Razer Kraken Pro V2 are a pair of headphones which manage to get the right balance between providing the comfort and voice capabilities required for avid gamers, yet don’t skimp when it comes to providing superior audio quality all in a package that you wouldn’t feel ashamed about taking out into public like most gaming headphones making them on of the best headphones for gaming and music on the market.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that picking a pair of headphones for gaming and music would be an easy task. Afterall, they’re just headphones, right?

Unfortunately, when you really start to dig into it, it becomes apparent that gaming peripheral manufacturers have an unhealthy habit of ignoring the finer points of the audio experience, while the majority of general consumer headphones just aren’t interesting in producing a pair suitable for long, heavy gaming sessions.

Luckily, however, all hope is not lost. Today we’ll be looking at some of the best headphones on the market that manage to get the balance of exceptional music playback quality yet provide a comfortable and functional gaming design.


Our #1 Pick Razer Kraken Pro V2

  • To provide you with greater audio immersion, the 50 mm Razer custom tuned drivers have been designed and tuned to deliver richer audio than ever before

  • The unique sound signature of these impressive drivers produces crystal clear highs and rumbling lows that will put you in the middle of the action. Ultra-durable Kevlar reinforced cable

  • Optimum form has been an integral focus in the design of the Razer Kraken Pro V2. No matter how long your gaming sessions are, you’ll feel as comfortable as a pro


Our #2 Pick beyerdynamic CUSTOM Game

  • Closed stereo headset ideal for all gaming and multi-media applications

  • High-quality microphone and detachable cable with remote control for all PC and gaming consoles

  • Sound sliders with four sound profiles for different gaming environments


Our #3 Pick SteelSeries Arctis 7

  • Lag-free 2.4 GHz wireless audio with up to 40ft/12m range and more than 24-hour battery life

  • Exclusive ClearCast mic delivers studio-quality voice clarity and background noise cancellation

  • Microphone frequency response: 100Hz–6500Hz, headphone sensitivity: 98 db. S1 speaker drivers and DTS Headphone:X 7.1 surround sound on PC (stereo audio available on Mac, PS4, Xbox One, VR, Switch, and Mobile)


Our #4 Pick CORSAIR HS70 SE

  • Plush Memory foam and adjustable earcups provide exceptional comfort for hours of gameplay.

  • Legendary Corsair build quality and metal construction ensures long-term durability.

  • Precision tuned 50mm Neodymium speaker drivers bring superior sound quality with wide range and accuracy.


Our #5 Pick Mad Catz E.S. PRO 1

  • Multiplatform Gamer: Play anywhere with a 35mm audio cable that links directly to console controllers, laptops, and mobile devices

  • ES PRO 1 has a 13.5mm speaker that’s larger than most gaming earbuds Plus, a bigger ear-can boasts fantastic clarity and bass response

  • Dual Mics for Clear Chat: Its go beyond PC headsets with only 1 microphone An omnidirectional boom is ideal for gaming, and detaches for music or movies


Why Do You Need A Specific Pair Of Headphones For Music And Gaming?

There’s a couple of things that’ll make the headphones in this list special. For starters, we’ll pay close attention to their physical design. In this case, we’ll want something that fits in well in both outdoor and indoor environments and can handle everyday tasks like your daily commute etc.

We’ll also be looking at their overall audio quality. Gaming headphones have a reputation for skimping on audio quality usually. We’ll get into the specifics of this in a minute, but we’ll want something that does all your audio tracks justice, while also being able to handle online voice chat with ease.

Microphone

For most gamers, a microphone is an absolute necessity. Whether you’re working out your next strategy or enjoying some “quality” banter in the matchmaking lobby, a good microphone is your portal to an immersive online gaming experience.

Naturally, a headset style mic is the best in this situations. By this, I mean a microphone that sits in front of your mouth for optimal voice coverage. While some options exist with “in line” mics, the type that dangles along with your wire, they generally produce sub-par audio quality due to their proximity to your mouth.

