Young woman wearing headset

The Best USB Headsets of 2023

By Marvin Moreno SoundNo Comments

Whether you’re working from home or just need better sound quality than what your laptop speakers or earbuds can provide, a good USB headset makes a big difference.

They’re particularly popular with gamers and business users, since the wired connection tends to provide better audio than wireless earbuds and headphones. This is equally important whether you’re on an endless Zoom meeting with work colleagues or coordinating teammates during a multiplayer match.

There can be big differences between the various models, though, and some are much better than others for certain types of task. That’s why we’ve put together our picks for the best USB headsets you can buy, from quality budget picks to gaming headsets you can wear all day, impressive business-focused versions, and more.

Best Value USB Headset: Corsair HS60 Haptic
  • Weight: 0.9 pounds (420g)
  • Connection: USB-A
  • Microphone: Retractable boom mic with noise cancellation
  • Works with: Windows PCs

Best USB Headset for Gaming: SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC
  • Weight: 1.15 pounds (522g)
  • Connection: USB-A, optical, line-out (via DAC unit)
  • Microphone: Retractable boom mic with noise cancellation
  • Works with: Windows and Mac PCs, consoles, mobile devices

Best Wireless USB Headset: Plantronics Voyager Focus
  • Weight: 0.35 pounds (156g)
  • Connection: Wireless via USB-A dongle or Bluetooth
  • Microphone: Adjustable mic with noise cancellation
  • Works with: Windows and Mac PCs, and Bluetooth devices

Best USB Headset for Music and Movies: HyperX Cloud III
  • Weight: 0.71 pounds (320g)
  • Connection: USB C, USB-A, or 3.5mm
  • Microphone: Detachable mic with noise cancellation
  • Works with: Windows and Mac PCs, consoles, mobile devices

Best USB Headset for Work: Jabra Evolve 40
  • Weight: 0.55 pounds (250g)
  • Connection: USB-A or 3.5mm
  • Microphone: Adjustable mic with noise cancellation
  • Works with: Windows and Mac PCs, consoles, mobile devices

Best Budget USB Headset: Sennheiser PC 8
  • Weight: 0.19 pounds (84g)
  • Connection: USB-A
  • Microphone: Adjustable mic with noise cancellation
  • Works with: Windows and Mac PCs

What to Look For

Even though deciding to pick a USB headset over other types does narrow down your choices a bit, you still have dozens of models from many different makers to consider. 🤯 

To help you stay sane, we’ve put together the factors that we believe are important in helping you understand the nuances and figure out which model is best for your particular needs.

Before getting into that, though, it’s important to decided whether a USB headset is the right choice for you in the first place:

Benefits and Drawbacks of USB Headsets

The biggest benefit that USB headsets have over most of their analog cousins is audio quality. USB headsets have their own built-in soundcard, which means they aren’t relying on the one in your computer. Most computers these days don’t have a separate audio card, so you’re relying on the limited capabilities of whatever is built into the motherboard.

While the exact set of features depends on the individual model, as a general rule, you can expect USB headsets to have louder, higher-quality audio than the equivalent analog version. Those focused on the office environment tend to filter and accentuate voice frequencies particularly well.

USB headsets also tend to have more advanced controls built into the headset, with better call management options a common feature. Everything from volume and mute buttons to answering and ending calls tends to be built into the headset.

Compared to analog versions, one obvious benefit of USB-powered headsets is that there’s no need to charge them. They draw power from the USB port, while standard wired headsets need regular charging if they have any kind of battery-powered features (like noise cancelation) built in.

Lastly, USB headsets use drivers and get firmware updates. That means you can expect feature updates and improved performance in the future, at least if you buy your headset from a reputable brand.

There are some downsides, however. Not every device has a USB port, which means USB headsets have limited compatibility compared to those with 3.5mm connections. Unless they also support Bluetooth, for instance, you’re unlikely to be able to use them with your phone or tablet.

Depending on the model, USB headsets can also have higher latency than a standard audio cable version, albeit not as much as Bluetooth models. Lastly, USB headsets are usually more expensive than 3.5mm versions, sometimes noticeably so.

Audio Quality

Let’s face it, headsets aren’t the smallest nor the prettiest of audio options. Their purpose is to cover your ears, giving you the most immersive experience for an extended period. If you’re going to be listening to something all day, the audio quality really matters.

