The sub 200 USD price point is considered to be the premium price point for gaming headsets. Users are expecting a huge jump from sub 100 USD headsets and are critical to the features that headsets offer at this price point. Luckily, gaming companies have stepped up and truly deliver in this price range.
This is the category where high-end audiophile companies like Sennheiser and Audio Technica are starting to enter. But at the same time, gaming companies like Hyperx are also upping their game. In this article, we will be discussing the best options in terms of sound quality and microphone quality.
The best value headset on this list is the Sennheiser PC37X. And the best closed-back headset on this list is the Sennheiser GSP 600. And for our wireless pick, we have the Hyperx Cloud Flight. But of course, there are still plenty of excellent choices on this list so keep on scrolling to learn more.
Also, if you are looking for excellent options in the sub 100 USD price range, then make sure to read our Best Gaming Headsets Under 100 USD article as well. And if you are looking for FPS gaming headsets, in particular, then check out our Best Gaming Headset for Hearing Footsteps article.
Best Gaming Headset Under $200
Sennheiser PC37X – Best Value
If you want to take your gaming experience to the next level, then you have to try open-back headphones. And the best value and most versatile headphone that you can get in the sub 200 USD price range is the Sennheiser x Drop PC37X.
Drop is a company that is known for collaborating with big brands and making high-quality products more available and more affordable. This is once again the case with the Drop PC37X. The PC 37X is based on the highly acclaimed Sennheiser Game One (which was based on the Sennheiser HD598). It is an open-back headset, which makes it a unique offering on this list.
Like most Drop collaborations, the sound has remained unchanged. Due to its well-tuned drivers and an open-back design, the imaging and soundstage are superior to most gaming headsets. This is largely why the PC37X is such a great choice for competitive and casual FPS Gaming.
Speaking of its drivers, the sound quality of the PC37X is exceptional. It punches way above its price point and beats most of the headsets on this list. It is, after all, based on the Game One, which retailed for much higher than the PC37X’s asking price.
The PC37X has a relaxed and warmer tuning but has better detail retrieval compared to the other gaming headsets on this list. The bass is enough to add body and complete the sound. It is not distracting and leaves enough room for sound cues to come through.
Mids are a bit recessed but are still more detailed compared to other gaming headsets. The highs are well controlled and have plenty of detail. They allow footsteps to be easily heard.
Additionally, since the PC37X is an open-back headset, the natural soundstage and superior imaging help easily locate the source of these footsteps. The wide soundstage also allows you to hear how far the source of the footsteps is.
Also, since the PC37X is based on audiophile-grade headphones, the tuning works well with music listening. They also scale well with better equipment such as DAC/Amps. If you want an upgrade for your onboard audio, you can learn more in our Best DAC/Amps article.
Aside from the great sounding drivers, the PC37X also has a microphone that is significantly better compared to its competitors. It has a natural tone that is better than the highly compressed and nasal sounding microphones found on most gaming headsets. It is non-detachable
The PC37X has a more detailed sound compared to the other gaming headsets here. However, if you still want more clarity and are okay with sacrificing the microphone, then upgrading to audiophile headphones like the Drop HD58X is the way to go.
For its asking price, the PC37X is very hard to beat. It has all the essential features of a gaming headset, such as excellent sound reproduction and a quality microphone. If you are a professional or a competitive gamer, then this is the gaming headset for you.
The Sennheiser PC37X offers a wide and natural-sounding experience that translates well into competitive play. Its signature also works well with music listening.
The PC37X does not have the strongest bass performance. It is clean and accurate, but users coming from closed-back headsets may find it lacking.
Sennheiser GSP 600 – Best Closed-Back
The next one on our list is for fans of closed-back headsets. The Sennheiser GSP 600 is the upgrade of the Sennheiser GSP 300. It offers significant upgrades that make the overall experience even better.
There are key upgrades in terms of the build quality. The GSP 600 feels sturdier compared to the lower-priced GSP 300. It is a bit heavier than the GSP 300 but is still comfortable to wear.
You can also feel that Sennheiser has used better plastic material for most of the headset. The color scheme has also been changed to a red and black color scheme, which gives it more of a gamer aesthetic.
The passive noise cancellation has also been improved in the GSP 600. It can isolate more noise than the GSP 300 and even other closed-back headsets such as the Hyperx Cloud series. The side effect is that there is more clamping force, but it can be fine-tuned and adjusted thanks to the sliders in the headband.
Another useful addition on the GSP600 is the removable cable. Users were not complaining about the non-detachable cable in the GSP300 due to its quality. However, making it detachable gives the user more confidence over the product’s long term use.
