The 8 Best Gaming Headsets for Under $50 in 2021

Perfect for strategizing—or trash talking—with your friends

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The Rundown
It has everything you could need from a good quality budget gaming headset, including a detachable mic.
Runner-Up, Best Overall:
HyperX Cloud Stinger Core 7.1 at Amazon
The sound is crisp, with a noise-cancelling mic so that friends can easily hear you speak during a multiplayer session.
Most Sensitive Sound:
ONIKUMA Gaming Headset at Amazon
The headphones can pick up sounds from 20Hz to 20KHz, meaning they're sensitive when it comes to pinpointing your surroundings.
Best for PS4:
Razer Kraken X at Amazon
The 40mm audio drivers are ideal for listening out for dialogue or sound cues, ensuring you have the edge in multiplayer games.
This headset features bright and brilliant-looking LED lighting that cycles through a range of colors for a true chroma effect.
The headset features 3D spatial soundtracking so you have a better chance of hearing in-game audio cues.
Best for Nintendo Switch:
HyperX Cloud Earbuds at Amazon
The earbuds' small form still finds room for an in-line, omnidirectional microphone so you can chat to friends while you game.
It's designed for optimal compatibility with the Xbox One, with a 3.5mm audio jack that easily plugs into more recent controllers.

It's important to know where your priorities lie when seeking out the best gaming headsets for under $50. Spending less doesn't mean you have to settle for a poor quality headset, as many less-expensive headsets are able to compete with the best headphones for music lovers when it comes to features and functionality.

The key is to be willing to pick a less familiar brand name. Many of the best gaming headsets listed here are from unfamiliar brands, but that doesn't mean they're poorer quality. In reality, you're likely saving money by avoiding the big brands. 

The best options are suitable for all kinds of games, but we recommend that if you play a lot of multiplayer titles, you should prioritize a great microphone so that teammates can easily hear you. Of course, a balanced audio experience is also useful, so we've made sure to consider that too.

Overall, we've checked out dozens of the very best examples as well as considered different setups and consoles so that you can go straight to the best pair for your situation. If your budget can stretch further than $50, check out our 10 best gaming headsets for more high-end solutions.

Best Overall: Corsair HS50 Pro

What We Like
  • Detachable mic

  • Multiplatform support

  • Noise-cancelling mic

What We Don't Like
  • No native surround sound

A rare big name brand at a low price, the Corsair HS50 Pro headset is easily the best on the market. It has everything you could need from a good quality budget gaming headset, including a detachable mic for when you want to focus on listening rather than speaking. The headset also has noise-cancelling technology that isolates your voice during chat. It's certified for use with Discord voice chat, too, so you can have guaranteed clear communication with friends. 

Its 50mm audio drivers provide deep and responsive bass along with crisp and clean mids and high tones. You'll be able to clearly hear your surroundings with these cans, and in comfort, too. That's thanks to the headband and earcups including memory foam for long-lasting support. To round off the wonders of the HS50 Pro, it's also compatible with PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and even mobile devices, so you can easily use the headset for multiple purposes.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: HyperX Cloud Stinger Core 7.1

What We Like
  • Noise-cancelling mic

  • Virtual 7.1 channel sound experience

  • On-board controls

What We Don't Like
  • Not the comfiest fit

  • A little flimsy

The HyperX Cloud Stinger Core 7.1 headset brings all the benefits of virtual 7.1 channel surround sound without the hefty price tag. Surround sound increases your chances to pinpoint exactly where gunshots or footsteps are coming from, potentially enhancing your reactions in both single-player and multiplayer games. Elsewhere, the sound is fairly crisp and clear, with a noise-canceling mic so that friends can easily hear you speak during a multiplayer session. The mic also includes a swivel-to-mute function for quick side conversations, which is a convenient feature. 

The headband isn't the comfiest because it lacks memory foam, but it is lightweight, which is sure to come in handy during extended sessions. Just make sure to look after this headset, as it's not the strongest. On the plus side, the earcups use foam and cloth and are ideal for breathability, and there are on-board game and chat volume controls for added convenience. The Cloud Stinger Core 7.1 headset works with PC, PS4, Xbox One, as well as Nintendo Switch.

