Audio quality: It seems self-evident, but we say it anyway: you can’t always determine the sound of a headset from a technical sheet. A well-designed stereo headset can sound better than a poor quality 7.1 Dolby Atmos surround sound set. Check reviews to get an idea of how a headset performs in real life.
Surround sound options: Modern headphones have become very good at recreating or simulating surround sound in headphones with systems such as Dolby Atmos for Headphones or DTS:X. These systems are particularly effective in games where you want to be able to hear exactly where an enemy is shooting at you from. Make sure you can turn surround sound on or off.
Comfort: This is another subjective category, but if you’re going to wear a headset for hours while gaming, it’s important that it doesn’t hurt. A heavy helmet pressed against your temples can give you a headache after a while. Look for helmets that have adjustable, ergonomic designs, plenty of padding, and are generally lightweight.
An adjustable boom microphone: If you plan to use your headset for online gaming, a good microphone is important. Many headsets come with boom mics that can be positioned in front of your mouth. Some are removable, while others can simply be rotated or folded away from your mouth when not in use. Make sure you get the type that suits your needs.
Visible microphone mute and LED indicators: It’s important to know when you’re streaming audio so you don’t accidentally share your private conversations with your teammates. Some mics automatically mute when you flip them up, while others use a dedicated mute button. We particularly like headsets that have red LEDs that indicate when you’re muted, which can be helpful.
Mic monitoring so you can hear your voice: If you want to keep tabs on how you’re speaking to your teammates and not sound like you’re shouting while you play, mic monitoring is a feature that lets you hear your own audio through your headphones. Optimally, you can adjust its volume. When you listen to a podcast or radio show, it’s likely that these people are using some form of mic monitoring so they can hear themselves and others.
Equalizer (EQ) and customization tools: Games, movies, and TV shows are mixed differently, and when you listen, you may want to emphasize different aspects of the audio signal. Custom EQ presets allow you to set different balances for watching a movie or playing a game, or even have different balances for each game.