Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about ourreview process here.We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.The RundownBest Overall:Corsair HS50 Pro at Amazon"It has everything you could need from a good quality budget gaming headset, including a detachable mic."Runner-Up, Best Overall:HyperX Cloud Stinger Core 7.1 at Amazon"The sound is crisp, with a noise-cancelling mic so that friends can easily hear you speak during a multiplayer session."Most Versatile:Mpow EG3 Gaming Headset at Amazon"The Mpow EG3 Gaming Headset is highly compatible, working with any device that has USB audio support."Most Sensitive Sound:ONIKUMA Gaming Headset at Amazon"The headphones can pick up sounds from 20Hz to 20KHz, meaning they're sensitive when it comes to pinpointing your surroundings."Best for PS4:Razer Kraken X at Amazon"The 40mm audio drivers are ideal for listening out for dialogue or sound cues, ensuring you have the edge in multiplayer games."Best Looking:Ziumier Z20 Gaming Headset at Amazon"This headset features bright and brilliant-looking LED lighting that cycles through a range of colors for a true chroma effect."Best for PC:SteelSeries Arctis 1 at Amazon"The headset features 3D spatial soundtracking so you have a better chance of hearing in-game audio cues."Best for Nintendo Switch:HyperX Cloud Earbuds at Amazon"The earbuds' small form still finds room for an in-line, omnidirectional microphone so you can chat to friends while you game."Best for Xbox One:Turtle Beach Ear Force Recon 50X at Amazon"It's designed for optimal compatibility with the Xbox One, with a 3.5mm audio jack that easily plugs into more recent controllers."
It's important to know where your priorities lie when seeking out the best gaming headsets for under $50. Spending less doesn't mean you have to settle for a poor quality headset, as many less-expensive headsets are able to compete with the best headphones for music lovers when it comes to features and functionality.
The key is to be willing to pick a less familiar brand name. Many of the best gaming headsets listed here are from unfamiliar brands, but that doesn't mean they're poorer quality. In reality, you're likely saving money by avoiding the big brands.
The best options are suitable for all kinds of games, but we recommend that if you play a lot of multiplayer titles, you should prioritize a great microphone so that teammates can easily hear you. Of course, a balanced audio experience is also useful, so we've made sure to consider that too.
Overall, we've checked out dozens of the very best examples as well as considered different setups and consoles so that you can go straight to the best pair for your situation. If your budget can stretch further than $50, check out our 10 best gaming headsets for more high-end solutions.
Best Overall:Corsair HS50 ProBuy on AmazonBuy on WalmartWhat We Like
Noise-cancelling micWhat We Don't Like
No native surround sound
A rare big name brand at a low price, the Corsair HS50 Pro headset is easily the best on the market. It has everything you could need from a good quality budget gaming headset, including a detachable mic for when you want to focus on listening rather than speaking. The headset also has noise-cancelling technology that isolates your voice during chat. It's certified for use with Discord voice chat, too, so you can have guaranteed clear communication with friends.
Its 50mm audio drivers provide deep and responsive bass along with crisp and clean mids and high tones. You'll be able to clearly hear your surroundings with these cans, and in comfort, too. That's thanks to the headband and earcups including memory foam for long-lasting support. To round off the wonders of the HS50 Pro, it's also compatible with PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and even mobile devices, so you can easily use the headset for multiple purposes.The 10 Best Gaming Headsets of 2021
Runner-Up, Best Overall:HyperX Cloud Stinger Core 7.1Buy on AmazonBuy on Best BuyWhat We Like
Virtual 7.1 channel sound experience
On-board controlsWhat We Don't Like
Not the comfiest fit
A little flimsy
The HyperX Cloud Stinger Core 7.1 headset brings all the benefits of virtual 7.1 channel surround sound without the hefty price tag. Surround sound increases your chances to pinpoint exactly where gunshots or footsteps are coming from, potentially enhancing your reactions in both single-player and multiplayer games. Elsewhere, the sound is fairly crisp and clear, with a noise-cancelling mic so that friends can easily hear you speak during a multiplayer session. The mic also includes a swivel-to-mute function for quick side conversations, which is a convenient feature.
The headband isn't the comfiest because it lacks memory foam, but it is lightweight, which is sure to come in handy during extended sessions. Just make sure to look after this headset, as it's not the strongest. On the plus side, the earcups use foam and cloth and are ideal for breathability, and there are on-board game and chat volume controls for added convenience. The Cloud Stinger Core 7.1 headset works with PC, PS4, Xbox One, as well as Nintendo Switch.
