The Best Budget Gaming Headsets in 2021

The days of budget gaming headsets being all flimsy, with poor sound quality and horrendous microphones are over. Today, there are tons of budget headsets that offer a lot for the money. But how to find the best budget gaming headset?

Well, for starters, we’ve covered six amazing budget gaming headsets in this piece. These are all wired models that have lots of positives. Next, we prepared a detailed buying guide on what to look for when looking for your next budget gaming headset.

Read our list and then our buying guide and we’re sure you’ll find an excellent gaming headset that falls into the budget category. Let’s start with our selection of best budget gaming headsets.

hyperx cloud stinger core 7 1
  • Form Factor: Over-Ear
  • Weight: 215g
  • Connection: 3.5mm jack
  • Sound Channels: Stereo, Virtual Surround (7.1)
  • Microphone: Boom Mic With Noise Cancelation
CHECK PRICES

The HyperX Cloud Stinger Core 7.1 is an excellent headset for the money. First of all, these headphones sport pretty solid audio with booming bass. They can be used for listening to music and they’ll offer a pretty solid listening experience. But they really shine in games.

Powerful sound is perfect for games and movies and the exceptional clarity of voice over the microphone makes voice communication excellent and very clear, even in loud settings. Build quality is decent but earcups aren’t the best fit for many users. This can lead to inconsistent audio experience with lots of bass leakage.

Virtual surround isn’t perfect but it can make a difference when playing competitive shooters. It’s good enough to pinpoint the location of footsteps, gun noises, and other sounds that can be used to locate opponents. Overall, this is the best budget PC headset for under $50 you can buy right now.

Pros:
  • Great Sound For The Price
  • Excellent Microphone
  • Lightweight
  • Solid Virtual Surround
Cons:
  • Finicky Build Quality
  • Fit Has Issues Leading To Sound Leakage

Razer Kraken Gaming Headset

The Budget Gaming Headset With Retractable Mic

razer kraken gaming headset
  • Form Factor: Over-Ear
  • Weight: 322g
  • Connection: 3.5mm jack
  • Sound Channels: Stereo, Virtual Surround (7.1)
  • Microphone: Retractable Unidirectional Boom Microphone
CHECK PRICES

The Razer Kraken gaming headset is another budget headset that does the basics right. The sound signature is boomy and bassy, which is great for playing games and watching movies. The sound’s a bit muddy but the overall quality is decent for this price point. You can even listen to music and have some enjoyment, just don’t expect miracles.

Design is great and when the microphone is retracted you can use these as regular headphones since they don’t look aggressive, except if you go for the radioactive green model. The retractable microphone is pretty good. It delivers a clear voice, is retractable, and performs excellently during voice chats with loud teammates.

Virtual surround sound does its job as supposed. You will be able to locate enemies in shooters as well as to enjoy surround sound in movies. Build quality could’ve been better, and the headphones won’t fit great on most users. Overall, the Razer Kraken is a decent headset for its price that has great gaming audio.

Pros:
  • Rich Sound For Games And Movies
  • Attractive Design
  • Quality Microphone
  • Decent Virtual Surround Feature
Cons:
  • Sound Signature Isn’t Made For Music Listening
  • Build Quality Could’ve Been Better

SteelSeries Arctis 1

Comfortable Budget Headset With Solid Microphone

steelseries arctis 1
  • Form Factor: Over-Ear
  • Weight: 272g
  • Connection: 3.5mm jack
  • Sound Channels: Stereo
  • Microphone: Detachable Noise Canceling Bidirectional
CHECK PRICES

If you want a budget headset you can wear for hours without noticing it, get the SteelSeries Arctis 1. This headset is extremely comfortable, with soft pads and plushy headband. The sound signature is tuned towards the low end. That’s great when playing shooters with lots of explosions but not so much when listening to music and playing chill games filled with dialogues.

That doesn’t mean the sound is muddy. It’s actually pretty good and clear, it’s just filled with bass. The detachable microphone is what makes this headset so versatile. First of all, it features noise cancelation and produces a crisp voice. Your teammates will hear you clearly even in the heat of battle. Next, it can be easily detached from the headset turning the SteelSeries Arctis 1 into a pair of decent headphones for some casual podcast listening while walking about.

Pros:
  • Great Sound In Games
  • Comfortable
  • Detachable Microphone Is Excellent
Cons:
  • Sound Leans Too Much Towards Lower End Of The Spectrum
  • No Virtual Surround

Corsair VOID Elite

The Best Gaming Headset Under $100

corsair void elite
  • Form Factor: Over-Ear
  • Weight: 390g
  • Connection: USB
  • Sound Channels: Stereo, 7.1 Surround
  • Microphone: Omnidirectional
CHECK PRICES

Corsair’s VOID Elite gaming headset is a great product made for long gaming sessions. The headset is super comfortable. You won’t notice it even after spending the whole afternoon playing your favorite game. The build quality is excellent and the only downside is earcups being just a bit too loose on your head. This can lead to sound leakage that affects bass the most.

