Streaming setups are expensive, peripherals like microphones and headsets can end up being just as expensive as your computer components. There are ways in which you can save on cost, however, and that’s by opting for a headset with built-in microphone instead of splashing out on a separate microphone and pair of headphones.
In this review, I’m going to highlight some of the headsets that are best suited for live streaming on Twitch.
Best Streaming Headsets: The Best Gaming Headsets For Live Streaming On Twitch
1. Steelseries Arctis Pro Wireless
Hi-fidelty, 2.4G Wireless audio & Bluetooth connectivity all in one package
- Hi-definition, surround sound audio
- Wireless range of up to 40ft
- Compatible for both PC, PS4 & Bluetooth mobiles
- Battery charger can be a bit fiddly
- It’s expensive
- Only available in Black or White
The SteelSeries Arctis range are critically acclaimed, to which the Arctis Pro Wireless is the flagship. The Arctis product line-up is a cut above the Siberia range, differing in price-point, build quality and materials.
The Arctis Pro Wireless isn’t the best because it’s expensive, it’s expensive because it is the best. Offering the convenience of two batteries, impressive hi-fidelity surround-sound audio quality and full equalizer control (as well as presets for music, gaming, movies etc) on the accompanying DAC.
Aesthetically, the Arctis Pro Wireless will appeal to the inner minimalist within you, accomplished by ditching the traditional RGB lighting in exchange for an understated matte black-on-black color scheme.
So, why is the Arctis Pro Wireless the best headset for streaming?
I’ll get straight to the point.
Wireless headsets are super convenient, a convenience you won’t realize you needed until you finally experience owning one. Audiophiles will recoil at the thought of using a wireless headset due to the perceived loss of sound quality, but SteelSeries have really stepped up with the Arctis Pro Wireless, offering 2.4G lossless audio and ultra-low latency, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between this and a higher end USB gaming headset.
Being wireless, it’s also going to prevent unnecessary cables from cluttering up your stream setup and will only cost you one USB slot (for the DAC) in the process.
As a streamer, you’re going to be wearing a headset for long periods of time, so it’s important that the headphones you wear are comfortable when doing so. That’s where the Arctis Pro Wireless differs to some of the more affordable headsets. The earmuffs are made from a fabric weave instead of an artificial leather-esque material, providing more breath-ability for your ears over the latter. (Your ears will still get sweaty if you’re wearing it for hours at a time, though nowhere near as much.)
The build quality has a heavy duty feel to it; everything you touch feels nicely damped and haptic, much like the inside of a German-built car, so rest easy in the thought that you aren’t buying a flimsy product.
If you want this headset with RGB lighting or don’t fancy going for the wireless version, there’s also a variant with a wired connection, which is the Steelseries Arctis Pro + GameDAC.
2. Razer Kraken Kitty Edition
Unique design, top-notch mic quality and comfy cooling-gel ear cushions make this perfect for long streaming sessions
- Has a streamer companion app
- It’s one of the most unique looking gaming headsets you can buy
- Cooling gel ear cushions ideal for grinding out the hours
- Chroma lighting control via Synapse 3 is only available on Windows
- It’s only available in Black or Pink
- A little bit gimmicky
The Razer Kraken Kitty is a USB headset recently released by Razer which is catered specifically with live streamers in mind.
Build-wise, it’s obvious that Razer have done their due-diligence – it’s a very lightweight headset and they’ve definitely tried to tackle some of the problems faced by prolonged wear, such as sweat and pain from external compression. To combat these problems, Razer have filled the ear cushions with a cooling gel to eliminate swamp ears and the aluminium frame of the headset itself is designed to be flexible.
Where this headset differs from the competition is that stream viewers can interact directly with the headset (if configured) in the form of lighting sequences when a particular event happens, such as a new donation, follower or subscription. You can configure this from the headsets partnering companion app, which you can learn more on here.
What’s more, is that all of the RGB lighting on the headset can be configured independently to any color you like via Razer Synapse, whereas the majority of gaming headsets only offer just one static color scheme, with only a few also offering the ability to customize said color.
If you aren’t particularly bothered about having the cat ears, you can of course opt for the standard Razer Kraken.
3. HyperX Cloud Alpha
HyperX sits comfortably in the mid range of gaming headsets, if you don’t want to splash the cash, you can’t go wrong with the Cloud Alpha
- Good value for money
- Stellar build quality
- Comfy for long-term use
- No RGB lighting
- Not the best looking
- Limited range of colors
The HyperX Cloud Alpha does everything you need it to, which is just as good, because the lower your budget becomes, the more you have to prioritize what feature you want out of your next gaming headset, whether that’s mic quality, sound quality or long term comfort. With the Cloud Alpha, you don’t have to prioritize – it’s ample enough to tide you over until you want to make the switch to a standalone microphone, for which you can then continue using the Cloud Alpha exclusively for audio purposes.
