10 Jan Best Gaming Headset under £100 – Buyer’s Guide
Find the best gaming headset under £100, whether you’re a casual or serious gamer. In combat games you need to pinpoint enemy positions by the sound of gunfire, and be able to hear the guy who’s rushing up to you to try and knife you and steal your dog tags!
But which gaming headset should you buy? There are so many headsets on the market with a variety of features that it’s a lot to wade through. That’s why we’ve made this list of gaming headsets, from cheap ones that ‘do the job’, to some of the most expensive ones on the market with great features and audio fidelity.
We are avid gamers ourselves so you can be sure we’re giving you the best advice here by offering a range of choices for you and going into the pros and cons of some of the best gaming headsets available.
Best Gaming Headset Under £100
Check the table below to quickly see transmission, connections and platform for each gaming headset, click on the model name to read the full review.
|SteelSeries Arctis 5||Wired||USB/3.5mm Stereo Jack||XBox/PS4/PC/Mac||Check price|
|HyperX Cloud 2||Wired||3.5mm Stereo Jack||XBox/PS4/PC/Mac||Check price|
|Razer Kraken 7.1||Wired||USB||XBox/PS4/PC/Mac||Check price|
|HyperX Cloud||Wired||3.5mm Stereo Jack||XBox/PS4/PC/Mac||Check price|
|Turtle beach stealth 450||Wireless||3.5mm Stereo Jack||PC||Check price|
SteelSeries Arctis 5
The Arctis 5 gaming headset has a very fuss-free design, with clean lines and none of the bulkiness that we so often see in modern headphones. This lack of bulk contributes to the headset’s comfort too. In a barely-glossy black finish with orange detailing the Arctis looks smart and stylish without being gaudy. It has well-padded and smoothly-textured ear-cups as well as a flexible headband made from Velcro, which makes adjustable fitting easy.
It’s a moderately large headset but due to it’s sleek design this isn’t readily-apparent to the observer or the wearer, meaning you wouldn’t feel like a freak wearing these outside! Some thought has obviously gone into the placement of the microphone, which is flexible and extendable, and the volume dial and mute button which are both at the rear and easy to find, even in the middle of a firefight.
Because the Arctis 5 has been designed to work well on any gaming platform, it necessarily comes with a lot of cabling as well as an amplifier for your desktop. So though it does work with any platform, it can make for a cluttered desktop, but this is a small price to pay for the connection flexibility the headset offers.
SteelSeries are known for their comfortable headsets and the Arctis 5 continues this tradition. The flexible headband seems to magically shape itself to your head, and if you need further adjustments then simply alter the Velcro straps to suit. The ear-cups feel quite luxurious and won’t be sweaty after a marathon gaming-session, they are nice and firm without feeling too tight.
When it comes to gaming configuration, the Arctis 5 has a lot of options. This is good because you can tweak almost everything, but not so good if you just want to plug-and-play and can’t be bothered with lots of options. Luckily there are preset configs for those of us that don’t like too many choices.
In-game sound is absolutely fantastic, richly-detailed and highly-positional. Far Cry Primal really comes to life with this headset, the sounds of the jungle seeming to be all around you and not just to your left and right. On some older games the surround-sound doesn’t quite do the job, ending up sounding a little muddy at times, but they still sounded amazing with surround-sound disabled.
When it comes to listening to music, the Arctis 5 puts in a good performance, but it won’t be replacing your Bose or your Sennheiser headphones. Music sounds good from all sources, whether HiFi or television, if a little muddy sometimes when playing bass-heavy music.
With it’s retractable microphone, on-ear volume control and mute button SteelSeries have made the Arctis 5 easy to operate. The mic sound quality is very good, making this an excellent headset for voice-work, though the lack of a pop-shield means you need a little more distance between you and the mic than normal.
Running on the usual SteelSeries Engine software, there are plenty of options for your listening pleasure, especially when it comes to the microphone. There may be too many options for some people but it’s better than having too few.
The headset also comes with RGB-lighting, something i’m not a big fan of but if it’s the kind of thing you’re into then you’ll be pleased with the RGB customisation options on offer.
