Many have a hard time finding the best gaming headset. It can be impossible at times due to the outrageous amounts of headsets there are in today’s market. It is always hard finding the best gaming headset that fits well, sounds good and is affordable. To make matters worse, advertisers throw fancy words and huge price tags in an attempt to make their product seem better than it actually is. Furthermore, they even boast amazing surround sound, cool LEDs and throw in some claims about their product giving you the “edge”. However, this isn’t always the case.
So without further ado, this is our attempt to dispel some of those claims and bring you the true 10 best gaming headsets. While we can’t exactly tell you how well they might fit your head, we can tell you if the performance is good and why they are worth your money and consideration. We will also provide simple explanations of the differences between these gaming headsets. Our goal is to assist you in find the one for you.
Gaming Headset Rank Works with Frequency 1 HyperX Cloud II Gaming Headset PC/Mac, PS4, Xbox one
15-25,000Hz 2 Sennheiser GAME ONE Gaming Headset PC/Mac, PS4, Xbox one 15–28,000Hz 3 Astro A40 TR Gaming Headset PC/Mac, PS4, Xbox one 20-24,000Hz 4 Sennheiser PC 363D Gaming Headset PC/Mac, PS4 & Xbox one
15-28,000Hz 5 SteelSeries Arctis 7 Wireless Gaming Headset PC/Mac, PS4, Xbox one 20-20,000Hz 6 Logitech G933 Artemis Wireless Gaming Headset PC/Mac,, PS4, Xbox one 20-20,000Hz 7 SteelSeries Siberia 800 Wireless Gaming Headset PC/Mac, PS4, Xbox one 20-20,000Hz 8 ASTRO A50 Wireless Gaming Headset PC/Mac, PS4, Xbox one 20-20,000Hz 9 Razer ManO'War 7.1 Gaming Headset PC/Mac, PS4, Xbox one 20-20,000Hz 10 Logitech G430 DTS Gaming Headset PC/Mac, PS4, Xbox one 20-20,000Hz
Before we begin, let me remind you that these are all based on comfort, design, durability, price and sound/mic quality. So if you don’t see your favorite gaming headset or the one you wanted to buy, well don’t get too mad. We probably didn’t include them because of the many reasons revolving around their design/performance/price.
Kingston’s HyperX Cloud II
Number one on our list is the $99 HyperX Cloud II. This is your best value gaming headset. Offering a bit of everything from sound/build quality and comfort. Like its big 53mm drivers, virtual surround sound, and a detachable microphone. With an added plus of compatibility with all your favorite gaming platforms like Xbox one(adapter required), PS4, mobile and PC/Mac. So what’s the catch? Only major issue is the 7.1 virtual surround sound USB controller. It’s only for PC and it doesn’t work for console platforms so keep this in mind when purchasing.
Design and comfort.
You can expect good things from this headset. The build quality on this brings a good amount of weight. While made mostly out of plastic with some aluminum, this headset still maintains its durability and never has that “about to fall apart” feeling. Besides build quality, it comes sporting a closed back design with 2 pairs of either leatherette or velour ear pads. Allowing you to customize the fit to your desire and comfort. The top is fitted with a memory foam headband so expect some good amount of cushion from that aluminum. Which will fit most gamers.
An interesting story about the HyperX Cloud 1 and II gaming headsets, is the design being a re-brand of QPAD QH-90 which shares intrinsic features from Beyerdynamics 880 pro. To say the least, they’re almost direct copies of some really good audiophile headphones.
Sound and microphone.
The HyperX Cloud II gaming headset comes with the 7.1 virtual surround sound controller (dongle). A feature many gamers enjoy because of the advantage you receive while in games but not a feature needed for music. Using the sound controller dongle you can adjust the volume of the microphone and sound. As for the 7.1 surround sound, it does a good job expanding your sound environment and gives that feeling like your more inside the game. And while it does muffle out sounds like footsteps/bullets in FPS games, it also gives you better precision of where they come.