More on the headset itself – it’s a wired connection and uses a detatchable noise cancelling microphone. The connection is compatible with most 3.5mm port devices, such as PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch… the list goes on; it’s designed with versatility in mind, which is why you’ll find the HyperX Cloud Alpha accompanying PC setups in a lot of arcades and gaming cafes.
Truthfully, if you’re shopping at this price range, brand appeal might be enough for you to make a decision on whether you’re going to go ahead and buy. With that being said, there’s a large chance that your favorite streamers will have discount codes available for you to take advantage of, which will allow you to grab a previously un-affordable headset for a much more realistic price.
4. Logitech G PRO X
Premium grade gaming headset for half the price of an Astro A40 + MixAmp
- Voice technology from the experts at Blue
- Crisp 7.1 surround sound
- Comfy ear pads
- Understated design
- It’s only available in Black
- 7.1 Surround sound isn’t compatible with consoles
Logitech have created something really impressive here, the specification of the G PRO X is deserving of a higher price-point than what they currently retail for.
If you’re after something mid-range but want a headset which has the best microphone quality, this is the one to go for. A successful partnership with Blue Microphones (the company behind the ever-so-popular Blue Yeti) has managed to pave the way for Logitech to become deeply competitive in the gaming headset market.
The mic sounds very rich, passing your voice through a fine series of filters via Blue VO!CE which helps eliminate any background noise from being picked up.
Looks-wise, the Logitech G PRO X is fairly basic, though this is an easy sacrifice to make, given the excellent audio quality and soft memory foam ear pads.
5. ASTRO A40 TR with MixAmp Pro
Top notch gaming headset built with live streamers in mind
- Sleek ASTRO design
- Mod Kits allow you to personalize the headset
- Dolby® Surround Sound
- Standalone A40 TR is underwhelming without the MixAmp
- It’s expensive for a wired headset
To use another car reference, ASTRO are a little bit like MINI or Porsche in that they’ve taken a recognizable design and built their entire product range using the same design language.
People know and love the aesthetic of an ASTRO gaming headset, but they haven’t always been very affordable, and even this A40 TR feels like somewhat of a reach because the MixAmp is pretty much a must-have to get the most out of this headset if you’re buying it with the intention of streaming games.
With that being said, the A40 TR has rave reviews from netizens, but it’s no surprise. ASTRO have their heritage in premium gaming headsets, it’s only over the past few years in which they’ve branched out into the more affordable headsets.
For the price-point, you’d expect the ASTRO A40 TR to be a wireless headset, but no – it requires a wired connection. If you can get past this minor gripe, this headset ticks all of the boxes to be one of the best headsets for streaming as it’s a jack-of-all-trades in terms of microphone quality, sound quality and all-round comfort.
Gaming Headset Buyer’s Guide for Live Streaming
Headset vs Headphones – Which Do You Need?
There’s a simple difference between a headset and phones, the former has an integrated microphone and the latter doesn’t. If you’re just starting out your Twitch streaming career, there’s a high chance that you’ve already got yourself a headset, so you can get started straight away!
Headphones are better for when you want to use a separate microphone to capture audio for your stream, but the cost to make the switch to this professional level setup can be fairly steep as you will need to eventually buy a mixer to manage all of your inputs.
What Makes A Headset Good For Streaming?
Gaming headsets are a cost effective way to dive right in to streaming, but not all headsets are built equally. With the intended purpose being streaming, there are three key areas which you need to consider when choosing the best headset for streaming:
Crisp sounding audio is the bread and butter of any professional streaming setup, however you can get away with using a headset for quite some time before having to upgrade to a standalone dynamic microphone if you choose the right one.
Streaming sessions last for hours, usually in the region of 4 hours plus. By this point, your ears will be starting to feel the pressure from prolonged usage and sweat will begin to build up. When looking for a comfy gaming headset, take a closer look at the material the earmuffs are made from, as well as the weight of the headset itself. This will help you identify whether it’s going to be comfortable for long term use.
As a streamer, you’ll be playing a mixed bag of games. If you plan on streaming a variety of games – including the latest releases – you need to make sure that you can use the same headset to stream on platforms such as PS4 and Nintendo Switch. What’s the point of having a great headset which you can’t use on the majority of your consoles?
Which Headsets Do Popular Streamers Use?
Ninja currently uses the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro
Shroud uses the Logitech G Pro X
Pewdiepie uses the Razer Kraken Pro V2
Drdisrespect uses the Turtle Beach Stealth 700