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 look for good sound quality and comfort, especially if you can game for hours daily. If you play multiplayer games, a good microphone can be very important to communicate with friends and teammates online. Good gaming headphones will also accurately localize objects like footsteps in the stereo image.
We've tested over 770 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 Logitech G535 LIGHTSPEED Wireless is the best gaming headset under $100 we've tested. These lightweight over-ears have low latency with their USB dongle, which ensures that your audio and visuals stay in sync during the heat of the moment. They also last over 35 hours continuously and have an auto-off timer to help conserve battery life when not in use. However, they can't be used wired, and the dongle is only compatible with PlayStations and PCs, limiting their versatility.
These over-ears have a boom mic. While your voice lacks body, the person on the other end of the line can still understand you. These headphones also have a fairly balanced sound profile out of the box. While they lack low-bass, they have a bit of extra boom and warmth to their sound to help bring out sound effects like footsteps in gameplay. If you prefer a different sound, they're compatible with Logitech G HUB software, which allows you to customize their sound using a graphic EQ and presets when gaming on a PC. They're prone to inconsistencies in audio delivery, so it's important to take the time to adjust their fit and positioning.
If you're an Xbox gamer, check out the Razer Kaira Pro Wireless instead. Unlike the Logitech G535 LIGHTSPEED Wireless, these headphones come in an Xbox variant that works with these consoles since they support that console's proprietary wireless technology. Their low latency ensures that your audio stays in sync with the visuals on your screen while you game. Plus, their warm sound profile adds boom to your audio to intensify sound effects. This slightly muddies voices and instruments, but you can always adjust the sound with the EQ and presets in the Razer Headset Setup for the Xbox app.
This is the best wireless gaming headset under $100 that we've tested. Since it also supports Bluetooth, you can stream audio from your phone and console simultaneously. However, they won't work with PlayStation consoles or PCs (unless you have an Xbox Wireless adapter). They don't support a wired connection either, so you don't have the option of plugging the cable into an AUX port for more versatility or to eliminate latency. Still, they last about 19 hours continuously to get you through a few long gaming sessions.
If you're looking to avoid latency issues or want a better audio quality experience, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 3 is the best headset under $100 with a wired design that we've tested. These over-ears offer some customization features, like programmable RGB lighting on the ear cups and a parametric EQ with presets when connected via PC. You can use them via wired USB cable or analog cable. We noticed a warping sound with our unit, but this only occurred using the USB connection, not via analog.
While picks like the Logitech G535 LIGHTSPEED Wireless offer low wireless latency, using the analog cable with these headphones virtually eliminates latency, making them a good choice if you're concerned about audio-syncing issues. They have a warm sound profile, with a touch of extra bass to help emphasize sound effects, like footsteps, when gaming. Dialogue and soundtracks are understandable but very dull and veiled. Luckily, their in-app graphic EQ and presets can help you customize the mix how you'd like.
While comfortable, their ski-band headband design doesn't reproduce a consistent fit, position, or seal, so take the time to ensure they're sitting well on your head before booting up your game. Despite their closed-back design, their soundstage feels wide and somewhat open. Their boom mic also captures speech well, but if you want an even better mic performance, check out the HyperX Cloud 2/Cloud II. Their boom mic performs significantly better for noise handling, which is great if gaming in a noisy environment. However, they don't have any customization features to adjust their sound.
At the sub-$100 price point, you start to run into more headphones with less-than-stellar build quality. Still, if you're looking for headphones with a durable feel, the HyperX Cloud Alpha S offer a sturdy design at a lower price point. Compared to many of the picks on this list, which are completely made of plastic, their design has some metal elements to help with durability, like a flexible aluminum frame. The cables are also braided and detachable, meaning you can replace them, and the ear cup padding is also easy to swap out. The box includes two sets: one cloth and one leather, so you can choose which you prefer.
Because of their wired design, they're compatible with most consoles and PCs. They have a comfortable fit and good overall mic performance, so your teammates will hear you clearly. A slider on each ear cup allows you to adjust the bass level in each ear separately. As expected, their sound profile is very bass-heavy with the sliders turned up. They deliver extra boom that helps bring out sound effects, which makes the mix sound muddy overall. Fortunately, voices and instruments are still present and clear. Still, you can't make any adjustments since these headphones don't work with companion software and lack sound customization features like an EQ.
If you're looking to get the most for your dollar, you might want a headset that you can use for more than just gaming. One such headset, the Logitech G433, is well-suited for use at the office or just casual music listening around town. These headphones are compatible with most major platforms and consoles, and their boom mic has a great performance, so you'll sound natural during online games, even with some noise in the background. A 1/8" TRRS cable with a separate in-line mic is included, so you can take calls when you're out and about without the bulky boom mic.
Their default sound profile is well-balanced, with a bit of extra boom that doesn't muddy the rest of the mix. This sound is suitable for various content and can be customized with a graphic EQ and presets in the Logitech G HUB software. They also support Dolby 7.1 virtual surround sound, which can help create a more immersive experience when gaming or just listening to music. However, like most gaming headsets, they don't have ANC and won't block out much ambient sound, so they aren't ideal for your commute. They also leak a lot of audio, so people nearby will hear your music if you're in a quiet office. Still, their versatility makes them considerable if you're looking for the best option for more than static gaming at home.
The best open-back gaming headset we've tested is the Sennheiser Game One Gaming Headset. Consider an open-back design for gaming if audio quality is a high priority. These headphones are usually quite a bit pricier than our other picks but can frequently be found on sale around the $100 mark. This design allows them to create a wider, more spacious-seeming passive soundstage, making game audio more immersive. Their boom mic also has excellent recording quality, making your voice sound more natural and full-bodied than the Logitech G535 LIGHTSPEED Wireless' mic.
They're also more comfortable than the Logitech headphones and have a sturdy build and a wired design that eliminates latency. Like most open-back headphones, their sound lacks low-bass, so action-packed soundtracks don't have good thump and rumble. That said, their well-balanced high-bass response brings warmth and body into the mix, and the rest of the range is neutral, so elements like voices are clear and accurate. However, they aren't ideal for use outside of quiet environments since they hardly block ambient sound because of their open-back design.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best headphones under $100 for most gamers. 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.