Most Versatile:Mpow EG3 Gaming HeadsetBuy on AmazonWhat We Like
Fantastic surround sound style experience
Lightweight and comfy
Looks coolWhat We Don't Like
Additional software needed for customization
Tapping into the lighting-loving nature of many gaming accessories, the Mpow EG3 Gaming Headset looks cool with a soft blue glow while you use them. They also sound great, with advanced 50mm neodymium drivers that provide a surround sound style effect to help you hear enemies before they sneak up on you. This device might not be on a par with more expensive gaming headsets, but it's ideal for this price range.
The Mpow EG3 Gaming Headset is also highly compatible, working with any device that has USB audio support. Play on a PC and you can download Mpow's gaming software to customize your sound profile, creating different ones for the each game you play. The headphones use memory foam within the ear pads so your ears stay cool and comfortable no matter how long you play for, with lightweight metal ensuring you can adjust the tightness of the headphones. Just expect them to creak a little while you do so.The 9 Best Gaming PCs of 2021
Most Sensitive Sound:ONIKUMA Gaming HeadsetBuy on AmazonWhat We Like
Comfortable for long sessionsWhat We Don't Like
For a low price, the ONIKUMA Gaming headset offers a form of virtual surround sound that—combined with 50mm drivers—ensures you have a good chance of hearing what's going on around you. The headphones can pick up sounds from 20Hz to 20KHz, meaning they're pretty sensitive when it comes to helping you pinpoint your surroundings.
Alongside that comes a noise-canceling microphone that also has an anti-static design so you won't have to worry about muffled in-game communications at crucial moments. The headset is comfortable, too, thanks to earcups that are made from soft and durable memory foam backed up with a bionic protein cushion coat fohttps://www..com/best-xbox-one-accessories-4052295r extra comfort. You'll also be pleased to see that the headset is compatible with most gaming systems including PC, Mac, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Nintendo 3DS, smartphones, PS Vita, and even the aging PSP.The 10 Best Xbox One Accessories of 2021
Best for PS4:Razer Kraken XBuy on AmazonBuy on Best BuyBuy on WalmartWhat We Like
Eyewear channels on earcupsWhat We Don't Like
Feels a little plastic-y
A familiar brand for gamers, the Razer Kraken X headset is the ideal budget gaming headset for PS4 users. The headset is designed for long-haul gaming sessions with gentle clamping force, meaning you won't get a headache any time soon. Each earcup features memory foam cushions with an eyewear channel, making them more comfortable to wear alongside blue light-filtering glasses or prescription eyewear. It's the little things that make the Kraken X stand out.
While the sound quality isn't the greatest for listening to music or a game's soundtrack, the 40mm audio drivers are ideal for listening out for dialogue or sound cues, ensuring you have the edge in multiplayer games. Communication is similarly convenient with the attached microphone, featuring a bendable arm for custom positioning. The mic is also able to block out sound entering from the sides or rear.
Rounding off what makes the Kraken X work so well are on-ear volume and mute controls, along with a choice of three different color schemes. Not bad going for a gaming headset under $50.PS4 Sims 4 Cheats, Cheat Codes, and Walkthroughs
Best Looking:Ziumier Z20 Gaming HeadsetBuy on AmazonBuy on WalmartWhat We Like
Noise-cancelling micWhat We Don't Like
No custom lighting options
Looking for something very stylish and like no other gaming headset? The Ziumier Z20 Gaming Headset is a little quirky-looking, but offers style in spades. It features bright and brilliant-looking LED lighting that cycles through a range of colors for a true chroma effect. It might not be possible to adjust the lights yourself but it's certainly a distinctive look.
The Z20 Gaming Headset is no slouch elsewhere, with 50mm audio drivers ensuring you get reasonably deep bass notes for the price along with suitably crisp mids and highs. Talking to your team-mates is similarly clear, with a noise-cancelling mic and 120 degrees of swivel range to help you get the finest conversation possible.
To sweeten the deal, a 6.5-foot braided cable means the Ziumier Z20 Gaming Headset is fairly sturdy, plus it works with PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS, and more.
Best for PC:SteelSeries Arctis 1Buy on AmazonBuy on Best BuyWhat We Like
Works with both PC and Mac
Accurate 3D spatial soundWhat We Don't Like
Software requires newer versions of Windows
PC gaming doesn't have to cost a fortune, as demonstrated by the SteelSeries Arctis 1 headset. It's built with PC gamers in mind, but it's Mac compatible too. However you use it, the headset features 3D spatial soundtracking so you have a better chance of pinpointing in-game audio cues to give you an extra fighting chance when playing multiplayer titles.
