Gaming Headset VS Headphones: How to Choose for PC Gaming
By Carrie Tsai, Last Updated: August 31, 2020NEW PROD
You may have gotten a HD monitor, a PC with high-powered CPU, a video card combo and a fast-speed WiFi router to enhance your gaming experience. However, you may also find that outstanding gaming experience ends up sounding. Indeed, gaming experience is incomplete without proper sound effect. A good headset or a good pair of headphones play a vital role in immersive gaming experience.
However, whether you're a casual gamer or a pro gamer, when intending to get an audio gear for your immersive PC game playing with outstanding sound effects, you may find yourself all at sea about whether to pick a gaming headset or a pair of headphones. Indeed, it's hard for you to make the decision if you cannot discriminate between the two headgears.
Also, even if you've made the decision between them, you may still find yourself in the market for the right one which matches up to your expectation. Well, don't be fretful. The following is going to explore the difference between gaming headset and headphones and tell you how to choose between them. Then it'll guide you how to pick the right headset as well as offering you several excellent picks. Take your time and continue your reading.
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Gaming Headset VS Headphones: How Do They Differ
Having a clear understanding of the difference between gaming headset and headphones helps to find out their pros and cons, making it much easier for you to decide which one you should choose. There are a variety of factors through which the difference between the two audio gears can be explored. Let's have a look.
The most notable and more noticeable difference between the two types of headgears boils down to whether they have a built-in microphone. A gaming headset comes with a microphone for communication whereas a pair of regular headphones doesn't. In other words, at the simplest level, gaming headset is a headphone with a built-in microphone while headphones are just headphones without any microphone attached.
With the built-in microphone, gaming headset offers users an one-stop shop solution for starting to play games as quickly as possible without getting in the grip of complicated technical details. Compared to the gaming headset, the headphones are less convenient since they don't offer a singular audio gear solution.
However, you can gain immersive gaming experience by using a pair of headphones coupled with an extra mic combo which is detachable to the headphones. But this means you have to shop for both a pair of headphones and a mic for better PC gaming when you'd like to choose a pair of headphones.
In terms of design, on the whole, gaming headset is bulkier and has more gamer-type looks than most of headphones. Gaming headset is a type of headgear customized for gaming so it features good gamer-type design. Due to the need of offering enjoyable gaming experience, it's bulkier for prolonged use, has more pads in ear cups and larger headbands, comes with retractable mic and owns colorful LED sound designs (often RGB). Simply put, it's designed to look good with your gaming setup.
Compared to gaming headset, headphones have similar basic components. They also have a strap going the head, a pair of earcups, drivers and speakers in the ear-cups. However, they don't come with a microphone. Since regular headphones aren't specifically made for gaming, they are not too fancy in looks. Nevertheless, they are still decent and neat in design.
Due to different purposes, there are various differences between the gaming headset and the headphones in sound quality. Gaming headset is born for gaming so it features itself at its best with all the gaming needs such as fancy design, clear communication mic, enhanced comfort and immersive sound to provide outstanding gaming experience. It offers you lifelike gaming experience by giving you excellent surround sound and immersive sound capability.
Surround sound offered by gaming headset allows for high positional accuracy. This feature is extremely important for gamers who play competitive games especially FPS games since it enables users to accurately locate the position of the enemy. Moreover, gaming headset is also capable of allowing users to discriminate powerful Bass such as the sounds from explosions or gunfire.
Furthermore, gaming headset also offers you immersive sound by discriminating the amount and strength of different sound levels, which helps to give an in-game gaming experience.
However, in terms of the overall sound quality, gaming headset isn't good as compared to the headphones for the same price. This is because most gaming headset manufacturers pay more attention to the fancy design and the microphone instead of the overall sound quality.
When it comes to headphones, they are made to bring excellent sound quality since they are most frequently used to listen to music and record audios. Headphones, in general, can give excellent natural sound with good Lows, Mids and High as well as a significant amount of Bass. That said, headphones have better sound quality than the gaming headset for the same price. However, since they aren't customized for gaming, the positional accuracy of headphones are often not as good as that of the gaming headset for the same price.
Pros & Cons of Gaming Headset
* Fancy Look
* Built-in Microphone
* Singular Solution for Painless Setup
* High Surround Sound Capability
* Good Positional Accuracy
* Immersive and In-game Feel
* Compromised Overall Sound Quality
Pros & Cons of Headphones
* Good Overall Sound Quality
* More Versatile
* No Microphone
* More Expensive Investment by Combining with Extra Mic
* Less Convenient When Pairing with Extra Mic
* Compromised Positional Accuracy
Gaming Headset VS Headphones: How to Choose
Now it has been manifest that both of the two headgears have their advantages and disadvantages. Hence, whether to choose a gaming headset or a regular pair of headphones, in fact, depends on your needs and your budget. Of course, you need to pay more attention to the sound quality.
Figure out What You'll Use It for
As mentioned earlier, the two audio gears are meant for different purposes. Thus, it's of great necessity for you to figure out how you'll use the audio gear.
If you're just a casual gamer who plays games once in a while but always listens to music or mixing, a standard headphone may be the better choice since you can enjoy the audio with better sound quality. However, a gaming headset is the way to go if you're a pro gamer since it's customized for gaming and features itself at its best with all the gaming needs in design, mic, wearing comfort and immersive sound to provide outstanding gaming experience.
