Whether you want to find the best headset for CS:GO to make sure no one ever sneaks up on you again or maybe you want full immersion in The Witcher 3, then this list has got you covered.
This article is the result of vigorous research and testing from our team to find the best gaming headsets on the market in 2020.
Gaming headsets may not enhance your performance in the same way a gaming mouse does, but it can still make a huge difference, especially in first-person shooters.
Few pieces of gaming gear can provide the amount of immersion and general quality of gameplay as a great gaming headset can. And of course, it’s also the best way to communicate with your friends online through Skype, etc. Unless you want to get a separate microphone for that.
Our Top 3 Picks
1. SteelSeries Arctis 5
Features: 3D Soundscape audio / S1 speaker drivers and DTS / V2 surround sound / AirWeave comfort cushions / Full fit adjustability.
- Awesome 3D DTS Headphone 7.1 surround sound
- Very comfortable due to customizable fit and cooling airweave cushions
- Great noise cancellation
- Surround sound only available on PC
The SteelSeries Arctis 5 was already one of the best gaming headsets on the market but it has still received a few updates and improvements with the brand new version.
The Arctis 5 is among the best of its price range, and it has some serious firepower that can give high-end options a run for their money, and look damn good while doing it. It is the perfect option for those that feel the Arctis Pro is too expensive for them or just anyone looking for a professional mid-tier gaming headset.
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Comfort is always a big deal when talking about gaming headsets. Since most people want a headset that doesn’t cause fatigue when playing hours on end. SteelSeries have truly nailed the comfort part with the Arctis, both the 3, 5, 7, and Pro version fits like a dream and ensures a comfortable gaming experience.
The excellent cooling system further improves comfort. A lot of headsets with splendid sound isolation tend to get hot, really fast. While the isolation is not as great as on the Sennheiser Game One, it is pretty alright. Personally, I prefer a comfortable experience over total sound isolation, but that is something you need to decide on your own since you most likely won’t get both.
Excellent surround sound is hard to come by, but SteelSeries has taken it to the next level with this one. The 3D soundscape audio with the brand new V2 Surround sound gives the most immersive gaming experience imaginable and is among the best surround sound systems we have ever tried.
The fantastic surround sound is backed up by incredible audio quality, which only adds to the experience.
If you are looking for fantastic sound quality and stunning 3D surround sound, then this might be the headset for you.
The only minor drawback is the microphone, while there is nothing wrong with it, we did expect more from a headset of this price class.
If you love the design of the Arctis but wanna save a little money, the Arctis 3 is a great choice as well. It is not as good as the Arctis 5 but is just toned down a little. The Arctis 7 is also probably the best wireless gaming headset out there if that is something you want. In conclusion, the Arctis series from SteelSeries is pretty damn phenomenal.
2. HyperX Cloud Alpha S
Features: Noise isolating ear cups and detachable microphone / Braided cables / HyperX Dual chamber drivers / Game-and-chat balance / Custom-tuned HyperX 7.1 Surround sound.
- The custom-tuned HyperX Surround sound is excellent
- Very high quality overall
- Dual drivers deliver clear & crisp audio
- Exceptional comfort
- Cable a bit too long and gets entangled
The Cloud Alpha S is the premium edition of the immensely popular Cloud series from HyperX, and this is the best iteration to date. The design and quality of the headset remain mostly the same, which is great as design and quality are what popularized the Cloud headset. However, the newly added custom-tuned HyperX 7.1 surround sound combined with the brand new dual-chamber drivers is what sets the Cloud Alpha S apart from all its predecessors and makes it the best version of the Cloud yet.
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The original HyperX Cloud is one of the best headsets in recent years and still holds up today. However, the significant improvements made to the drivers combined with the brand new surround sound tech makes the Alpha S the best HyperX headset to date, which is really saying something.
The sound quality is excellent, and even audiophiles will find it hard to find something to complain about. Both the highs and the lows are incredibly crisp, and the dual-chamber drivers deliver a very well-rounded audio experience that is only enhanced when you activate the custom-tuned HyperX surround sound.
In terms of design, the Alpha S is very similar to the earlier versions, and thank god for that. A strong and comfortable over-ear design is precisely what made the Cloud series so popular, and I was pleased to see that this remained mostly the same.
