Every gamer craves for the best headset that provides everything from godsend audio quality, most comfortable earpads that are better than your pillow in bed, and a clear microphone that doesn’t jitter.
However, to afford such kind of headset, you will need to spend a lot of money as much as $299 or even more.
But what if you only have a budget of less than $100 and still want to have a top-quality headset?
Worry no more as we will dive deep into good cheap gaming headsets.
Now let’s go over to the big question:
What makes a good gaming headset while on a budget?
This may be a no-brainer but of course, top quality audio is what you need.
So how “good” should good audio quality should be?
To make things simple without getting too technical, the most important traits of a wonderful audio quality are clarity and bass.
Clarity in the sound department is important as you want to hear the game fully like you’re witnessing a choir singing in a theater. The last thing we want is to hear muffled audio while your favorite Halo theme song is playing on the main menu.
Clearer audio makes for better immersion into the game as you get to hear everything from the humming orchestra while exploring a forest, travelers chatting together from a distance, the birds chirping on the trees, and hearing every footstep your character makes.
Bass is also what makes good sound quality. Yes, some people like their sounds with more bass while some want it less; A headset that delivers the right amount of bass is good enough—not too much, not too less.
Without bass, there is a good chance that there will be bad “tearing” quality when something loud comes up such as explosions or the loud clanging of swords contacting each other. It’s very unpleasant to the ears unless the headset has good enough bass support.
Another important trait that you must look forward to is the overall comfort of the headset.
Everything from the softness of the earpads to the adjustable headgear should be taken into account.
If the earpads aren’t comfortable enough, you will begin to feel an agitation after hours or even minutes of prolonged headset usage.
Sweat is also part of the standards for comfort. The longer you use the headset in one seating, the more sweat you build up.
The last thing you want is sweat dripping off your headphones after you take it off or sweat soaking up within the earpads and the speakers themselves, causing a rupture in the audio.
If the earpad material isn’t high-grade quality, the coating itself will deteriorate as time goes by.
A headset with good earpads should be able to absorb the sweat without feeling soaked.
Luckily, this article is full of headsets that don’t feel cheap when it comes to comfort, be it earpad comfort or sweat build-up.
Let’s face it, a lot of headphones suck when it comes to mic quality unless you’re buying something that is beyond your budget. The last thing you want is a headset with a microphone that sounds like you were talking in the sewers.
Good microphone quality is equal to good communication, especially in the competitive gaming department.
Don’t you just hate when you’re saying something important to your teammates only to have them reply with, “Huh? I didn’t get what you said.” It blows, right?
Fortunately, the budget headsets we have here are all above standard when it comes to mic quality.
Should I get wired or wireless?
The answer to whether or not you want something traditionally wired or wireless is all up to you. Just take note of the following:
Headphones attached with wires are always connected with either 3.5 mm jack or USB or even both by default. This is your usual no-fuss tried and tested type of headsets which you can never go wrong with.
The only flaws here are that they get tangled easily if you aren’t careful and they only have a limited range from the input.
Nonetheless, this is generally the preferred type of headset for PC players and console gamers
Some people get easily stressed out by wires and to deal with that, wireless headphones exist. A wireless headset looks very minimalistic as an audio apparatus and is always nice to look at.
Just expect wireless headsets to be on the range of $80 to $99 for good sound quality and smooth audio without lag.
There are also downsides to using wireless headphones, however.
One of the biggest cons is that it is battery-charged. If you don’t charge your headset regularly, it’s going to break your momentum during a heated game when it dies down in the middle of a fight.
Another is that since this is signal-based, any obstructions will cause the audio to lag. You need to have a clear pathway for your audio source to your wireless headset.
Wireless gaming headsets are recommended for console and PC gamers who want no stress at all on wires.
Later on in the article, we’ll be showing the best wireless gaming headset under 100 for each platform: PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Presenting the best gaming headphones under 100
Without further ado, let’s get the show on the road and ogle at our top picks for great gaming headsets.
They all sound and feel so good that you wouldn’t want to have a higher-end headset.
Take note that these headsets are in no particular order.
Who says you need lots of money just to have a top-quality headset when you can get one that’s below $100?
