Best Headsets For CS:GO – Ultimate Buying Guide [2018]

If you’ve been around the block for a while you will know that buying a headset for CS:GO often feels like a series of compromises. At least it would be quite accurate to say that it was like that until the tiny niche of competitive gaming blew up exponentially.

In the earlier days of gaming headsets one would always sit on the fence – I want a headset but I also want to enjoy audio outside the game. Previously this would have meant that you had to purchase two separate products: either 1) a headset for playing and hifi headphones for everything else or 2) hifi headphones and and an external mic for playing.

Luckily times have changed and the modern gaming headsets are perfectly suited for both. Well, not “perfectly” if you ask hardcore audiophiles but well enough for 99% of the people. At least for us older gamers who grew up playing on a pair of medium range Sennheiser’s while hanging a $10 general headset around the neck.

We’ve already probably lost about 100% of the younger readers with all this “old nerd rambling” stuff so let’s move on.

Best Gaming Headsets - Comparison Table

  ConnectivityFrequency Response7.1 Surround SoundPrice
SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDACSteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC Gaming Headset Wired (USB, 3.5 mm)10 – 40,000 HzNo$249.99
SteelSeries Arctis Pro WirelessSteelSeries Arctis Pro WirelessWireless10 – 40,000 HzNo$329.99
ASUS ROG CenturionASUS ROG Centurion True 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming HeadsetWired (USB)20 – 20,000 HzTrue 7.1Check on Amazon
Asus ROG Strix Fusion 500Asus ROG Strix Fusion 500 gaming headsetWired (USB)20 – 20,000 HzVirtual 7.1$179.00
Sennheiser GAME ZEROSennheiser GAME ZEROWired (3.5 mm)15 – 28,000 HzNo$149.80
HyperX Cloud Revolver SHyperX Cloud Revolver S Gaming HeadsetWired (USB & 3.5mm)12 – 28,000 Hz
Virtual 7.1$148.49
HyperX Cloud AlphaHyperX Cloud AlphaWired (3.5 mm)13 – 27,000 HzNo$99.99
Corsair Void ProCORSAIR VOID PROWired (USB)20 – 20,000 HzVirtual 7.1$79.99
HyperX Cloud FlightHyperX Cloud Flight wireless gaming headsetWireless20 – 20,000 Hz
No$159.99
SteelSeries Arctis 3SteelSeries Arctis 3Wired (3.5 mm)20 – 22000 Hz
Virtual 7.1$70.19
Corsair HS50CORSAIR HS50Wired (3.5 mm) 20 – 20,000 HzNo$48.49

What Headsets Do CS:GO Pros Use?

%
HyperX
%
Sennheiser
%
SteelSeries
%
Rest

We gathered data of the top 30 teams (based on HLTV ranking) from Liquipedia. If the data was outdated it was gathered from the player’s Twitch channel description as some players list their gear there. On headsets this means a total of 129 entries (data is missing on some players), so by cutting some corners we could say that the data is based on the absolute best players of the world. Yes, teams do not equal individuals but you get the point.

The data was gathered in April 2018 and will get updated once there’s a noticeable shift towards any direction.

Updating on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis is not quite worthwhile for reasons we’re about to discuss.

Conclusions About The Results

A lazy man would jump straight into conclusion: these are the headsets most used by the best CS:GO players in the world, thus they must be the best headsets for CS:GO. Truth be told this is probably exactly what most of the people trying to sell you gaming gear will do.

However, some factors should be taken into account.

1. These players are bound by sponsorship deals.

Some of them HAVE to use gear by a certain brand because the brand pays significant amounts of money to the organizations they represent.

I remember watching a pro who also streamed (can’t remember who) a few years back. His team had just gotten a new gear sponsor and he had to switch to a new mouse, for the sake of the anecdote let’s say from a small Zowie EC2 to a remarkably bigger SteelSeries Rival. He played badly and after a horrible spray he raged something about “THIS F*KING PIECE OF… BRILLIANT NEW MOUSE”. One could tell that he wasn’t liking the mouse at all.

These days as the scene has gotten a lot more professional this would probably not be taken as lightly by the sponsor in question as back then.

2. These players are professional gamers, not professional gaming headset experts.

Playing a game professionally does not mean that the player is capable of judging what’s “best”. He will only know that it’s working for him (though even this is dubious because of the sponsorship deals, one might have to publicly use gear he doesn’t like). Besides, even if you get free gear sent to you whenever you want it doesn’t mean that you would want to switch to a newer model immediately just when you have gotten used to the previous one.

