If you enjoy gaming on your phone, a traditional gaming headset is likely too bulky to take you everywhere. Luckily, as mobile gaming has risen in popularity, more earbuds and in-ears are 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 how 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 305 pairs of earbuds and in-ears, and below are our picks for the best gaming earbuds. 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 Pro HyperSpeed True Wireless are the best gaming earbuds we've tested. These in-ears have a wireless USB-C dongle for a low-latency gaming experience on PCs and PlayStation consoles. Want to connect via Bluetooth? Their companion app also offers 'Game Mode', a setting that ensures your audio and visuals stay in sync during the head of the moment. If that's not enough, they've got customizable RGB lighting so that you can show off your style. Their noise cancelling (ANC) system blocks a good amount of sound, like traffic from an open window; however, with both features on, their battery life tanks from four hours to three. Luckily, their case supplies an extra four charges if you need it.
These decently comfortable buds have a somewhat balanced sound out of the box. While a dip in the mid-range makes dialogue and instruments seem a little hollow, the app has a graphic EQ and presets to help you fine-tune their sound. They also have a THX preset to help create a more 3D gaming experience. If you like to game with others, their mic offers good overall performance, and you'll have no trouble being understood clearly, even if you're talking in a noisy environment like a shared living room.
The EPOS GTW 270 Ηybrid Truly Wireless are the best wireless earbuds for gaming at this price point that we've tested. What sets them apart from our top pick is their support for multi-device pairing, which lets you simultaneously stay connected to your console and smartphone. They also support aptX-LL codec, which ensures low latency with Βluetooth-compatible PCs. However, while their dongle provides a fairly low-latency connection, users have reported connectivity issues after updating to the latest firmware. Unfortunately, this same firmware also lowered their original advertised battery life to just over three hours, which is pretty short. Their carrying case supplies three extra charges, though.
These buds are very well-built and have a comfortable fit suitable for long gaming sessions. Their bass-rich sound profile can help bring out sound effects in action-packed games and can also be customized with a graphic EQ and presets in the headphones' companion app. They support Dolby 7.1 virtual surround sound, which can help make your game audio more dimensional and immersive. Their integrated mic makes your voice sound clear and natural. However, unlike the Razer Hammerhead Pro HyperSpeed True Wireless' mic, your voice can easily be drowned out by background noise.
The KZ AS10 are the best mid-range gaming earbuds we've tested. Unlike the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid Truly Wireless, these buds are wired, so you must be close to your console or controller to use them. Even though you can't move around as freely, their analog connection makes audio lag negligible. They can also be purchased in two different variants: one with a plain audio cable, which is handy if you already have a standalone mic or don't need a mic, and one with an in-line mic for a two-in-one solution if you want to easily game with others. Both variants have detachable cables, too, making it easy to replace them if they get damaged.
The buds are made of durable plastic, and the cables wrap over the top of your ears to make them more stable. However, they can get in the way if you wear glasses, and the buds' bulky build can become fatiguing over time. In terms of sound, they're bass-heavy, which gives sound effects like gunshots and footsteps thump and punch. Dialogue and music sound clear, intense, and bright but slightly pushed back. Once you find which of the three included sizes of ear tips works best for you, their in-ear fit makes a great seal and, in turn, results in great passive noise isolation, so you'll want to pick these up if you have noisy housemates or siblings.
If you're looking for something more budget-friendly, then the best earbuds for gaming that we've tested at this price are the Logitech G333. These inexpensive buds aren't as well-built as the KZ AS10, and they don't block out as much background noise, which you may want to keep in mind if you game in the living room or another shared space. Still, they offer a comfortable fit and a wired design that eliminates latency. Unlike the KZ, they have basic controls that let you adjust the volume while playing. Their in-line mic has a decent recording quality, so your teammates will understand you during online games, but its noise handling isn't good, so background sound can drown out your voice if you're playing in a noisy area.
These buds have a comfortable fit and feel sturdy. Their very bass-heavy sound profile also adds a lot of punch and boom to the audio. It can help emphasize sound effects in action-packed games but can make other types of content, like music or dialogue, sound muddy or cluttered. Unfortunately, they don't have an app or sound customization features. On the plus side, they come with a USB-C adapter for the 1/8" TRRS cable, so you can use them with phones that don't have an audio jack.
The MOONDROP Blessing 3 are in-ear monitors (IEMs), so they lack a mic by default. Still, if you don't need to talk with others while gaming or if you have a standalone mic, these wired buds offer a neutral sound worth considering. They're much lighter on the bass than the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid Truly Wireless but have a much more flat and neutral sound, which is nice if you play more soundtrack and dialogue-oriented games and want clear, present, and detailed instruments and vocals. They don't have any sound customization features, though.
These buds have a well-built design and are comfortable enough for long gaming sessions. They also come with several differently-sized pairs of ear tips to help you get the best fit. Their cables are detachable, too, so you can swap them out if they get damaged or even replace them with one with an in-line mic. While they can't block out much bass-range noise like traffic from an open window, they can easily cut down ambient chatter.
If you're looking for earbuds that ensure your friends can hear you clearly during online games, you'll want to check out the SteelSeries TUSQ. Thanks to their detachable boom mic, these wired buds stand out from the other picks here (and most earbuds in general). It sits closer to your mouth than an integrated or in-line version, making your voice sound clearer and more full-bodied than the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid Truly Wireless' mic. Their wired design also provides a latency-free connection with PCs and consoles. They have a very bass-heavy sound profile that adds intense thump, punch, and boom to your audio. It brings out sound effects like footsteps and explosions, which can make gameplay more immersive, but voices and instruments sound muddy.
Unfortunately, they don't have sound customization features. They're also best suited for quiet areas since they don't isolate you from much sound, and the mic has mediocre noise handling. If you're concerned about noise, the Turtle Beach Battle Buds' boom mic can better separate your voice from ambient sound, so people on the other end of the line will understand you even with some noise in the background. They have a very muddy profile and aren't as well-built, though.
Aug 29, 2023: We've made the Razer Hammerhead Pro HyperSpeed True Wireless the top pick since they offer both wireless USB and Bluetooth connectivity. We've made the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid True Wireless the 'Best Upper Mid-Range Earbuds For Gaming'. We've also moved the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless 2021 to Notable Mentions as the Hammerhead Pro HyperSpeed have a better noise cancelling performance.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best in-ear gaming headphones. 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.