TechPowerUp's Best of 2017 34

TechPowerUp's Best of 2017

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Best Gaming Headset 2017

Winner: SteelSeries Arctis 7

SteelSeries did an amazing job with their entire gaming headset lineup in 2017, with the wireless Arctis 7 being their current flagship model and easily one of the best gaming headsets available on the market. The Arctis 3, 5, and 7 all use the very same, excellent S3 speaker drivers. Thanks to their neutral and natural tuning, they do wonders in terms of spatial awareness, but also manage to sound rich and fun for games and various music genres alike. With its metal frame and a replaceable, stretchy headband, the Arctis 7 looks and feels simply fantastic, and it's one of the most comfortable headsets ever made. The battery lasts for over twenty hours on a single charge, and SteelSeries Engine 3 offers a simple interface with various useful functions, such as microphone monitoring and a system-wide sound equalizer. The volume and microphone controls are built into the left ear cup, where they can be reached and used with great ease, and they also threw in the so-called ChatMix Dial - a dial that will adjust the volume levels between the game and voice-chat app on the fly. If you have $150 to spare, do get the SteelSeries Arctis 7, you'll love it!

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Runner-up: HyperX Cloud Alpha

This is one of those cases where the runner-up could have easily been the winner. The HyperX Cloud Alpha is currently the best gaming headset you can get for $100. The shortest way to describe it would be: take the build quality and comfort of the HyperX Cloud 2, add the analog connectivity of the HyperX Cloud, and sprinkle it all with a pair of brand-new dual chamber dynamic drivers. What you get is a headset with a rich, punchy, meaty, warm acoustic presentation, equally impressive in music and video games, with a great build quality and nice microphone. The mic can be detached should you want to take the Alpha on the go to enjoy it throughout your day.

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Looking forward to 2018

As the sound and microphone quality of gaming headsets continue to get better and better with each passing year, the only thing I can say about that is to keep it coming! In 2018, I'm expecting more wireless headsets in line with trends we've seen in the gaming peripheral market in 2017. There's definite room for improvement in the wireless headset market; we want better microphones and longer battery life, first and foremost. A slow shift from the Micro-USB charging port to a USB-C one is also to be expected. That's good news for anyone who bought a higher-end smartphone in 2017, as they'll be able to keep a single charging cable around their PC.
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