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Do you really need a gaming headset?

Turtle Beach Elite Atlas
Turtle Beach Elite Atlas (Image credit: Windows Central)

Do you really need a gaming headset?

Best answer: Having a good headset on hand offers you significant advantages both inside and outside of games that you can't afford to pass up. You can play without one, but you can't take the experience to the next level, either.Amazon: Turtle Beach Elite Atlas (opens in new tab) ($100)HyperX: HyperX CloudX ($80)

What advantages do headsets bring?

Headsets allow you to do two key things that speakers don't: filter sound directly into your ears and give you a microphone to use for in-game communication. The former is fantastic if you're playing late at night and don't want to disturb the rest of your household, and the latter drastically improves your communication capabilities while in-game.

In addition, if you want top-of-the-line sound quality during gaming experiences, headsets are much more budget-friendly than good speaker setups, which often cost $200 and above. Due to this, choosing a headset over speakers is a smart decision if you're a dedicated gamer. Check out our comparison between headsets and speakers for a more in-depth analysis.

What sets gaming headsets apart from normal headsets?

Turtle Beach Stealth 600

Turtle Beach Stealth 600 (Image credit: Windows Central)

If you already own a "jack-of-all-trades" headset, you might be wondering why you might need one designed specifically for gaming. The three main things that set gaming headsets apart from regular ones are the comfort, sound quality, and microphone quality.

Most normal headsets are designed to be used for brief periods of time, like for business meetings or phone calls, and gaming headsets are designed with long, intense gaming sessions in mind. In a situation like that, you want your headset to be comfortable over time, for it to have excellent sound quality, and for your microphone to be very sensitive to your voice. Sure, a normal headset will work, but you'll have a much more enjoyable experience using a headset that's built for playing games.

Which gaming headset should you choose?

Turtle Beach Elite Atlas headset

Turtle Beach Elite Atlas headset (Image credit: Windows Central )

The gaming headset market is as wide as an ocean, so the best headset for you is mostly dependent on which platform you use and what your budget is. However, we think the best all-around gaming headset is the Turtle Beach Elite Atlas. Offering a sleek look, high sound quality, a comfortable wearer experience, and a great mid-range price of $100, the Turtle Beach Elite Atlas will get the job done well regardless of which platform or system you game on.

If the Elite Atlas is a little on the pricey side for you, then we recommend the HyperX CloudX headset. Though it released two years ago, the CloudX still holds up well by today's standards, and you can grab a pair for $20 less than the Elite Atlas.

For more picks, don't miss our guides on both Xbox One heasdsets and PC gaming headsets for information about headsets designed to best work specifically with those machines.

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.