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The 5 best gaming headsets under $100

As technology advances, more and more video games rely on binaural audio and player communication for immersive gameplay. For those reasons, a quality headset can make or break your gaming experience — but that doesn't necessarily mean you have to drop $300 to find a great pair. The best gaming headsets under $100 have tons of advanced features to keep you immersed and in the loop; you just need to know what to look for.

Whether you're headset-shopping for your PC, PS4, Xbox, or Switch, the best options have four essential qualities in common: They produce clear, high-quality sound, they have a reliable microphone, they keep game sounds in and external sounds out, and they're still comfortable after a few hours of wear. Extra perks include wireless designs, active sound-canceling capabilities, and futuristic aesthetics.

First, consider the sound. Dynamic drivers made from neodymium magnets are common in affordable (but quality) gaming headsets because they create low-end frequencies for immersive gameplay. Most modern headsets will offer surround-sound capabilities (also known as dual-speaker) — but be sure to double-check for this feature, especially if you play games that rely on directional sound cues. A 1.0-mono headset will put you at a huge disadvantage, since you won't be able to hear the direction from which an enemy is approaching — while advanced 7.1 stereo has seven speakers and a subwoofer, which improve spacial awareness and enhance depth. A 5.1-stereo set is somewhere in between, and is generally considered good enough for newer games.

Next, pay close attention to the materials, as this will determine both durability and comfort levels. Unfortunately, most affordable headsets will utilize plastic frames; they can be surprisingly durable, but aren't always the best in terms of comfort. Aluminum-frame headsets will be much lighter and less constrictive, but they'll also be pricier — though it's not impossible to find one under the $100 mark. The ear cushions should be made of foam or another shock-absorbing material that not only provides ample comfort, but also creates a seal that boosts isolation (and therefore blocks outside sounds).

Finally, the last major factor is compatibility. Most modern headsets offer multi-platform abilities, meaning that they can be used for various consoles. This is great news for those who game on all different platforms. That said, most come with standard headphone jacks and may require an adapter; pay close attention to whether or not the adapter for your preferred console is included, or if it'll need to be purchased separately. (Wireless headsets often have limited cross-compatibility, and should therefore be purchased for your primary platform.)

1. The Overall Best Headset For Most Gamers

As a number-one best seller with over 4,000 reviews and a 4.4-star rating, the RUNMUS gaming headset is difficult to ignore; its reasonable price tag makes it nearly impossible.

It's compatible with virtually all major consoles, features high-end noise cancellation to filter out ambient noise, and has a filtering switch-operated mic that swivels and bends. Even though the frame is plastic, the ergonomic design, adjustable headband, 1-pound weight, and soft-protein ear pads make it shockingly comfortable. Finally, the dual-side LEDs and colorful accents make for a sleek, futuristic appearance, though they are a tad on the bulky side.

Sound: 7.1 surround sound

Driver: 50 millimeter neodymium

Plug-In: 3.5 millimeter audio jack

Available colors: red and blue

Reviewers say: "I'm a QA game tester," says one reviewer. "I've been using these every day, and I'm incredibly happy with the quality of them, especially for the price. The sound quality for the headphones is exceptional, as is the sound canceling outside of the headset (I'm often catching myself having to take off my headset when I realize that co-workers are talking to me, because I can barely hear them while wearing these, even with the sound off). The mic also works well, and I have no complaints whatsoever."

2. The Best Budget Gaming Headset

If you're shopping in the under-$30 range, you likely won't find a better pair than this: The Jeecoo stereo gaming headset features neodymium magnet drivers for a rich, wide-frequency of sound. It also offers a high-quality, noise-cancelling microphone that reviewers are pretty impressed with. Finally, the leatherette-covered memory-foam band and over-ear design offer comfort that's far longer-lasting than other affordable sets. They're pretty standard in terms of appearance, but the colorful LED strip gives them a touch of flair.

