It is quite often that gaming has been called an expensive hobby. But that is far from the truth as we have seen many budget gaming builds. To help gamers game inexpensively, we have reviewed the best gaming headsets under $50.
Brands like Razer, Corsair, and Logitech are also making headsets aimed at the budget audience. This gives you a wider range to purchase from if you want inexpensive gaming audio.
What sets apart gaming headsets from the normal ones? Are aesthetics the only thing that sets gaming headsets apart from normal ones? Well, aesthetics are the only part reason why there is a difference between normal and gaming ones.
Aside from aesthetics, there is a huge difference in sound when it comes to normal ones and gaming headsets. Manufacturers calibrate or synchronize their headsets aimed towards gamers to enhance the experience in games.
Gaming headsets under $50 will have significant differences from high-end ones. This becomes more clear when you try on both, budget and high-end gaming headsets.
By using cheaper material for manufacturing these headsets, brands are able to provide quality at a lower price tag. But that does not mean that there is no difference other than the material in cheap and high-end ones.
The high-end ones are more comfortable and also have a higher audio range. The clarity in sound is more audible in high-end ones and you are able to hear each and every detail clearly. They also have features that enhance the gaming experience by leaps and bounds.
We will be explaining some things for you if you plan on buying these headsets in a buyer’s guide.
Gaming Headset Buyer’s Guide
When you are purchasing any headset regardless of price, a few things you might want to keep an eye out for will be common. Whether you compromise on one thing or another is up to you. But we personally believe there are gaming headsets under $50 that do not compromise on these traits.
Comfort is an obvious one, you cannot compromise on comfort regardless of the pricing of a headset. The design also matters as it also contributes towards the comfort factor. Features like volume control matter too, but you will not find any good wireless headsets at this price point though. So we will not be discussing that factor in this guide.
One more important thing to keep an eye out for is the drivers in the headsets.
This is the second most important factor, if not the first when buying gaming headsets under $50. The reason we say that is because we, as gamers, love to play games for hours at a time. We try to avoid taking breaks at all costs, specifically when we are playing multiplayer games.
If you are playing an online multiplayer game, and your headsets start to hurt your ears or sides, it will irritate you tremendously. You will want to readjust the headsets every now and then so your ears can breathe.
Whether it is due to the clamping force of the headsets or the poor heat dissipation on the earcups, uncomfortable headsets do not sell well regardless of how good they sound.
Even if you are purchasing high-end headsets that have the best RGB, wireless functionality, high-fidelity audio, you will not want to wear them for too long if they are not comfortable. Keeping that in mind, comfort matters a lot when it comes to any type of headset, gaming, or not.
Choice of Material
Velour or leatherette, these are some of the materials from which earcups of headsets are made. Velour does not cause sweat as much as leather earpads would and they are a bit more breathable. Heat dissipates from them easily and they are able to stay cool, especially in open-back designs.
While leather has the advantage of durability. They last longer and do not lose shape easily even after a long time. But velour is more preferable amongst gamers because they will be using the headsets for hours. If the material is not breathable you are definitely looking at uncomfortable heat levels on your ears.
However, we have both leatherette and velour earpad headsets on our list. So you will have no problem picking from them no matter your preferences.
You are not going to find tons of features in gaming headsets under $50 price tag. The company has to make profits and cover manufacturing costs. Expecting a lot from them at this price point is kind of hopeless.
But there will be some features that might attract you towards certain headsets over others. For instance on-ear volume control and microphone mute button. Having a volume control on your earcup can be very handy to lower or increase volume without minimizing your game.
Being able to mute the microphone is also a great feature, in case you get a call while gaming on your phone, you can mute your mic and take the call on speaker. Whether these are in-line features or on the earcup, having them can be a great advantage.
Best Gaming Headsets Under $50 for Budget Gamers
So the Corsair HS45 might not look the part, but they are superb gaming headsets. Although the mic does feel blurry and there is an issue with plosives, the voice is clear enough for it to be Discord certified.