So What’s The Point Of The Data?

The most accurate conclusion you can come up with is that these headsets are suited for professional grade gaming. This doesn’t mean that they are bad, most of them are actually excellent and included in our picks.

The point we are trying to make is that you should never jump into buying something just because a certain player uses it too. It only means that it’s good enough, not that it’s the best one for your speficic needs.

What To Look For?

Buying a gaming headset is not exactly rocket science. Let’s have a look at what qualities you should base your choice on.

Price

The most obvious one. Not many of us are operating on unlimited funds. Set a budget and stick to it. We’ll introduce both premium and budget alternatives, with “value” choices in between.

Sound Quality

Quite obviously the single most imporant factor on a headset. How much focus you should put on this depends on what your purposes for the headset are and how much of a golden ear you consider yourself to be.

CS:GO-wise none of these headsets will make you a better player. There’s no magic switches for hearing footsteps better.

Keep in mind though that “sound quality” beyond a certain point is always a subjective thing. Some like warm sound, some cold. Most don’t even know the difference. If you’re listening to music from Spotify or Youtube, you shouldn’t be too concerned about this.

Wireless Or Wired?

Wireless gaming headsets have become more and more relevant in the recent years. In the past they were useless for competitive games such as CS:GO because of the latency. Now the choice between these two is up to your personal preference. Wireless headsets are more expensive and charging is an additional daily task to your chore list – no matter how effortless it is it’s still a tiny detail you will have to remember. On the other hand being freed from the cable is nice if you want to chill on your bed listening to a stream.

Features (7.1 Sound For CS:GO? Open Or Closed? Mic?)

7.1 surround sound has been a real buzzword for a while in gaming headsets. Virtual 7.1 surround is absolutely useless for CS:GO. Enabling it will actually make pinpointing sound cues harder, not easier.

However, if you enjoy casual games it’s a nice feature to have as it certainly adds to the cinematic feel and overall immersion.

True 7.1 surround sound is an entirely different discussion though, as there actually are multiple drivers in the earphone. As this technology improves (and more importantly the whole in-game audio of CS:GO) you might even gain some advantage at some point, but as of now you can easily live without the possibility. Ultimately your aim is to be the best and the best always compete at LAN’s where you will have to deal with just earplugs.

The quality of the microphone is somewhat trivial when it comes to gaming headset – they’re all pretty similar (unless you buy something absolute trash) and more than sufficient for the job. Naturally there are differences on how crisp, deep, etc they sound, so if you are overly self-conscious about your voice you can always check out mic test videos from YouTube.

Whether you should get closed or open headphones is up to your personal preference again. If you really want to go splitting hairs then obviously closed is the way to go as they eliminate outside noise more efficiently.

Best Headsets For CS:GO - Quick Reviews

We will introduce you our picks from three different price ranges: high, medium and budget. Generally speaking the “medium range” is your sweet spot if you’re looking for the best gaming headset for CS:GO and nothing else.

But in reality pretty much all of us want to listen to music, watch movies and so on without the hassle of using different headphones for different scenarios. The medium and budget range headsets are perfectly suitable for these purposes too, but if you have the money and want to have a taste of premium in your daily life then you might as well go for the high range ones. 

High Range - $160+

SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC

SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC Gaming Headset
  • USB, 3.5 mm
  • Frequency Range: 10 – 40,000 Hz
  • Impedance: 32 Ohm
  • Lightweight aluminum alloy with a steel frame
  • $249.99
premium choice badge

Crisp and clear sound
GameDAC has the ESS Sabre ES9018 DAC chip which is somewhat iconic in audiophile circles
Built to last
You need to play around with EQ to get the best sound out of them
5
Summary
Purely judging by the audio quality you will have a hard time finding a better gaming headset than the Arctis Pro with the GameDAC.

SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless

SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless
  • Lossless wireless connection (and bluetooth for mobile)
  • Frequency Range: 10 – 40,000 Hz
  • Impedance: 32 Ohm
  • Lightweight aluminum alloy with a steel frame
  • $329.99
premium choice badge

Impeccable build quality
Beautiful design (does not scream GAMER)
Dual battery for fluid usability
The wired version with DAC is still slightly better in terms of sound quality
4.5
Summary
The best sounding wireless gaming headset on the market.

