Looking for a budget gaming headset but refuse to spend an arm and a leg to get one?
Don't worry, we get you. Headset prices can fluctuate from $20, all the way up to $400 depending on the quality of the sound.
But instead of spending half a grand on headphones, why not go for a cheaper alternative, something that is budget-friendly, and will last you a long time.
We did the research for you and created a list of the best cheap gaming headsets for 2021.
Better yet, most of these headsets are compatible not just with your PC, but with your PS4 and Xbox One.
You also do have the option to decide whether or not you want a headset (headphones attached with a microphone) or headphones, if you're not sure, check out our guide here.
But, if you're an avid gamer, or a music lover, and need a headset that sounds great, and works like a charm, read on!
SteelSeries is a very reputable company that comes out with a lot of quality gaming products - the Arctis series being a top contender.
If you have used wired headphones your whole life, switching to a wireless alternative is like a breath of fresh air.
Wireless headsets tend to have a less reliable connection and provide lower quality sound... but not the Arctis 7.
This product has the same consistent quality as its wired competition of similar pricing.
The battery life lasts a long time, clocking in at about 20 hours without needing to be charged, and the quality of the battery won't let up for months... maybe even years (depending on how much you use it).
You can even keep playing while it's charging, so you never have to go soundless again.
The headset is weighted effectively and has a very snug fit. For many headsets, after long gaming sessions, your ears or head become sore, which causes discomfort.
With the Arctis 7, you will never feel the headband digging into your brain. Although over time the band does get looser, you can easily replace the bands for around $15.
The HyperX Cloud II gaming headset is one of the best products for its value and price.
The headset offers an impressive 7.1 surround sound, and an ethereal bass and treble, and when the two are combined, absolute heaven.
HyperX is a popular gaming brand with a successful track record, so you can be sure that its headset is built to be durable.
The Cloud II features a noise-canceling microphone that detects your voice while ignoring the majority of the background noise.
Pair it up with memory foam on your ears, it delivers a comfy fit on your head and a pillow-like cushion on your earlobes.
To sweeten up the deal, it's compatible with most consoles, and can be used for long gaming sessions.
Overall, it's a great headset, a cheaper alternative to the SteelSeries Arctis 7 who doesn't want to spend over $100 and will last and provide you with high-quality surround sound.
The BENGOO G9000 has a special place on this list because it's an extremely popular budget headset that simply works.
The black version (as shown in the pictures) looks stunning and is very comfortable on your ears and on your head.
The major selling point for this headset is that it offers a great price to value offer, being of surprisingly higher quality build.
Where the headset falls short in comparison to higher-end headphones is the sound quality. That's a given since budget headsets can only spend so much on their sound engineering.
That's not to say that the sound isn't good though. The sound quality is one of the highest quality within its price range, being comparable to headsets like the HyperX Cloud Stinger.
One of the downsides is that the microphone picks up a lot of background noise. So if you're going to be streaming, or using the headset in a loud area, it's going to be difficult to communicate due to the background noise.
But, if you're looking for an easy-to-wear, comfortable, high-quality headset, and you're on a budget, the BENGOO G9000 is an amazing option.
I've given you some expensive options on this list. Now we can bring the prices down to a selection of reasonable products.
I get it, we've all been there. Purchasing a headset for your setup may not be of the highest priority... or maybe you're headset broke and you need a quick-fix budget replacement.
This is where the NUBWO comes in.
If money and headsets came to life, they would embrace each other in a nice and friendly way.
It costs under $35, has a great design, provides quality sound, and is comfortable for prolonged gaming sessions.
On the flip side, the microphone is very clear and crisp, potentially rivaling the HyperX Cloud II. A great feature considering it's a cheaper alternative.
Where the NUBWO falls is the ability to adapt to different head shapes and sizes. For some, it's a perfect, snug fit. For others, the lack of adjustability of the earpieces means it won't fit over your ears perfectly...
Which will result in you not being able to use them for a long time.
Nevertheless, this is still a great choice for those looking for a cheaper alternative, want an awesome mic, and have quality sound.
The Jeecoo USB Pro Gaming headset caught my attention upon my research due to its unique qualities amongst the products on this list.
Through sound tests done, the quality of these headsets has stayed relatively consistent. This could further be enhanced by downloading their software and playing around with the sound to suit your liking.
This headset works straight out of the box as they intend to. You simply plug it in via USB and play.
The control module has a clip that you can attach to yourself which makes this feature very convenient, as you can control the majority of the sound within arm's reach.
