Best gaming headset under $100

by Goh De No
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Although I am an avid gamer, there’s one thing I never bought on my PC for gaming purposes – a strictly gaming-only headset.

I’ve had numerous headphones and earphones purchased ever since university days 13 years ago, and I always think that people, especially in Brunei, buy too many of those even though we don’t have a commute to use it on, like on trains and buses.

Anyhow, I did have quite a number of those, but never one with surround sound and a mic attached for gaming.

Recently, my friends and I have been binge-playing Overwatch and have given me grief for not using a gaming headset. How much difference could it really make, I often questioned them.

Turns out, it makes a huge difference and having a gaming headset for first person shooters transforms your ability to read the game on a whole different level.

That set me out on a hunt for a gaming headset, being my typical self, I wanted something that was reasonably priced with good performance.

I started out looking at Kingston’s Hyper X series, but with price starting at B$140 and heading only North-wards, it was out of the budget.

I wanted a less than B$100 item, or I wasn’t going to pull the trigger at all.

After that I discovered the latest Razer Kraken 7.1 v2 and it was cheaper at around B$129, but still over my budget, so I didn’t budge. Going further down on the price ladder was Logitech’s G430, which had amazing reviews and is said to have one of the most comfortable ear cups around at B$109. I was sold, almost.

“Usually after I make up my mind to purchase something that isn’t really a need, I sleep on it.”

Usually after I make up my mind to purchase something that isn’t really a need, I sleep on it. I learned this from my father, as when we were children and mindlessly ask our parents to purchase toys or what not, my father would say, “if you slept on it and still really want it as much as you did the previous day, we’ll go get it”.

So I did exactly that, and decided the next day I was going to still be strict about my less than B$100 budget. The searched ended when I stepped into Concepts Computer, and they had a Logitech G35 on clearance at just B$89. After reading a couple of reviews on it, I purchased it right away.

Reviews of the G35 all date to 2009 and 2010 so I am going to assume this was released in 2009. As with all things sound-related, the technology in sound hasn’t changed much. If you’re listening to music stick with a simple stereo set up, and for movies you can go 5.1 or 7.1 with a dolby stereo system.

So I wasn’t afraid of the G35 being “old” in terms of technology, because the tech in sound really not changed that much.

My main concern, of course, was comfort. Wearing headphones or headsets, I hated them pressing against my glasses. Now that I’ve gotten laser surgery, that is not relevant but I still do get a sort of headache when wearing tight headphones for too long. So I had to make sure this wasn’t going to squeeze my head in.

After using the G35 for about two weeks, there wasn’t time in my period of gaming that I felt any migraine like sensation. I game for about 1 hour to 2 a day if time permits.

The surround sound from the headset is processed directly within the processor of the headset, as it is connected to the PC only via a USB port. There is no 3.5mm jack. So the surround is a purely virtual one and works as a  7.1 surround. 

In Overwatch, the virtual surround worked extremely well and I was able to tell exactly in which direction my teammate or enemy was at, so I was really happy with the headset.

Also plugging in the USB port to the PC immediately redirects all sound to the headset and activates the built in mic. I really liked this because I am not on my headset 24/7, and I hated the hassle of switching inputs every time I plugged in a 3.5mm headphone and the console screen pops up. With the G35 it’s instant and immediate, you plug it in and it works which is really great.

If you don’t want surround sound, there’s a knob on the left side of the headset that you just push up and you’re back to stereo sound, which again, is extremely convenient.

Wrap up:

At B$89, there really isn’t anything cheaper you can get which gives quality like the G35 and in fact some of the more expensive ones mentioned above and not mentioned above my even take a bow to this once flagship device.

Online stores still show the G35 selling for US$99 ($140) to US$120, which made me even happier for getting it at B$89!

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