Best Headphones for VR of 2020: Complete Reviews with Comparisons
VR experiences have come a long way in recent years. The entertainment industry is capitalizing on this technology and user experience. To make the most of it, you should probably use one of the best headphones for VR if possible.
Visually experiencing VR or augmented reality is one thing. But you can’t feel truly immersed in the environment without having surround sound or 3D 360-degree audio. It makes such a big difference that you won’t ever want to go back.
Best Headphones for VR of 2020
Audio Technica ATH-M50x
Designed to prevent ambient noise from bleeding into the mix and for long-term heavy-duty use, the ATH-M50x headphones can be used for just about anything. This includes VR gaming and socialization, due to their autonomy and clarity.
The extended frequency range provides an accurate representation and an immersive soundstage. You may also appreciate the superior bass response and depth of the sound. The headphones boast a circumaural design, which offers better isolation, even in louder rooms.
Another important aspect is the level of comfort. Although on the heavy side, the ATH-M50x headphones have very comfortable padding, an adjustable band, as well as a contoured ear cup design.
The build isn’t optimized for VR headbands, with special cutouts and other features of that nature. But even so, it’s quite flexible and shouldn’t create pressure points anywhere.
You may also appreciate the inclusion of two Aux cables. These should provide plenty of freedom as well as reliable uptime and no signal loss.
You can pair the headphones with a Bluetooth adapter too, should you need extra range of motion. However, this is a separate investment which not everyone will be willing to make.
Last but not least, the foldable design combines to make an interesting case for the ATH-M50x. It renders them easy to store and convenient to travel with. Especially since a hard carry case is included.
- Accurate audio drivers
- Foldable design
- Full cladding
- Two Aux cables included
- Immersive soundstage
Ear pads can start to crumble after heavy usage
Sennheiser Game One Gaming Headset
The Sennheiser Game One has been designed to be compatible with all platforms. In addition, the headset is ideal for multiplayer gaming sessions, not just VR gaming experiences.
If you like audio clarity above all else, you can count on Sennheiser’s audio drivers and reliable transducer technology. The headphones feature intuitive volume controls, a noise-cancelling microphone, as well as plenty of comfort.
Although not the best in terms of sound isolation, the Game One Gaming Headset is all about long playing sessions. The open back design may allow some ambient noise to leak in but it helps keep your head cool.
The lightweight build also helps, and is very important when wearing bulky VR glasses. Of course, the extra-large velour ear pads take the comfort one step further.
The headphones also boast an extended frequency response range, with deep lows, articulate mids, and highs that can cut through the mix with ease.
This means that you’re getting something fairly balanced to handle everything from music, to game score, cinematic cut scenes, and of course environmental and high-octane action sound effects.
One issue that some users may have is with the microphone. Although superb in terms of clarity, it’s quite big and may not be a good fit for all VR glasses and headbands. It may also interfere with the fit of your gear, when you lift to mute it.
- Automatic mic mute
- Great breathability
- Extended frequency response
- Balanced soundstage
Less immersive VR experience due to open back design
SteelSeries Arctis 7
Equipped with DTS Headphone X v2.0 surround sound, the Arctis 7 headphones are among the best headphones for VR, whether you’re a PC or PlayStation user. They boast a very stable Wi-Fi connection as well as one of the top mics in the industry.
Although you may be looking for the absolute best soundstage, you can’t overlook the importance of a high-end gaming mic either. This is just what the Arctis 7 headphones provide. What’s also cool is the retractable design and superior noise cancellation, at least as far as bidirectional mics go.
Granted, the S1 drivers also do a great job of enhancing every little audio detail, while maintaining clarity across the frequency spectrum.
The DTS surround sound technology will only be available to PC users. If this includes you, you’ll be able to experience true 360-degree precision audio and one of the most immersive audio experiences in any type of game.
A 2.4G connection is used to ensure a reliable and stable connection. This isn’t susceptible to interference and should also offer an ultra-low latency audio experience.