Overall, it takes the familiar design of the GSP300 and significantly improves in the build quality. The only downside here is that it has a more gaming vibe going on compared to the cleaner looking PC37X. This will, of course, depend on your personal preference.
In terms of the microphone quality, the GSP 600 is one of the best on this list. It follows the same format laid out by the PC37X and GSP300. It is clean, detailed, and stays away from that over-compressed and nasal sound that most gaming headsets are known for.
One thing to note here is that the mic in the GSP 600 is considerably louder and has more power compared to both the GSP 600 and PC37X. One consequence of this is that it can pick up background noise such as mouse and keyboard clicks, but thankfully, it has some form of cancellation to help reduce the noise.
In terms of the sound quality, there are more details across the whole spectrum. The bass was tighter and more powerful than the GSP 300. It is still well-controlled and does not overextend into the midrange.
The highs also bring more detail in the highs but, at the same time, are a lot smoother compared to the GSP 300. You will be able to clearly hear footsteps without having hearing fatigue during long gaming sessions.
The GSP 600 still has that V-shaped sound signature, which means that mids still sound more distant compared to open-back headsets such as the PC37X. It is still nice and helps in creating the illusion that soundstage is wider than it is.
One issue that the GSP 500, in particular, has is its strong clamping force.
Overall, if you already enjoyed the GSP 300 and want an even better sounding gaming headset, then the GSP 600 is the perfect upgrade.
The Sennheiser GSP 500 takes all of the good features of the GSP 300 and makes them even better. It is better built and better sounding compared to its predecessor.
The GSP 500 has a tighter clamping force compared to both the GSP 300 and GSP 500. This is done to have a better seal but may result in comfort issues for some people.
Sennheiser GSP 500 – Best Open Back
With the success of the GSP 300, Sennheiser has decided to diversify the GSP lineup by offering an open-back version of the GSP 600. The GSP 500 shares a lot of similarities with the GSP 600 but adds some much-needed improvements for an even better gaming experience.
In terms of the design, the GSP 500 looks almost identical at first glance to the GSP 600. However, some changes improve comfort. The clamping force is not as tight as the GSP 600. The GSP500 is also lighter compared to the GSP 600 but does not feel cheaper in any way. It still utilizes the same high-quality materials as the GSP 600.
The overall gaming aesthetic has also been toned down by simplifying the hinge and volume adjustment design. Overall, these little refinements help make the GSP 500 feel more mature. However, they are still utilizing the over the top GSP frame will be hit or miss for some people.
The microphone is identical to the GSP 600. The GSP 600 nailed the microphone quality and is one of the best in the gaming headset industry, so there is no need to change that one.
Now, the biggest difference between this pair and the GSP 600 is the sound quality. They are both using the same drivers, but the GSP500 is tuned differently as the open-back nature completely changes the way the driver reacts.
The biggest difference between these is the soundstage; The open-back nature allows the GSP500 to achieve a larger soundstage. The GSP 600 tries to mimic this, but it is nothing compared to the GSP 500’s soundstage.
The imaging is also exceptional for the GSP500. Not only will you be able to hear the footsteps easier, but you will also be able to tell where they are coming from. This headset is a treat for competitive gamers.
In terms of the bass, it is considerably stronger than the PC37X. It is similar to the GSP 600’s bass but is not as strong due to the lack of a seal. The highs are smooth like most of Sennheiser’s gaming headsets, so there are no problems with listening fatigue.
One key difference is the mids. They are more detailed and not as recessed as the GSP 600. The GSP 600 needs to recess the mids to help create a wide soundstage effect. There is no need to do that with the GSP 500 due to its natural soundstage.
The closest competitor of the GSP 500 is the PC37X since they are both open-back headsets. The two major differences between the two are the build quality and sound signature. The GSP 500 is closer to the GSP 600 tuning while the PC37X is tuned closer to a traditional open back headphone.
The GSP 500 has more bass and overall has more closed-back qualities compared to the PC37X. The GSP 500 is also bulkier and more gamer-focused compared to the more traditional PC37X. Overall, the GSP 500 can be a better pair for gaming, but the PC37X is still the more versatile pair.
One downside of open-back headphones is, of course, the lack of proper sound isolation. You will be able to hear your surroundings and people around you will hear what you are listening to. If you are planning to use this in noisy environments such as tournaments, we highly suggest going for the GSP 600 instead. Also, make sure to check out our article to know more about the differences between open-back and closed-back headphones.
Overall, the GSP 500 is an excellent open-back headset in the sub 200 USD price range. If you are looking for a well-built gaming headset that can deliver a wide and open sound, then the GSP 500 is a strong recommendation. Just be aware of the downsides of open-back headsets.
