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Steel headband is resilient and customizable for different head shapes. Battery life lasts up to 20 hours. Wireless, so users can move around while listening or playing. Volume and microphone controls built into earphones for easy access. Bidirectional mic removes extra noise.
Though good quality, it is considerably more expensive than some of the other products on this list.
These are suitable for use in any working environment, and they're compatible with most setups. Comfortable enough to wear for extended periods of time. Has a quality construction that produces high-definition surround sound.
Users say that it doesn't block out all of the background noise.
Wide application includes laptops, phones, and several gaming stations, such as Nintendo, Xbox, and PlayStation. Subwoofer offers a deeper bass and clearer sound. Memory pads and leather fabric add further comfort and support. Rotating microphone can be adjusted to fit personal preference.
Headset is large, so it may not be the best fit for children or those with smaller heads.
Equipped with 7.1 surround sound, which excels at picking up in-game sound effects. Ear cups are made with firm yet supportive foam that doesn’t degrade or compress. Noise-cancelling microphone is retractable, making it easy to use in headphone-only mode.
As it’s designed for PC use, it only has a USB output with no option for a 3.5mm jack. Must download software to achieve 7.1 surround sound effect.
Ultra-comfortable with padded headband and cushioned ear cups. Superior voice clarity thanks to mic’s noise-cancelling technology. Gamers enjoy a fully immersive gaming experience with surround sound. Bonus points for Mac OS compatibility, which can be challenging to find.
Advertised with 7.1 surround sound, but some consumers say it’s only simulated as opposed to authentic 7.1 surround sound.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Blasting your speakers isn’t always an option, especially if you share your space with a roommate, family member, or coworker. If you’d like to enjoy a fully immersive sound and communication experience without disturbing those around you, invest in a USB headset.
These headsets allow for a customized sound experience, which is most often enjoyed by gamers. Many USB headsets have soft, contoured ear cups to maintain comfort during prolonged wear. They are also typically adjustable, so you don’t need to worry about them sliding off or feeling too tight. USB headsets are also equipped with a quality microphone to enhance voice communications, and certain models have noise-cancelling technology to promote better clarity. The microphone is usually adjustable as well, so you can position it as close to your mouth as necessary. Some USB headsets also enable you to conveniently dock the microphone when you only want to use the headphones.
USB headsets are most frequently associated with gamers, but they’re also used by a great many others for work or relaxation.
Gaming: PC gamers use USB headsets, especially if they play online video games and communicate with teams or opponents on Discord, TeamSpeak, or other VoIP applications. Console gamers also use USB headsets to communicate on Xbox Live or PS4’s Party Chat.
Call centers: People who utilize VoIP networks often use USB headsets. This allows them to assist callers hands-free and work on the computer simultaneously. As call centers are notoriously noisy, USB headsets localize sound to the headphones, thus making it easier for representatives to hear callers.
Meetings: Individuals who engage in video conferencing also use USB headsets, which provide better sound quality than a computer’s speakers and microphone, resulting in clearer communication from all parties on the call.
Media: USB headsets help media lovers enjoy music, films, and audiobooks without disturbing those around them. While they don’t use the microphone, the excellent sound quality in the headphones is worth the investment.
Wired USB headsets don’t require a power cord; they simply pull their power from the PC or console. Wireless USB headsets, on the other hand, require charging. They come with a USB receiver that plugs into the PC or console, while the headset charges through a dock or cradle.
In theory, a USB headset should work with any PC or console with a USB port. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
Newer USB headsets may have difficulty working with computers that have older operating systems. For that reason, most USB headsets list the compatible operating systems on their packaging. Some USB headsets also require driver downloads or updates for the PC to recognize them as compatible peripherals.
Ear cups, also referred to as ear pads, cover your ears with soft, cushioned materials.
Fit: As far as fit goes, this is one of the most important features to compare. Ear cups that are too small or rigid can pinch or press against ears, which proves rather uncomfortable. The most comfortable ear cups are oversize and filled with memory foam or gel cushioning that contours to your ears. These full-coverage designs also isolate sound for better immersion, as they dramatically muffle or reduce ambient sound.
Design: If there’s one thing you should know, it’s that there’s a major design difference between USB headsets used for gaming and headsets used for video and voice calls.
In most gaming USB headsets, you’ll usually have two oversize ear cups. Those used in professional settings may only have a single ear cup. In fact, the single ear cup may be smaller and moderately cushioned and not entirely cover your ear. This means that these USB headsets are far less immersive, so you’ll be able to hear sound from the incoming audio and the sound of your immediate environment.
The sound quality varies considerably among USB headsets, and you definitely get what you pay for with these. In some lower-priced models, the sound is a bit muffled or one-dimensional.
Better-quality USB headsets have 7.1 surround sound. That means you can hear audio from a variety of angles and distances, which renders it more realistic and delivers a more enjoyable experience. As expected, this feature is especially important to gamers seeking a fully immersive gameplay experience.
Design: It’s not a stretch to say that when it comes to USB headsets, no two microphones are the same, at least when it comes to appearance. Some models have a flexible arm that can be manipulated and contoured to the wearer’s preference. Others have an arm with up to 360° of rotation, which can be adjusted in front of your face or pushed back when you intend to use the headphone function only.
Sound quality: The average USB headset microphone will pick up the sound of your voice, but the quality isn’t always the greatest. In fact, lower-quality microphones can experience interference and crackling and cut out occasionally.
Many quality USB headsets are equipped with better microphones, which may include noise-cancelling technology. This feature picks up only your voice and filters out unnecessary ambient noise to boost clarity. There are also microphones that automatically adjust and balance certain sound settings to improve the output quality.
If you intend to use a USB headset for gaming on an Xbox One, you may need to invest in a Microsoft 3.5-millimeter adapter.
USB headsets range in price from $25 to $350, so there’s one to suit almost every budget.
Inexpensive: Entry-level USB headsets cost between $25 and $60. These include single-cup models intended for professional use, as well as basic gaming headsets. Sound quality and clarity are modest, and many of these USB headsets tend to have short lifespans.
Mid-range: You’ll get the most bang for your buck with a mid-range USB headset, priced between $70 and $180. The sound quality is superior in these models, and they offer far more in the way of adjustability and settings. There are also some wireless USB headsets found in this price range.
Expensive: The most expensive USB headsets cost between $200 and $350. These are produced by reputable audio engineering brands and offer the best noise-cancellation and voice-clarity technology. They’re designed to last through intense use and have the longest lifespans.
A. In most models, you can adjust them by buttons located on the headphones or headband or with a control dongle attached to the cable. If your USB headset comes with special software, you’ll be able to adjust the headset through the app or program on your computer. You can also control volume and other settings through the audio output settings on your computer.
A. USB headsets with this feature can be plugged into smartphones, tablets, e-readers, and even video game systems and controllers. Unfortunately, not every USB headset with the 3.5-millimeter jack will work with these devices, so you’ll need to confirm compatibility before you buy.
A. If you regularly take your USB headset on the road, stick to a durable or collapsible model that can handle being packed in a bag with other items. If you’re not a fan of these types of USB headsets, you may wish to invest in a protective carry case for yours. If possible, invest in a zippered shell case lined with contoured foam because these are the most effective at protection and shock absorption.