The Cloud Alpha S has also received a minor upgrade in terms of quality and feel. Although the older versions were incredibly qualitative, it is always nice to see small improvements. The headset feels firm, strong, and, most importantly, durable, and both the headband and ear cushions have received significant upgrades with the breathable leatherette materials.
Furthermore, it is compatible with any platform, and the lightweight and clean design also make it a great headset for your phone, if you want to listen to high-quality music on the go.
The cords are very long, which gives a lot of freedom but can also be quite annoying.
The Cloud Alpha S is the epitome of HyperX design and my favorite HyperX product to date, which is really saying something.
It nails all of the most important factors; comfort, durability, and sound quality, and it works very well for just about any game type. Making it an excellent option for most gamers.
3. Sennheiser Game One
Features: Integrated volume controls / earcups optimized for long gaming sessions / transducer technology / Noise-canceling microphone / Sound pressure level: 116dB, microphone mute button / Stereo audio.
- Best stereo sound on the market
- Exceptionally qualitative and comfortable
- Great for long gaming sessions
- Transducer technology grant exceptional sound clarity
- Earcups too big for some people
Sennheiser has managed to up their game, and make a headset even better than their famous Zero model. This is a headset with very few cons, but a TON of pros. The Game One headset is not cheap by any means, but it has the performance to back it up and then some.
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”The Sennheiser Game One shows exactly what it means to be a luxurious gaming product. You know when you are holding this headset, that this is as good as it gets.”
This headset gives an immense feeling of quality, and it is not just a feeling; it indeed is qualitative. The incredible thing is that it manages to have an excellent build and feel sturdy as a rock, while also being quite lightweight.
The lightweight design, together with the high-end materials, provide outstanding comfort.
”It is not a matter of whether or not it’s comfortable to wear, it’s whether or not you want to take it off again.”
The microphone is the best we have yet to try. It has incredible noise isolation and genuinely intuitive volume control.
Let’s talk about what headsets are all about, sound. The sound quality is hard to describe to anyone who hasn’t tried it, you can compare it to the Sennheiser Zero, but even those don’t hold up against the Game One. It is the best, most precise, and detailed sound quality we have ever experienced in a gaming headset, alongside the Arctis Pro.
The volume controls are cleverly placed on the right ear cup and are very easy to get used to.
This headset is exceptional, but it is also very pricey. We must mention that this headset is not a great ”value for money” buy for any gamer. You need to appreciate pure sound quality, and you also need quite a lot of spare money.
For most gamers, the HyperX Cloud gaming headset is the one we would recommend. The Sennheiser is only if you genuinely want the best of the best. Since the difference in pricing and product are not comparable between Cloud 2 and the Sennheiser. The X Cloud headset is merely a better bang for your buck.
4. Logitech G Pro X
Features: Next-gen 7.1 object-based surround sound / Pro-G 5mm drivers / Blue Microphone technology / G Hub software.
- Object-based surround sound are excellent
- Most comfortable Logitech headset to date
- Unmatched microphone quality
- Highly customizable
- G Hub software is required for a lot of key features
Logitech makes some of the best gaming mice and keyboards on the entire market but when it comes to headsts they do tend to fall short. Until the brand new G Pro X changed all that.
Finally, Logitech has managed to craft a pair of gaming headphones that can compete with the best of the best. It has unparalleled microphone quality, exceptional sound quality, and one of the most comfortable designs on the market.
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The G Pro X headset comes with a lot of cutting-edge technology that blows most headsets out of the water. It uses a next-gen 7.1 object-based surround sound, which is fantastic for both immersion and competitive gameplay. It provides you with great positional audio, and the only real downside is that you need the G Hub software to activate it.
The most impressive feature of the G PRO X is arguably the microphone. Logitech has recently purchased Blue Microphones, known for creating some of the best PC microphones on the market, and uses its audio technology in the G Pro X. The sound quality on the mic is simply mind-blowing and not something I have seen in any headset to date. It also offers a LOT of customizability with the G Hub, where you can alter every little detail of your voice.
It is also the most comfortable Logitech headset to date. They are taking a lot of inspiration from the HyperX Cloud 2 design, which was a great choice. The materials are incredibly qualitative, and the earcups and padding are very soft and supportive.
