After researching and evaluating dozens of models, our team ultimately determined that the best gaming headset under 100 dollars (USD) is the HyperX Cloud II. We decided on this model based on its sleek design, premium build quality and exceptional performance for this price range.
Our runner-up model is the SteelSeries Arctis 5 RGB (2019 Edition). With similar specs and performance to the Cloud II, the SteelSeries Arctis is comparable but lacks the longterm durability and comfortable fit that the HyperX headset brings to the table.
Lastly, our top choice for a wireless gaming headset under $100 is the Corsair Void Pro RGB Wireless. Not suitable for console use as it supports the PC only, this headset offers excellent wireless performance including up to 16 hours of use on a single charge.
A premium gaming headset at a reasonable price with 7.1 surround sound and a durable build quality.
A prominent brand in the gaming community, HyperX sells their Cloud II gaming headset which sports a sleek look, competitive features and high performance without being too hard on your wallet. Supports 7.1 surround sound on PC & Mac with stereo audio for the PS4 and Xbox One.
The 2019 version of the SteelSeries Arctis 5 RBG gaming headset offers DTS Headphone: X 7.1 surround sound.
SteelSeries is a major manufacturer of gaming accessories, the Arctis 5 RGB is designed to be lightweight and comfortable to wear for long periods. There is support for PC and PS4, but you'll need to use the included 3.5mm adapter for Xbox compatibility.
Best Wireless Gaming Headset Under $100
A gaming headset offering 2.4GHz wireless connectivity and excellent battery life exclusively for the PC.
The Corsair Void Pro RGB Wireless Gaming Headset offers Dolby 7.1 surround sound support for PC gaming and is Discord Certified. Offers a sleek carbon fiber look mixed with the build quality for long term uage.
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To get the most information out of this resource guide, it is best for you to read the article in its entirety. We cover a lot of material and it will help you to better understand the current market and often answers a lot of the outlying questions you may have before investing in a gaming headset.
If any further questions or concerns arise throughout this guide on gaming headsets that are not answered by the end of it, feel free to use the comments section below this article. Our team will do our best to address your comments with any helpful answers or advice as soon as possible.
Why Invest In A Gaming Headset?
If you are thinking about buying a gaming headset for the first time, you may be wondering what the big hype is and why it is worth the investment especially if you are budget gaming.
As gamers ourselves, who have been using aftermarket gaming headsets for years, we think it comes down to three primary aspects to consider:
Increased Comfort & Longevity
If you are a diehard gamer, then chances are you are spending hours upon hours a week in front of your TV or computer monitor putting in the time to get good at your favorite video game.
While this describes a lot of us, the dedication required during this effort can take its toll on your body which is why we recommend a good gaming chair. Additionally, wearing a cheap headset during these long gaming sessions can become irritating.
If your headset or headphones aren't well designed, it can put added pressure on your head adding to neck trouble, headaches or ear pain.
In some cases, the padding material used on the ears can cause irritation from the fabric over time or just get overly warm to the point where you feel like you are wearing a pair of earmuffs (far from ideal in warm climates).
Improved Sound Quality & Noise Isolation
Depending on the type of headset or headphones that you pick-up, the increased audio quality can actually help your gameplay in many cases.
With a high-quality driver and refined sound signature, you may find yourself hearing attributes in the game that you never heard before like an enemy's footsteps in the distance or the subtle sound of your opponent reloading which lets you know it is time to make your move.
If you are able to incorporate a gaming headset that offers 7.1 surround sound, then you gain a massive advantage as the audio can be directionally accurate towards your in-game environment. This helps you tell where your enemies are based on movement and actions.
In most cases, these gaming headsets offer a closed-back design that helps isolate any distracting background noise happening within your gaming environment.
Not only does this help immerse yourself further into the game, but it allows you to continue playing in environments where you have to respect the privacy of your friends, family or roommates who might not want to hear the constant sounds of things like gunfire, explosions, car engines, background music or character dialogues.
Improved Communications With Friends & Teammates
With the internet ruling the world of video games through online competitive and cooperative multiplayer, communication is key to ensuring a winning strategy.
By utilizing a dedicated headset, you'll be able to hear your teammate's voice chat with more clarity than ever before avoiding any outside noise or distractions from your gaming environment around you.
Thanks to the integrated microphones found in these dedicated gaming headsets, they will also be able to hear you clearly as the microphone's noise-canceling technology will drown out excess noise outside of your voice.
Also, since you'll be consuming the game and chat audio through the headphones, your microphone will not be picking up any game sounds which can become obnoxious for your teammates very quickly as it results in an audible echo effect.
