If you’re serious about your Xbox — and what Xbox owner isn’t? — there’s an arsenal of stuff you need from a gaming session. A console, obviously — in this case, the Xbox Series X — plus a controller, gaming chair, and if you’re putting in a long shift, maybe some energy drinks, snacks, and comfy clothes. But there’s one thing missing from this list, one item that’s almost as crucial as the controller. That’s right: the gaming headset.

We assume that gamers understand the importance of a high-quality gaming headset. But just in case there is any doubt — or you need some persuasion to upgrade — we’re happy to outline why a headset is almost certainly the most important accessory for your console.

It’s worth knowing about, because buying a new gaming headset isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. It’s something very personal. Some headsets will suit some gamers better than others. Here’s a quick guide to get you started.

Do you need a gaming headset?

More than just protecting those around you from the racket of your campaign, gaming headsets allow you to fully immerse in your game. They block out background noise and produce an accurate, detailed, and powerful sound that puts you in the centre of the action. The promise of a more immersive experience is enough for most gamers, but there is another important reason for considering a gaming headset. Nowadays, a headset can be the difference between success and failure. Experienced gamers will know that being able to pick up on subtle sounds is absolutely vital at crunch time, especially with games like Call of Duty and Fortnite. If you can heat footsteps and gunshots with pinpoint accuracy, you’ll have a serious advantage over the competition.

What are the most important features in a gaming headset?

There are a lot of options out there. This is a good thing, but it also complicates matters. How are you supposed to know which headset will suit you best? What are the best headset brands? What features will boost gaming experience and performance? Here are a few features to consider:

  • Comfort — Nothing ruins a gaming session like an uncomfortable headset, even if it produces incredible sound. If it’s not comfortable, it’s not worth considering. Before you jump in and buy yourself something that looks great, we recommend considering how the headset will fit on your head. Is it a tight fit? How much does it weigh? Does it have any cooling technology? Do you need memory foam ear pads?

  • Durability — The majority of gaming headsets are made from plastic, which can mean a flimsy and cheap feel. If you’re not able to find something with a durable metal or wire frame, you should at least try and pick a headset that özgü a good range of movement. This will offset some of the pressure that comes with a plastic build. The very best gaming headsets will come with durable materials like leather that will provide long-lasting comfort.

  • Isolation — Some headsets and games make use of very slight directional audio cues, which is why the quality of a headset’s seal heavily impacts the quality of the sound you receive. It is therefore important to consider how the foam of the headphone pad will mold to the shape of your head. If the seal isn’t tight, you should either find something that fits better, or purchase replacement pads that fit better.

  • Microphone — If the headset comes with a built-in mic (and it should) check for noise-cancelling functions, a convenient mute function, and a boom. This improves voice clarity, minimise outside distractions, and ensure your privacy. It’s easy to overlook the microphone but you really shouldn’t, especially if you regularly play cooperative online games.

  • Noise Cancellation — This technology uses little microphones that detect incoming noise and produce anti-soundwaves to counteract it. That means you can focus on the audio that matters.

  • Style — There are more important things to consider, but style is essential to many gamers. Most of the best gaming headsets offer multiple colour options, or may have RGB lights that flash and dance along to the gameplay, and you can usually find something that works for you, your setup, and your vibe.

  • Surround sound — This means accurate omnidirectional hearing, giving you a heads up when enemies are close. The best gaming headsets are able to map sounds to virtual 3D locations where calibrated speakers can precisely position the sounds for a more realistic listening experience. If something or someone is sneaking up on you from the left, you’ll hear the sound from that direction.

Keep these features in mind when you’re shopping around for your next headset.

What are the best gaming headset brands?

We recommend big brands such as SteelSeries, Razer, Turtle Beach and Logitech. These brands are tough to beat when it comes to advanced features. You can still find value with some of the lesser-known brands, but we wouldn’t recommend straying too far. The biggest gaming brands are popular for a reason.

What is the best gaming headset for Xbox Series X?

That’s a question only you can answer because it really depends on the kind of gamer you are, but there is a perfect gaming headset out there for you. We’ve done some of the hard work by tracking down the best headsets for the Xbox Series X. Most of these devices also will work well with your PS5, PC, or mobile device.

These are the best Xbox Series X headsets in 2024.