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While gaming consoles and controllers have made it more common than ever to physically feel the gameplay in your hands, the best haptic headset really takes things up to the next level.
But what does that mean? Haptics are basically any technology that adds an experience of touch or feel to it. For example, those taps and vibrations you get from your phone when a new email or text comes in? Those are haptics. But when it comes to headphones, especially gaming headphones, haptics are often what immerses you deep in the gameplay itself. Feeling the explosions and impacts can add a whole new dimension to your favorite games and mobile connection, and doesn’t significantly affect battery drainage in your headset device either.
Some gamers have learned to utilize it to enhance their skills too, specifically in FPS shooters and multiplayer online titles. Plus, most importantly, the best haptic headsets can significantly increase how much fun you’re having by delivering a multi-sensory experience, wherever you wear them.
What to Know About Haptic Headphones
From their fit to how they feel, here’s what you should know when shopping for the best haptic headsets.
Haptic Quality: Game developers pick and choose which aspects of gameplay will cause that vibrating reaction that reaches your hands, and the same idea works for headsets, though the vibes can be set off by low, bass-heavy tones and deep sound effects that convert feedback to give you a boom that shakes up your skull. Not only does it enhance the fun and experience of gameplay, but some gamers claim it actually makes them better because their senses are all so immersed. If you’re looking to crank the bass and haptics up to 100 percent, just be aware that the vibrations can also affect the mic, blurring your voice and making commands unclear for teammates to hear.
Fit and Feel: Even the best haptic headset out there isn’t going to work for you if it’s uncomfortable. Manufacturers sometimes fall into the “bigger is better” trap and make the ear cups huge, leaving room for booming haptics, which may increase the room for vibration and reverb inside, but leads to other issues. First, they’re not practical to use for long stretches, as you have to position them just right to prevent them from sliding off, readjusting every time. A smaller, tighter fitting headset may not look as immersive at first glance, but they’re usually the better choice for the long run.
Controls: Having an adjustment for the haptics on the headphones themselves makes things a whole lot easier than having to get into settings each time, plus allows you to quickly adapt it for different games, music, or phone calls. These most likely will connect through Bluetooth, which is great for not being bound to wires, but be aware of the potential lag and latency that might come along with it. Though it’s not a complete dealbreaker, it’s a total nuisance, and can really put a damper on your gaming experience.
The Best Haptic Headsets
Having haptics in your headset undeniably adds excitement to your gaming, and can make even older games feel new again. Here are the top haptic headsets worth your money.
1. Sony Inzone H9 Wireless Gaming Headset
This pair of Sony headphones’ 360 Spatial Sound takes gaming to a new level, delivering a 7.1 channel surround experience, allowing you to hear even the most minute details of your environment. Its excellent noise-cancelling ability keeps the outside distractions out of your ears, while still being aware of important alerts with Ambient Sound Mode.
The mic is well-placed and flippable. You can simply shift it up to mute and back to down to talk. Your teammates will hear you loud and clear, whether you’re on a PC or PS5. The Hub software lets you customize the sound and vibrations down to your ideal levels for your perfectly personalized gaming experience.
2. Poly Voyager 6200 Headset
Poly Voyager’s 6200 neckband headset is best for all-around, everyday use, like taking phone calls, listening to music and podcasts, then jumping straight into gaming. Not only is it lightweight and balances evenly on your collarbone thanks to its specialized shape, but you’ll completely avoid the uncomfortable, hot feeling that other over-the-ear sets can sometimes offer. These have two buds, attached to the main unit, meaning you can move freely, keep your voice incredibly clear, and never worry about losing an earbud ever again.
3. Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense Gaming Headset
The set converts sound signals into vibrations in real-time, and the intensity level can be controlled with a button right on the headset itself. Their three-part titanium drivers deliver crisp highs, as well as lows that don’t get lost in the mix of its 7.1 surround sound feel, immersing you in your favorite game from all sides.
4. Corsair HS60 Haptic Gaming Headset
This set brings big bass without it breaking apart. Lower frequencies hit with better accuracy thanks to Corsair’s low frequency tactile feedback, painting you an audible 360-degree map of your surroundings. The plush memory foam cups are super comfortable and adjustable. Meantime, the unidirectional mic bends any way you want it.