The G Pro X is by far the best Logitech headset to date and is well suited for both casual gaming and high-end competitive gameplay.
5. SteelSeries Arctis Pro
Features: DTS Headphone:X v2.0 surround sound / Dedicated GameDac / Amp mixer / 10 – 40,000 Hz frequency / the world’s first certified Hi-Res gaming audio system / Oled Menu control / Bidirectional microphone.
- Unparralleled audio clarity
- Wonderful next-gen surround sound & Hi-res drivers
- Excellent comfort & quality
- Outstanding noise cancellation
- Very pricey
The SteelSeries Arctis series has always been among the very best gaming headsets on the market and finally they have chosen to introduce a true high-end option worthy of any avid audiphile.
The SteelSeries Arctis Pro is quite expensive, but it also comes with exceptional performance and even managed to be the first gaming audio system to surpass the Japanese Audio Society’s rigorous Hi-Res requirements. Making it one of the most advanced gaming audio systems in the world for clarity and overall sound quality, the SteelSeries Pro is an absolute beast.
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The SteelSeries Pro gaming headset comes with the ESS Sabre 9018 GameDac, which is a real game-changer. The GameDac can bypass the internal sound card of your PC or console and make it into a high-performance audio source. Which, in simple terms, means that the Arctis Pro has better sound than what your PC or console can produce on its own. In conclusion, the Arctis Pro has some true next-level sound quality that is sure to satisfy even the most avid audiophile.
Besides having a near-perfect performance score, it is also a real achievement in terms of design. The trademark Arctis design is among the most comfortable on the market, and that is saying something. Not only is it comfortable, but it is also a real piece of luxury equipment with a mix of materials that ooze quality.
The SteelSeries Arctis Pro is a real achievement and one of the best gaming audio systems ever. Everything from its design, quality, and performance is of the highest level, but you also pay for the privilege.
Although I am absolutely in love with this headset, it is hard to argue against the fact that it is slightly overpriced. That said, if you don’t mind spending a bit more to get real top-tier quality, then the Arctis Pro is perfect for you.
6. Razer Kraken Ultimate
Features: THX Spatial Audio / 7.1 surrounds sound / 50mm drivers / Cooling gel ear cushions / Retractable microphone / Aluminum & steel frame
- The new THX Spatial Audio surround sound is great
- Aluminum & steel frame makes it feel and look great
- Cooling gel-infused ear cushions are incredibly comfortable
- Microphone doesn’t sound very natural
- Razer Synapse is required for the surround sound to work properly
The Razer Kraken Ultimate is exactly what the name implies, the ultimate version of the Kraken headset series. It comes equipped with all of the latest audio technology such as THX Spatial Audio and next-gen 7.1 surround sound. Most importantly, the plastic guild has been replaced with a rock-solid steel and aluminum frame that makes it feel and look better than any of the previous Kraken headsets.
7. Corsair Void PRO(wired)
Features: Breathable microfiber mesh fabric and memory foam / USB / Custom tuned 50mm neodymium speaker drivers / Unidirectional noise-canceling microphone / Dolby Headphone 7.1 surround sound / CUE software.
- Top-tier microphone quality
- Driver provide excellent directional audio
- Very high quality for your money
- A bit heavy
One of the best middle-class gaming headsets on the market right now and a popular pick among professional gamers and we can definitely see why.
Corsair has created a headset with a slick and comfortable design that also provides you with great sound quality and a fantastic microphone. The Void Pro is the best gaming headset by Corsair yet and one of the best bang for your buck on the market.
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The Corsair Void Pro does come with wired and wireless variants. While the wireless Void is also a great option, we’ve chosen to focus on the wired option. Whether you are a Corsair fan or not, you will like the quality on hand in this gaming headset.
First up, you got the customizable RGB lighting, which makes these look pretty cool. The sound quality is outstanding & this Dolby 7.1 headset does indeed provide quite a rich & immersive experience. The main positive on hand when you opt for these is the mic quality. Both the wired & wireless variants have excellent voice quality, and there’s an LED mute indicator on the mic as well, so you can avoid any mix-ups in-game.
When we tried these, we dropped these a few times and were quite impressed with how sturdy these were. Having a headphone with rattling parts is not good & Corsair does a great job with the void pro regarding construction. Other users also noted this is a big positive for them along with the CUE, which is pretty easy to use too.
