Top 5 Best Headsets For Gaming Under $400


A great gaming headset will allow players to truly experience the beauty of a video game’s score, sound effects and dialogue with the added benefit of allowing communication between players.

Well-made headsets help us to immerse ourselves more deeply into a game. They can even help us to gain an advantage from superior audio. Great headsets are comfortable and are easy to wear over longer periods of time.

There are plenty of superb options under $400 USD. To pick the top 5 in this price range is a tough task and this article aims to do just that.

The top 5 best gaming headsets under $400 are:

Any of the above options would be a fantastic choice. Let’s get into why that is.

Since we’re having a discussion within the context of a price cap, I figure I should leave a link to a related My New Microphone article: Are Expensive Headphones (Or Cheap Headphones) Worth It?


What Makes A Gaming Headset?

Though the term “best” is subjective, we should still list out the criteria used for determining what makes a great gaming headset.

  • Comfort: this is perhaps the simplest yet most important criterion of any headphone especially for longer gaming sessions. Though highly subjective, specifications such as weight; contact pressure; earpad shape/material; stiffness, and the overall dimension play a role in comfort.
  • System compatibility: though you may only use one gaming system, it’s important that a top-performing gaming headset be compatible with numerous gaming systems in order to suit a greater number of gamers.
  • Frequency response: a great pair of headphones should be able to reproduce the full audible spectrum from 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz with clarity.
  • Number of audio channels: many games are designed with surround sound. Even though headsets only have two ear cups, they can still be designed in such a way that gives the illusion of surround sound.
  • Wireless: wireless capability is a benefit as it further improves the functionality and general comfort of the headset and rids of any cords that could get in the way during playing.
  • Microphone quality: a great headset must have a great microphone. An electret microphone with clear pick up is typical of a high-end gaming headset.

With that, let’s get into our top 5 best gaming headsets under $400!


Asus ROG Theta Electret

First up is the Asus ROG Theta Electret (link to check the price on Amazon), a wired headset (with the typical 3.5mm connector) that is compatible with PC, PS5, Nintendo Switch and smart devices.

Related article: Differences Between 2.5mm, 3.5mm & 6.35mm Headphone Jacks.

Asus ROG Theta Electret

The Asus ROG Theta Electret, as the name suggests, utilizes an Essence electret driver along with a dynamic bass driver (with rare earth neodymium magnets) in each earcup to achieve its hi-fidelity sound and tremendous bass.

An electret driver is essentially an electrostatic driver with pre-charged stator plates. These drivers are cherished for their incredible transparency as well as their superior transient and frequency responses.

By including electret drivers into its design, the Asus ROG Theta is able to reproduce its exceptional sound with realistic imaging for PC, consoles and even mobile devices.

For more information on electrostatic and dynamic drivers, check out my articles The Complete Guide To Electrostatic Headphones (With Examples) and The Complete Illustrated Guide To Moving-Coil Dynamic Headphones, respectively.

This headset also pairs perfectly with DACs and amps. It’s an equally great option as a gamer headset as it is a HiFi headphone.

The robust design features high-quality silver-plated copper wire for clearer audio; an aluminum-alloy ear cup and yoke, and ROG Hybrid ear cushions.

Actually, two types of ear cushions come with the ROG Theta Electret. One is padded with protein leather and the other with fabric.

Both types offer fast-cooling technology to reduce heat by 25%, which comes in handy during long gaming sessions. They also help improve the already notable sound isolation of the ROG Theta Electret’s closed-back design.

The cushions also feature an ergonomic reverse D-shape with optimized clamping force, for a firm, comfortable fit. They even have a pressure-reducing design to help those gamers who need glasses to feel more comfortable.

The headset includes a specially-tuned TeamSpeak/Discord-certified microphone. This superb unidirectional mic sits ergonomically at the end of an easily-adjusted boom and ensures clean, distortion-free in-game chat with signal-diversion noise-cancelling technology.