The GSP 500’s open-back design allows for a more natural sound signature with a wide soundstage. Bass is also not compromised in this model, unlike in other open-back gaming headsets.
The GSP 500 does not have the best noise isolation. First-time users coming from closed-back headsets may be surprised.
Audio Technica ATH-G1
The Audio Technica ATH G1 is Audio Technica’s closed-back gaming headset entry in the sub 200 USD price point. The main pitch of the G1 is you will get Audio Technica’s signature build and sound quality in a gaming optimized form factor. And thanks to some great design elements, they may just be able to catch up to Sennheiser’s gaming line.
Audio Technica did a great job with the design of the headset. Its design seems to be inspired by the ATH M50X, which is their most popular studio headphone. This is evident with the rings on the earcups.
However, Audio Technica has added blue accents throughout the headset to make the design more interesting. The ATH G1 also comes with volume control and detachable microphone. The volume control is a nice touch since you do not get that with more traditional Audio Technica headphones.
The ATH G1 has an excellent build, which is to be expected considering their success with professional headphones. Some parts, such as the earcups, are made of plastic, but the plastic used does not feel cheap and helps in achieving a lightweight design.
In terms of the sound quality, the ATH G1 has a more balanced sound signature. The bass is punchy and lets sound effects like explosions come to life but does not bleed into the mids. The highs are smooth and well extended. They do a good job of picking up sound cues such as footsteps.
The mids are well placed and are natural sounding. They are not as recessed as other V-shaped gaming headsets. The downside of the G1 is that the soundstage is not very wide. Other closed-back gaming headsets such as the Sennheiser GSP 600 perform better in terms of the soundstage.
Audio Technica also offers a software solution to artificially tune the headset and increase the soundstage. The headset already performs great, but if you wish to further experiment on the sound, you can download the free trial of the software.
The microphone is competent with the rest of the competition. It is slightly behind Sennheiser’s offerings but is better compared to the Hyperx Cloud series. It does its best to make the voice sound as natural as possible but still noticeably compression.
Overall, Audio Technica has a strong competitor in the sub 200 USD price range. It sounds great, it is built well, and it has a good microphone. It has all the right features to compete with the best gaming headsets in this price range.
The Audio Technica ATH G1 is a great sounding headset that is developed by a reputable brand. The overall package makes it a worthy competitor to Sennheiser’s offerings.
The soundstage is not as wide as the best headphones in this price range. This is a shame given how good the soundstage on the more expensive ATH-ADG1X is.
Hyperx Cloud II
Another popular headset, especially in the FPS scene is the Hyperx Cloud II. They are a modified version of the Takstar Pro 80, which is a studio monitoring headphone. Thanks to its audiophile roots and well-tuned drivers, it can outperform most of the competition.
One special feature that other variations of the Hyperx Cloud do not have is the USB 7.1 surround sound card. This should help users who do not have a good sound card in their pc. We will be talking more about this sound card later.
In terms of the sound signature, the Cloud II is leaning towards a V-Shaped signature. The bass is solid and clear but can be too much and distort at times. However, it does not try to steal the show and does not overpower the midrange.
The mids are slightly recessed but still maintains its good clarity. Highs are boosted like the bass. It is clear, which greatly helps in hearing footsteps. The highs can, however, distort when there are a lot of things going on (examples of these are games like COD: Modern Warfare).
Due to their closed-back design, the soundstage is quite narrow. This is quite typical for a closed-back headset. Hyperx chose to remedy this through their virtual 7.1 surround USB sound card.
What this does is it artificially creates a larger soundstage and boosts sound cues like footsteps. The implementation is not that great since clarity takes a huge hit. The overall sound signature also feels artificial and can even be more distracting.
The Hyperx Cloud II does have good imaging, but if you want headphones that have good and natural wide soundstage, we highly recommend going for open-back audiophile headphones instead.
One aspect that the Hyperx Cloud II does not fare too well is the mic. The mic has a lot of background noise canceling, which greatly helps with canceling keyboard and mouse clicks. However, the tone does not feel natural, and there is too much compression. The mic implementation is weak compared to some of its competitors.
Overall, the Hyperx Cloud II is still a great sounding and well-designed gaming headset. Even with its shortcomings, it is still a highly recommended pick. The included sound card is optional. If you choose not to use it, the headset still sounds great.
If all you need is a well built and great sounding headset that can help you spot footsteps, then the Hyperx Cloud II is a great choice.
The Hyperx Cloud II presents a great value in the sub 200 USD price range. As a lower-priced headset compared to its competitors, it still has a great sound and build quality that makes it a reliable choice for competitive gaming.
