The best gaming headsets

Which are the best headsets to enjoy the revving engines in your racing games? CAR recommends its top choices.

Black gaming headset

by William Lobley |

Purchasing a gaming headset is one of those rare and exciting occasions for a gamer – a perfect purchase. Merging the giddy feeling of nabbing a tech treat, with the satisfaction of knowing that the buy is an essential one.

Gone are the days when standard speaker arrangements were enough. We live in a time where the in-game soundscapes created by developers are so layered, accurate and immersive that they demand the clarity and precision delivered by a gaming headset, unless you have the luxury of being able to use an incredible sound system.

How we hunted for the best headsets

The gaming headset market is an immense leviathan, loaded with hyperbole and strong claims. To help you cut through the nonsense and sales jargon, we’ve headed out to find the best gaming headsets available.

By putting the headsets to the test, we’ve managed to nail down what’s hot and what’s not. We’ve truly gone all out, hunting high and low for top-notch options that’ll satisfy even the most exacting gamers on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox.

We started with the top-tier offerings, spoiling ourselves to the finest headsets money can buy. Why? So we would hunt harder. Coming down from the astonishing heights provided by ASTRO A50s and SteelSeries Arctic Pros, we searched every budget bracket for the gaming headsets that would satisfy our newfound extreme audio standards.

We’re happy to say we’ve been blown away by the choice available for anyone looking for a new gaming headset. No matter the platform, no matter the budget, there’s something exciting waiting for everyone.

CAR's award-winning gaming headsets

The latest generation of the ASTRO A50 is magnificent. First, the look is perfect. Toning things down from previous versions, the Gen 4's bring a powerful stealth-fighter spirit, with hidden on-board game/chat volume controls and mod-ready pads (plus, the docking base has been trimmed down to reduce its desk footprint).

Second, and more importantly, they carry a gorgeous sound profile. Thanks to ASTRO Audio V2 and Dolby Audio, the surround sound is faultless and every frequency comes through with precision – the bass is punchy, the mids well-balanced, and the highs sing.

For those looking to really get into the details of their audio experience, the ASTRO Command Centre software lets users get under the A50's hood and customise profiles at will.

The Logitech Pro X is a remarkable headset, thanks to its accomplished design, immaculate spatial audio, and crystal-clear mic performance. It's hard to beat, even at twice the price.

We were blown away. The drivers deliver a powerful and organic audio profile, while the DTS HEADPHONE:X provides a wide surround sound experience, perfectly showcasing near- and far-field sounds. The mic is powered by BLUE VO!CE too, so you're in safe hands there.

For those looking to take their first step into the wonderful world of gaming headsets, the Corsair HS35 is the place to start because they prove gaming on a budget doesn't mean having to sacrifice quality.

Unlike many of its rivals, the HS35 headset boasts tuned 50mm drivers, providing respectable audio depth and separation and a clear distinction between frequencies.

The headset is comfortable, the detachable mic will get the wearer involved in squad call-outs and the easy-access control makes in-game audio adjustment a quick affair.

SteelSeries has packed all it can into the Arctis 7 headset, ensuring that gamers can access the best the firm can offer for a more than reasonable price.

As the S1 speaker drivers kick out a clean and defined audio profile, the DTS X v2.0 creates an incredibly detailed level of immersion (and both of these features can be tweaked via the SteelSeries software). Thanks to the dongle, the wireless 2.4GHz connection guarantees a stable quality connection with no audio loss or interference.

The air-weave fabric keeps your ears cool during long gaming sessions, which you can certainly have with the 24-hour battery life. The mic is retractable, bi-directional, and Discord-certified. And the on-board volume controls allow audio to be balanced on the fly.

More recommended gaming headsets

SteelSeries has mastered the art of wrapping up formidable power in an unassuming shell.

The huge frequency range, 10Hz to 40kHz, is roughly double what you'd expect from a standard headset, resulting in a sound profile that's truly a joy to experience. The speaker drivers deliver a sound where every single element is reproduced with an uncanny and truly immersive quality (a quality greatly enhanced by the inclusion of DTS Headphone:X v2.0 surround sound).

Dual-audio allows both a gaming system and Bluetooth device to playback simultaneously, proving plenty of ways to chat and listen to music. The wireless transmitter base is a component that we particularly enjoy as, in addition to providing a strong wireless connection, it also offers a tactile element into the headset's control. Even the retractable microphone, a relatively pedestrian feature, has been designed with care.

The Arctis Pro won't leave gamers high and dry either, thanks to its dual-battery system, which always sees one battery charging while another is in use.

Logitech's tagline for the G935 headset is "Ultimate Sound Science". We thought that was just marketing jargon until we tried them. The company has always managed to deliver incredibly rich and voluminous audio, but this headset is on a new level, with 50mm Pro-G drivers and DTS Headphone:X 2.0 delivering a diverse and full audio experience.

Ever the macro-key fan, Logitech has also included three G-keys that can be programmed via the G-Hub software suite. This software is also where the player can synchronise their RGB lighting across all Logitech PC gear (although we'd recommend turning the lights off to get 12-hours out of the battery). The leatherette padding upholstery is comfortable, too.

The Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 headset is a real winner. The speakers offer a powerfully driven sound with DTS X technology to provide a high-quality all-round immersion, which won't be interrupted thanks to noise cancellation.

The wireless capability is strong and consistent, and operates from a simple USB-dongle connection. The inclusion of Bluetooth tech also means that you can take calls or listen to music while gaming, and the Audio Hub software lets you turn up specific in-game audio, such as footsteps or weapon reloading – that's not cheating, right? It's not a heavy set either and will comfortably see you through a whole day of gaming, even if you wear glasses.

The breadth of Logitech's catalogue is clearly shown in our rundown, with the Swiss brand landing great offerings in both the mid-top and affordable headset ranges. With the G433, a mature and understated looking headphone set, gamers will be treated to the great build-quality synonymous with Logitech, in addition to a crisp and clear sound profile.

The sport-mesh finish provides a breathable upholstery to the earpads, promoting airflow and keeping the headset feeling light. The detachable Discord-certified microphone boasts noise cancelling.

A quick note on PC and console compatibility

If you’re new to the headset marketplace, you may be a little confused by the platform compatibilities advertised. So long as there’s a 3.5mm audio jack (the small thin type that are found on standard wired headphones), you’re going to be able to use the headset with consoles (via the in-built controller port), PCs, mobiles, and other similar devices. Some headsets require a USB connection, and some require a Bluetooth connection – always check compatibility before your purchase if you’re unsure.

In some instances, a headset’s feature list may be slightly reduced when used on a console compared with a PC. This can effect surround sound packages and game chats. Again, check compatibility before purchase.

Read next:

The best racing games

The best rally games

The best racing wheels for nailing those podium finishes

For verdicts, scoops, news and analysis from the team , delivered direct to your inbox, subscribe to the CAR newsletter.

You can enjoy CAR in its traditional print format, or one of the swelling number of digital editions, optimised for Apple iPhones, Android devices, iPads, tablets and desktop computers.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us