Wireless headset buyers guide for gamers

Are you looking to finally pick up a wireless headset for gaming? Maybe that surround sound setup is causing some unwanted noise and is waking up the entire house or perhaps you’re just looking for a more intimate experience. Either way, we’re here to help you out with several things you should be looking out for when it comes to purchasing a wireless gaming headset. Keep on reading as we touch base on several key buying points that you should be watching out when doing your research.

This guide is for any gamer; casual, hardcore or the pro-gamer, regardless of what platform you game on. Just about every current and pass generation console, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and the Xbox One have access to wireless gaming headsets, as the PC. There’s even a few for the Wii and Wii U! From Triion, Mad Catz, PDP, Logitech, Corsair, Sony, Turtle Beach and even Monoprice, there’s a huge chance that your favorite gaming peripheral maker company has a few pairs of wireless headsets on the market right now!

Technology: Stereo sound, 5.1 surround sound and even 7.1 surround sound wireless headphones are available when looking for a good headset. Do you need that 5.1 or 7.1 headset? Well that depends on what type of gamer you are and what type of game you play. Are you a competitive FPS gamer and you absolutely must be able to pinpoint that sniper firing across the map or that guy attempting to sneak up behind you? If so, then you would be more inclined to pick up a 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound headset, where gamers who enjoy RPG’s, MMO’s, Sports Games or other titles would be right at home with a Stereo sound headset. 

Of course the ultimate decision is up to you, however there are those options we wanted to make you aware of. One last thing to be aware of is that 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound headsets do tend to raise the asking price as well.

Style: For the most part, most if not all Wireless gaming headsets are the conventional over the top style. Meaning the headsets will sit on top of your head, while each speaker (L/R) will extend down and cover your ears. You’re then able to adjust the distance or play to make sure the headset is snug on your head.  Keep in mind that as of this year (2015) there are many wireless earbud sets however none are marketed towards gamers, with the exception of Sony’s in-ear Stereo headset. And while this isn’t a true wireless solution, as it requires the use of the PlayStation 4 Dual shock 4 controller, it is an option and I wanted to at least make you aware of them.

Comfort: No one wants a headset that feels like their head is in a vice, yet at the same time the headset shouldn’t feel like it’s about to fall off if they happen to move their head in a rapid or even a slow movement. Consider the fact that you’ll likely be spending at least an hour ot so with the headset on your head, this is something to ponder. A good headset will bond with you, in the sense that you’ll have it on but you won’t realize that you are wearing it, that is until you turn the game off and go take a shower or walk out of the house…. with the headset still on your head. Be mindful of what the drivers  or speakers are housed in as well as if it’s replaceable or not.

Range: While distance between you and your gaming setup isn’t as important as other factors when it comes to wireless headsets, it’s still important. For the most part, most if not all wireless headsets will allow any where from 15-30 feet, some even more. Obviously the further you are from the screen, the harder it is to see it, which is going to impact your gaming session more than the headset range. However there are those moments when you’ll need to step away and maybe you’re online chatting whit your friends or online warriors and if the distance isn’t long enough, so may miss out on some important info, such as a sniper knowing where you are when you went AFK. 

Battery: No one wants to get comfortable, all ready to enjoy several hours of gaming bliss, only to have their headset to die mid game. Yes friends, battery life and charge is something that you really don’t want to overlook when it comes to a wireless headset. Some things to watch for are headsets that also include options such as LED lighting or bass boast, as those options when enabled can contribute to your headsets battery life being shorter than if they weren’t enabled. Definitely watch for the advertised battery life per charge.

Microphone: If you’re and online warrior, then this has to be one of your more thought about areas. A good microphone will allow for you to communicate to your team or friends, where  a bad or so-so mic will cause issues, issues that you can eliminate before even taking the headset home with you. As an added bonus, see if the headset also includes a microphone indicator, so you can tell if the microphone is on or not as well as a mute button that’s included on the headset base or someone that is easily accessible.

So that about covers it. If you make sure to reference this points, you’ll be well on your way on selecting either your first wireless headset or even replacing one that isn’t working on so well.


About The Author

Keith Mitchell
Editor-in-chief and all-around good guy!

Keith Mitchell is the Founder and Editor in Chief of The Outerhaven. A grizzled IT professional during the day, but a passionate lover of video games after his 9-5 grid. Loves playing the Dark Souls series and has been gaming since he was 6 years old. Available for podcasts upon request.