In 2020, staying in touch with our friends from far away is more important than ever. But it's not enough to have an "okay" microphone and headset. Whether you and the crew are trying to clinch the win in Valorant or you just need a quality mic for work calls on Zoom, a good headset goes a long way to making you sound great — and look great, too.
For gamers, you know the deal: A good quality headset will ensure your team can hear you, and you can hear your team, with crystal clear clarity. That makes a huge difference when you're all trying to coordinate and work together in high-stakes scenarios.
For non-gamers trying to upgrade their work from home situations, you can thank the gamers for demanding high fidelity and sleek aesthetics. Because even if you're never going to play a round of Overwatch, gamer headsets are fantastic gadgets that help smooth out the static-y, noisy textures caused by your computer's subpar internal microphone.
If you're in the market for a headset, look no further. Over on Amazon, there are three stellar candidates you can't ignore, and they're all way under $200. Here are the three gaming headsets you need to complete your work/battle stations.
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Option 1: The Well-Rounded gaming headset
The beautiful thing about SteelSeries' Arctis 1 is that it does everything you need — deliver rich sound, is comfortable to wear, can be used on any platform — and does it all well, at a reasonable price. Often available for no more than $100, the SteelSeries Artcis 1 Wireless is a well-rounded option boasting primo sound and flexible utility.
The Arctis 1 sports lossless 2.4GHz wireless for ultra low-latency, a convenient detachable noise-canceling microphone, and comfortable foam ear cups that make you feel like you're wearing a cloud. Thanks to its included wireless USB-C dongle and 4-pole 3.5 mm cable, this bad boy can be used on any platform you've got, including PC, Xbox, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and even your smartphone.
Rest assured, when you go into battle with the Arctis 1, you've already got the best tool for the job.
Option 2: The Luxe gaming headset
Putting on the Logitech G Pro feels like wearing the interior of a luxury car. Besides the rich sound it offers from Logitech's signature PRO-G 50mm drivers, the headset's distinct matte metal cups are lined with memory foams so comfy you could easily fall sleep with them. (These can also be swapped for either leather or plush, both included.)
The one downside is that the Logitech G Pro isn't a wireless option, unlike the SteelSeries Arctis 1. But for the quality and comfort you're getting, it's not at all a dealbreaker if wireless isn't a big priority.
The headset comes with a detachable 6mm microphone, which features an integrated pop and wind blocker to filter out any unwanted noise. Connectivity can be done through either a USB or 3.5mm audio port, which is a pretty rare feature of flexibility for a headset. Hook this bad boy to your PC and you can refine a profile tailored to your ears using Logitech's G HUB software.
What Logitech doesn't hype about the G Pro, and should, is how good the G Pro looks. While gamer headsets tend to make the wearer look like a sci-fi hacker, the G Pro has a more refined style that wouldn't be out of place in a recording studio. For those turned off by the blinding lights of a typical gamer headset, the G Pro is an excellent alternative for the adults in the room.
Option 3: The Efficient gaming headset
PDP's LVL series aren't the flashiest headsets on the market. But for their price, you can't beat what they offer. The reliable LVL40 offers 40mm audio drivers that rival more expensive options, a bi-directional noise-canceling microphone, volume control on the right ear, and a surprisingly light build that feels like the headset disappears when you're wearing it. I'm actually wearing this one right now as I type this article, and it feels great.
The LVL40 is a mid-tier option that is perhaps the only option to consider when you're on a budget. For ten dollars extra you can spring for the LVL50, which comes with 50mm drivers as opposed to LVL40's 40mm. Shell out a little more and you can get the same headset in a wireless package that comes with 16 hours of juice. Whatever you get, you're getting something good from PDP.
Eric's Sick Picks is a weekly column recommending cool gadgets and peripherals in tech, gaming, and culture to improve your lifestyle.