Best Budget Gaming Headset 2021: Cheap Gaming Headsets for All Gamers

by nerdyminutes


Getting the best gaming headset doesn’t need to cost a fortune. Rather there are plenty of budget gaming headsets that incorporate fantastically comfortable designs. What’s more they can offer a surprising array of audio features for surround sound and enhanced sound, and most importantly a decent microphone for above potato quality team chat. Memory foam, sizable speaker drivers, metal construction, clear microphones, virtual surround sound, and even wireless connectivity, it can all be had with a surprising number of budget gaming headset.

While there are so many available options, we’ve cut through the fluff to find and test the best options for you. These inexpensive options offer a ton of value for around $100 or less. Whether you’re playing on an Xbox Series X/S or PS5, or a gaming PC, we’ve picked out some truly outstanding budget options so you can be sure you’re getting your money’s worth — you can find them here in the UK. If you want to try to snag some more premium headsets at a discount, don’t miss these deals on certified refurbished video game accessories from eBay.

TL; DR – These are the Best Budget Gaming Headsets:

1. Razer Barracuda X

Best Budget Gaming Headset

Razer Barracuda X

Imagine this: one headset that supports pretty much all of your devices, but it’s also affordable and offers wireless connectivity. Boom, you’ve got it with the Razer Barracuda X (read our review). This budget gaming headset costs $100, but it’ll fill in for a whole host of headphones you might otherwise be toting around throughout your day.

With its USB-C dongle, the Razer Barracuda X is able to wirelessly support PS5, PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch, and Android. It even supports the PS5’s Tempest 3D audio for powerful surround sound. For everything else, you can connect the Razer Barracuda X with a 3.5mm headphone cable. The headset will even give you a considerable 20-hour battery life. Whichever way you connect, you’ll be getting well balanced audio from the headset’s 40mm TriForce drivers, helping you hear all the in-game audio cues you need to stay competitive and immersed. When you’re gaming, the boom mic will help you communicate clearly with your teammates, but you can detach it when you’re on the go and just want headphones for private listening.

2. Corsair HS35

Best Ultra Cheap Gaming Headset

Corsair HS35

Corsair launched its very first ultra-cheap gaming headset, the HS35 (read our review), recently and it’s extremely good, especially for its $35 price. It’s only a stereo headset, so there’s no fancy surround sound, but you can’t really ask for more from this extremely low price point.

It fully cross-platform though, so you can use it on PC, consoles, and even your phone/tablet. Its large 50mm drivers deliver an expansive soundstage. Its flexible boom mic also delivers great sound quality and it’s Discord Certified too. That all said, the audio balance of the HS35 is only so-so due and the bass can be a little too heavy for my taste. There’s some give and take, but you won’t find a cheaper quality gaming headset than this.

3. Xbox Wireless Headset

Best Budget Xbox Gaming Headset

Xbox Wireless Headset

You don’t have to spend a ton to get a good wireless gaming headset that’s going to work seamlessly with your Xbox Series S or X. The new Xbox Wireless Headset is built to connect directly with your Xbox using the Xbox Wireless protocol, so you won’t need any extra dongles or accessories cluttering your gaming setup. And, since it’s made specifically for the system, you’ll get to enjoy digital surround sound support in your games.

The Xbox Wireless Headset has all you need to get in the game. From its large over-ear headphones with 40mm speaker drives and its retractable boom mic, it’s got the hardware for you to hear the game and be heard by your teammates. If you want your headphones to do a little more than just game, you can also use these headphones with computers and mobile devices over Bluetooth or 3.5mm audio cables, letting you get that much more functionality for your money.

4. Sony Pulse 3D

Best Budget PS5 Gaming Headset

Sony Pulse 3D

You might expect a first-party product to cost extra, but the Sony Pulse 3D (read our review) headset is actually fairly affordable. At just $99, you’re getting a pair of wireless gaming headphones that are going to work seamlessly with your PS5. Considering wireless headsets aren’t too commonplace at this price point, these headphones become an even better offer.The headset is designed for PS5 and will deliver Sony’s special blend of spatial sound through Tempest 3D audio, giving you a more realistic experience in games.