Most Sensitive Sound: ONIKUMA Gaming Headset

What We Like
  • Very sensitive

  • Noise-cancelling mic

  • Comfortable for long sessions

What We Don't Like
  • Quite heavy

For a low price, the ONIKUMA Gaming headset offers a form of virtual surround sound that—combined with 60mm drivers—ensures you have a good chance of hearing what's going on around you. The headphones can pick up sounds from 20Hz to 20KHz, meaning they're pretty sensitive when it comes to helping you pinpoint your surroundings. 

Alongside that comes a noise-canceling microphone that also has an anti-static design so you won't have to worry about muffled in-game communications at crucial moments. The headset is comfortable, too, thanks to earcups that are made from soft and durable memory foam backed up with a bionic protein cushion coat fohttps://www.lifewire.com/best-xbox-one-accessories-4052295r extra comfort. You'll also be pleased to see that the headset is compatible with most gaming systems including PC, Mac, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Nintendo 3DS, smartphones, PS Vita, and even the aging PSP.

Best for PS4: Razer Kraken X

Razer BlackShark V2 Pro
What We Like
  • Lightweight design

  • Good microphone

  • Eyewear channels on earcups

What We Don't Like
  • Feels a little plastic-y

A familiar brand for gamers, the Razer Kraken X headset is the ideal budget gaming headset for PS4 users. The headset is designed for long-haul gaming sessions with gentle clamping force, meaning you won't get a headache any time soon. Each earcup features memory foam cushions with an eyewear channel, making them more comfortable to wear alongside blue light-filtering glasses or prescription eyewear. It's the little things that make the Kraken X stand out.

While the sound quality isn't the greatest for listening to music or a game's soundtrack, the 40mm audio drivers are ideal for listening out for dialogue or sound cues, ensuring you have the edge in multiplayer games. Communication is similarly convenient with the attached microphone, featuring a bendable arm for custom positioning. The mic is also able to block out sound entering from the sides or rear. 

Rounding off what makes the Kraken X work so well are on-ear volume and mute controls, along with a choice of three different color schemes. Not bad going for a gaming headset under $50.

Best Looking: Ziumier Z20 Gaming Headset

What We Like
  • RGB lighting

  • Stylish

  • Noise-cancelling mic

What We Don't Like
  • No custom lighting options

Looking for something very stylish and like no other gaming headset? The Ziumier Z20 Gaming Headset is a little quirky-looking, but offers style in spades. It features bright and brilliant-looking LED lighting that cycles through a range of colors for a true chroma effect. It might not be possible to adjust the lights yourself but it's certainly a distinctive look.

The Z20 Gaming Headset is no slouch elsewhere, with 50mm audio drivers ensuring you get reasonably deep bass notes for the price along with suitably crisp mids and highs. Talking to your teammates is similarly clear, with a noise-canceling mic and 120 degrees of swivel range to help you get the finest conversation possible. 

To sweeten the deal, a 6.5-foot braided cable means the Ziumier Z20 Gaming Headset is fairly sturdy, plus it works with PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS, and more.

Best for PC: SteelSeries Arctis 1

What We Like
  • Lightweight design

  • Works with both PC and Mac

  • Accurate 3D spatial sound

What We Don't Like
  • Software requires newer versions of Windows

PC gaming doesn't have to cost a fortune, as demonstrated by the SteelSeries Arctis 1 headset. It's built with PC gamers in mind, but it's Mac compatible too. However you use it, the headset features 3D spatial soundtracking so you have a better chance of pinpointing in-game audio cues to give you an extra fighting chance when playing multiplayer titles. 

Talking to friends is similarly convenient with a mic that offers noise-canceling and is also bidirectional for added comfort. You can detach it for single-player gaming or listening to music. On-ear volume and mute controls leave you in control at all times. 

The headset is comfortable and snug with a headband that's reinforced with stainless steel for long-lasting durability while still feeling lightweight. Best of all, you can fold this headset up, which is great if you plan on traveling frequently.