If you happen to not be a fan of virtual surround sound, you can just leave it off. The stereo sound is, as mentioned before, impressive for its price range. Although it lacks some sound stage, it still offers good clarity for music and movies.
The microphone on this gaming headset is good and is a great improvement from the HyperX Cloud 1. This is because it doesn’t pick up a whole lot of background noise and with the dongle, you can adjust your volume on the fly. You can unplug the microphone if you prefer a standalone microphone since the microphone is easily removable. Also, if you want to go outside and listen to music on your phone then you can just remove the mic. The same goes for when you happen to damage or break it, just remove and replace. No need to worry about buying another $99 gaming headset.
Sennheiser GAME ONE
One of our favorites and the best gaming headset for PC. The Sennheiser Game One comes with a price tag of $249 if bought straight from Sennheiser, but you can get this currently on Amazon for only $162. Sennheiser’s Game One features an open back gaming headset but no 7.1 virtual surround sound. Meanwhile, build quality allows for a very sturdy and adjustable design. The microphone is a boom mic with a neat little feature that mutes when you tilt. Let’s not forget about that compatibility as gaming headset can be used for Xbox one & PS4 but you need an adapter for both.
Design and comfort
Sennheiser kept their gaming headset simple with no extra buttons and it looks good. The headset has a 3.5mm audio jack which is not removable(just like the microphone). In term’s of build durability and quality, it is made up of mostly high-grade plastic. This also makes it somewhat light and holds up to our standards as one of the most sturdy gaming headsets we have used. One of our favorite parts about the Game One’s is their ear cup design because of the thin grooves carved into the metal grilles on the side. Which in turn helps improve the audio acoustics.
Since the Game ones come with an open back design. You should expect some amazing comfort because of its combination of both velvet ear cups and headband. Which in turn allow for some solid game time without the need to either vent your ears or rest your head. Of course, the only downside to this is the open back design, which causes noise to leak so think twice before you buy these bad boys if you live in a lively environment.
If you’re not a fan of the open back design, consider the Game Zero. An alternative design closely matching these gaming headsets except they are closed back.
Sound and microphone
Now, the audio is really impressive from this gaming headset. Which is to be expected since its a closed back design and Sennheiser are known to make good audiophile headphones. Anyways, when gaming, the open back gives you an advantage with much more depth to sound (sound stage). Allowing you to almost feel the distance in bullets, footsteps and explosions. If you’re not the multiplayer type, this gaming headset also provides the immersion you want in single player games. With its overall balanced audio, you don’t need to worry about adjusting much.
The Boom microphone is very good for a this and it serves as the standard for all Sennheiser’s gaming headsets. It has noise canceling that everyone wants and only picks up your crystal clear voice. Keep in mind though, if it’s too close, it might pick up your breathing. Lastly, the microphone can be easily muted by simply raising it above. After which, you will hear a small click to let you know its muted.
These also don’t come with drivers so you get that “plug and play”. There’s also a volume wheel on the outside of the right earcup for extra convenience.
Astro A40 TR
The Astro A40 TR is a gaming headset that has a bit of everything a gamer like you needs. It has good comfort, as you find yourself playing for hours without even noticing them. Along with some good customization. However, it does come at a price of course. For example, you can get the open back design(mod kit) for an extra price. The same can be said for its mix amp which is not included unless bought together. Still, this gaming headset has some great features and also supports all major platforms like PC/Mac, Xbox one, PS4.
Design and comfort
Not a huge fan of the A40 TR design, as with their other variations. Due to the long pieces that extend from each side of the headset, it almost makes it look like a semi. Anyways, besides its funky design, the Astro A40’s is very customizable, allowing you to get special speaker tags for your favorite games or themes. On the other hand, if you are displeased with the ear pads or if they get worn out, you can easily swap them out for something else that may fit your needs. Like ear pads that improve noise isolation, or something with a little more cushion.
