If you’re looking for the best wireless gaming headset for your PC, or , look for a headset with a quality microphone, long battery life and good sound quality — after all, you want to be able to have the versatility to confer with teammates and curse out your opponents in and for as long as it takes to win.,
And while you’re at it, why not make it a wireless headset? Top up your coffee or grab a snack without fumbling with a cord — or worse, yanking your precious laptop or console to the floor. (Don’t ask.)
Last year, I was in the market for just such a headset, but had a tough time picking one. But because I work for CNET, I had a simple solution: Test them all at once.
Thirty-plus headsets and many, many games oflater, I found the best for me. And depending on your needs, I’m pretty sure I’ve found the best for you, too.
Disclaimer: CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of products featured on this page.
Read me first
Before you dive into our list of the very best wireless gaming headsets, a few things you should know:
- You don’t necessarily need these for the PS4 or Xbox One. Practically any wired headset can effectively become a wireless headset by plugging into the 3.5mm jack on your controller.
- Most wireless headsets work with the PS4 or Xbox, but not both. I’m not sure why, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it involves lawyers. Headsets with optical jacks can get audio from both consoles, but not necessarily use their microphones.
- Every single headset I tried works with Windows PCs. Even if they don’t mention PC on the box. Just know that direct-connect Xbox Wireless headsets (there aren’t many, and I’ll point them out) require this $25 dongle for Windows.
- Every headset is capable of virtual surround sound. Most headsets have built-in surround sound, and for those that don’t, Windows PCs and the Xbox One have aftermarket options like Windows Sonic and Dolby Atmos. We’ll point out if a PS4 headset doesn’t have the option.
- Virtual surround sound isn’t great anyhow. Experts generally agree, and I do too — headphones are no substitute for actual surround-sound speakers. I’ve gotten good at telling where gunshots came from with plain ol’ stereo, and didn’t notice a useful difference even switching to Dolby Atmos.
- Not many wireless headsets work with the Nintendo Switch. You can to see which.
The no-brainer: HyperX Cloud Flight
$160, £140, AU$230
- Compatible with: PS4, PC, Steam Link
- Buy for: Best battery life, good audio quality, comfort, great controls, slim minimalist design, 3.5mm headphone jack
- Skip if: You need an Xbox-compatible headset.
The HyperX Cloud Flight is the wireless gaming headset I’m buying for myself, and the only one I feel comfortable recommending without knowing your specific wants. It’s lightweight, remarkably comfortable, not too flashy, and best of all, it sounds fantastic — a rich, full, clear and wide soundstage good enough for my music collection, with just enough bass punch for gunshots and explosions in games.
Plus, it’s the best wireless gaming headset for battery life, the most of any wireless headset today at 30 hours (I tested). It works wonderfully as a set of passive wired headphones, too. Just yank out the detachable mic and plug in a 3.5mm cable, and you can walk down the street listening to tunes without draining that battery at all.
The catch: it doesn’t work with the Xbox, even if you plug that 3.5mm cable into your gamepad. It’s got a headphone jack, not a headset jack, so there’s no mic (and apparently no Xbox compat) when you use a cord. And though I find it comfy, it still puts a little bit of pressure on my jaw.
The most comfortable for most heads: Plantronics Rig 800
$150, £160, AU$250
- Compatible with: PS4 (Rig 800HS) or Xbox One (Rig 800LX); also works with PC and Nintendo Switch
- Buy for: Comfort, battery life, mic quality, wireless range, optical jack, chat/volume mixer dial
- Skip if: You crave bass, need a headphone jack, or want a headset that’s great for music as well as games.
Plantronics makes gaming headsets? Yep — and the Rig 800 is the only one so lightweight, so comfortable, I sometimes forgot I was wearing it.
Instead of relying on a traditional ratcheting headband that pinches the sides of your head a fixed amount, the two sides are connected by a spring-loaded inner head strap that automatically adjusts tension to the size of your skull. The fancy modular headband also lets you pop out the earcups and slot them higher or lower to fit larger or smaller heads.
Add great battery life (I got nearly 27 hours) and some of the best wireless range (downstairs, through a floor and a wall) and you’ve got quite the contender. Just know that while the mic quality is quite good, the audio lacks some punch and can get a little tinny. There’s also no surround sound for the PS4, if that’s important to you, and no headphone jack.
The best headset for people who hate headsets: Steelseries Arctis 7
$150, £140, AU$280
- Compatible with: PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch (with 3.5mm workaround), Steam Link, others via wired 3.5mm cable
- Buy for: Comfort, stylish design, mic quality, battery life, two audio streams on PC, and you can plug in your earbuds!
- Skip if: You’re buying for Xbox, have a particularly tall head or large ears, and/or need great audio quality.
Some people hate headsets. They hate how they look. They hate how they feel. Those people should buy a Steelseries Arctis 7. It’s the headset that uses a colorful, comfy, ski-goggle-like stretchy fabric band to make a fashion statement, cushion your head and adjust its tension simultaneously.
The result: a headset that’s more comfortable for average-size heads than practically any other, and one you wouldn’t be embarrassed to wear in public. (The super-retractable mic also doesn’t hurt.) And if you still hate the fit, you can plug your earbuds into the headset’s “Share” port and leave the Arctis dangling around your neck.
The Arctis 7 also offers a killer feature you won’t usually find on headsets this price: two distinct audio streams on PC. Set voice chat to one, your game to the other, then just reach up and rotate a dial whenever you need to hear friends (or footsteps) more clearly.
The best audio: Astro A50 Gen 3
$300, £250, AU$480
- Compatible with: PS4 or Xbox One versions; also works with PC, Nintendo Switch (with 3.5mm workaround), Steam Link
- Buy for: Mic quality, audio quality, comfort, two audio devices on PC, optical jacks on base station
- Skip if: You need long battery life — or audio privacy. You aren’t made of money. You want a wired headset, too.
There’s a reason the Astro A50 is typically touted as the best wireless gaming headset: it sounds superb. No other wireless gaming headset has the clarity and the booming bass over a purely wireless connection. None has a microphone nearly as rich, or as good at filtering out unwanted background sounds.
That’s probably because unlike practically any other headset, the A50 uses a 5GHz wireless connection, offering more bandwidth (and thus higher audio quality) than a typical 2.4GHz kit. But it also means shorter range, shorter battery life and — particularly on the Xbox, if you read the user reviews — the chance for troublesome interference.
Though the Astro A50 Gen 3 comes with a neat charging dock that keeps track of your battery life, it’s tough to get the charging pins lined up. I came back to a dead headset more than once. Also, know that it’s the leakiest headset I tried: People around you can definitely hear your tunes.
None of those are why the A50 isn’t my top pick, though. It simply costs twice as much as other competent options. And if price is no object, you should definitely check out the more futureproof (but less bassy) Steelseries Arctis Pro later in this post.
The best for budget PC gamers: Corsair Void Pro Wireless
$100, £110, AU$200
- Compatible with: PC, Steam Link. Works poorly with PS4.
- Buy for: Big heads. Happy wallets. Gifts for other people.
- Skip if: You’re buying for PS4, Xbox, Switch, or phone. You have a small head.
There are two easy ways of looking at the Corsair Void Pro Wireless. It’s really comfortable, really cheap, surprisingly crisp and clear, and looks cool.
Or: It barely stays on your skull, doesn’t work properly with anything besides a PC, is ugly AF and lacks great sound. It really depends on the size of your head, and your expectations. If $50 is a lot of money to you (it’s the difference between the Void Pro and our top picks) and your head is large, I’d nab it over practically anything else.