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. Any good pair of gaming headphones should also accurately localize objects like footsteps in the stereo image.
We’ve tested over 620 headphones, and below are our top picks for the best gaming headphones under $100 to buy. 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 best wireless gaming headset under $100 that we've tested is the Logitech G533 Wireless Gaming Headset. These headphones come with a wireless USB transmitter that provides a low latency connection with PCs and PlayStation consoles. They're well-built and comfortable, with decently well-padded ear cups and a fairly breathable design.
Their excited, v-shaped sound profile adds thump and rumble to mixes, while vocals and lead instruments are present and bright. You can customize it with a graphic EQ and presets in their companion app if you prefer a different sound. Their foldable boom mic has a decent overall performance, so your teammates can hear you quite clearly, even in moderately noisy environments. Their 17-hour continuous battery life makes them suitable for long gaming sessions, and you can even use them while they're charging.
Unfortunately, they're prone to inconsistent bass and treble delivery, so you may need to take time to adjust their fit, seal, and positioning to get the same sound every time you wear them. They also have disappointing controls with no functions for calls or music. That said, if you're looking for the best PC gaming headset under $100 with a wireless design, they have low latency and offer solid performance for the price.
If you're looking for gaming headphones that support Xbox Wireless technology, go for the Xbox Wireless Headset. While their sound profile is a lot less flat and neutral than the Logitech G533 Wireless Gaming Headset, the Xbox are specifically designed for wireless gaming on Xbox One and Xbox Series S|X consoles. These comfortable headphones have a very bass-heavy sound profile that delivers intense thump, rumble, and boom. Although some users may find they sound pretty muddy, their companion software offers a graphic EQ and presets so that you can get the best sound that suits your tastes. Their battery also delivers over 19 hours of continuous playback time, and they support Bluetooth, so you can chat with friends on your smartphone while gaming on your Xbox. Their mic has a great recording quality, ensuring you sound clear and natural. However, it struggles to separate speech from ambient noise, which could be a problem if you're gaming near an open window with a lot of traffic outside.
If you're looking for the best PC headset under $100 or you're primarily a PlayStation gamer, consider the Logitech. However, if Xbox is your preferred gaming console, take a look at the Xbox Wireless Headset instead.
The HyperX Cloud Alpha S is the best headset under $100 with a wired design. These headphones have a unique bass slider design on each ear cup, so you can independently adjust the amount of boom and rumble in your mixes. There are also physical controls on their USB dongle like volume, chat mixing, surround sound, and mic mute, making it easy to adjust your settings while you game.
With both bass sliders turned up, they have a sound profile that delivers intense boom, which can help emphasize sound effects while gaming. If you like to chat with others, their detachable boom mic has a very good recording quality and can even separate speech from moderate ambient sound. These headphones also have excellent build quality, and they feel robust and durable.
That said, their sound profile can sound a bit muddy and lacking in detail. They also have disappointing frequency response consistency, and you may especially notice a drop in bass if you have thick hair or wear glasses. However, if you prefer wired gaming headphones, they offer solid performance, and they're even among the best PS4 headset under $100 that we've tested.
If you want wired gaming headphones with a customizable sound profile, you may prefer the SteelSeries Arctis 5 2019 Edition. They aren't as comfortable or well-built as the HyperX Cloud Alpha S, but their companion software, SteelSeries Engine, gives you access to a graphic EQ and presets, so you can customize their sound profile to suit you. They have a boomy default sound profile that can help emphasize sound effects and games, but they also have a more neutral treble response, so vocals and lead instruments are more present and detailed. They offer full compatibility with PCs, as well as PS4 and Xbox One consoles if you plug them directly into the controller. The boom mic has a good overall performance, so you can be heard clearly by your teammates, even when you're gaming in a fairly loud place. However, they have a fairly tight fit on your head, which may be uncomfortable for some people.
If you want more comfortable headphones that feel sturdy, go for the HyperX, but consider the SteelSeries instead if sound customization is a priority.
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 and a simple design, making them fairly easy to pass off as casual headphones. They also have a well-balanced sound profile that's well-suited for lots 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. They also come with a Dolby 7.1 virtual surround feature, which may help create a more immersive sound. Their boom microphone does an excellent job of recording voices that sound clear and full-bodied, even in noisy environments like gaming tournaments. 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.
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 you can use in more casual settings, they're a versatile choice.
Sep 28, 2021: Removed the SteelSeries Arctis 3 2019 Edition Wireless as they're no longer found within this price point.
Jul 30, 2021: Due to Test Bench 1.5 updates, replaced the ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air Wireless with the Logitech G533 Wireless Gaming Headset as the 'Best Wireless Gaming Headset Under $100' because it has a better wireless gaming performance. Also replaced the HyperX Cloud Alpha with the HyperX Cloud Alpha S as the 'Best Wired Gaming Headset Under $100', and moved the ROCCAT to Notable Mentions.
Jun 02, 2021: Checked the text for accuracy and product availability. There have been no changes in our recommendations.
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.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best gaming headphones 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.