I'm usually picky when it comes to sound quality whether I'm playing games or just listening to music. I'm sure when you listen to a clear and balanced sound on a high quality headset and compare it to your average headset/speakers, you'll think twice before buying your next headset. It's not an easy choice to pick the top notch gaming headsets while keeping the costs as low as possible. Finding the best bang for the buck gaming headset comes at costs and time, but don't worry, we've done it and listed the best gaming headsets for you. Two main features in a good gaming headsets are sound clarity and comfort. let's look at the factors that determines the sound quality and comfort of a headphone.
To produce the best sound clarity, the headset should have a wide frequency response, high SNR (signal to noise ratio) and lowest possible distortion especially at high volumes. If you want to experience a more realistic sound effect of a explosion in your game or when you're firing a gun, your headset must have a good frequency response below 80Hz to reproduce the effect. There are many headsets in this crowded market that claim to have wide frequency response from as low as 12Hz to 25KHz (which is beyond normal human hearing spectrum), however when it comes to real life test, only a handful can claim as such.Some headphones are designed to have Closed or Open-air back cans. Closed headphones isolate the background noise and give you the best sound clarity without having to contend with ambient noise but you may feel uncomfortable wearing them over significant length of time as your ears may get hot because there is no air circulation. Open headphones on the other hand let the sound pass through the vents so you can hear the ambient noise as well as your music. Usually, Open headphones have less distortion since the music isn't restricted. Beware that people next to you could hear through open headphones so try not to turn up the volume while you're in the quiet area (such as library).
Another feature to look for in a gaming headset is noise cancelling. There are two types of passive and active noise cancelling techniques. Passive noise cancelling (isolation) relies on physical features of the headphone only. A well constructed circumaural headphone along with nice memory foam ear-cups and adjustable clamping pressure can make a huge difference in blocking out high environmental frequencies.
Active noise cancelling (ANC) is another technique that blocks out the low noise frequencies by incorporating microphones in each ear-cups which needs a battery to run. A microphone is placed to pick up ambient noise and send to electronic circuit to shift the noise signal phase to 180 degree to create anti-noise signal. The headphone then emits an anti-noise signal along with playing music to cancel the ambient noise. Noise-cancelling headphones combine both passive and active techniques to reduce ambient noise but won’t completely cancel out all of the sound around you, they usually work best when there is constant ambient noise (such as air plane engine noise). Theoretically, active noise cancelling is capable of reducing ambient noise up to 70 percent. Generally, active noise cancellation method is not effective in a quiet room where there isn't much ambient noise.
As for comfort, the design of the headset plays an important role here. The best way to test for comfort is to wear the headphone at the shop and see if you feel comfortable with the ear-cup size, padding, weight and clamping force of the headphone. Some other features that you may want to consider when buying a headset are; wireless technology, connector type and available adaptors (to connect to multiple input types). The wireless headphone allows user to move around the room while still listening to music through their headphone but usually deteriorate the sound quality by compressing the transmitted audio. The connector type and optional adaptors allow users to connect the headphone to smaller 2.5mm input jacks.