As a live streamer, your equipment is just as important as your content. Without the right gear, the quality of your stream suffers. You need the right microphone, webcam, lighting, software, hardware, and headphones for live streaming.
In this guide, you’ll find reviews of the seven best headphones for live streaming. Both gamers and other live streamers can benefit from the high-quality audio these headphones provide. Some have a microphone included, which may be a must depending on the type of streamer you are. The price range, performance, and features also vary, so you can find a set of headphones that are perfect for your needs.
But first, what should you consider when selecting headphones for live streaming?
How to choose the best headphones for live streaming
When you pick out streaming headphones, you should consider sound quality, noise isolation, comfort, connectivity, microphone, type, and personal preferences.
🔉 Sound quality
Obviously, you want headphones with superior sound quality. All the headphones on our list will have better quality than the standard pair of earbuds that come free with your new smartphone, but sound quality can also be subjective. You might prefer more bass or more warmth, for example.
One thing your new headphones should have is surround sound. There are two types: virtual and true. Virtual simulates surround sound with software, while true has ear cups positioned to let you hear sounds from different positions. For most live streamers, especially gamers, virtual surround sound is usually plenty adequate.
💥 Noise isolation
Many streamers want to block out noise in their environments so they don’t get distracted whilst live. Different headsets may have different levels of noise isolation or none at all. Noise is tied directly to sound quality and the seal the headphone makes around your ears. If the ear cups don’t fit around your ears properly, the noise isolation won’t be as effective.
The best way to gauge noise isolation is by trying on the headset before buying, but that’s not always possible. Pay attention to reviews and look for mentions of the headphones fitting snugly or not.
This one is simple. The headphones have to fit your head properly. If they’re too tight or too loose, you won’t be able to stand wearing them for a few minutes, let alone a whole streaming session. Comfort can also mean the material the headphones are made of, wireless or cables, and many other factors. Comfort is subjective, so you’ll have to determine for yourself what works best for you. Read online reviews to get other people’s real-life experiences with their headsets.
You have to ensure that the headphones you choose will work with the platforms, hardware, and software you’re using. Always check the specs on a set of headphones before buying to know whether they’re compatible with your system. Some headphones are wireless or connect with Bluetooth, so check the battery life on these models before buying.
If you’re using a headset for streaming, then you need a decent microphone. Consider if you’ll use your headset most often while streaming or if you’ll use a standing microphone most of the time. If you’re using an XLR microphone as a streamer, then you’ll need an audio interface or a mixer. This hardware setup will be capable of handling higher-quality headphones too. To check out the microphone quality of a headset, you can also search for microphone test videos.
The type of headphones refers to how they fit in your ears or on your head. There are three types to consider:
- In-ear: In-ear headphones fit inside your ear and send sound vibrations directly to your ear. They’re lightweight and portable but have a limited number of frequencies and can lead to noise-induced deafness if you use them with high volumes regularly.
- Over-ear: Over-ear headphones have cups that fit over the ear completely to block extra sounds. They’re also known as circumaural. Two types are closed-back and open-back. Closed-back are the best at isolating noise but can put pressure on your eardrums. Open-back have a small opening at the back to release some sound pressure, but people around you can also hear your audio.
- On-ear: On-ear headphones sit on the ear without fully encapsulating them. They put the least amount of pressure on your ears of the three types, but they also let in the most background noise.
🦄 Personal preferences
Personal preferences might include an open-back versus closed-back design, audio quality, detachable microphone, wired or wireless, and so on. If you’re purchasing your first set of streaming headphones, it’s hard to know your personal preferences. Consider what would make you most comfortable and what would fit best with your streaming setup.
Read later: Fun things to do on a live stream 📍
Here is our list of the best headphones for live streaming:
1. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO
The Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro headphones have a closed-back design that comes in 32, 80, and 250-ohm variants. The large ear pads can fit over most ears, and they’re one of the most comfortable pairs of headphones available. The price is reasonable for the clear and accurate sound you get.
The Beyerdynamics have a lot going for them and are a favorite among live streamers. But one downside is that the cable is not detachable. They also don’t come with a mic.
- Dynamic transducer
- Circumaural sound coupling
- Ambient noise isolation
- Soft inner headband
- Single-sided cable
- Good audio
- Cable not detachable
- No mic
2. Sennheiser Game ONE
Sennheiser is well-known for audio products, so you can expect amazing sound quality with the Sennheiser Game ONE. This headset, designed for gamers and streamers, also comes with a mic with a noise-canceling pick-up pattern. The Sennheiser Game ONE has an open acoustics design, so it won’t isolate every external noise, but it will put less pressure on your eardrums.