Sound: 5.1 surround sound

Driver: 50 millimeter neodymium

Plug-In: 3.5 millimeter audio jack

Available colors: black

Reviewers say: "An impressive underdog," one buyer says. "They ended up exceeding every expectation I put up even though they weren’t much ... If you need a pair of budget gaming headphones then these compete and could be better than the flagship headphones at this price.

3. The Best For Comfort And Noise-Canceling

If you're willing to spend a bit more for an incredible headset, the HyperX Cloud II can't be beat in terms of comfort and noise-canceling abilities. First, its aluminum frame is much lighter and more comfortable than plastic. Next, the padded, adjustable band is significantly less bulky than other options. Finally, the memory-foam earpads come with two covers so you can personalize your texture and sound profile: one leatherette pair, and one velour pair.

This headset also comes with an inline sound card for active noise-cancelling abilities, and the earpads create superior seals to keep external noises out. The detachable microphone offers noise-cancellation for reduced background noise, too, but can be unplugged so you can use the set as a standard pair of headphones. Last but absolutely not least, you get various adapters for compatibility across the board: a standard audio jack, a USB plug, and even an airplane jack for listening during travel.

Sound: 7.1 surround sound

Driver: 53 millimeter neodymium

Plug-In: 3.5 millimeter audio jack and a USB 7.1 connectivity adapter

Available colors: gunmetal and red

Reviewers say: "The most comfortable headset I ever tried ... They don't squeeze your head at all and feel like a dream even after hours and hours." Another writes, "The noise cancellation on these are really great! I've had people totally sneak up on me without me hearing them or be talking to me and I can't actually figure out what they are saying unless I take the headset off."

4. The Best Wireless Headset For PC

As previously discussed, wireless headsets often don't offer the same cross-compatibility, so you'll have to shop for your primary console. If you're a PC gamer, the CORSAIR Void PRO is one of the best wireless headsets under $100; it's compatible with Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7, and is also Discord-certified.

This set has a range of 40 feet and offers optimal comfort with microfiber mesh fabric, memory foam earpads, and a padded band. When fully charged, this headset can last you up to 16 hours, and thanks to its finely-tuned drivers and adaptive microphone, both the input and the output are pretty impressive.

Sound: 7.1 surround sound

Driver: 50 millimeter neodymium

Plug-In: wireless for PC

Available colors: white, black

Reviewers say: "I've gone through a few different headsets in my time of PC Gaming. They didn't fit comfortably. The sound quality wasn't what I expected. A lack of durability made them prematurely unusable ... All in all, I love this headset, and I 100% recommend it to anyone in the market for something of high quality." Another writes, "At this price point, they are unsurpassed for a wireless headset."

5. The Best Wireless Headset For Xbox One Or PS4

Turtle Beach is widely considered one of the best original gaming headset brands, and their Stealth 600 wireless headset offers surprisingly great sound quality for the price. They make two different versions — one for the PS4 (which also works alongside the Nintendo Switch, but only when it's docked), and one for the Xbox One (which is also compatible with Windows 10, though it may require an adapter). Note that the sound quality may differ depending on the capabilities of your console.

This headset is glasses-friendly thanks to its mesh-wrapped ear cushion design, which relieves pressure on the temples. It also has a highly sensitive flip-up microphone and an exclusive superhuman sound setting, which allows you to hear even the smallest noises. Finally, it offers a 15-hour battery life and a range of roughly 25 feet.

Sound: 7.1 surround sound emulation for Xbox/USB audio in stereo format for PS4

Driver: 50 millimeter neodymium

Plug-In: wireless for Xbox One/PS4

Available colors: black/blue or white/blue for the PS4; black/green or white/green for the Xbox One

Reviewers say: "The super human hearing is just amazing! Great quality too. I have had cheaper turtle beach sets. This is the best quality feeling and sounding set I’ve had to date. And the wireless reaches father than even needed."

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