The best gaming headsets don’t always have to put increasing pressure on your mounting PC costs, but can you really get a good headset for under $50? This is one of the main questions we get asked in regard to budget headsets, so we thought we’d answer that question with an article.
Budget headphones can often be packed with suitable features for your needs. You probably won’t see flashy wireless headphones in this category, but you will see an array of decent features that vary from 7.1 surround sound to swivel-to-mute microphones.
When it comes to a good headset, you want good sound quality, comfort, and clarity to give you a competitive edge when it comes to esports titles and competitive bouts.
In this article, we are going to go through the run-down of our top five gaming headsets for under $50 with price-to-performance taking a lead role. All these gaming headsets have been hand-selected based on value, reviews, and our general opinion after extensive usage and testing. We will cover the features of these budget gaming headsets and go into the technical terms in thorough detail to help you pick the best headset for under $50 for your needs.
So, with all that in mind, let’s dive straight into it!
Our Top Picks
Best Gaming Headset Under $50 - First Look
The HyperX Cloud Stinger gets our number one spot at this price range and for good reason. This headset not only showcases a great design and comfortable fit but superb sound quality when compared against the competition.
Budget gaming headsets don’t come much better than the HyperX Cloud Stingers. While they don’t offer amazing build quality, they do provide excellent comfort and great spatial awareness when playing competitive titles.
Corsair are no strangers when it comes to creating some of the best headsets the market has to offer. Their HS60 gaming headset is one of the best in its price range and offers some cool features to boot.
With a subtle design that can be used in almost any scenario, the HS60 gaming headset offers a great all-round experience to say the least.
Astro usually focuses most of its time on creating high-end headsets like the Astro A50. Having said that, their Astro A10 graces the lower-end of the price spectrum. It offers fantastic build quality, great sound, and brilliant color.
Astro gaming know how to make a high-quality headset, with their A10 budget headset showcasing all the ingenuity they’re famous for.
Razer knows what they’re doing when it comes to gaming headsets. The Razer Kraken X is their ultra-light gaming headset that provides good comfort, decent sound, and ample features to boot.
This extremely lightweight gaming headset is one of, if not the most comfortable headsets in this guide. If you want decent sound quality and excellent comfort, look no further.
Logitech provides us with another superb gaming headset, this time it graces the lower end of the price spectrum. Don’t let that take anything away from this headset though, it still comes with all the ingenuity Logitech have built their name around.
Logitech offers up the G432 gaming headset which offers a great all-round sound, updated pleather earcups, and some cool extra features too.
Why are these the best gaming headsets? How do you know these are the best gaming headsets for under $50? It is all well and good just stating your opinion, but testing products is where we find the true best-of.
It doesn’t matter if its mice, monitors or chairs; our team here take a few days to gather data and research the best products in whichever category they may be writing about. Once researched, a draft of potential products are selected and purchased, that is if they haven’t been sent by manufacturers already. Once we physically have the products hands-on, we can begin to test and narrow down the number of products to around 5-7.
The Testing Rig
We initially intended to use gaming computers equipped with a headphone amplifier but decided to stick with a separate USB DAC (Creative Sound Blaster E5) headphone amplifier since not everyone has that kind of motherboard.
The purpose of this is to ensure that each headset that requires more power amplification gets the juice they need. Unfortunately, for the USB headsets, we solely relied on the motherboard’s USB ports at the back.
The Testing Games
The gaming headset marketplace has exploded over the last couple of years, now housing what seems like a never-ending list of affordable options to choose from. With so many headsets to choose from, which one is best for your personal needs?
Personal preference can narrow this selection down, but we have decided to outline specific key criteria we think you should consider before buying your new gaming headset.
Communication is key, especially for any competitive players out there. Because of its importance, you need to ensure your microphone is of the highest affordable quality and ideally be flexible in its placement. You often find that gaming headsets under $50 can sometimes feature average microphones that pick up strange hisses or can be oddly quiet. Despite the budget of $50, we have managed to find gaming headsets with suitable and reliable microphones.
Of course, what would a good pair of headphones be without stellar sound quality? While much of audio quality comes down to preference, each of these headphones provides exceptional quality for the price.
Moreover, the stereo imaging needs to be excellent. Much of what happens in a game is contextual to the environment, so we chose headphones that have imaging that provides all of the environment that developers have built into their games.
