One debate in the gaming community is about the use of headsets vs. speakers for gaming. While both can give you an immersive experience while playing, there are still differences between them.
Some gamers may tell you that headsets are better while some will say that speakers work best. Their choice of gear can depend on various factors such as their environment and preferred audio quality, among many others.
Both headsets and speakers have pros and cons, and we’re here to discuss that. If you’re deciding between headphones and speakers for gaming, then you’ve come to the right place. Let’s start!
Headsets vs. Speakers: Key Differences
While headsets and speakers can have similar functions, their key differences lie in how they provide distinct audio experiences.
Headsets are made to be worn on the head while speakers need a designed space in your gaming setup. Headsets are portable while speakers aren’t.
Most headsets have a built-in microphone, which comes in handy while communicating with your teammates in a game, while speakers will require a separate mic.
Your choice between headsets and speakers can highly impact your overall gaming experience.
Headsets for Gaming: Pros and Cons
Gaming headsets are specially designed for gamers as they offer both audio output and input with microphones built-in. Compared to a standard headset, gaming headsets aren’t just made for great audio quality. They’re also made to deliver clear audio and allow the transfer of clear conversations between players and teammates.
Pros of Using Headsets for Gaming
Here are some advantages of using headsets for gaming.
- Accuracy – Headsets can pick up the smallest of noises and allow you to listen to your enemies’ footsteps closely, giving you the advantage of pinpointing their next location. This feature is vital in competitive games like Valorant, where situational and map awareness can impact the outcome. If players can’t accurately hear their enemies’ footsteps on the battlefield, they’ll be more prone to errors and deaths in the match.
- Immersion – Due to a headset’s innate noise cancelation feature, a player can focus more on the game as they’re bothered less by ambient noises. The noise canceling feature also allows a player to be more immersed in their gameplay, increasing game productivity.
- Privacy – Headsets can offer privacy as the audio can only be heard by the player wearing it. This feature also benefits other people who may be in the same room as they won’t be bothered by the loud noises from the game.
- Portability – Headsets can be worn and used anywhere because of their small and easy-to-carry design.
- Communication – Microphones allow for a clear transmission of audio. Since headsets are equipped with microphones, players can easily converse with each other to strategize in the game.
Cons of Using Headsets for Gaming
Below are some disadvantages of using headsets for gaming.
- Discomfort – Since headsets are made to be worn on the head, they may cause discomfort with prolonged use, especially when these headsets are bulky and somewhat heavy.
- Impedes Real-Life Awareness – A headset’s noise canceling feature is also a disadvantage as excessive noise canceling can significantly impede environmental awareness.
- Smaller Soundstage – Since the sound is produced directly beside the ear, a headset has a small soundstage and isn’t recommended for games designed to stimulate a realistic sound and experience.
- Expensive – Depending on the quality, features, and brand, gaming headsets are generally expensive
- Wired or Wireless – Wireless headsets eliminate the hassle of having messy wires in your setup but they offer reduced sound quality. Wired counterparts have way better sound quality but they can clutter up your desk.
Headsets for Gaming: Recommendations
Razer Blackshark V2 Pro Wireless
The Razer BlackShark V2 Pro 2023 is one of your best bets if you want a neutral sound. These headphones have an overemphasized bass that makes them exceptionally warm and powerful.
For the price, they’re comfortable and have good features to provide you with an incredible gaming experience.
Logitech G Pro x Lightspeed Wireless
The Logitech G Pro X is an excellent gaming headset that retails for under $150. It has incredible features, great sound, and is very comfortable. It also comes with software that helps improve the user experience.
While it isn’t perfect, it’s one of the most noteworthy gaming headphones on the market.
Logitech G535 Lightspeed Wireless
For just under $100, the Logitech G535 Lightspeed wireless gaming headset delivers exceptional performance and comfort.
Its remarkable 33-hour battery life and advanced low latency offer up to 12 meters of dependable wireless freedom, while its 40mm drivers produce clear, deep, and sharp stereo sound.
Corsair HS55 Surround
While it’s not the best out there, the Corsair HS55 Surround is a good option for gaming, especially when you consider its price.
It’s well-built and its sound isolation and frequency response are passable, though not outstanding. The microphone is also good.
Beyerdynamic DT900 Pro X
If you’re looking for audiophile headphones that can be used for gaming, the Beyerdynamic DT 900 PRO X is an excellent option and comes reasonably priced at $300.
