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Gaming Headset Guide

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When it comes to building your ideal gaming setup, we often jump straight to improvements of our visuals with more powerful components.

An often overlooked facet of great gaming performance is sound. To take your gaming to the next level, you really need a gaming headset.

 

Sound Channels and Quality

First prize goes to me for stating the obvious, but above all, your gaming headset needs to omit a good quality of sound. Still, there are a couple of considerations to make with regards to sound.

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Product Featured- Logitech G430

Central to which is how many sound channels your headset will contain. The main choice falls between surround sound and stereo. Just like when you’re sat in front of your TV watching a film, surround sound will obviously give you a more immersive experience when gaming. Surround sound headsets will cram multiple speakers into the device, giving the headset greater positional audio. Stereo provides your standard dual-speaker solution, but surround sound ramps up those channels to either 5.1 or 7.1 solutions.

One vital distinction to make is the difference between true surround sound and simulated surround sound. True surround users multiple speakers operating at different angles for greater sound. Simulated surround sound however, users sound processing in an attempt to recreate true surround sound. Predictably, you’ll find that simulated headsets are cheaper, so it all depends on your budget.

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Product Featured- Logitech G230

Elsewhere, sound quality can be a difficult concept to realise. In the end, it largely comes down to individual preference. Some people prefer more bass. Others might want force feedback, as the headset rumbles or vibrates in time with the game. Obviously, it can be hard to gauge a headsets sound without going hand-on and giving them a test. So do your research and look for reviews online.

Why it’s important: A gaming headset with surround sound allows the user to pinpoint the exact location of sounds as the game rumbles along. For gamers, this can be a vital tool in getting the upper hand when gaming. Gunfire can be picked up by the user from exactly the right point, and you’ll hear a rival car scream towards you as they try and pip you at the finish line. Ultimately, cancelling out exterior sound and immersing yourself in a greater depth of sound removes any external distractions, allowing you to concentrate fully on your in-game performance.

 

Comfort

Sound quality is all well and good for gaming, but if you’re ears ache from the hefty headset lumbered around them, it isn’t going to be worth it. Common plus points to comfortable gaming headsets include a lightweight design and padded and soft ear cups. Ensure that the headset is adjustable so it fits your head, and look for controls on the cable itself (for wired headsets at least), allowing you adjust certain settings without having to move.

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Product Featured- Element Gaming Neon 250

Again, comfort can be a matter for interpretation, and you’ll find yourself trusting the review sites to find what you’re looking for.

Why it’s important: Ears are sensitive organs. And if you want to remain in the game for those long all-nighters, you don’t want to be tearing your headphones off in pain after 10 minutes. Getting a comfortable gaming headset then, is of paramount importance.   

 

Microphone

An imperative tool to any gamer is communication, particularly when part of a team. Another factor to consider in your headset purchase then, is a microphone. Firstly, it’s important to ensure the headset comes with a noise-cancelling mic. If not, you’re likely to infuriate the other members of your team as the mic picks up static or background noise rather than just your voice.

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Product Featured- Element Gaming Helium 150

It’s also worth considering an adjustable and flexible mic, allowing you to move the mic into a more comfortable position for both you and the other gamers. Similarly, a fold-away mic allows you to tuck the mic away when your gaming solo, removing any potentially distracting positions a mic might have in your peripheral vision.

Why it’s important: Any gamer knows that teamwork is paramount to victory. And without a mic, your team’s chances of pulling if off are severely hampered. For any gamer then, a decent microphone is imperative.

 

Wired Vs Wireless

Our final consideration is the input source for your headset. For simplicity and reliability, wired is always likely to be your first choice. Many now come with USB connectors, and without any batteries required, you’ll never have to worry about being caught short. Wired headsets will also often come with controls built into the wire, adding an extra layer of usability and functionality.

VIEW HEADSETS AT EBUYER

That’s not to instantly dismiss wireless, as they do come with their own unique advantages. The most obvious of which is convenience. Without a pesky wire, you can move about at your free will, safe in the knowledge you’re always getting a good feed of sound. Wireless headsets are often criticised for their tendency to pick up interference. And it’s, the many other devices you’ll inevitably have hooked up to your standard 2.4GHz wireless network means wireless headsets may pick up irritating interference.

If you’re intent on investing in a wireless headset, it’s worth considering a dual-band Wi-Fi solution. Some headset transmitters will come with the option to communicate via a 5GHz frequency. Shift all your data-exchanging devices onto the standard frequency, and reduce the risk of any interference seeping in during play.

Why it’s important: The input source for your gaming headset has a direct impact on its everyday performance. Consider what you need from a headset, and make your decision accordingly.

 

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Will Hinch

Hey, Will here reporting on all the latest news and releases in the tech world for the Ebuyer blog. Away from writing, I enjoy cricket (but I'll never play for Yorkshire), video games and getting ribbed for supporting Barnsley FC. Oh, and having an ungainly mop on my head.

12 comments

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  1. Gaz 26 January, 2016 at 10:50

    “Surround sound headsets will cram multiple speakers into the device, giving the headset greater positional audio.”

    Very misleading… The vast majority do not use multiple drivers they achieve surround virtually. It’s often hard to tell which do have the extra speakers but i personally would only consider a true surround headset with all the speakers. Think you guys should make this clearer on all models.

  2. Tony 27 January, 2016 at 12:11

    “your gaming headset needs to omit a good quality of sound”

    One would hope any new headset wouldn’t omit this, I think I’ll stick to ones with decent sound quality, thanks.

  3. Anthony Hunt 27 January, 2016 at 13:03

    The G430 and other models are all virtual 7.1. I’ve been struggling to find any “true” surround sound wireless headsets. ASUS Strix is true 7.1 but wired and the Sennheiser PC363D is true 7.1, but again wired. Not found many others so far and all are £150 upwards.
    Trouble is where to find or try these? Like gaming chairs, no high street stores stock them. GAME and PC world only serve consoles in all but the largest stores and they killed off all the smaller chains.
    I guess I’ll be at April’s Gadget Show LIVE looking at chairs and headsets!

  4. Volya 2 March, 2016 at 10:16

    As I think, for the usual gaming I don’t need to buy very expensive headset. I choose for myself headset from this article.

  5. Cheap gaming headset 2 March, 2016 at 10:18

    As I think, for the usual gaming I don’t need to buy very expensive headset.

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