When it comes to sound this headset sounds great, if it’s fitting your ears right. Bass is powerful but clean and with depth. Mids and highs are also present, are crisp, and create a pleasant overall sound signature. These cans can be used to listen to music and they’ll deliver. If the mic were retractable or detachable, or if these came with 3.5mm jack, the VOID Elite could’ve been excellent headphones for games and music.

While it isn’t very agile when it comes to design, the microphone is superb when it comes to clarity and loudness of the voice coming through it. It’s perfect for games such as Call of Duty, where there’s always absolute chaos and where you can have trouble communicating with your team.

Virtual surround sound isn’t great but that’s the case with most other headsets offering virtual surround. It can help you locate footsteps in competitive shooters, and that’s all that matters when it comes to surround sound in multiplayer games. Overall, this is a pretty good gaming headset that has a pretty loose fit. Everything else is great for the price. Just remember that these come with USB connection making them incompatible with consoles.

Pros:
  • Great Sound For Games, Movies, And Music
  • Excellent Microphone
Cons:
  • Loose Fit Leads To Sound Leakage
  • Come Only With USB Connection

Turtle Beach Recon 70

Cheap Gaming Headset For Nondemanding Users

turtle beach recon 70
  • Form Factor: Over-Ear
  • Weight: Undisclosed
  • Connection: 3.5mm jack
  • Sound Channels: Stereo, Virtual Surround (7.1)
  • Microphone: Fixed Omni-Directional Flip-to-Mute Microphone
CHECK PRICES

If you need a decent sounding headset that will work with every gaming platform, get the Turtle Beach Recon 70. These are cheap headphones that offer decent sound in games. They aren’t very comfortable so if you like long gaming sessions it’s better to skip on these.

Their sound is good while gaming but not great for anything else. The sound on this headset lacks bass and power but it’s clear and can be pretty loud. The microphone, on the other hand, is awesome. Clear, without distortions, and perfect for team communication even during chaotic moments.

Pros:
  • Decent Sound In Games
  • Great Microphone
Cons:
  • Sound Lacks Bass
  • Headset Isn’t Really Comfortable

Logitech G432 DTS:X 7.1

Bulky Gaming Headset That Sounds Pretty Good

logitech g432 dts x 7 1
  • Form Factor: Over-Ear
  • Weight: 280g
  • Connection: 3.5mm jack, USB
  • Sound Channels: Stereo, Virtual Surround (7.1)
  • Microphone: Unidirectional Boom Microphone
CHECK PRICES

The Logitech G432 is a huge gaming headset. Its earcups are immense and the headband is thick and covered in lots of snuggly foam. This makes the headset pretty comfortable during long gaming sessions.

The large earcups house pretty solid drivers. The sound isn’t exceptional but it has a nice amount of bass, it’s powerful and clear, and is great in games. Just make sure to connect the headset via the USB port since the sound isn’t as good when using the 3.5mm headphone jack.

This headset is also great for music. It offers a clear frequency response with a bit of extra bass that’s great for most music genres. The virtual surround feature also works okay. It’s handy for locating enemies in shooters but not great for anything else. Overall, the G432 is a decent gaming headset that’s a great buy for its current price.

Pros:
  • Great Sound For Games And Music
  • Comfortable
  • Solid Microphone
Cons:
  • Bulky Design

How To Choose A Budget Gaming Headset

So, you want to get a new gaming headset but you’re on a tight budget. No worries since there are many great budget headsets out there. You can get the best budget headset there is and not spend more than, let’s say, $100.

The quest for the best budget gaming headset is similar to overall process of buying a new gaming headset. The only major difference is sticking to your set budget and not going over it. Let’s cover the most important points everyone should focus on when in the market for a new budget gaming headset.

Set Your Budget

This is the first and foremost thing you should do. As is the case in other markets, gaming headsets come in gazillion shapes and sizes with a huge number of different features, with prices starting at a couple of dozens of bucks and reaching four-digit numbers.

Getting lured into buying an expensive headset can be pretty easy since price differences are so slender that you can go way over your budget in a minute. One minute you’re looking at some cans that are $10 over your budget and the next you’re eyeing some 7.1 RGB wireless headset with detachable mic and a built-in DAC that’s way better than your sound card, which costs $400.

So, before you start looking set your budget and leave some leeway (about 20 percent max, if you can afford) in case you find an excellent headset that’s just out of your budget.

Which Gaming Platforms You Need The Headset For?

Many gaming headsets support multiple platforms but some of them, especially wireless models, support just one or two platforms. Remember that the best PC budget gaming headset doesn’t have to be the best one for PS4 or Xbox One simply because the said model maybe doesn’t come with console support.