In terms of comfort, these headsets can easily last 7+ hours. Of course, if your sticking with the closed back for maximum isolation. Then expect to vent your ears every here and there to avoid some sweating. Otherwise, get the mod kit and convert them to open back for increased comfort without the need to vent your ears.
Sound and microphone
Astro A40 produces only stereo sound if you don’t get the mix amp along with the headset. Alternatively, you can download software for surround sound on PC. Otherwise, on console, you have to get that mix amp for surround sound. Furthermore, with respects to the mix amp. You can expect some really cool settings. For example, you can use the presets that come with the mix amp for EQ settings. Or hop on your computer and adjust them to fit your desires. Lastly, in regards to the stereo sound, it’s not as impressive as the other gaming headsets in this price range. Unless of course, you’re using the open back mod.
The Microphone quality on this gaming headset is solid. People will be able to hear you crystal clear with very minimal background noise. But, we suggest you fiddle with the microphone settings because at first, it is really sensitive. So please keep in mind.
Sennheiser PC 363D
An alternative of the Game One is the Sennheiser PC 363D gaming headset. While the Game one’s go for $162, the 363D headset comes at the hefty price of $199. So what’s the deal with that $37 premium you might ask? Well, unlike the Game One, the 363d comes equipped with 7.1 virtual surround sound. Anything more? Well besides the wider compatibility which supports major consoles, there really isn’t much. This is why we rated it below the Game One’s since you can get everything the 363D brings besides 7.1 virtual surround sound in the Game Ones.
Design and comfort.
Much like the Game ones, the PC363D has a similar open back design coupled with a smaller grille. Still, there is an equal level of comfort when compared between the two. Now, as for the differences, well it mostly lies within its specs. First, the Game ones come in at 50 ohms, 15-28,000hz frequency response. Meanwhile, the PC363D has 32 ohms, 15-28,000hz frequency response. So, if your planning on buying this solely for the 7.1 virtual surround sound expect a bit less quality. That is of course when compared between the two. Finally, this gaming headset comes with 3.5mm and USB port compatibility.
Sound and microphone
Now, quality of sound is a bit different compared to the Game One’s headset and because of the specs, you can consider them a downgrade. For example, expect a less balanced gaming headset compared to the Game ones. Which may require you to change your EQ settings. Since they come with 7.1 and are open back it does help add more immersion in a game to help enhance your gaming experience. For example, better precision when you listen to footsteps but the downside is it’s a bit muffled.
The PC 363D gaming headset sports a boom microphone that is exactly the same as the Game one. Reason being, its the standard microphone used by Sennheiser in all their gaming headsets. As a result, expect the same level of vocal clarity the Game One’s offer. The same goes for its ability to no pick up other noises like your keyboard.
SteelSeries Arctis 7 Wireless
One of the best wireless gaming headsets out there is the SteelSeries Arctis 7. A premium wireless gaming headset you might be looking for with a range of 12m (40ft). With a complementary style, you can take these outside without worrying about the look. You can even use this with many mobile devices like IOS or Android. Let’s not forget, this also supports PC/Mac, PS4, and Xbox one. Another noteworthy aspect of the Arctis 7, is the two batteries it comes with. Which last for over 15 hours.
Design and comfort
The Arctis 7 is one of the most aesthetically pleasing gaming headsets we have tried. While the looks are great, so is the build quality. These bad boys won’t go breaking anytime soon and the simple design isn’t a sight for sore eyes. Whether you like black or white, both colors are simple and available for the Arctis 7. However, if you happen to enjoy a tight fit, don’t worry. Using simple a simple stretchable Velcro strap, you can increase the tightness or looseness of the headband. Lastly, for convenience purposes, there are a few buttons and wheels on each side of the gaming headset like the volume control for microphone and sound, along with your USB port and 3.5mm audio jack.
