While heisting with randoms isn’t half as harrowing as the GTA Online community would have you believe, it’s usually a better idea to game with a team – and what team could possibly function without proper communication? Headsets have become essential for multiplayer gaming, enabling voice communication between players who might be anywhere from different rooms in the same house to different continents.
Naturally, no one wants to be the guy with the crackling microphone. That low-quality headset makes it sound like the culprit is violently scrunching a bag of crisps at all times, and more importantly makes it impossible to divine what he’s saying – which can be troublesome in a tight spot. GTA Online provides a number of situations wherein cooperation is essential, and poor communications detract from everyone’s experience.
But which headsets are best for GTA Online? Of course, the rule of thumb here is that the best headsets for gaming in general fit the bill, since there is nothing about GTA that makes microphone communications work differently, and ditto for sound quality. We’ve checked around – and even tested a few – headsets in various price ranges to give players a comprehensive list of the best headsets, broken down by platform. Whether you want a premium solution, or quality that doesn’t break the bank, we’ve got you covered.
Before we get started, however, a general rule: earphones with small microphones attached to the wire are ass. You *need* an actual headset with a fixed microphone unless you want your GTA Online team to mute you and not care about your input, or cease playing with you entirely.
Note: Some prices are Cyber Monday Deals Week prices and will go up once the promo is over.
Budget Option: Afunta X1-S – $13.99
The X1-S is a surprisingly well-made wired headset for the price. In terms of value, it will get you some great band for your buck, packing the kinds of extras you’ll usually find on higher-end models, such as a braided cable. The headset features an adjustable omnidirectional microphone which has pretty damn good sound quality, especially compared to the price. The headset also comes with its own voice-distortion software if you’re into that, but we suggest against using it while communicating with teammates.
Design-wise, it’s also one of the more restrained budget models out there. Interestingly enough, it’s usually the cheaper headsets that go overboard with the edgy new-age sci-fi futuristic looks, jamming glowing bits and odd angles everywhere. The X1-S looks more grounded, and thus less cheap, than most other budget options.
Lower-Mid Range: Logitech G230 – $29.99
Regardless of model, you’ll never go wrong with Logitech. They don’t do cheesy designs like many “gamer” peripheral manufacturers, and the quality of their products is prime. The G230 is one of their midrange wired headsets with a noise-cancelling microphone, swivelling earcups and a volume dial with a mute switch on the cord. While this doesn’t come with some of the bells and whistles of the cheaper option – no voice distorting software – the overall quality of the materials and sound drivers is more impressive. Plus, Logitech has a reputation for durability.
In terms of design, the G230 follows the typical Logitech headset design scheme with the iconic earcup shape. The awesomeness of the black/red colour combination has been known to mankind pretty much since prehistory and it looks chipper on this headset too. The cushions are also some of the most comfortable across all price ranges.
Upper-Mid Range: Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma – $64.99
Ah, I can already hear the furious tapping of the haters. “Razer is overpriced”, “Razer products break easily”, “Razer just makes flashy garbage”. Few peripheral manufacturers out there get as much flak as Razer does, and while we’ll go ahead and assume that there might be some truth to these claims, personally we’ve only had positive experiences with their products.
So, if you’re willing to get over your misconstrued prejudices, the Kraken 7.1 can be a great headset. The microphone offers great noise-cancelling and quality without jamming a small planetoid made of foam in front of your face and the 7.1 audio drivers will help you discover sounds you haven’t even heard before during gameplay. Design-wise, the Kraken is also more reserved than many cheesy space-age “gamer” headsets out there, and opts for a more stylish look backed up by customizable lighting options. It’s also the most comfortable headset I’ve ever worn.
High End: Logitech G930 – $87.92
Coming back to good old Logitech, we have one of their whippier headsets on offer. This headset can switch between wired and wireless modes, features crisp 7.1 surround sound and has a high-quality noise cancelling mic that you can mute by folding upward into its inactive position. The left face of the headset features volume controls and three programmable buttons.
From a design standpoint, the G930 is very similar to the G230 by having the same basic shape and colour scheme, however, the added buttons on the face of the left-side give its look a utilitarian edge. In any case, you’re paying for the quality of the components, not the looks anyway.
Premium: Sennheiser PC 360 Special Edition – $249.95
For two and a half hundred bucks, you’ll probably be expecting a lot of bang and premium quality. The PC 360 SE offers just that. Ranging beyond the obvious of having the best sound and microphone quality, this headset features a unique earcup design allowing for airflow to prevent sweaty ears after long sessions, premium velvet cushions which make wearing this thing feel like your earlobes are being caressed by the goddess Aphrodite and a sturdy build which will happily function on even after the umpteenth time you whack the poor thing at the wall in rage when the other team wins.
As per Sennheiser tradition, this headset isn’t a looker – but who cares, it’s not like you see the damn thing while using it anyway. This is a quality headset designed for people who want supreme audio quality, not for people who want a flashy fashion statement on their head. No lights, no cheesy sci-fi shapes, no neon colours – and it’s the best one on the list.
Note: compatible with consoles.
Budget Option: KMD PS4 Live Chat Headset – $9.75
The KMD Live Chat is about as cheap as you’ll get without wading into the territory of the literally unusable devices. At under ten bucks, it should come as no surprise that this isn’t a feature heavy headset. The cord is rubber, the microphone and sound quality is passable and the thing doesn’t even remotely look good. That said, it serves it purpose and at least has a mute switch and volume control on the cord.
Mid-Range: Gioteck MH-1 – $22.99
Seeing as most PC compatible headsets also work with consoles, we decided to look at a model preferred by couch-gamers. Many who prefer consoles opt for a single-sided headset instead of one covering both ears. If you count yourself in this camp, the MH-1 is a great choice. For this price, it has the best microphone out there and the audio quality is pretty neat too. The earcup is more comfortable than most others in this price range as well, which is a plus
High-End: Sony PS4 Platinum – $159.96
This beast of a headset even works well on PCs and mobile devices, however, there can be no doubt that it was intended for use with the PS4. The Platinum headset features a pair of hidden mics, an extremely elegant design, sturdy build, comfortable cushions and damn great sound quality. We had qualms about the gimmicky-feeling hidden mics, but it turns out they’re pretty crisp and there is no noticeable decrease in quality compared to regular ones.
Budget Option: Afterglow LVL1 – $12.50
Though compatible with the PS4 as well, the Afterglow LVL1 is mostly marketed as an Xbox headset. At this price, you pretty much know what to expect. Passable but not exceptional microphone and audio quality. The headset features a mute button and volume controls as well.
Mid-Range Option: Afterglow LVL3 – $27.99
Sticking to the same manufacturer, we step up a rung on the ladder to check out the mid-range headset the company offers for Xbox One gamers. The obvious improvement is that this is a full double-sided headset, and the typical suite of sound and mic quality upgrades are there.
High-End: Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Pro – $95.49>
This model is a significant step up from the previous contestant. It comes with a number of bonuses beyond – you guessed it – improvements to mic and sound quality. The headset features a so-called “superhuman hearing mode” which pushed things like music and ambient SFX to the background while amplifying the sound effect cues of, say, the footsteps of opponents or reload sounds. The braided cord should go without mention.
Which of these headsets would you recommend for GTA Online? Do you have recommendations that didn’t make the list?
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