Wired vs. Wireless Gaming Headsets: Which One Is Better? – MUO – MakeUseOf

You can split the world of gaming headsets into wired and wireless. But which type should you commit to for your next purchase?
The decision to buy gaming headphones is often a difficult one, especially when you consider the sheer variety of options available in the market. However, all gaming headphones can be divided into two broad categories: wired and wireless.
Having a decent pair of headphones can prove to be the difference between a win and a loss, especially in competitive gaming. That is one of the main reasons why it's so important for you to do your research and select a decent pair of headphones.
Both wired and wireless headsets have their pros and cons. But, which one's better? Let's find out!
Wired headsets are older than their wireless counterparts, but are incredibly popular amongst gamers. And, there are many reasons why people still prefer wired headphones to wireless cans.
It's important to understand that the sound quality of a pair of headphones depends on more than just the type of connection. The drivers inside and the quality of materials also play an important role.
For instance, a high-end pair of wireless headphones will obviously sound better than a budget set of headphones. But in general, gamers prefer wired headphones because there are minimal chances of signal loss or interference.
The cable transmits audio directly, which reduces latency too. For gaming, wired headphones in the same price range will definitely sound better than their wireless counterparts. There are several wired PC gaming headsets that are consistently ranked as the best amongst gaming aficionados.
Not all gaming consoles offer wireless compatibility. Wired headphones have a 3.5 mm headphone jack, which is essentially a universal connector. You can use these with any gaming console that you can think of, including handheld devices.
Moreover, wired headsets are also compatible with mobile phones, laptops, and tablets. There are some high-end headphones that come with an integrated sound card, which transmits the audio signal digitally.
This helps get rid of background noise, resulting in a sharper, cleaner sound. Most wired headsets, especially USB ones, also come with software that you can use to tailor the sound according to your needs.
Presets for popular game types, such as first-person shooters, are also included. This way, you get the best possible sound depending on the type of game you're playing.
Not all wired gaming headphones are ridiculously expensive. There are a number of companies that offer affordable headphones that can easily hold their own. For instance, the SteelSeries Arctis 5 is an excellent choice for casual gamers.
It features RGB lighting, excellent sound, and is made from durable materials. When compared with wireless headphones, wired headphones are almost always cheaper, and there's more variety too!
Another major advantage that you get with wired headphones is that you don't have to worry about recharging them! It's really quite frustrating when you're midway through a long gaming session, and your headphone batteries run out.
With wired headphones, this is not a problem. You can play for as long as you like without having to recharge your headset. The headphones draw power through the controller only, so you can enjoy your gaming sessions uninterrupted!
Wired gaming headsets are great, but they have a few drawbacks.
For starters, the cable is susceptible to wear and tear, and could fray after a while. This becomes an even more important issue if the cable is hardwired to your headphones.
Wired headphones also restrict the wearer's movements, so if you jump violently, you might yank the cable right out of the console or the controller. And, if you have a shorter cable, you'll find your area of movement severely reduced.
Wireless gaming headphones, though expensive, do offer certain advantages. Here are a few.
Good quality wireless gaming headphones offer greater freedom of movement. They usually support Bluetooth 5.1 and remain connected for distances up to 30 feet or more.
This is generally important when you're playing games that require you to move about, such as Just Dance. It's also important to note that the ninth-generation consoles come with wireless headphones, such as the PS5 Pulse 3D wireless headset.
If you buy high-end models, such as the Arctis 7P from SteelSeries, you can expect excellent sound quality. These gaming headphones feature 40 or 50 mm neodymium drivers and are designed to produce sharp sounds.
They also leverage advanced technologies, such as 3D audio. If you want advanced features and better sound quality, and have the budget for it, you can get some really nice wireless gaming headphones!
Even the best headphone cables tend to wear out after a while. An issue with the cable or the 3.5 mm male port could render your wired headphones useless, especially if the cable is hard-wired.
Many gaming headphones now come with detachable cables for this reason. Since gamers tend to move about so often, there's always a risk that the cable might break, or wear out quickly. With wired headphones, that's not a problem at all!
Apart from having to recharge your headphones every other time (and effectively pausing your gaming session or switching headphones), there are some other downsides to using wireless gaming headphones that you should know.
While there are ways to reduce Bluetooth latency, you should know it's still going to be considerably higher than wired headphones. In fast-paced FPS matches, where even half a second could prove to be decisive, this marginal increase in latency could prove to be a problem.
If the connection breaks abruptly, you'll have to stop the game and fix it. In multiplayer matches, that effectively means death. This is a problem that may arise, especially with cheaper wireless headphones.
With wired headphones, you don't have to worry about this as long as you don't yank the cable out from the controller.
If you really want the best wireless gaming headphones, prepare to shell out a considerable sum of money. Some come with a USB dongle, while others feature Bluetooth connectivity. Either way, expect to pay anywhere between $150 or higher.
Wireless technology continues to get better, and high-end wireless gaming headsets are almost on par with their wired competitors. However, not everyone wants to shell out hundreds of dollars for a pair of headsets.
Ideally, wired gaming headsets are still the best choice, and almost all pro gamers generally use these. They're affordable, the latency is less, and there are tons of different models available, too.
Karim Ahmad is an experienced content marketer and copywriter with a focus on SaaS offerings, startups, digital agencies, and ecommerce businesses. He’s worked closely with founders and digital marketers over the past eight years to produce articles, eBooks, newsletters, and guides. His interests include gaming, traveling, and reading.
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