MH752 and Cloud II headsets

Gaming Headset Buying Guide – November 2021

Introduction

Good audio is essential to having an excellent gaming experience. This guide aims to recommend the best value options at any given price point. Please note that all prices are quoted in USD.

What To Look For

  • Build quality: This is arguably the most important aspect to consider. A well built headset will last you a long time and create less frustration down the line.
  • Sound quality: Sound is subjective, as certain people prefer more bass or more treble. Generally speaking, a neutral sound signature is preferred.
  • Microphone: Built-in microphones will have worse quality than dedicated microphones. Therefore, recommendations for headphones and separate microphones are provided as well.
  • Connectivity: Primarily a consideration for consoles. As long as you have a 3.5mm jack, you should have no issues.
  • Comfort: This is also subjective, but you cannot enjoy a headset if it is only comfortable for a couple hours.

What To Avoid

  • 7.1 Surround Sound: Surround sound in headsets is considered a gimmick. As a result, it offers no tangible increase to sound quality. Therefore, you should consider turning this feature off if your headset provides it.
  • Extremely budget headsets: These headsets are cheap for a reason. Consequently, they sound worse than a pair of Apple EarPods for a similar price. There are notable exceptions to this, however.
  • Mainstream Gaming Brands: Most (but not all) headsets from mainstream gaming brands lack in build quality, sound, comfort, or a mixture of the three aspects.
  • Wireless headsets: Wireless headsets come with a latency penalty, which makes them sub-optimal for gaming.

Our Picks:

<$50$50-100$100-150$150-200$200-350

Headset - Razer BlackShark V2 X

The sub-$50 headset market has many questionable options available. Unfortunately, you do not have many options should you choose to want a headset instead of headphones and a separate mic. Razer's BlackShark V2 X provides good comfort, a decent microphone, and passable audio quality.

Buy BlackShark V2 X
Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Decent sound quality for the price
  • Good included microphone
  • Great comfort
Cons:
  • Worse sound quality than other options
  • Mediocre build quality
Specs:
  • Connectivity: 3.5mm
  • Wear: Over-ear
  • Enclosure: Closed
  • Frequency Response: 12Hz-28kHz
  • Impedance: 32 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 100 dBSPL/mW

 

Headphone/Microphone - Koss KSC75 and Zalman ZM-MIC1

The KSC75 paired with the ZM-MIC1 gives you good sound and microphone quality for a low price. To enhance comfort, the Parts Express headband and Yaxi Pads are recommended.

Buy KSC75 Buy ZM-MIC1 Parts Express headband Yaxi Pads
Pros:
  • Extremely affordable
  • Good sound quality for the price
  • Decent clip-on microphone
Cons:
  • Poor comfort before modification
  • Thin cable, snags easily
Specs:
  • Connectivity: 3.5mm
  • Wear: On-ear
  • Enclosure: Open
  • Frequency Response: 15Hz-25kHz
  • Impedance: 60 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 101 dBSPL/mW

Headset - Cooler Master MH751/HyperX Cloud II

These headsets are based upon the Takstar Pro 82 and Takstar Pro 80 respectively. While Cooler Master and HyperX are more in-line with the mainstream gaming brands, they rebranded regular headphones and added a microphone.

Buy MH751 Buy Cloud II
Pros:
  • Excellent comfort
  • Good sound quality for gaming
  • Decent included microphone
  • Fairly priced
Cons:
  • Questionable build quality on MH751 (consider a warranty)
  • Useless 7.1 surround sound feature on Cloud II
Specs:
  • Connectivity: 3.5mm (both) or USB (Cloud II)
  • Wear: Over-ear
  • Enclosure: Closed
  • Frequency Response (MH751): 20Hz-20kHz
  • Frequency Response (Cloud II): 15Hz-25kHz
  • Impedance (MH751): 26 ohms
  • Impedance (Cloud II): 60 ohms
  • Sensitivity (MH751): 97 dBSPL/mW
  • Sensitivity (Cloud II): 98 dBSPL/mW

 

Headphone/Microphone - Creative Aurvana Live! SE and Fifine K669B

Should you prefer traditional headphones and a dedicated mic instead, the CAL! SE and K669B are a viable alternative to the above headsets. The microphone is a significant step above headset microphones and even makes for a viable starter streaming microphone.

Buy CAL! SE Buy K669B
Pros:
  • Excellent bass response
  • Good overall sound quality
  • Significant upgrade in microphone quality compared to headset microphones
Cons:
  • Not very comfortable
  • Mediocre build quality
  • Need desk space for microphone
Specs:
  • Connectivity: 3.5mm (headphones) and USB (microphone)
  • Wear: Over-ear
  • Enclosure: Closed
  • Frequency Response: 10Hz-30kHz
  • Impedance: 32 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 103 dBSPL/mW

Headset - Sennheiser Game One/PC37X

Sennheiser has also taken the strategy of rebranding their HD598s and adding a microphone to create this headset. Both the Game One and PC37X are the same headset with a different casing, should one not be available for you.