Talking to friends is similarly convenient with a mic that offers noise-cancelling and is also bidirectional for added comfort. You can detach it for single-player gaming or listening to music. On-ear volume and mute controls leave you in control at all times.
The headset is comfortable and snug with a headband that's reinforced with stainless steel for long-lasting durability while still feeling lightweight. Best of all, you can fold this headset up, which is great if you plan on traveling frequently.Hardware You'll Need to Get Started Gaming on Your PC
Best for Nintendo Switch:HyperX Cloud EarbudsBuy on AmazonBuy on Gamestop.comWhat We Like
Travel case includedWhat We Don't Like
Cables can get tangled
Not as comfortable as headphones
The HyperX Cloud Earbuds are designed with portability in mind, as they're earbuds rather than headphones. This lends itself perfectly to the portable nature of the Nintendo Switch. These earbuds easily slot into the 3.5mm audio jack and feature a 90-degree angled plug which aims to offset any tangles. You'll still get tangles, of course, but these earbuds are fairly robust so it's not a major issue.
They're comfy too, with three different sizes of silicone ear tips to choose from and weighing a mere 0.67 ounces. The earbuds' small form still finds room for an in-line, omnidirectional microphone so you can chat to friends while you game. A multifunctional button makes it easy to adjust volume or temporarily mute your mic. Small yet practical, the HyperX Cloud Earbuds do the job admirably, even tossing in a travel case.The 10 Best Nintendo Switch Accessories
Best for Xbox One:Turtle Beach Ear Force Recon 50XBuy on AmazonBuy on Best BuyBuy on WalmartWhat We Like
Detachable micWhat We Don't Like
No native surround sound support
Officially licensed by Xbox, the Turtle Beach Ear Force Recon 50X headset even matches the green stylings synonymous with the brand over the years. It's designed for optimal compatibility, with a 3.5mm audio jack that plugs into the more recent Xbox One controllers without any issue.
Sound quality is reasonably good with an omnidirectional mic that can detect your voice from a variety of different positions so you always sound clear during team chat. It's able to be removed for when you'd prefer to be watching something or listening to music. In-line controls also make it simple to adjust volume or mute your mic.
The Ear Force Recon 50X is comfy, with earcups and a headband made with foam and synergic leather so they look as good as they feel. You can always rotate the earcups if you need extra room while placing them into storage.Choosing the Best Xbox One Console For YouFinal Verdict
The Corsair HS50 Pro headset is easily the best of the bunch, offering everything you could need. It sounds crisp and clear, whether you're listening out for footsteps or talking to your buddies. It's also Discord certified, meaning you're sure of high-quality when talking to others.
If you want to go in a different direction, the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core 7.1 headset is a solid option for enjoying virtual 7.1 surround sound for less. Despite the lack of Discord certification, it still sounds great when communicating with other players.
How We Tested
None of our budget picks for best gaming headsets have been put through their paces by our team of trusted experts just yet. However, their hands-on testing will consist of logging significant hours on their computer or console, paying attention to the overall input and output quality, as well as how comfortable they are during extended gaming sessions.
About Our Trusted Experts
Jennifer Allen has been writing about technology and gaming since 2010. She specializes in iOS and Apple technology, as well as wearable technology and smart home devices. She's been a regular tech columnist for Paste Magazine, written for Wareable, TechRadar, Mashable, and PC World, as well as more diverse outlets including Playboy and Eurogamer.
Patrick Hyde has been covering tech for a number of major outlets for more than four years now. He specializes in headphones and earbuds (as well as Android devices and other consumer electronics), and was a perfect fit for our best affordable gaming headphones roundup.
Taylor Clemons has over three years of experience writing about games and consumer technology. She has written for IndieHangover, GameSkinny, TechRadar and her own publication, Steam Shovelers.
What to Look for in a Gaming Headset Under $50
Audio quality - Regardless of how you plan to use them, audio quality should always be a critical consideration when you're picking out a new headset. The drivers powering the audio output are one of the most important elements in sound reproduction, and you'll also want to look for a set that's well-balanced across low, mid, and high tones.
Microphone - Mic quality can make or break a gaming headset, particularly if play with others online a ton. If you game a lot in a really noisy environment, be sure to prioritize a headset with a noise-canceling or noise-isolating mic (like several of the models on our list).
Fit and comfort - If you're like the staff at Ach5, chances are you're prone to marathon gaming sessions, in which case a cozy pair of cans is key. For extended play, you want something that's built of lightweight materials and padded and plush enough to sit comfortably on your dome while you frag bad guys.