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The Best Wireless Gaming Headsets for 2021

Gaming headsets are headphones with built-in boom microphones to let you speak as well as listen, and they’re vital for online gaming. There are countless gaming headsets available, most of which require a wire connected to your computer or to the controller of your game console. Wireless gaming headsets let you cut the cord and enjoy two-way audio that’s unfettered by wires. They tend to cost more than their wired equivalents, but the convenience is worth it. We’ve gathered the top models we’ve tested here, and have advice on what to look for when shopping.

Wireless Headset Compatibility

Compatibility is the most important aspect of buying a gaming headset, especially if you’re a console gamer. Headsets with 3.5mm connectors can work with pretty much anything, but wireless headsets generally use USB transmitters that require compatibility with your system of choice.

Most wireless headsets will work with PCs out of the box, but PlayStation 4/Xbox One compatibility tends to be an either/or matter. Due to how the two consoles use USB, support for the PS4 and Xbox One are generally mutually exclusive. Check the product page and packaging for whether your wireless headset is compatible with the PS4 or Xbox One.

In addition, check to see exactly how the headset connects to your PC or game system. This is especially important for PS4 Slim users, because some PS4-compatible headsets use both USB and optical audio to work, and the PS4 Slim doesn’t have an optical audio port. If this is the case, you might need to get an HDMI adapter that adds an optical output.

JBL Quantum 800

Bluetooth Gaming Headsets

Bluetooth can be a nice backup for gaming headsets, but it’s rarely the main method of wireless connection. Bluetooth lets you connect to your phone as well as your PC, which means you can use headsets with Bluetooth as on-the-go headphones as a bonus.

See How We Test HeadphonesSee How We Test Headphones

However, Bluetooth doesn’t offer the same audio quality and latency performance as a 2.4GHz connection, which is why most wireless gaming headsets have their own transmitters/receivers.

Wireless Headset Microphones

All gaming headsets have microphones, but not all microphones perform the same. A good headset mic should provide clear voice communication at a minimum, but it probably won’t be broadcast-quality. Some headsets have excellent mics that you can use for streaming, commentary, and even podcasts. Others simply let you be heard in voice chat, but might have some wireless artifacts, sibilance, or simply lack clarity.

If you’re serious about streaming or recording, you should consider a dedicated USB microphone. Good mics cost $50-$150, and offer far superior audio quality than nearly any boom mic. You need to be careful with the positioning and configuration of a separate microphone, but if you want to work professionally, it’s worthwhile. See our story on how to make your podcast sound better for general tips that apply to all recording and broadcasting scenarios.

As for the best wireless gaming headset, you can’t go wrong with any of the options we’ve tested here. So choose the one that meets your budgets and needs, and start playing.

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