PCs, PS4, Pro Xbox, smartphones, docking station, Hi-Fi systems and even a walkman … headphones always find what to connect to and are never far from our ears. More and more technology-laden, they are also starting to support the personal assistants, the new “feature” in fashion lately, becoming gradually control centers for our various devices.
Beyond pure technical specifications, the criteria for assessing the qualities of a headset include the concepts of comfort and musical color, not to mention the reliability of the connection in the case of a wireless device and the quality of the reduction systems active noise, embedded almost in all models now. Without further ado, here is our selection of the best gaming headsets in 2018.
Best Gaming Headsets 2018
HyperX Cloud Revolver S
“A solution that combines comfort, lightness, exceptional sound quality and great ease of use” is how HyperX presents its new baby. What is certain is that the HyperX Cloud Stinger displays a different design from that of its congeners. Monobloc, almost monolithic, it is in a very discreet matte black skin. The protection of the ear cups and the arch is made of plastic, while the base of the arch rests on steel. The set weighs not less than 275 grams. The Cloud Family Stinger features a flat fold-over of leatherette ear cushions and ear cushions that cover memory foam.
The Stinger offers cross-platform compatibility (except with Xbox controllers without a 3.5mm mini-jack) and connects to a 3.5mm mini-jack at 4 points or double 3-point (via a Y-extension). Unfortunately, the cable is directly soldered to the headset. The good news is that the mini-jack Y-adapter brings an additional 1.7m of length to the 1.3m base; what to play at a good distance! To make the simplest and most discreet, this model does not integrate the volume control on the cable, but opted for placement in the right atrium via a slider potentiometer. This choice is more natural and simpler for the user. The mute of the microphone is automatically activated when the gooseneck is raised.
As far as sound performance is concerned, the Stinger relies on its 50mm transducers with the following technical characteristics:
- Frequency response: 18 Hz to 23 kHz
- Impedance: 30 Ohms
- Sensitivity: 102 dBSPL / mW @ 1kHz (+/- 3 dB)
- Harmonic distortion rate: less than 2%
- Rated power: 30 mW, Maximum power: 500 mW
- Electret microphone with noise canceling
- microphone frequency response: 50 Hz to 18 kHz
- Sensitivity of the microphone: -40dBV (0dB = 1V / Pa @ 1kHz)
Razer Thresher Ultimate
The famous American manufacturer is well known for its PC peripherals (mice, keyboards, headsets, etc.), but we must not forget that the firm sometimes thinks of players on home consoles. And it is to them that the Thresher Ultimate, a wireless headset with a 7.1 sound, comes with a base to put it.
A Razer product is luxury, and given the price of Thresher Ultimate, you should not miss out on the slightest detail. It’s done, the headset is mastic as it should, really well finished with leatherette pads, a material that is also present on the hoop at the level of the skull, with anyway a mesh fabric to prevent the head does not heats too much. The auricles, very circular, are connected by two metal hoops to ensure the solidity, from this point of view, the headset of Razer inspires confidence, even if the weight is still felt after a whole day (402 g).
There is obviously no latency, the technology is under control for a few years now, and battery issue, there is really no need to worry, Razer promises 16 hours of autonomy, and during our test, the Thresher Ultimate averaged between 14 and 15h without the Dolby. With Surround enabled, it should be 10-11h, which is more than enough.
Better yet, the headset recharges very quickly (about 4 hours to fill the battery) and at worst, a 2 meter cable connected to the base can be used wired. However, when the battery comes to an end, the headset beeps very regularly, forcing the user to immediately plug the headset to continue its activity. It’s a shame, a less regular beep would have been enough (or a light on the big base), especially since the Thresher Ultimate is not even compatible with Synapse on PC, impossible to monitor the status of battery.
SteelSeries Siberia 800
Few months ago, SteelSeries launched the Siberia 800, a high-end wireless headset that is obviously aimed at gamers, but not only. The product has a set of settings and many connections to use it anywhere, thanks to many cables. Only downside, the lack of Bluetooth to link to his smartphone or tablet wireless, a “problem” solved with the launch of the Siberia 840.