Once again, looks do matter. While not everything in your rig needs to be flashy, your headset will be worn on, well, your head.
Because of that, they need to look pretty good.
Each of the options on this list was chosen, at least to a degree, based on the way they look. Yes, it may be considered a pointless attribute, but everyone loves a small bit of style.
This is mostly a common-sense thing. You obviously want to buy a headset that actually works with the system that you plan to use it for. Headsets come in a variety of designs and styles, and some are only compatible with specific systems.
It’s easy enough to tell whether or not a headset will work with your system. The packaging will always have a label that says what it’s compatible with. Before you invest your hard-earned money, make sure to look for its compatibility label.
Comfort is a big factor when it comes to not just gaming headsets but headsets in general. It doesn’t matter if you plan on huge gaming sessions or the odd bit of casual play, an uncomfortable headset can drive people crazy. Comfort can be compromised with many gaming headsets in the under $50 category, but we have done our best to select headsets that not only sound good but feel good too.
In many cases, the materials used can contribute heavily to the overall comfort of the gaming headset. It is always good to check your next potential purchase for any gaps in the connecting parts. There should be little wiggle room in a well-built headset, and you want to make sure any stitching on the headset isn’t about to unravel after a couple of uses.
Best Gaming Headset Under $50
50mm drivers with neodymium magnets
With memory foam padding
90-degrees rotating ear cups
Excellent audio quality
Microphone is not detachable
HyperX comes to the table with our top pick in the best gaming headset for under $50. The Cloud Stingers are a popular pair of headphones and represent excellent value too. This lightweight gaming headset comes with earcups that can rotate 90 degrees and have 50mm Directional drivers for audio precision.
The Stingers feature HyperX’s signature memory foam and steel sliders giving this pair of headphones great flexibility and a greater degree of comfort than most in this price range. One of the best design features to this gaming headset is the swivel-to-mute microphone which self mutes whenever it is swiveled upwards into a vertical position.
The frequency may not be quite as good as a high-resolution headset but for the price, in this budget gaming pair, it ain’t half bad!
HyperX delivers a simple yet aesthetically pleasing gaming headset with enough features to make this a serious gaming option. The comfort is decent from the Cloud Stingers thanks to its memory foam padding and adjustable ear cups, making this a great pair of headphones for under $50.
50mm neodymium drivers
7.1 surround sound
With memory foam padding
Adjustable ear cups
Excellent audio quality
Not the best frequency response
Least comfortable on the list
Corsair is regarded as specialists when it comes to manufacturing peripherals and you can normally rely on them to build quality at the very least. The HS60 gaming headset won’t be winning any awards in the audio department but they do offer great value and sound quality for the price. This lightweight pair is comprised of mostly metal construction ensuring a bit of long term durability.
The Corsair HS60’s feature 50mm directional drivers for audio precision and 7.1 surround sound. The Corsair HS60s feature memory foam to keep the headset comfortable when using for an extended period of time. The adjustable earcups have some movement to them to cater for different size heads with the sliders functioning as you would expect. The microphone is detachable meaning you can use these for music on the go or with a stand-alone microphone.
This headset features one of the worst frequency responses in the category but the difference is minute when compared to others and not noticeable.
So, Corsair delivers a solid set of headphones with the sound quality you will find quite surprising. The microphone is of good quality and performs closer to more expensive headsets. With this headsets comfort and low price, it easily factored into considerations.
Very good value for money
Excellent uni-directional microphone
Good build quality
Boomy sound profile
Sound is a little muddy
Astro Gaming are better known for their high-performance gaming headsets that fall into the “premium” price bracket. Having said that, their Astro A10 headset which comes in at just under $50, might be one of their best value for money products available right now.
The Astro A10’s come to shelves with a very aesthetically pleasing design which, if not for the microphone, could certainly pass for an everyday headset. The build quality is superb and easily one of the standout features of this headset. Premium materials have been used throughout, making this headset feel much more expensive than its price would suggest. The A10 is definitely the most durable in this list and should stand the test of time.
The 40mm drivers that this headset comes equipped with offer a very boomy sound profile which sound great for immersion whilst gaming or listening to music. Whilst the highs and mids do leave a little to be desired, the spacial awareness and in-game sound queues were bang on point. It was easy to pinpoint where enemies were from footsteps and gunfire.
