While many people assume that all gaming accessories are expensive, you can get a surprisingly decent pair of gaming headphones for under $50. 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 430 pairs of headphones and below are our recommendations for the best gaming headsets under $50 to get in 2020. 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 versatile enough for casual use that we’ve tested so far is the Corsair HS60. These wired gaming headphones are comfortable and feel very well-built, thanks to their sturdy metal build with a well-padded headband and ear cups. They'll work with either PS4 or Xbox One by plugging them directly into the controller, and they come with a USB adapter for PC as well. It's worth noting that we tested the regular version that's slowly being discontinued, and while we'd expect the cheaper PRO V2 model to perform similarly or better, we haven't reviewed it yet.
They have a detachable boom microphone, so they can double as your day-to-day headphones as well, which is great. Their sound profile is fairly well-balanced, with a bit of extra bass that's good for gaming and will likely please fans of EDM or hip-hop, though they should be balanced enough for most other genres. However, like with many bulky gaming headphones, their sound reproduction isn't the most consistent, so people with glasses or long hair may experience their bass response differently.
Unfortunately, while the microphone quality of these headphones is decent, your voice will sound a bit thin and bright. Their cable also doesn't have an in-line microphone and can't be swapped out for one that does, meaning if you use them out and about without their boom mic, you won't be able to take phone calls on them. Overall, they're a very good choice for using with any console and are the best PS4 headset under $50.
The best gaming headset under $50 for customization that we've tested to date is the Logitech G432. These wired gaming headphones are comfortable thanks to their lightweight design, with large and spacious ear cups coated in a well-padded pleather material. They work with both Xbox One and PS4 by plugging into the controller and also come with a USB dongle to use them on your PC.
These headphones are compatible with Logitech's G HUB software which works very well and gives you access to a fair amount of customization options. You can fine-tune their sound profile through a graphic EQ or presets, which is good as they lack a bit of bass and treble by default. Their microphone is excellent, and your voice will sound full, detailed, natural, and easy to understand, even in very loud environments.
Unfortunately, these headphones have a very bulky and gamer-centric design that some people may not love and their large boom microphone can't be removed, so they may not be the best choice to take out of the house. They also don't feel the most durable and premium, as they look and feel very plasticky. Overall, these gaming headphones perform surprisingly well for the price and give you a ton of customization options.
The best gaming headset under $50 for mic quality we've tested so far is the HyperX Cloud Stinger. These wired gaming headphones are comfortable thanks to their lightweight design and spacious, well-padded ear cups. They look and feel decently well-made, though their plastic frame feels a bit cheap. These headphones are compatible with both Xbox One and PS4 by plugging them into the controller, though unfortunately, they don't come with a USB dongle, so you may need to purchase one separately for certain PC gaming setups.
Their sound profile is somewhat excited, with a fair amount of extra bass that'll really bring out the explosions and gunshots in your gaming without being overpowering. However, like with many bulky gaming headsets, they aren't the most consistent between users, so you may experience their bass differently, especially if you wear glasses. Their boom microphone is excellent, and your voice will sound clear, detailed, and easy to hear even in very loud environments, but sadly, it isn't detachable.
Unfortunately, these headphones 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 has a surprisingly great microphone considering the price point.
If you want gaming headphones with a good microphone that can be detached, get the SteelSeries Arctis 1. These wired gaming headphones aren't as comfortable as the HyperX Cloud Stinger and feel quite a bit cheaper overall, but their excellent boom microphone is detachable, making them better for more casual use as well. Their sound profile is slightly better-balanced than the HyperX, though some may find they lack a bit of detail and presence. They can be used with both Xbox One and PS4, but unfortunately don't have an in-line microphone or swappable cable, so you can't use them for phone calls when you detach the boom mic.
If you want gaming headphones that feel better-built and more comfortable with a great microphone, get the HyperX, but if you want something with a detachable microphone so you can use them on your daily commute as well, go for the SteelSeries.
If you spent all your money on an excellent gaming TV or monitor but still want a pair of gaming headphones with an impressive microphone, get the Turtle Beach Recon 50X. They're quite a bit less comfortable than the HyperX Cloud Stinger and look and feel much cheaper-built, but still have a great microphone and can often be found for quite a bit cheaper. Their sound profile is a bit cluttered and muddy, though it's very inconsistent among users, so different people will likely experience their bass response very differently. Their microphone's recording quality is surprisingly excellent considering their low price and actually performs slightly better than any other microphones on this list, providing detailed, natural, and full-bodied speech. Unfortunately, their build quality is bad and they look and feel very cheap and plasticky, though they should be fine if you only use them at home with your gaming setup.
Overall, if you don't mind spending a few bucks more and want a more comfortable and durable pair of gaming headphones with a great microphone, get the HyperX, but if you want something even cheaper that still has an excellent mic, go for the Turtle Beach.
05/04/2020: 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 all 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