Gaming Headsets & Headphones: 101

Ok, we’re going to take a deep dive into gaming headsets, covering off on some basics, but also other aspects that should be considered when choosing a gaming headset that’s right for you!

Headset Vs Headphone?
Basically, a headset is the combination of headphone and a microphone together; typically, the microphone is mounted on a mic-arm on the headset itself, or found in-line on the cable; this allows you to actively participate in the game specifically when communication (speech), is required between yourself and other players in the game.

In saying the above, if a headset has good sound quality, then the benefit is not just for gaming, but also for listening to music, or simply keeping in touch online with others via the numerous communication platforms.

Side Note. # All things considered, if you have no requirement for a microphone, then a good quality headphone will serve you well.

What should you consider when looking for a headset?
Well, when you think about it several aspects come to mind, sound quality, microphone quality, overall comfort of the headset, headset connection options (i.e., USB or 3.5mm Jack); and last but not least, the design & build quality. Think of your purchase as an investment, your headset should deliver time and time again, over many gaming sessions! So, this said, let’s take a look at some of the aspects above.

Sound Quality: This is (good sound quality).
When looking for a good gaming headset,  you should primarily focus on the overall sound quality. If the gaming audio track, your music, speech or other sounds experienced, are reproduced in a dull or distorted way, it will quickly ruin your entire experience. If you choose a headset with excellent sound from the outset, you will enjoy intense sound and rich bass. In addition, environmental effects in games, such as gunshots sound much more realistic. For that matter you will also experience a better sound stage helping you determine the directions that the sounds are coming from within the game.

Microphone Quality: Basically (good voice clarity).
A good microphone is essential in a gaming headset. Communication with your team can make the difference between victory and defeat in the heat of the moment.  A high-quality, integrated microphone transmits your voice clearly, this ensures that all players can hear your voice optimally and in addition helps eliminate background noise. If you want to use your gaming headset as a headphone for listening to music for a change, some of our gaming headphones (MMX 100 & MMX 150) allow you to remove the microphone.

Design: Functionality (Open-back Vs. Closed-back)
Closed-back: So, to be totally honest, when it comes to a (gaming headset) with a built-in microphone; we have typically stayed with the (Closed back) design. But why?

Well, if you like to fully immerse yourself in your favourite games without being disturbed, you are best suited using a closed-back headset, or headphone for that matter. This design ensures that outside noises (stay outside), and is far less noticeable (if at all); this stops something from distracting you while gaming.

Closed gaming headsets are ideal if you: often suffer from ambient noise distracting you, attend LAN parties regularly or generally like more Bass in your audio.

That said, when looking at an open-back design on either a headset or headphone, there is less of a build-up in heat (temperature), within the capsule. This can be advantageous when using your headset or headphone in a location that has a high or unregulated temperature.

Open-back gaming headsets and gaming headphones, such as the (TYGR 300 R), not only allow part of the audio to filter through to the outside, but also are less susceptible to internal capsule temperature gains by way of better air circulation in the capsule. Accordingly, they are also less dominant than closed-back models and are often characterised by the following properties: natural sounding, having realistic tones & being able to deliver lots of depth in their sound.

Now on the subject of “depth of sound”, when it comes to FPS games, many players prefer open-back designs when used at home and/or at locations that don’t have a lot of external noise interfering with their gaming experience. Many gamers also use open-back studio headphones, such as the  DT 990 PRO . You can find out what studio headphones are also suitable for gaming here.

Best of both worlds?
The new  MMX 150  offers a special solution for everyone who cannot decide between a closed and an open design. Although the MMX 150 is technically a closed construction, the augmented mode can be used to create a spatial sound image similar to that of open headphones. This creates a more natural feeling for your surroundings. In addition, you can perceive outside noises well, and your surroundings literally merge with the gaming experience.

Build Quality: Basically (Comfort & functionality).
As a die-hard gamer, you may spend several hours a day in the virtual world of computer games. In this case, you should make sure that your gaming headset sits comfortably. 

Here are several characteristics to consider when choosing a gaming headphone or for that matter headset:

  • An ergonomic design that features movable joints around the ear capsules
  • An adjustable headband to allow for optimum positioning of the ear capsules
  • Soft earpads to ensure a comfortable fit for hours of use
  • A soft padded headband to help reduce any discomfort for long wearing periods

Last, but not least, Connection: (USB Vs. 3.5mm Jack).
Jack plugs are widely used in gaming headsets. They are plugged directly into the connections of the sound card and can also be connected to the following devices directly.

  • Pc
  • Laptop
  • TV
  • Smartphone
  • Tablet
  • Console

USB gaming headsets, have their own sound card in order to be able to generate optimal sound regardless of your built-in PC hardware. However, gaming headsets with only a USB connection option have a couple of disadvantages being; you can (mostly) only use it on your PC & in addition you always need a free USB slot on your computer or console.

This said, if your chosen a headset that offers both a USB and Jack connection option, you have the flexibility to use either when required.

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