What is a good headset to use during gaming?
My advise, a closed one. Either plain Stereo or Surround Sound, it is your budget. What is more annoying then a player without a headset? One with a cheap headset, which is picking up background noise. You probably have played games where you just had to mute the person in your squad because you hear screaming kids in the background, TV's or conversations of other people in the room.
This is why I advise to use a headset which covers both ears. The advantage of this is that you will hear the gamechat and gamesound through your headset. The problem of the earpiece Bluetooth headsets is that you have them in one ear and you still have to turn up the volume of your TV to hear the gamesound. This is for other players annoying but not great for yourself either because you will not be able to hear someone sneak up on you.
If you are thinking of upgrading your headset, you should read this. In this review I am writing about all the headsets I have used, with the exception of the Sony 7.1 PS3 headset.
How much should you spent on a headset?
This all depends on your budget ofcourse, but the better headset are between 50 to 100 Euro. So let's look at the different headsets and their price range.
Mono Bluetooth headsets
To start with the the cheap one ear headset by Sony. (first headset in the photo) They are cheap, around 30 Euro and hard to break. I dropped one from the first floor on concrete in the rain, and it still works.
The disadvantage, its mono, heavy & unfomfortable, bad sound quality, you can only hear chat and it picks up background noises. If you have a cellphone you probably already have an earpiece like it. The Bluetooth headsets also work with most cellphones and your Playstation. So there are better versions of them. I have a very nice Motorola earpiece for my phone which works with my PS3. My advise is to not to spent any money on them but to add another 40 Euro and to buy a really good one.
What is good headset?
There are several popular brands on the market. Turtle Beach, Sony, Razor, Tritton or Sharkoon are just a few. In this article I will talk about Turtle Beach PX21, PX5 and the Sony 7.1.
Turtle Beach PX21 Earforce
Lets start with the cheapest, the Turtle Beach PX21 Earforce (fourth headset in the photo). I paid around 56 Euro for it in a big electronics store.
The PX21 is a Stereo headphone that cover you ears. It is comfortable and doesn't push your ears against your head. It has a lot of options, like chat boost, bass boost, seperate buttons to set the volume of the VOIP & gamesound, voice monitor, mute and comes with all the cables you need for any console and the PC.
A few disadvantages, the headset is not wireless. The headset has a controler which you clip on your pants on on your shirt. Unfortunately the length between the controler and the headset is not very long, so if you are tall like me (1.96meter = 6.6feet) the line is too short. Big plus, it works on all consoles and PC.
Sony 7.1 PS3 Headset
It was only later when I was shopping for a new headset, that I came across this wireless Sony headset (third headset in the photo). The headset has 7.1 Surround and works with any Bluetooth device.
I have had no experience with using it myself, but we have several members who are using it. Their gamesound is overall very good and I hear no complaints. It is still picking up background because Sony went with the same type of micrphone in this headset. But as you now hear and adjust the gamesound and chat through the headset, there is no need for TV to be turned up loud.
If I would have to buy a new headset on a budget, it would be this one.
Turtle Beach PX5 Earforce
When I was shopping for headsets I wasn't on a budget. I have my PS3 since 2010 and spent many hours on it since then. This is why I decided to buy something which will lasts for a long time and has a very high comfort and quality level. Do not underestimate the damage a bad and loud headset does to your ears.
My choice was the Turle Beach PX5 (second headset in the photo). It has 7.1 Surround, bass boost, chat monitor, adjustable voice- and game-sound, mute, voice boost and it comes with a USB cable so you can download or install presets. There are lots of presets, like super natural hearing, footstep monitor, etc. Or you can make your own, adjust the level of static and background noise from other players and much more. Have a look at all the specs on the Turtle Beach website.
What I do not like about this headset, too many buttons and options. I often find myself pushing the wrong button when I am looking for mute. I sometimes hear certain beeps I can't ID yet, which is confussing the heck out of me. The prices range around 180 Euro for this headset.
Questions to ask yourself
So when you are looking for a headset, ask yourself the following: