A good gaming headset can boost your overall performance and enhance the immersion of any game such as Fortnite. With big names like SteelSeries and HyperX constantly pushing out new peripherals to stay competitive, it can be a challenge to find a good headset that doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket.
Luckily, I’ve put together a guide for you so you can pick through the best gaming headsets for under $100. Each one has a slight advantage over the others in different ways, so read closely to be able to find the best budget headset for your needs.
With so many options, you need to know what to look for to be able to make an informed decision and get the most out of your money. Determine what you’re looking for most out of these features, then look through our best picks to find the best match for you.
If you play games for extended periods of time, you want to make sure your headset is comfortable and is designed with a lightweight frame and comfortable ear cushions. Many budget options are light as it is, but the shape of the frame can help take a little more weight off your head to make it feel even lighter.
You also want to make sure the ear cushions are breathable; mesh is extremely breathable, leatherette is less so but can be more comfortable to some.
There are a wide variety of different sound features that you can find in budget headsets. Many have surround sound, others have stereo or stereo surround, and some even have noise-canceling features. If you prefer audiophile-level quality, opt for advanced drivers and acoustic earcups. If you prefer booming in-game sound quality, you’ll likely be better off with surround-sound and positional audio.
A good microphone can make a world of difference if you’re a team-gamer; clear chat communication improves your team’s performance as a whole. SteelSeries’ ClearCast microphones are reputably the best in the industry, so if communication is your priority, you might want to consider one of the Arctis series.
If your desktop is typically crowded or you like to have a full, free range of motion, you’ll want a wireless headset for the convenience it provides. You’ll have to worry about battery life and latency more than you would with wired headsets, but it can pay off for gamers that want to feel untethered.
Features like noise-canceling, EQ suites, inline audio controls, and comfort features are the main differences between budget headsets. You won’t get them all with just one headset, but if you can figure out what you prefer most, it will make your search easier.
The SteelSeries Arctis 5 Wired gaming headset is one of the best headsets on the market for under $100. Crisp multichannel DTS 7.1 surround sound, comfortable ear cushions, and a bidirectional microphone make this headset stand out from the rest.
SteelSeries has a long history of producing high-quality gaming headsets (among other peripherals) that look great, perform even better, and cost a reasonable amount of money.
This headset features SteelSeries’ proprietary ClearCast bidirectional microphone technology, which picks up sounds only from the front and back of the microphone. This helps reduce background noise so your teammates can hear you loud and clear.
You get a handy inline USB controller to balance your game and chat volumes, and the lightweight design keeps your head from feeling the effects of marathon gaming sessions. Additionally, the Arctis 5 has a ski goggle head strap that keeps the headset evenly balanced on top of your head.
With DTS Headphone:X v2.0 7.1 surround sound, you can hear your game as richly as you were meant to. The closed-back design of the headset helps you pinpoint movement and noise in-game, and the AirWeave ear cushions ventilate your ears to keep them from overheating after a long session.
Overall, this is the best headset you can buy for under $100 if you want premium features without sacrificing all of your savings. And the best part? The earcups have RGB lighting built-in so you can add a little more flavor to your setup.
What We Like
Surround Sound - The Arctis 5’s 40mm dynamic speakers and surround sound functions make this a great compromise for borderline audiophiles on a tight budget.
RGB - The slick RGB inlay around the earcups on this headset looks great and, with 16.8 million colors to choose from, you get a full range of customization.
Quality - For the price, you get top-tier materials in the places it matters, but keep in mind that the other side of that token is subpar materials being used in nonessential parts of the headset (mostly the frame).
Know Before Buying
Wired - The headset I’ve reviewed here was the wired version, since the wireless is over $100 (barring sales). Thus, if you think this headset is for you and want it wireless, you’ll need to shell out a little extra.
HyperX’s gaming headset lineup is always worth mentioning, and if we’re talking about their best budget headsets, the Cloud Alpha belongs in that conversation. It lacks some of the premium features like noise-cancelling and wireless, but it makes up for that in comfort, compatibility, and sound quality.
There are a lot of great things about this headset that make it the better option over more expensive, wireless versions. My personal favorite is that everything is detachable. I mean, everything. You can pull the cable out for minimalized storage and transport, and you can remove the noise-cancelling microphone to keep it safe.
On the topic of the microphone, the Cloud Alpha’s microphone has noise-cancelling features to make sure your voice ends up in your teammate’s ears without background noise or other interference.
The 50mm dual chamber drivers tackle diverse soundstages with ease, making this a great headset for gaming or listening to music! The inline audio controls are sleek and do their job, adding a level of ease to your sessions. This headset does NOT have surround sound; it’s stereo instead, but this causes little issue with pinpointing enemies.
One of HyperX’s pride and joys is their memory foam and leatherette ear cushions, which are featured on this headset. They’re breathable enough, more than comfortable enough, and feel great even towards the end of a marathon session.
Overall, a great wired headset for budget gamers or those just dipping their toes into the world of gaming peripherals.
What We Like
Comfort - HyperX’s memory foam and leatherette ear cushions are very comfortable for those with average-sized heads, and the headset itself is rather light, making this an easy headset to wear for uninterrupted hours.