Sound and microphone
Stereo sound was not bad but we were overall impressed with the audio quality the Arctis 7 wireless headset provided. While it’s not as good as its competitors, mostly due to it being a wireless and closed back set. It still manages to shine in its 7.1 virtual surround sound department. Which can be further fine tuned to your desire with its own EQ drivers.
Microphone quality is on par with the Game One’s microphone. Really solid and one should expect the same. Vocal clarity is not an issue with this microphone and with very minimal to no background noise you can be heard very well. It’s obviously not as good compared to standalone microphones but you also don’t have to worry about your Cherry MX blues being heard.
Logitech G933 Artemis Wireless
Just like the Arctis 7’s, the Logitech G933 Artemis is one of the better wireless gaming headsets out there. Logitech has had a lot of experience with 7.1 surround sound and has had a majority of their headsets equipped with them over the past years. Especially wireless like the old G930 which I personally owned. That had its issues such as build quality and durability, which made it notorious for breaking after a few months. Therefore, we were a bit skeptical of their new G933, but after the trial, we were pleased with durability and sound. Lastly, this gaming headset supports PC, PS3&4 and Xbox 360/one with its 2.4 GHz wireless connection with a battery life of 8-12 hours and a range of 15m(49ft).
Design and comfort
The new design isn’t too stylish in our opinions, but it looks like they were aiming for that “stands out of the crowd” look. They look funny and they equipped this gaming headset with LED. Yes, that’s right LED’s on your headset. Don’t worry though, they can be turned off to conserve the 8-hour battery life if you don’t like them. Anyways, these offers a variety of features like the buttons and volume wheels on the left ear. Each button is programmable in their software to be different buttons or macros. Lastly, you can connect the gaming headset via its 3.5mm audio jack or the USB dongle while in use.
Comfort wise, the G933 gaming headset sports some oversized but breathable ear pads. Which is not on par with open back style but still very good as you don’t need to vent your ears as much. However, because the ear pads are more breathable they also lack some noise isolation.
Sound and microphone
The G933 gaming headset has solid 7.1 virtual surround sound compared to its competitors at its price range. As it should be, they have been working with it for years and if they didn’t improve, well it wouldn’t be on this list. Therefore, you won’t be experiencing a large drop in quality like other virtual surround sound gaming headsets. Also, if you’re worried about stereo sound on the G933, don’t sweat it. It’s good enough and if you happen to be displeased, just open the EQ settings on the Logitech software and adjust to your desires.
This headsets’ microphone’s not all that great though. It seems to pick up noise like keyboards, chairs or pets all around the user. In addition to picking up unwanted noise, the microphone adds a little hiss or buzzing noise to your voice. So you should consider adjusting the microphone sensitivity before you plunge into any game, which will improve some of the quality issues.
SteelSeries Siberia 800 Wireless
The SteelSeries Siberia 800 is a luxury wireless gaming headset with an effective range of 10m(30ft). Furthermore, unlike many headphones on the market, not all of them have the compatibility on the same level as the SteelSeries 800. If you have a PC/Mac, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One or mobile phone; don’t worry, this headset works on them all. You also don’t have to worry about them looking ridiculous as well like the G933 because these are quite simplistic and almost aesthetically pleasing. The microphone is retractable, though it’s not a big feature since it still sticks out, but none the less this gaming headset has it all from compatibility to comfort and quality.
Design and comfort
This luxury gaming headset design is very simple and sleek. Since the design doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb, you won’t be caught dead wearing these. On top of that, the battery life lasts about 20 hours, and when you run out of charge don’t worry. This gaming headset comes with two batteries, which you can just remove and replace with the fully charged second one. After that, just place the other into the charging station and continue playing. This leaves you with a completely 100% wireless headset.
