Updated for February 2017: We replaced the Kraken 7.1 Chroma with the new Kraken Pro V2 for enhanced affordability without dropping quality (or volume) levels.

Best overall

Razer Kraken Pro V2

Kraken Pro V2

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It's not quite budget-friendly, though that depends on what type of gamer you are, but for $79.99 the Razer Kraken Pro V2 is a great little headset. Not only does it sport a retractable mic but also 16.8 million colors for lighting, as well as USB for enhanced sound and 7.1 surround emulation.

Bottom line: It's a solid headset that's comfortable to use, has great sounds and looks great.

One more thing: You will need to turn up the microphone because it's seriously quiet.

Why Razer Kraken Pro V2 is the best budget gaming headset

The Kraken Pro V2 by Razer is the best affordable gaming headset you can buy.

The Pro V2 is a workhorse of a headset. It's competitively priced and has a bunch of features that make the price tag well worth the investment. Version 2 introduced two fantastic 50mm drivers to improve the overall audio experience, and they certainly do so.

Many people think Razer headsets are too heavy on the bass, and I generally agree. Luckily, you can customize just how much is being thrown into your ears, for those times when you aren't blasting enemies or listening to trap music. When you have the sound just as you like you'll be able to game for hours with the Kraken — it really does offer a comfortable experience.

Then there's the fully-retractable digital microphone. Better yet, the Kraken Pro V2 looks the part. The headset utilizes a 3.5mm jack, which means you'll be able to take this out and plug it into your smartphone when not gaming online with friends and clan mates. Overall, I just couldn't put the Kraken Pro V2 down during long, enduring gaming sessions.

Premium

HyperX Cloud II

HyperX Cloud II

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Starting at $89.99, the HyperX Cloud II may be out of range for many gamers who would rather spend their bucks on new titles. But should you want to enjoy an even higher quality experience in-game, the Cloud II is worth a look.

Bottom line: It's more expensive than Razer's Kraken Pro V2, but it has its own highlights.

One more thing: The 53mm drivers are well matched with the USB connector and onboard sound card.

Comfort

SteelSeries Siberia 200

SteelSeries Siberia 200

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SteelSeries has gone all-out with the Siberia 200 headset, which sports not only impressive 50mm drivers but also a suspension-based headband for optimal comfort. Take advantage of years worth of development, in-line volume and mute controls, and support for the company's own software suite for personalization.

Bottom line: The headset not only _looks_good but also performs admirably.

One more thing: You may have an issue wearing the Siberia 200 with glasses.

Smart

Turtle Beach — Ear Force PX22

Turtle Beach Ear Force PX22

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The Ear Force PX22 from Turtle Beach is an affordable headset that offers 50mm drivers for playback that will make one smile when hitting the stars in No Man's Sky or taking on a heist in Grand Theft Auto Online with friends. There's no virtual surround, and you'll not be able to reproduce audio at the same level of more expensive options, but for general use and gaming, you'll be absolutely fine.

Bottom line: It's affordable, and has good build quality and adequate sound playback.

One more thing: It automatically adjusts voice input and chat playback levels.

Affordable

Logitech G430

Logitech G430

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The G430 is an excellent headset for the price. Logitech managed to pack in a bunch of features, and you'll not be required to part with too much in order to strap it to your head. We've got Dolby 7.1 surround sound, comfortable ear cups for long gaming sessions that can swivel up to 90 degrees for a more personalized fit.

Bottom line: Logitech packed a lot of functionality into the G430, which is available at a good price.

One more thing: USB and 3.5mm jack support are included, depending on what you're connecting to.

Conclusion

Purchasing a headset doesn't have to be an expensive investment, especially if you're not going to be streaming or doing any voice-over editing. When gaming teamwork demands you hop onto TeamSpeak or Discord, you need a headset. But getting one that sounds decent doesn't mean you have to break the bank on a premium offering.

There are various factors one should consider when looking at potential headset purchases. These include comfort, speaker and microphone quality, connection type, unique features and aesthetic design. While generally speaking any headset in the sub-$100 bracket won't be as good as a quality pair of Hi-Fi headphones, they'll still get the job done.

We believe the Kraken Pro V2 by Razer to be the best budget headset you can buy for gaming, though other options in this guide are certainly worth consideration.

Best overall

Razer Kraken Pro V2

Kraken Pro V2

See at Amazon

It's not quite budget-friendly, though that depends on what type of gamer you are, but for $79.99 the Razer Kraken Pro V2 is a great little headset. Not only does it sport a retractable mic but also 16.8 million colors for lighting, as well as USB for enhanced sound and 7.1 surround emulation.

Bottom line: It's a solid headset that's comfortable to use, has great sounds and looks great.

One more thing: You will need to turn up the microphone because it's seriously quiet.