You’ll be able to use these headphones with your PlayStation console too. But, without the DST surround sound, the soundstage may be somewhat bland.
You may also like the fact that the headphones are loud, rated at 98db sensitivity, and last up to 24 hours at high volume levels. The comfort issue is addressed with SteelSeries AirWeave cushions, which help provide ventilation.
To further improve the comfort, the manufacturer also opted for a suspension headband. This design better follows the head contour and offers more equal weight distribution; it’s all about eliminating the pressure to your head and ears.
- High-end gaming mic
- DTS 7.1 surround sound
- Up to 24 hours autonomy
- Low distortion audio
- Reliable wireless connection
PlayStation users don’t benefit from the best audio performance
Turtle Beach Stealth 350VR
Some manufacturers have started making VR-dedicated gaming headsets. The Stealth 350VR is a perfect example. This headset has been designed mostly for consoles so it can offer the ideal audio experience if you’re rocking a PS4.
The 30 hours of battery life is one of the most impressive features. It offers convenience and reliability, as well as plenty of range of motion due to wireless connectivity.
You may also like the powered amplification which enhances small environmental details in order to create a more immersive soundstage. The variable bass boost is another highlight. This is responsible for enhancing low register sounds and adding more richness, depth, and realism to your games.
The mic monitoring feature is also nice, if nothing truly innovative. What is cool is the detachable mic feature. If you’re rocking an older VR headset, having a long built-in mic can get quite uncomfortable.
In terms of comfort, the Stealth 350VR headphones are perhaps better than many of its direct competitors. The foam cushioning is comfy and the headband design accommodates VR cables, glasses and headbands. The unique cutout pattern is the most build-defining feature of the Stealth 350VR headphones
This isn’t something that’s always guaranteed with most gaming headsets. Last but not least, the lightweight build eliminates most of the head pressure, which is very important when you consider how many accessories you have to wear in order to play a game in VR.
- Clearance for VR headbands and cables
- Foam cushioning
- Variable bass boost
- Powered amplification
- Up to 30 hours battery life
Limited to PlayStation users
PlayStation Platinum Wireless Headset
Who better to make VR-ready headphones for PlayStation other than Sony? The PlayStation 4 Platinum headset is wireless, offers positional virtual surround sound, and comes with various audio modes.
The calibration of the audio modes is indeed impressive. Most VR games, as well as standard triple A games, come with unique audio modes.
You can use the PlayStation Store to take down the companion app for this headset. In turn, you can then download all pre-calibrated audio configurations you want to enjoy your games as the developers intended.
The headphones also offer 7.1 surround sound. It’s 3D audio technology at its finest and helps create one of the most immersive experiences around. This will help you hear everything in front, behind, above, and below with increased accuracy and detail.
What makes the soundstage better optimized for PlayStation games, compared to other headphones, is the optimization of spatial awareness.
In terms of comfort, these probably aren’t the best headphones. However, they’re still light enough and well-padded so that you can enjoy long gaming sessions. One notable omission is a professional built-in or detachable gaming microphone.
While the overall design looks classy and feels good, there are some minor issues with the control buttons. It’s also worth noting that the build isn’t as solid or rugged as you would expect. But you’re still getting good value for money in terms of audio technology.
- Optimized for PS4
- 7.1 surround sound
- Downloadable game-specific audio modes
- Good autonomy
Very small control buttons
Although the Audio Technica ATH-M50x headphones aren’t billed as gaming headphones, they’re quite possibly the best headphones for VR gaming, movies, and social interaction. Audio Technica did a fine job of balancing audio detail, clarity, volume, and high-end passive noise cancellation in order to create a natural-sounding yet enhanced immersive soundstage.
Of course, there are other options too, some cheaper, some more fine-tuned for certain systems. It depends on how much you’re willing to spend and what you’re hoping to achieve from your VR experience, and whether you’re on console, PC, mobile, or Mac.