One caveat is that these are only active noise isolation headphones (not active noise canceling), meaning you can still hear the noise in the background.
Although the microphone can be used in public places without a hitch, you will still be able to hear outside sound, so if like to use your laptop in public places, these may not be the best option for you.
But if you are looking for a gaming headset that doesn't empty your wallet, the Jeecoo USB Pro Gaming headset is definitely a viable option.
Coming from an FPS gaming background - namely CS:GO, you realize the importance of quality sound.
Being able to hear your enemies is a vital part of your game sense (your overall awareness of how to play the game well), and if you're a newbie, this is one of the first skills you want to learn - how to hear your enemies.
If you're serious about topping the leaderboards, a quality headset will help you gain a competitive edge over your enemies.
For not-so-serious gamers or for gamers who enjoy other genres, the sound will add another level to your experience...
Especially if there was an emphasis on the music. Many cinematic scenes in games directly affect the scenarios being played out.
When looking for a headset, chances are you'll be overwhelmed with the incredible selection of products.
So, for you, we narrowed down your options by researching what the best features are and what you should be looking for and showing them on this list.
There's not much debate here, other than what your personal preference is.
A headset will need to be placed over (or on) your ears, and on your head to prevent falling... whereas earphones will be placed inside your ears.
For gaming, headsets triumph over earphones, mainly due to the noise cancellation aspect, and also a wider base for the sound to travel into your ear.
Open vs. closed refer to whether or not you want to have complete noise isolation (only hear what's coming from your headset) or if you want to hear background noise.
Open headsets allow you to hear the background noise. This doesn't make your in-game audio confusing to listen to, but rather drowns out the background noise to an extent. This is often called active noise isolation or active noise reduction (ANI or ANR).
The best-case scenario for an open headset being effective is for you gamers out there who are constantly on the move, or who are busy - because you need to be aware of your surroundings.
Closed headsets are the opposite. Games, where the sound is of the utmost importance like story-driven games or in FPS games where using sound, is essential for survival. This is known as active noise cancellation (ANC).
The noise isolation that comes with closed headsets will immerse you into the gaming experience. But be warned, it may cause your girlfriend to get angry at you as she tries to call your name from across the room.
Worth it though.
Over-ear headphones are usually bigger since the ear cups need to be able to fit your whole ear inside.
On-ear headphones are more compact and have soft ear cups that are placed on your ears.
The difference? The noise isolation (and sometimes comfort).
Over-ear cups your entire ear so the sound emitting from your headphones cannot escape.
On-ear headphones only cup a certain amount, and therefore there are spots where the sound escapes and comes in, which means you'll be able to hear the background environment.
Linking up with open and closed headsets, there can be open headsets that are placed over-ear but there can't be a closed headset that can be on-ear (because they can't cancel out the background noises).
For gaming over-ear headsets is the clear winner, especially if you need active noise cancellation.
Ever tie-up earphones nicely and place them into your pocket, only to pull them out later on and the cord to become a tangled mess?
I don't know about you, but tangled wires trigger me, and wires can often be annoying to deal with... hence why Apple decided to take off that 3.5mm microphone jack (still a bad decision in my opinion, but I digress).
Wired headsets allow you to have a direct connection to your PC, which means the connection is faster and more reliable (not prone to dropouts).
The purpose behind opting for a wireless headset is for people who like to be tangle-free. Wireless headsets are the preferred option for the gym... but for gaming? It depends.
Wired headsets are best for gamers who don't want to deal with battery life, charging, and the potential for dropouts...
Wireless headsets are best for gamers who enjoy being wire-free and do not have to deal with tangles and like having the flexibility to move around without being aware of the cord.
Still, both options are great for gaming, and it comes down to your personal preference.
If you want a deeper dive into choosing between wired vs. wireless headphones, you can check out our guide!
If you're an avid gamer, chances are you spend more than a couple of minutes gaming.
It should be a fun, pleasant experience, and your peripherals should provide the comfort needed to be able to game for hours without getting tired.
Just like a gaming chair, the comfort of your headset is a must and should be high up on your list in terms of features.
The cushion fabric, texture quality, and whether it's sweat-resistant or not are all important factors when choosing the best cheap gaming headset.
Like your soft, luscious memory-foam pillow, your headset can also include memory-foam, so it will automatically adjust to your ear shape and stay comfy over your gaming session.
And if you wear glasses (like me), you don't want a headset that's too tight. This causes problems as it will affect the position of your glasses and cause discomfort on your face...
