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You might be wondering, why buy gaming headphones when you already have regular ones. Gaming headsets have this unique reputation among the gaming community. They come with a lot of added value features that are absolutely crucial for gaming.
Unlike regular brands, gaming brands prioritize on different things that contribute greatly towards your gaming experience. Things such as 7.1 channel surround sound and immersive gaming experience, allowing you to hear your enemies before they hear you.
In today’s editorial, I will tell you exactly why you need gaming headphones. In fact, I will present you with the major differences that make gaming headsets a superior choice for gaming than music headphones.
Why You Need a Gaming Headphones?
You need them for powerful sound reproduction, unmatched comfort, and unparalleled gaming experience. Basically, your ears will thank you.
The Difference between Gaming Headphones and Music Headphones
#1- Music Headphones
Music headphones companies present you with uniquely tuned drivers with enormous emphasis on telling you how their audio is the best. Then again, they offer you comfort and something about the frame. They also include amazing build and accessories.
#2- Gaming Headphones
When it comes to gaming headphones, the leading marketing point falls on comfort. This is justifiable since you are most likely to be gaming for hours at a time. Then, there is surround sound gaming followed by design, platform compatibility, and microphone.
Apart from the mic on gaming headsets, the major difference when compared to music headsets is surround sound. Surround sound gives you the perception of directional awareness of everything that’s around you.
As far as gaming is concerned, this is obviously very important. You should know that there are two types of surround implementations within the headphones: real and virtual.
Real surround sound headphones are incorporated with multiple drivers on each side to be in charge of a particular audio channel. The drivers include center, side, subwoofer, and rear channels.
All these drivers work together in harmony to reproduce very nice surround sound. Basically, every driver is in charge of a specific direction. The best models provide you with three dimensional rotation of audio.
Virtual surround sound; on the other hand, is achieved through software on your computer or on the headphones. Usually, you have stereo headphones integrated with one driver on each ear cup.
But, now you are changing the equalizer and you are adjusting the base, mid-range and treble frequencies to widen the soundstage. This ensures that your audio environment is larger and provides a superior gaming experience.
#3- Gaming Headphones vs. Music Headphones
The primary physical difference between the two is that gaming headphones have a mic attached to them. The major performance differences include surround sound and EQ, you get a more immersive audio experience. But, music headphones provide you with a flat EQ.
The Features of Gaming Headphones
1) Simulated Surround Sound
This is not usually a very important feature, but it is a good addition found in higher-end models. Audio software engineers have done their best to simulate surround sound on more limited hardware.
Music headsets use volume to help you establish where the sound is originating from, but simulated surround sound lags the sound by a small fraction. This allows your brain to think that it is hearing audio from multiple directions at the same time.
2) Noise Cancellation
Best quality gaming headsets feature noise cancellation, guaranteeing that external noise does not interfere with your game playing. This is a very important factor for gamers who live in a noisy family or near a busy street.
Noise canceling headsets have small microphones that detect the frequencies in a particular environment. There’s a digital processor that determines which sound waves need to be cancelled and then amplifies through the headphones.
3) Good Microphone
A high-quality microphone is more essential than ever in gaming headphones, especially if you are engaged in an online game where you talk with other gamers. Therefore, you have every reason for choosing headsets with top-quality microphone features.
I recommend that you choose headphones with a microphone arm instead of the ones with the mic built into the earpiece. The microphone arm does a great job of picking up your voice and ensuring that whoever you are talking to understands you better.
How to Choose the Best Gaming Headphones
Choosing gaming headphones doesn’t have to be a difficult proposition. You just need to know what to look for on the market as far as design and performance features are concerned. Here are the 7 top buying tips to remember.
For more, see our other article:15 Actionable Ways To Choose The Best Gaming Headset In 2018
The very first thing that you have to consider when buying gaming headphones is the platform you are working with. If you are mainly a PC player, then make sure the model you are buying is compatible with your PC. It is particularly challenging to find headphones that work with Mac OS.
If gaming consoles are your thing, make sure the headphones work with Xbox One and PS4. I would like to remind you that not all gaming headsets are compatible with PS4 or Xbox One, and most of them need an adapter. In fact, some headsets may not be entirely compatible with the latest gaming consoles.
Connection Type: USB or Analog
There are two major connection types gaming headsets come with: USB or analog. USB headphones provide superior performances, thanks to inline controls, amps, and other properties. However, as far as quality is concerned, there isn’t much between the two.
Traditional and inexpensive models come with analog connections (3.5 mm jack). Headphones with analog connection have two 3.5 mm jacks at the end, one for the microphone and the other one for audio.
Wireless or Wired
Gaming headphones can be wireless or wired. Wireless headsets don’t have issues with loose wires, and they allow for mobility, but their sound quality can be worse than wired models. Not to mention that they need to be recharged or have their batteries replaced every now and then.
Closed or Open
Closed gaming headphones have a speaker mounted against a solid cup. The main benefit of this is noise isolation, and it goes both ways. They are great for gaming because the sound from the speakers won’t get picked up by the microphone and interfere with what you’re trying to say to your fellow players.
By contrast, open headsets have perforated ear cups, allowing air to freely pass in and out. If air can pass in and out, then noise does too. This gives them natural airy sounds, and it doesn’t sound like the audio is coming from inside your head.
Open headsets do not isolate noise that is being made by other people in the house or by the street nearby. The choice between the two depends entirely on personal preference. But, it goes without saying that closed are the best for gaming.
Number of Speakers
Real surround sound headsets use several discrete speakers integrated into each headset cup, which handle the various sound channels. On the other hand, virtual surround sound sets feature two separate speakers, which achieve surround effect through software.
You can have the best gaming headsets with all the resourceful features you may need, but they won’t do you any good if they’re not comfortable. They need to have a good clamping force, breathable, easy to wear with glasses, and lightweight.
The best gaming headphones have to be durable if you are to use them for years to come. You need a model that features high-quality materials and engineering.
The gap between cheap and inexpensive widens to a yawning chasm when you are talking about gaming audio gear. You can get a well-performing model for less than $100, and you can still get a fancy model for several hundred dollars.
Here is the thing, the much you are willing to spend depends entirely on what you are looking for on the market. Personally, I would stay away from the cheap deals. If you are short on funds, you should try as much as possible to settle for a model between cheap and expensive.
Now, you know why you need gaming headphones. Unlike music headphones, gaming headsets have additional features that may not appear important to a non-gamer. These features may make the headphones a little bit awkward, but the performance is superb.
There is really no point of contention when choosing between gaming and music headphones. Gaming headsets are purposely engineered to provide you with superior comfort, immersive audio experience, and the ability to talk with other gamers.