Should You Buy A Headset Over Headphones?
This is a common question that we get when discussing gaming headsets, but the truth of the matter is that gaming headsets are traditionally more convenient than headphones. By combining quality sound drivers with a decent microphone, headsets allow you to both talk and hear your fellow gamers instead of just being able to listen to their voices like with a pair of headphones.
We aren't against using headphones for gaming as a lot of the professional streamers like Ninja will utilize a pair of high-end headphones coupled with a dedicated USB microphone to enjoy their game sounds while still being able to communicate with the other players. However other streamers like Tyler1 don't see it being worth the hassle and choose a gaming headset.
However, at a price-point under 100 dollars, there just isn't enough of a budget to support a good pair of headphones as well as a decent microphone. For this reason, we think you are better off buying a good gaming headset. Beyond cost, the complexity of setting up a USB microphone can be more cumbersome than a 2-in-1 solution like a gaming headset.
What To Consider When Buying A Cheap Headset For Gaming
Depending on how much you know about gaming headsets already, there are a lot of different models on the market offering a wide assortment of different marketable features.
This makes choosing the right headset to buy a more difficult choice than it looks like and in this case, it is important to know which aspects to consider before making a decision.
Keep in mind that not every gamer has the same needs, desires or budgets. The right gaming headset for someone who only plays FPS or battle royale games may differ from another who strictly plays FIFA and car racing simulators.
Fortunately, manufacturers have come up with a wide variety of gaming headsets which allow it to cater to the appeal, performance, features, functionality or budget for almost any consumer's needs.
On your search for the best gaming headset with a maximum budget of $100, we think you should consider and evaluate the following aspects before buying to ensure they meet your expectations:
- Brand/Model – choosing a model that is made by a reputable manufacturer of gaming accessories or audio products will help ensure quality design, build and performance. It will also help to cover reliability as a reputable company will offer an adequate warranty with decent support should something go wrong with your gaming headset.
- Price – one of the most prominent factors for most consumers is the overall cost compared to their budget. At this price-point, you'll see our recommendations hover around the same $20 range while maintaining a similar array of features. Don't expect the best gaming headset for under $100, but you can still get a high-performing model for the price.
- Style – this refers to the design of the ear-cups. More specifically, whether or not the ear-cups fully cover your ears such as in an ‘over-ear' design or if they simply sit ‘on-ear'. In most cases, you'll see models in this price-point offering an over-ear design with a ‘closed-back ‘ which means that the drivers and enclosed to the outside environments to help passively isolate outside noise and help better immerse you into the audio of the game.
- Connection – referring to the primary method of connection from the gaming headset to your parent source such as a PC or game console. You'll see 3.5mm or USB as the two most common connections for gaming headsets with some models offering both connection potential by way of an included dongle. In many cases the wired models will use a braided cable with an inline controller with a mute button and volume control. Wireless headsets may offer connectivity via Bluetooth technology.
- Audio – this element is referring to the overall audio design and more specifically whether the headset is capable of offering surround sound or whether it is merely just stereo audio being emitted from the drivers. In most cases, the headsets listed here will be capable of 7.1 surround sound for PC use, but the surround sound capabilities will differ when used with a Mac or gaming console such as an Xbox One or PS4 which may only work for stereo audio transmission.
- Driver Size – not an overly reliable metric to base audio performance on as quality of the driver is still an aspect to consider, but typically the larger the diameter of the internal speaker driver, the better the sound quality tends to be. Within this article, you'll see models ranging from a 40mm to a 53mm driver with the average ‘standard' coming in at 50mm.
- Retractable/removable mic – if you are playing an online multiplayer game then a microphone is likely something you'll need to communicate with your allies or enemies. However, if you are enjoying a single-player mode and don't require voice comms then the ability to retract or have a detachable mic turning the headset into headphones is a sought after feature by many gamers.
- PC – the most commonly supported platform for gaming headsets will be PC games. The reason for this is the versatility of connections of which desktop gaming computers offer (both USB and 3.5mm connections) as well as additional software support offered for Windows machines to further enhance sound/mic quality settings and enable advanced features like 7.1 virtual surround sound.
- Mac – most of the wired gaming headphones listed within this guide will automatically work when plugged into a Mac, but whether or not the 7.1 virtual surround sound will work is up to the manufacturer and will usually require a download of special drivers or software to help enable support this functionality on the MacOS.
