One of the most overlooked features of a gaming setup is sound quality. While many players spend good money on gaming gear, like keyboards, mice, and monitors, they skimp on audio and sound.
However, sound design is half the experience in gaming. Furthermore, a well-made game can use sound to give players spatial awareness, thus giving them an advantage.
So, if you’re looking for a gaming headset that will level up your game, here are some things you should consider before buying.
1. Sound Quality
When picking a gaming headset, or any headset for that matter, your top priority should always be sound quality. You don’t want to listen to game sounds and music that sounds like it’s coming from an old tin-can radio.
So, when you’re choosing a gaming headset, you should try listening to them first. That way, you’re sure you like the sound profile that it delivers. Even if you’re choosing from premium brands like Sony, Bose, or JBL, you must try it out on gaming sounds, so you can guarantee your aural satisfaction.
2. Head and Ear Fit
Gamers can spend hours in front of their consoles. That means your gaming headset should also be comfortable to wear. If it’s too tight or heavy, you might have a headache or neck strain after your gaming sessions. That’s why it’s crucial for you to test fit the headset you’re buying before committing to it. After all, nobody wants to suffer aches and pains after a tiring match.
You should also consider how the ear cups feel when you wear them. They’re probably not for you if they’re too tight or too hot. Wearing uncomfortable headsets can actually impede your gaming performance, as you’ll constantly be adjusting it instead of giving 100% focus on the match.
3. Connection: Wired or Wireless
The most hardcore gamers would recommend wired gaming headsets. That’s because these devices have zero latency, which is crucial in split-second decisions you make in gaming. For example, hearing the approaching footsteps of your opponents can help you set up an ambush for them. But if your headset has poor latency, you might get caught out in the open instead.
One other disadvantage of the poor latency of old wireless standards is the confusion it can bring. You’ll see yourself firing your weapon on the screen, but you’ll only hear the shot a split-second later. This slight delay can make it quite awkward to play fast-paced games like FPS.
Nevertheless, wireless headsets still have their place in gaming. If you find yourself frequently moving around, or if you want to use your headset for other purposes, like listening to music or watching movies, a wireless model might be a better option for you.
If you choose a wireless headset, look at the headset’s wireless standard before buying. To avoid latency, check that it runs at least Bluetooth 5.0. It would be much better if it runs the latest iteration—Bluetooth 5.2.
Some models also offer alternative proprietary wireless transmission. Instead of using Bluetooth technology, they use radio signals, similar to what wireless mice use. These headsets allow you to enjoy the freedom of wireless technology while allowing you to have near-zero latency. The only downside to this is that these devices are typically costly.
5. Battery Life
Another issue the wireless headsets must deal with is battery life. If you’re playing hours on end, your headset must have the same endurance as you. Most headsets have 20 to 30 hours of battery life, but it’s better to check it yourself to know what you’re getting into.
Aside from battery life, you also want to have a wireless gaming headset that gives you the option to connect physically. So even if you run out of juice, you can still use it for gaming. You should look into something that offers quick charging to fill it up while eating lunch or dinner.
6. Spatial Tracking
This feature follows your head’s position and adjusts the sound’s source. It goes beyond surround sound, where sounds coming from your left, right, or rear are reflected in the headset. What it does is that it adjusts the sound source every time you move your head.
For example—if the sound comes from the back, and you turn your head to the right, the sound source will move to your right ear. This is perfect for gamers with wrap-around screens or who use VR headsets. So if you have a system like this, you should look for a headset that offers this or something similar to it.
7. Boom Microphone
One other thing you shouldn’t miss with a gaming headset is its mic quality. While a pinhole microphone should be enough for most applications, it’s highly recommended to have a boom mic instead. That’s because you want your teammates to hear you clearly when you’re gaming.
When you’re facing an enemy right across the room, you don’t have time to repeat your position or orders. So a boom mic that delivers clear sound is crucial for winning team matches and cooperative games.
8. EQ Customization
This is an essential feature if you want to customize your listening experience. After all, a sound profile great for gaming isn’t necessarily good for watching movies. More than that, each person has different tastes regarding gaming sounds.
Some users prefer to minimize environmental sounds and enhance the low-end of the sound spectrum to hear footsteps more clearly. Other users prefer a neutral sound profile to hear everything the game’s environment can offer.
So, if you want to choose the sounds you want to hear clearly, EQ customization should be something you’re looking for in a gaming headset.
Get Your Game On
Sounds and music are half the experience in any game. That’s why game developers invest in excellent sound design and engineering, so they can deliver an immersive gaming experience.
So, if you’re looking to make the most out of your gaming console and your favorite titles, you should invest in a decent gaming headset. These tips should’ve helped you out; happy gaming!
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About The Author
Jowi Morales (225 Articles Published)
Jowi is a writer, a career coach, and a pilot. He developed a love for anything PC ever since his father bought a desktop computer when he was 5 years old. From then on, he has been using and maximizing technology in every aspect of his life.