If you’re gaming on more than one platform look for headsets that support both. If you’re gaming on all consoles and a PC, look for a model that supports all of them. There’s a ton of different models on the market and there are lots of models with support for PC and all major gaming consoles.

You don’t have to spend money on two or more headsets when one can do the job. The only case when you probably won’t find one headset for all platforms is if you want to get a wireless one. Just remember that even wireless headsets should work on all platforms if they come with a detachable cable.

Getting A Gaming Headset Or Hi-Fi Headphones?

The age-old question of whether to buy a gaming headset or a pair of Hi-Fi headphones and some cheap microphone. This is similar to the decision of whether to buy a pair of Hi-Fi computer speakers or some bassy set of gaming speakers engineered to deliver in games and movies but not made for playing music.

If you’re a fan of quality music listening experience and aren’t on a super tight budget get a pair of quality headphones and spend a couple of dozens of bucks on a separate microphone.

After all, budget gaming headsets come (in most cases) with poor quality microphones. If you have some extra money, go for the headphones + microphone combo. You’ll get a nice pair of cans with high-quality sound which you can use with your phone while outside, and you’ll have a solid microphone that can be tucked away when not gaming.

Last but not least, in case you own an Nvidia graphics card, get the RTX Voice app that filters out noise in real-time and can be extremely handy for in-game chat. And it can work on any Nvidia GPU. That’s basically a free upgrade for your microphone.

Sound Quality And Surround Sound

The sound quality in gaming headsets is usually shaped to offer thumping bass as well as some form of virtual surround sound, which can benefit the player in esports shooter games. Now, that bassy sound signature could be great in games and movies but if you want to listen to music on your gaming headset, look for one that has a more balanced sound signature.

Some budget models offer great sound for the price and sound good enough to enjoy most music genres. Again, if you care about sound quality and are a music fan, it’s better to get a pair of Hi-Fi headphones and a separate mic than a gaming headset.

Next, the surround sound is usually software-based. You have some gaming headsets that offer true surround sound but those are quite expensive. Budget models almost always come with virtual surround. And the software surround sound quality can vary greatly.

If you’re looking for a budget gaming headset with surround capabilities read reviews and, if possible, try out headsets you’re interested in. There’s no substitute for personal experience. Just remember that most budget headsets offer poor surround quality. You’ll have to do plenty of research to find a pair that comes with decent surround support.

Comfort, Isolation, and Build Quality

Flimsy budget headsets are thing of the past. You aren’t limited to poor build quality in the budget market anymore. Even cheap headsets can be sturdy and well-built. All you have to do is do your research. User reviews usually contain lots of reviews talking about build quality. If a headset is prone to breaking you can bet there’ll be lots of user reviews mentioning that.

Comfort is a subjective category, especially when it comes to earcups. Some of us have small ears and most earcups will fit just right. Others, with large or weirdly shaped ears, will have trouble with many models.

Headband comfort is less subjective but also different from person to person. It’s best to try out different headsets yourself to see if they fit your ears. If that isn’t possible well, there’s the whole internet filled with numerous reviews, tech forums, and Reddit discussions.

Sound isolation and its importance differ greatly on an individual basis. Some of us live in a quiet street without any noise. Others are listening to the metro every 15 minutes or have a house filled with noisy people.

If you really need isolation, forget about open-back headphones. Those are great and have the best sound quality but their isolation level is zero. Headphones with active noise cancelation can be found in the budget category and if noise cancelation is really important to you there are lots of budget models that don’t sound half bad and have decent ANC. Finally, most users will be satisfied with passive isolation offered by over the ear headsets.

You Can Go Wireless, Even In The Budget Market

Yup, wireless headphone tech went a long way in the last couple of years. Today you can get wireless headphones that are firmly set in the budget category. But yeah, most of the budget wireless headsets have mediocre sound quality.

You can get a wireless headset with decent sound but be ready to pay a little extra. For instance, if you have a wired headset that costs $50, a wireless headset with similar sound quality will set you back about $80. No strings attached is a premium feature that costs extra and there’s no way around it.

When in the market for a budget wireless headset look not only for sound quality but also for battery life. Many affordable wireless headsets come with a poor battery. Look for professional reviews and user reviews and what they say about sound and connection quality, and battery life. Those are the three most important things to look for in budget wireless gaming headsets.

Another thing to look for is audio lag. Some models come with noticeable audio lag that makes watching movies, TV shows, and YouTube videos practically impossible due to it.

Forget About RGB Features

RGB could be cool when you actually can see those flashy and colorful lights. But RGB effects on headphones are meaningless. RGB should be the least of your worries when looking for a budget gaming headset.

About The Author

Goran Damnjanovic

Goran studied psychology but video games and PC hardware were much more interesting. On top of that he likes writing so he decided to become a writer. And it was the right choice. Other than games and hardware, Goran is interested in basketball, Sci-Fi literature, and music.

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