The 8 Best USB Headsets of 2022

Perfect for gaming, listening to music, or phone calls

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If you’re in the market for a USB headset, you’re probably looking for a headset for gaming or work and all-around use. While each application lends itself to different strengths, the Jabra Evolve 20 is our pick for a compact, on-ear headset great for business and desk work but might not be immersive enough for gaming. The Razer Kraken Ultimate, on the other hand, provides an over-ear construction and plenty of features fit for gamers.

We’ve done the research for you to find a full range of options in both categories, with a few niche picks as well.

Here are the best USB headsets on the market.

Best Overall: Jabra Evolve 20 UC Stereo Wired Headset

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What We Like
  • Reasonable price point

  • Plug-and-play usability

  • Inline remote and high-quality boom mic

What We Don't Like
  • No over-ear isolation

  • No bells and whistles

  • Not as premium as other options

When choosing an all-around, business-friendly USB headset, striking the right balance between quality, useability, and the price is paramount. The Jabra Evolve 20 gives you the most bang for your buck without cutting too many corners. One of the best aspects of the Evolve 20 is that it works right out of the box; just plug in the USB cable, and you’ll be hopping onto video calls with the convenience of a USB controller immediately.

The plush foam cups feel great on your ear and provide a decent level of isolation (though not as much as if you were using over-ear headphones). The boom microphone connected in-line has been optimized specifically for video calls, and the sleek black construction looks professional and feels durable. There are no bells and whistles here, such as active noise cancellation (ANC) or high-end drivers (the components that create sound). But overall, this is an easy recommendation.

Type: On-ear | ANC: No | Connection options: USB | Accessories included: USB controller, bags for controller and headset

Best Splurge: Jabra Evolve2 85

4
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What We Like
  • Excellent sound quality

  • Super comfortable

  • ANC and Bluetooth connectivity

What We Don't Like
  • Very pricey

  • Requires charging

  • Charging dock sold separately

Jabra’s had an interesting history in the headphone and headset game. While the brand made its name in the Bluetooth and work headset world, its consumer-facing Bluetooth earbuds and headphones are solid contenders for everyday users. If you’re looking to spend a bit more, the Jabra Evolve 2 85 is a cream-of-the-crop model for the audio brand. It combines USB headset functionality and high-end premium headphone bells and whistles.

With ultra-plush over-ear cups, an excellent, flush-folding boom mic for crystal clear calls, nearly four hours of wireless battery life, and even adaptable noise cancellation, these could be your daily headphones. The headset also ships with a USB dongle so you can use them as a USB headset wirelessly, and there’s even a nifty indicator light that shows those around you that you’re on a call so they won’t disturb you. If you have the budget for these headphones you likely won’t regret the purchase.

Type: Over-ear | ANC: Yes | Connection options: Wireless USB, Bluetooth, AUX | Accessories included: Charging cable, AUX cable, travel case, Bluetooth adapter

"What I love about the Evolve2 85 is that the foam and leather on the cups are very soft, but the clamp is sturdy enough to give me a stable, solid seal. The balance of these two points makes these headphones really nice to wear." — Jason Schneider, Product Tester

Best Surround Sound: Audeze Mobius Premium 3D Gaming Headset

3.8
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What We Like
  • Planar Magnetic sound quality

  • Excellent emulated surround sound

  • Comfortable fit and feel

What We Don't Like
  • Fairly expensive

  • Bulky build

  • No hardshell carrying case

Audeze dropped the Mobius 3D Surround headphones in 2020 with the goal to bring truly top-notch gaming functionality to the planar magnetic headphone space. Planar Magnetic drivers are usually reserved for Audeze’s audiophile line, providing delicate yet powerful responses throughout the sound spectrum. Audeze is loading this tech into their gamer headset flagship model to provide plenty of range and oomph for gaming mixes.