The issue is, however, while headset style mics are great for home use while you’re sat at your desk or on your couch, you may get some funny looks while you’re sat on the bus with a giant microphone sticking out of your headphones.

There is, however, quite a simple solution to this. All the items in this list feature a detachable or retractable microphone meaning you can store it away while out and about without the fear of unwanted attention.

Design

Style

You may have already noticed, but manufacturers of gaming headsets and other peripherals have an unfortunate obsession with choosing garish bright colors and plastering their logos all over their products.

While I’m sure these designs work wonders for product placement during e-sports tournaments around the globe, it’s safe to say these can sometimes be just a touch over the top. For that reason, we’ve really paid close attention to overall style and design. Make no mistake, there’s nothing wrong with tastefully subdued branding, but nobody needs to see a giant glowing gaming emblem while you’re walking down the street.

Comfort

We’ve also paid special attention to overall comfort. The ideal design should be firm enough to stay on your head during daily activities, yet not too tight to become uncomfortable. This can often be achieved through the use of premium materials. Cheap plastics and synthetics generally cause irritation and unwanted discomfort which can become a real issue after along gaming or listening session.

The overall size is important here too. Generally speaking, gaming headsets are usually bulkier than average consumer headphones. While some of the entries in our list may be a notch bigger than some, we believe the payoff is worth it. With that extra wiggle room, manufacturers are able to put more thought into the design making them more comfortable for exceptionally long gaming sessions.

Audio Quality

Given that some gaming headsets on the market can easily top $100-200, you’d think they’d all be capable of producing some decent audio quality. That isn’t always the case, however.

This isn’t necessarily a design flaw though. A lot of gaming headsets on the market are specifically tailored towards voice chat. Because the frequency of most human voices are 80-250Hz, the headphones can be engineered to enhance these frequencies. As a result, however, it can leave over frequencies “washed out” and underrepresented.

 

We’ll be looking at headphones that have the right balance between enhancing voice chat but also capable of representing complex audio tracks that cover all frequencies.

Connectivity

Connectivity is really going to come down to personal preference and circumstance. Both wired and wireless options have their pros and cons, so you’ll need to take this into consideration while making your final pick.

Wired

The key benefit to wired headphones is that lack of power supply. If you happen to be forgetful or intend to use your headphones for long periods at a time, you may find the necessity to constantly recharge your headphones a major drag.

In terms of actual connectivity, the gaming industry, fortunately, seems set on using the 3.5mm jack which can be found on all the major home consoles and the majority of PC motherboards.

Wireless

You may notice that this list lacks any Bluetooth headphones, instead featuring those with proprietary connections. Unfortunately, while Bluetooth does do an ample job at day to day listening, it still has many latency issues which become far more apparent during gaming sessions.

If you intend to listen to music outside of the house, bear in mind that you’ll likely have to carry around a dongle for connectivity and be sure to make sure their compatible with your phone or playback device!

Xbox One Users

It should be noted that if you intend to connect these headphones to your Xbox One, there are a few things to pay attention to. Unfortunately, Xbox One doesn’t particularly play nice with all wireless headsets so you’ll need to pay special attention to whether they’re actually compatible or not.

To add further hassle, when looking at wired pairs, you’ll also need to make sure you have a 2nd Generation controller. While these are the most common type these days, early adopters from the original launch may not have a 3.5mm Jack in their controller. You can easily check this by looking for a small hole next to the data port below the D-Pad on your controller. If it doesn’t have one you’ll need to purchase an audio adapter for your controller, unfortunately. Luckily, these are fairly easy and cheap to acquire though.

Our Top Picks In The Best For Headphones For Gaming And Music Category


Our #1 Pick Razer Kraken Pro V2

 COST


QUALITY


OUR VERDICT


PROS

✓ Stylish Design

✓ Retractable Mic

✓ Great Audio Quality

CONS

✘ Mic Still Visible When Retracted

Considering most of Razer’s products feature vibrant, stand out designs, their more subdued appraoch here is, perhaps ironically, what really drew us in. Featuring a classy muted logo and all around thoughtful, comfortable design with the audio quality to match, these headphones make the perfect pair for someone in the market for a quality pair of gaming headphones that are capable of producing fantastic audio playback too.

