(Pocket-lint) – Plugging in a proper gaming headset for the first time can be a bit of a life-changing experience.
Whether you’re trying to get as immersed as possible in solo gaming sessions, or seeking any little advantage in the world of multiplayer modes, a good-quality gaming headset can really change your prospects drastically.
However, the range of headsets available for each console is subtly different, and they’re often not compatible across all devices.
Lucky for you, we’ve been exhaustively testing headsets for PlayStation consoles specifically, to work out which are the very best if you’re a Sony console owner already or are picking up a new PS5. All the headsets we’ve picked should work on both the PS4 and PS5, although going for a wired option is the most surefire way to guarantee this.
How can I connect a headset to my PS5 or PS4?
Connecting a headset to your PS5 works in much the same way as with the PS4.
If you’re opting for a wired headset (where you’ll generally get better sound quality for the price), your life should be very simple. In most cases, headsets can connect via a 3.5mm jack to your PS4 or PS5 controller to get game and chat audio easily. Some more premium headsets might instead opt for an optical audio cable via a passthrough, but these will come with detailed instructions of how to set the system up (and will most likely be an issue of the PS5, which has no optical audio port at all).
The PS5 and PS4 also support wireless headsets in a few different ways. For one thing, if your headphones have Bluetooth they should in theory be able to connect to the console, via its settings – however, due to the way Sony sets up its Bluetooth connections, don’t expect any old pair of Bluetooth headphones to work. Really, only specifically-branded PlayStation-compatible options will work properly.
In point of fact, most of the wireless headsets on this list come with a dongle to plug into a USB port on your console, which will let them easily and quickly connect when they’re powered on. This is both the easiest and quickest way to connect to your PS5 or PS4. If you need a step-by-step guide, here it is:
- In Settings, navigate to Devices and go into Bluetooth Devices
- Put your headset into pairing mode and plug in any supplied dongle
- Wait for it to appear on the list and select it when it does
- Await a success message to confirm the connection, and register the device to your PlayStation if it’s requested
With that out of the way, let’s move on to the headsets we’ve been testing.
The best overall PS5 and PS4 headset
Steelseries Arctis 9
- Amazing comfort
- Supreme sound
- Great connection strength
We absolutely love the Arctis 9 – it’s got everything most people want in a headset. The sound, first off, is superb, with deep bass but also good range, and its wireless receiver makes it comfortable to use, alongside its pillowy ear cushions.
The microphone is superb, and retractable, with a convenient mute button and a red LED strip to let you know if you are muted.
A set of solid on-headphone controls let you change volume and mute yourself on the fly, while Steelseries trademark earcups and headband are just about as comfortable as a headset gets. It makes it a dream to use and our pick of the bunch as far as headsets for your PS5 or PS4 go.
Other great PS5 and PS4 headsets
Here are four other top headset options for your PS5 or PS4.
- Amazing sound quality
- Great build quality
- Really expensive
- Microphone isn’t always perfect
The Audeze Penrose is a wireless version of the company’s Mobius headset. It boasts some serious specs including 100mm Planar Magnetic drivers, up to 50Khz frequency response and a broadcast-quality microphone.
This is a premium, well-designed headset with a solid build quality and closed-back ear cups which nicely block out external noise and help you focus on the game. The Penrose also has multiple connection options with 2.4Ghz wireless, Bluetooth connectivity and 3.5mm options too.
15 hours of battery life is enough for most gaming sessions and all told the Penrose is a serious bit of kit and a joy to game with.
Steelseries Arctis 7P
- Great design
- Steelseries’ trademark comfort
- Excellent sound quality
- Slightly flimsier than the Arctis 9
Steelseries’ newest headset for PlayStation gamers is an absolute doozie – it’s a beautiful headset that’s designed to match the PS5 in the looks department and we think it succeeds nicely.
It’s got a small dongle for wireless play and sound quality that comes within a whisker of the more expensive Arctis 9. The only real difference is a very slight decrease in the solidity of the build, which some people could even prefer since it’s more lightweight. In short, this is an absolute beast of a headset at a lower price point, perfect for next-gen gaming.
Logitech Pro X
- Brilliant sound for the price
- Nice solid build
Any manufacturer knows that hitting the sweet spot between value and quality is a dream, and Logitech has absolutely nailed that landing spot with the Pro X headset. It’s a premium device by every performance and material metric, but with a seriously impressive price.
