Wired vs. wireless gaming headset: Which do you believe is the better option for you?
If you’re an avid gamer, then having a reliable gaming headset is a must to help you win your battles and enhance your overall gaming experience. Wired headsets have been here for much longer and have a very long history in both the gaming and music industries. But since we now live in a generation where wires and cables are slowly becoming outdated, many companies are starting to develop products that remove the hassle of cables.
But is it truly a good thing to remove the wires and cables and instead start using wireless devices?
Let’s talk more about it!
Wired VS Gaming Headsets: What’s the Difference?
The biggest and most noticeable difference between a wireless headset and a wired headset is, of course, the lack of cables in a wireless gaming headset.
A wireless gaming headset removes the hassle of cables that can easily mess up your gaming setup. However, a wired headset also has its pros, such as longer battery life and better sound quality.
But regardless of their differences, deciding between a wired vs wireless gaming headset will ultimately depend on you and where you’re going to use the gaming headset.
But of course, choosing may be quite difficult since both are great products. So, to help you decide, we’ve garnered up both of their pros and cons.
Now, let’s get into it!
Wired Gaming Headsets
Between the late 1890s and early 1920s, the very first wired headphones were created, and since then, many variations of them have been created, hence the wired headset. With our generation’s technological advancements, we are able to use the best version of a wired headset.
These wired headsets have been used for many different purposes, one of which is gaming. With that being said, SteelSeries created the world’s very first wired gaming headset in 2004 called “The Siberia.” Since then, gaming headsets have been a gamers’ standard when it comes to great sound quality and an immersive gaming experience. It allowed gamers to communicate with their team and hear in-game sounds loud and clear. It is also a lot cheaper when compared to modern wireless headsets. Not to mention, a wired headset is also straightforward and very easy to use, which is why a lot of gamers prefer wired headsets since they don’t have too many frills.
That’s not all. There are a lot of other reasons why a wired headset is considered the standard, but just like anything else, there are pros and cons to it, which we’ll discuss thoroughly.
The superior sound quality of wired headsets over their wireless counterparts is one of the main reasons for their popularity and why they are preferred over wireless headsets.
Wired headsets use analog signals, which can handle more data than digital signals, such as Bluetooth. This gives wired headsets an advantage as they can receive audio signals directly from the device via the cable, decreasing the risk of data loss or signal interference. This implies that your audio won’t have to go through as much sound processing to get to you. As a result, wired headsets can bypass audio compression and send it at its highest quality resolution.
Unlike wireless technology that needs to compress and transfer audio data wirelessly, depending on the quality of the wireless headset, it could lead to a loss of sound quality and increased latency when a low-quality wireless headset is used.
Although most wired headsets generally provide better sound quality, the quality of the drivers is ultimately what matters. When it comes to better audio quality, utilizing a cheap driver versus an expensive driver makes a tremendous difference. This is true for wired and wireless headsets alike.
Wired headsets also have an advantage for audiophiles who are enthusiastic about high-fidelity sound reproduction, but casual listeners may not even notice the difference.
No Charging Time Needed/Longer Battery Life
Since wired headsets need to be connected to other devices such as your gaming laptop or mobile phone, there’s no charging time needed since it gets its power from the device. This gives you the freedom to use your wired gaming headset for much longer, as opposed to most wireless headsets needing to be charged.
This also allows you to have a longer gaming session since you won’t have to stop and charge your wired headset.
Wide Range of Compatibility
For wired headsets that use a 3.5-mm audio jack, it has a very wide range of compatibility. A 3.5-mm audio jack is the universal connection type for most devices, like your gaming laptops and consoles, desktops, tablets, and many other devices. A wired gaming headset can be connected to many different devices, so you won’t have to worry about syncing issues that occur with wireless connections.
In any case, if your device does not have a 3.5-mm audio jack, you can easily purchase a dongle or an adapter to allow your headset to be connected. However, it is sold separately, which adds to the cost of the headset.
Another option that a lot of higher-end gaming headsets use is to connect to the PC using a USB sound card rather than a 3.5-mm audio jack. USB sound cards have the advantage of transmitting audio data wirelessly as opposed to the analog signal delivered by the 3.5-mm audio connection. Some of the background noise can be reduced by using USB sound cards, which can also provide more customization choices.
Since wired headsets don’t use extra technology for wireless connection, it becomes a lot cheaper compared to wireless headsets. It’s also cheaper because most wired headsets use a simple design with older technology.
Wireless headsets use more advanced technology to be able to transmit and receive audio from your device. Some of these headsets even require a wireless dongle (USB dongle) to work.
Its cheaper cost is another reason why wired headphones are preferred by many gamers on a budget. You get the best audio quality at a fraction of the price when you choose wired models.
As mentioned before, they don’t need any charging since they don’t need an external power source. No need to worry if you charged your headset or not.
Additionally, wired headphones and headsets are compatible with most devices with their 3.5-mm jack, making them very efficient to use. With most wired headsets with older technology, there would be no need to use extra software or even driver updates for the headset to work. They are simple plug-and-play devices, so you won’t have to do anything else but plug your headset into your device.
Extra Cable Controls
Some headsets that have cables have extra controls placed on the cables, such as volume control and even a mic. Since they don’t have cables, wireless headsets don’t have these extra features.
