Gaming headset vs headphones mic – isn’t it tricky to choose between these two options? Many of our readers have been asking this question for a long time. So we thought we would write up an article on this topic to drive away all the confusion.
So, here we are with a post where we will try to find out the best option between a gaming headset vs a headphone. In the process, we will share the differences between a typical headphone and a gaming headset. Also, we will try to point out the pros and cons of each of these different types of audio peripherals.
So, let’s jump right in…
Differences between Gaming Headset vs Headphones Mic
In this section, we will talk about some of the key differences between a gaming headset and a headphone. Let’s go…
What is a gaming headset? And what does it mean by a headphone? Interestingly, when it comes to the definition, there is a bit of difference between a gaming headset and a headphone. For the record, the term ‘Headset’ refers to headphones with an attached microphone.
That means the microphone will be visible and you might be able to move it around as well. In some cases, you might even be able to remove the microphone altogether and reattach it depending on the model of the headset.
On the other hand, headphones that come without an additional microphone attached to them are known as headphones. That does mean that those headphones don’t have a microphone. Rather, they do have one but it is not visible.
However, in some cases, a particular headphone might not have a microphone at all. So, simply put, a headphone with an attached microphone is known as a ‘Headset’, whereas if it comes without an attached mic, it is called simply a ‘Headphone’.
And, many peripheral manufacturers have been releasing various headsets with unique aggressive designs, which are referring to as ‘Gaming Headsets’.
That doesn’t mean this type of headphones is only for gaming or you cannot use them outside of gaming. Rather, it is a marketing ploy to sell more headsets to a certain group of buyers.
The next difference between a gaming headset and a headphone will be in the sound quality. To be specific, most audiophile headphones will have a better sound quality compared to a gaming headset.
Remember, that does mean that all gaming headsets are bad sounding. Rather, you can find a lot of gaming headsets with good sound quality. But in most cases, the price of such headsets will be higher compared to a headphone.
Why? Because normal headphones are made only to offer pristine quality sound. It does have many more functions. On the opposite, a gaming headset comes with a mic.
Plus, the manufacturers tend to focus on the overall aesthetic and outlook more than the sound quality when it comes to a gaming headset. So, if you are looking for the best sound quality, then the best option for you would be to choose a typical headphone over a gaming headset.
Ease of Use
Both the gaming headsets and headphones are very easy to use. However, depending on the task at hand, one would be better than the other.
For example, if you are playing an online multiplayer game where a mic is needed, you will love a gaming headset. In this case, you will not have to connect a separate microphone if you are already using a gaming headset.
On the contrary, if you are just listening to music, you don’t need the mic. It would be far more ergonomic to use a headphone in this case. So, depending on the convenience, the choice is up to you.
Every headphone or headset will have a different price tag. However, in general, you can say that a good quality audiophile headphone will be pricey compared to a gaming headset.
Once again, it doesn’t mean that every headphone will be pricey compared to a similar gaming headset. Rather, it is a general observation.
You have to take into consideration that you are getting a headphone and microphone combo on a gaming headset. Whereas in a headphone, you are not getting an adjustable microphone. And, in most cases, those microphones on headphones are not up to the mark.
As a result, you might even have to buy a separate microphone. So, in the end, it is costing you more compared to a gaming headset with an attached microphone.
It is evident that a gaming headset comes with a few more perks compared to a headphone in terms of the price to performance ratio.
So, if you are running on a low budget and want a combination of a headphone and a microphone at a very reasonable price, then your best bet would be to go with a gaming headset. However, if you have a very high budget and want the best audio quality, you can go to the ‘headphone’ route.
This is one of the important factors to consider while you are comparing a gaming headset and the headphone. First of all, you should determine the usage of your next headphone.
Are you an avid gamer who needs a headphone? Or are you looking for a headphone that can do everything from listening to music to watching movies, and even gaming?
