Headphones Or Headsets – Which Is Better For Gaming?

This article is targeted at giving you precise details about the available types of gaming headsets and the factors you should critically consider before choosing .

Headphones Or Headsets – Which Is Better For Gaming?

Many people can’t seem to differentiate between a headset and headphones.

This isn’t surprising as both are quite similar. However, if you wish to tell them apart, then you should know that a headset usually comes with an integrated mini microphone.

Most of us can’t tell them apart and as such, we class them collectively. This article is targeted at giving you precise details about the available types of gaming headsets and the factors you should critically consider before choosing any.

Having said that, choosing between a headset and a headphone might look like a simple decision to make, but in reality, it isn’t. Why?

Well, the "why" largely depends on your intention or purpose.

In this regard, we are going to be looking at the different types of headphones.

Sit tight and pay attention as we are going to be divulging some core reasons and facts.

Generally, headphones can be divided into three major categories –

  1. Mainstream headphones
  2. Studio headphones
  3. Gaming headsets

All of these headphones differ when it comes to their application and target demography, plus other differences we are going to be discussing.

Read More: Best Gaming Headsets

Mainstream Headphones

These types of headphones are often seen as the generic type of headphones that appeal to mainstream consumers.

They are stylish, versatile, and often don’t cost much.

These headphones tend to focus more on design as they are made for people looking to use them in various situations.

This is the primary reason for their sleek exterior design and decent audio features, they are meant to make you look cool in public.

People who wish to blend in with what’s trending will certainly find mainstream headphones quite attractive as they are fashion-forward.

However, due to the priority and focus on design, the overall quality may vary greatly in terms of different manufacturers and price ranges.


  • Portable and trendy design
  • Use it on-the-go
  • Versatile and good sound 


  • Design over quality
  • Prone to substandard manufacturing

Studio Headphones


These headphones are manufactured for professionals who prioritize quality above all other factors.

Examples of such individuals include studio workers and music producers.

These headphones are known to produce original sound with little or no enhancements.

This serves up a flat listening experience for listeners and enables them to know precisely where to edit or improve upon.

On the plus side, they tend to be well-made and contain many metal components making them quite easy to repair.

You are less likely to see studio headphones being worn around in public as they are designated for studio use alone.

They don’t come with fashion or trending designs because they serve a professional purpose.

Given that they are mainly manufactured for professionals, they aren’t mainstream, popular or stylishly designed, especially when other products offer more enjoyable features for less money.


  • Very apt audio production
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Easy to fix/repair


  • Quite expensive
  • Produced exclusively for professionals

Gaming Headsets

Last and not least, we have gaming headsets which are often described as headphones with built-in microphones.

These types of headsets strive to offer an immersive experience that is best suited for gaming.

One of its most noteworthy features is enabling gamers to communicate more clearly.

They also have audio-enhancing features that make gaming more enjoyable. This makes them closer to mainstream headphones as they are designed to provide a top-notch multimedia experience.

Gamers who play games on wide screens would also appreciate gaming headsets as it immerses them deeper into the game.

Do you own a widescreen TV that offers an excellent visual immersion experience?

You’ll also need a gaming headset for a remarkable audio immersion.

This invariably means that they’ve got powerful bass capabilities as well as virtual surround features.

On the plus side, they are designed to be lightweight and comfortable as they are meant to be worn for long gaming sessions.

However, gaming headsets tend to be somewhat bulky and are not quite as portable as mainstream headphones.

They are also somewhat more expensive as compared to the mainstream headsets; this is probably due to the built-in microphone.


  • Immersive sound capabilities
  • Surround features
  • Built-in microphone


  • More expensive due to the built-in microphone and other sound features
  • Not portable or too versatile

Which Should You Choose?

When it comes down to choosing the ideal type of headphones, you should consider several factors first.

We are going to be discussing some of these factors in the subsequent paragraphs.

Do You Need An Integrated Microphone?

If you happen to play numerous multiplayer games and enjoy the convenience of having a built-in microphone then you should probably opt for a gaming headset.

It is much easier when compared to the alternative of using a headphone along with a separate microphone.

Also, you will find carrying a headphone and a microphone around burdensome when you can easily carry it all in one headset piece.

However, if you play single-mode games regularly then you can explore the option of having a headphone and a separate microphone as you may want to dedicate your headset to sounds alone, while you have a separate microphone for talking and the occasional multiplayer games.

Do You Require Portability?

This is a crucial factor to examine before choosing a headphone or a headset.

If you’re looking to use the headset for gaming as well as other activities like music listening, then you are likely to appreciate mainstream headsets as they are certain to serve you well in this regard.

They are very portable and have enhanced audio features.

They are also designed to fit public use. If you’re always on the road, then a mainstream headphone will serve you well in this regard.

Will You Be Editing Audio?

If you happen to do studio jobs such as sound/audio editing, then you will invariably need a studio headphones.

This is because studio headphones tend to give you sounds in their original form. This allows for better editing.

Most studio headphones are often described as being plain and neutral because they don’t come with enhanced audio features like their mainstream counterpart.

If you’re not a music producer, you are likely to refer to them as boring. This is probably why they are strictly designed for professionals.

However, this shouldn’t stop you from getting other headphones if you have the cash, but a studio headphone will serve you well if you’re looking to do audio editing jobs.

RECOMMENDED: Best Gaming Headsets

Final Verdict

Based on the aforementioned factors, we have been able to narrow all three headphones into three core usage categories –

  • Get a gaming headset if you play numerous multiplayer games and are looking to use it for gaming alone.
  • Get a mainstream headphone for an enhanced listening experience as it comes with some listening enhancement features, or if you intend to use it for songs and gaming.
  • Get a studio headphone if you do a lot of audio editing as it works well in this regard.

With this precise and detailed segmentation, you should be able to know which headset/headphone will serve you well.

Feel free to buy or own more than one. Have fun!