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 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.
Below are our recommendations for the best gaming headsets under $50 to get in 2019 for gaming. If you do want a bit more options, check out our full gaming article here and our recommendations for the best PS4 headsets.
The best gaming headset under $50 that we’ve tested so far is the HyperX Cloud Stinger. They’re decently padded and relatively lightweight gaming headphones that still feel comfortable after hours of gameplay. They don’t have the same premium feel as the HyperX Cloud II, but for their price, they are pleasantly well-made and sound good enough to satisfy most listeners. They also have an excellent microphone and use a reliable wired connection that works with the PS4, Xbox One as well as PCs.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger have good sound that will enhance your gaming experience. They have an overall well-balanced sound, with great, immersive bass, a decent mid-range, and good treble. These headphones also have excellent imaging, meaning they do a remarkable job at reproducing audio localization as it was intended. You’ll be able to hear and locate the footsteps of your allies and attacks of your enemies with great precision. The Stingers also have a superb microphone that delivers awesome recording quality and remarkable noise handling.
Like other closed-back headphones that create a good seal around your ears, they trap quite a bit of heat since they don’t have more plush, breathable ear cups like the Astro A10. They also have mediocre isolation in general, but their isolation is in fact significantly better than that of other budget gaming headsets we’ve reviewed. The HyperX Cloud Stinger is not only a decent gaming headset but also good critical listening option as well. For the price, they provide a lot of value and budget-conscious gamers, looking for good sound and an even better microphone in a comfortable and sturdy design, are sure to love them.
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 can stretch your budget a little bit and are looking for the best build quality available in a budget gaming headset, then get the Astro A10. They are slightly more than $50 and do not sound quite as good or as balanced as the HyperX Cloud Stinger. On the other hand, the A10 feel better built, more durable, and have comfortable, well-padded, microfiber coated ear cups. They also come with a nice rubberized and detachable audio cable.
The Astro A10 have a great gamer-centric design with fairly spacious ear cups and a long boom mic. The mic is truly excellent, capable of transmitting rich, detailed audio even in very noisy conditions. The A10 deliver deep, punchy bass and a relatively well-balanced treble range. The mid-range can make instruments and vocals sound a little honky, which makes these headphones better suited for instrumental video game tracks than vocal-centric music.
They may not sound as good as some of our other top budget picks, but they still have an above-average sound that will be fine for most gamers. Console gamers will appreciate their cool PS4 or Xbox complimentary color schemes and good build quality. Even though they’re a bit more than $50, they’re a fine choice for those who appreciate a sturdy headset with a great mic.
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 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 headsets 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.