The only downside is that the mic is still slightly visible while retracted which may be a nuisance to the more image-conscious among us, however, it is barely noticeable and considering all the other great features in these headphones, it’s easy to overlook this small flaw.

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Our #2 Pick beyerdynamic CUSTOM Game

 COST


QUALITY


OUR VERDICT


PROS

✓ Quality Brand

✓ Detatchable Mic

✓ Fantastic Sound Quality

CONS

✘ Price

✘ Bulky

Beyer Dynamic’s offering here is for the true gaming audiophiles among us. Offering superior, studio grade audio quality, you can almost guarantee you’ll be satisifed with the music quality being offered up here. The fully detatchable microhpone also makes these a great choice for those who don’t want to have the mouth piece mic in their face at all times when not in use.

That said, these are slightly bulky so may make them somewhat burdensome to use as a daily driver, especially on your commute. They also come at somewhat of a premium too, meaning these really are reserved for true audio enthusiasts who are likely to be using them in the comfort of your own home. If that description fits you, then these are certainly the way to go.

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Our #3 Pick SteelSeries Arctis 7

 COST


QUALITY


OUR VERDICT


PROS

✓ Wireless

✓ Choice Of Color

✓ Great Battery Life

CONS

✘ No Xbox One Support

✘ Proprietary Wireless Connection

Our next entry from SteelSeries is for the more hardcore gamers among us. While these do offer superior music quality that will please any day to day listener, they really shine with their gaming features. Their wireless design offers lag free playback and come with a fantastic retractable high definition microphone which produces crystal clear voice quality for your gaming sessions.

Unfortunately, they do have a few drawbacks which may put you off if you’re looking for something more suited for your daily commute. To start, their wireless connectivity isn’t done through conventional Bluetooth. Unfortunately, it uses a proprietary dongle adapter which you’ll have to carry around with you. It’s worth pointing out that this is also incompatible with Xbox One consoles too which is a bit of an issue.

That said if you’re a serious hardcore gamer who enjoys great audio quality and listening to their own music during a gaming session and aren’t so concerned about taking these out and about then they’re a perfect fit.

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Our #4 Pick CORSAIR HS70 SE

COST


QUALITY


OUR VERDICT


PROS

✓ Removable Mic

✓ Lightweight Design

✓ Wireless/Wired Option Available

CONS

✘ Average Mic Quality

✘ Proprietary Wireless Connection

 

Our next selection in this list comes with a little more choice in terms of connectivity. As before, these come with a wireless option using a proprietary technology making them a no-go for Xbox One Users. Fortunately, you can take advantage of their excellent features such as a fully removable mic and their particularly lightweight, comfortable design by choosing to opt for their 3.5mm option.

While the mic is detachable however, a few users have reported the mic quality to be less than spectacular, so don’t expect anything to phenomenal compared to other options in the list – something you might want to bear in mind if you intend to partake in a lot of online chat.

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Our #5 Pick Mad Catz E.S. PRO 1

 COST


QUALITY


OUR VERDICT


PROS

✓ Lightweight In Ear Design

✓ Fully Detatchable Mic

 

CONS

✘ Average Audio Quality

✘ Luminescent Color Choice

Finally, we have a pair of earbud style headphones curtosy of Madcatz. While these don’t offer the premium audio quality you might expect from other brands, especially over ear headphones too, these really excel at producing decent audio quality for their size and price.

Their fully detachable mic is a welcome addition making these a great option for those who want to take them on the go. Unfortunately, however, their garish neon yellow design does make them stand out a little more than we would have liked, although, this will mostly come down to personal preference.

If you’re looking for a great budget all round pair of headphones then these certainly get the job done!

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Summary

Razer Kraken Pro V2 are a pair of headphones that seem to ooze style in a way that gaming headphones rarely do. Providing all the necessary parts to provide a solid gaming experience without skimping in the audio department, we really do believe these make a great pair of all-around gaming and music headphones which you can be proud to own.