If you plan on using the headphones mostly for gaming, streaming, and voice-chatting, you should get a gaming headset as it’s made just for that. In case you enjoy listening to music in high quality as well, for the money you’d spend on a gaming headset, you could get a pair of headphones with a much better audio quality but usually without the mic, exclusive software, and similar features.
The gaming headsets may seem as an obvious choice for gamers as you get an attached microphone and usually a remote control to quickly adjust audio and mic volume as well as an exclusive software, improved noise isolation, and virtual 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound support.
However, all this adds to the cost of the headset which in the end leaves you with a pair of expensive headphones with plenty of features but only mediocre sound quality.
So, while the gaming headsets are convenient as the all-in-one device for gamers, audiophiles won’t be satisfied with the sound quality they get for the money spent. Additionally, the gamer-inspired aesthetics of most of the gaming headsets will repulse many users.
If you’re spending $100 on a pair of headphones, you might want to put them on while traveling by train or plane, and if the headset is too flashy and the microphone isn’t even detachable, you’d look quite goofy wearing them.
Apart from that, certain gaming headsets boast the support for 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound audio, but there is numerous free software which can add virtual and positional audio to any stereo headphones. Lastly, some high-end gaming headsets feature USB connection with an integrated sound card.
While USB connectivity with the built-in sound processing is great if you’re only using the basic sound output on your motherboard, it also means that you won’t be able to take advantage of your D.A.C. (Digital to Analog Converter), amplifier, or dedicated sound card if it has better sound quality.
Naturally, there are exceptions; some gaming headsets sound better than certain more expensive headphones. Depending on the user, some may not even notice the difference between a gaming headset vs headphones or could be easily tricked into believing the headset has better sound quality.
That’s why we have a dedicated gaming headset buyer’s guide with only the finest choices and all the information you’ll need to know prior to purchasing a new pair of headphones.