You can plug in a pair of headphones to play a game on the computer or console system. They will certainly serve their purpose in keeping others from hearing your game's music for hours on end. When you really start getting into the world of MMORPGs or Multiplayer shooters, you'll want to pick up a gaming headset. These headphones help you hear more of what is going on, communicate with other players better, and they may be more comfortable.
Since gaming headsets see a lot of use, as in hours of wear on a daily basis, you'll want to find one with a durable construction. The highest quality sets are made with a solid aluminum construction in the band and real leather on the ear cups. Despite being made of metal and leather, they are surprisingly lightweight, which reduces neck fatigue in the long run.
Noise Canceling Technology
Gamers have almost universally been asked to turn down the volume on their stereos by those in the same room or next door. A headset helps, but one with noise canceling technology ensures that nary a whisper escapes. Padded ear cups fit neatly over the ears to provide a physical barrier for sound. Plus, noise canceling technology works both ways too. Active noise control technology monitors ambient sound and produces a contrasting sound in the background of the audio that cancels out the unwanted frequency.
High Audio Quality
Of course, you'll want to get the best quality sound to enjoy thoroughly the soundtracks that come with your favorite games. HiFi capable stereos with large drivers are a common inclusion inexpensive headsets. Look for a set that features a broad frequency range up to 28,000 Hz and a low -3 to -10 dB tolerance. This ensures a dynamic, clear sound for music and voices. When you are playing at the computer or television, the high impedance sets with 32 ohms or more are fine. These headsets require more juice, but they also put out a much bigger sound in exchange. Molded ear cups that form a close seal over the ears are the right choice for getting a great bass sound.
Gamer headsets usually come with a microphone so that you can communicate with other players. There are a lot of different microphones from a rigid one with low-quality audio to those that are bendable in any direction and can pick out the sound of a mouse scurrying across the room. Some mics are wrapped in a protective layer of foam or foam rubber to help keep them from breaking due to regular manipulation. You may also want to search for a headset that uses the same kind of noise canceling technology for the microphone audio. This reduces background noise from moving the mic, shifting in your seat, or other people in the room.
Look for a microphone that can capture a wide frequency range from 50 Hz up to 18,000 Hz. This doesn't make much difference to you as a player, but others will appreciate the improved sound quality. This is also a good idea for those who like to record their game play and post the videos online. A clear audio track makes listening to those play through videos on YouTube a much nicer experience.
Multiple Connectivity Options
There are plenty of options when it comes to connectivity. Whether you go with wireless or wired is really up to you. Each has its benefits and drawbacks. Wireless headphones give you the leeway of getting up and moving around the room to stretch those legs. No worries about taking the entire computer or television console with you when you forget about taking off a pair of wired headsets.
However, a wireless headset uses batteries. Gamers may get annoyed with having to replace batteries or recharge them frequently. Some sets do have a long battery life, up to 10 hours of gameplay. So, if you can remember to recharge the headset after a long session, then the headphones will be fully charged and ready to go the next time you sit down. When it comes to wireless technology, you can choose Bluetooth or WiFi. Some dislike Bluetooth since it offers less range and there is some loss of audio quality compared to WiFi.
Comfortable Headset Design
Seeing as you'll be wearing that headset for hours (let's not kid ourselves here) comfort is key. Luckily, gaming headphones are built with ergonomics in mind. These headphones usually feature large over-the-ear cups with plenty of foam padding and a soft leather cover. The inside of the headband is also lined with padding and leather to help keep the metal from pressing into the top of the skull. You may want to check out sets with adjustable bands if the standard sizes feel a bit snug for comfort.
Another great feature is adjustable controls on the headphones themselves. These controls are usually placed on the outside of the ear cup or the headband. Gamers can use them to make simple volume adjustments, mute sound or other tasks. Some even have programmable buttons that allow you to add special controls, like the ability to switch between chat and game music, or modulate your voice. These controls make it possible to make those quick adjustments without having to stop the game.
Armed with this knowledge of the best features found in gaming headsets, you are now ready to go out and find your perfect peripheral. Plenty of padding is a must for long gaming sessions, as well as a long battery life. A dynamic frequency range in the microphone and the stereos ensures that you'll hear everything from distant voices to powerful explosions. Adjustable controls and the choice of connectivity options improves your experience and cuts down on potential accidents in-game and in the real world. Take your time in that virtual world to another level with a gaming headset.