Later we will see a series of gaming headphones. All include a microphone. Why? It is obvious: the micro is a key element in the online game ecosystem .
Whether in private or anonymous games, to lead a war squad in ‘ The Division ‘ or sending demons to hell in ‘ Doom ‘, both available in both PC and next generation consoles, the headset is essential.
We must take care, therefore, that the micro incorporate foam antipop – to avoid air blows that generate syllables such as ‘p’ and ‘b’ when you speak -, be modular, to place it vertically when we do not use it, or even power disassemble it, to reduce the total weight of the headset when we decide to do without it.
Connections: with or without cables?
In this new generation of game consoles, the current Xbox One controls -not the first model but the one that has been manufactured since 2015-, Wii U, PS4, any tablet, PC tower or even the audio output of many monitors, include helmet output. You will recognize it by the 3.5mm jack connection .
Some years ago it was known that the headphones that were connected via bluetooth suffered a significant loss of quality in the resulting sound, due to the limitations of streaming , causing delays in the response, synchronization with the microphone, and so on.
At present, these problems are practically suspended. In addition , wireless headphones allow greater mobility and comfort when traveling or playing . Hence, most manufacturers opt for wireless models.
A couple of technical notes :
To have a basic notion about all those numbers that appear at the foot of the description, here are some notes about them.
Sensitivity : this determines the power emitted by the speaker of the headset. It is measured in decibels. In gaming headphones the standard is between 95 and 120 dB.
Frequency : this value refers to the range that the handset emits within the audible spectrum. A human ear perceives approximately 20 Hertz to 20,000 . In that frequency band we hear everything, so the headset must cover, at least, that field.
Impedance : this value is more difficult to explain. It refers to the capacity of resistance that the headphones have to the reactance or, what is the same, the dynamic tolerance that a loudspeaker has to support greater or lesser power. If your tolerance is very low, it will overload and behave abnormally, vibrating and making noise.
The standard value is 32 ohms , but ideally, headphones with large dynamic impedance up to 60 ohm.
Divers : this word is especially mentioned among gaming headphones for a simple reason: to generate good bass, a realistic effect of shots, bombs and roars, we need a wide woofer and, therefore, a diaphragm of 40mm or larger .
The driver refers to the headset’s core. All the elements must be built around its width, its mass and its values.
Taking into account these data nobody is going to become an expert overnight. But by being guided by the ear and with a little experience, it is easy to establish a parallel between them.
Now it is the turn of the proper names, to choose our ideal helmets , the one that will follow us in the journey of our head games.
From 50 to 100 euros
In this first price range we have two classics that have been converted into headphones to recommend. First of all we have the Logitech G430 , a surround helmet with hearth that offers surround sound Dolby Headphone 7.1 .
Due to its “seniority” – almost three years in the market – it is easy to get hold of it for a third of the original price. They are wired, but at least they do not skimp: with 2.3 meters they are ideal for any distance.
You also have to remember that they have full compatibility with Windows, PlayStation, Xbox and Steam. With less than 300 gr of weight, they are really lightweight helmets, comfortable thanks to their padded pads, with suppressor of noise in the micro and completely closed, to listen without detours.
On the other side of the ring we have a fierce competitor. The Turtle Beach Ear Force X12 is a wide helmet, in all the senses: circumaural, with a sensitivity of 120 dB, enhancement in low and a cable of almost 5 meters, with USB power .
Its great enemy is its own power, making additional noise and reflecting a power that sometimes gets out of control. It is not a subtle helmet, but battle, in every way. With some posts you will feel that you have the war on you.
If we continue climbing a bit on the scale we will find the Creative Sound Blaster Tactic3D Rage v2.0 . Closed, wireless, with up to 16 hours of autonomy , these helmets from the Singapore company offer good value for money for tight budgets – you just have to look at their EVO series.
Hyperx Cloud Ii
Finally, HyperX Cloud II . This circumaural headset includes a series of characteristics typical of high ranges: the range of frequencies, from 15 Hz to 25 KHz; mute microphone – you do not listen when speaking and includes remote control to suppress channel audio – internal DSP card to amplify and adjust a 7.1 surround sound, and a fully removable micro with TeamSpeak Certificate, ideal for messaging clients such as Skype, Mumble or Ventrilo .
This Kingson bet is connected via USB, has full compatibility with all consoles on the market and 272 grams of weight that are hardly appreciated thanks to a fully padded headband.
From 100 to 200 euros
From here we start with new standards. We started with the Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma . They are about 5.1 that emulate a 7.1 thanks to its ‘Razer Synapse’ software, achieving a very reliable 360 degree effect .
Like closed headphones that are, the sound is compact and really impressive, despite not having a large diaphragm. When you manipulate them you feel that you have a quality object, of good construction – not in vain they weigh, without counting the USB cable, 340 grams.
Mad Catz, the prestigious brand of peripherals, also has something to say in this space. Their Tritton Katana include all the technological innovations inherited from the Tritton 720+ and take them to a new stadium.
Mad Catz Tritton Katana
Let’s go with a couple of technical data: 50mm drivers, frequency response in the microwave from 20 Hz to 5 kHz , higher than average, rechargeable battery with 20 hours of autonomy, software to equalize, full compatibility with any console and PC – although in Xbox 360 it does not emit to 7.1, but in stereo- and function SVM (Selectable Voice Monitoring) to limit that we speak too loud, filtering through the channel our own voice.
The Katana do not walk with half measures: they emit a wide and clean sound, rich in nuances, ideal for playing. And for what we want.
In this price range, the Turtle Beach brand offers two opportunities. The DTS Ear Force Stealth 500P for PlayStation lovers and the Ear Force Stealth 500X . I do not want to dedicate more space to him than to mention them due to his segmented condition, attending more to a commercial strategy to a true need of market. They are notorious models, in any case.
Steelseries Siberia 650
Finally, my favorites. The SteelSeries Siberia 650 may not be aesthetically so resultones but hide 422 gr of pure power, crystal clear sound, with a virtual surround sound Dolby 7.1 amazing. They are the typical helmets that when the evidence everything else is lackluster, a step below .
Beyond the 200 euros
Sennheiser Pc 363d
Speaking of steps, let’s go now with the top of the range. If any of the previous headphones does not convince, here you will find the one that satisfies you, believe me.
We started with the Sennheiser PC 363D , from the prestigious German manufacturer. These headphones bring studio sound to gaming , thanks to the EAR technology, a true 3D surround effect, with a frequency range of 15 to 28,000 Hz . Its weight, almost 300 gr, is adapted to the quality of its materials, with high density velvet pads and a padded headband very pleasant to the touch.