Interacting with fellow gamers is one of the best parts of PC gaming, and when you need to get everyone on the same page, communication is critical. That’s why typing instructions is so over. Having a device where you can hear others while speaking allows you to make real time adjustments to increase the chances of success in the game. The question for gamers is not “if” they should buy a gaming headset or headphones, but which one should they buy – a gaming headset or headphones?

To understand the benefits and drawbacks of both, we will examine a proper pair of headphones and a good gaming headset in detail. By looking at the different functions of the two, you will be able to decide as to which one better suit your needs.

Gaming Headsets

When looking for a typical gaming headset, it becomes clear exactly what is on the mind of a person who is buying one of these devices. Gaming headsets have a look that attracts gamers. Usually these headsets are a single unit that goes over the head with padded speakers and a mic that comes out front. This style clearly showcases the gamer’s readiness to do whatever it takes to win the game. Many gamers choose these units because they have the look and the feel of what gaming headsets are.

The reality is these gaming headsets do a lot of things right for the gamer. The best part about these headsets is how relatively affordable they are. Gaming headsets that have the “all-in-one” solution do not retail very expensively and in many cases are the cheapest peripheral that a gamer will purchase. If you’re new to PC gaming, this is a solid option just from the entry barrier alone.

The net benefit is the all-in-one design. To be more direct, the gaming headset is big and has everything that you need for success. The padded headphones keep your ears comfortable and the mic ensures that your gaming compatriots are able to hear your instructions.

The other great thing about these headsets is they are truly plug and play. There’s nothing else to them except connecting that cord.

There are some drawbacks to gaming headsets though. The first is the headsets are not well-made. Many of them break after sustained use. Another issue is that while they are cheap, if you get one of the more notable brand names, you pay more without getting extra quality. This is something not popular with gamers – they love value. Finally, a problem with these headsets is there is often too much bass. This leads to your headset sounding distorted when speaking to the folks you’re gaming with.

Overall, if you’re looking for a cheap, easy way to get into the gaming headset experience, these peripherals provide great value and are certainly worth the investment if you’re looking to get experience with a gaming headset.


Headphones are a completely separate beast from gaming headsets. This is because headphones are typically designed for uses other than gaming. Whereas the headset is designed for gaming, the headphones can be used in a variety of settings. For gaming, headphones and a stand-alone mic do a great job in allowing you to communicate with your fellow teammates. Though the set up is a bit different than the gaming headset, the fact is the headphone and mic set up is preferred by many to the gaming headset.

So, naturally, the question is why folks would rather use headphones. The first part of that answer is sound quality. Headphones are designed with the listening experience in mind, and it is typically superior to what is offered in headsets. This is just one element of how the headphone differs from the headset.

The other way that headphones differ is that unlike a headset – where everything is built together – headphones allow you a variety of ways to customize your gaming experience. This means you can choose the mic you like along with the headphones you enjoy. Headsets are all-in-one solutions, while the headphones and the mic are the customizable option. People who enjoy building their systems will enjoy this set up process.

The other part that is a benefit to gamers using the headphone system is the ability to have better quality and usability in these systems. You can calibrate everything with the equalizer that is in the system to get the best responsiveness. Because these are component parts and not one single unit, it is actually easier for you to get the right sound in your headset and at the same time, getting the mic volume right so you’re not overwhelming other gamers with your voice being too loud.

There are some issues with headphones, though. The first issue is cost. The entry cost to getting a headphone and stand-alone mic set is higher than the gaming headset cost. This is largely due to headphones being specialized equipment. Especially if you are using a Bluetooth headset, this can get expensive really fast.

Another issue is building the connections via the equalizer. Unless you have a trained ear, this can be difficult, and you may not hear the difference in sound quality. Finally, there is an inconvenience factor. Finding a good set of headphones means you will probably have to order them, unlike gaming headsets which are available in pretty much every store.


There are many compelling reasons to choose either a gaming headset or headphones. Whichever you choose, the goal is making sure that you have something that will enhance your gaming experience. The best thing to do is look at the different products and also understand your abilities with the technical side of things. If you want something that’s inexpensive and easy to set up, then the gaming headset is for you. If sound quality is vitally important, then the headphones are the logical choice. The key for either choice is to do your homework and find the device that you like best.

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