The headset will also work with PS4, PC, and Mac wirelessly. With a 3.5mm audio cable and USB-C connection, it can support even more devices. With 12 hours of battery life, it may not be the most power-packed headset, but it should have enough juice to get you through a couple of long gaming sessions as long as you remember to recharge regularly. Of course, you can always just wire the headset into your controller if you run out of power.

5. Turtle Beach Recon 500

Best Wired Gaming Headset

Turtle Beach Recon 500

Turtle Beach hasn’t just released another pair of cheap headphones with the Recon 500 (read our review). Instead, it’s taken the time to revamp the audio coming through by introducing new 60mm dual drivers that split up the high and low frequencies for impressive audio detail. That might all sound like PR speak, but we tested them, and they sound great in games with engines revving and explosive booms all coming through clear.

That high-quality audio is something you can take with you from platform to platform, as the Turtle Beach Recon 500 uses a 3.5mm wired connection, so it can support just about any platform. The headset has convenient controls with a volume dial on the left earcup and a simple-to-push button to mute the mic. The subtle looks of the headset also make it one you can wear away from your gaming setup, and you can detach the mic to remain even more discreet.

6. Corsair HS70 Pro

Best Budget Wireless Gaming Headset

Corsair HS70 Pro

The Corsair HS70 (read our review) was one of the first cheap wireless gaming headsets, and it’s only gotten better with the upgrade to the HS70 Pro. You can use it for both PS4 and PC, with support for 7.1-channel surround sound on the latter.

You’re getting a well-crafted headset with a headband and ear cups that are both made of an incredibly plush memory foam material, so you won’t find many gaming headsets more comfortable than the Corsair HS70 Pro. If you want to go wireless and stay on budget, this is the best option for you.

7. SteelSeries Arctis 7X

Best Multi-Platform Budget Gaming Headset

SteelSeries Arctis 7X

Short of using a wired connection, it can be pretty hard to get a good headset that’ll play nice with both sides of the console market. But, the SteelSeries Arctis 7X (read our review) will do just that. It’s not going to be as cheap as some of the other headsets on this list, but it’s nearly doing the impossible by supporting both the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5 – wait for it – wirelessly. Yep, that’s right. The SteelSeries Arctis 7X supports a wired connection if you need it, but the USB-C dongle will let you connect to the next-gen console of your choice wirelessly.

That alone is some serious value for a headset to offer, but the SteelSeries Arctis 7X doesn’t stop there. You’re also getting support for Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Mac. That’s thanks to a wide variety of connectivity options. Depending on which platform you’re on, you can even get virtual surround sound. All that, and it offers a comfortable design and a 24-hour battery life. (Note: the near-identical Arctis 7P does not support Xbox Series X.)

8. PDP LVL50 Wireless

Wireless Audio on the Cheap

PDP LVL50 Wireless

With the PDP LVL50 (read our review), we’ve come to another affordable wireless gaming headset option. It’s a stand out $80 headset that’ll work with the Xbox One, PS4, and PC thanks to its dedicated wireless dongle that makes setup easy.

This pair of cans push out some seriously loud audio, to the point that we had to keep the volume nob at 50% most of the time. There’s no fancy surround sound here, but positional audio was still pretty good even with just stereo. The only thing holding back this wireless gaming headset is its all plastic and sometimes creaky build quality.

9. HyperX Cloud Stinger S

Best Budget Surround Sound Gaming Headset

HyperX Cloud Stinger S

HyperX’s Cloud Stinger design continues to evolve, and with the Cloud Stringer S you get to level up the experience with virtual surround sound for a solid combination of comfort and audio. The HyperX Cloud Stinger S offers up a lightweight design at just 275 grams, so you’ll barely feel it on top of your head, but it’s still squeezing in 50mm drivers for powerful sound.

