You don’t always need to pay a premium price for a good gaming headset. Even budget headphones can be packed with features suitable for your needs. You want to be on the lookout for good sound quality and great comfort, especially if you can game for hours every day. If you play multiplayer games, a good microphone can be very important to communicate with friends and teammates online.
We’ve tested over 580 headphones, and below are our top picks for the best gaming headsets under $100 to buy. For more options, check out our recommendations for the best gaming headsets, the best PS4 headsets, and the best gaming headsets under $50. If you want to upgrade your whole setup, see our recommendations for the best gaming mice and the best gaming keyboards.
The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air Wireless is the best wireless gaming headset under $100. These comfortable headphones use a wireless dongle, which makes them compatible with PCs, PS4, and PS5 consoles. This connection also ensures very low audio latency, so you don't have to worry about being out of sync with your teammates while gaming online.
Although they look a little bulky, they have customizable RGB lighting on the logos found on each earcup. Their boomy sound profile can help emphasize sound effects in your gameplay without completely overwhelming dialogue or soundtrack audio. If you prefer a different sound, their companion software offers a graphic EQ and presets as well as mic adjustment features. Their boom mic delivers a good overall performance, while their 16-hour battery life should last through a long gaming marathon.
Unfortunately, they aren't compatible with Xbox One consoles at all. They're also very prone to inconsistent bass and treble delivery, and you may especially notice a drop in bass if you have thick hair or glasses. That said, these headphones offer quite a few customizable features, a great continuous battery life, and low latency, making them a suitable choice for wireless gaming.
If you're looking for a gaming headset under $100 that supports Xbox Wireless, consider the Xbox Wireless Headset instead. While their sound profile isn't as well-balanced out-of-the-box and their microphone doesn't perform as well in noisy settings compared to the ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air Wireless, they're specifically designed for Xbox One and Xbox Series S|X consoles, ensuring low audio latency via Xbox Wireless technology. These comfortable, well-built headphones have a very bass-heavy sound profile out-of-the-box, so you really feel the deep thump and rumble in action-packed scenes. If you prefer a less boomy sound, you can use the graphic EQ and presets in the Xbox Accessories app to customize their sound. Their boom microphone has an impressive recording quality, but it can struggle to separate your voice from ambient noise around you, so it's better suited for gaming in a quiet place. They also last for over 19 hours off of a single charge, which is amazing.
If you mostly game on a PC, PS4, or PS5 console and want headphones with a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, check out the ROCCAT. However, if you're an Xbox user, consider the Xbox instead.
The best headset under $100 with a wired design that we've tested is the HyperX Cloud Alpha. These comfortable headphones are amazingly well-built, and you can plug them directly into your PC, PS4, or Xbox One controller for full audio and microphone compatibility. Thanks to its wired design, you don't have to worry about running out of battery or latency issues while gaming.
They have a pretty neutral, balanced sound profile that's suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content. They also come with a detachable boom microphone, which has a good recording quality, so your voice is clear and detailed to whoever's on the other end of the line even if you're calling from a noisy setting. They don't leak a lot of audio, either, and escaping audio sounds quite thin, so you can listen at loud volumes without really bothering those around you.
Unfortunately, like most gaming headphones, they have poor noise isolation performance, so you may be distracted by ambient noise while you game. They also don't offer any sound customization features, which can be disappointing if you prefer a different sound. That said, if you're looking for a wired pair of gaming headphones, they're still a solid choice.
If you're looking for a pair of wired gaming headphones with more sound customization features, consider the SteelSeries Arctis 5 2019 Edition instead. While they aren't as comfortable or as well-built as the HyperX Cloud Alpha, these headphones offer a graphic EQ and presets in the SteelSeries Engine software to help you adjust their sound to your liking. Out-of-the-box, they have a pretty neutral sound profile, but with a little extra emphasis in the bass range that helps you really feel the deep thumps and rumbles in action-packed games. You can plug them directly into your PC, PS4, or Xbox One controller for full audio and microphone compatibility. Their boom mic isn't detachable, but it has a good recording quality, so your voice is clear to your teammates on the other end of the line even if you're gaming in a noisy place.
If you want more comfortable, better-built wired gaming headphones, check out the HyperX, but if you prefer lots of sound customization features, consider the SteelSeries instead.
The Logitech G433 Gaming Headset is the best gaming headset under $100 with excellent versatility that we've tested. These comfortable, lightweight gaming headphones have a removable boom mic as well as a simple design, which makes them fairly easy to pass off as casual headphones. They also have a fairly well-balanced sound profile that's well-suited for a variety of audio content from music to video games.
Thanks to their Logitech G HUB software, you can customize their sound to your liking using the graphic EQ or presets. Their boom microphone does an excellent job of recording voices that sound clear and full-bodied, even in noisy environments like gaming tournaments or train stations. If you don't want to use the boom mic when you're on the go, they also come with a 1/8" TRRS cable with an in-line mic. Although we don't currently test for it, they come with a Dolby 7.1 virtual surround feature.
Unfortunately, if you're using them while on your commute or at the office, they do a poor job of reducing ambient noise like the rumble of bus engines or background chatter around you. They also leak a lot of sound, so your coworkers can hear your audio. Still, if you're looking for gaming headphones that can also be used in more casual settings, they're a versatile choice.
If you're looking for good gaming headphones that support Bluetooth, then get the SteelSeries Arctis 3 2019 Edition. They're not customizable like the Logitech G433 Gaming Headset, but you can use them wirelessly with your mobile devices. They take nearly four hours to charge and don't have an auto-off timer, but since their battery lasts a whopping 42 hours, it shouldn't be a problem. Since they can mix audio from a Bluetooth source and their wired connection at the same time, they're a great choice if you game on the Nintendo Switch and use their online voice chat app. They're comfortable, but like many gaming headsets, they have frequency response consistency issues, which is a bigger problem with them since you can't easily customize the way they sound.
Get the Logitech if you don't mind using a wired connection with your mobile devices and prefer customizable headphones, but if you'd rather have access to Bluetooth, the SteelSeries are a good choice.
Apr 06, 2021: Replaced the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 Wireless as 'Xbox Wireless Alternative' since the Xbox Wireless Headset has a better mic performance and more sound customization features. Replaced the HyperX Cloud 2/Cloud II with the HyperX Cloud Alpha as they're better-built with a more neutral sound. Removed the Turtle Beach Elite Atlas, the Logitech G Pro Gaming Headset, and the LucidSound LS31 Wireless from Notable Mentions as they now retail for more than $100. Added the HyperX Cloud 2/Cloud II, the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 Wireless, the Corsair HS60 HAPTIC Stereo Gaming Headset, and the Corsair HS70 Wireless to Notable Mentions.
Feb 05, 2021: Replaced the Logitech G533 Wireless Gaming Headset with the ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air Wireless and moved the Logitech to Notable Mentions. Removed the Corsair HS50 and HS50 as they are no longer available.
Dec 08, 2020: Slight changes to the text for accuracy and clarity; no change in recommendations.
Oct 09, 2020: Article overhaul; structural changes to help you find better headphones for your needs.
Jan 20, 2020: Replaced the Logitech G533 with the G935.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best gaming headsets under $100 for most people. 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 reviews for gaming headsets under $100. 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 do not care about having a microphone or wireless features.