ASUS ROG Centurion

ASUS ROG Centurion True 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset

True 7.1 is great for casual gaming
Sturdy
The USB audio hub is very nerdgastic
The looks (big & very nerdy)
Sound is very gaming oriented (bass heavy)
4
Summary
ASUS ROG Centurion is a true gaming headset. If you are looking for the best all-rounder you have to look elsewhere, but if you want to hop on to the 7.1 train look no further.

Asus ROG Strix Fusion 500

Asus ROG Strix Fusion 500 gaming headset
  • USB
  • Frequency Range: 20 - 20,000 Hz
  • Impedance: 32 Ohm
  • $179.00

Pros
Clear sound with deep bass
7.1 virtual surround sound works great (not with CS:GO)
Nice little premium features
Cons
No way to disable the touch panel (at the moment)
4
Summary
An excellent gaming headset with premium sound quality and a reasonable price. Even if you don’t need all the features you will appreciate the sound.
Buy From Amazon

Medium Range - $100-$160

Sennheiser GAME ZERO

Sennheiser GAME ZERO
  • USB
  • Frequency Range: 15 - 28,000 Hz
  • Impedance: 50 Ohm
  • $149.80
value for money

Superior sound
Exceptionally comfortable
Muting your mic has never been easier (recommendation for streamers with IRL responsibilities)
Sennheiser quality
5
Summary
The newest edition of GAME ZERO (formerly known as G4ME ZERO) gets rid off the need for an amp and sets the standard for CS:GO headsets. Unbeatable value for money.

HyperX Cloud Revolver S

HyperX Cloud Revolver S
  • USB, 3.5 mm
  • Frequency Range: 12 - 28,000 Hz
  • Impedance: 30 Ohm
  • Durable steel frame
  • $148.49

Crystal clear highs & tight lows
Dolby DSP 7.1 is very neat
Only way to comfortably hide the mic when not playing is to plug it off
4.5
Summary
HyperX is not lying when they say that the Revolver S has a “studio grade sound stage”. Excellent gaming headset that can be used for all purposes thanks to its rich sound.

HyperX Cloud Alpha

HyperX Cloud Alpha
  • Dual 3.5 mm
  • Frequency Range: 13 - 27,000 Hz
  • Impedance: 65 Ohm
  • Durable aluminum frame
  • $99.99

If you are wondering why we didn’t include the most used headset of our CS:GO pro data chart it’s because the HyperX Cloud II is an old model. Cloud Alpha is the “Cloud III”.

Just like Cloud II but even better
Suffers from the gaming headset syndrome – bass-heavy sound
No 7.1 like in its predecessors
4
Summary
HyperX Alpha continues the legacy of Cloud and Cloud II and will remain as the go-to recommendation of CS:GO headsets for a lot of people.

Corsair Void Pro

CORSAIR VOID PRO
  • Wireless
  • Frequency Range: 20 - 20,000 Hz
  • Impedance: 32 Ohm
  • $79.99

Surprisingly good sounding considering it is…
Wireless…
Has virtual 7.1 support and…
Is affordable
The futuristic look is a miss in our books
4
Summary
A great “bang for your buck” wireless gaming headset alongside the HyperX Cloud Flight. If you want to add virtual 7.1 sound in the mix, go for the Corsair Void Pro.

HyperX Cloud Flight

HyperX Cloud Flight wireless gaming headset
  • Wireless
  • Frequency Range: 20 - 20,000 Hz
  • Impedance: 30 Ohm
  • $159.99

Pros
Great sound
Good battery life
Plenty of bang for your buck
Cons
Minimal features (no 7.1 surround)
No feedback on mic mute
4
Summary
HyperX Cloud Flight continues the success story of the Cloud series. This will be our “go-to” recommendation for good wireless gaming headsets with no extra fancy features – just the way previous Cloud’s have been in their respective genres. Great value for money.
Buy From Amazon

Budget Range - Under $100

SteelSeries Arctis 3

SteelSeries Arctis 3
  • 3.5 mm
  • Frequency Range: 20 - 22000 Hz
  • Impedance: 32 Ohm
  • $70.19

Extremely affordable
Sounds good
Sleek design
Virtual 7.1 for casual gaming
Not very adjustable
Plastic
3.5
Summary
A good choice for gamers on a tight budget.

Corsair HS50

CORSAIR HS50
  • 3.5 mm
  • Frequency Range: 20 - 20,000 Hz
  • Impedance: 32 Ohm
  • $48.49

Cheap
Metal frame feels sturdy
Good sound for the price
Not very comfortable for prolonged use
3.5
Summary
Another good choice for gamers on a tight budget.