The Best Wireless Gaming Headsets 2022 (Budget, PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S)

It isn’t a simple process creating a quality wireless headset; many have tried and failed attempting to do so. For me, a quality wireless headset comes down to some fundamental, wireless-specific, factors.

Battery life

This is pretty self-explanatory, you don’t want a wireless headset that runs out of charge after 2 hours. The average battery life for a modern headset is anywhere between 15 and 30 hours. Anything more, you’re laughing. The lowest amount of charge on this list comes from the Arctis Pro Wireless headset, which features 10 hours of battery life. Don’t worry though, the top pick also features a hot-swappable battery, giving you a total of 20 hours!

The last thing any gamer wants during crucial moments is their headset dying. If you are used to wireless you won’t need reminding but those looking to cut the cord, just try your best to remember and stick your peripherals on charge.

Audio quality

Sound quality is the number one aspect of any headset or audio device. What we look for when it comes to audio quality is a nice, balanced sound profile. This means powerful bass, and great mids and highs. Gaming headsets tend to overblow the bass to make the soundstage sound richer, so this is something to look out for. However, it can be mitigated to an extent via software. For a bit of context, we’ve visualized the Frequency response for the Astro A50s for you below.

astro a50 frequency response

Additionally, the best gaming headsets tend to feature some form of spatial audio. This can be accomplished via a range of means, sometimes proprietary, sometimes natively supported. Let’s have a look at the usual suspects.

Dolby Atmos

Dolby Atmos is a novel technology that automatically and dynamically adapts the content and works with the headset in question to create a virtual 3D soundscape, this helps increase immersion, and sometimes, gaming performance.

Dolby DTS

This is the cousin to Dolby Atmos. Dolby DTS is an audio compression format that allows for very realistic surround sound. For the last few years, it’s been turning up in headphones and headsets all over the price spectrum. Given that Spielberg chose it for the audio of Jurassic Park, if you see a headset with the ‘Dolby DTS Headphone’ sticker, you can be sure the audio will be great.

Virtual Surround sound

This is the most common spatial audio tech you’ll run into, and it’s not provided by any company specifically but is created per product by the manufacturer in question. In short, software modulates the dynamic drivers in each earcup in real-time and virtually recreates a 5.1 or 7.1 speaker setup. This means a simulated 7 speaker plus subwoofer. Of course, it’s not going to be anywhere near the real thing, but it’s good enough to accurately discern the location of incoming fire or enemy footsteps. This makes virtual surround sound, and spatial audio in general, invaluable to game audio. making for better competitive performance in some cases.

THX spatial audio

This is most common in gaming headsets from Razer. It works much the same as the other technologies. Honestly, there isn’t much in it when comparing spatial audio technologies, all of the above will provide you with a cromulent experience.

Build quality

As with other categories of gaming products, there is a lot of cheap garbage out there that you should do well to avoid. Build quality issues are all over the place. To that end, we’ve only included rock-solid gaming headsets in this list. We pay attention to the headband, the boom mic, and the materials used. If these aren’t up to snuff, then the headset won’t last and it will be a poor investment.

Connectivity

Most of the headsets on this least connect via a USB dongle, typically occupying the 2.4GHz frequency range. This results in very low latency and reasonable levels of power consumption. The more modern headsets connect via a USB-C dongle, which further lower latency. Additionally, some feature dual-mode connectivity, with Bluetooth as another option. This is ideal if you need to switch between PC and a portable device, like an android tablet. Given the rising popularity of mobile gaming, this is becoming a more and more widespread feature.

It is worth noting here that Microsoft continues to keep their audio connection for Xbox proprietary, so if you’re looking for an Xbox wireless headset, chances are it won’t be compatible with anything else, so bear that in mind as you might end up needing to purchase multiple headsets. Luckily Sony is a bit more open source so PlayStation headsets are usually compatible with PC, Mobile, and Nintendo Switch. However, Nintendo Switch still doesn’t allow a mic via Bluetooth. So you’ll have to use the headset in question via a 3.5mm jack if you want voice chat on the Switch.

Microphone quality

This is something more catering towards the online, competitive gamers out there. If you just like to play single-player campaigns, then you don’t really need a mic. However, for the competitive esports players out there, a quality microphone could be the difference between winning and losing as it will provide clear voice chat between yourself and your team.

Charge time

Charging time basically means how long it takes your headset to charge from dead. This varies with all headsets, but the faster, the better. Most wireless headsets will take at least a couple of hours to reach a full charge, and you’ll have to do this more often if the headset you go for has RGB lighting as this really does eat away at the battery life. So prepare for this and make sure you stick your headset on charge when you are away from the PC. This way you won’t have to miss out.

It is worth noting that some of our recommendations will work just fine in wired mode and while this is a bit counter-intuitive, it’s better than no gaming audio at all!

Latency

Latency is a huge factor in headsets, especially wireless ones. Because you are connecting via a signal, the sound can be delayed if your connection isn’t fast enough. A lot of modern headsets have at least 2.4GHz connection speeds; anything below this should require further research as it might now deliver the low latency audio you need.

If you’re looking for a wireless gaming headset, keep these key criteria in mind, and you’ll not go too far wrong.

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  • We reviewed the wired version of this headset, you can read that in full here.
  • You can check out our full review of the Astro A50 Wireless Gaming Headset review right here.
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