- PS4/Pro – Sony's leading game consoles are the PS4 and PS4 Pro. Depending on the model of gaming headset, they might offer support for use with these consoles however in most cases you will only get access to stereo sound, and the microphone won't always be supported on consoles. Due to this, there is a much stronger case for a wireless headset designed specifically for consoles.
- Xbox One/X – the leading game consoles from Microsoft are the Xbox One and Xbox One X. Depending on which gaming headset you choose, it may offer support for use with these Xbox consoles, however, depending on your controller, Microsoft may require you to use a costly adapter. Worst of all, even with the adapter, you may only get access to stereo audio and not have support for surround sound. Due to this, we highly recommend looking into the wireless gaming headsets like those from Turtle Beach which are designed for offering surround sound on consoles.
Comparing Our Top Headsets Under $100
Best Gaming Headset Under $100 For 2019
HyperX is a subsidiary of the well-known computer hardware company, Kingston. Their gaming peripherals are becoming increasingly popular in the pro gaming circuit with the company carrying out sponsorships of major gaming events like the PUBG Invitational, pro teams like Cloud9 (including Shroud) and popular Twitch streamers like Lirik and Gordon Hayward (an NBA player who streams).
Their HyperX Cloud II model offers ear cushions comprised of memory foam with both velour and leather ear pads included for your choice to ensure maximum comfort. At its core, the headset's frame is made from a durable and sturdy aluminum which is meant to last through extended daily use.
Each ear cup is designed to offer a closed back helping to passively drown out an exterior noise for full immersion. Coupling this with premium 53mm drivers, the resulting listening experience is balanced and appealing.
The microphone is noise-canceling and also detachable so you can easily use the Cloud IIs as headphones or a headset. Regarding voice performance, HyperX has made this headset TeamSpeak and Discord certified to ensure maximum compatibility.
Due to the 3.5mm native connection alongside the included advanced audio control box which supports USB, the Cloud IIs are compatible with 7.1 virtual surround sound for PC and Mac. When hooked up to a gaming console such as a PS4 or Xbox One (Microsoft requires a costly stereo adapter), you'll get stereo audio support.
The Arctis 5 RGB from SteelSeries is one of their mid-level headsets in their Arctis line-up. From a cosmetic standpoint, the Arctis 5 looks sleek with an athletic-inspired appeal in the AirWeave ear cushions and ‘ski goggle' like suspension headband.
Unfortunately, the majority of the build materials in the SteelSeries is comprised of plastic. Each ear-cup offers a 40mm S1 driver to provide clear and immersive audio performance.
The ear-cups offer built-in audio controls for adjusting your overall listening volume as well as a quick microphone mute button. Additionally, there is a detachable USB soundcard with ChatMix support allowing you to change the balance between game music and chat volume on the fly.
In this case, the microphone is retractable into the left ear cup, but cannot be removed entirely like some of the other models. By utilizing a proprietary bidirectional design, the Discord-Certified Clearcast microphone is meant to offer studio-quality voice and noise cancellation.
Support for 7.1 virtual surround sound is present on the PC . You'll have to settle for stereo audio when gaming on a Mac, PS4, Xbox One or other gaming console. Installing the SteelSeries Engine software, you can personalize your audio including the overall EQ or surround sound configuration.
Razer is one of the most significant names in the video game peripheral industry right now with great exposure due to their sponsorship of famous gamers like PewDiePie (who has a signature Kraken V2 model) and pro teams like 100 Thieves or Seoul Dynasty.
As the second iteration of the company's Kraken gaming headphones, there was a focus on improving the original model in both form and function. Razer made the exterior of the headset more rigid while maximizing comfort levels.
The oversized ear-cups help seal around your ears for the most immersive listening experiencing while remaining secure and comfortable on your head. A nice design element into the ear-cups is cooling gel cushions as well as small cutouts for eye-wear relief to take pressure off gamers who wear glasses.
Powered by two 50mm drivers, the audio has been improved to provide a more balanced, warm sound without the excessive bass that was overly prominent in the original V1 headset.
You can either choose to use this as merely headphones or a headset as the noise-canceling microphone can be retracted neatly into the left ear when not needed.
Since this is the USB gaming headset, you'll get to be able to use this model for PC as well as console gaming, but the microphone will only work on a gaming PC. Those interested in using this gaming headset on a console should consider the Razer Kraken for Console, instead.
Creative has been involved in the PC gaming market for a while now, and their Sound BlasterX H7s are a solid option for those looking to stay under $100. With a sleek look offering brushed metal ear-cups and gunmetal finishing, the mixture of steel and aluminum makes for rigid build quality.