The Hyperx Cloud II’s microphone is subpar compared to the competition. And also, the included 7.1 Surround Sound USB dongle does not improve the sound quality of the headset.
Logitech G Pro X
The Logitech G Pro X is used by many professional players such as TSM’s Myth. This headset has been such a popular choice among FPS fans, just like the Hyperx Cloud. This is largely due to its sound signature, which is similar to the tried and tested V-Shaped sound signature of the Hyperx Cloud.
Now for the most important aspect, footsteps can be easily heard and pinpointed thanks to its detailed highs. The highs are quite forward but are well controlled and prevents listening fatigue. Bass is also present but not boomy. It does its job in filling up the low end without muddying up the overall sound.
Like the Hyperx Cloud II, the Logitech G Pro X comes with a USB dongle. This dongle is used for fine-tuning the EQ of the headset as well as activating the Blue Voice functionality of the headset.
Blue Microphones’ software greatly helps in cutting down any unwanted noise. It has various features that allow you to fine-tune the sound that you want. There are some great sounding presets here, but overall, it is still not up to par with other gaming headset microphones such as Drop’s PC37X.
If you think the microphone is still not up to par with other gaming headsets, then you can also opt for the lower-priced Logitech G Pro. It has a wider but less defined tuning, which may fit more of your taste if you think the G Pro X lacks in terms of the soundstage.
One of the noticeable downsides of the Logitech G Pro X is its intimate soundstage. The soundstage on most closed-back headsets is not great either, but there are several stands out examples such as the Sennheiser GSP 300. And also, the soundstage on the Logitech G Pro X is considerably more cramped compared to the original Logitech G Pro. Imaging on the Logitech G Pro X is fine, but the intimate soundstage takes away from the immersion.
Overall, the Logitech G Pro X is a solid pair for gaming. They are well-tuned and have plenty of additional features to help you achieve the sound that you want. If you want more customizability and features in your gaming headset, then the Logitech G Pro X is a solid choice.
The Logitech G Pro X is a reliable gaming headset that brings plenty of value. Aside from its tournament-grade sound quality, it also has a software solution that helps tune the headset’s sound signature and microphone quality to your liking.
The changes in the sound signature of the G Pro X may not suit everyone’s tastes. You can purchase the original G Pro instead if you like the old sound signature and if you do not need the Blue Voice functionality.
Hyperx Cloud Flight – Wireless Pick
The Hyperx Cloud Flight is the first wireless headset in the Cloud lineup and deviates away from the usual design that most Cloud headsets are based on.
The build quality is not the Cloud Flight’s strongest aspect. It does not feel as solid as the Cloud II or the Cloud Alpha and feels closer to the budget-oriented Stinger. The swiveling earcups, in particular, feels like a weak point in the headset.
They might break if not treated with care or if dropped. Users who plan on taking the Cloud Flight to LAN Parties or local tournaments should be extra careful.
The upside here is that the Hyperx Cloud Flight is comfortable. The headband has more expansion and can fit larger heads better than the Cloud II. The lighter frame also helps alleviate discomfort during longer gaming sessions.
But despite the lackluster build quality, the real star of the show here is the wireless functionality. The Cloud Flight connects to sources via USB dongle. The connection is very stable, and there are no dropouts. Sound quality is also not sacrificed and is similar to the wired mode.
And speaking of the sound quality, the Cloud Flight is on par with the rest of the Cloud lineup. The bass is tight and well-controlled. It does not get muddy and does not bleed into the midrange.
The highs are smooth without losing detail. The mids are a bit pushed back to accommodate the artificial soundstage expansion. However, they are still perfectly clear and detailed.
The soundstage is not the widest due to the closed-back design but still does a respectable job. The imaging, on the other hand, is spectacular on this pair. You can easily hear the source of footsteps on gunfire, which helps in competitive genres such as FPS.
In terms of the battery life, the Cloud Flightwill last you for up to 30 hours of use when the lights are turned off. This is more than enough for most gaming sessions. You cannot use the headset while charging, but you have plenty of time to charge it while not in use.
One thing to note is that there is no battery indicator. The Cloud Flight will only start beeping once the battery is below 20%. This is pretty inconvenient since the battery indicator status could have been easily integrated somewhere else in the headset, such as in the lights.
Overall, if you are looking for a great sounding gaming headset that has reliable wireless functionality, then the Hyperx Cloud Flight is a great option. Just be careful with handling it since the build quality is not the best on this list.
The Hyperx Flight delivers in its promise of being a reliable wireless pair. It has no degradations in the sound quality and has excellent wireless range and consistency.
The Hyperx Cloud Flight is not the best-built headset. Compromises were made to make the headset as lightweight as possible.