Key Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: 120mm Electret & 40mm Dynamic
  • Impedance: 32 Ω
  • Frequency Response: 20 – 40,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: no info
  • IP Rating: no info
  • Open/Closed-Back: Circumaural/Closed-back
  • Weight: 555g
  • Wireless/Wired: Wired
  • Microphone: Unidirectional

To learn more about headphone specifications, be sure to read my article Full List: Headphone/Earphone Specifications w/ Examples.

The Asus ROG Theta 7.1 (link to check the price on Amazon) is another superb option but is not as multi-console compatible as the Electret model.


Astro A50

Next up is the Astro A50 (link to check the price on Amazon). Note that there are two options with the same S50 name: one options is compatible with Xbox, PC and Mac while the other is compatible with PS4/5, PC and Mac.

Astro A50

Note that, with wireless gaming headsets, there will nearly always be issues with connecting to both PlayStation and Xbox. This is due to the fact that wireless headsets require firmware to operate property with their base and Xbox and PlayStation consoles do not offer the same firmware compatibility.

The A50 has a wireless range up to 30 feet and uses the typical 2.4GHz wireless frequency. The Base Station offer easy and efficient recharging of the lithium ion battery. A full charge holds 15+ hours of game time.

To learn more about wireless headphones and headsets, check out my article How Do Wireless Headphones Work? + Bluetooth & True Wireless.

The Astro A50 offers the superb sound of Astro’s Audio V2. This is made possible with a closed-back design and quality 40mm dynamic drivers with neodymium magnets. Audio V2 provides true-to-life imagining along with a precise and smooth frequency response from 20Hz to 20,000Hz for superb bass, mids and highs.

To learn more about closed-back designs and headset and headphone frequency response, check out my articles The Complete Guide To Open-Back & Closed-Back Headphones and What Is Headphone Frequency Response & What Is A Good Range?

In addition to Audio V2, the headset is Dolby Audio compatible for immersive cinematic gaming audio. This surround format brings out the full potential of the Audio V2 design to offer gamers a competitive advantage in terms of audio. The headset is also compatible with Windows Sonic, which is another superb audio format.

The flip-to-mute microphone is a high-quality cardioid electret mic that picks up the player’s voice for clear, accurate low-latency communication. The built-in mix amp blends chat and game audio levels for a perfect user-defined mix.

Astro’s A50 has a durable build and its earcups and headband are adjustable to find the perfect fit for practically any gamer.

The free ASTRO Command Center software gives gamers complete control over their audio experience. Features of the software include EQ, mic volume/mix and full customization of parameters. This software is available on Windows 10, Xbox and Mac.

The A50 has an optional A50 Mod Kit that comes with a synthetic leather headband and ear cushions for improved noise isolation and comfort.

Key Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: 40mm Dynamic with Neodymium Magnet
  • Impedance: 48 Ω
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20,000Hz
  • Sensitivity: 118dB @1kHz
  • IP Rating: no info
  • Open/Closed-Back: Circumaural/Closed-back
  • Weight: 0.83 lbs (380g) without cable
  • Wireless/Wired: 2.4GHz Wireless
  • Microphone: Unidirectional

Astro is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 13 Best Headset Brands (Gaming, Aviation, Communication).


SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless

Third on the list is the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless (link to check the price on Amazon), a headset compatible with PC, Mac and PlayStation. Sorry, Xbox gamers.

Check out the Arctis Pro Wired (link to check the price on Amazon) if you want a more compatible headset (PC, Mac, PS4/5, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and mobile). Note that this version is wired but has mostly the same specs. We’ll discuss the wireless version here.

SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless

The Arctis Pro Wireless actually features dual wireless technology. It has both Bluetooth (version 4.1) and the typical 2.4 GHz wireless for consoles. The wireless range of the headset is 40 feet.

In terms of battery life, the Arctic Pro Wireless features a swappable dual-battery system that boasts a full-charge time of 20 hours (10 per battery). Running one battery while the other charges can keep the headset running perpetually. The charging dock is designed into the wireless transmitter for fewer moving pieces in the wireless system.

