What to look for when buying gaming headphones

Casandra Greer
It takes approx. 3 minutes to read this article

If you often play video games, you certainly know how important it is to invest in good headphones. There are many different models on the market, which differ not only in price, but also in technical aspects. See what parameters are important and what you should keep in mind when shopping.

Construction of headphones

The basic issue when choosing headphones is how they are built. Gamers prefer in-ear versions, that is those that fit to the ear, or surround it from the outside and are connected to the top with a special, adjustable headband. Such models are further divided into two types:

  • closed – tight, wrapping around the ear, the shell isolates ambient sounds very well and at the same time makes that the music from the headphones does not escape to the outside. They work well while playing, because they allow you to focus completely on what is happening on the screen. Their disadvantage is poor ventilation, which makes your ear get sweaty quickly;
  • open – although this type is characterized by a clear, crisp sound, it has no acoustic insulation, so in terms of gaming it performs worse than the closed version. Free air flow makes it possible to wear these headphones for a long time

Another type are in-ear headphones, which are inserted directly into the ear canal. Characteristic rubber band on their speaker serves as a seal and comfortable fastening at the same time. They are very popular because of their small size, practically zero weight and possibility to be put into a pocket or backpack. In-ear headphones are less popular for gaming because they can hurt your ears after a few hours and also negatively affect your hearing due to their design.

Wireless and wired headphones

Wireless versions connect to Bluetooth-enabled devices, while wired ones have a standard cable and jack (or other) plug. Here, the choice depends on personal taste. While the lack of a cord is convenient, it does require charging the headphones. When it comes to sound quality, it’s currently similar in both cases.

Volume level

Gaming headphones should be sensitive enough to catch even the quietest sounds, which are very important in games. EU standards state that the recommended volume is about 86 dB, although in terms of headphones it is better to bet on models starting from 110 dB.


This mysterious indicator determines how much electrical resistance the coils in the speakers have. High impedance ensures that the sound is clear, but it also lowers its volume. For this reason, it is best to go for devices in the 16-32 ohmrange.

Frequency response

Along with sensitivity, a very important aspect in gaming is clearly distinguishing different types of sounds – from low, bass sounds to high, squeaky sounds. So when you buy headphones, pay attention to the frequency response, which should be between 16 and 20,000 Hz.

Additional features and convenience

Nowadays, manufacturers like to equip their devices with additional options. In in-ear headphones, it is important to have a microphone, which will come in handy during team games, active noise cancellation or sound quality enhancement. In terms of comfort, check whether the headphones are adjustable, what material they are made of, and whether the in-ear version has additional rubber bands.

Main photo: samer daboul/unsplash.com

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