Best for Nintendo Switch: HyperX Cloud Earbuds

What We Like
  • Very lightweight

  • Snug fit

  • Travel case included

What We Don't Like
  • Cables can get tangled

  • Not as comfortable as headphones

The HyperX Cloud Earbuds are designed with portability in mind, as they're earbuds rather than headphones. This lends itself perfectly to the portable nature of the Nintendo Switch. These earbuds easily slot into the 3.5mm audio jack and feature a 90-degree angled plug which aims to offset any tangles. You'll still get tangles, of course, but these earbuds are fairly robust so it's not a major issue. 

They're comfy too, with three different sizes of silicone ear tips to choose from and weighing a mere 0.67 ounces. The earbuds' small form still finds room for an in-line, omnidirectional microphone so you can chat to friends while you game. A multifunctional button makes it easy to adjust volume or temporarily mute your mic. Small yet practical, the HyperX Cloud Earbuds do the job admirably, even tossing in a travel case.

Best for Xbox One: Turtle Beach Ear Force Recon 50X

Turtle Beach Ear Force Recon 50X
What We Like
  • Comfortable fit

  • In-line controls

  • Detachable mic

What We Don't Like
  • No native surround sound support

Officially licensed by Xbox, the Turtle Beach Ear Force Recon 50X headset even matches the green stylings synonymous with the brand over the years. It's designed for optimal compatibility, with a 3.5mm audio jack that plugs into the more recent Xbox One controllers without any issue. 

Sound quality is reasonably good with an omnidirectional mic that can detect your voice from a variety of different positions so you always sound clear during team chat. It's able to be removed for when you'd prefer to be watching something or listening to music. In-line controls also make it simple to adjust volume or mute your mic. 

The Ear Force Recon 50X is comfy, with earcups and a headband made with foam and synergic leather so they look as good as they feel. You can always rotate the earcups if you need extra room while placing them into storage.

Final Verdict

The Corsair HS50 Pro headset is easily the best of the bunch, offering everything you could need. It sounds crisp and clear, whether you're listening out for footsteps or talking to your buddies. It's also Discord certified, meaning you're sure of high-quality when talking to others.


If you want to go in a different direction, the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core 7.1 headset is a solid option for enjoying virtual 7.1 surround sound for less. Despite the lack of Discord certification, it still sounds great when communicating with other players.

How We Tested

None of our budget picks for best gaming headsets have been put through their paces by our team of trusted experts just yet. However, their hands-on testing will consist of logging significant hours on their computer or console, paying attention to the overall input and output quality, as well as how comfortable they are during extended gaming sessions.

About Our Trusted Experts

Jennifer Allen has been writing about technology and gaming since 2010. She specializes in iOS and Apple technology, as well as wearable technology and smart home devices. She's been a regular tech columnist for Paste Magazine, written for Wareable, TechRadar, Mashable, and PC World, as well as more diverse outlets including Playboy and ​Eurogamer.

Patrick Hyde has been covering tech for a number of major outlets for more than four years now. He specializes in headphones and earbuds (as well as Android devices and other consumer electronics), and was a perfect fit for our best affordable gaming headphones roundup.

Taylor Clemons has over three years of experience writing about games and consumer technology. She has written for IndieHangover, GameSkinny, TechRadar and her own publication, Steam Shovelers.

What to Look for in a Gaming Headset Under $50

Audio quality - Regardless of how you plan to use them, audio quality should always be a critical consideration when you're picking out a new headset. The drivers powering the audio output are one of the most important elements in sound reproduction, and you'll also want to look for a set that's well-balanced across low, mid, and high tones.

Microphone - Mic quality can make or break a gaming headset, particularly if play with others online a ton. If you game a lot in a really noisy environment, be sure to prioritize a headset with a noise-canceling or noise-isolating mic (like several of the models on our list).

Fit and comfort - If you're like the staff at Lifewire, chances are you're prone to marathon gaming sessions, in which case a cozy pair of cans is key. For extended play, you want something that's built of lightweight materials and padded and plush enough to sit comfortably on your dome while you frag bad guys.

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