Built-in digital signal processing also approximates a rich 3D surround sound experience. Pair this with the dedicated software to help you fine-tune this location mapping, and you’ve got a high-end gaming experience. The detachable boom mic rounds it out, allowing for better online gaming and communication. The Mobius sits firmly at a premium price point, and the bulky size and lack of a hardshell case make these headphones less ideal for travelers. But overall, the feature set offered here is incredible.

Type: Over-ear | ANC: Yes | Connection options: Bluetooth, USB, AUX | Accessories included: Carrying bag, detachable boom mic, charging and connectible USB cables, AUX cable

Best Gaming: Razer Kraken Ultimate

Razer Kraken Ultimate

Amazon

What We Like
  • Big, plush fit

  • Sturdy metal frame

  • Tons of gamer features

What We Don't Like
  • Loud design

  • Bulky size

  • Price tends to fluctuate

The Kraken Ultimate is the ultimate choice for the every-gamer when it comes to reliable headsets. The aluminum-steel frame provides tremendous resilience against wear. The extra thick plush ear pads are perfect for those who game for extended sessions, and there’s Chroma RGB lighting built-in for tons of flair.

The boom mic is retractable, so it stays out of the way if you don’t need it, and the THX 7.1 surround sound is great for a little added fun while you’re gaming. The design is very gamer-forward, and it’s bulky on the head, so this might be an issue for those who want something subtle. The price can be a little steep, so we recommend shopping around for a discount. Overall, it’s a no-brainer buy if you’ve got the funds.

Type: Over-ear | ANC: Microphone only | Connection options: USB | Accessories included: USB cable

Runner-Up, Best Gaming: Razer Kraken X USB Gaming Headset (RZ04-02960100-R3U1)

Razer Kraken X USB Headset (RZ04-02960100-R3U1)

Amazon

What We Like
  • Affordable price point

  • Aluminum build

  • Solid sound and mic quality

What We Don't Like
  • Loud, gamer-specific design

  • Some materials lack premium quality

The Razer Kraken series offers a breadth of options for USB gamer headsets, and the Kraken X brings those options firmly into the budget-conscious category with really solid features. The lightweight aluminum frame is sturdy and comfortable, while the plush over-ear pads are comfortable for long sessions.

There’s a bendable microphone with decent sound quality and some reasonably good 7.1 surround sound emulation on board. Well-tuned 40mm drivers produce the sound for plenty of support on the bottom end of the spectrum. The green Razer logo is emblazoned brightly on each ear cup, which could be great for some and too loud for others. Because of the reasonable price point, there are some corners cut in the build quality department, but nothing that will break all that easily.

Type: Over-ear | ANC: No | Connection options: USB | Accessories included: USB cable

Best Value: Avantree 8090T Multipoint Bluetooth Headphones With Detachable Boom Mic

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What We Like
  • Excellent accessory package

  • Extra features like Bluetooth and ANC

  • Reasonable price point

What We Don't Like
  • Dated design

  • Requires charging

  • Plastic can feel a bit cheap in places

You may not have heard much about the Avantree Aria series of wired and wireless headphones, but this line is a great contender if price is a restriction for you, but you don't want to give up features. The Aria 8090T is a wireless USB headset with a killer assortment of accessories and brings tons of wireless functionality to the table.

Sure, you can transmit the old-fashioned way with the included USB dongle, but there's also Bluetooth connectivity involved, including support for the high-quality Qualcomm aptX codecs. The Aria 8090T also comes with a nifty charging stand and active noise cancellation. All of these features come in at a price point that's admittedly not cheap, but when you consider the extra features, the value is pretty apparent.

Type: Over-ear | ANC: Yes | Connection options: Wireless USB, Bluetooth, AUX | Accessories included: USB dongle, charging stand, detachable boom mic, hard travel case, charging cable, AUX cable

Best Sound Quality: Bose QuietComfort 35 II Gaming Headset

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What We Like
  • Excellent Bose sound quality

  • Premium build and fit

  • Wired and wireless versatility

What We Don't Like
  • Pretty pricey

  • Design feels a tad dated

It may surprise you to see the Bose QuietComfort series on this list. But just a couple of years back, Bose realized that there was enough overlap between the “average” consumers who love the QC Bluetooth headphones and the gamers who want Bose-quality sound for casual gaming. The QC 35 Gaming edition is the perfect middle ground.