Corsair is a brand that does not cut on quality when it comes to products. Whether it is their PSU, their gaming headset, or other peripherals, they deliver great quality at a somewhat affordable price tag.
The HS45 by Corsair is a prime example of what we mean by that. Even if you take the Corsair Virtuoso RGB headset, that headset is leaps and bounds ahead in terms of sound quality and microphone clarity. And it costs less than some competition with better sound quality.
But we are here to talk about the HS45. The headset costs only about $50 on Amazon and BestBuy. It has comfortable and soft mesh earcups that can breathe so playing long sessions on the headsets is not an issue whatsoever. The mesh can breathe and dissipate the heat that accumulated in earpads in longer gaming sessions.
The headset’s clamping force is also perfect because they fit right on without too much pressure on the ears and cheekbones. This just shows the detail of quality by Corsair. Most headsets might need some flexing and adjustment before you can feel comfortable wearing them.
The cushion on the earpads is also pretty decent. The same breathable mesh material is also present on the head strap. It is very soft and does not get warm a lot. Wearing these headsets has been a great experience, specifically because they cost so less compared to other brands.
The HS45 feature 50mm neodymium speaker drivers which has a good range of highs and lows. It also produces crisp and clear audio so you can easily pick up enemy footsteps nearby while you are gaming. Most headsets in the same price range do not come close to this quality as they use a 40mm driver instead.
The microphone, which by the way is detachable, is clear enough that your voice can be heard without any problems. Though the voice is blurry, you will still be heard on voice chat clearly. The plosives on the microphone though are another issue, a built-in pop filter would have solved that problem though.
You can also find the volume control and mic mute button on the earcup for ease of access. If you want to use these headsets as is, just plug out the microphone and you are good to go. You can use these as your regular headsets because they do not stand out a lot. Whether you are commuting to work or school, you can use these on your phone for regular mobile gaming.
The multi-platform support is much appreciated, as you can use these on not only your PC but also your phone, Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One (though you will need the adapter for Xbox One controller).
But the main feature of the headset can only be used on your PC using a USB adapter. The adapter enables 7.1 Virtual Surround Sound that increases your awareness of the surroundings in games.
We feel Corsair has really stepped up their game in the gaming headset market.
The Hyperx Cloud Stinger is a great alternative for those who dislike the Corsair HS45. Although the sound quality on both of them is pretty decent, Corsair has the microphone advantage.
It is hard to find features like a breathable mesh earpad and surround sound at the price tag of $50. That is why Corsair HS45 stands on the top of this list. But the Cloud Stinger is second to none with its durability and great design.
First off, the memory foam earpads are super comfortable. If there was any complaint with them, it would be that they are leatherette instead of velour or any other breathable material. So playing for a long time might be comfortable, but not completely free of discomfort.
The accumulated heat would make the headsets a bit unbearable after a long time. But there are plenty of replacement earpads if you do feel like switching out for breathable material.
When it comes to sound quality, it is almost equally good as the HS45 with 50mm speaker drivers. The sound quality and the range is amazing. The headset is stereo, you do not have surround sound on these.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger is also very sturdy and durable. People who have bought these headsets a while ago will testify that these headsets have been through the worst and still survived. So you are gonna get your money’s worth out of these headsets before you have to switch them out for better ones later on.
The gamer aesthetics is what gives the HyperX Cloud Stinger an advantage over the Corsair HS45 which are plain and simple. The red HyperX logo on the back of the earcups and the design is just amazing. Swivel the microphone up to mute microphone is just an amazing feature to have on gaming headsets.
The adjustable slider is steel, which is partly the reason for the headset’s great durability. The microphone, however, could use some help, as the sound is quite blurry on these.
The sound quality of the microphone is not as great as the HS45, but nonetheless, the voice is pretty much audible. Otherwise, these are one of the best gaming headsets under $50 that you can buy.
