If you enjoy gaming on your phone, a traditional gaming headset is likely far too bulky to take around with you everywhere. Luckily, as mobile gaming has risen in popularity, more earbuds and in-ears are being designed with that in mind. Generally, you want a gaming headset with a good microphone, a comfortable fit, and a well-balanced sound profile, so all explosions and dialogue sound the way they should. Latency can also be very important, as many Bluetooth headphones introduce noticeable lag, which can be an issue when gaming online with others.
We’ve tested over 265 pairs of earbuds and in-ears, and below are our picks for the best earbuds for gaming to buy. Unlike traditional over-ear gaming headsets, we haven't tested nearly as many earbuds suitable for gaming yet, but we'll update this list as we test more. You can also check our recommendations for the best gaming headsets, the best earbuds, and the best earbuds with a mic.
The Razer Hammerhead True Wireless 2021 are the best wireless earbuds for gaming that we've tested. These earbuds are designed with mobile gaming in mind, thanks to the 'Gaming Mode' in their companion app. This mode reduces Bluetooth latency, ensuring your audio and visuals stay in sync. You'll need to turn this feature on each time you take the buds out of the case.
These buds have a decently comfortable fit that's well-built and stable. Their bass-heavy sound profile adds extra thump, punch, and boom, which can help emphasize sound effects in games. Their app offers a graphic EQ and presets to help you finetune their sound to your liking. Like most other Razer products, they also have RGB lighting that you can customize in the app. Their integrated mic has good recording quality, so your voice sounds clear and natural.
Unfortunately, the mic struggles to separate your voice from moderate ambient noise, meaning if you're talking near an open window with traffic outside, your speech can be drowned out. Their 4.7-hour continuous battery life also may not last through long days on the go. Luckily, their carrying case holds four additional charges if you need it. They even have an auto-off timer to help conserve battery life when you're not using them too.
The best wired gaming earbuds with a boom mic that we've tested are the SteelSeries TUSQ. These compact and light headphones have a detachable boom mic that sits close to your mouth and records your voice clearly and accurately. There's also an in-line mic for casual use with similarly good recording quality, although it struggles more to separate speech from background noise due to how far away the mic is from your mouth.
They're decently comfortable and have malleable ear hooks that help give them a stable fit. Their excited sound profile packs a lot of extra thump, rumble, and boom, which can help to bring out sound effects in action-packed games, although some may find this sound muddy. They don't leak very much audio at high volumes, so your game audio shouldn't bother people around you, and their wired design ensures a latency-free connection.
Unfortunately, they don't have companion software or sound customization features like an EQ or presets. The connection where the boom mic plugs into the earbud feels loose, and the mic could fall out accidentally. Otherwise, if you're looking for versatile earbuds for gaming, these have a detachable boom mic that makes them easy to transition to casual use.
The best wired gaming earbuds with an in-line mic that we've tested are the 1More Triple Driver. Thanks to their wired design, they virtually eliminate audio lag, meaning your audio and visuals stay in sync while gaming. Additionally, they can offer higher audio quality than their wireless counterparts on this list. Their in-line mic has good recording quality, ensuring your voice is heard clearly. It also does a decent job of separating your voice from moderate ambient noise around you.
These headphones have a warm sound profile that delivers a touch of extra boom to your gameplay, which can help bring out sound effects. Their mid-range is still fairly neutral and balanced, which ensures that dialogue and instruments sound clear and present. They also have a decently comfortable fit and come with a variety of different ear tip sizes to help you achieve a good fit.
The audio cables leading to the earbuds feel thin and could be subject to wear and tear over time. Some users have also reported experiencing electric shocks from their units. The headphones struggle to block out the low rumble of bus and plane engines too, which could be frustrating if you're mobile gaming on the go. However, they do a better job of reducing ambient chatter around you.
If you're looking for a more comfortable pair of earbuds, you may prefer the Logitech G333. Their sound profile packs a lot more thump, punch, and boom in the bass range than the 1More Triple Driver, which some may find overwhelming, but they're much more comfortable. They're also better-built, with a metal finish on the earbuds and flat silicone cables. There's an analog to USΒ-C adapter included, which you can use to connect to devices without an AUX port, like many newer smartphones. You may also like their bass-heavy sound profile since it can help to emphasize sound effects like explosions in action-packed games. They have an in-line mic with decent recording quality, so you're easy to understand when gaming with friends. It has disappointing noise handling, so your voice may get drowned out by background noise.
If you prefer a more neutral default sound profile that makes voices and lead instruments sound more present and clear, go for the 1More, but try the Logitech instead if you want a more comfortable, well-built pair of earbuds or prefer a bass-heavy sound.
Apr 15, 2022: We replaced the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid Truly Wireless with the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless 2021 as the EPOS are currently out of stock via most retailers.
Feb 15, 2022: Verified that picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are in stock.
Dec 10, 2021: Replaced the Turtle Beach Battle Buds with the SteelSeries TUSQ as the SteelSeries have a better overall performance.
Oct 12, 2021: Checked our picks for product availability and accuracy. However, there hasn't been a change in our recommendations.
Aug 17, 2021: No changes in product picks after verifying their accuracy and availability.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best earbuds for gaming. We factor in the price (cheaper headphones win over pricier ones if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no headphones that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our in-ear and earbuds headphones reviews, sorted by their wired gaming scores. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect headphones. Personal taste, preference, and listening habits will matter more in your selection, especially if you don't care about having a microphone or wireless features.