Focus on Sound Quality
In general, a pair of headphones is much sounding than a gaming headset. So if you attach great importance to overall sound quality, a pair of headphone may be a great option.
However, you need to simultaneously think about whether the positional accuracy is necessary. If you're into gaming, it's advisable that you pick a good gaming headset since it can offer you excellent positional accuracy to help locate the position of your enemy.
Consider the Cost and Your Budget
In addition to figuring out your purpose and focusing on sound quality, you should also consider the cost of the two audio gears and whether it's affordable for you.
In general, a gaming headset is cheaper than a pair of headphones. Headphones always come with great sound quality which adds the cost of them. Besides, buying a pair of headphones always means buying both the pair of headphones and a detachable microphone. This makes the headphones much less affordable.
Anyway, based on your practical needs and personal preferences, it's advisable that you choose one that is your budget option and value for the price.
How to Pick the Right Gaming Headset
For PC gaming, if you're a pro gamer or a game lover who always plays games, a gaming headset is the way to go. However, since there are a great number of gaming headsets available in the market, choosing the right one isn't a pushover. The following are some factors you should consider when selecting a gaming headset.
Design & Comfort
The right gaming headset should match your gaming setup. Besides, it should also look fancy and gamer-type. Moreover, comfort is paramount for a gaming headset since uncomfortable headset can easily effect your gameplay. Therefore, you should take account of the shape and the diameter of the inner ear cup to find one that can well fit your size of your ears.
Good sound quality is a must for outstanding gaming experience. Hence, when selecting a gaming headset, you need to pay attention to the sound quality. Keep remembering to choose one that comes with surround sound / stereo sound which allows for high positional accuracy, leading to more efficient gameplay.
Besides, you need to focus on the speakers and drivers as well as the frequency response. Choose a gaming headset with large speakers and wide frequency response allows for precise and immersive gameplay. Moreover, choosing one with noise cancellation, excellent details, Bass and Treble is also good for enhancing sound quality, bringing better gameplay.
Buying a low-quality gaming headset will bog you down in repairing and replacing within a few months. Hence, always invest in a durable and quality headset which allows you to use it for a more extended period.
Choosing a gaming headset which satisfies all the above needs and within your budget is advisable. It's not always the higher the price, the higher the quality. It's inadvisable of you to invest in a very expensive one that doesn't have very high quality and far beyond your budget. You should choose one which is affordable and value for the money.
What Headset Do Pro Gamers Use
For pro-gamers, HyperX Cloud is by far the best and the most popular gaming headset in the world. It includes the first and second versions. In terms of design, it's sleek and simple with the flexible leather-wrapped headband and detachable microphone. Its fancy brushed metallic exterior makes it look gamer-type.
For comfort, this model uses flexible memory foam (double layers with distinctive HyperX synthetic leather) in the earplugs and headband, making it comfortable to wear on your ears after long-time use.
In terms of sound quality, its 50mm drivers and wide frequency range allow for excellent sound quality. With the virtual 7.1 surround sound, it enables users to determine the source of the enemy, leading to more accurate gaming experience. The Cloud II microphone and the 3.5mm Cloud II plus USB plugs also make the model the ideal choice for gaming.
For most pro gamers, the HyperX Cloud will be the ideal choice of gaming headset. However, the fact is that its price is around $100 which is quite expensive and is likely to be far beyond your budget. Don't fret though. There are much cheaper alternatives which can still give you the majority of powerful features that the ideal HyperX Cloud has. They are our Model WV725, WV726 and WV710L stereo gaming headset.
More Affordable Gaming Headset Alternatives: Our Model WV725, WV726 and WV710L Stereo Headsets
Whether for pro gamers or for game lovers, these three models of gaming headset are excellent choices for gaming since they allow for immersive, high-efficient and outstanding gaming experience in super cheap prices. In terms of design, they are sleek and fancy and can be comfortably placed and wore on your ears for long-time use. It's worth noting that the model WV710L comes with colorful LED light sound design, which makes it completely cool and gamer-type.
As to the sound quality, these three models are capable of supporting surround sound which allows for high positional accuracy when sourcing the enemy. Their 40mm speakers and the wide 20hz-20khz frequency response range also bring immersive gaming experience for users. The audio output is also very excellent.
In terms of plug, they support 3.5mm headphone plug plus USB plug, which makes them versatile and compatible with more devices other than PC. As gaming headsets, they have good product quality, making them durable to use.
WV725 & WV726 & WV710L Specs
Frequency response: 20hz-20khz
Output power :5mw
Microphone sensitivity: -42db +/ -3db
Length of wire :1.2m
Cable box: volume + microphone switch
WV725 Stereo Gaming Headset: $3.58
WV726 Stereo Gaming Headset: $3.04
WV710L Stereo Gaming Headset with Light Version: $4.91
Gaming experience is incomplete without good sound effects. A gaming headset or a pair of headphones helps to bring more immersive and outstanding gaming experience. Whether you should choose a gaming headset or a pair of headphones depends on your practical needs and personal preferences since they both have their pros and cons.
However, for pro gamers, a gaming headset may be the way to go since this headgear is born for gaming. When choosing a good gaming headset, you need to consider the design, comfort, sound quality, durability and your budget. The rule of thumb is to pick one that is value for the price and within your budget. Our Model WV725, WV726 and WV710L gaming headsets are worth a try since they are powered with excellent features in super-cheap prices. You can have a try.