When you venture below the $30 price tag, you will find many new brands, most of which you might have never heard of in your life. But MSI is the one brand is providing you a comfortable audio experience at $30.
There is not a lot to talk about these headsets, other than it is made by a credible brand. The color scheme is too tacky, the red plastic color just pops out and might not give the best look.
But looks can be deceiving as these have a pretty decent sound. Nothing like the other $50 headsets that are on the list though. Unless you are really sure you cannot spend more than $30 over headsets, we would recommend exploring the other headsets on the list.
The comfort of these things is way better than any other cheap brand that you might have never heard of. The suspender headband is pretty comfortable and adjusts according to your head size.
The earcups are also pretty soft and plush, the material does not breathe well though, so bear that in mind. Otherwise, the plush and softness of the ear cushions are great for the price. It is not stiff and sits right on your ears.
It has 40mm drivers that are pretty decent for the competition at the same price point. But let us be honest, you will not get the kind of quality that you get from Corsair HS45 or HyperX Cloud Stinger.
MSI is not really famous for its headsets as much as it is for their laptops and motherboards. So consider purchasing these headsets with a grain of salt. But if you are absolutely adamant that you cannot spare $20 more on better headsets than go ahead.
The microphone is absolutely muddy as it gets, the voice is super blurry and we do not recommend using the microphone on the headset. It is not completely rubbish either, you can actually make out the voice. But still, there are cheaper no-name brands with better microphone quality.
So if you want something for good voice chat, we would not recommend this.
4 – Razer Kraken X
Now its time to talk about the beast itself, the Kraken X, which is basically a lighter and more plastic version of the Kraken. Although, if you can spare 10$ extra, we would highly recommend the new Razer Blackshark V2 X instead. Those headsets sound gorgeous, but sadly they do not fall in the under $50 category.
So first of all, the plastic build quality is apparent, you can see where they have skimped off of the money. There are 40mm drivers in this, which are not the best, as the range is pretty limited. The signature sound quality is not as much as you would have expected from Razer’s Kraken series of headsets.
But one thing you do get is the Razer comfort and look. The earcups are oval and seal off your ears, the earpad material, which is pleather or leatherette, also helps in isolating noise. But the only problem is that the material is not breathable so it tends to get very hot.
The sound quality of the microphone is fine, we wouldn’t exactly call it the best. As we said if you have $10 to spare go for the new Blackshark V2, which is way better in terms of quality.
But you get the Kraken comfort and not to mention it is one of the lightest headsets in the market. Once you wear these it is hard to notice that you have them on since they are so light. They weigh at about 250gm which is almost weightless.
The SteelSeries Arctis line of headsets has been critically acclaimed as some of the best gaming headsets in the market. The SteelSeries Arctis 1 might not be the best gaming headsets under $50 but they are one of the best.
In our opinion, they were better than the Kraken X in some aspects, like the plush and breathable earpad material. The breathable material is a really nice touch at this price point. The second thing is the detachable microphone, which by the way sounds really decent.
It is one of the best sounding microphones on the list that we have reviewed thus far. The only problem we have had with this headset is the build quality. Although there is a swivel to the earcups and they can lay flat on your shoulder, the headband is a rigid piece of plastic that might not be the strongest or most flexible.
When trying to flex the headband is pretty rigid, and that is actually a pretty bad sign. The suspender style headband would have been a great addition, but SteelSeries has to sacrifice something to bring it down to such a low budget.
It has universal compatibility, meaning it can hook up to anything with a 3.5mm slot. The volume controls on the headset are behind the earcup with the microphone. Which is always great to have for quickly changing the volume from low to high and vice versa.
The headband’s rigidity does seem to follow to the earcups as well. So it has a bit uncomfortable clamping force, but the plush earpad does a great job of trying to negate that problem.
Overall our experience with these headsets has been pretty decent audio and comfort-wise.