The ear-cups utilize new and improved 50mm drivers to provide rich and immersive audio. These drivers are placed in the ear cups tilted at an angle which in theory makes a small acoustic chamber to increase clarity and separate sounds.
With a detachable noise-canceling microphone, you can quickly switch this headset into headphones. The microphone has been improved to offer advanced voice recognition while canceling out background noise within your outside environment.
Offering a dual sound signature, you can either utilize the analog mode for original audio reproduction or use the digital USB mode to tailor different sound signatures to the type of game that you are playing. The sound profiles can be changed via the built-in USB DAC which is found in-line on the headset cable.
With full 7.1 virtual surround sound support on the PC and Mac, this headset will only work in stereo audio on consoles. In some cases like the Xbox One, Microsoft requires a stereo adapter to utilize the Sound BlasterX H7s for supplying audio and voice support.
The G433 from Logitech is a wired gaming headset with digital DTS 7.1 surround sound for the PC or Mac. Stereo audio support is present on gaming consoles like the PS4 or Xbox One.
From the exterior, the G433s has a somewhat cheap look by using a hydrophobic, stain-resistant fabric shell. The build is lightweight allowing you to wear for long periods without experiencing any head strain. This model is a step up from the G430 headset that Tyler1 uses.
Similar to the HyperX headset, the G433 comes with two different styles of ear pads including a sports mesh and a microfiber. This allows you to swap out either depending on your choice of comforter or gaming environment (microfiber can often get warm).
The boom microphone is detachable allowing you to convert the headset into headphones quite easily. The end of the microphone has a micro-pop filter for helping to keep out unwanted noise and increase vocal clarity.
There are in-line audio controls and support for both 3.5mm and USB connectivity thanks to the included USB DAC with a 3.5mm, 4 port output. Included is a headset carrying bag for safe storage while traveling.
The best wireless gaming headset under $100 on this list, the Void Pro RGB wireless from Corsair is explicitly designed for PC gamers. Aesthetically, the headset is elegantly offered in a carbon finish with tasteful Corsair branding on the ear-cups.
By utilizing a mesh fabric with interior memory foam, this Corsair headset is comfortable to wear for extended periods. Each ear cup offers a custom-tuned 50mm neodymium driver offering a board range and high accuracy with Dolby 7.1 surround sound.
The microphone is unidirectional with integrated noise canceling technology. Unfortunately, it is fixed and cannot be removed, so there is no way to transform these into merely gaming headphones.
Performance is exceptional offering 2.4GHz wireless up to 40ft in range and up to 16 hours of battery life on a single charge. Keep in mind, this gaming headset ONLY works with PCs running Windows.
You won't be able to utilize the full functionality on Mac as there isn't the native software available. Additionally, there is not any support from Corsair to use this headset on gaming consoles like the Xbox One or PS4.
Turtle Beach is a well-known manufacturer of audio products for console gamers, and their Stealth 600s offer excellent wireless audio performance for the Xbox One/X and PS4/Pro. It can be used with PCs running Windows as long as you have the Xbox Wireless Adapter (you'd pair it like a regular Xbox One controller)
Offering an attractive aesthetic, the Turtle Beach Stealth 600s offer wireless Windows Sonic surround sound. The high-sensitivity microphone is designed to capture crisp vocals and can flip up to when not in use to automatically mute your voice.
Located on the exterior of the ear-cups are an independent game and chat volume controls. This allows you to find the ideal medium between your game's audio levels and the loudness of your teammates in voice chat.
There is four pre-programmed audio presets to choose from including a bass boost for those who want the loudest bass during their gaming sessions. Additionally, you can turn on mic monitoring mode to hear the exact broadcast volume of your voice.
Battery life is up to 15 hours on a single charge, and the wireless range is up to about 30 feet from your console. Keep in mind, we have linked to the Stealth 600 wireless gaming headset for the Xbox One in this guide, but you'll have to purchase the PS4 version separately (which has blue accents instead of gold).
Ultimately, after scouring the market, we determined that the best gaming headset under 100 dollars for most consumers is going to be the HyperX Cloud II. It offers the best bang for your buck in performance, features and build quality.
The runner-up choice is the SteelSeries Arctis 5 RGB 2019 edition. This is very comparable to the Editor's Choice HyperX headset but lacks the extended comfort and higher build quality of our top choice.
Lastly, our top wireless headset for PC gaming under $100 is the Corsair Void Pro RBG Wireless. These headphones offer a wireless experience with excellent battery life, a sleek carbon look, and solid technical specs.