Multi-Platform - With the 3.5mm jack, you can connect this headset to any platform you desire, which not all headsets offer.
Versatility - With the cord and microphone being detachable and multi-platform compatibilty, you can use this headset for virtually every purpose.
Know Before Buying
Surround Sound - As I mentioned above, this headset does not feature surround sound capabilities, which might be a dealbreaker for some. HyperX does, however, sell a virtual surround sound adapter, which would push you over the $100 mark but give you that added feature.
The only wireless option on this list, Logitech’s G533 Wireless gaming headset is a boatload of great features in an affordable package. You get a noise-canceling microphone, low-latency and even lower-distortion audio feedback, 7.1 surround sound all in a sleek, comfortable, and convenient design.
What’s not to love about the G533? It has the same premium features found in other budget headphones on this list, but with Logitech’s Lightspeed wireless connection, you get an added level of convenience.
This headphone provides audiophile-level sound quality with Pro-G advanced lossless digital audio transmission, so you can hear your enemies coming before you see them (or enhance your game music, whichever suits you best).
The G533 is also designed with comfort in mind, evidenced by the lightweight frame and breathable sports mesh ear cushions, so marathon gaming sessions don’t leave your ears hot and your head aching.
Finally, to make this headset a total convenience and nothing but, you get 15 hours of battery life and a wider array of control options built into the headset than you’d typically find on a headset in this price range.
Overall, the G533 is a marvel of budget wireless headphones, and would be a great addition to the peripheral arsenal of audiophilic gamers.
What We Like
Comfort - Breathable, soft ear cushions and a well-shaped frame design keeps your head from feeling the effects of long gaming sessions, making this a great headset for streamers and intense gamers alike.
Battery Life - While 15 hours of battery life isn’t necessarily at the top end of the spectrum, it’s more than enough to keep you going through most sessions without pausing to charge.
Sound Quality - The DTS 7.1 surround sound and positional audio give you a competitive advantage when gaming, and it captures music fully to the point where you forget you’re even wearing a gaming headset to begin with.
Know Before Buying
PC Only - Console dweebs beware, this headset was designed for use with PCs only, and using it with a console will result in having no surround sound and poorer quality overall.
Weight - While this headset is comfortable to the average head, it does weigh a bit more than others of its class. At 12.3 ounces, this headset can feel a little heavy on heads unaccustomed to the weight, which may result in it being less comfortable than it should be.
Sennheiser’s GSP 302 wired gaming headset offers gamers an affordable blend of acoustic sound and comfortable convenience with a variety of simple, but effective features. Where it lacks high-quality materials, it makes up with amazing sound; a great headset for gaming and music both.
The GSP 302 is priced for what it is: a budget headset for gamers that prioritize sound over bells, whistles, and other loud things. With 50mm neodymium speaker drivers cased in an acoustically-designed earcup, you get bass-heavy sounds that fully immerse you into the game you’re playing.
This headset is designed with XL ear cushions made with memory foam to encase your ears and insulate sound, without completely cutting your ears off from ventilation. The closed-back design can get pretty warm, but it keeps the sound inside your headset, not where everyone else can hear it.
The flip-to-mute boom mic is a nice touch, too. You can easily cut off your voice with an upward swipe of your hand so you don’t need to worry about interrupting your mojo to save your teammates from hearing your pets begging loudly for attention.
This headset is compatible with multiple platforms, which makes it an extremely versatile peripheral to have around the house. You can even adjust the earcup positions with a simple ball-joint hinge!
Overall, this headset may not be the glitziest, highest-tech option on the market, but it performs great for its price range and makes for a great household headset.
What We Like
Comfort - This headset is comfortable enough to keep your ears from getting sore after extended periods of use, and the XL cushions keep the majority of contact off of your ears.
Compatibility - The GSP 302 can connect to all of your platforms, which is a great benefit for a headphone of this price range.
Sound Quality - As mentioned above, this headset has great sound quality and sound insulation, which gives you the huge booming explosions that game developers have in mind.
Know Before Buying
Microphone - The boom mic is handy with the flip-to-mute function, but the quality of the microphone itself is lacking. There is some distortion, not always noticeable but can be an issue for picky gamers.
Heat - The earcups are designed to insulate sound, but the side effect of that is that they do trap a bit of heat in there. People with warm heads or large ears might not love this headset.
If you can narrow down whether your priority is sound, comfort, microphone, or special features, you’ll be able to find the perfect budget headset for your needs. The SteelSeries Arctis 5 is the best budget headset, but there are a variety of options that can better suit the needs of others with specific preferences.
It really depends on your budget and your needs, but you can find headsets that satisfy most needs for under $100. If you want premium features, you’ll have to spend premium money. However, there are typically suitable options at more affordable prices that will satisfy enough of your needs.
What is the Best Headset for Gaming, Regardless of Price?
The most expensive gaming headsets are often the best ones, and as such, the HyperX Cloud Orbit S is one of the best headsets. It has a host of premium features that, if you can stomach the pricetag, will enhance your gaming experience tenfold.
Table of Contents
When you purchase through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.