The Best Gaming Headsets of 2012
Any serious gamer will tell you that a good set of headphones can make a world of difference in your gameplay. Being able to muffle outside noise makes for a much more immersive gaming experience, and in competitive gaming (particularly First Person Shooters), the ability to hear minute details – such as the sound of footsteps – can drastically improve your skill. So what are some of the best headsets on the market today?
While it’s a bit on the pricey side, the Tiamat is unrivaled when it comes to 7.1 channel surround sound quality. Unlike most 7.1 channel headsets on the market, the Tiamat is a true 7.1 channel system, with front, rear, center, side, and subwoofer drivers in each ear cup. This gives a much more realistic surround sound experience than the virtual 7.1 channel systems most headsets use, processing a 7.1 channel signal into a stereo output. The Tiamat is intended for PCs, but can be used with any system that has 7.1 channel 3.5mm outputs and a USB port for power.
If you’re in the market for a wireless headset, the Logitech G930 ought to be one of your first choices. Its virtual surround sound processing technology is developed directly by Dolby Digital and is essentially unparalleled. Its wireless range is also quite impressive, reaching up to 40 feet without distortion. Like most wireless headsets, battery life can be problematic, offering about 10 hours of continuous playback. Fortunately, it’s possible to charge the G930 while it’s in use. Even with its impressive specs, the G930 is fairly reasonably priced for a wireless headset of its caliber. Unfortunately, because if its USB interface, the G930 will only work on a PC.
Even though it’s depressingly expensive, the Ear Force PX5 offers some amazingly customizable sound quality, perfect for any serious gamer. Designed to work for both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, the PX5 will also work with any system with an optical output. The headset even has a Bluetooth channel to pair up with PS3 chat or even your cell phone. Turtle Beach also offers downloadable software to create sound profile presets so that you can tune the PX5 for specific situations, such as playing First Person Shooters, watching HD movies, and listening to music. The wireless range is about average (up to 30 feet), but its 15 hour battery life is pretty impressive. The price is steep, but it’s easy to argue why it’s worth it.
Creative’s extensive experience with audio technologies definitely shows through with its Tactic 3D Omega headset. Its THX TruStudio Pro surround sound virtualization easily goes toe-to-toe with Logitech’s G930 in terms of sound quality. While the G930 does best it in wireless range, and even price, the Tactic 3D Omega has the major benefit of being compatible with the PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and technically any system with composite stereo output. If you’re a multiplatform gamer, the Tactic 3D Omega should definitely be on your list of headsets to check out – although the Turtle Beach Ear Force PX5 certainly poses a tempting (albeit slightly more expensive) alternative.