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 reviewed over 400 headphones so far and below are our top picks for the best gaming headsets under $100 to buy in 2020. For more options, see our recommendations for the best gaming headsets, the best PS4 headsets, and the best gaming headsets under $50.
When it comes to gaming headsets, Logitech has quite a few on offer and the Logitech G533 is the best gaming headset under $100 that we’ve tested so far. The design of this headset is one that we're familiar with: plastic construction with some gamer-centric flair and large, well-padded ear cups. They're on the bulky side and have poor noise isolation, so outdoor use isn't recommended.
The 17-hour battery life is good, but without fast charging, they can take up to 4 hours for a full charge. It’s also important to note that they're not Bluetooth headphones and they require the provided dongle for connection, which effectively limits their compatibility to PC or PS4.
The overall sound is well-balanced, although the mid-range can sound a bit cluttered. Sound tuning on gaming headsets can be tricky, though, as they need to be tuned differently to bring out footsteps, gunshots, explosions, etc. Thankfully, Logitech has one of the best software to manage the different sound profiles, where you can either choose a preset EQ or manually adjust it to your liking.
Overall, these headphones are a good choice for a feature-packed headset for under $100.
If you're looking for wireless gaming headphones under $100 to use with your Xbox One, then consider the Turtle Beach Stealth 600. They're less customizable than the Logitech G533 Wireless Gaming Headset, but they deliver sound a lot more consistently and have great audio reproduction. Their mic is decent and the Xbox One variant connects directly to your console without the need for an additional dongle, which is practical. They have a 16-hour battery life with an auto-off timer to help save power and charge in just under 2 hours, which is great. Unfortunately, they feel pretty cheaply made and their controls don't offer very much feedback. They're lightweight and comfortable, though, which is nice during long gaming sessions.
Get the Logitech if you game on PC or PS4 and want a wireless headset with more customizable features, but if you're an Xbox One gamer looking for a good wireless headset under $100, you'll want to go for the Turtle Beach.
If you play a lot of online multiplayer games like Fortnite or Apex Legends and are looking for good wired gaming headphones with an excellent microphone, then get the HyperX Cloud II. They're impressively well-built with a sturdy metal design and feel very durable. They have well-padded faux-leather ear cups that are very comfortable and a straightforward plug-and-use design that’s relatively easy-to-use.
Their boom microphone is outstanding and sounds clear and detailed, even in very noisy environments like a gaming competition. It’s even detachable, so if you’re playing a solo campaign and don’t feel like having it in your way you can remove it. Since these headphones have both a regular audio cable and a USB adapter, they can provide audio and microphone support on the PC, PS4, and even the Xbox One. Keep in mind their control module, which includes surround sound and channel mixing functions, only works on PS4.
Although they have great bass and a good, neutral mid-range, their treble performance is sub-par. This is a bit disappointing considering they're not customizable, but your listening experience depends on the way they fit your head and whether you can get a decent seal, so your experience may vary. All things considered, the HyperX Cloud II is the best wired gaming headset under $100 we've tested and one of the best PS4 headsets under $100.
If you like the wired design of the HyperX Cloud 2/Cloud II but prefer being able to customize the way your gaming headphones sound, then get the SteelSeries Arctis 5 2019 Edition. Their microphone doesn’t perform quite as well, but they're compatible with the SteelSeries Engine software for lots of customization options, like a graphic EQ. Like the HyperX, they have both a regular audio cable and a USB adapter for compatibility with all your gaming systems, and their controls are easy-to-use, but their channel mixing dial doesn't work with the Xbox One. They feel a bit plasticky compared to the HyperX and they're a bit less comfortable, but they're still pleasant to use during long gaming sessions.
Get the HyperX if you care most about durability and comfort, but if customization is what matters to you, you'll want to go for the SteelSeries.
If you’re looking for a headset that you can use not only while gaming but casually as well, then get the Logitech G433; it's the most versatile headset under $100 we've tested. It comes with various cables and adapters for compatibility with different home theatre set-ups and devices and can even be used with your smartphone when you're on the go.
These headphones have a remarkably balanced frequency response and outstanding microphone performance. You can customize their default sound profile with the Logitech G Hub software and control mic levels as well. Their boom mic is among the best we’ve tested to date and can be detached for use on-the-go. One of their cables even has an in-line mic and controls, so you can still take calls with the headset while you’re out and about.
Unfortunately, they deliver sound very inconsistently across users, so you may not experience the same neutral sound profile that we measured. Also, they don’t feel as well-built as other gaming headsets we’ve tested at this price point. Thankfully, you can easily customize the way they sound, and they also come with additional ear cup padding. Overall, they're one of the best headsets under $100 and they're a solid choice if you're looking for gaming headsets you can use casually as well.
If the durability of the Logitech G433 Gaming Headset concerns you, you may want to consider the Corsair HS60. Corsair is well-known for their build quality, and these headphones are sure to last for years. They have a clean, minimal design with a detachable mic, so they can be used as a regular pair of headphones. Outdoor use may be a bit more challenging, as they have poor isolation and the cable doesn't have an in-line remote or microphone for phone calls. The default sound is good, but the bass can be a bit boomy and the frequency spike around 8-10kHz can produce some sharpness in certain tracks. If the default sound profile doesn't suit you, it can be easily adjusted through Corsair's iCUE software.
If you want a headset that can be used on-the-go, go with the Logitech, but for a headset that can take a few tumbles, the Corsair are a good choice.
If you're looking for good gaming headphones that also 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 4 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 these headphones in particular 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.
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 headphones that are good for gaming. 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.
11/20/2019: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.