5 Things to Consider before Buying a Gaming Headset
Sound plays an important part in a gaming experience, equally as important as graphics or gameplay. It is what tips you off to someone about to pounce or lets you enjoy rain falling on the virtual grass. It's what gives you leverage over the other team allowing you to start butchering them one by one.
That said, having just another pair of cans will definitely not do any good for the experience. Some people go for cheap gaming headsets and then regret it. You need to carefully select the right headset, and it will enhance your experience a lot.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the things you need to consider when buying your perfect gaming headset.
1. Stereo or Surround?
Most of the surround sound headphones are usually designed for gamers. With multiple drivers kept in each of the ear pads, the multiple channels provide you with a truly immersive experience. Surround sound is important for FPS games where knowing the position of the enemy is crucial.
If positional audio is not important for a gamer and they’re just looking to enjoy the story, then a stereo headset is what they should go for. The difference between a surround sound headset and the stereo ones is a minor one. With the multiple drivers, a surround sound headset might distort the sound. People usually don’t take this into account. If that matters to you, it could make all the difference.
2. What about the Mic?
Most gaming headsets feature a mic attached to them. It’s either unidirectional or omnidirectional. With an omnidirectional mic, the mic picks up more sounds from your surroundings bringing in an ambient experience: Omni meaning many, so many directions.
The uni-directional mic is made to focus on your voice, allowing you to send your message across your team clearly: uni meaning one, so one direction. While gaming, you’d want a unidirectional mic, otherwise the ambient noise would interfere with your performance in the battlefield.
Now, this is something that you can truly test only when you’ve had the headset for some time. Who knows how long your next adventure is going to take? You can’t have the headset weighing you down, keeping you from achieving the glory you deserve.
To judge a headset based on comfort, you need to closely analyze the materials used in the ear pads and the headband. That coupled with good adjustment levels is a combination that can help you gauge the comfort levels earlier on.
4. Wired or Wireless?
Photo credit: Gavin Whitner
One of the most common questions faced by gamers when choosing their next headset is either going wired or wireless. While both have their own pros and cons, it’s important to know what is what to get the most out of your next pair of cans.
Wired headsets are perfect for PCs. With either USB or the regular 3.5 mm jack, you can get amazing sound. If you have the proper drivers installed, that could lead to some really memorable times.
Going wireless isn’t really recommended unless you want to, or if you are gaming on a console. Wireless headsets often need charging, which can be cumbersome if you plan to game for a long duration. If that is something you are not bothered with, then the disturbance wires can give may play a significant role in your decision.
Generally, the low-end wireless headsets operate on a frequency that is easily interrupted, leading to lower quality audio or cuts in the sound. The mid-range or the upper-end wireless headsets often operate on a dual-band frequency which can mitigate the prior issues, so choose wisely.
Finally, the most crucial part of the equation; the price is something that can tell you a lot about the headset in question.
While there are many promising the best of the best for more than a $200 price tag, you can get a pretty decent headset for under a $100 for PC or console. Don’t shoot that high unless you are really shooting for that upper spectrum bracket, just stay reasonable, and look at reviews.
This list covers the main things you should look for when going for a gaming headset. By adhering to it, you can not only save some bucks but also make sure that you get the most out of your games. After all, sound plays a crucial role in the overall experience.