Introducing the SteelSeries Arctis 5. SteelSeries has always been known for well-made headphones but this has to be the best one yet.
Not only does it look professional, it sounds and feels professional too.
Here are its core features that make it the best in the market right now:
- 7.1 Surround Sound RGB technology
- Arctis implemented their award-winning audio technology in the Arctis 5, giving you the clearest and most detailed sound in any game, all under a price of less than $100
- Features an exclusive next-gen DTS Headphone:X v2.0 surround sound that will make you feel like you’re really part of the game
- The mic is so good for gaming, it got certified by Discord as the official best mic in gaming thanks to its ClearCast bidirectional technology
- Illuminated earcups made with prism RGB technology
- Adjustable volume control that helps you configure the ratio between in-game and chat volumes
- Headgear is supported with performance fabric AirWeave cushions that feel better than pillows
- Supported by a ski goggle suspension headband so you can wear it for very long hours
The headphones are so good, it has been awarded by known critics such as Red Dot Product Design, Tom’s Guide, and PC Magazine Editors’ Choice.
SteelSeries has proven you don’t need to spend more than $100 to have the best gaming headset.
Whether you play on PC, console, or even mobile, do not hesitate to get this.
2. Sennheiser GSP 302 Closed Back Gaming Headset—A wonderful all-purpose wired gaming headset for any platform
Sennheiser not only proves everyone that they don’t just make one of the best audio peripherals for the general audience but they can make a bombastic gaming headset for its niche demographic too.
Meet the Sennheiser GSP 302: a gaming headset that is easy to use and easy to the ears.
Whether you’re playing on the PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch or mobile, audio quality stays the same with pitch-perfect sounds and beefy bass.
Compared to the others in this list, this is one of the most affordable headphones on the list that packs a huge punch with competent sound quality and comfortable design.
Here are the best parts about the GSP 302:
- Uses a closed back headset design supported by high-grade memory foam that makes this the best in noise cancellation among the rest in the list
- Remarkable bass performance that vibrates just right without getting too intense
- Earpads are coated with top-quality faux leather for long-lasting usage
- It may be a stereo headset but it feels like it can be surround too thanks to its clear sound delivery
- Microphone has the clearest sound among the rest in this list
- Fancy volume control on the right ear that feels very responsive and smooth
There are a few mishaps, however, but not that much of a deal:
Since the pads are made from faux leather, the sweat from your ears will eventually form on the cups themselves. Luckily it’s very easy to wipe it off and the faux leather itself is surprisingly soft and comfortable for the ears even after long periods of usage.
Another bit of a flaw is the cable itself. Modern gaming headset wires are usually braided to ensure it doesn’t break easily but the Sennheiser’s thin wire is quite delicate; make sure you aren’t careless with the wire or it loosens/breaks sooner than expected.
For its price, it’s beyond worth it.
If it wasn’t for the thin wire, this could’ve been our top spot but nonetheless, the Sennheiser GSP 302 is worth every penny.
Truth be told, only a few wireless gaming headsets stand out since most of them either have a short battery life or have a short lifespan before the audio quality and connection start to deteriorate.
We give you the Corsair Void Pro RGB Wireless Gaming Headset: a wireless beauty that delivers quite a punch as wireless headphones.
If you would like to experience the goodness of Corsair’s gaming headset on console, you can always buy the Void Pro RGB USB wired version. It has the same specs as the wireless rendition minus the USB power transmitter and the wireless function.
While it may not work best on consoles like the PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, it does show its best on PC.
If you haven’t known by now, it’s the direct successor to the Corsair Void—an already good headset but with slightly fewer features.
The Void Pro is very responsive with an extremely low latency that doesn’t lag up to 40 ft which are quite amazing given that this is less than $100. Audio quality is superb, earpads are wonderfully comfortable and it’s filled with lots of features.
Let’s check out the overall specs of the Corsair.
- Delivers 7.1 surround sound that helps you immerse into the game even more
- Fastest frequency response time for a wireless headset: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
- Discord-certified 50 mm neodymium speaker drivers that enhance the audio quality even more
- High-quality unidirectional noise cancel microphone with a quick response time of 100 Hz to 10 kHz
- Microphone is backed up by an LED mute indicator that reduces background noises for better voice quality
- Very long battery life of up to 16 hours
- Powered by a USB transmitter
Again, the biggest drawback here is that it only works well on the PC but not much on consoles. Yes, the headset is viable for console gaming however when we tested it on the PS4 and the Xbox One, there were unusual mishaps that we never found on PC: the audio was laggy and the microphone wasn’t performing smoothly.