This will get you adjusting your glasses every 5 mins, which is super annoying.
Here at Battlestation Setups, we adore having aesthetic-looking pieces of gear, especially if they blend well together with a setup.
So when choosing a headset, you'll find it more satisfying if it suits your overall setup theme.
Also bear in mind, a headset goes on your head, and when you talk to people, they see your face.
So whether they like seeing your face or not, they'll see your head too.
And you want to have a good-looking headset so you don't look ridiculous.
Game in style, my friends.
Many different gaming headsets will be compatible with many different platforms.
The ones we want to focus on is mainly PC which is where most of you reside.
But if you're a game enthusiast, chances are you probably have more gaming platforms other than your PC.
That being said, having a headset that is compatible with PS4 and Xbox One is a bonus feature that products nowadays are moving towards.
You want to ensure your headset has multi-platform capabilities, so you have the flexibility to use your headset anywhere.
Some games are only exclusive to a specific platform, like Tekken being only available on the Playstation. So being able to switch quickly from your PC to your PS4 is a bonus, and most headsets can provide that flexibility.
If you've ever listened to a song using speakers, then switched to high-quality earphones/headphones and listened to the same song, you'll have a completely different listening experience.
Different audio will enhance different sound waves. Think of it like if you listen to a song in your car, then add a subwoofer to enhance the beat.
A good gaming headset should be able to differentiate sounds and allow you to hear some of the more subtle details that developers may want you to hear.
Recent games have incredible sound engineering and offer 3D audio experiences which make cinematic scenes or gameplay 100x better.
For FPS games, this is especially important. If you have your headset on the right way, you'll hear exactly which direction footsteps or gunshots are coming from. With a good headset, you can easily pick up which direction chaos is ensuing, and act accordingly.
Budget gaming headsets don't mean that you're missing out on a quality build.
Of course, materials used to create the headset will vary, and often cheaper materials will be used to provide a cheaper price point.
But cheaper headphones are made to provide a balance between budget and quality. So durability still plays a big part in the manufacturing process for more budget-friendly companies.
For best results, look for a headset that includes some sort of steel or metal elements built into the casing.
You will want a headset that comes with a quality cable - usually braided cables are an indication that the cable will last.
You don't want to be one of those people who are in an in-game lobby but have a horrendous ear-bleeding microphone.
Communication is an important key to victory for multi-player games, so getting a headset with a clear and crisp microphone is a must.
Luckily, headsets now have improved microphone capabilities, having the ability to differentiate outside noise to a person's voice (bars).
This is especially convenient for those who like to party up on discord and leave their mic on at all times. Many headsets will have a mic that only picks up a voice, and not the background, making it an effective communication tool.
What kind of headset would it be if the sound quality was bad?
A bad headset.
Sound quality is the make it, or break it for most headphones, budget headsets' main focus is to provide quality sound.
There are several budget headphones which have amazing sound quality, and allow you to immerse yourself in the games audio and visual effects.
Think back to the time you went to watch Marvel's Avengers: Endgame.
You felt every emotion, you listened to every single line and you were in absolute awe of all the chaos that was unravelling in the movie.
A cinema experience is like no other, and part of the reason why you were so immersed in the action was that there were speakers at every angle in the room.
You were literally surrounded by speakers from every direction.
Headsets want to mimic that in the form of a 'surround-sound' experience. With a headset, however, the sound would be emitted from different directions in your ears, which means you can tell which direction the sound is coming from.
It's not 'true' surround sound, but sound engineers have found ways to simulate surround sound on headsets, which is what you can now take advantage of.
Lastly, external software will be the final feature you want to have the luxury of using.
A headset's software allows you to customize the sound coming from your headset.
I'll be frank, most of you will never even need to customize your sound, and in our list of recommended products, you simply just need to plug it in and bob's your uncle.
But if you want to be able to manipulate your sound quality at will, external software is the final piece to the puzzle.
Despite all the competition, the SteelSeries Arctis 7 Gaming Headset comes closest to ticking off all the criteria we have set in looking for the best cheap gaming headset.
The product is wireless, so you don't have to deal with annoying cords, is multi-platform compatible, looks aesthetic and minimalist, has 7.1 surround sound, is active noise canceling and is just an overall quality build.
Yes, it's one of the more expensive headsets on the list, but the value you're getting makes up for the price.
A headset like the Arctis 7 will last you a long time, and will help you improve your game sense, should you utilize the sound of these bad boys properly.