA's instead of AAA's like the older models thanks to the inclusion of bluetooth. But it's worth it for a truly wireless experience.

    Oh and don't accept the RRP. Get them onlyine for around $250 at least - mine were $220 from best buy in the US.

      EB had them for $183 in that mad monday sale earlier this week.

    Not a fan of Turtle Beach sets. Had problems with them in the past. They sound OK, but I found them uncomfortable. Especially if you wear glasses.

    Using a set of Plantronics GameCom 780's now & I'd happily recommend them to others.

    Last edited 12/12/12 3:53 pm

      Yeah, I have gone through two pairs of px21's that way, now I just taped it up.

    I have the Astro A40's which are amazing and so adaptable for PS3, Xbox360 and PC gaming. I also have the Corsair Vengeance 1500's above which are absolutely amazing for the price - seriously good if you don't want to spend big bucks but still get a quality headset (for PC only though)

    Am more than happy with my Logitech G35s thank you very much.

      Fully agree. had a couple of pairs over the years. Love them. Nothing else seemed to compare.

      Yep I use these ones as well, great headset

      Yeah I like my g35s. For the PC weird is fine.

      The reason I am on my second pair though is the bit that connects the head band to the speaker support is connected by a small piece of plastic. The bit where it swivels. Right under where it says G35. This broke on my old ones and is a pretty crappy design.

        Only reason I am on my second pair is that the black covering of the ear muff pad things wore off. So have a new pair and a perfectly fine working pair minus ear pads :|

        My best friend had a set of these. I liked them so I bought a set about a month later. Both of us had that same bit of plastic break 1 year after buying them +/- a week. I liked them but I expect more then a year for that price. Couldn't bring myself to buy again.

        Tried a Razor one instead. Sound was really good but Mic was terrible. Would pick up sound from the headset and create an infinite ear bleeding loop.

        Giving the Astro A50 a go at the moment and no complaints so far.

          Which plastic bit broke? I keep hearing things about these headsets having problems so I'm scared I'll mess up something.

          I bought one a couple of months ago. My first headset! It'll suck if they broke before I got to chance to really use them (on TS :P)

            It was a tiny bit that holds the ear peace to the head strap and allows it to swivel. The one on my left site broke and the one on the right showed viable sings of ware and rapidly approaching breaking point. They did last a year of constant use before they got to that point though.

            Unfortunately the become pretty much useless when it breaks as all you can do is sit the strap on your head and let the ear pieces just kind of dangle around.

              Had my first pair for maybe a year and a half and still have no signs of wear on those bits. And this is with maybe 6 hours a day on average. Any chance of dropping them or sitting on them etc? My brother had the ear bit snap but he sat on it. Quite a few others I know have also had no issues. Eh maybe it's just hit and miss with the quality. been lucky so far with 2 for 2.

                I heard about the mic bit breaks easily as well.

                I don't know if it's just me and my not-used-to-wearing-headphone/sets-ness but they feel really claspy they're too tight around my head/ears as well as above my jaw. Other than that I guess they're good! And I hear my voice no longer sounds like my mouth is full of bees so that's a plus!

                @andy you should've told me you had a spare, I could've bought it! :P

                Do you know what the warranty is like? Surely you'd be able to get it replaced if it's just broken from normal use.

                  Again had no issues with the mic but I take extra care. As for the claspy, yeah they are a bit. I also find the actual ear bits do not come down far enough for those of us with big heads :P
                  Actually I just fixed the claspy by bending the middle of the head band a bit. Not much just a little, it's still snug just no longer compacting my head yay! :)

                  But hey I really do like them. I live on a fairly main road in Newcastle so traffic near 24 hours a day, plus my room is at the front of the house. With these on I can barely hear a thing.

                  As for warranty I am pretty sure it is a year but my first pair are older than that.
                  Did find a replacement set of ear pads from another brand but they were about $80 or so. Is why I purchased a new one as I got them on sale for the same price.

    Astro's

    The end.

      Looking forward to my A40 arriving in the coming days.
      Picked it up at EB Mad Monday sale. I'm so happy I waited.
      Sometimes, good things happen to the people who waits.

        I grabbed the same bargain & they arrived yesterday you won't be disappointed they sound amazing! (also update the firmware if your mic sounds too quiet)

          How much were they, i saw the TB xp500 for $183 but didnt see astro's. I have Tbeach x41s and love them, but the chat cord annoys me

    I get a twitch every time I see the words "gaming headsets". Have yet to encounter one with a speaker build quality that won't make the highs crackle & the bass wet after a short period of time. They're headphones with a mic on a boom, for crying out loud - buy a Zalman clip-on microphone & clip it to the headphone cable or get a desktop stand mic & match them with a set of headphones that are made by a company that doesn't target their gimmicky headphones to "gamers". "7.1 Surround sound" which comes with speakers of poorer performance than the little tweeter that sits on the underside of my work laptop... cheap plastic build quality that'll no doubt break the first time the gamer moves away from the desk or drop them on the floor...

    Peripherals made by different "gaming" brands are fine & dandy but when it comes to audio products I say you'll only find good quality from companies that specialize in audio & have been tuning their technology over the years. Get some nice Audio Technica or Sennheiser ones. Heck - even Skullcandy have managed to improve their quality of gear lately.

    If you pay for "gaming spec" you may as well be paying for a label like the piece of sh*t quality gear that comes from Beats By Dre.