The biggest disadvantage of using a wired headset is its inability to give users a lot of freedom in their movements. Gamers who use wired headsets are physically connected to their gadgets via cables, which can be problematic and hassling, especially if you move around a lot. The extra or long cables can be really annoying. Those who rely on rapid hand movements to control their mouse may think that the cables can be a nuisance and could result in you losing the game.
Aside from the fact that cables will restrict movement, they can also make a desk or room messy. Unless you’re very organized with all your cables, adding another cable using a wired headset will definitely add more to the cable mess.
The cable is the most vulnerable part of a wired headset and can easily be damaged. The audio quality can be impaired if the wire is twisted and stretched, causing the internal circuitry to be broken. A damaged cable can mark the end of a headset and can not be used again, especially for headsets without a detachable cord.
Some current gaming headsets contain detachable or braided cords to make them more durable. Cable damage can be easily avoided by using headsets with detachable or braided cables that are easily replaceable.
Wireless Gaming Headsets
Wireless gaming headsets weren’t as good as their wired alternatives before, but that was just before the 2.4 GHz, Bluetooth, and WiFi connections were created. The current wireless headsets are made better with more advanced technology.
Wireless headsets can be connected to Bluetooth devices, through USB connections, and even WiFi. Most modern wireless headsets have all three ways of connection, which is great because you’re able to choose how you want to connect your headset to your device.
Freedom of Movement
One of the top reasons why wireless headsets are great is because it offers you a lot of freedom for movement. There is no need to connect your headset with cables to your gaming unit, so users have the freedom to move around and sit farther away from your gaming unit without having to worry about the cable being too short.
For a variety of reasons, many modern wireless gaming headsets feature a 2.4GHz connection rather than Bluetooth. Since it has a more consistent signal and higher data transfer speeds, the 2.4GHz wireless frequency offers users a superior sound quality over Bluetooth headsets. In gaming, wherein games can become more competitive, using a Bluetooth headset may not be ideal since using Bluetooth has very low audio fidelity and too much latency.
Although a lower-end wireless headset may not be able to compete with a regular wired headset, a high-end and modern wireless headset like the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless gaming headset can be a tough match for their wired counterparts and has no noticeable latency.
No Cords/No Cable Clutter
Unlike their wired counterparts, wireless ones will help reduce the clutter that typically comes with cables. This will allow users to have more space for other things. Without the cables, gamers will also be able to play a lot more freely without having to worry about any wires or cables getting in the way of their gaming session.
Connectivity or Syncing Issues
Wireless headsets are constrained to systems with a USB port, whereas corded headsets can function with most hardware with a 3.5-mm jack. The demand for a USB port and a USB dongle further limits wireless headset compatibility and renders them unsuitable for smartphones without USB ports. Although this issue can be resolved with the use of Bluetooth headsets. However, you may also encounter problems with the Bluetooth connection. When using a Bluetooth or WiFi connection with some lower-end wireless headsets, you may have syncing issues.
Wireless headphones, like other wireless gadgets, include an internal battery that must be charged. Modern headsets have a relatively long battery life, but no matter how long they last, they will eventually run out of battery. When a wireless headset’s battery is low, most headsets have indicator lights or beeping noises that will warn the user of its low battery, allowing users plenty of time to charge it.
A wireless headset’s battery will eventually degrade and run out of power. When this happens, users must either change the battery or the headset entirely when this occurs. However, most high-end wireless headsets from well-known brands like Logitech, SteelSeries, and Razer have a very long battery lifespan, so you won’t have to worry for a few years about your headsets’ batteries.
Wireless headsets are more expensive than wired options because of the advanced and modern technology created in the headset and the requirement for wireless transmitters. However, if wireless technology becomes more common, the huge price tag may narrow down a lot more in the future.
Different Types of Wireless Connections
The majority of modern wireless headsets use two types of wireless connections, namely, a Bluetooth connection or a 2.4GHz radio signals. While some feature both connections for a wider range of compatibility. But between the two, which connection is better?
With a Bluetooth connection, they’re compatible with any Bluetooth-enabled device and are a lot more affordable compared to the 2.4GHz connection. However, you get lower sound quality and a shorter range. Meanwhile, a 2.4GHz connection offers you the best sound quality and a longer range, but you would need a wireless dongle to connect it to your device. A 2.4GHz connection also has limited compatibility with only devices with USB ports. Although you can purchase an adapter to connect it to more devices without USB ports.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a Gaming Headset Be Both Wired and Wireless?
Yes, most Bluetooth headsets include a cable, and those that don’t will almost always feature a headphone jack. There are also headsets that have a universal audio connection type that allows your headset to be either wired or wireless.
Are Wireless Gaming Headsets Good for Gaming?
A high-end wireless headset is great for gaming as they are comparable to their wired alternatives. They also offer you a lot more space to move your mouse. But remember that wireless headsets need to be charged, so make sure they’re fully charged before you start your gaming session.
Do Wireless Headsets Have Sound Delays?
Yes, there may be lags or delays with some wireless headsets. Nevertheless, if the delay is only a few milliseconds, you might not even detect that the wireless headset is lagging.
Overall, which one is better?
Both are generally great products. This is because there isn’t much of a difference in sound quality (depending on if you’re using both high-quality wired and wireless headsets). Cost, convenience, and where you want to use the headset are the primary factors to consider when choosing which is better. Customers must pick which type best meets their needs while staying within their budget. Ultimately, both types of headsets are excellent; the choice comes down to personal preference.