Ideal for business travelers who utilize Skype and VoIP services and require clear connectivity throughout the world. Use the microphone on either right or left side. Customers love the sound quality so much they use the headset for music and movies.
Will muffle ambient noise, but not voices or music.
These little earbuds are compatible with a variety of smartphones, laptops, and tablets. The in-line microphone works well for phone calls, and the earbuds are comfortable. Customers love the included carrying case, which makes these headphones a good option for commuters.
A few customers reported that the rubber portion of the earbuds is coming apart.
Enhances work efficiencies as it's easy to connect and disconnect. Effectively engineered for talking and also great for dictation. Extra features include a mute switch and extension cord.
Only works with Windows and Mac OS software.
This wireless USB headset is designed with gamers in mind, from its comfortable memory foam ear cushions to its futuristic design. While there’s no noise cancellation, these headphones have the look and feel of a more expensive model. Customers praise the built-in sound chip and overall sound quality, as well as the passive noise cancellation the ear cups provide. Compatible with PS4 and PC.
Battery life tends to taper off over time.
We love the 8-foot cord length that prevents one from being stuck at a desk all day. High performing features help speech therapists with accurate results and effective volume control.
May have to adjust the microphone for optimal performance.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
USB headsets for computers allow you to keep your hands free while you talk and listen to calls or music or play video games. These versatile gadgets are popular among gamers, office workers, and salespeople.
By connecting to your computer or device via USB, the headset receives power and can transmit a signal both ways. Some USB headsets are designed to give you an immersive listening experience, making them well suited to gaming or listening to music. Others are more utilitarian, with compact designs and functional microphones and speakers. USB headphones may have an over-the-ear or on-ear design, and they may have a single speaker to leave one ear open.
There are countless variations and features when it comes to USB headsets, but no matter your needs, we can help you find the ideal one for you. To learn more about the types of USB headsets available, continue reading our buying guide, and check out our favorites when you’re ready to buy.
When shopping for a USB headset, consider how you will use it. Are you a gamer looking for crisp and immersive sound and a high-quality microphone? Or maybe you work in a busy office and need a headset that can offer clear audio as it blocks out background noise. The spectrum of USB headsets on the market is wide, and at the end of the day most models are designed for one specific task. Knowing your needs beforehand can help you narrow your search.
The sound quality of a headset generally correlates to the diameter of the drivers, which can range from 13.5 millimeters (in the case of earbuds) to 53 millimeters. For listening to the human voice, smaller headsets usually work fine. If you’re an audiophile or gamer, you may find that larger drivers better capture the full range of sounds in your music or games.
The microphone of a USB headset should be able to pick up your voice clearly without getting too much background noise. The best microphones are noise-cancelling models, with a small microphone on the back of the primary microphone to pick up and reduce background noise. While it’s impossible to entirely block out other sounds, high-quality USB headsets with noise cancellation can allow you to be heard clearly even in a busy office or noisy home.
If you want to use your USB headset for phone calls and video chats, you should decide whether a monaural (one-ear) or binaural (two-ear) design is better for your needs. Monaural headsets allow you to hear others in your vicinity without taking off the headset, while binaural headsets are better at keeping you focused on those you’re listening to and blocking out background noises. If you’re a gamer, you’ll almost certainly want a binaural headset so that you don’t miss out on any of the sounds in your games.
Almost all USB headsets have controls on the cable or the headset itself, allowing you to easily adjust the volume or mute your mic. If you’re a gamer, these may be all the functions you need. For salespeople, however, additional features like a quick disconnect button and microphone sensitivity dial can be useful.
USB-C is a newer variety of USB port/plug that offers faster transfer of data and power. As a result, headsets that connect to your computer or other device via USB-C typically offer superior sound and recording quality.
From the style of the ear cups to the overall design, USB headsets can vary greatly in their features.
By opting for a USB headset, you’ve already gone hands-free, but if you purchase a wireless USB headset, you can enjoy maximum freedom and flexibility as you take calls or play games from anywhere near your computer. While wireless models may not match the connection quality of wired models, they do allow you to make a quick run to the break room for a coffee without having to leave your call.
Almost everyone has a strong opinion on headphone designs. Some people find the large designs of over-the-ear headphones the most comfortable. These have a plastic band that goes over the head and connects the cushioned ear cups or holds one ear cup in place. Other people prefer on-ear designs, which have a plastic or rubber hook that wraps around your ear to keep a single ear cup in place. Earbuds, which fit inside the ears, generally lack the sound quality of the other types, but they can block out external noises well and are easy to tuck away. The design that’s right for you is a matter of personal preference.
The small arm that holds the microphone is called the boom, which may be made of metal, sturdy plastic, or a flexible material. Flexible booms allow you to position the mic close enough to your mouth to pick up sound clearly but not so close that it picks up your breathing. Many headsets feature a boom that can be rotated in almost a full circle, allowing you to position the microphone on the left or right side.
If you plan to wear your headset for extended periods of time, consider what cushion material you prefer. Uncovered foam is typically the least expensive (and least comfortable) option, while fabric- or leather-covered foam is more pleasant for long hours of listening.
Inexpensive: USB headsets for $15 to $20 usually have cheap plastic parts and basic sound quality. However, for an affordable gaming headset, you may find one to your liking in this range as long as you aren’t looking for anything flashy.
Mid-range: In the $20 to $35 range, you’ll find gaming headsets and a few headsets designed for phone calls. On-wire controls are more common in this range, and sound quality is generally acceptable to good.
Expensive: USB headsets that cost $35 to $80 are typically designed for high-quality calls and often feature noise-cancellation capability and on-wire microphone controls.
While any USB headset includes everything you need to get gaming or chatting right out of the box, there are a few common accessories that you may need.
Ear cushion replacements: Maybe you want backups for when your ear cushions wear out (a common issue with plastic or vinyl ear cups). Or maybe you simply aren’t a fan of the ear cushions that came with your headset. Either way, you may be able to find ear cushion replacements. In most cases, you’ll have to find cushions made by the manufacturer of your headphones.
Carrying case: If you regularly take your headphones to and from work or you prefer your gaming on the go, you might want to invest in a carrying case to protect your headset. It’s all too easy to damage a headset by cramming it into a backpack or handbag.
While we stand by our top picks as the best USB headsets available, there are a couple other products worth calling out. For a low-priced gaming headset that features impressive surround sound, the Mpow Eg3 (Series II) Gaming Headset is a great option with an eye-catching metal design. Customers praise the build quality and comfortable design, as well as the noise-cancelling microphone. If you’re looking for a high-quality headset designed with video calls in mind, the Sennheiser SC 60 USB Business Headset is a great value from one of the most trusted brands in the market. With a lightweight design and an impressive noise-cancelling microphone, customers love using this headset for business calls.
Q. Why can’t I use headphones with a traditional 3.5 mm plug?
A. You can, but you can also expect a drop-off in quality. This is why USB headsets are far more common even if they are slightly more expensive.
Q. Can I use a USB headset with a smartphone or tablet?
A. Yes, though you might need an adapter if your tablet doesn’t have a USB-C or USB port.
Q. Can I use a USB headset with an Xbox One or PS4?
A. Though the Xbox One is made by Microsoft, USB headsets are not compatible with this popular game console. The PS4, however, can use most USB headsets.
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