When deciding which audio devices are appropriate for your gaming setup, you could become confused between headphones and headsets. Despite the fact that these phrases are sometimes used synonymously, headphones and headsets have a few differences. So, what’s the difference between headset vs headphones.
What Separate Headset and Headphones
It probably is a headset if it has a microphone. If not, you’re most likely looking at a headphone
The microphone and speakers are combined in a headset for maximum convenience. Simply put on the headset to start talking and listening to music at the same time. Simple as pie.
Conversely, headphones will just have speakers. Ideal for individuals who wish to unwind while listening to music. But as a result, the design will be given more consideration, and sound quality will be given more attention.
As a result, headphones are preferable for an immersive music experience whereas headsets are excellent for circumstances where convenience takes precedence over sound quality.
Typically, headsets fall into the lower price range, making them more accessible to the average individual.
High-end headphones can be pretty expensive, especially when you take into account all the many accessories that might improve the clarity of the sound.
Headset vs Headphones Comparison
When it comes to sound quality, headsets and headphones have different features that make them each stand apart. Headsets are usually equipped with a microphone, whereas headphones are typically just two speakers attached to a band.
Headphones provide a more immersive listening experience as they deliver their sonic payload directly into the ears, while headsets offer better noise cancellation.
Headphones usually provide a more personal soundstage, as they move a relatively small amount of air around the listener’s ear compared to traditional speakers, which vibrate large segments of air within a room.
On average, a pair of headphones will sound better than a similarly priced headset. At the high-end, a pair of headphones will sound significantly cleaner, clearer and more textured than a gaming headset.
Meanwhile, earphones such as the BackBeat GO 2 are the spiritual successor to traditional headphones. Earphones are small devices that fit directly into the ear canal and don’t require the large design of traditional headphones. They provide a more personalized soundstage and can also offer better noise cancellation.
The main reason headsets are objectively more handy than headphones is that they typically come with a connected microphone of some kind. Some headphones come with fixed microphones, while others have removable microphones.
This normally simplifies matters if you’re traveling and require a set of headphones and communication.
The alternative, which can be burdensome depending on what you’re using, is frequently carrying around both a pair of headphones and a standalone microphone. You now have to worry about something occurring to two (presumably expensive) pieces of technology.
For the most part, a headset with an excellent detachable microphone will probably be your most convenient choice.
On the one hand, if you get cheap headphones or a cheap gaming headset, there is a good risk that they won’t last forever.
If you’re lucky, you might be able to replace a cord here or fix a problem here and there, but in general, you pay for durability, thus cheap items typically don’t last.
However, compared to headphones, gaming headsets are typically less robust. The main reason for this is economics: a gaming headset with a lot of features, such a big microphone and virtual surround technology, has less money in its budget to spend on premium materials than a pair of headphones that only need to sound nice.
Therefore, they are yours for decades if you choose a pair of high-quality, well-built headphones. Many headphones are made to last a very long time with even frequent use.
You could need to replace a part every few years, and you might even need to get something repaired over a long enough length of time.
Similar opportunities may be offered by a high-quality gaming headset, but these headsets have a lot more potential for failure over time and are frequently used more intensively and for longer periods of time than most headphones.
It’s frequently a matter of personal preference how comfy something is that lays on top of your head and over your ears. Then, there are a plethora of various designs and materials to choose, various weights to take into account, and numerous other factors that affect comfort.
The ability to wear a good gaming headset comfortably for four, six, or even eight hours or more at a time is its distinguishing feature. Although this can and will be done with headphones, comfort is perhaps less of a defining characteristic.
While some people may undoubtedly wear headphones over the course of a workday or perhaps an entire long-haul journey, the typical headphone listening session is far shorter. However, because gaming sessions can extend for hours, comfort is considered even more crucial, even at the starting level.
A gaming headset should typically feel fantastic even after extensive usage, while the comfort of a particular pair of headphones tends to vary somewhat, unless you’re getting something extremely cheap.
Naturally, as is the case with the majority of consumer technology, you can get inexpensive gaming headsets as well as inexpensive headphones, and you can find pricey gaming headsets as well as costly headphones. The price ranges are, however, rather dissimilar.
The cost of headphones frequently ranges from a few pounds or dollars for the cheapest pair to several thousand for reference headphones made to the highest standards of audiophilia.