The Final Word
SteelSeries have another fantastic product in the Arctis 5. With incredible gaming sound, great musical performance and great voice capabilities it really isn’t lacking as a specialised gaming headset or a good all-rounder. It’s smart, no-nonsense design offers simplicity, ease of use and unrivalled comfort. The software is well-designed and offers many options. The only thing letting the headset down is the multitude of wires, and this is a small gripe really for a product that is outstanding in so many areas.
Highly-configurable on PC
Compatible with many devices
Features such as surround sound don’t work with consoles
Too much cabling for some
Kingston Hyper X Cloud II
The Hyper X Cloud II gaming headset has that low-key, music-studio headphones look, with a traditional curved headband and well-padded, rotatable ear cups as well as adjustable metal forks which have about an inch of play in either direction.
The modular design features a detachable microphone with an extendable, bendy coil which enables accurate positioning of the large foam tip.
Available in faux leather black with a choice of discreet gun metal grey or funky red detailing, the Hyper X Cloud II is as stylish as they come. The brushed-metal forks and subtle, embroidered logo on the top of the headband add to an overall classy and stylish look, while the faux leather ear cups give it a luxurious feel.
The microphone is easily detachable, transforming the Hyper X Cloud II from a gaming headset into a pair of headphones which are attractive and discreet enough to wear out and about.
Kingston has put a lot of thought into comfort. As well as being incredibly lightweight, the headset features memory foam ear cups, which fit snugly around your ears without feeling too tight, making the Cloud II a great choice for those who like to game for hours on end.
There are two types of interchangeable ear cups included in the price: faux leather and soft velour. Add to that the memory foam, and it’s hard to find a more comfortable gaming headset on the market today.
The overall sound quality is good, both for gaming and listening to music. The 7.1 surround sound helps distinguish subtle sounds such as the swish of a blade or footsteps, and you can easily hear where the enemies are coming from. It’s easy to turn the surround sound on and off, which is handy when you just want to listen to music.
Bear in mind though that surround sound only works with PCs and Macs, not with consoles. However, the sound quality is still good so it doesn’t detract too much from the overall experience.
The mic quality is quite impressive and works well during games and Skype calls, although you can’t monitor your own voice, so be careful not to talk too loudly, especially during late night gaming sessions.
The Hyper X Cloud II doesn’t come with accompanying software, so you can’t tweak the treble and bass, which is a pity because the bass could do with a little more oomph. However, it makes life simpler for those who just want to plug-in and play.
Unlike many headsets, the volume and surround sound controls are on a separate USB dongle, so you’re not fiddling around with the headset or risk accidentally pressing the wrong button. It may lack software configuration, but it’s far more user-friendly than more sophisticated models.
For a gaming headset under £100, the thoughtful extras included in the price are a pleasant surprise. The Hyper X comes with an extra set of ear cups, an airplane headphone adaptor and a mesh carry bag.
Another handy feature is the 4 pin 3.5 mm jack used for the USB adapter, which also fits many smartphones, so you can make calls and listen to music on your phone too.
The detachable microphone which allows you to go from gaming headset to simple headphones is another plus point which adds to the Hyper X’s versatility.
The Final Word
The Hyper X Cloud II is a stylish, well-designed, attractive, good-all-rounder. But the three things that set it apart from its rivals are its versatility, added extras, and above all, extreme comfort. Considering how many features you’re getting for your money, it’s a definite winner for those looking for a reasonably priced, good all round gaming headset.
Very light and comfortable
Interchangeable ear cups
Impressive mic quality
Seperate USB dongle
Surround-sound doesn't work on consoles
No software for configuration
Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma
As the name would suggest, the Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma is a sturdy, tough-looking beast. The compact and stylish design features large, well-padded black faux leather ear pads and a thick headband with a retractable pencil-thin microphone that extends and retracts easily.
The bright green Razer name is emblazoned on the top of the headband, and the centre of the mesh grille on the outer side of the ear cups feature the distinctive, triple-headed snake logo of the Esports elite.