The only downside for us is the ergonomics. Assuming you like to game for more prolonged periods, a lighter headset is always good to have. The Void Pro is marginally heavier than most of the top ones on our list. The foam cushion is comfortable, but again, not the best we’ve tested to it does lose a few points here for us.
There are plenty of Dolby 7.1 Surround headsets on the market, but this one is another one of our favorites thanks to the range & richness of the sound on offer. Price-wise we feel it more than justifies its price tag when you factor in how well built this is along with the sound.
8. Audio Technica ATH-AD700X
Features: 53 mm drivers / Bobbin-wound CCAW voice coils / Impedance: 38 ohms / Full open-air over-ear design / Self-adjusting 3D Wing Support / Wired.
- Provide some of the best sound quality on the entire market
- Incredibly lightweight and comfortable
- incredibly clear highs and lows
ATH-AD700X from Audio Technica is not just one of the best headsets for gaming but also one of the absolute best for music lovers and audiophiles alike. The highs, lows, and everything in between are pretty much perfect.
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This headset is the closest we will get to the Sennheiser Game One on this list. Although they offer the same top-notch quality, they do have different priorities. Whereas Sennheiser Game One is 100% optimized for gaming, the AD700X is for the real audiophiles out there. This also means that the highs and lows are better tuned for music, but that doesn’t mean that this isn’t among the absolute best headsets for gamers looking for a truly immersive experience. So if you can tell a 50mm driver from a 53mm driver without batting an eye, then this masterpiece from Audio Technica might be the perfect fit for you.
You might think that at this price range, the headset should at least be wireless, but you would be mistaken. Creating this level of qualitative audio with wireless headphones would almost be impossible.
Despite looking quite large, these headphones are very lightweight and offer unmatched comfort due to the open-air earpads. This design keeps your ears from getting too hot even after wearing them for hours. They put zero pressure on the ear, which is what makes these headphones top of the line when it comes to comfort.
If you want a truly professional and immersive listening experience, then the ATH-AD700X is as good as it gets. While it is designed for music, first and foremost, it does a fantastic job in any genre. It doesn’t matter if you want a top-notch movie experience or if you want to take your gaming experience to a whole other level, these headphones will not disappoint.
We rarely recommend such pricey products to the regular consumer. Still, it is also one of the rare cases where a luxury product provides enough value for your money to justify the purchase.
9. ASTRO A40 TR(With MixAmp Pro)
Features: Dolby 7.1 surround sound / Designed by pro gamers / Swappable precision microphone / Astro Mixamp Pro ( needed for surround sound to work correctly) / USB soundcard.
- Top-notch audio and surround sound quality.
- Excellent comfort
- High-end build quality
- MixAmp and mod kit takes the audio to the next level
- Mixamp PRO needed for the full audio experience.
Regarding pure sound quality and comfort, this headset from Astro is up there with the very best. Designed in cooperation with actual pro gamers for perfect competitive sound optimization. All these things make for an excellent gaming headset, but not a cheap one by any means.
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The Astro gaming headset is developed with professional gaming in mind, that it pays off! The sound quality is astounding, and even more important, it is precise. With this bad boy, you will never get sneaked up on in Counter-Strike ever again. The surround sound is simply excellent at informing you of your enemy’s whereabouts. Which is why it sees play at numerous eSports tournaments.
The headset oozes quality, and you can genuinely feel you got your hands on a premium product when holding this in your hand. This makes it quite high-end regarding the cost. The only reason that it is not higher on the list is that a little more could be expected from a headset with this kind of price tag. We feel that the Sennheiser Game One and SteelSeries Arctis Pro is a tiny bit better at the same cost.
The microphone is among the best we have ever tried on a gaming headset. It effectively removes background noise and has a rock-solid build.
Concerning build quality, we are torn. On the one hand, it feels rock-solid, like the luxurious product that it is. On the other hand, the pipes that hold the headset together can feel a bit shaky after months of use. We never experienced any issue with this, but we have found when researching that occasionally they break off. However, it has to be said that the Astro customer support is excellent, and you will see no issue in getting a replacement if anything were to happen.
The premium quality can indeed be felt regarding comfort. It is hands down one of the most comfortable headsets to ever be produced.
This headset is clearly for the serious/pro gamer, and we would recommend it to anyone who thinks gaming is more than just a hobby.
It performs excellently in a competitive environment, and are among the few gaming headsets that can actively enhance your performance.
The big con is the build quality of the pipes, which can come off a bit shade after some time. It is important to remember that we did not have any issues with this, but we only know that it is something others have experienced.
The surround sound is impressive but has one flaw. You will need to buy the Astro Mixamp pro. This can be a significant turn-off for a lot of gamers, but it is also what makes the surround sound next-level good. Achieving this kind of surround sound without a mixer is hard. We highly recommend you buy the Mixamp pro if you want the full experience of this headset.
10. Corsair HS60 V2 Pro
Features: 50mm neodymium drivers / 7.1 surround sound / Cross-platform compatibility / Detachable unidirectional microphone.
- Phenomenal drivers grant clear, crisp audio
- Very customizable & independent volume controls
- Microphone auto volume adjuster can get annoying
- Short cord
The HS60 Pro V2 from Corsair has everything the everyday gamer would want from a headset – a qualitative, and durable design as well as crisp 50mm drivers and 7.1 surround sound. All at a very reasonable price.
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Despite being one of the most affordable headsets on this list, the HS60 PRO V2 doesn’t fall particularly behind in any category. It’s 50mm neodymium audio drivers deliver best-in-class audio quality that very few headsets in this price range can compete with.
It also comes with fully functional 7.1 surround sound on PC, which gives you a high level of immersion and directional audio.
It is not only the performance that is above its price range. The materials and quality of the build are one of the biggest draws of the HS60 PRO V2, and it quickly makes you forget how affordable it was.
My only gripe with this headset was that the earcups could feel a bit too tight, which can put some strain on your ears after long gaming sessions.
This headset is one of the best deals on the market right now and the perfect option for those on a tighter budget that still want a quality product.
Related: A great headset, calls for a great monitor to back it up for total immersion. Check out our buying guide.
Factors to consider when buying a gaming headset
Wired vs. Wireless Dilemma
With connectivity technology improving, the wireless earphones in the gaming and non-gaming niche are growing in number and quality. Wireless headsets are also a great option if you don’t want too many wires hanging about. Depending on where your rig or laptop is placed, wired headsets can get in the way during a marathon frag session. Concerning consistency and performance, there is nothing quite like wired headsets, though. Wired earphones are a great option if you want to play it safe or if you need cutting-edge performance. The standard 3.5mm jack will ensure cross-compatibility across all your devices.
Gaming headsets generally offer excellent sound quality, but there are differences. A great 7.1 headset will be quite the experience but will set you back more concerning price. Sets like the Razer and HyperX boast stellar sound quality and great 50mm tuned drivers. The frequency response of 15 25 kHz is pretty solid, but look for something around the 12-28 kHz mark for pricier headsets. This makes for a precise, clear, and rich gaming experience.
When we mention mic quality, we take into consideration positioning, speech clarity, and ease of access, so must you! Especially during E-sports events, clarity is of utmost importance. Muting the mic efficiently and being able to hit the mute button quickly might seem like trivial issues but hold paramount importance. A lot of models can mute when you turn the mic, which was our preferred method as opposed to buttons. This is very subjective, of course! If you are an occasional gamer and like to use the headset for watching movies or listening to music comfortably, then go for a model that has a detachable mic for added comfort. Noise cancellation is almost taken for granted as a must-have feature when dealing with headsets that are over the $40 mark.
Inner ear cup diameter is a huge factor that needs to be considered. They are usually around the 2inch mark and need to be taken into consideration based on the size of your ears. Headphones like the HyperX are great fit irrespective of size. Tensile Strength and build quality play a prominent role in ensuring that the headsets are flexible but do not break easily. High-quality memory foam is used by many brands when manufacturing ear cups, and it’s a safe choice to opt for these gaming headsets.
Weight is another massive factor. It’s essential to have a light yet comfortable headset to provide relief for your neck. Long hours with a gigantic headset can leave you with severe neck pain issues in the long-term. You might find a lot of headsets on the market weighing between 250 and 340 grams. We feel for prolonged gaming sessions, and light headsets are ideal.
