Although most gaming headsets tend to have a reasonable price-to-performance ratio, especially when compared to more casual headphones, it can still be quite difficult to find a good budget headset. While cheaper gaming headsets generally have less features like wireless compatibility or 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 nearly 400 headphones and below are our recommendations for the best gaming headphones under $50 to get in 2019 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 gaming headset under $50 that we’ve tested is the Corsair HS60. These gaming headphones are very well-built and are comfortable enough to wear for long gaming sessions. They have a regular 1/8” TRRS audio jack for compatibility with virtually all consoles but also come with a USB adapter for PC. They provide great value for their price, especially if you’re looking for headphones you can use casually as well.
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 sound very good and have a balanced default audio profile that’s suitable not only for video game soundtracks and effects, but also music, podcasts, and audiobooks. With the USB adapter, you can also customize the way they sound via the iCUE software.
Unfortunately, their integrated audio cable doesn’t have an in-line remote and it can’t be swapped out for one that does, so if you use these headphones on-the-go, you’ll need to take calls directly on your smartphone. Their price also seems to fluctuate and they aren't always available for under $50, so keep your eye open for a sale. The Logitech G433 Gaming Headset provide extra value since they come with two detachable cables, one of which has an in-line mic, though they don’t feel as well-built as the Corsair and are generally a bit more expensive. Overall, the Corsair is a decent gaming headset that's easy to recommend.
If you’re a PC gamer on a budget looking for a dedicated headset with customization options you can set for different games, then get the Logitech G432. This is a comfortable, easy-to-use gaming headset that’s 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 any platform thanks to their provided accessories.
These gaming headphones have a well-balanced sound out-of-the-box, 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. The headset has a standard 1/8” TRRS audio cable but comes with a Y-splitter as well as a USB adapter, which allows you to access the software.
They feel considerably less durable than the Corsair HS60, but they provide better value for those who are after a more customizable experience in the budget range.
If you play a lot of online multiplayer games and are looking for the best mic quality you can get, go for the HyperX Cloud Stinger. They have one of the best boom microphones we’ve tested so far and provide great value for their price. They have decently padded ear cups and a relatively lightweight design, so they’re comfortable enough to wear for hours. They don’t have the same premium feel as the other HyperX headphones like the HyperX Cloud II, but for their price, they're pleasantly well-made with a well-balanced sound profile that should satisfy most listeners.
They have an outstanding microphone that delivers impressive recording quality and remarkable noise handling. Their sound imaging is excellent and you should be able to hear and locate the footsteps of your allies and attacks of your enemies with great precision.
Unfortunately, these headphones don’t come with a Y-splitter and aren’t customizable like the Logitech G432 Gaming Headset. You also can’t detach their boom microphone, which makes them less versatile for casual use. That said, the HyperX still provide a lot of value, and budget-conscious gamers looking for good sound reproduction and an even better microphone in a comfortable and sturdy design are sure to love them.
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.
11/1/2019: Only minor updates to the text and verification for accuracy; no changes in product picks.