While wearing this gaming headset, you can expect amazing comfort. Remember, it’s a luxury fit so the 800’s come with two memory foam pads. Which feel really soft and are capable of fully encasing your ears. As a result of this, you might want to vent your ears every here and there to avoid sweating. Anyways, with the adjustable headband, the 800’s can fit most gamers. Even those who wear glasses as the memory foam adjusts beautifully.
Lastly, when you first get yours expect a plethora of wires/connections. We really didn’t expect this much and I guess that’s exactly why this gaming headset compatible with the many platforms it advertises. This also can be an issue as the setup can be confusing and the instructions don’t necessarily help.
Sound and microphone
SteelSeries provided the 800 with 7.1 Dolby surround sound and it works really great. When you go from stereo to surround, the difference is really noticeable. For example, pinpointing footsteps becomes easier along with more impact on bullets/explosives. As for stereo sound, it’s good enough for wireless and its price tag as a gaming headset. Nothing impressive really as many standalone headphones at the $300 range far outshine this, but considering you can adjust them to your own liking is good.
In regards to the microphone, as its retractable, it’s also very flexible and adjustable. Now as for the quality of the sound, its good. The microphone supports noise canceling and produces crystal clear audio.
Astro A50 Wireless
Here we have the Astro A50’s wireless gaming headset. Another of one of the more expensive ones on this list, but with good reason. The A50’s shares intrinsic features with its younger brother, the A40’s and not just in design but also quality. As a result, even with the price tag of $299, we believed that this wireless headset deserves a spot on our list. There really isn’t many good gaming headsets on the market to compete with this beast besides the SteelSeries Siberia 800. Anyways, just like the A40’s you will need a specific version to use with either your PC/Xbox or PC/PS4. Lastly, this headset supports a range of 9m(30ft).
Design and comfort
With a very similar design to its younger brother, the A40’s, you should feel the same level of comfort from this. So with that out of the way, let’s just talk about differences on use. First of all, this wireless gaming headset comes with the mix amp. Unlike the A40’s where the mix amp is an extra you have to purchase, in the a50’s the mix amp is a feature. It’s on the right ear cup to be exact. With this, you can adjust your EQ settings on the fly.
Another noteworthy difference is customization. You can get a mod kit but it’s not as good compared to its wired version. While on the wired, you can get open back, which on the wired, you can’t.
Sound and microphone
The stereo sound quality is alright, though not an improvement from the wired version. So I won’t go into that but as for the 7.1 virtual surround sound, it’s really good actually. The presets are solid and they help improve discerning footsteps and do help you pinpoint bullets and footsteps.
Microphone quality was a small improvement compared to the A40’s headset. When you change your EQ setting, you can also change the microphone to your desire. Personally, I preferred the night/bright preset and disliked the stream/warm. This was mostly because the change from each was drastic and the latter provided a less realistic sound to it. There are a few other that were good, but I think at this point it’s going to depend on what batch you get. Hardware is not always exactly the same with these.
Razer ManO’War 7.1
We had a hard time trying to chose what was going to be number 9 on our list but after a lot of thought the one that managed to make it was the Razer’s ManO’War 7.1 wired gaming headset. We didn’t choose the wireless version because of the alternatives being just overall better. As for why we also didn’t choose Razer’s flagship one, well it’s because of its drivers. It’s based off genuine surround sound so the drivers you get are small and they don’t produce surround sound accurately compared to virtual surround sound. Lastly, this gaming headset is an alternative to all the others in this list. If they don’t tickle your fancy, well we hope this one does.
This gaming headset supports PC/Mac, PS4 and Xbox one.
Design and comfort
Oh boy, the design on this gaming headset is rather weird. Razer went with a simple all black design on this(there’s an Overwatch version) but for some reason, their logo just ruins the look. I don’t know, maybe that just my opinion but the OW version looks better, anyways, back to the design. The ManO’wars feature a huge black frame with massive leatherette coated ear cups. The microphone itself is not removable but it is retractable. Finally, this gaming headset can accommodate rather large heads but not so much smaller ones.
