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Just five years ago, finding decent gaming headsets under $100 was difficult. At best, you’d have to spend at least half of that and still sacrifice tons of features. It wasn’t a fun time.

But the market has changed. Now you can find all kinds of headsets for gamers on a budget, and many of them aren’t that bad — much better than what you could’ve gotten five years ago. You just have to know where to look, what to look for, and be willing to settle for less than perfect.

What Do Good Budget Gaming Headsets Have?

First things first: A headset is nothing more than a pair of headphones with a built-in microphone. Second, there are no practical differences between a gaming headset and a regular headset except physical design and appearance. And third, some features are more important than others.

So is it possible to find a headset that fits all of the criteria above without spending more than $25? Not really, but you can get close enough. Here are the best currently-available options that we found.

1. Turtle Beach Ear Force Z11 3.5mm (UK)

budget-gaming-headset-turtle-beach-z11

I’ve used a handful of Turtle Beach headsets over the past few years, and they’ve all been satisfactory — that’s what this brand is about. You get great value for what you pay, in my experience, and it’s more than good enough for all but the most hardcore of gamers.

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The Turtle Beach Ear Force Z11 Headset won’t be everyone’s cup of tea (the cups are weirdly too round). Even so, it fits well on the ears, produces pleasant sound, has a sensitive and flexible microphone, and comes with a volume control with a mute button.

Turtle Beach Ear Force Z11 Amplified Gaming Headset for PC and Mobile Devices Turtle Beach Ear Force Z11 Amplified Gaming Headset for PC and Mobile Devices Full-Range Speakers - Massive 50mm speakers deliver high-fidelity audio with crisp highs and rumbling lows for deep audio immersion Buy Now At Amazon $24.50

2. Logitech H390 USB (UK)

budget-gaming-headset-logitech-h390

Logitech is one of the most trustworthy and reputable brands you’ll ever come across. It does have several “gaming” product lines, but it isn’t a “gaming brand” so to speak. This particular headset is a general-use one — but it’s good, and we recommend it.

The Logitech ClearChat H390 Headset is an on-ear pair (the only one in this post). It features comfortable pads, a rotating noise-canceling microphone, and a volume control with a mute button. And thanks to its understated design. Overall, it’s probably the best option if you don’t want to look like a gamer.

3. Plantronics Audio 355 3.5mm (UK)

budget-gaming-headsets-plantronics-355

The Plantronics Audio 355 Headset is one of the first gaming headsets I ever bought. And that was close to ten years ago, so it’s surprising that it’s still around. In fact, I suppose you could see that as a testament to its value. Based on the specs alone, it’s nothing special — but it’s cheap and gets the job done.

The stereo drivers sound great. On top of that, the noise-cancelling microphone is passable for always-on voice communications. The microphone also telescopes in and out for length adjustments, it comes with volume and mute controls, and the headset itself is very light. My only complaint is that the pads are tight and may hurt your ears during long sessions.

Plantronics .Audio 355 Multimedia Headset Plantronics .Audio 355 Multimedia Headset 40mm stereo speakers deliver rich, resonant stereo with maximum bass response. Don't just hear it--feel it. Buy Now At Amazon Too low to display

4. Sades A60/OMG USB (UK)

budget-gaming-headset-sades-omg

Sades remains a very much a hit-or-miss brand. They specialize in budget gaming headsets. All of its products’ prices fall short of $30. Even so, they all have surprisingly good ratings — even after adjusting for fake reviews. So instead of recommending one of the cheaper options, you might as well shell out the extra $5 for the best one.

The Sades A60/OMG Gaming Headset has a sleek design, sensitive microphone, volume and mute controls, and better-than-average drivers that produce excellent sound quality considering how much you’re paying. The comfortable cups also have a bit of noise isolation.

[2016 Newly Updated USB Gaming Headset] SADES A60/OMG Computer Over Ear Stereo Heaphones With Microphone Noise Isolating Volume Control LED Light (Black+White) For PC & MAC [2016 Newly Updated USB Gaming Headset] SADES A60/OMG Computer Over Ear Stereo Heaphones With Microphone Noise Isolating Volume Control LED Light (Black+White) For PC & MAC VERSATILE COMPATIBILITY: Compatible with Mac, Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 8.1,10; The headphone is NOT compatible with Xbox and PlayStation(Console); The headset has high sensitive Microphone and driver-free suitable for all audio devices with USB port. Buy Now At Amazon $18.54

5. Bengoo PC Gaming Headset (UK)

budget-gaming-headset-bengoo

Bengoo is a recently-established Chinese off-brand manufacturer of various PC and mobile peripherals. Their wares include external DVD drives, portable fans, selfie sticks, and audio equipment. Few of these devices indicate audio excellence. So when looking to buy the Bengoo PC Gaming Headset, be aware that you get what you pay for.

In this case, you’re paying less for increased risk. It looks good and feels okay, but will it even make it to a year? The jury remains undecided.

Be careful when reading the reviews for this one. According to FakeSpot How to Know If You Can Trust an Amazon Product's Reviews How to Know If You Can Trust an Amazon Product's Reviews Amazon product reviews are hit or miss. Sometimes they're helpful, sometimes they're fake. Here's a tool you can use to check the integrity of a given product's reviews. Read More , close to 70 percent of them are fake or suspicious. However, even when you adjust the product rating for wonderful reviews, it still scores 4-out-of-5 stars. Whether to trust that or not, I’ll leave it up to you.