The headset features a very good microphone which sounds clear and accurate. On the downside, it is slightly tinny, but for under $50, you can’t really complain.
Great Value for money
7.1 surround sound
Decent spatial awareness
Build quality matches price point
The Razer Kraken X is one of the latest arrivals to the Kraken lineup of headsets. This one comes to shelves boasting an array of cool features, excellent comfort, and good sound quality too – when comparing to similarly priced alternatives, that is.
This Kraken X headset has a very subtle and understated design, compromised of mostly plastic with steel found in the earcups and headband. The color theme is, as expected, all-black – giving this headset a sleek and sophisticated look.
The 40mm directional drivers do provide pretty good sound if truth be told. The bass isn’t too overpowering and the highs have been tweaked to allow better understanding of your enemy’s position in competitive esports titles. The Krakens weigh in at a slender 250 grams and feel extremely comfortable while in use.
The microphone, which is non-detachable, offers very good sound recreation as far as budget headsets go. The cardioid technology used in the microphone allows sound to be picked up from several different directions, providing a clearer, more accurate portrayal of your voice. On the downside, it can pick up a decent amount of ambient noise.
Overall, as far as cheap headsets go, this one is pretty damn good. The only downside is that the build quality doesn’t feel overly robust. At this price range though, it isn’t the worst on the market.
Rotating ear cups
DTS and Dolby 7.1 surround sound
Music sound is not the best
The name Logitech is a brand a lot of gamers and enthusiasts trust. It’s even a name that professional esports players and companies trust. But is it really worth getting the G430? Right off the bat, it’s a guarantee that you really do get what you pay for. This has an attractive black-and-blue color and really does have the appearance of a gaming headset.
The G430’s share a similar feature with our top pick since the ear cups can be rotated 90 degrees for convenience. Aside from that, it also shares yet another feature with the SADES A60 since this also has a DTS and Dolby 7.1 surround sound system.
Weight won’t be an issue when worn since this is also lightweight and comfortable. The earcups of the Logitech G430 can also be adjusted easily, which makes it really great if you intend to wear this for hours on end. In fact, we didn’t really have issues with discomfort as we tested this out.
The audio quality isn’t the best but it did deliver the needed performance and output fairly well. The gunshots and the footsteps can definitely be heard clearly. We’ve read some users find the surround sound to be a little off but as we tested this out – it was just perfect.
The microphone also delivers how it should but the problem is that this isn’t incorporated with a noise-reduction feature, which could cause a problem to your teammates if there are environmental or ambient sounds around you.
There you have it, our complete breakdown of the best gaming headsets for under $50 this 2021. We’ve tried to keep the reviews as short as possible, only discussing relevant information regarding the headset. Having said that, for those that want the shortened version, here it is.
If you’re looking for the best gaming headsets under $50 of 2021, you won’t find anything better than HyperX Cloud Stinger.
If you’re looking for great comfort and features such as surround sound, the HS60’s could be exactly what you’re looking for.
The Logitech G432 also has a surround system that can pick up small audio queues. Keep in mind though that this doesn’t have a vibration system like other headsets on the market. Nonetheless, it’s still a great pick if you want a name you can rely on.
If you want fantastic build quality and a boomy sound profile, the Astro A10’s could be perfect for your needs. Finally, for Razer fans, or anyone that likes a lightweight, comfortable design, the Kraken X is by far the most comfortable in this list.
Are headphones better for gaming?
If you’ve recently decided to delve into the world of gaming, you might be wondering whether it’s better to go for a pair of headphones or stick with the more traditional choice of a gaming headset. Standard headphones can be used for gaming purposes and indeed can offer similar features that a designated gaming headset could, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re the better choice.
Generally speaking, if gaming is important to you and you’d like the most immersive experience, then it’s best to go for a gaming headset as, unlike headphones, they have been specially designed to be able to allow you to hear virtual and surround sound. On top of that, gaming headsets will also feature an integrated microphone, which will allow you to easily converse with your teammates.