In short, if you want to opt for a wireless headset for the PC, you have to have this.
4. Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Wireless Surround Sound Gaming Headset – Best Wireless Gaming Headset Under 100 for the PS4
If you couldn’t afford the PlayStation Platinum Wireless Headset due to its heaping price, you can always rely on the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 which works really well with the PS4.
This is truly the best PS4 headset under 100.
Here are the main features that make it the best for the Sony PlayStation 4:
- Made with Turtle Beach’s award-winning virtual surround sound technology that makes the game more alive with its stellar audio delivery
- Large 50 mm speakers for “crisp highs and deep thundering lows” according to their official description
- Earpads are covered with mesh fabric that makes it one of the most comfortable wireless headsets in this list
- Turtle Beach’s exclusive ProSpecs technology makes it highly ergonomic for gamers who wear glasses by removing the pressure on glasses
- Has an exclusive SuperHuman Hearing technology that will have you hearing the environment even more such as approaching enemy footsteps and distant weapon reloads—ideal for competitive gaming
- Fast speaker frequency response of 20 Hz – 20 kHz
However, unlike the PlayStation Platinum Wireless Headset, this one does not feature any game mode toggle buttons. But that shouldn’t be a big issue since this is way cheaper than the PS Platinum Wireless Headset.
If you’re a PS4 player looking for an affordable wireless headset, you should consider buying this.
5. Turtle Beach Ear Force XO One Amplified Gaming Headset – Best Wireless Gaming Headset Under 100 for the Xbox One
Do not worry, Xbox fans. Turtle Beach also has something good for you—the Ear Force XO One gaming headset.
This is considered as an entry-level headset according to Xbox fans but unlike other starter headphones, this one is very beefy in the audio department with features that optimize the experience of both the headset and the console.
Quite honestly, this is the best Xbox One headset under 100.
Here are the specs that make it so:
- High-quality 50 mm speakers to hear every crisp highs and thundering lows
- Has a small audio control panel which you can conveniently adjust for the Xbox One
- High-sensitivity mic that delivers crystal clear chat
- Has a bass booster that you can freely configure
- Very lightweight thanks to its soft mesh material making you feel like wearing nothing at all
- Works also well with mobile devices and the PC with the help of its detachable 3.5 mm connection
The only drawback here is that the provided cable is a bit too short. But that’s probably because Turtle Beach wants you to use this primarily as a wireless headset than a wired one.
Overall, you won’t find any other better budget wireless headset for the Xbox One that this.
There you have it, five of the best gaming headsets under 100—two of which are the best wired headphones and the three being the best wireless headsets.
If there’s going to be our personal pick, it’s really the SteelSeries Arctis 5.
What’s not to love about it? 7.1 surround sound technology, illuminated earcups, made from grade-A lightweight materials and highly ergonomic.
It doesn’t matter which platform you’re playing, just get this and cherish it for what it is since you won’t get any better bargain than the Arctis 5 for below $100.
But if you’re up for anything else, it will just depend on your preference. Whichever you pick, there is no wrong answer at all:
- If you want the best value out of your hundred bucks, the SteelSeries Arctis 5 is a headset to behold.
- If you desire something cheaper than the Arctis 5 but still want the same competent overall quality, the Sennheiser GSP 302 is your best choice.
- If it’s a great wireless gaming headset for the PC you’re after, go for the Corsair Void Pro RGB Gaming Headset.
- If you’re a PS4 player looking to buy a much more affordable wireless gaming headset, the Turtle Beach 600 Wireless Gaming Headset is your new best friend.
- If you’re an Xbox One fan looking for the best wireless (or wired) gaming headset, the Turtle Beach Ear Force XO One Amplified Gaming Headset is right for you.
That’s it for this article. With any of these headsets with you, you’re guaranteed to have a much more immersive gameplay thanks to the stellar sound quality and comfortable ergonomics.