Comfort on this is great and that’s because of the large leatherette ear cups which encase all of your ears. Thus improving your noise isolation. As for the top cushion, it’s also the same material so the gaming headset provides an “almost not there” feeling.
Sound and microphone
For starters, the stereo sound quality is alright, with nothing impressive and nothing horrible. It could have been better like the HyperX cloud II which is its competitor though. Next is the 7.1 virtual surround sound. The gaming headset comes with a little USB connector you plug into your computer that helps improve the 7.1, but it’s not something you use for your console. Personally, the ManO’wars are better suited for the computer because the EQ settings can only be adjusted on a computer. Lastly, Razer usually likes to go hard on bass but that’s not the case so much with the ManO’wars as they felt a little more balanced.
Microphone sound quality was not as great as we hoped. While it produced a more natural voice, the clarity of it was kind of off and we heard faint popping.
Logitech G430 DTS
The very last one is the Logitech G430 DTS. It is currently priced at $39 and the G430 is the best cheap gaming headset you can buy that doesn’t completely suck. You won’t get the great quality you find in the Cloud II’s or the Game Ones, or the customization of the A40’s, or even the amazing balance between the Steelseries 800 and arctis 7, but for its price, you still get a good headset in the g430. This baby also supports PC/Mac, PS4, PS3, Xbox one and Xbox 360.
Design and comfort
Build quality on the G430 is good, although some people have reported the headset to be prone to break. Luckily ours didn’t break while testing it, however personally I was reminded how tight this headset can be. Since I have previously owned the wireless version of this and when I first wore it, it was very tight. So I decided to leave it overnight with a book under it to stretch the headphones out and the next day, they were loose enough to wear without problems. Anyways, comfort after the initial stretching was good but I don’t recommend this headset to anyone with a really round head. Partly because the fit can be really tight and this might be the problem as to why it breaks.
Some features of the G430 include a USB adapter which acts as a sound card as well. In terms of improvement with the sound card is negligible. There’s also an inline control which includes a microphone mute button and a volume wheel.
Sound and microphone
Sound quality was alright but the software you install along with this gaming headset has its own EQ settings. We actually liked the software it comes with, not too bad and it allows you to adjust the 7.1 volume settings, along with mids/highs/etc. Which we recommend using since the 7.1 can sound a bit muddy in our opinion.
Microphone quality is alright, not impressive and not horrible. Doesn’t pick up static/popping while also blocking out some background noise. It doesn’t do the best job at blocking out Cherry MX blues though and sometimes your party or your friends might hear it.
What makes a Gaming Headset different?
Closed back vs open back
A few of the gaming headsets we have selected are going to be open back (perforated ear cups). For those who are unfamiliar, the open back headphones are a simple design where the headphone cup is left open on the back. This is shown in the image above. The headphones on the right (DT 990’s) sport an open back design while the ones on the left (ATH-MSR7BK) use a closed back design.
Now that you know what they look like, let’s talk about what the designs actually do in terms of sound. For starters, the open back design allows the speaker drivers to emit sound in both directions. This causes the sound to travel towards your ear and also away (to the outside). Meanwhile, the closed-back headphone design creates isolation of sound. This helps prevent sound from leaking to the outside world and only going directly to your ear.
So how does this affect the sound? The effects on sound are great because the design significantly changes the way you perceive sound. For example, the closed back design creates an isolation of the outside world and brings the sound directly to you. This makes it so you are fully immersed in sound and nothing else will interfere. However, the downside to this design is that instead of hearing the sound like in a concert hall, you instead hear it like a band in your head. As opposed to open back which creates the band around you, which is also known as “sound stage.” The other downside to open back is everyone can also hear your music. Which can be a hassle if you’re in a loud environment.