In addition to that, another reason why it’s a good idea to choose a gaming headset over a pair of headphones is that gaming headsets are usually more fine-tuned, which ensures that you’ll be able to enjoy a more immersive experience, as the headset will be able to deliver full-body midrange, as well as controlled treble. This means that, if you were to choose a gaming headset, you’d be able to more clearly hear the intricacies of the gaming audio, which will help to make the game feel more realistic.
- A more immersive experience – unlike other types of headsets, 7.1 gaming headsets have the ability to create an ‘out of head’ experience, which will make you feel as though the sound is all around you. Thanks to that, you’ll be able to enjoy a more immersive experience that will make you feel as though you are actually in the game, which will not only feel more realistic but super fun, too!
- Gaming advantages – thanks to that surround sound we mentioned, you’ll be better able to track where footsteps or opposition are located in the gaming landscape, which will give you an advantage, help you to strategize your next move, and ensure that you’re always two steps ahead.
Are 7.1 gaming headsets worth it?
Regardless of whether you’re a beginner gamer or seasoned expert, it’s likely that you’ve come across the term ‘7.1 gaming headsets’ and wondered if they’re worth the hype. Though it should go without saying that surround sound gaming headsets will no doubt offer a more immersive experience while playing games, standard stereo headsets are still extremely popular and favored by many professional gamers for their clear and authentic sound.
Despite that, 7.1 gaming headsets do offer a few benefits that stereo headsets cannot, with the two most important being:
Of course, 7.1 gaming headsets aren’t perfect, and one of the biggest downsides is that many latest-generation games do not support 7.1 channels, which means you will be restricted as to which games you can use them on. Nevertheless, 7.1 headsets offer an unparalleled audio quality that makes you feel as though you’re really in the game and, with them growing so quickly in popularity, it’s also safe to assume that more games will begin to be compatible with them.
Is stereo better than 7.1 for gaming?
Though a 3D sound setup is recommended by many, there are some benefits to choosing to stick with stereo. Many gamers agree that stereo headsets are able to offer a slightly better overall sound quality than 7.1 headsets, which is the main reason why many pro-gamers choose to stick with them despite the lack of surround sound.
Why do pros use 2 headsets?
If you like to watch professional gaming tournaments in your spare time, then you might have noticed that many (if not all) of the gamers participating in the tournament will tend to wear two headsets at one time. Usually, pro-gamers will choose to wear earbuds and a headset at the same time, while also keeping a spare headset around their necks. The reason for this is because the earbuds are used to play the actual gaming audio, while the headset over the top is used to cancel out any external noise that could potentially distract them from the game. Interestingly enough, the third headset that you may have seen some pro-gamers sporting is almost always there for decorative purposes, as many sponsors pay the gamers to wear their headsets for marketing reasons. The more you know!
How long should gaming headphones last?
No matter the brand, all latest-generation headsets should offer a service life of around 2-5 years before they need to be replaced, though this will greatly depend on how frequently they are used, as well as how well they are cared for.
Is mono or stereo better for gaming?
When it comes to breaking down the differences between these two types of audio, the answer is pretty simple. Mono headsets utilize just one microphone, which means that there is only one audio signal. This means that, while playing a game, you will only be able to hear the audio from one channel at any given time, so the sounds you hear coming from both speakers of the headset will be exactly the same. In contrast, stereo headsets utilize two microphones and channels, which means they are able to output different signals at the same time. For this reason, stereo headsets will be able to create a more immersive gaming experience, as different signals can be sent to each side of the headset, meaning that what you hear in your left ear may be different from what you hear in your right. This will help to create a more realistic gaming experience.
Is surround sound bad for gaming?
Surround sound is great for gaming because it allows for a more realistic experience. Not only does surround sound make it easier to detect the location of other players within the game, but it also helps to create an immersive experience that will feel as though you are actually inside the game, all while elevating the overall cinematic experience.
So, there you have it, our complete guide to the best gaming headset for under $50. If you venture deep enough on Amazon, you’ll find enough products to fully stock a store with just headphones at this price point.
Unsurprisingly, the HyperX Cloud Stinger still came out on top for their exceptional build quality, comfort, and price. For less than $50, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better pair of headphones despite their few weak points.
Let us know what you thought of this comprehensive guide by leaving us a comment in the section below. Better still, why not head on over to the WePC Community hub where you can discuss everything peripheral related with like-minded individuals.