Unplug the USB desktop remote, and you have the standard pair of Bluetooth, noise-canceling headphones that so many love. When you plug in the USB cable, you’ve got a solid, comfortable pair of gaming headphones with a boom mic built-in and a desktop touch remote at the ready. The price is steep, but for versatility and Bose-level sound, you really can’t go wrong otherwise.

Type: Over-ear | ANC: Yes | Connection options: Bluetooth, USB, AUX | Accessories included: Boom mic/USB cable combo, inline desktop remote, travel case, USB charging cable, AUX cable

Best Design: SteelSeries Arctis 5 Gaming Headset

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What We Like
  • Sleek, premium design

  • Excellent build quality

  • Connectivity options

What We Don't Like
  • Sound quality is nothing terribly fancy

  • A bit pricey

  • Fairly large on the head

When you’re deciding on a pair of gaming headphones, it can be easy to go overboard with insanely loud colors, more RGB (red, green, and blue) lighting effects than you probably need, and bulky, cumbersome builds. The SteelSeries Arctis 5 here earns our design spot because it strikes a nice balance, offering a sleek, all-black design that feels professional, with a slick RGB ring on the outside for a pop of gamer style.

There are several nice touches on the build quality front. The Arctis 5 has an excellent sturdy headband material, plus plush woven “ski goggle” fabric accents, so they’re comfortable while you’re wearing them. There’s a detachable USB desktop controller that allows for easy muting and chatting, and the RGB ring on each ear cup can be customized and synced to your RGB desk setup as well.

Type: Over-ear | ANC: Yes | Connection options: Bluetooth, USB, AUX | Accessories included: USB desktop controller

Final Verdict

Our best all-around overall pick goes to the Jabra Evolve 20 (view on Amazon) because it's well-rounded, comfortable, and has plug-and-play functionality. But if you want a gaming pick, go for the Razer Kraken Ultimate (view on Amazon) and its eye-catching design, RGB accents, and gamer-centric sound quality.

What to Look for in a USB Headset

Connectivity

It may sound counterintuitive to talk about secondary connection options in a USB headset roundup, but there are a few ways that these headsets make their connection. Some have hard-wired USB cables requiring use on a PC or computer. Others have detachable cables or wireless USB dongles to free yourself from wires. Consider these options when shopping.

Primary Use Case

A USB headset can mean something very different to an office worker than a hardcore gamer. Picking your primary use case for your headset will really send you in new shopping directions and toward varying price points and designs.

Extra Features

Many USB headsets offer bonuses like extra wireless connectivity (via Bluetooth or a USB dongle) or fancy sonic features (like active noise cancellation or emulated surround sound). Considering the bells and whistles of your ideal headset can go a long way toward helping you to make your buying decision.

FAQ
  • How does a USB headset connect?

    Most USB headsets use either a hardwired or a detachable USB cable to connect to a PC or Mac. The connection may require driver software or specific integration with video call platforms. You can also find Bluetooth connections and wireless USB dongles as extra features.

  • What’s the difference between a gaming headset and a work headset?

    Business-oriented headsets tend to have smaller footprints, simpler designs, and more features geared toward video calls. Gaming headsets are on the other end of the spectrum with RGB lighting, vibrant designs, and tons of sound features geared toward improving the gaming experience.

  • Are there wireless USB options?

    While most USB headsets you’ll want are hardwired for versatility, many connect via a USB dongle. This option can be great if you like walking away from your source device while using the headset, but this requires you to keep your headset charged.

About Our Trusted Experts

Jason Schneider is a tech writer and longtime musician. He uses the Jabra Evolve2 85 daily but isn’t averse to popping on the Audeze Mobius for long gaming sessions. When considering headsets he made sure that gaming options were immersive and richly designed, and he made sure all-around headsets offered seamless connectivity and clear sound quality.

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