      I did exactly this, bought a pair of Audio Technica ATH-M50 for my PC and Sennheiser X320 for my xbox, both have great quality mids/highs and punchy bass without being overpowering or muddy unlike Beats or most other gaming headsets sporting bass-boosted 50mm neodymium drivers with awful frequency response (20hz-20khz seems to be the gaming standard amongst most brands)

      I wish someone would make a decent pair of headphones with a mic. Or even better someone would make a better clip on solution. The Zalman is pretty poor, and other non clip-on standalone desk mics are really designed to lean in towards and speak straight into them for best quality.

      My current setup has me wearing a completely separate pair of headphones with a boom mic over the top of my ATH-AD700s whenever I want to use voice coms. Functionally it works pretty well, but it's kind of awkward and ridiculous looking.

      I almost feel what I need is one of those lavalier microphones that they use in more professional settings. But it seems they can get expensive very quickly and rarely have the right connectors to easily plug into a PC. There just doesn't seem to be a more consumer grade equivalent to these things.

        I'd like to see more 3.5mm jacks include a mic option much like what you get in phones these days - there's some excellent headphones with mic in the cable out there.

        I've got the ATH-M50 SEs paired with a Logitech USB desktop mic & plan on getting a Zalman clip-on one (i've heard they're amazing for $10)

          Ahmen brother, I am seriously against USB based head phones as they only ever seem to make problems for my computer and would much rather surround sound emulation than having to mess around with sound settings every time I want to concentrate on a ranked game or even just get immersed in something.

    I got a pair of Turtle Beach P11s as a gift for myself last christmas for I think $60 and I'm still very happy with them. They sound good, the voice is good, and they work with PC and PS3.

    I like my ASUS ROG Vulcan headset, it is comfortable and looks nice. The only down side is its weight.

    If anyone is keen on grabbing a pair of Turtle Beach XP500s, Kogan has them for $219.

    As for me, got a cheapie Turtle Beach X12 and goes ok. Mind you I'm not an audio tech/worry about it too much

    I'm going to go ahead and not recommend the Turtle Beach X32. It gets heaps of interference through the wireless reciever and is absolutely awful to listen to music through. Games do sound great through it though with enough bass, range and presets to change the sound. I received it for free and although it's for the Xbox it works for the PS3 and PC if you buy an extra connection thing to get the mic to work. It works fine as headphones without the connection.

    The xp500 are currently $229 at EB games.

    Money to Burn and Moderate Tastes are only a $20 difference. Shouldn't moderate taste be in the 200ish price bracket.

      This. $330 is not "moderate tastes". It's still a ridiculous amount of money for any set of headphones. Middle of the road should be around the $150 mark and then a budget set at $60-90.

      "A really nice PC gaming headset. This should really retail at twice the price."

      No. This shows just how obscenely overpriced the competition is. $240 is not a more reasonable price for those headphones at all. They're right on the mark as they are.

      I use a pair of $60 Gamecoms. They aren't anything special, but they're fine when paired with a decent sound card. I was seriously considering the Corsair 1300 when these wear out, but it doesn't look like that will be any time soon. They're now more than 2 years old and they work perfectly. These are the 367s. The set that apparently break really easily. It seems that if you don't rage and abuse your gear, it will last.

      Either way, the fact that sub $100 phones aren't even on the list is blatantly naive. Why do people insist on forking out stupid amounts of cash for "gaming" gear. I understand paying more, sure. But $330 being "middle of the road" is a joke.

    EB currently has the XP500 for $229. They are discontinued stock though and being replaced with the XP800 next year.

    The Turtlebeach X-Rays are quite a good pair as well as their are rechargeable but lack the massive reciever and voice morphing of the XP500.

    I game with Etymotic Er-4s IEMs because I don't have any headphones.

    I got the A40's with the MixAmp about three months ago. They are spectacular!

    Using Gamecom 780's with PC at this point. Very simple headset and not at all feature heavy but it is a good performer and the sound quality is great. Can't fault it for comfort either. Pretty bloody cheap too (under $100.00).

    Bought a pair of Corsair Vengeance 1300 (analog) for gaming (needed a mic), very comfy and good sound quality. Also own a Senheiser HD 201that sound great

    Astro A50!

    I got a pair of A50's a few weeks ago.

    Pro's;
    Comfort is excellent, cups fit over ears no probs, not too heavy, etc.
    Sound is fantastic.
    Battery life is good.
    Build quality\feel is excellent.

    Con's;
    $$$ - However, I am happy with the purchase and I would definitely buy them again.
    Needs more optical inputs! It's not a problem if you are just running consoles through a TV with an optical out; But I want to hook up my PC as well (not through the TV).

    Other;
    The buttons are a bit confusing, but it's not TOO bad after a week or so!
    They have a master volume dial + two buttons to adjust the balance between Game audio and Voice; A separate volume control for both game and voice would be much better.

    I also have some logitech G930's for my PC, which are also quite good, but I'd pick the A50's anyday!
    My uncle has the Turtle Beach PX5's, they are decent; Again, I'll take the A50's!

    Corsair is the only good recommendation, honestly.

    The Astro's are way to expensive, you're better off getting a decent pair of audiophile-tier headphones and a clip on mic if you want to blow that kind of money.

    The Turtle Beaches are a heap of shit.

    I can't believe there is only one mention of Sennheiser on this page so far.

    For under $200 these are amazing!!!
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/270932714544?ssPageName=STRK:MESINDXX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1436.l2649#ht_1980wt_884

    Last edited 13/12/12 10:03 am

    I've got some nice plantronic 7.1 headphones that were a great upgrade from the older5.1's I have had for years. Pick the right game and they are sweet- looking at COD:WAW and the battlefield series especially. Good headphones make a difference, and as I have young kids a 7.1 or even5.1 sound system, for my game playing is out of the question.

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