As we have already stated above that most gaming headsets come with a bit of low audio quality compared to a conventional headphone. So, if you are looking for a headset for audio editing, recording, or listening, then a typical headphone will offer the best sound quality.
However, if you are a gamer who wants a package deal (headphone + microphone), then a gaming headset could be worth it. But remember, a gaming headset will come with an attached microphone. So, it will not be a compact one.
Rather, most gaming headsets tend to have a bigger form factor. Thus, if you are thinking about traveling with your headset frequently, you should go for a headphone. That will be compact and portable compared to a gaming headset.
Similar to this, if you only game and won’t travel with the headphone from time to time, you might like the convenience of a gaming headset as it comes with both a microphone and a headphone together.
You would know that most headphones will come with a 3.5 mm headphone jack or two separate jacks for the mic and the headphone. Thus, you will need to connect it to the headphone/microphone jack on your PC.
On the other hand, most gaming headsets come with a USB connector. As a result, it will work even if the integrated or dedicated sound card on your PC is not working. Because these gaming headsets come with their own sound processor. This is a great benefit of modern gaming headsets. In these cases, gaming headsets win.
Choice of Brands
There are a wide variety of brands that are manufacturing both gaming headsets and conventional headphones. Now, if you are an audiophile, you would know that most of the popular headphone brands don’t have specific ‘Gaming’ headphones. Rather, they focus on the quality of the sound on their products.
Some of these brands are Bose, Sennheiser, Sony, Audio-Technica, and so on to name a few. There is no way to deny that these brands have established their place in the audio peripheral market. And they know what to do with sound, audio quality, and headphones.
On the other hand, you will find some computer hardware brands are manufacturing gaming headsets. Some of the notable companies are Logitech, Razer, SteelSeries, HyperX, Corsair, and more to name a few
They were not specifically headphone manufacturers in the first place. Still, for gaming headsets, they are offering the best deals out there. So, it all depends on your personal preference to choose the brand that you rely on most.
Overall Headphone and Microphone Quality
Now, if you want the best audio and microphone quality, then you must buy a headphone and a microphone separately. There are a lot of brands that offer these two devices. In this case, you will be able to choose both the headphone and the microphone carefully.
That way you can find the best balance of audio output and input while gaming. Many pro gamers and streamers are actually using this set up of separate microphone and headphone.
However, when the audio quality and the microphone quality is not your main concern, then a gaming headset would be the best option as it offers the most convenience.
Because you will not have to research and buy 2 separate devices. Rather you can buy a single device that has all the solutions for gaming.
Pros of Gaming Headsets
- You are getting both the headphone and mic at once (one-stop solution)
- Not very pricey compared to high-end audiophile headphones (of course, pricey headsets are there as well)
- Most gaming headsets come with a unique eye-catching design
Cons of Gaming Headsets
- Most of the common ones come with a lower build quality
- The sound quality will not be up to the mark with typical headphones
- Not really great for regular usage like listening to music, recording, or editing audio
Pros of Headphones
- Great sound quality compared to gaming headsets
- You can use a separate microphone for better quality audio output
- Can be great for listening to music or other tasks than gaming only
- Convenient to use regularly
Cons of Headphones
- The price could be a bit higher
- Not eye-catching ‘gaming’ design
- You might need an additional microphone
- Not optimal for gaming
Are you still with us? Then thanks for reading this piece of article. Now, what do you think? Which option should you go with? You can see that the answer depends on many different factors.
And, if you have read the post above, you now know the differences between a gaming headset and a headphone. You also know the pros and cons of each type. So, it all boils down to your personal preference, budget, and requirement.
For instance, if you are an avid gamer who would love an additional microphone on their headphone/set, then a gaming headset is the way to go for you.
However, if you are an audiophile who will not game a lot, rather you will listen to music or watch movies from time to time, then the best option for you would be choosing a good quality headphone.
So, let us know which side are you on and why in the comments below. We would love to hear from you.