The headset can connect to almost any device using its 3.5mm audio cable, but that won’t give you the 7.1-channel surround sound experience. For that, you’ll need to connect to a Windows PC using HyperX’s USB dongle. Then you’ll really be getting the most out of the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. If you’re not gaming on PC, you can skip the surround sound and save a few bucks by going with the simple Cloud Stinger or even the cheaper Cloud Stinger Core.

10. Corsair HS60 Haptic

Best Budget Haptic Gaming Headset

Corsair HS60 Haptic

Headphones are great for getting full immersion in your games, particularly thanks to the positional audio you can get. But, most headphones lack the oomph to make you physically feel the sounds in the game – something a dedicated subwoofer can do in a speaker setup. Fortunately, haptic headsets are a thing, and Corsair’s HS60 Haptic is an affordable option.

This headset will connect to your PC over a USB connection and deliver the rumble from your games right into each ear cup with its haptic motors. Pair that with support for Windows Sonic surround sound, and you’ll get a bit of extra immersion that standard headphones wouldn’t offer. Corsair also takes pains to make sure its headsets are comfortable, and the Corsair HS60 Haptic has spacious ear cups and a headband with plenty of cushioning packed inside and a study build to help make sure this is a headset that’ll last.

Where to Get the Best Budget Gaming Headsets in the UK

Finding the right gaming headset can be a match made in heaven, but you don’t need to pay above and beyond to find your lucky set. Out of all the headsets we’ve tested on this list, every single one is available to pick up in the UK, and at a reasonable price. Whether it’s our favourite the SteelSeries Arctis 1, or the incredibly affordable Turtle Beach Recon 70, there is a headset ready and waiting for you. Don’t see the headsets below? Click here.

Arctis 1 Wired Gaming Headset

SteelSeries

Arctis 1 Wired Gaming Headset

Best Budget Gaming Headset

 HS35 Stereo Gaming Headset

Corsair

HS35 Stereo Gaming Headset

Best Ultra Cheap Gaming Headset

Wireless Headset

XBox

Wireless Headset

Best Budget Xbox Gaming Headset

Pulse 3D

Sony

Pulse 3D

Best Budget PS5 Gaming Headset

Kraken X Ultralight Gaming Headset

Razer

Kraken X Ultralight Gaming Headset

Best Wired Gaming Headset

HS70 Pro Gaming Headset

Corsair

HS70 Pro Gaming Headset

Best Budget Wireless Gaming Headset

Arctis 7

SteelSeries

Arctis 7

Best Multi-Platform Budget Gaming Headset

LVL50 Wireless Headset

PDP

LVL50 Wireless Headset

Wireless Audio on the Cheap

Cloud Stinger Core 7.1

HyperX

Cloud Stinger Core 7.1

Best Budget Surround Sound Gaming Headset

What to look for in a Budget Gaming Headset

We’ve picked out the cream of the crop when it comes to budget gaming headsets, but you can still run into a lot of bad apples. Here we’ll tell you about a few things you should expect from this market of cheap gaming headsets including build and sound quality.

Of the budget gaming headsets we’ve tested, we found that build quality can run the gamut between flimsy and cheap to super sturdy to the point of being almost too heavy. Of course, you’ll also get better build quality as you move up the price scale—less molded plastic and more metal. If you can check out these gaming headsets in store, be sure to not just put them on but give them a decent stretch (without snapping them in half!) and see if it creaks at all.

Although you will find scratchy fabric ear cups on some models, you’ll also encounter smooth synthetic leather and soft fabric, too. When it comes to leather vs fabric, it all comes down to your preference, but know that leather offers more sound isolation while fabrics are more breathable. Also be on the lookout for memory-foam padding as it offers the cushiest, most comfortable fit against your head.

Sound quality can be impressive across the board, though the tendency we found across the category was to favor low frequencies instead of highs or mids. You’ll get cleaner highs and better separation between mid and low frequencies in the midrange gaming headsets or higher class peripherals.

Kevin Lee is IGN’s Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam

Mark Knapp is a regular contributor to IGN and an irregular Tweeter on Twitter @Techn0Mark





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