You get a premium experience from the options it comes with, to start – a detachable microphone and leads that’ll help it work with your console, PC or mobile, and even a choice between leatherette and velour earpads, easily swapped and at no extra charge. Plus a lovely carrying bag, elevating above all the others on this list from a packaging and accessories standpoint.
Happily, its sound profile is a winner too, with superb balance and great bass making sure that you’ll get the best sound you can expect from a headset priced so extremely reasonably. We, frankly, can barely understand how Logitech’s doing it for this price, which is saying something. If you want a wired headset without a mixing station, this is a really great bet.
Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2
Turtle Beach is one of the old names of the gaming headset world, long a provider of solid mainstream headsets for purchase in the chain stores of the world, and the latest version of the Stealth 600 is a great continuation of that tradition. It’s got a wireless dongle for you to connect to your console with, and impressively great audio.
The build quality is nicely improved, which we’re really pleased by, while the dongle is now nice and tiny. It’s decently comfortable to wear and has good battery life, to boot.
Other products we considered
The Pocket-lint editorial team spends hours testing and researching hundreds of products before recommending our best picks for you. We consider a range of factors when it comes to putting together our best guides including physically testing the products ourselves, consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. Many of the devices we consider don’t make our final best guides.
These are the products we considered that ultimately didn’t make our top 5:
How to choose a PS5 or PS4 headset
Choosing a headset for your PlayStation has become a more and more complicated endeavour as the market gets saturated with options. Here are a handful of key questions to ask yourself as you shop – they’ll help narrow your options down.
What’s your budget?
This is really a point that applies to every possible gadget, but gaming headsets run the gamut of pricing options, from genuinely cheap to ferociously expensive, so it would be worth establishing how much you want to spend. At around the £100/$100 mark you’ll find a host of excellent options, while doubling that will get you audio so crisp you’ll wonder how you managed before.
If you want, though, there are certainly gems to be found at lower price points, so be sure to nail your budget to avoid overcommitting.
Do you need wireless support?
A big variable on the budget front will be whether it’s wireless or not – most of the options we’ve selected offer wireless play, but that doesn’t mean you’re obliged to choose one. The Logitech Pro X, for example, demonstrates that plugging into your controller can still give you astoundingly good-value sound.
However, after countless hours of testing, we’re firmly in the wireless camp. For us, it’s worth the extra money, and the hassle of recharging, to be able to move around freely and forget about tangles of cable.
Is it for gaming in a party?
Another key question is about what you’ll use your headset for. We got our first headset not for singleplayer gaming, but to be able to chat to mates in Call of Duty. Indeed, we still sometimes find it more relaxing to play singleplayer games through loudspeakers (if only to avoid getting too scared by a horror title).
So, if you too mainly want to use the headset for party chat, make sure you check out its microphone quality to see how it stacks up. For one thing, the official first-party option from Sony, the Pulse 3D Headset, has thoroughly mediocre microphones on this front. A proper boom mic, whether removable or not, is a must-have, in our view.
Do looks matter to you?
This is a subjective one, but when you’ve tried as many headsets as us, you’ve looked in the mirror with shame too many times. Some headsets are just plain ugly – they’re huge, they stick out from your ears by crazy margins, and they make you look like a bit of a fool. That doesn’t detract from their many other qualities, but it does inform our judgement.
It’s part of why we like Steelseries’ headsets so much – they’re pared-back and subtle enough to look fairly normal while worn. So, if you have any streak of vanity and don’t want to be seen looking silly in front of friends or family, maybe check out photos of the headsets on people’s heads before you commit.
More about this story
Every product in this list has been tested in real-life situations, just as you would use it in your day-to-day life.
For headsets, that means using them for a solid number of hours, checking out how they perform across a range of gaming genres, with a particular emphasis on using them with party chat to see how they hold up to voice chat.
We’re listening out for audio quality subtleties, but also assessing microphone quality. How well built a headset is matters to us, as does the comfort levels that it can offer over extended periods of play. Price is an inescapable factor, too, but even really expensive headsets can easily be worth it if they can tick all the right boxes.
We aren’t interested in pointless number crunching or extraneous details – we just want to provide an easy to understand review that gives you an idea of what it’s going to be like to use. And don’t for a second think that the products aren’t tested fully because the reviews are concise.
We’ve been covering tech since 2003, and, in many cases, have not only reviewed the product in question, but the previous generations, too – right back to the first model on the market. There is also plenty of models we’ve considered that didn’t make the cut in each of our buyer’s guides.
Writing by Max Freeman-Mills. Originally published on .