Wired Vs. Wireless Gaming Headsets – GameRant

There are a lot of gaming headsets out there, some of them wired and some wireless. But which is better?
Gaming headsets used to be a bit of a luxury, reserved only for those that engaged in online play during its infancy. Nowadays, players buy new gaming headsets just as often as they do controllers, keyboards, mice, or any other peripheral. The explosion of online gaming and the multiplayer space has made gaming headsets a necessity, allowing players to easily communicate with friends and other gamers without having to spend precious time typing or pinging.
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But with the explosion of online gaming has also come an explosion of available headsets and brands. Players that are jumping into online gaming for the first time will need to choose between the wide array of available products and will also need to decide if they want to pursue a wired or wireless device. There are a handful of pros and cons for both and which type a player gets may depend on things like budget, sound quality, and ease of use. Here's a look at some of the main differences between wired and wireless gaming headsets.
When it comes to sound quality, wired headsets do have a distinct advantage over their wireless counterparts. Although modern technology has made it possible for players to instantly connect a wide array of devices via Bluetooth, these connections aren't nearly as solid as wired inputs. Although modern technology is making it more difficult to discern between wired and wireless devices, when it comes to headsets, there is still a massive price differential between the "best Bluetooth devices" and simple wired peripherals.
Wired headsets offer supreme sound quality at a lower price as they feed sound directly from whatever device they're plugged into, protecting against things that might arise from lack of a hardwired connection. A wired headset's direct connection means it receives sound-based information faster, clearer, and with less room for error. Wireless headsets come with the possibility of losing sound quality due to latency and signal loss.
It is important to note that some wireless headsets are incredibly well-made and capable of producing similar sound quality, even with a wireless connection. Unfortunately, players will have to pay a premium to get their hands on these types of devices.
This one is pretty straightforward. Wired headsets definitely carry the advantage when it comes to batter life and charging woes as they directly connect to whatever aux port they're plugged into. This keeps things simple and cuts out the need for an external power source. Wired headsets don't need batteries or internal charging components like their wireless counterparts. Players that don't like the idea of dealing with batteries or remembering to charge their devices will likely feel less stressed by using a wired headset.
There are some wireless products on the market that feature a fairly robust battery life, but that doesn't keep players from having to remember to plug their devices in at the end of the day to keep them charged up. Those who play many games and forget to charge up their wireless headset may find themselves unable to use the device during their next gaming session, which can be quite frustrating.
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Although wired headsets can provide superior quality at a lower price when it comes to sound quality, there's no denying that cable management can be a bit of a nuisance for some players. Not only are some wired headset cables too short, but they're prone to tangling easily, especially for those that move around a lot when playing or find themselves getting up often to move around, leaving their headsets behind.
Although this problem is usually solved by being more cognizant of where the wires are at all times on a wired headset, wireless headsets don't suffer from these issues. They are completely untethered from any type of wires, and those that don't connect via Bluetooth often have a transmitter that stays connected to the PC, giving the user freedom to move without the need to be attached" to the PC or controller itself. Those that hate the frustration of wires hanging all over their setup will likely gravitate to wireless headsets thanks to their freedom.
Wireless headsets are very appealing, thanks to their often sleek design and freedom from wires. Unfortunately, those luxuries come at a higher price point. Players that want to get the best out of their wireless headsets are going to have to shell out a premium for higher-quality devices. Those that don't want to spend the extra money will likely end up disappointed by the sound quality, battery life, or durability of lower-priced wireless headsets. There is a price discrepancy in the world of wireless devices, with cheaper alternatives usually not being "up to par" with the more expensive variants.
Thankfully, this price hike doesn't seem to spread to wired headsets. Quality wired devices are usually much cheaper, even when it comes to the "best of the best." Players that are looking to save a bit of money, or those that are on a fixed budget when it comes to buying a headset, will definitely find it easier to get a wired device for a fair price.
Durability is a huge selling point when it comes to headsets. Those that spend a lot of time gaming are going to want a headset that lasts a long time and is well-made. When it comes to durability, there are pros and cons on both sides.
The materials that make up these headsets vary depending on the company, so it's entirely possible to find both wired and wireless headsets that are made from quality plastics that provide solid flexibility and will stand up against accidental drops and bends. Past that, the two biggest issues that plague each device are wire quality and battery life respectively. Wired headsets that have a poor cable, or poor connection, are prone to fraying, cracking, or outright breaking over time. Braided cables can help prevent these types of issues, but players still need to be aware of their cables to ensure they don't bend them awkwardly.
Conversely, although wireless headsets eliminate pesky cables, they're prone to weakening batteries. Some higher-dollar headsets have removable batteries, allowing players to simply replace the battery to remedy the issue, but some headsets don't feature a removable power source. For these devices, players will be forced to purchase an entirely new headset when the battery eventually begins to lose its charging capabilities.
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When it comes to ease of use, it's hard to deny how simplistic and user-friendly most wired headsets are. After all, these devices simply plug into any device with a suitable aux port, making it very easy for players to purchase a new device, plug it in, and start playing. Many wired headsets even come with additional adapters and plugs that allow players to use a wide array of aux port and connection types, making them universal across many devices.
Wireless headsets aren't as user-friendly, but that shouldn't scare players away. Most wireless devices are incredibly simple to set up, featuring Bluetooth connections or wireless transmitters that plug into USB or other applicable ports. Unfortunately, players will have to dive a bit deeper into their settings to pair these devices and there is the added hassle of having to re-pair them or change settings should they become disconnected for some reason.
Although wireless headsets are beautifully designed, feature much greater freedom, and give players more "control" over their devices, they can be a bit more difficult to use overall. For one, players will need to have either a special transmitter or a Bluetooth-compatible device. On top of that, they'll need to be sure they have a steady supply of batteries or be sure they are constantly charging their device to keep it full and operating at peak performance. Those that want to get the most out of their wireless device from a sound-quality standpoint will likely have to shell out more cash upfront to get a better device that has better connectivity and sound drivers.
Wired headsets don't fiddle with specialized equipment and simply plug and play. They're often cheaper than their wireless counterparts and offer superior sound quality for a much lower price. They're easier to use overall and many come with packaged adapters that let players use them on a variety of specialized devices and controllers. Unfortunately, wired headsets don't offer the same freedom, can feel restrictive, and are prone to wire breaks and cracks. That said, they're still the superior option for most gamers, especially those that play games casually and don't necessarily care so much about the perks of wireless headsets.
That said, this doesn't mean wireless headsets are bad. In fact, they offer some really great pros and many of them feel luxury in comparison to their wired counterparts. Those that can spend the extra money will find some wireless options that are just as good, if not better, than their wired counterparts at a higher premium.
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