But the head turner of this gaming headset is the LED lighting that comes as standard. Once you plug the headset in, the Razer logos on the ear cups light up. There’s a choice of customisable lighting effects and an inexhaustible range of colour spectrum’s to choose from; 16.8 million to be exact!
Some gamers may find the bright green Razer name and lighting a bit gaudy and off-putting, whereas younger gamers and die-hard Razer fans should find them particularly appealing.
With all that padding, you’d expect the Razer Kraken to be comfortable. The headband certainly stretches wide enough for the biggest heads while fitting snugly around smaller heads. However, that ‘snugness’ could start to feel heavy and tight after a couple of hours, so they may not be ideal for long playing sessions.
The sound quality is impressive and nicely balanced with a deep and full bass. The surround sound is helpful for picking up the tiniest of footsteps, while the headset does a top rate job in cutting out background noise for a truly immersive experience.
The Razer Synapse 2.0 software, included in the price, has a range of features including equalisers and LED colour customisations, so you can tweak each game for exceptional sound quality. The one year software warranty is an added bonus.
On a negative note, the software doesn’t let you set individual profile options and you have to repeatedly fine tune the software for each game to get an optimum, customised experience. However, if you can’t be bothered with all that tweaking and are not that pedantic, the presets are pretty good in their own right.
The ability to adjust the bass and treble via the software, or simply using the presets, makes the headset particularly pleasant for listening to music. While not quite at the level of Sennheiser headphones, the Kraken still does a pretty impressive job.
The microphone works well and cuts background noise to a minimum, and you can be heard clearly enough without sounding too mechanical. The white LED light on the mic can be distracting though, and can only be turned off when the microphone is muted, which is a bit annoying.
The digital microphone isn’t detachable but retracts neatly into the left ear cup which keeps it safe when travelling.
The colourful lighting, for those who like this function, is included in the price; an added feature that’s not usually offered as standard on similar headsets.
The Razer Synapse software is also included in the price, and the one year warranty is a definite plus point.
The headset also comes with a long, 2 metre cable which allows you to easily reach the other side of the room without having to remove the headset.
The Final Word
The Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma certainly lives up to its name both in terms of design and sound quality. A few niggles hold it back; long playing comfort being its main let down. But for the price range, it’s a good-looking, sturdy headset that will make a cool and welcome present for gamers and Razer fans who want illumination features with a decent sound quality.
Highly configurable software
RGB LED Feature
Slightly tight after a few hours
No game-specific profiles
Kingston HyperX Cloud – White
However, if you’re after good looks, great sound quality and exceptional comfort, the original HyperX Cloud is still a fantastic choice at a more affordable price.
Colour wise, you can choose between a traditional black or silver detailing, or a more stylish and interesting white version; a colour option not available in the Cloud II model. The white stitching around the headband and HX logo on the outer ear cups add a nice, stylistic touch.
The Cloud comes with a choice of faux leather over-ear cups for a luxurious feel, or soft, velour cups for optimal comfort.
The solid design is built with durability in mind and can withstand a few knocks without damaging the headset, so are a good choice for more heavy handed users. The detachable microphone is a handy feature and coupled with the sleek, slimline look, makes the Cloud ideal for wearing out and about as a simple pair of headphones.
The Cloud ear cups come with the signature HyperX™ memory foam which is nothing short of heavenly! In terms of comfort, the Cloud certainly lives up to its name and won’t cause that typical hot, achy ear feeling after hours of gaming or listening to music.
The large ear cups hug gently around the ears, while allowing enough space for those who wear glasses too. And considering they weigh 350 g, they feel extremely lightweight, once on.
The HyperX Cloud doesn’t have any software to configure, so it’s ideal for those who just want to plug in and play. The stereo output is impressive and strong enough to pick up small details in games such as footsteps, while the deep and rich bass makes listening to music and watching videos a particularly enjoyable experience.
Although the lack of surround sound won’t give you that ‘fully’ immersive feeling you get with the HyperX Cloud II version, the original Cloud still offers a high quality sound experience, while the ear cups, especially the faux leather ones, do a good job of blocking out exterior noise.
