Although most gaming headsets are not as expensive for their price to performance ratio, especially when compared to some more casual everyday wireless headphones, it's still quite difficult to find a good budget headset that you can use with your consoles or PC and that won't blow a hole in your budget. While going for the cheaper gaming headset does mean you will lose features like a wireless design or customization options, there are still some good choices that are well worth their asking price and make a great dedicated gaming option if you already have a pair of headphones that you use casually outdoors.
We've tested more than the 42 headphones under $50 and below are our recommendations for the best ones to get in 2018 for gaming. If you do want a bit more options, check out our full gaming article here.
The best gaming headset under $50 that we've tested so far are the HyperX Cloud Stinger. They have a budget look and feel but deliver a good wired gaming experience that works well for consoles and PC. They have a comfortable over-ear fit, a well-balanced sound that delivers a lot of bass and they sound good enough for casual and critical-listening. They also have an excellent boom mic that filters a lot of noise and reproduces your voice accurately, which is great for in-game chats.
Unfortunately, unlike some of the more premium gaming headset, the mic on the Stingers is not detachable and does not retract into the ear cups to make them a bit more versatile for outdoor use. They also do not have any control for chat mixing so you will have to do that directly on your source. On the upside, they have an easy to use volume dial and the mic has a mute switch. They also have audio and mic support when connected to your console controllers via their 1/8" TRRS.
Overall, the HyperX Stingers are not as good as the more high-end HyperX models for outdoors use but for strictly gaming, they are the best option you can get under $50.
If you prefer a bit more bass to get your heart pumping during more intense gaming sessions, then consider the Cougar Immersa. They are considerably bulkier than the HyperX Cloud Stinger which some may find a bit too cumbersome. They also have a slightly less durable design overall even if they do feel a bit more premium than the Stingers.
On the upside, their boom mic is retractable which does make them a bit more suitable to use as casual headphones, although their size and bright color scheme may not be the best option for outdoor use. They also have heavily padded earcups that some may find a bit more comfortable than the Stingers, although they do end up clamping your head a bit more which may get fatiguing during longer listening sessions. Overall though, the simple design of the Cougar Immersa, their above average sound quality with a deep and powerful bass and their great mic that works with consoles and PCs make them a good and affordable choice for gaming.
If you want a budget gaming headset that looks and feels premium, look no further than the Astro A10. They do not have a detachable or retractable mic so, like the HyperX Cloud Stinger, they won't be the best headset to use outdoors. They're also slightly tight on some head so they won't be the most comfortable gaming headphones to use for extended listening sessions. They're also typically a bit pricier than $50, however they are available new, from third-party sellers, just below $50.
They are the best-built gaming headphones that we've tested in this price range. Like most of the Astro headphones, they have a well made and premium looking design with a sturdy headband, dense ear cups that are coated with a breathable microfibre fabric. They also have an above average sound that caters well to most genres and games although unlike the more premium models you can customize their sound via the Astro command Center.
On the upside, they have a wired design that's compatible with both the Xbox and the PS4 controllers and a great mic that will reproduce your voice clearly and filters a lot of ambient noise, which is great for multiplayer games like Fortnite, PUBG, and Call Of Duty.
If you mostly game on PC and want a budget headset that still has a few customization options you can set for different games, then get the Logitech G430. They do not have the best build quality and feel cheap especially when compared to a headset like the Astro A10. They also do not have the mic performance of the HyperX Cloud Stinger and it's not detachable or retractable like the Cougar Immersa. On the upside, they G430 more than make up for it with a well-balanced sound that's suitable for gaming and listening to music.
They also come with a USB headset dongle that makes them compatible with the Logitech gaming software and gives them a few customization options like presets that are not available for any headset in this price range. Unfortunately, you may need a Y-splitter (not included in the box) for them to work with your consoles.
The Logitech G430 are a great choice for PC gamers and a slightly less viable option for consoles if you do not have the right accessories. If you have a flexible budget, then get the more versatile G433 instead; however, for the price, the G430 deliver a solid gaming experience.
If you mostly game on consoles and are looking for an affordable gaming option then consider the Turtle Beach Recon 50X. The Logitech G430 are a better headset overall and could also be a viable option for consoles if you get a Y-splitter for the headset cable, but the Recon 50X have a simple 1/8"TRRS audio cable that will work with your console controllers, making them a somewhat decent budget gaming alternative. Unfortunately, they do not have the best build quality and feel like the cheapest and most fragile headphones on this list. They're also not very comfortable with earcups that do not fit very well around all ears. On the upside, they have a removable boom mic so you can use them as casual headphones outdoors, and they their mic is surprisingly great for their budget price tag.
Overall if you have the budget, get one of the better headsets on this list like the HyperX Cloud Stinger, the Astro A10 or the Logitech G430. But if you want a budget headset for gaming on consoles with a great mic, then the Recon 50X can be a suitable option.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best gaming headphones under $50 to buy for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper headphone wins over a pricier one 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.