Bengoo Gaming Headset Comfortable 3.5mm Stereo Over-ear Headphone Headband with LED Lighting for PC Computer Game With Noise Isolation & Volume Control(Not Support PS4/XBOX360) Bengoo Gaming Headset Comfortable 3.5mm Stereo Over-ear Headphone Headband with LED Lighting for PC Computer Game With Noise Isolation & Volume Control(Not Support PS4/XBOX360) Brand new.Braided wire, durable tensile effectively reduce the external resistance; Velcro cable tie, prevent the line twining. Buy Now At Amazon $25.99

Which Gaming Headsets Do You Have?

We’d be remiss to end this post without mentioning the possibility of a headphones plus microphone combo, which many people claim offers better overall quality for the same price. That might be true when you’re in the $50-plus range but isn’t so true in the sub-$25 range. Even if you do find a good $10 microphone, good luck finding a pair of $15 headphones that isn’t utter trash.

Ultimately we recommend saving up for something that’s $100-plus if you can. But if you need something in the budget range, then you won’t find better than the ones listed above.

Did any of these headsets catch your eye? Which headset were you using last? Or simply tell us about the best gaming headsets you’ve ever owned. We want to know, so leave us a comment below!

  1. Krusher99
    November 12, 2016 at 4:19 am

    Hey. DO NOT get the sades headset. It's louder in the left ear than the right one and they sound very bad, even for $30. I tried to install the drivers from their website and it didn't even register that I had the headset plugged in and it wouldn't let me install. Also, their "noise isolation" is a huge lie. Every noise I made sounded the same as if I didn't even have the headset on. I've only had it for one day and it's already hard to return.

  2. Lego
    April 10, 2016 at 1:28 am

    I was about to just ignore this article because my brother had the SADES headset and hated it, but then I realized that you called it basically unreliable, and now I trust it again.

  3. Shagwrath
    January 25, 2016 at 2:17 am

    DO NOT get the Sades headset, as someone who has owned that specific set and 2 others of higher quality I can say the quality is poor, they break very quickly (a few months after purchase) and the manufacturer is extremely difficult to deal with in terms of warranty and returns.

    • James
      May 23, 2016 at 3:37 pm

      You are SOOO right mine broke in about 3 weeks and i had kept them in the best place possible (one earphone didnt play sound and the mic stopped working

  4. tim sanford
    November 20, 2015 at 12:53 am

    I'm new to the idea of headsets because I usally use earbuds so I was wondering which one you would recommend.

  5. Christian Schullerman
    August 18, 2015 at 12:04 am

    I've had the first one on the list (Logitech H390 ClearChat Headset) and I had to pay about 60$ for it and it broke in only a week. The USB broke off of the headset so couldn't plug it in my computer.

  6. conner ernst
    June 3, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    Do any of these headsets allow you to hear both voice chat and the actual game sound itself? Thanks guys

    • Daniel Weldon
      July 9, 2015 at 8:17 pm

      If you are on PC, then yes. All of them do, even regular headphones from your iPhone let you hear both voice and game sound.

  7. DizzeeDGAF
    March 30, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    I just picked up a set of Sades Wolfang's (within the past 90 minutes) and thought I'd let you know that they're now a USB plug as opposed to the headphone & microphone jacks. Great article, I just wish I had read it before buying. I sincerely hope they're not just average because they're damn sexy!

    • Joel Lee
      April 12, 2015 at 1:34 am

      Thanks for that update. I hope they last a long time for you. Would be nice to know that there's a cheap but reliable option out there.

  8. Bill
    March 10, 2015 at 11:18 am

    Actually the headsets are 23.98 on monoprice.com's own website. Here is the store page:
    http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=108&cp_id=10823&cs_id=1082302&p_id=8323&seq=1&format=2

    • Joel
      March 12, 2015 at 3:58 am

      Wow, I should've checked there instead of Amazon. If that listing isn't just a temporary sale price, that's absolutely fantastic! Thanks for the heads up. I'm itching to buy one now. (I wonder what the Monoprice shipping fees look like?)

  9. Bill
    March 5, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    Monoprice 8323's are my choice for gaming. Add any mic to it you wish to make how well you sound. I use an SF-666 Desk mic for voice total about 35-40 bucks 23 for just the headsets and the sound blows away any gaming headset I have owned.

    • Joel
      March 10, 2015 at 4:07 am

      Those are priced at $35, which is fantastic but just a little too much to be included in this article. However, combined with a $10 Zalman and that would be a formidable headphones+mic combo for $45, which is wayyyy cheaper than any gaming headset out there. Definitely worth the savings. Thanks Bill!

  10. WinDork
    March 4, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    Great article. Thanks!

    • Joel
      March 10, 2015 at 4:05 am

      You're welcome! I hope it helped. :)

  11. lordmogul
    March 4, 2015 at 6:59 am

    And than is the easy solution of using decent hifi headphones paired with a microphone, which together cost around 25-30$ and will outperform anything called "gaming headset" in the range up to 60$ and more

    • Joel
      March 10, 2015 at 4:04 am

      Yup, made mention of that in the closing paragraph. Zalman clip-on mic is $10 and really good for the price.

  12. KMFDM_Kid2000
    March 3, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    I was hoping your article would include a wireless set, but that's wishful thinking on my part. I still do need a wireless headset similar to one like these. Most are a lot more than $25 that's for sure. Any chance of seeing an article like this for wireless sets under $100? That's the most I could spend without the wife making me sleep outside.

    • Joel
      March 10, 2015 at 4:03 am

      Sorry, yeah, I wanted to include at least one wireless headset under $25 but there aren't any good ones that I saw and I wouldn't want to recommend a complete piece of junk. The idea for wireless headsets under $100 could be a good idea, I'll forward it to my editor. Thanks!

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