The Siberia 800 has already passed in our hands, and we had a great memory, we offer a quick overview of the changes made with this new model, which are few. Color modified on the ears, adding Bluetooth and settings via the SteelSeries Engine 3 on PC, the preview will be fast and most of the information on the Siberia 840 is the same as the previous product. We invite you to read or re-read the SteelSeries Siberia 800 test to learn all about the qualities of this headset.
With the Siberia 840, SteelSeries has decided to put some color on its high-end headphones. While the Siberia 800 was completely black (with orange in the ear cups), this new model opts for a gray surface on the sides. A beautiful effect of brushed metal that cheers the headset a bit and that further enhances its appearance of luxury product. Everything remains very sober and it is especially the solidity that is perceived at first glance. As a reminder, one of these two surfaces (on the left atrium) is removable and actually hides the battery of the headset.
HyperX Cloud Alpha
The Alpha Cloud is beautiful, imposing and exudes a very good quality finish, but with its metal hoops, seams and huge red logos very keen, the headset is really not discreet. HyperX reminds us here that this model is for gamers, difficult to forget or ignore by putting his eyes on it. So yes, the Alpha Cloud does not do too much in the subtle, but the comfort side, it manages.
With its ear cushions filled with memory foam and covered with a very (too) fine leatherette, it can be worn for many hours on the head and be forgotten. Especially since HyperX thought to put a pack of foam, this time with a thicker leatherette, at the level of the arch in contact with the top of the head. It’s all good, except perhaps the son that are visible on the sides because of the side arches very thin metal (but solid, rest assured). You have to pay attention during transport, but fortunately, the manufacturer provides a cloth pouch to store the headset!
Razer Kraken Pro V2
Last year, Razer unveiled two new developments Kraken Pro and Kraken 7.1, the first being currently available in black. Well the manufacturer has just announced that the Kraken Pro V2 was now available in two new colors, namely green white.
Aside from these much more conspicuous colors, nothing changes, the headphones carrying 50mm speakers, an aluminum hoop for better strength, a retractable microphone, a remote control on the cable and a 3.5 Jack connection making it thus compatible with many devices.
The Astro A50 is very similar to the A40 TR in terms of manufacturing and comfort. To summarize, this headset is solid, relatively flexible and light enough, even if it is criticized for a small lack of care in some finishes. The feelings of comfort are very good.
The design of the ear cups and cushion materials offer a good insulation / aeration ratio, all smooth. The absence of removable shell on this model finally isolates a little better from the outside, at the cost of a warmer ears a bit bigger. For the biggest heads, the bow is unfortunately a little too limited. It’s still really acceptable, even on long gaming sessions.
Built-in controls on the headset help manage most essentials at your fingertips. Their use remains intuitive and we appreciate the few small sound alerts and light signals to guide us. The base also offers a rough indication of battery life (25% lightbar), Dolby Surround 7.1 activation and the mode used (PC / PS4 or PC / Xbox One depending on the version).
The Astro A50 retains the excellent sound performance of the A40, with its colorful but controlled and accurate sound. The integrated EQ in the software still plays a key role in achieving a more balanced rendering. It is a pity that the manufacturer still does not offer a default rendering with a bit more bite.
SteelSeries Arctis 7
The Arctis 7 is based on the same design as its little brother, the Arctis 5. We advise you to take a quick look at the test of the latter to better appreciate the differences between these two products.
There are some big differences on this Arctis 7, which change both comfort and use. First of all, this model has a first steel hoop, stronger and better finished than the plastic hoop used on the lower models in the range. Nevertheless, the manufacturer seems to have made a particularly curious choice as to the shape of this arch. Indeed, it draws a flatter curve on the top, which leaves much less latitude to the double arch to extend.
Steelseries Arctis 7 also shares much in common with Arctis 5 in terms of sound performance. Without correction, there is a sound effect in W quite unbalanced with bass well ahead and high midrange dug. Coupled with membranes that lack a little responsiveness in the bass, we get a sound rendering overall veiled by masking effects and a lack of presence and general clarity.