While many assume that all gaming accessories are expensive, you can get a decent pair of gaming headphones for under $50. Many headphones in this price range can localize sound effects in gameplay well and have microphones with good recording quality, so you're heard clearly by your teammates. While they may lack features like wireless connectivity or customization options that you'd find on more expensive pairs, there are many decent options you can use with your consoles or PC that won't blow a hole in your budget.
We’ve tested over 675 pairs of headphones, and below are our recommendations for the best console headsets under $50 and the best PC headset under $50. Also, make sure to check out our recommendations for the best gaming headsets, the best PS4 headsets, and the best Xbox One headsets.
The best gaming headset under $50 that we've tested is the Logitech G432 Gaming Headset. These headphones have a 1/8" TRRS cable, which allows you to connect them to most consoles via an analog connection. They also have a USB adapter that offers very low latency, so your audio and visuals stay in sync while gaming. They're decently well-built and have a comfortable and lightweight fit. Their boom microphone does a great job of ensuring that your voice sounds clear, even in moderately noisy environments, so your teammates will easily understand you during online games.
Their sound profile lacks bass, which can make action-packed games seem less immersive, but dialogue sounds present and clear. Their companion software offers a graphic EQ and presets to help you tweak their otherwise balanced sound to your liking. They're pretty prone to inconsistent audio delivery, so you need to adjust their fit and positioning to get the same sound every time you use them. The Logitech G335 are around the same price and have a more consistent sound delivery. You might prefer them because they're more comfortable and durable, but they reproduce even less low bass and don't have an app or sound customization features.
The Turtle Beach Recon 50X/Recon 50P is the best gaming headset under $25 we've tested. These headphones have a simple design and feel pretty plasticky, but they're a decent choice for gaming if you don't want to spend very much. Their boom mic makes your voice sound clear, full-bodied, and natural, and it does a good job separating it from background noise. Their wired design and simple in-line controls allow you to easily mute or unmute the mic and adjust the volume while you game.
Their sound profile delivers extra boom in the bass range, which can help bring out sound effects in action-packed games, although they're very prone to inconsistent audio delivery and lack sound customization features. They also have a reasonably comfortable and breathable fit, but their stiff padding can make them fatiguing to wear for hours at a time.
If you're looking for a headset for under $50 with a strong mic performance, look at the Astro A10. Although they're the previous generation of the Astro A10 Gen 2, these headphones are more affordable than their successor. Their boom mic offers great overall performance, so your voice sounds clear and detailed, even if you're gaming near an open window. They also have good build quality, a detachable audio cable you can easily replace if it gets damaged, and a decently comfortable fit.
These headphones deliver extra punch and boom to help bring out sound effects like footsteps. However, their overall sound profile is uneven, so dialogue and instruments seem pushed to the back of mixes. Unfortunately, they don't have an app and also lack features like an EQ or presets that you could use to customize their sound profile. If you don't mind buying a more expensive headset, the Gen 2 have a less bass-heavy sound profile and a more balanced mid-range, so elements like voices are more present in the mix. However, their mic performance isn't as strong, and they also don't have an app.
The best headset under $50 for gaming with a detachable mic we've tested is the SteelSeries Arctis 1. These wired headphones have a boom mic that you can remove when not in use, which you might prefer if you're looking for headphones that are suitable for gaming and more casual use, like listening to music at work. If you want to game with friends, the mic has excellent recording quality and makes your voice sound clear and bright. It does a good job of separating your voice from ambient sound, although the Astro A10's mic is more suitable for noisy areas.
Their warm sound profile adds a bit of extra boom to your game audio, which can help emphasize sound effects in action-packed games. While they have a lightweight and decently comfortable fit, they feel plasticky and not very durable. On the upside, their onboard controls are easy to use and well-suited for gaming, with a mic mute switch on one ear cup. These are worth considering if you're looking for the best Xbox headset under $50 or the best PS4 headset under $50 with a detachable mic.
It's not easy to find a sturdy-feeling headset at this price point. Our top pick has an okay build quality, but if you want more durable headphones, look at the HyperX Cloud 2/Cloud II. Their price varies depending on what color you buy, and they usually cost a little over $50 at the cheapest, but they have a better build quality than any headset we've tested below that price point. They feel more durable than the other picks listed here, with a flexible headband and sturdy-feeling joints. They work with most consoles via analog connection and come with a USΒ dongle that provides low latency with PCs and PlayStations. It gives you access to more features as well, like channel mixing and virtual surround sound.
Their detachable mic's recording quality isn't quite as good as the SteelSeries Arctis 1, but it still makes your voice sound clear and natural during multi-player games. As the most expensive headphones listed here, they offer the best mic noise handling performance, so noise from a busy street outside won't drown you out. They have a bass-rich sound profile that can help bring out sound effects in games. Instruments and voices lack some detail and articulation, and unlike our top pick, the headphones don't have an app or come with any sound customization features.
Nov 10, 2022: Replaced the Logitech G433 with the Logitech G432 because the G433 cost more than $50 currently. Added the HyperX Cloud 2/Cloud II as a 'Most Durable' option and added the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1 to Notable Mentions.
Jun 14, 2022: Made the Astro A10 the 'Most Durable Gaming Headset Under $50'. Removed the RUNMUS RGB K1 Gaming Headset from Notable Mentions and added the HyperX Cloud Stinger.
Apr 15, 2022: Replaced the Logitech G432 Gaming Headset with Logitech G433 Gaming Headset because the G433 are currently on sale for about $50. Removed the Corsair HS60 PRO SURROUND since their price has increased.
Feb 15, 2022: Verified that picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are available.
Dec 09, 2021: Changed the name of the category for the Turtle Beach Recon 50X/Recon 50P from 'Best Cheap Gaming Headset' to 'Best Gaming Headset Under $25' to be more consistent with price categories in other recommendations for gaming headphones.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best gaming headphones under $50 for most people to buy. 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's the list of all our reviews for headphones under $50, sorted by their gaming performance. 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 don't care about having a microphone or wireless features.