While many people assume that all gaming accessories are expensive, you can get a surprisingly decent pair of gaming headphones for under $50. Many headphones at 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 some 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 590 pairs of headphones, and below are our recommendations for the best gaming headsets 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. These wired gaming headphones are compatible with G HUB software, which allows you to customize their sound profile using its graphic EQ or presets. You can also access mic controls, sidetone levels, and virtual surround sound features.
Out-of-the-box, they have a well-balanced default sound profile, although they lack a bit of low-bass. That said, their mid-range is very flat and neutral, which ensures that vocals and lead instruments are accurately reproduced. Their boom mic does an excellent job of recording your voice and has amazing noise handling, so even if you're talking in a loud environment, those on the other end of the line hear you. These headphones are comfortable to use for long periods, thanks to their lightweight design and well-padded ear cups. They also come with a 1/8" TRRS cable that can plug into most controllers and a USB-A dongle, which is PC and PS4 compatible.
However, users with large heads may find these headphones fit a bit tight. Even though they have a metal frame to reinforce their headband, they're still very plasticky, and their joints don't feel very solid. Like most gaming headphones on this list, they also lack more robust gaming controls and only offer volume control and mic mute. That said, if you like to tweak your headphones to your liking, these headphones are a suitable choice.
If you're looking for headphones that feel more sturdy and durable, consider the HyperX Cloud Stinger. While they're much more simple in design than the Logitech G432 Gaming Headset, the HyperX have a more robust build quality. They also have a comfortable fit with spacious ear cups, so you shouldn't feel too much fatigue if you're wearing them during long gaming marathons. Thanks to their bass-heavy sound profile, your gameplay has extra rumble, thump, and boom to bring out sound effects. If you like to chat with friends or teammates while you game, their boom mic also does a great job of recording your voice, and you should be heard clearly, even if you're speaking in a noisy environment.
If you want to customize your gaming headphones' audio to your liking, try the Logitech. However, if you don't mind their no-frills design, the HyperX are a better choice if you prioritize build quality.
The SteelSeries Arctis 1 is the best gaming headset under $50 with a detachable mic that we've tested. If you're looking for headphones that can transition from gaming to casual use, the Arctis 1 have a sleek, minimalist design with a detachable boom mic, so you use them outdoors without too much of an issue. They also have a decently lightweight and comfortable fit.
They have a warm and boomy sound profile that can help bring out the intensity of sound effects in your gameplay. Their boom mic delivers an excellent overall performance, so your voice sounds full-bodied and bright. The mic also does an amazing job of separating your voice from ambient noise around you, so you're understood clearly, even in a loud environment.
Unfortunately, their plastic build doesn't feel very sturdy or durable. Like many gaming headphones, they're prone to inconsistent bass and treble delivery and are sensitive to their fit, seal, and positioning on your head. That said, even though they have a simple design, these no-frills headphones deliver a decent wired gaming experience that should please most users.
If you like to customize your headphones to better suit your gameplay, check out the Corsair HS60 PRO SURROUND. While their default sound profile is a lot more bass-heavy than the SteelSeries Arctis 1, the Corsair have companion software, which allows you to adjust their sound using its graphic EQ and presets. You can also use the software to access their 7.1 virtual surround feature. Overall, these headphones have a comfortable fit and very well-built, thanks to their well-padded ear cups and sturdy frame. While their detachable boom mic does an okay job of recording your voice, it does a better job of separating speech from moderate noise around you. However, sometimes the price point of these headphones can rise above the $50 mark.
If you're looking for more neutral-sounding gaming headphones out of the box, try the SteelSeries. However, if you're looking for more premium-feeling headphones that you can customize to your liking, take a look at the Corsair instead.
The best cheap gaming headset that we've tested is the Turtle Beach Recon 50X/Recon 50P. Although they have a simple design, their boom microphone does an excellent job of recording your voice so you sound clear, full-bodied, and natural. It also offers a good noise handling performance, so your teammates shouldn't have a problem hearing you, even if you're talking in moderately noisy environments.
These headphones have a boomy sound profile that can help emphasize sound effects in your gameplay. While they lack more robust controls, their in-line controls allow you to quickly adjust the volume and mute their mic. They also have a fairly comfortable and lightweight fit, although some users may find them fatiguing to wear for long gaming marathons.
Unfortunately, they have a cheap and plasticky build, which is to be expected at their price point. Their audio cable isn't detachable, so you need to purchase a new pair of headphones if it gets damaged, and they're prone to inconsistencies in their audio delivery. That said, if you're looking for more affordable gaming headphones, they're a suitable choice.
Jun 17, 2021: Checked the text for accuracy and product availability. There hasn't been a change in our recommendations.
Apr 20, 2021: Restructured the order of the picks to better reflect the needs of our users. No pick has been removed.
Feb 19, 2021: Removed the Corsair HS50 and the Cougar Immersa from Notable Mentions as they aren't widely available. Minor changes to the text for accuracy; no changes in product picks after verifying their availability.
Dec 21, 2020: Slight changes to the text for accuracy and clarity; no change in main product recommendations.
Oct 28, 2020: Updated text for clarity and accuracy; no changes in product picks.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best gaming headsets 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 is 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