The Sennheiser is perfect for streamers who appreciate good audio quality, but it does have a few drawbacks. It’s not wireless, and it doesn’t offer surround sound. If you can move past those aspects, though, then you’ll have a great gaming headset.
- Circumaural ear coupling
- Dynamic, open transducer
- 2-year warranty
- Noise-canceling microphone
- Excellent audio quality
- Responsive microphone
- No surround sound
3. Logitech G430
Although the Logitech G430 doesn’t have the same audio quality and features as some of the other headphones on this list, it’s the most budget-friendly option. This modestly priced headset is great for streamers just starting out or those who want a decent option without dropping too much cash. The ear cups and headband design make the Logitech G430 headset comfortable to wear as well.
The durability is questionable, as it’s not made from the highest-quality materials. The mic also isn’t always sensitive to your voice and doesn’t cancel noise very well. But for a gaming headset at the lowest end of the price range, you’ll get just about everything you can expect from the Logitech G430.
- Closed-back design
- 7.1 surround sound
- 32 ohms
- Comes with USB audio adapter
- Lightweight headset
- Mediocre audio quality
- Surround sound echoes too much
4. ASTRO A50
The ASTRO A50 is a wireless, over-ear headset that comes with its own charging base. The battery life of the ASTRO A50 is about 15 hours — usually plenty of time for a single gaming and live streaming session. This headset also comes with command center software to control audio, as well as on-headset buttons for basic volume control. You also don’t need an optical cable with a PC, as it comes with a USB sound card function.
Both the audio and mic quality on the ASTRO A50 are exceptional, with the 7.1 surround sound immersing you in whatever game you’re playing. This headset hits high marks for every category that matters to gamers and streamers, but that kind of quality doesn’t come without a high price tag.
- 49-foot wireless range
- Open-air transducer
- Dolby 7.1 surround sound
- Flip-to-mute microphone
- Proprietary ASTRO audio V2 tuning
- Recharge docking station
- Command center software
5. HyperX Cloud Alpha S
HyperX is a well-known brand for gamers, and the Cloud Alpha S headset meets the needs of both gamers and streamers. With virtual surround sound, an audio control switch, and a detachable mic, this headset is a good first buy if you don’t have a standalone mic yet. The audio is great, with a wide frequency range as well.
The biggest benefits of this closed-back headset are the game and chat audio toggling and the detachable microphone. The mic is bi-directional and noise-canceling as well. One downside is the faux leather ear cushions, which don’t hold up over time.
- USB audio control mixer
- Circumaural, closed-back design
- Bass adjustment sliders
- HyperX 7.1 virtual surround sound
- High-dollar features at a lower price point
- Removable microphone
- Faux leather ear cushions are less durable
6. Audio Technica M50X
The Audio Technica M50X headphones are great all-purpose headphones, with audio quality to suit gamers, streamers, and audio professionals. These closed-back headphones come with three different detachable cables and fold in on themselves so you can store them easily.
The audio quality is great for this price range, and the noise isolation is top-notch as well. These headphones don’t come with a mic, however, and they can be a little uncomfortable. All in all, the Audio Technica M50X are a solid choice for streamers who appreciate good sound quality and already have a microphone.
- 45 mm large-aperture drivers
- Circumaural design
- 90-degree swiveling ear cups
- Three cables (one coiled, two straight in different lengths)
- Foldable design
- Good noise isolation
- Tend to be tight and uncomfortable
7. SteelSeries Arctis 7
For gamers and streamers who want wireless headphones without latency issues, the SteelSeries Arctis 7 is a good contender. The 2.4 GHz wireless audio is supposed to remove any lag, so you can use your wireless headset at a range of up to 39 feet. This headset also boasts a 24-hour battery life.
The SteelSeries Arctis 7 headset also has 7.1 surround sound, but you can only toggle it from the software. The mic has clear voice quality and cancels background noise. The whole headset is ergonomically designed as well, so you can wear it for a long time. The SteelSeries Arctis 7 is highly rated for gamers, with good performance on major gaming and streaming metrics, at a reasonable price.
- Bi-directional microphone
- On-headset chat mix
- Noise-canceling microphone
- DTS surround sound headphone
- Best value headphones
- Truly lag-free wireless
- Surround sound isn’t always accurate
Let’s wrap up
The perfect live streaming headset can be difficult to find because so many aspects of them are subjective. A headset that fits comfortably on one person’s head may be too tight on someone else’s. The same headphones also won’t work for two people with different preferences in audio quality. Know your needs before you start shopping, and look for the headphones that will meet your requirements.