How Do I Choose the Best Universal Gaming Headset?

Alex Newth

Most online games require a high degree of cooperation among participants, and one way to accomplish this is by using a universal gaming headset — a headset that is compatible with all gaming systems. To protect the hearing of the user, the best headset should have a chat volume control, so the user can decrease the volume for loud participants and increase it for quiet ones. When someone is speaking into a universal gaming headset, there often are explosions or loud sounds going on in the game simultaneously; the best headset will be able to cancel this noise and, thus, be clearer to understand. A headset with a removable microphone allows the user to stop talking but still listen, if he or she desires. Comfort also is extremely important, because many gaming headsets end up being worn for hours.

Modern gaming headphones have extra padding so they can be worn for long periods of time.
Modern gaming headphones have extra padding so they can be worn for long periods of time.

When someone uses a universal gaming headset, he or she is going to talk to many different people; there are going to be loud people, those who speak softly, people who scream, and those who speak at a conversational level. If the gaming headset only comes with one volume setting, this can damage the user’s hearing when loud players are speaking and can make it difficult to hear soft players. A volume control feature is a necessity to mitigate these different types of players.

The best universal gaming headset should come with adjustable volume settings.
The best universal gaming headset should come with adjustable volume settings.

Many games that require a universal gaming headset are rife with explosions or other loud noises that occur during game play. This means that, when the user speaks to other players, those players may hear only the gaming sounds and not the user, which can make cooperation difficult. The headset must be able to cut game noise and only transfer audio from the player.

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While playing a game, some players may want to stop talking and only listen to the action; if the player is on a spectator team that just watches, talking would be unneeded. A removable microphone on a universal gaming headset allows the player to watch or listen without the worry of accidentally talking and distracting other players. The microphone also should be easy to remove.

Universal gaming headset units are typically used for hours at a time, without a break. This makes comfort a large issue, because the player should be able to wear the headset for that long without wanting or needing to remove it. The earmuffs should fit comfortably over the ears, without pressing into them, and the headset should be lightweight and easy to adjust for the player’s head size.

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Discussion Comments

I have a little boy that loves to toss my headset around the living room so durability is a big thing with me. I am on my third headset already and this one was marketed as a tank. My son has an appetite for destruction but I hope that this one outwits him.

You can find a lot of gaming headset reviews online. There are so many different versions and so many different companies making them that it can be hard to know what kind of features you are getting and how well the headset will work.

Doing independent research before you invest in electronics is always a good policy. You can save money and get the product you actually want.


I have a very large head so it has always been difficult for me to find a gaming headset that fits comfortably. Finally I found a company online that will make custom headsets for people that want a perfect fit or have unusual demands like myself.

The headset was not cheap but it was worth it. I am on Xbox Live every night with my friends and my old headset would just kill me by the end of the night.

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