The headphones are essential for any good ‘gamer’. Whether for chatting while playing online, so as not to disturb the people who are nearby or to have a much more immersive gaming experience.
What does a good ‘headset’ need?
Sound: It is essential for maximum gaming immersion that the headphones simulate 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound. The latest generation games usually bring Dolby Atmos sound, and the difference between listening to it in mono, stereo or 5.1 / 7.1 is really abysmal. For example, in a ‘shooter’ game like Star Wars Battlefront, it’s easier to know where the sniper is shooting from that you can’t see thanks to the surround sound.
Microphone: In addition to good sound quality, it is important that the microphone be effective and comfortable. That it does not hinder when playing and that it transmits the voice as clearly as possible to teammates so that the games ‘online’ in group do not go to waste because of poor communications. It is also important that the micro incorporates details such as antipop foam to avoid air blows when speaking or that it can be disassembled.
Ergonomics: it is also essential that it is comfortable to use for several hours and does not disturb or rub anywhere. It is important to check that the headband incorporates a padding that softens the pressure on the head, that has a breathable fabric and different widths on the earmuffs.
Sound technical specifications
Sensitivity: the higher its value, measured in dB, the greater sound power is heard. Values of up to about 115 dB would be the most appropriate.
Impedance: indicates the resistance to the passage of electric current. Values between 16 and 60 ohm guarantee that you can use the headphones on any console, computer, tablet and mobile without problems of lack of power.
Frequency response: These ones should cover the entire range audible by an average user, from 20 Hz to 20 KHz.
In this case, yes. Although size is not directly related to quality, there are substantial differences between some models and others depending on how large they are.
In-ear headphones without cables: they are those that are inserted into the ear for those who do not like headbands. The models with Bluetooth connection are used in only one ear. Its size is little more than a ‘pendrive’ and they integrate a headset and microphone. It is similar to the devices used to talk on the mobile phone without cables. These models do not offer surround sound or high quality, but are usually more than enough to chat in the games ‘online’
Headband headphones: there is a wide variety of models within this range. The simplest are usually stereo, wired and without a microphone. The most advanced include 5.1 or 7.1 surround, high quality speakers and microphone with ambient noise cancellation for better chat communication, 3½ jack, USB or wireless connections via bluetooth, long extension cables and detachable microphone …
There are also headphones that have a remote control on the cable that allows us to regulate the volume of the audio, regardless of the volume of the microphone for chat. There are even them with the option that the headphones can be folded for greater comfort when storing or transporting them.
Some are even strikingly decorated with colored LEDs depending on the aesthetics of other gaming accessories such as keyboards, mice, mousepads or gamepads.
An important factor: the pads
The pads of our gaming headphones are very important, not only for comfort, but they also influence the final sound quality. The bigger they are, the better they reproduce the low frequencies and the more powerful sound is obtained, especially when it comes to reproducing explosions, shots and effects.
The audio leakage factor is also relevant. If we have people nearby while we are playing, it is important that the audio does not ‘leak’ too much from our headphones so as not to disturb anyone. Headphones with open or micro-perforated bells offer a clearer sound, but do not have good isolation capacity.
Depending on whether the pad is attached or surrounds the ears, there are two types:
Supraaural headphones: they are comfortable and offer a fairly good sound, although not enough to get to appreciate all the possibilities of sound that current video games offer.
Circumaural headphones: they are larger and heavier, although more comfortable to use for a long time, as long as they have padded headbands. They are more comfortable to wear for a long time, as long as they have padded headbands. Others say they are so comfortable that it is easy to forget that you are wearing them. As the speakers are larger, they isolate well from outside sound. The sound is more natural and the more linear reproduction of frequencies being more separated from the ear, generates a more natural sound.
Some models of headphones incorporate interchangeable ear cushions so you can choose depending on the situation.
Headphones for PC or for consoles?
In general, all headphones are compatible to play with any device, but you have to look at the type of connection they need (jack, bluetooth or USB) or they cannot be used in all devices.
There are products specially designed for certain consoles that ensure more quality and better response to use with them. In the field of PC and compatible headsets, some video game titles, such as Call of Duty, also market their own headsets.