We can even use both connections simultaneously if we so choose to take full advantage of the Arctis Pro Wireless’s functionality, though this may be distracting while gaming.

The hi-res-capable dynamic speaker drivers are 40mm in diameter and utilize high-density neodymium magnets. Combine these superb drivers with lossless and lag-free wireless audio and we have one of the best wireless hi-res gaming headsets on the market.

Related article: What Is A Good Driver Size For Headphones?

The Pro Wireless from SteelSeries’ Arctis line is also the first in gaming to offer DTS Headphone:X v2.0. This renowned surround sound format is fully capable of immersing gamers into their games.

The Arctis ClearCast microphone is one of the best in the gaming headset world. This bidirectional electret mic delivers studio-quality voice clarity and background noise cancellation. The microphone is retractable as well, making it easy to store it away when not in use (and easy to store the headset as a whole).

For more info on bidirectional microphones, check out my article What Is A Bidirectional/Figure-8 Microphone? (With Mic Examples).

The on-ear controls and intuitive OLED menu on the transmitter offer additional controls such as ChatMix (balancing the game and chat audio); onboard equalization, and volume control with no software required.

This SteelSeries headset is made with a lightweight aluminum alloy and steel construction for superior durability over many other gaming headsets. The ruggedness is complimented by the comfortable and breathable Airweave fabric ear cushions and premium weaved ski goggle fabric suspension headband.

Adjust the headset to fit your head and you’ll surely have one of the most comfortable gaming headsets on the market with the SteelSeries Arctic Pro Wireless!

Key Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: 40mm Dynamic with Neodymium magnet
  • Impedance: 32 Ω
  • Frequency Response: 10 Hz – 40,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 102 dB SPL
  • IP Rating: no info
  • Open/Closed-Back: Circumaural/Closed-back
  • Weight: 313g
  • Wireless/Wired: 2.4 GHz Wireless of Bluetooth 4.1
  • Microphone: Retractable Electret|Bidirectional

Turtle Beach is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 13 Best Headset Brands (Gaming, Aviation, Communication).


HyperX Cloud Orbit S

Second last is the wired HyperX Cloud Orbit S (link to check the price on Amazon), which is compatible with PC, PS4/5, Xbox One, Mac, Mobile and Nintendo Switch. It comes with 3 different detachable cables in order to easily connect to the device of your choice.

HyperX Cloud Orbit S

The HyperX Cloud Orbit S does things a bit differently with a pair of 100mm planar magnetic drivers rather than the typical moving-coil dynamic drivers. These planar magnetic headphone drivers are designed by Audeze, which if one of the best in the business.

Audeze is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 13 Best Headphone Brands In The World.

Planar magnetic drivers work on the same transducer principle as regular dynamic drivers. However, they embed the conductor into the diagram itself and, therefore, are able to be lighter; have less distortion; a wider frequency response, and a more natural transient response.

For more information on planar magnetic drivers and headphones/headsets, check out my article The Complete Guide To Planar Magnetic Headphones (With Examples).

Combining these superb drivers with 3D audio technology, the Cloud Orbit S delivers a wonderfully realistic audio experience with ultra-accurate sound localization and positioning. To push things even further, the headset has head tracking technology to pinpoint the audio relative to the gamer’s head position (it tracks the tiniest head movements nearly 1000 times a second).

The 3D audio and head tracking are made possible by another collaboration, this time with the world-renowned Waves and their Nx technology.

This headset uses an electret microphone. It’s detachable, noise cancellation, and it has a pop filter. The boom is easily adjustable to position the mic perfectly. The result is perfectly clear communication while playing online.

To learn more about electret microphones, check out my article The Complete Guide To Electret Condenser Microphones.

HyperX also has its own easy-to-use Orbit software. Use this program to calibrate 3D audio settings; set up and tune a virtual room to get the ambiance you want, and select from built-in EQ profiles.

Convenient controls on the left ear cup allow gamers to quickly change 3D audio settings and EQ profiles. There’s also a volume adjustment wheel and a mic mute button.

Oh yeah, and the headset is one of the most comfortable, too!

