How to buy a gaming headset

6:09 PM, May 22, 2011   |    comments
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  • TekNmotion's PulseWave 2 PC Gaming Headset.
  • The Sennheiser PC 360 gaming headset.
  • Rude Gameware's Primal Xbox 360 wireless headset.
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Choices, choices, choices...

When looking for a gaming headset, choice is probably the one thing that gamers have too much of these days.  What's good and what's not?  Which brands will last and which ones won't?

Leslie Moore of headset manufacturer Plantronics has some tips for gamers looking to get a more immersive gaming experience:

"For a gaming headset specifically, I'd look for a comfort fit most definately," says Moore. "I'd also look for noise cancelling -- especially if you're in a loud environment or if you're sneaking those games in at work."

She also suggests that would-be gaming headset owners who are considering purchasing a wireless unit take battery life into consideration.

As for the difference in quality and workmanship between higher-end brands such as Plantronics, Turtle Beach, and Tritton and their lower-end off-the-rack counterparts -- Moore suggests shoppers simply do their homework.

"Ours have surround sound," Moore explains, referring to Plantronics' headset models. "The off-the-rack ones don't have surround sound and they typically don't have noise cancelling."

Moore also points out that her company's headsets all have cloth-lined ear cups whereas lower quality alternatives tend to have plastic-lined ones. The plastic ones tend to get sweatty after a while of wearing them and can cause irritation to the skin around the ear.

She also points out that better-quality gaming headsets have other handy physical features like a retractable/bendable microphone and on-headset volume controls.

One final indicator between a good gaming headset and one to avoid is price. While generic "gaming" headsets can be found as cheap as $10-20, anybody looking to buy an actual gaming-quality headset should expect to spend at least $70-100 on one -- if not more.

- Game Guy Barry White


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