Gaming headphones are an integral part of the image of a gamer. Not only do they provide a total immersion in the world of premium sound effects of modern games, but also provide comfort during prolonged use. Plus, they have an appropriate design and additional options that can make life easier for connoisseurs of computer entertainment. At the same time, the market for gaming headphones is so wide that it is difficult for a simple layman to understand. In our article, we will analyze all the technical nuances of gaming headphones.
Types and shapes of headphones
What form factor is suitable for gaming?
Headphones come in a variety of form factors, but there are four main designs that are predominantly used in the gaming industry:
- In- ear or in-ear headphones are the simplest options, in which the headphones are placed in the ear. Such models are the most budgetary on the market, they are compact, and light as a feather, but they produce amateur-level sound and cause severe ear fatigue during long gaming sessions.
- Intracanal – a slightly more advanced version that is placed directly into the ear canal. This allows you to improve the quality of sound transmission and reduce the influence of external noise, but also causes quick fatigue. In addition, both options are usually supplied with a microphone on the cable.
- Overheadis a much more acceptable option if you plan to spend more than half an hour in the game. Such models are superimposed over the ear, pressed against soft ear cushions, and provide the necessary level of comfort.
- Over- ear headphones are the best option for gaming, especially when streaming or esports tournaments. Such models cover the entire ear, bringing the speakers closer and providing the best sound isolation, i.e., no extraneous sounds will distract you. The main disadvantage is a lot of weight, which for some can be a critical moment.
Having decided on the right form factor, it’s time to think about comfort, because uncomfortable headphones can spoil the gaming experience, even if they produce first-class sound. Tired ears, aching necks, chafed scalps, rattling structural elements and other troubles are the obligatory attributes that go to those who neglect the importance of design.
Type of cups
In addition to various form factors, gaming headphones also use a variety of cup manufacturing options. There are three of them, and each is good in its own way, although it is not without flaws. Let’s see which cups are best for gaming.
- The open type of cups provides almost free air circulation, thanks to which the player hears what is happening around, i.e., you will not miss the doorbell or smartphone alert. This also helps to reduce acoustic pressure on the ear, which is extremely important during long gaming sessions.
- The semi-open type is distinguished by the presence of individual holes on the body of the cups, forming a certain balance between comfort for the ears and sound insulation. But with prolonged use, increased acoustic pressure can cause discomfort, and external sounds are heard muffled.
- The closed type provides a complete immersion in the world of gaming sound with powerful bass and complete isolation from the outside world. But high sound pressure can cause rapid fatigue of the auditory nerve and even cause a headache.
Surround sound support
Looks like someone snuck up from behind. Modern games can generate acoustic content with very precise positioning of sound sources. This is especially true for genres such as shooters, where it is important at a competitive level to catch even the smallest rustles and accurately determine their direction. The technology of surround sound in the Nintendo switch headset is implemented in two ways: virtual and multi-channel.
- Virtual surround sound is simulated in software. This is significantly cheaper, plus it allows you to implement the function even in budget and wireless models of any form factor. On the other hand, virtual multichannel has less fidelity, which means that immersion in the game world will be incomplete.
- Multi-channel or true surround sound is created by using several speakers in the design of the cups at once, therefore, the most accurate location of sound sources in the gaming space is ensured. There are also serious drawbacks: the complexity of setting up and calibrating, the increased weight of the headphones, and the inflated price.