If you’re shopping for a gaming headset, you have a lot of options. While there are some great ones out there, it’s all too easy to pay too much, to accidentally purchase a headset that doesn’t work with your desired console or platform, or to get one that’s just uncomfortable. Knowing a thing or two about headphones might aid in your search, but gaming headsets have only gotten more complicated to shop for — especially the wireless ones.
For instance, wireless headsets made for Xbox operate without a dongle via Microsoft’s proprietary wireless protocol. They’ll only work on Xbox consoles or a PC that has one of Microsoft’s Xbox Wireless Adapters plugged in, in most cases. Conversely, if you get a multiplatform wireless headset that includes a 2.4GHz wireless dongle, it’ll likely work on the likes of the PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch (when plugged into the console’s TV dock), and PC — but not Xbox. It’s best to buy the headset that mentions support for your preferred platform(s) explicitly, or else there’s a good chance you’ll run into some compatibility issues. Of course, you can eliminate most of the guesswork by buying a wired gaming headset instead.
This guide focuses on newer options that you’re more likely to encounter at stores as opposed to older models that, while possibly still being worthy of your money, are often tougher to find affordably and easily online. Also, just to mention it at the top, I have a large-ish head and that factor obviously played a major role in how I judge the comfort of these headsets.
You’ll find a few categories below, including the best multiplatform wireless headsets that are compatible with PC, PS4, PS5, and Nintendo Switch via its dock, the best Xbox wireless gaming headsets, and the best wired gaming headsets that support the widest variety of platforms, from console controllers to phones, tablets, and VR headsets that feature a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Best multiplatform wireless gaming headset: HyperX Cloud II Wireless ($150)
Compatible with PC, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch (via its dock)
Photo by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge
The HyperX Cloud II Wireless makes an excellent first impression before even turning it on for the first time. Its headband expands to fit a range of head sizes, and the ear cups rest gently around my ears without nary a pinching feeling around my cranium. The cups can be stretched even further than my head requires, which gives me faith that they’ll be a durable pick for years to come. This is the downfall of many otherwise good gaming headsets. HyperX nailed the fit, and it also aced a lot of other winning elements with the Cloud II.
The Cloud II Wireless boasts a balanced sound that delivers just enough gusto for every scenario. It’s not the right choice if you want bass to rattle your head, but it’s good if you want your headset to be just as enjoyable to use for gaming as it is for music and voice chats. I also like that the Cloud II Wireless has USB-C charging, and its battery life is long-lasting. HyperX claims 30 hours of battery per charge, and the headset lived up to that mark during my testing. The wireless range of the headset and the included 2.4GHz wireless receiver are also great, suffering no drops anywhere in my apartment. It even remained stable when I stood on the other side of a wall or window, each being about 25 feet away from the receiver.
HyperX Cloud II Wireless
Prices taken at time of publishing.
The best multiplatform wireless gaming headset. It’s compatible with PC, PS4, and Nintendo Switch (when plugged into the dock).
$150 at HyperX