Although most headsets for gamers tend to be fairly reasonably priced, it can still be quite difficult to know which are among the best gaming headphones under $50. While cheaper options tend to lack wireless compatibility or more customization options, there are still some good choices that are well worth their asking price. Whether you’re looking for gaming headphones that you can also use casually or a dedicated gaming headset with the best microphone around, 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 400 headphones and below are our recommendations for the best gaming headsets under $50 to get in 2020 for gaming. See also our recommendations for the best gaming headsets for PC, the best wireless gaming headsets, the best gaming headsets under $100, the best PS4 headsets, and the best Xbox One headsets.
The best PC gaming headset under $50 we've tested so far is the Logitech G432. These easy-to-use headphones are compatible with Logitech’s great G HUB software for access to a whole bunch of customization options. The headphones sound good, their mic is excellent, and they can be used on virtually any platform thanks to their provided accessories.
These gaming headphones have a well-balanced sound when you first turn them on, which is great if you don’t have ready access to a PC right away. Once you do, though, you’ll want to take advantage of the Logitech G HUB since it provides you with a 10-band EQ, volume, mic, and sidetone levels as well as surround sound customization options.
On the downside, these headphones feel rather cheaply made, and their gamer-centric design won't be for everyone. Their mic also isn't detachable, so they're not ideal if you're looking for something you can use on-the-go too. That said, the Logitech's G HUB is one of the best gaming apps for headphones we've seen, so they provide great value if you're after customizable budget headphones.
The best gaming headset under $50 that's versatile enough for casual use we’ve tested so far is the Corsair HS60. These gaming headphones are very well-built and are comfortable enough to wear for long gaming sessions. They're compatible with virtually all consoles and come with a USB adapter for PC as well. Note that the regular edition is slowly being discontinued - while we haven't reviewed it, the newer PRO V2 model should perform similarly and is even cheaper.
These headphones have a decent boom microphone that’s detachable, which is great if you want to use them more casually from time-to-time. They have a balanced sound profile that’s suitable not only for video game soundtracks and effects, but also music, podcasts, and audiobooks. You can customize the way they sound via the iCUE software too if you plug them into a PC with their USB adapter.
Unfortunately, their integrated audio cable doesn’t have an in-line remote and it can’t be swapped out for one that does, so you can't use them to take calls on-the-go. The Logitech G433 Gaming Headset come with two detachable cables, one of which has an in-line mic, but they're not as widely available under $50. All things considered, the Corsair is the best PS4 headset under $50 we've reviewed and is a very good choice for Xbox One and PC gamers.
The best gaming headphones under $50 for mic quality we've tested so far are the HyperX Cloud Stinger. They have one of the best boom microphones we’ve tested so far and provide great value for console gamers who play a lot of online multiplayer games and are looking for the best mic quality you can get at this price point.
They have an outstanding microphone that delivers impressive recording quality and remarkable noise handling, so your teammates can hear you clearly even in noisier environments, like a gaming event. They sound pretty well-balanced, with a bit of extra punch and detail to make dynamic explosions and gunfire sounds in your favorite games pop.
While these headphones have a comfortable, lightweight design, they lack the more premium feel of other HyperX headphones that are just a bit more expensive, like the HyperX Cloud 2/Cloud II. That said, the Stinger is still the best Xbox One headset under $50 we've seen so far and provides great value overall.
If you want a gaming headset with a good mic that's also removable, go for the SteelSeries Arctis 1. They aren't quite as comfortable as the HyperX Cloud Stinger and they don't feel as well-built, but their microphone is removable so you can use them as day-to-day headphones when you aren't gaming. While their sound reproduction is good overall, it varies significantly across users, so different people may notice very distinct sound profiles. Their microphone performs as well as the HyperX, but unfortunately they have a cheap, plasticky build and shallow ear cups which some people may find fatiguing after a while.
If you care more about comfort and durability, go with the HyperX, but if you like the versatility that having a detachable mic provides, get the SteelSeries, one of the best Xbox One headsets under $50.
If you spent all your money on an excellent gaming TV or monitor but still want a gaming headset with an impressive microphone, get the Turtle Beach Recon 50X. They're less comfortable than the HyperX Cloud Stinger and feel significantly cheaper built, but they still have great microphone performance and are usually quite a bit cheaper. Their sound reproduction is decent, though it tends to be a little bass-heavy. Unfortunately, like the SteelSeries Arctis 1, they seem to be quite inconsistent, with significantly uneven bass response among different users. They have a great microphone which sounds full and detailed and does a good job at separating speech from background noise, but their low price point comes across in their build quality, which feels quite cheap and plasticky.
If you're a little rough on your headphones and want something that feels better built, go for the HyperX, but if you want something cheaper that still has a great microphone, go with the Turtle Beach, one of the best PC headsets under $50.
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 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.
03/05/2020: Verification for accuracy, only small updates to the text.