When picking the best headphones for gaming, there are a couple of things you need to watch out for. Sound quality has to rival the best gaming headsets is key, at the very least, obviously.
Then there's portability. A good set of headphones needs to be able to move beyond your home setup, accompany you on your commute, or keep you in the zone at the gym. The majority of these headphones can connect to your PC and other devices, either via Bluetooth or a 3.5mm cable.
Premium headphones tend to be comfier than your typical gaming headset, but they can lack features you'd find on a headset specifically designed for gaming. Microphones, if included at all, aren't on a par with their gaming counterparts since most are designed for phone calls and little else. If you already have one of the best microphones for gaming, then this isn't a problem and all you have to worry about is comfort, portability, and sound quality.
Best headphones for gaming
The Nuraphone is a one-of-a-kind pair of headphones that offers parallel drivers for each ear. The in-ear drivers handle the upper-frequency, and the over-ear drivers handle the low-tones and bass. In essence, it's like having a pair of speakers for each ear.
The Nuraphones have already gone through a handful of significant updates since their successful Kickstarter launch three years ago. Most notably, the introduction of active noise cancellation (ANC) and a gaming microphone attachment ($50), in an attempt to rival even the most premium gaming headsets.
These pro-grade cans feature large 50mm drivers and have a wide frequency response of 5Hz to 40kHz. They are excellent for music and, more importantly, gaming. Our favorite thing about the M-200 is the light, compact design. At only 290 grams, it’s a great candidate for commute, work, and play.
My only gripes are that the headset can be a tight fit for those with big noggings (like myself) and the surprising lack of a Lightning/USB Type-C adaptor. V-Moda sells a Lightning cable for $100, which is pricey considering the headset costs $350.
The best in-ear headphones for gaming in 2021
Chances are, you're not always playing games. For most of us, gaming is a hobby rather than a lifestyle. The rest of our time is devoted to commuting, working, going to the gym, cooking, cleaning—activities that are undeniably enhanced while wearing the best in-ear headphones for gaming, the Jabra Elite Active 75t. Instead of doubling down on audio engineering and extraneous features, the Jabra Elite Active 75t prioritizes two things: longevity and comfort.
The sound quality is fine too—these buds brandish a frequency response range of 20–20kHz, rivaling the best wireless gaming headsets. Exclusive Bluetooth connectivity makes them a tough sell for gaming, although, with proper adapters in tow, you won't have a problem setting them up. Everything about the Jabra Elite Active 75t screams ease of use, including the customizable EQ found in the optional Jabra Sound+ app.
The main reason we fell in love with the Powerbeats Pro is that they easily pair with just about anything. These fitness earbuds work well with a gaming laptop, cell phone, tablet, basically anything. The transition from commute or workout to gameplay is nearly seamless, which isn't always the case when setting up Bluetooth headphones.
The audio is well-balanced and not as bass-heavy as other Beats headphones. Though they lack the oomph in the explosions department in games like Call of Duty: Warzone, it helps make out little things like character dialogue without messing with any EQ settings.
The only downside is the charging case is bulky and doesn't fit comfortably in any pocket, so it ends up living in a bag or as a permanent fixture on your desk.
Most people's experience with in-ear headphones is frantically looking for the pair that came with your smartphone inside some junk drawer in an awful tangled mess when the battery on your wireless headset dies. We've all been there.
The Astro A03 is a stylish pair of in-ear monitors that sound good and cost only $50. A great alternative for folks who find the typical gaming headset too heavy and uncomfortable for long stretches of time. We also dig the lay flat tangle-resistant cabling because in-ear headphones are notorious for tying themselves into inexplicable knots in your pockets. The only real downside is that the mic doesn't work on PC.