Best Cheap Gaming Headsets in 2021

Solid gaming audio doesn’t necessarily come at high prices. Those who look in the right places, can find a great headset for just a few bucks. To help you find the right option for your budget, we’ll recommend some of today’s best cheap gaming headsets. This is how to get some audio bang for your buck.

As we’re specifically listing budget-friendly models, it’s important to get expectations in check. Sure, more affordable headsets can sound great, but they often cut back on many modern luxuries. Not to rain on your parade, but before we get to listing, here’s what you should keep in mind.

What to expect from cheap gaming headsets — and what not

Our top picks mostly favor audio quality over having a myriad of features. That’s where the price-to-performance is strongest. As they’re gaming headsets, they all come with some sort of microphone that’ll at least get you talking in-game. Just don’t expect your voice to come through in a podcast-like quality.

Promotional picture of the Razer Kraken X, which can be considered one of the best cheap gaming headsets.

With their lowered price points, the best cheap gaming headsets will most likely be wired. After all, wireless receivers and built-in batteries are rather costly components. The majority of our picks opts for 3.5mm audio jack compatibility, which is actually quite useful. These analog gaming headsets can often be used on all kinds of devices, including consoles and smartphones. 

Our picks will get you gaming reliably, but don’t expect too many luxury features. If you’re really into RGB bling, or built-in virtual surround sound, prepare to pay a little bit more. These budget-friendly recommendations won’t feature anything like that. 

These are some of the best cheap gaming headsets of today

RIG 400 — Easily one of the best cheap gaming headsets overall

Coming from audio veteran Plantronics, the RIG portfolio is well-endowed with great headsets. The RIG 400 series is one of the lowest entry points to their audio prowess, offering great bang for your buck. Aside from the headset itself, almost all RIG headsets (barring the PlayStation branded ones) come with a lifetime license of Dolby Atmos for Headphones too.

RIG 400 Stereo Gaming Headset for PC with Dolby Atmos 3D Surround Sound
  • Compatible with Windows 10, Windows 11 PCs ( Dolby Atmos for Headphones prepaid activation code included* for 3D Surround Sound); also ideal for...
  • Dolby Atmos for Headphones pulls you into the game with moving audio that sweeps all around and above you. Prepaid activation code included is...
  • Lightweight, flexible and durable, the headset frame fits comfortably during long game sessions

The RIG 400 is a fully analog take on RIG’s more expensive models, like the RIG 800. This budget-friendly option connects over a 3.5mm audio jack, but still delivers amazing clarity in gaming audio — perfect for spatial awareness. The audio is produced by RIG’s finely tuned 40mm drivers.

It might look uncomfortable and easy to break, but make no mistake: these headsets are made to stay comfy for years. The plastic headband is virtually unbreakable, while the entire design has a light but firm fit around most gamer’s ears. Considering the price — and the Dolby Atmos license included — RIG makes good cases for best cheap gaming headsets.

Razer Kraken X — A true monster in price-to-performance

We’ve touched on it multiple times: Razer isn’t always as “overpriced” as the internet claims. These days, the boasty gaming brand has built a strong portfolio in affordable gear too. The Razer Kraken X is one of the best examples of that. Stemming from an already beloved bigger brother, this toned-down Kraken offers great audio at a rather affordable price.

Razer Kraken X Ultralight Gaming Headset: 7.1 Surround Sound - Lightweight...
  • Frequency Response 12 Hz – 28 kHz.Headphones fit type:Over-Ear
  • Immersive, 7.1 Surround Sound for Positional Audio: Outfitted with custom-tuned 40 millimeter drivers, capable of software-enabled surround sound when...
  • Designed for All-Day Comfort: The lightest Kraken headset ever at 250 grams, around 40% lighter than the competition

Razer’s proven 50mm drivers have been shrunken down to 40mm, in a slightly more simplified body. The Kraken X is quite slim, compared to the sometimes bulky looking Kraken. It only weighs a mere 250 grams now, making it a great lightweight gaming companion.

The Kraken X comes with a 3.5mm audio jack connection, with in-line controls. The flexible, cardioid pattern microphone can’t be detached or retracted, but offers crisp audio quality. Razer offers quite a neat budget package — with icy white or PlayStation-esque black-and-blue color ways too.  

Corsair HS50 Pro — Sleek and stylish, with great sounds

After the brashy Void range, Corsair toned it down with their HS range of headsets. They’re sleek, offer solid 50mm drivers, and are still quite affordable overall. The HS50 Pro offers the lowest point of entry, offering a great sound package over 3.5mm jack connections.

Corsair HS50 Pro - Stereo Gaming Headset - Discord Certified Headphones -...
  • Adjustable ear cups fitted with plush memory foam provide exceptional comfort for hours of gameplay
  • High-quality custom-tuned 50 millimeter neodymium Audio drivers deliver superb sound quality with the range to hear everything you need to on the...
  • The HS50 pro's light weight and durable construction with aluminum Yokes give it years of longevity

Corsair clearly knows what a good budget headset should be all about: accessible audio quality, and a down-to-earth build. The HS50 Pro is exactly that. It sounds great, but doesn’t steer too hard into oversaturated lows or highs. It’s rather comfortable, but doesn’t have to look all that flashy. It’s a great allrounder that will sit just fine with all kinds of gamers.

