If you could do without all that, consider instead the Blackshark V2 X, which ditches the sound card to hit a much more competitive price point. Desktop or portable DACs like the Audioengine D1, Fiio E10K or Cambridge Audio DacMagic XS cost around £100/$100 or less and can improve audio quality substantially.
However, I did notice some creaking as I twisted the headset gently, something I've not experienced with any HyperX headset. The Arctis 1 Wireless for Xbox also works just fine on PC, Nintendo Switch and Android, making it a great all-around choice if you game or listen to music on multiple platforms. We've marked the connection options for each headset we recommended above for your information. So if the extra perks of the Pro are of interest, it might be worth plunking down the extra $50. Like other Xbox-exclusive headsets, these feature a button to wirelessly pair them with your console (or to a PC with the Xbox wireless adapter or Bluetooth).
The best open-back gaming headset we've tested so far is the Astro A40 TR with MixAmp. Good and totally not just made up question! Building from a proven design makes sense for Fnatic, as a smaller player within the space, especially when this particular configuration is so well-loved by players. We've linked to several strong examples from HyperX below, including the latest example we've tested, the Cloud Alpha S. While this headset is more expensive than the React, it boasts an innovative bass adjustment slider, a powerful USB dongle with 7.1 surround sound and game/chat mixing and dual chamber drivers that make it a worthy alternative if you have the cash to spare. Ergonomics are good, with well-differentiated buttons backed up with aural confirmation of which mode is enabled and a smooth volume wheel. If not, the regular Kaira seems like a decent entry-level gaming headset, and each pair of headphones should pair very easily with Microsoft’s new hardware. Alternatively, if you like the look of the Fnatic React but you prefer a more premium experience and/or a more balanced sound signature, the HyperX Cloud line-up is ideal. Connectivity is handled via a 2.4GHz USB dongle, limiting connectivity to PC and PS4, with no option for Bluetooth or 3.5mm inputs. There are plenty of great DAC/AMP combos for use with desktop and laptop PCs, but those that effortlessly support consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch are much rarer. Still, given the cost, comfort and convenience of these wireless headphones, having merely good sound quality is hardly a deal breaker. As with all open-back headphones, some sound does leak out, and you'll be able to hear background noise too, making them best suited for quiet environments. Award-winning headsets for Xbox. The USB-C connection means that audio processing duties are handled internally, rather than relying on potential suspect motherboard audio, and also allows for tasteful RGB backlighting. Finally, we also would like to see support for multiple systems, so that if you own a console and a PC, or multiple consoles, you can use the same headset on both. With retractable or detachable microphones, easily transform your headset into a great pair of headphones. The final option is getting a headset that connects via optical (S/PDIF), although this is somewhat rarer. There's a convenient volume knob on the left earcup, and the microphone is removable. However, given the set's bulky silhouette, the lack of more mobile-friendly connectivity isn't a big deal. This is no by no means an exhaustive list, but headphones from HyperX, SteelSeries and Sennheiser tend to be well-respected. Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles have been announced and they look AWESOME! This headset nails the same essential features as the Arctis 1 Wireless, offering the same convenient range of connectivity options in a lightweight package, but distinguishes itself in a few key areas. At the base level, the Kaira and Kaira Pro are made of the same guts, which include Titanium TriForce 50mm audio drivers and a HyperCardiod microphone, which is removable on the Pro. These headsets offer slightly better build quality and some include simulated 7.1 surround sound, which can be nice for singleplayer gaming. The PS4 and PC both support headsets that connect via 3.5mm (either dual 3-pole or 4-pole), optical, Bluetooth and USB. These premium wired headphones are comfortable, with soft memory foam earcups and a lightweight design, making them easy to wear for hours on end – even for glasses users. That means you can use these headphones on the go just as easily as at home on your PC or console. When you login first time using a Social Login button, we collect your account public profile information shared by Social Login provider, based on your privacy settings. It’s a low-frills app that does exactly what it sets out to do. Likewise, the microphone will get the job done talking to your teammates on Discord, but doesn't rank amongst the nicest we've heard. Battery life is also good, at 24 hours. Bass, treble and mids are all well-represented, and although the sound isn't the cleanest or widest we've heard, it is still excellent for a gaming headset. The GSP 370 is a little heavy at 285 grams, yet it is well balanced and comfortable to wear for long periods. EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change. High quality USB sound cards to play in 2020. The Arctis Pro + GameDAC has the best sound of any PC or PS4 gaming headset on the market, achieved through the pairing of well-tuned, high-end 40mm headphones with a quality DAC (digital to analogue converter) that replaces the often lacklustre DACs built into most onboard sound cards and games consoles.
Instead of relying on Razer Synapse 3 software, like Razer does for all of its other accessories, this app lets you customize the EQ, microphone, and RGB preferences. This Xbox Series X|S wireless headset provides a direct, low-latency connection to the console, with a great signal range that supports seamless couch gaming. At £40/$40, that sounds like a winner. Finally, there's a button at the top that enables another key feature, the built-in footstep amplifier mode, intended to give you an edge in competitive shooters. This provides a really lush aural environment, perfect for enjoying single-player games. No matter which colour you choose, the headset feels extremely robust with its metal and plastic construction. The Blackshark V2's design is also worthy of some praise. Whether your heart is set on the more feature-packed Kaira Pro or the Kaira, both offer a lot of value for the price.
Razer is claiming a 15 hour battery life for the Kaira and a 20 hour stretch for the Kaira Pro (15 with Chroma disabled). Instead, look for headphones with a wider audio stage, eg many open-back headphones, as this will actually make it easier to place your enemies on the map based on the noises that they're making. It offers incredible noise isolation, thanks to its thick ear cups and moderate clamping force, making it easy to lose yourself in a virtual world. Now, a truly top-tier headset designed expressly for competitive gaming has joined the mix with the £60/$70 Fnatic React. The left side of the device allows you to mute or adjust the volume of your mic, while the right side allows you adjust the volume of your headphones. Even with its special modes disabled, the SXFI Gamer still impresses. Our previous pick, the Logitech G Pro X, remains a strong alternative. Overall, the SXFI Gamer is a strong headset that delivers on its key promises without any major stumbles. The BlackShark V2's mic is also quite reasonable, although we'd recommend a more professional-grade alternative for streaming. However, you will need to recharge your wireless headset every few days or weeks, and it's certainly annoying when your headphones go dead mid-firefight. The Blackshark V2 also lacks any kind of RGB lighting, with only two green cables and a subtle Razer logo on each earcup betraying this design's gaming focus.