Going over the software will be short. Our preference is to focus on just hardware and not software. Mainly because we enjoy the convenience gaming headsets provides. Since they already have a microphone, you don’t need to bring both a pair of headphones and microphone whenever you want to switch from PC to console. Also, software can have its problems, which range from just terrible driver support that causes issues with your hardware. If you google “my ___ (Razer, Logitech etc.) mouse has a double click problem” most of the results that come up are posts where people tell them to reinstall their software.
Anyways, it’s not a big of a deal as it might seem. Although gaming software has its issues, it’s not a big problem. If some of you game primarily on console though, you can’t download their software. Therefore, this is mainly just about a computer problem more than anything. But even then, it should be taken with a grain of salt.
One of the biggest issues and a large factor when considering buying your pair of gaming headsets is hardware. I know not everyone is an audiophile who knows their way around the audio world, and you shouldn’t have to be to buy a good pair of gear. All you need is some basic knowledge on hardware to identify the best gaming headset. At least enough to dispel a lot of misinformation advertisers feed to you. For starters, genuine surround sound vs virtual surround sound. I’m sure you have heard these terms before and may have wondered which is better. Well, its virtual surround sound and I can tell you why.
So why is virtual better? Let me first explain why genuine is not. Genuine surround sound is just like surround sound with speakers. You have many speakers surrounding your ears and each produces sound at different intervals. But since you can’t have multiple speakers in your ear, they instead put really small drivers instead. The problem this causes is, now you have multiple smaller drivers producing sound and the smaller the driver the less adequate they are at producing quality sound. Also, these smaller speakers have a tendency to go out of sync, making the sound quality degrade further.
As for virtual surround sound, you get two big speakers instead of many smaller ones. Why is this better? Remember, you have two ears and you can hear the sound just fine right? Then why do you need multiple drivers to hear surround sound? You don’t and that’s why virtual is better since the larger drivers are much better at producing sound. Also because the virtual software has greatly improved over the years. If you don’t believe me, go watch the “Virtual Barber Shop“. It’s a YouTube video which demonstrates binaural recording and it’s really amazing.
Should I get a sound card?
If you happen to have a sound card, I hope I don’t offend you but sound cards are rubbish. Don’t buy one, you don’t need them and they are 99% of the time unnecessary. Companies claim that they help your hardware produce the best sound it can. However, that’s not really the case, since your motherboard has the same capabilities as your sound card. Perhaps at a certain point in the past, they were useful but now hardware has caught up and it’s no longer true.
I’m sure some of you might be thinking, wait but I did notice an improvement. Well, I did say 99%. Those of you who might have noticed it’s an improvement are probably suffering from one of 2 things. The first is placebo, you think it’s better but it’s not. The second is your wire placement. Yes, wire placement. If you happen to place your 3.5mm jack in the front of the computer it can cause some noise issues. The reason why is because the front port extends all the way around passing your hard drives/ram/CPU/GPU and the many fans just so it can connect to the little port at the end. All of this makes noise and when you buy a PCI-E sound card you bypass it by just connecting it to the back like you should have in the first place.
Instead of a sound card consider a DAC/AMP for your audio needs. Unlike the sound card, the DAC actually does a better job than your motherboard at replicating sound from its source. Meanwhile, the AMP does the job of amplifying the signal which is required for high Ω(ohm) gaming headsets/headphones, making them louder. Do keep in mind though that these components cost a lot
Wow, sorry for the wall of text and I hope I provided enough info while keeping this as simple as possible.
I wanted to add an extra “11th” which would have included audiophile headphone’s with a microphone pair. However, I decided to make a post entirely on that some time in the future. The reason being is simple, your reading this because you want a gaming headset, not because you want a pair audiophile headphones and microphone. I can acknowledge those opinions and it’s also why I decided to at the very least attempt to give some insight for you, the reader, so you can buy a good pair of gaming cans. No one wants shitty hardware and no one wants to buy something not worth its value.
So with that said and done I hope you got something out of this.