Headsets & Headphone + Mic

Not to specifically towards this site, but I was just wondering, why there is so much hate towards headsets? On many forums I've read about how much headsets suck, and how headphones + separate mics are so much better. I mean, is it really that big of a difference between the two? Are headsets really that overpriced compared to headphones + mics? Do headsets really have terrible quality compared to headphones? Is it really that bad to get a Siberia V2 or Corsair 1500 over Sennheisers & Yeti mic?

It depends. The fact is that most companies that make "gaming headsets" are targeting uninformed consumers who are more easily swayed with flashy colors and gimmicks than actual features. There are a few decent "gaming headsets" available, such as the Skullcandy slyr and plyr, and the Sennheiser PC 360, but you are not getting a whole lot for your money with them, and no how matter how much you pay, you will never find a gaming headset that will match the incredibly precise and analytical audiophile headphones out there. 

      If you're looking into buying some headphones for gaming, check out this guide for recommendations.


Much of the "hate" might be coming from people who paid a lot of a full headset believing the marketing hype or relying on the reputation of a brand only to find out the phones and mic performed much worse than they had hoped for. 

It's the microphone in headsets that are particularly disappointing compared to their stand-alone counterparts. Watch a youtube video presenting the audio differences between two microphones.  You can hear the quality difference between the two in a side to side comparison, especially if it's just a human voice being transmitted. Once you hear the better of the two, it's hard to be satisfied with the lesser. Due to size and space restrictions, current gaming headset mics will always sound inferior to comparably priced stand-along mics. But consumers still read the ads and expect better. So when they pay out and get disappointed, the word spreads.

Many companies make great gaming keyboards or mice then throw out a headset without having really dedicated themselves to making a product that exceeds expectations, yet they charge a premium price. Keyboards and mice are pretty straight forward.  The keys to good sound are more subtle and complex. A brand with more dedicated experience in this area, a company  focusing their resources toward sound and only sound will be able to put out something higher quality for a comparable price. Sennheiser doesn't have a mouse or keyboard division competing for company resources. And they've been doing sound since 1945 so they should probably close shop if they can't put out a better sounding headphone than Razor or Corsair.

You rarely hear about people buying good quality dedicated headphones with a separate good quality dedicated mic complaining that they wished they had bought a combo headset. They might envy the space-saving convenience, but there's ways to work around that. It's harder to make up for a lower sound quality.