On the down side, the HyperX Cloud has a couple of annoying niggles. The cables tend to get tangled far more easily than other models, and the in-line audio controls are a long way down the cable, almost out of reach, which is a pain when you need to react quickly.
The detachable microphone is adequate, if not spectacular, and the bendy coil helps you easily customise the position of the black foam tip. But although you can be heard clearly enough, the effect is a bit ‘nasal’ and makes you sound like you’ve got a cold.
A major thumbs up for the amount of generous extras included in the price. The HyperX Cloud comes with mobile and aeroplane adapters, USB and analogue extension, Y splitter cable, an extra pair of velour ear cups and a handy carry bag.
The detachable microphone is a handy feature, so if you’re not into multiplayer games, or just want to listen to music, you can easily remove it.
The Final Word
The HyperX Cloud is the ideal headset for casual gaming, single-player games, listening to music, watching movies and making the odd Skype call. The extra accessories included in the price are an added bonus.
If a high performing microphone isn’t your top priority, but you still want a simple-to-use, durable, comfortable headset with good sound quality at an affordable price, then the HyperX Cloud definitely ticks all the boxes.
Very comfortable memory-foam
Lots of adapters
Choice of ear cups
Turtle Beach Stealth 450 Wireless Gaming Headset DTS Headphone : X 7.1 Surround Sound (PC)
The controls are positioned towards the back so there’s less risk of accidentally adjusting anything.
The microphone is easily removable and there’s also a basic 3.5 mm jack cable for mobiles and tablets so you can also listen to music on your smartphone.
The logos on the ear cups glow white when the headset is in use, and red when it’s charging, so you can continue to play even when the headset’s in charge mode. The ear cups swivel and fold flat, so can be packed away easily for travelling.
The Stealth 450 isn’t the most comfortable headset around. It’s a very tight fit at first, so big headed gamers may struggle. It does give after a while, but remains on the extreme side of snug.
The mesh padded ear cups don’t have memory foam, so they don’t feel as luxurious or as cosy as other brands in the same price range. The lack of memory foam also means a degree of sound leakage.
However, the frame itself is lightweight, and that coupled with the 100% wireless feature does give you a good sense of freedom and portability.
Set up is straightforward and easy. Just plug the small, stick-like transmitter into your PC’s USB port, wait for the computer to recognise the output sound , and away you go.
Surround sound 7.1 can be set up via the Turtle Beach installation tool which configures with Windows. There are 3 presets: Game, Movie and Music which can be switched on or off via the buttons on the actual headset, which is handy.
The DTS:X decoder delivers a clear and crisp surround sound that picks up the most subtle sounds for a truly immersive experience.
But the icing on the cake has got to be the unique ‘Superhuman Hearing’ setting which sounds a bit over the top, but really does help you to distinguish footsteps from other sounds so you can hear your enemies approaching before you can even see them.
The sound quality for listening to music is excellent, with an impressive bass and clear mids and highs. The 3.5 mm lets you listen to music on your mobile, although the absence of in-line controls is annoying.
The microphone works well, output is loud and clear both for games and Skype calls. It also has a voice monitoring feature, whereby you can hear the actual volume of your own voice when talking, so you won’t get into trouble for shouting, although the sound leakage from the ear cups may annoy those around you if the volume’s high.
The biggest plus point however, is the wireless range. The frequency hopper cuts out any interference and you can walk to another room or even another floor level without losing the signal, which makes it really handy if you want to make a cuppa without removing the headset.
The removable microphone is flexible and easy to remove, allowing you to wear the Stealth 450 as a simple pair of headphones.
The added ‘Superhuman Hearing’ will particularly appeal to the more serious gamers, while the fantastic wireless frequency range gives you freedom and movement without being tied to the spot; ideal if you want to do other things while listening to music.
The Final Word
Turtle Beach could have worked harder on the comfort levels of the Stealth 450, and the ear cups could be better quality, but the sound quality and wireless range certainly make up for the design failings. You’d be hard pushed to find a better wireless gaming headset anywhere else in this price range.
Excellent music audio
A tight fit for some