The difference in sound quality between one pair of headphones and another pair will vary, but in general, if you want higher sound quality, you can spend more money.
Gaming headphones typically range in price from $25 to $300, with the vast majority falling somewhere in the lower half of that range. There are some high-end gaming headsets available, but the market for ultra-premium gaming headsets is small.
Or, maybe more properly, the term “ultra-premium” has different connotations in the field of gaming headsets compared to headphones.
You could be excused for believing that a regular pair of headphones and a headset perform much the same functions if you looked at a simple list of their characteristics. But various locations frequently have different priorities.
For instance, even though many headphones now come equipped with microphones, a gaming headset is still required to include one.
In addition, a gaming headset’s microphone is frequently fixed on a stalk to put it closer to your mouth, and that stalk may even be removable.
While the microphone of a pair of headphones will typically be smaller (sometimes almost invisible) and will typically rely significantly on smart processing for delivering speech clarity, the hardware of the former will almost certainly be larger and frequently of superior quality.
Additionally, even though a lot of gaming headsets are wireless, they frequently also have 3.5mm jacks and USB ports so you can use them with your PC, your console, or even your controller without having to make any adjustments or do any work.
Though not always, headphones typically have less connectivity options.
On the technological side, a lot of headsets come with a built-in spatial audio or virtual surround system. While such processing is gradually making its way into regular headphones, it is often reserved for higher-end models because it is considered to be more of a luxury.
Gaming headphones frequently have a design that puts the player first. They also frequently have useful features, including a dedicated mute button, a volume slider, a mixer for balancing chat audio and game audio, buttons for switching between audio presets, etc.
The main purpose of headphones is to listen. Outside of water resistance, noise-cancellation, and the occasional standout feature, a good pair of headphones is primarily concerned with sounding excellent.
They can be wireless (with large batteries, too) and support all kinds of different audio technologies, of course, but they are primarily concerned with sound quality.
A gaming headset is designed to provide a wide range of functions that make it simple for you to game, communicate, and simply move around your environment freely while doing all of that. Additionally, gaming headsets attempt to do all of that while remaining affordable.
Although you aren’t required to, you can spend more money on headphones to obtain greater sound quality and additional features. However, if you don’t have access to spatial audio or virtual surround, headphones might not be the greatest option for gaming.
Headset vs Headphones: Which One Is For You
The finest gaming audio experience you can have outside of a genuine surround sound setup is if you can combine a pair of high-quality, open-sounding headphones with some type of spatial audio/virtual surround tech and your own dedicated microphone.
However, this kind of setup will be quite pricey, difficult to set up, and almost definitely somewhat cluttered, which is why most gamers opt for a gaming headset, which may be slightly poorer in quality overall but will be much more affordable and practical.
For a reasonable price, a gaming headset can be wireless, noise-canceling, include a microphone with a variety of settings and capabilities, and even provide its own brand of simulated surround sound.
FAQs about Headset vs Headphones
Which are better earbuds vs wireless earphones?
There are some similarities between the benefits of earbuds and earphones. They are convenient, light, and great for the gym. Another benefit is that they last for a long time, provided you clean them regularly to get rid of earwax and oil buildup. But earphones win the prize for comfort and sound quality.
Should I choose headset or headphones?
If you want to listen to high quality music, headphones are for you. But if you want the convenience of having a mic on your headphone then a pair of headsets will satisfy your desire.
What is a headset used for?
With the use of a headset, speaking can be done without the use of an earpiece or a microphone. It can be used to chat and listen at the same time and takes the place of, say, a telephone handset. Other frequent use for headsets include video chat or gaming on a computer.
Do headsets damage hearing?
According to the study, using headphones in a noisy setting increases the chance of hearing loss by 4.5 times. Hearing loss can result from prolonged or recurrent exposure to noise levels at or above 85 dBA.
Headphones and headsets are both great audio devices for gaming setups. Headsets offer the convenience of an integrated microphone, whereas headphones provide superior sound quality and comfort.
Ultimately, it comes down to your preference and budget. If you’re looking for a great audio device to enhance your gaming experience, why not try both headphones and headsets and decide which works best for you? Start your search today and explore the world of gaming audio!
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