The detachable and flexible microphone can be rather dodgy from time to time, but usually works just fine. Volume controls and a mute button can be found on the shell itself. All in all, Corsair does a lot of things right, and barely anything plain wrong. 

ROCCAT Elo X — Precision German engineering

German gaming brand ROCCAT is no newcomer in the price-to-performance market. The Elo X serves as their affordable gaming headset, that still retains much of what ROCCAT excels at: a sturdy look and feel.

ROCCAT Elo X Stereo PC Gaming Headset, Wired Cross-Platform Headphones for...
  • CRYSTAL-CLEAR COMMUNICATION - Ensure crystal-clear communication with teammates thanks to a detachable noise-cancelling microphone with TruSpeak...
  • SUPREME STEREO SOUND - Pitch-perfect stereo sound helps you seek out your opponents with ease; Every crucial sound is covered
  • PRECISION-TUNED NANOCLEAR DRIVERS - Hear crisp highs and thundering lows with 50mm Nanoclear speakers from Turtle Beach, tuned to maximize stereo...

ROCCAT’s strong suit is their overall build quality, and the Elo line oozes that. The analog Elo X features the same design as its pricier (and even wireless) counterparts, making for a highly comfortable headset. The metal headband self-adjusts to find a good fit around your head, while wide memory foam ear cups place the 50mm drivers firmly around your ears.

The integrated microphone is on-par, and can actually be removed, which is always nice. Even without the mic arm or RGB lighting, ROCCAT’s Elo line still looks rather gamer-y. If you’re into that, this might be the best cheap gaming headset when it comes to build quality and comfort. 

HyperX Cloud Stinger — Sizable drivers, new design

The Cloud Stinger deviates quite a bit from HyperX’s popular Cloud II range. Instead of a pilot-esque design, HyperX opts for a fully plastic enclosure, making for a slightly alien look. It might be an acquired taste, but other than that, the audio quality makes up for it. 

HyperX Cloud Stinger – Gaming Headset, Lightweight, Comfortable Memory...
  • Headphones fit type:Over-Ear
  • Lightweight headset (275 gram) with 90-degree rotating ear cups provide a snug fit that conforms to your head.50 millimeter directional drivers for...
  • HyperX signature memory foam provides maximum comfort during extended use

HyperX’s 50mm directional drivers return to pump sound waves into your ear, this time surrounded by thick memory foam ear cups. It’s a comfortable listening experience, with a rather rich sound. It’s connected over a 3.5mm audio jack, with some volume controls embedded on the ear piece. 

The slightly bendable microphone arm can’t be detached, but does feature a nice flip-to-mute function. If you’re not intending to rely on voice communication all that much, the HyperX Cloud Stinger proves more than adequate, quality-wise. 

SteelSeries Arctis 1 — Budget friendly, with a competitive edge

There’s no stopping the Arctis range from SteelSeries. These headsets look unique, offer solid comfort, and are even available for lower budgets. The Arctis 1 cuts down on some luxury, but still retains the general feel of a high-end alternative. 

SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wired Gaming Headset – Detachable Clearcast...
  • Headphone Frequency Response 20–20000 Hz.Headphones fit type:Over-Ear.Cable Length 3 m / 10 ft
  • Wired gaming headset with universal connectivity for all platforms including PC PS4 Xbox switch and lite and mobile via standard 3.5 millimeter...
  • Features the critically acclaimed signature audio of the Arctis line for precisely balanced incredibly realistic in game audio

The Arctis 1 features slightly smaller audio drivers, coming in at a 40mm size. These are still tweaked and tuned for optimal spatial awareness, tailoring the headset to competitive gaming too. The skiband-like material of pricier Arctis headsets isn’t seen here, making the budget model appear less comfortable. Given that it only weighs 272 grams and still comes with a rigid headband, it’s definitely not uncomfortable, at the very least.

Instead of a retractable boom arm, SteelSeries opts for a fully detachable microphone. It’s not exactly the best headset microphone, but the bi-directional pick-up pattern helps cancel out some noise. If you’re into competitive gaming, the Arctis 1 could easily be your on-the-go companion. 

Budget spent?

That’s all for our recommendations on some of the best cheap gaming headsets. It should be clear by now that solid audio doesn’t exactly require higher prices. Sure, you most likely won’t get wireless capabilities, but these babies get you gaming in a pinch.  

Are you still unclear on what to look for, or do you require some more headset advice? Be sure to reach out to us! We’re always hanging around our comment sections, in case you want to hit us up. Any suggestions for other great headsets on a budget are of course welcome as well. 

Looking for more gear to upgrade your gaming audio? Check out our recommendations on some of the Best Gaming DACs out there, or our top picks on the Best Microphones for Gaming and Streaming!

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