A high-quality headset can make the difference between life and death – in game terms, of course. If your squad is pinned down in the wastelands during a heated online battle and it’s down to you to call the next move, your headset had better be up to scratch to be heard loud and clear.
A headset combines a microphone with headphones, allowing for a hands-free way to communicate with your teammates while you plug away at your controller or keyboard and mouse. During a game of Counter-Strike or World of Warcraft, you need full audio awareness of what’s happening on the field – with sound quality so sharp you can hear a (grenade) pin drop.Not only that, but your headset should be comfortable – after all, if you’re plugged into CS:GO for the whole evening, you shouldn’t expect your team to break-off an attack just so you can get comfortable.
What else should you look for in a gaming headset?
The Plantronics PLX GameCom 788 Surround Sound Headset, offers 7.1 surround sound – for the most dedicated gamer who wants to add even more layers of sound to fill out their gaming experience, while the microphone cuts out background noise to ensure your teammates get the message without the distraction. Surround sound is also available in some headsets at 5.1 – mostly at an even more competitive price to give you some of the same sound quality.
Console or PC?
Unless you’re as likely to enjoy a multiplayer session on your console as you are with your PC, it might be worth finding the headsets which are designed exclusively for use with one or the other. Some versions of the Xbox 360 come pre-packaged with a gaming headset so you can head straight for a game on Gold, but these are quite basic models; advanced online players may prefer to pick up a more comfortable and hardwearing headset.
The headset market is extremely competitive – in fact, you’ll often find the name of a gaming hardware brand on the uniform of the world’s top e-sports teams, such is the commercial appeal in getting their name out to a hard-core gaming audience. But having a comfortable and capable headset needn’t cost the earth. PC Gamer has published their list of gaming headset recommendations for just about any price range.
While the Creative Sound Blaster Recon3D Omega plays like luxury personified – with remote control and ‘Scout Mode’ to isolate and boost opponents’ approaching footsteps from the rest of the mix – the price tag makes an equally luxurious statement. However, committed gamers shouldn’t shy away from the cost as this gaming gear is compatible with your PC, Mac, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. No matter what gaming headset you choose, there are plenty of options out there for all levels of dedicated gamer. Whether you need to participate in weekly raids and drills or just want the chance to chill out with friends during a game of FIFA online, a headset can really complete your gaming experience.