Buy Game One Buy PC37X
Pros:
  • Decent comfort
  • Neutral, bass-rolled sound signature
  • Good microphone for a headset
  • Open back
Cons:
  • Bass-rolled sound might not be for some people
  • Pads wear out somewhat frequently
Specs:
  • Connectivity: 3.5mm
  • Wear: Over-ear
  • Enclosure: Open
  • Frequency Response: 15Hz-28kHz
  • Impedance: 50 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 116 dBSPL/mW

 

Headphone/Microphone - AKG K361 and Fifine K669B

Alternatively, the K361 paired with a K669B is an option at this budget. The K361 is a nice upgrade from the CAL! SE and when paired with a microphone makes for a quality gaming audio setup for under $150.

Buy K361 Buy K669B
Pros:
  • Well-balanced, neutral tuning
  • Good comfort
  • Nice build quality
  • Significant upgrade in microphone quality compared to headset microphones
Cons:
  • Some people may prefer open back instead of closed back
  • Need desk space for microphone
Specs:
  • Connectivity: 3.5mm (headphones) and USB (microphone)
  • Wear: Over-ear
  • Enclosure: Closed
  • Frequency Response: 15Hz-28kHz
  • Impedance: 32 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 114 dBSPL/mW

Headset - Sennheiser PC38X

Sennheiser has once again rebranded their products for Drop, this time in the form of the GSP 500 and 600. Do not confuse the PC38X with the PC37X, as these are different headsets. The PC38X is easier to drive than the PC37X, which benefits portable devices more.

Buy PC38X
Pros:
  • Good comfort
  • Neutral, bass-rolled sound signature
  • Great microphone for a headset
  • Open back
Cons:
  • Bass-rolled sound might not be for some people
  • Pads wear out somewhat frequently
Specs:
  • Connectivity: 3.5mm
  • Wear: Over-ear
  • Enclosure: Open
  • Frequency Response: 10Hz-30kHz
  • Impedance: 28 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 109 dBSPL/mW

 

Headphone/Microphone - AKG K612 Pro and Fifine K669B

Conversely, the K612 Pro paired with a K669B is an alternative to the PC38X. The K612 Pro is arguably the best open back headphone under $250. When paired with a microphone, it makes for an excellent combination for gaming.

Buy K612 Pro Buy K669B
Pros:
  • Great neutral tuning
  • Decent comfort
  • Adequate build quality
  • Significant upgrade in microphone quality compared to headset microphones
Cons:
  • Some people may prefer more emphasis on bass or treble
  • Need desk space for microphone
Specs:
  • Connectivity: 3.5mm (headphones) and USB (microphone)
  • Wear: Over-ear
  • Enclosure: Open
  • Frequency Response: 12Hz-39kHz
  • Impedance: 120 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 101 dBSPL/mW

Headset - Audeze Penrose

Generally, you are better served with headphones and a separate microphone at this budget. However, the Audeze Penrose is a good entry-level planar headphone for the money. Compared to dynamic, planar headphones have tighter frequency responses (better bass and treble) and have lower distortion.

Buy Penrose
Pros:
  • Decent comfort
  • Accurate bass response
  • Sturdy build quality
  • Good built-in microphone
Cons:
Specs:
  • Connectivity: 3.5mm, USB (2.4GHz wireless), Bluetooth
  • Wear: Over-ear
  • Enclosure: Closed
  • Frequency Response: 10Hz-50kHz
  • Impedance: N/A
  • Sensitivity:  120 dBSPL/mW

 

Headphone/Microphone - Sennheiser HD 600 and Fifine K669B

When paired with the K669B, Sennheiser's HD 600 headphones make a good recommendation for a $350 gaming audio setup. With great imaging and a netural, bass-rolled sound signature, these are a reasonable purchase for gaming audio without going into overkill territory.

Buy HD 600 Buy K669B
Pros:
  • Good comfort
  • Excellent build quality
  • Neutral, bass-rolled sound signature
  • Significant upgrade in microphone quality compared to headset microphones
Cons:
  • Expensive for a gaming audio setup
  • Bass-rolled sound might not be for some people
  • Pads wear out somewhat frequently
  • Need desk space for microphone
Specs:
  • Connectivity: 3.5mm (headphones) and USB (microphone)
  • Wear: Over-ear
  • Enclosure: Open
  • Frequency Response: 12Hz-39kHz
  • Impedance: 300 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 97 dBSPL/mW

Related Posts