It’s easy to power and it produces fantastic sound quality for studio work or gaming.
Speakers for Gaming: Pros and Cons
Speakers are external hardware components that elevate a player’s gaming experience by providing them with a deep bass and somewhat immersive audio output. Speakers can be used for gaming to provide a realistic and immersive sound, creating an experience similar to how environments sound in the real world.
Pros of Using Speakers for Gaming
Here are some benefits of using speakers for gaming.
- Larger Soundstage – A speaker can produce a broader soundscape, making it the perfect choice for those who want a realistic environment sound, especially in cinematic games.
- No Discomfort – Speakers don’t have to sit on your head, so you won’t feel any discomfort or fatigue unlike if you’re using a headset.
- Shared Audio Experience – If the user wants to share the gaming audio with others, speakers allow multiple people to hear the audio output simultaneously and engage themselves in the game without much effort.
- Real-Life Awareness – Speakers allow the user to be still aware of their surroundings while playing since they don’t block background noise.
- Safer – Since speakers don’t project sound directly to your ear, they’re generally safer to use to prevent hearing difficulties or worsening existing hearing conditions.
Cons of Using Speakers for Gaming
Below are some disadvantages of using speakers for gaming.
- Less Accurate – Since the audio isn’t projected directly in your ears, using a speaker can put you at a significant disadvantage especially when playing competitive games. Enemies can sneak easily up on you as you can’t pinpoint their exact location.
- Bulky – Speakers can be very bulky and take up a lot of space on your desk, minimizing the space to move your mouse in. It can also look very cluttered when mixed with other gaming equipment.
- Less Noise Isolation – Unless you have a room with excellent sound isolation, gaming speakers might not be able to match the noise isolation that gaming headsets can provide. External sounds can affect your overall gaming experience since you’d be more prone to distractions.
- Hearing Difficulties – If the user already has existing hearing conditions, it’ll be harder for them to enjoy competitive games because it’ll be more challenging with spatial awareness.
- Volume Concerns – Since speakers project sound in a space, it can disrupt other people.
Speakers for Gaming: Recommendations
The Logitech Z407 is surprisingly powerful for its size and price. Although it doesn’t produce sub-bass thunder, the accompanying subwoofer gives the mix good depth.
It includes a functional desktop-oriented remote control that enhances the audio quality of your computer and works with mobile devices.
Creative Pebble Plus
If want excellent audio quality in a compact build and at a very accessible price point, then look no further than the Creative Pebble Plus.
Retailing for just under $50, this mighty speaker in a small enclosure has a solid build and provides decent sound quality that’s unmatched at its price point.
SteelSeries Arena 3
The SteelSeries Arena 3 is an excellent speaker option with its great-quality sound. Although its sound quality isn’t flawless, it functions incredibly well as a standard PC speaker.
It doesn’t come with a subwoofer so it doesn’t sound as immersive but still has good clarity, strong frequencies, and low distortion.
Razer Leviathan V2 Pro
The Razer Leviathan V2 Pro is a unique soundbar with a head-tracking THX Spatial Audio function primarily intended for desktop PCs rather than home theater systems.
Like a similarly tuned gaming headset, it offers a vast sound field and it comes with a subwoofer that helps produce some nice thump.
Razer Nommo V2 Pro
The Nommo V2 Pro is a delight if you enjoy bass. It also produces an expansive sound and sharp treble, which gamers will love.
Although on the pricier side, its immersive RGB lights enhance the experience. You can change the lighting and audio settings with the software, but only if your PC runs Windows 10 or 11.
Headsets vs. Speakers For Gaming: Final Thoughts
In this debate regarding headsets vs. speakers for gaming, there’s no right answer. One isn’t better than the other and your choice depends on various factors. Some of the things you have to consider include your gaming environments, the type of games you play, your sound quality preferences, and your budget.
When choosing, it’s important to note the advantages and disadvantages of both types of gear, as listed in this post, so you can make an informed decision. I hope you find this quite helpful. If you have any questions, drop a comment below and I’ll be happy to answer them!
A man of many interests, Querho is passionate about discovering new things that stimulate the mind. When he is not writing about the things he is passionate about, Querho can be found making music at his home studio.
This post was last updated on 2024-02-25 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.