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 670 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.
If you want wireless gaming headphones, the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless are the best option under $100 that we've tested. These headphones come with a wireless dongle compatible with PCs, PlayStation consoles, and Android phones. They have low latency over non-Bluetooth wireless, so you shouldn't notice any audio syncing issues while gaming.
Out of the box, they have a well-balanced sound profile that adds extra punch and boom to your audio while voices are present and clear. If you prefer a different sound, their companion app includes a graphic EQ and presets that you can use to customize it. They also have a decently comfortable fit and a detachable boom mic that makes your voice sound clear and does a decent job separating it from ambient sound.
Unfortunately, they have a mostly plastic build, and their hinges don't feel very sturdy. They also take nearly four hours to charge and can't be used while charging. On the plus side, their battery provides about 25 hours of continuous use, and if you're looking for the best PC gaming headset under $100, they're worth considering.
The Xbox Wireless Headset is the best Xbox Wireless gaming headset under $100 that we've tested. Unlike the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless, these over-ears support Xbox's proprietary wireless technology, making it easy to connect them to Xbox consoles. They also have Bluetooth, meaning you can receive audio from your smartphone and console at the same time.
Out of the box, they have a very boomy, bass-heavy sound profile which delivers extra thump, rumble, and punch to mixes. Although this can help emphasize sound effects like footsteps, the intense bass can muddy and clutter dialogue and lead instruments. Luckily, their companion software offers a graphic EQ and presets so that you can adjust their sound to your liking. If you like to chat with others while you game, their boom mic has a great recording quality, so speech is clear and natural.
Unfortunately, their Xbox Wireless latency is high, and you may notice syncing issues between your audio and visuals. If you find that audio lag is interrupting your gameplay, the headphones can also be connected to your Xbox console using their USB cable, which offers lower latency.
The HyperX Cloud Alpha S is the best headset under $100 with a wired design that we've tested. These headphones have a detachable 1/8" TRRS cable, eliminating audio lag. They also have a USB-A dongle, which has controls like volume, chat mixing, mic muting, and surround 7.1.
These comfortable and well-built over-ears have a bass slider on each ear cup, which lets you individually adjust the amount of bass each ear receives. With both sliders turned up, they have a boomy sound profile, and the extra bass can help bring out sound effects in your gameplay. Their detachable boom mic offers good overall performance, so your voice sounds clear and full-bodied, even if you're gaming in a moderately noisy environment.
Unfortunately, beyond their bass sliders, they don't have any other sound customization features. They're also very prone to inconsistencies in audio delivery, and if you have thick hair or wear glasses, you may especially notice a drop in bass. However, if you're looking for the best PS4 headset under $100, they're worth checking out.
If you want wired gaming headphones with more robust sound customization features, you may prefer the SteelSeries Arctis 5 2019 Edition. They aren't as well-built as the HyperX Cloud Alpha S and have a less comfortable fit, but their companion app includes a graphic EQ and presets that you can use to adjust their sound profile. Out of the box, they have a boomy sound that makes them well-suited for action-packed games. Their boom mic has a very good overall performance, so your voice sounds natural and should be easy to understand even with some noise in the background. They're compatible with PCs, PlayStation, and Xbox consoles, so they're a versatile option. Ηowever, they have a slightly plasticky build and a tight fit that can be uncomfortable for people with bigger heads.
Go for the HyperX if you're looking for a sturdier pair of headphones or a more comfortable fit, but try the SteelSeries if sound customization features are a priority.
The Logitech G433 Gaming Headset is the most versatile gaming headset under $100 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 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 the best PC headset under $100 and want a versatile option, they're worth considering.
May 11, 2022: We've checked our picks for accuracy and product availability. However, there hasn't been a change in our recommendations.
Mar 30, 2022: Added the Logitech G535 LIGHTSPEED Wireless to Notable Mentions.
Jan 25, 2022: Replaced the Logitech G533 Wireless Gaming Headset with the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless as the 'Best Wireless Gaming Headset Under $100' because the Logitech are now priced above $100.
Nov 23, 2021: Checked that picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are in stock. There were no changes to our recommendations.
Sep 28, 2021: Removed the SteelSeries Arctis 3 2019 Edition Wireless as they're no longer found within this price point.
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.