Should I buy a gaming headset or headphones for PC gaming?

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Whether you’re seeking a more immersive gaming experience or you just want to be courteous to others, you may soon find yourself in the market for a good headset. Audio gear can get pricey, especially if you’re not quite sure what you’re looking for.

Should you purchase an explicitly labeled gaming headset for late night rounds of Fortnite, or will a regular pair of headphones and a mic do the job just fine? It all depends on a few factors: desired quality, price range, and the convenience factor. With so many options out there, it can be intimidating to shop around. Here’s a quick start guide that can get you started.

Gaming headsets: Lower quality all-in-one solutions

Traditional gaming headsets can be defined as headphones with a built-in microphone. They’re meant as singular solutions for folks looking to jump into their game as quickly as possible without getting too bogged down by the technical details. They’ve got padded ear cups, niceties like retractable mics, and, all too often, “gamer” designs that have proven popular sellers. Sometimes this means a lot of pretty garish plastic, though some recent headsets like Steelseries’ look much classier.

Typically, you’ll deal with an avalanche of marketing terms and promises meant to distract you from the basics of any good headset: quality sound. While popular gaming brands can and do offer sturdy, dependable headsets with premium options to boot, the fact of the matter is most gaming headset lines aren’t the highest possible caliber you can hope to purchase.

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