Audio/Peripherals Headphones Headsets Reviews

[UPDATE]Audio Roundup: The best gaming headsets in comparison test

A roundup like this can only be reasonably representative if we gradually test other new products present on the market and in demand. That's why we are deliberately keeping the end open – as we already have with the 2.0 and 2.1 speaker systems – and will include many more products in this roundup, depending on availability and reader interest.

UPDATE 27. April 2017: With today's update, we've added Creative Flex to our headphone and headset roundup. Enjoy reading!

Currently, this roundup consists of ten gaming headsets, which we will later add more models and, of course, pure headphones.

Since the test setup in our measuring room can (and will) be used in the current form in the long term, all results listed here are directly comparable with each other, because they are achieved under identical conditions and in the exact same environment. Were.

The order of the headsets and headphones is based solely on the alphabet and the number of products tested by a manufacturer only on the availability at the time of testing. Neither represents an evaluation or preference for individual test patterns.

Test setup

We already have the most important thing in our basic article Tom's Hardware internally: We test loudspeakers, headphones and noise emissions together, so that we want to save the details at this point.

It is important, however, that on this page we have also listed and explained the significance of the individual frequency ranges in detail. This is important for a better understanding of our analysis of the individual measurement curves, as we cannot and do not explicitly return to the same basics every time.

We also try to test all headsets on a single sound solution. In this case, it is the Creative Sound Blaster X7 that can handle even higher impedances up to 600 ohms without any problems. Of course, we have to measure and evaluate headsets with their own USB sound solution that cannot be connected analogously with the internal sound card.

The rest have to fight with the same weapons, with the Sound Blaster X7 one of the best solutions you can currently get as a finished product for a just justifiable price. But it's also cheaper!

External headphone amplifiers and sound cards

The advantages and disadvantages of external headphone amplifiers are not only the subject of fierce debate in the forums. The fact is that good motherboards now have a good to very good onboard sound. What usually falls by the wayside, however, is a headphone output that provides enough voltage even for high-altitude headsets or headphones, and whose resulting output power, including reserves, is high enough to be largely distortion-free even with higher output levels. to get to the clear.

Of course, there is a lot of voodoo in the game again and not everything that is gold and shines is really needed. The Creative Sound BlasterX G5 (or Creative Sound BlasterX G5 E5 for mobile use) is still one of the more expensive headphone amplifiers with a more than 100 euros, which can also score with a DSP (unfortunately to be controlled via PC software) and three specially definable profiles. Unfortunately, no linear profile is stored ex works here, so that one has to act first.


Of course, a simple, analog headphone amplifier is also easy enough. There doesn't even have to be a DAC installed, because even purely analog amplifiers offer plenty more reservers and a trouble-free handling even higher impedances. Simple kits start at just a few euros and finished appliances start at around 30 euros.

With DAC and USB input, you can still get well below 100 euros. Devices such as a Fiio 10K are often recommended in forums and you can even order such solutions with an integrated battery, which then, like the Creative Sound BlasterX E5, also ensures longer mobile operation.

In general, however, one should stay away from simple tube amplifiers, which are offered with a lot of tamtam on various platforms. The built-in Chinese or Russian clones of common tubes are usually not even bad – only the stuff around it is often no good.

Ultimately, however, everyone will have to decide for themselves whether the effort is really worth it.

Top-class headsets or headphones should be operated on higher-quality motherboards or even a separate headphone amplifier, just because of better control. If you want to avoid cable clutter, it is best to use a USB version with an additional microphone input.

Headsets in the test

20th. December 2016

Arctic P533 Penta

9. November 2016

Cougar Immersa

Creative Flex (New)
25. May 2016

Creative Sound Blaster Inferno
25. May 2016

Creative Sound Blaster Tactic3D Rage Wireless V 2.0

25. May 2016

Creative Sound BlasterX H5

8. February 2017

Lioncast LX50

25. May 2016

Logitech G230

30. November 2016

Ozone Ekho H80

8. September 2016

Qpad QH-90

17th. October 2016

Razer ManO'War

17th. October 2016

Roccat Renga

04. April 2017

Sharkoon Skiller SGH1

25. May 2016

Steelseries Siberia 200

25. May 2016

Steelseries Siberia 800


Technical Data Headsets


Follow Tom's Hardware Germany on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

Danke für die Spende

Du fandest, der Beitrag war interessant und möchtest uns unterstützen? Klasse!

Hier erfährst Du, wie: Hier spenden.

Hier kannst Du per PayPal spenden.

About the author

Igor Wallossek

Editor-in-chief and name-giver of igor'sLAB as the content successor of Tom's Hardware Germany, whose license was returned in June 2019 in order to better meet the qualitative demands of web content and challenges of new media such as YouTube with its own channel.

Computer nerd since 1983, audio freak since 1979 and pretty much open to anything with a plug or battery for over 50 years.

Follow Igor:
YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter