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Lets face it, gaming headsets usually come with pretty mediocre microphones (and headphones for that matter). And this can be a problem, especially for streamers and content creators looking to provide quality entertainment. Even if you’re just communicating with friends, a gaming headset with a good quality microphone can really make a difference.
My advice? Don’t buy a gaming headset. Instead, find a good quality pair of headphones and a separate boom mic. In this guide we’ll take a look at the different microphone options and some good headphones to go with them. Finally, if you really want a gaming headset, I’ll recommend a few headsets with reasonable quality mics.
Gaming Headsets vs. Headphones & Mic Combo
There are two options to consider. You can buy a “gaming headset” or you can purchase a microphone and pair of good quality headphones separately.
When it comes to deciding between the two, purchasing them separately wins on pretty much everything. The only reason I would consider a gaming headset is for convenience. The benefits of a gaming headset are that 1. you only have to purchase one thing, 2. you don’t need to worry about compatibility issues, and 3. they are often tidier in terms of cables.
If you are more concerned about getting the most value for money and the best audio and microphone quality, you should definitely buy a separate microphone and good quality pair of headphones.
Headphone & Mic Combo
Since this article is about gaming headsets, I assume you are NOT interested in a desk mic. This isn’t a problem though because there are a few boom mics you can add to a pair of headphones to make your own headset.
Below you can see a pair of Audio Technica ATH-M50X setup with a ModMic 5.
Manufacturers of gaming headsets often put more effort into marketing and aesthetics than actual quality. There are a few exceptions but in most cases you are better off going down this route if you want a good quality mic.
Two excellent quality boom microphones are the Antlion ModMic 5 and the V-MODA BoomPro. The ModMic 5 is compatible with pretty much any pair of headphones, but beware with the BoomPro because it is only compatible with headphones with a detachable 3.5mm jack. Of course, you’re going to need a pair of headphones to go with the mic. I’ll recommend a few high quality headphones that are compatible with the BoomPro or ModMic 5 down below.
Antlion ModMic 5
In terms of overall quality, the ModMic 5 is very good all round but there are a few drawbacks. Firstly, it is quite a bit more expensive than the BoomPro, and honestly, the higher price isn’t really worth it. Secondly, it adds another cable to get in the way (the BoomPro condenses the microphone and headphones into one).
So why do I recommend it? It is compatible with pretty much any pair of headphones. So if you want (or already have) a pair of headphones without a detachable cable, the ModMic is great. But otherwise, I would go with the BoomPro.
- MEET YOUR MODMIC - 3M adhesives make for an easy application to any pair of headphones, while a slim design adds minimal...
- HIGH-QUALITY AUDIO - A dual mic capsule allows you to toggle between cardioid uni noise-canceling and omni high-fidelity...
- PERFECT POSITION - Flexible steel boom arm ensures custom positioning that doesn’t need to be adjusted each time. Rotate...
- MODULAR MUTE - Included mute module can be added in-line for an instant mute with the flick of a switch. Includes 2 extension...
The BoomPro is also an excellent overall microphone, but it is only compatible with headphones with a detachable cable. Considering the fact that it is much less expensive than the ModMic 5, I would recommend the BoomPro, as long as you have – or decide to buy- a compatible pair of headphones.
- Professional-grade mic ideal for communication and gaming featuring enhanced voice clarity and background noise reduction
- Detachable for maximum compatibility and usage; flexible ad adjustable for ideal mic positioning
- Built to last with a durable and reinforced cable, 24k gold plated plug and SteelFlex boom arm
- Convenient control clip features an in-line mute switch and rotary volume controls
If you already have a decent pair of headphones, great! If not, these are some excellent headphones that will give you much more bang for your buck than most gaming headsets.
IMPORTANT: Only the Phillips and Sennheiser headphones below are compatible with the BoomPro. The Creative Aurvana Live! and Audio Technica are NOT. All of these headphones will work with the ModMic.
Open-Back vs. Closed-Back
You might notice that the headphones are either open-back or closed-back. As the names suggest, open-back headphones are “open” which means air can travel freely into them. This create a more airy and spacious sound. This does mean they will leak sound though, and you’ll be able to quite clearly hear what’s going on around you. Not too great if you game in a noisy environment or want to avoid disturbing people near you. Open-back headphones are often more comfortable because they allow your ears to breathe.
Closed-back headphones are “closed” which means air can’t travel freely into them. This can enhance the bass and the audio will feel fuller, perfect for games with lots of explosions! Closed-back headphones don’t always have noise isolation, but they generally keep environmental sound out and don’t leak sound as much as open-back headphones.
Gaming Headsets with the Best Mics
If I still haven’t managed to convince you to go for a combination of good quality headphones with a boom mic, these gaming headsets are pretty decent with reasonable quality mics.
Budget – HyperX Cloud Core
- Enhanced comfort so you can game for hours
- Superior Audio with the same specs as HyperX cloud
- Compatible with PCs, PS4 console, Xbox one, Wii U and mobile devices
- Detachable Microphone; TeamSpeak and Discord certified so you’ll be heard loud and clear
Mid-Range – HyperX Cloud Alpha
- HyperX Dual Chamber Drivers for more distinction and less distortion
- Signature award winning HyperX comfort
- Durable aluminum frame with expanded headband
- Detachable braided cable with convenient in line audio control
High-End – Sennheiser Game One
- SIGNATURE SOUND DYNAMICS -Engineered for incredibly natural and accurate, high fidelity sound, the proprietary speaker system...
- NOISE-CANCELING MICROPHONE - The flexible boom arm easily adjusts for best voice pick-up positioning and the microphone...
- OPEN ACOUSTICS - The classic high-end open acoustic gaming headset is designed for extremely natural, spatial sound. It...
- QUICK VOLUME ADJUSTING – An integrated volume control is built the right ear cup of the Game One headset for on-the-fly...
Last update on 2021-01-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API