The gaming headset is the gamer's audio interface to the game and to other players. This results in special requirements for the sound converters, the microphone, the (software) equipment and the connections. In this article, we will go through all the important points step by step.
Deep explosions, mid-range voices, high frequencies in the soundtrack – in games, the most diverse sounds and noises appear across the entire bandwidth. This places high demands on the general sound characteristics of a gaming headset. It should not only reproduce the entire frequency range cleanly but also do so within the framework of balanced frequency response. Especially in the low-frequency range, the headset should not sway, because it is mainly the low frequencies that give the whole game sound the necessary power. To a certain degree, it is a matter of taste whether the bass or midrange is more or less emphasized in the frequency response.
Acoustic location of enemies and other sources of sound within the game can provide a whole new gaming experience if you have never experienced it before. Now, headphones typically output stereo sound from – &via a small speaker for each ear. By so-called psychoacoustic effects, it is, however, possible to reproduce a – at least in human perception produced – spatial sound with only two sound sources. Sound waves can be modelled by differences in propagation time and level in such a way that even headphones with one loudspeaker per side (usually so-called drivers) can produce a spatially differentiated sound image.
Even a gaming headset can produce surround sound when headphones are used to make the room sound To make such effects possible, the gaming headset must support appropriate codecs. This works best if the gaming headset itself (or the cable) has a small sound card built-in that simulates surround sound. This has the additional advantage that the often not very functional and sound-strong sound chip on the computer's mainboard is no longer needed.
A gaming session can easily last four hours and longer. A lack of wearing comfort and poor workmanship can have an impact. Over-ear headphones are often an advantage over other designs in terms of long-term wearing comfort. They strongly surround the ears and therefore do not exert pressure on them. In addition, the closed design shields the ears particularly well and, conversely, does not allow sound waves to escape to the outside. However, this can have negative effects on the diffusely propagating low-frequency sound waves.
In connection with comfort and workmanship you should consider the following points:
Weight of the gaming headset
The padding of the contact surfaces and headband
Mounting and adjustment possibilities of the microphone.
Length of the connection cable (or, if applicable, wireless version)
If you keep hearing „What?!“ in team chat, for example in the popular TeamSpeak, you should think about your microphone as it could be the cause of the problem. This can reduce the fun of gambling, especially for the other players. The transducer in the microphone should process the signals cleanly. Also, make sure that a strong filter function for ambient noise is integrated. It is also recommended that the microphone filters out breathing noise.
Xbox, PlayStation, PC: Gaming headsets and platform compatibility. When it comes to compatibility, there's not much to consider when it comes to a gaming headset. On the PC and on the established consoles you can find jack sockets today. One output for the headphones and one input for the voice signals. Alternatively, there are also headsets with a USB port.