Cross-platform compatibility is excellent to have if you have multiple devices like PS4s, Xboxes, and more. Another feature that should go hand in hand with the weight element that severely affects portability is the design of the cups. The Swivel type can be useful if the headset is going to spend most of its time at home. However, if you are always on the move, then a foldable option might suit you better. Volume control should be within reach. Most headsets on our list have easy access to all essential gaming and volume controls.
Features like extension cables for a longer reach and extra cushions will also come in handy. Aesthetics are essential, especially considering the price you pay. External branding and graphics tastes can be subjective, but the build quality is usually not. Look for something sturdy but not plastic in feel. There is nothing more annoying than a dense and extremely rigid headset.
We focused mainly on these five factors
- Sound Quality – What kind of audio system does the headset use, and is it any good?
- Specifications/Features – What kind of extra features and specifications does the headset have? In other words, how does it look on paper?
- Comfort – Seeing as you may have to wear your headset for hours on end, support is critical.
- Quality – It’s very easy to find a headset that will break after a few months. It’s harder to find an actual high quality one, but we are here to help.
- Price – How great the headset is when looking at other earphones in the same price range.
These are the five criteria we will be focusing on, mainly. But obviously, a lot of other stuff matters when testing out gaming headsets, those are just the most crucial ones. So we have, of course, looked at everything when doing these reviews, to make sure we know all the pros and cons of every product.
Gaming Headset – Community Q&A
Questions asked by our readers in regards to headsets
Q: Is there a big difference between Dolby 7.1 and 5.1?
A: In short, yes. The 7.1 surround sound system does everything the 5.1 does but doubles up. It takes the rear and front channels and divides them up; this gives a much more realistic surround sound experience. However, if you are on a budget, the 5.1 is not a significant downgrade for most people, except those with a keen ear for audio tech.
Q: I have tiny ears, and I’m having trouble finding a headset that fits me, any ideas?
A: Yes! You might be one of the few who can genuinely benefit from the Razer Kraken headset. We didn’t rate the headset higher than the N10 on our list, but ONLY because of the tiny ear cups, which can be very annoying for people with big or average-sized ears. The rest of the headset was worthy of more, and if significant ear cups are an issue for you, we highly recommend the Kraken.
Q: Can all headsets be used with my PlayStation 4?
A: No, unfortunately, not. They use different platforms, which is a shame since it provides much fewer options when you look for a cross-platform headset. However, don’t fright! There are a ton of good options out there, such as the Hyperx cloud series, both the 1 and 2 version work with all platforms and is widely considered some of the best headsets in gaming.
Q: I am looking for a headset to compliment my VR system, any recommendations?
A: Yes, most headsets are sadly not VR ready, but some amazing ones are. Such as the SteelSeries Arctis, which also has one of the best wireless versions on the market. This can be very beneficial when moving around the virtual reality world. However, headsets that are VR ready, pretty much always advertise it. Just look for the ‘VR Ready’ label.
Q: What headsets do professional gamers use?
A: HyperX Cloud is by far the most popular gaming headset for pro gamers, both the first and second versions. The Sennheiser Game One is also extremely popular but is also very expensive. Surprisingly enough, they both made it onto our top 3 simply because it is among the best headsets in the world right now. For most gamers, the HyperX Cloud will be the correct choice, but for the more high-end gamers, the Sennheiser Game One will be the ideal choice.
Q: Do headsets really make a difference in performance, or is it just a fancy accessory?
A: Yes, the impact is not as huge as with a gaming mouse or keyboard, but it certainly does make a difference. However, it mostly comes down to which genre you like to play. If you are fond of FPS and MOBA gaming, then it will make a huge impact, since a proper e-sport validated headset will give you adequate intel on your enemy’s whereabouts, etc. In other games, it is not as important, but studies do suggest that having in-game sounds which are relatable to what is happening on your screen, makes you more focused and aware.
Some of the sources used to research for this buying guide
Lifewire, 5.1 vs. 7.1 what does the .1 mean in surround sound? Technology informational and geeky website.
Data-bass, a list of the different base systems, an infographic of all the different bass systems.
Reddit, Does headset make a difference in gaming? CS-GO subReddit.
Psychology Today, Video Games: do you play with sounds on or off? A post about the psychological difference in having in-game audio on or off.