HyperZ offers a 30-day money back guarantee with the Cloud Orbit S.

Key Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: 100 mm Planar Magnetic
  • Impedance: no info
  • Frequency Response: 10 Hz – 50,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: >120 dB
  • IP Rating: no info
  • Open/Closed-Back: Circumaural/Closed-back
  • Weight: 368g
  • Wireless/Wired: Wired
  • Microphone: Electret|Unidirectional

HyperX is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 13 Best Headset Brands (Gaming, Aviation, Communication).


Beyerdynamic MMX 300

Last but not least is the cross-console-compatible Beyerdynamic MMX 300 (link to check the price on Amazon). It comes with various connector cables for PC and for consoles.

Beyerdynamic MMX 300

The Beyerdynamic MMX 300 is a premium gaming headset for under $400. It has an over-ear closed-back design with studio-quality dynamic drivers and offers powerful, clear, 3-dimensional sound for professional gamers and hobbyists alike.

The incredible sound of the MMX 300 is a byproduct of the company’s experience in aviation headsets and professional recording equipment. It allows gamers to hear everything in the game from the faintest sounds to the most intense effects. Hearing more than everyone else will put you ahead of the game and Beyerdynamic’s MMX 300 offers an excellent headset that allows this to happen.

With a frequency response of 5 Hz to 30,000 Hz, the MMX 300 has no issue recreating powerful bass, transparent mid and non-fatiguing highs. It sounds precisely how a top-of-the-line (and expensive) headset should! The closed-back design and superior fit provide strong noise isolation (though the headset does not have active noise-cancelling).

Outstanding speech intelligibility is achieved via a high-quality condenser microphone, ensuring that your voice is always transmitted clearly. This cardioid mic does an excellent job blocking out background noise and is ideal for both at-home and tournament situations. The boom is flexible yet holds its shape perfectly well once positioned in place.

To learn about cardioid microphones, check out my article What Is A Cardioid Microphone? (Polar Pattern + Mic Examples).

Each of the MMX 300’s cables has an integrated remote control with a microphone mute switch, volume control and media control/call accept functions.

The MMX 300 is both durable and comfortable. It features a simple adjustable headband and silky-soft velour ear pads. Not only will this headset last a long time (through regular wear-and-tear) but it can also be worn over several hours without becoming uncomfortable.

Beyerdynamic allows customers to customize the colours of the MMX 300’s headband, earpads and rings. Upon purchase, we can also engrave our name (or something else) on the earcups and even upload our own image to be printed onto the outside of the earcup.

In addition to the aesthetics, the MMX 300 can be produced with either 32-ohm or 600-ohm impedance. For gaming consoles and PC, the 32Ω version is the way to go. The 600Ω version is for hi-fi and studio applications and will require a special headphone amplifier/soundcard.

Related article: What Is A Headphone Amplifier & Are Headphone Amps Worth It?

Once equipped with MMX 300 and Immerse™ with beyerdynamic, there is no hesitation in taking the game changing shot. Regardless of playing FPS, MMO or RPG games: The personalized spatial audio adds a new intensity and advantage to your game!

Unlock the full potential of the Beyerdynamic MMX 300 with the Immerse software from the American company Embody. With Immerse Personalized Spatial Audio, we can adjust the sound directions 7.1 surround, the overall volume and the presence (distance of sound field) for the perfect balance. Noe that Immerse is only available on the Windows 10.

Key Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: Dynamic with Neodymium magnets
  • Impedance: 32 Ω
  • Frequency Response: 5 Hz – 30,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 96 dB (nominal SPL)
  • IP Rating: no info
  • Open/Closed-Back: Circumaural/Closed-back
  • Weight: 332g including cable and microphone
  • Wireless/Wired: Wired
  • Microphone: Condenser|Cardioid

Beyerdynamic is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 13 Best Headphone Brands In The World.


Honourable Mentions

As mentioned in the intro, there are plenty of excellent gaming headsets for less than $400 USD. Here are another 5 superb options that didn’t make the top 5 but are still certainly worth your consideration:

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