Out of all the various specifications that help determine the audio experience, frequency response is the probably the most influential. A flatter response means more accurate sound, which is important for audiophiles and music professionals. If you like a more lively sound, with stronger bass and treble, a V-shaped sound signature will suit you better, and is the one most people prefer for music.

Driver size also affects the sound quality. Everything else being equal, larger drivers will result in deeper bass and better sound quality overall, while smaller drivers are better suited for mids and treble. You’ll sometimes get a mix of driver sizes in each ear to try and cover all bases.

Wireless or Wired Connection

“Wait, I thought we were talking about USB headsets”, I hear you say. What’s wireless got to do with it?

Well, the makers of some high-end headsets have tried to offer the best of both worlds, providing a specialized USB dongle or device that plugs into your computer, but connects wirelessly to the headset itself.

The aim here is to provide the flexibility and comfort of a wireless headset, without the latency, dropouts, and audio quality issues that often come with Bluetooth. The downside, perhaps unsurprisingly, is cost: you’ll pay more for these models. Often, a lot more.

It’s also possible to find hybrid USB headsets that also provide other kinds of connection. You’ll find some that support both USB and Bluetooth, for example, which lets you also use them with phones and tablets. Likewise, there are a few that let you use a standard 3.5mm cable as well as USB, so you can mix and match between your various devices in that way as well.

Noise Cancellation

Depending on the environment you plan to use your headset in, noise cancellation might be either an absolute necessity or an unneeded luxury. 

If you have small children at home, work in a noisy environment, or plan to use your headset outside, noise cancellation can be a lifesaver. The same goes for the microphone, as it also can support noise cancellation for the person on the other end of your call, cutting out much of the background noise.

The only downside is that it significantly increases the price, so be sure you need it before you commit.

Design and Comfort

The hardest thing to gauge online is how comfortable the headset is going to be. Nonetheless, it’s a crucial aspect if, like many of us, you expect to wear your headset for hours each day.

Generally speaking, bigger headsets that surround your entire ear are usually more comfortable than those that sit on your ear. The materials, weight, and air circulation also matter. If the headset is too heavy, it will get uncomfortable relatively quickly.

For the parts that are touching your ears, mesh-like materials allow for better air circulation and less sweating. Memory foam cups are the best for maximum comfort, as they will adjust to your head/ear shape over time and stay in that position for next time you’re wearing them.

Headband comfort matters too, and not only for the softness of the materials used. How hard it clamps your head is very important, as it can significant discomfort and/or pressure on your ears if it’s too tight. On the other hand, if it’s too loose, your headset will wobble around or even fall off.

Finally, it’s worth having a quick discussion about open-back vs. closed-back headsets, as they both have their upsides and downsides.

  • Open-back headsets will produce a wide, spacious sound and generally sound more natural. They also have far less noise isolation, however, meaning they let the sound “bleed” out so other people can hear what you’re listening to, and outside noise will creep in as well. 
  • Closed-back headsets don’t have this problem and have much better noise isolation, but their sound is more constricted. Overall, though, they’re typically a much better choice unless you work or live alone and in a really quiet environment.


Finally, we turn to price. Generally speaking, if you are not a DJ or someone else who desperately needs the highest audio quality, you shouldn’t spend a fortune on headsets. If you only plan to use them occasionally or have more basic requirements, you can get by with a cheaper option.

On the other hand, if you work from home and have children, enjoy competitive eSports, or work in a noisy office, spending extra to get a high-quality headset with good noise isolation or canceling features (on both ends of the call) is going to improve your life considerably. 

While we suggest most people don’t need to spend huge sums of money, there is a limit at the lower end as well. Spending a bit more gets you a headset that sounds better, is more comfortable, and lasts longer. and you’re less likely to need or want to replace it in a few months.

In other words, unless you’re on a super-tight budget, think twice before opting for the cheapest model.

Best Value USB Headset: Corsair HS60 Haptic

Corsair HS60 Haptic Stereo Gaming Headset with Haptic Bass, Memory Foam Earcups, Removable Microphone, Windows Sonic Compatible, Discord-Certified for PC - Arctic Camo

The Corsair HS60 Haptic is our value pick for a reason–it’s a highly versatile USB headset for both work and play, at a price most people can afford.

Like any good headset, audio quality is the HS60’s best feature. The 50mm drivers deliver crisp, high-definition mids and treble and deep, resonating bass, with the signature haptic feedback producing vibrations that match the current audio.

The result is realistic, immersive sound for music and shows, although if the vibrations get a bit much, they can be turned off.

The HS60 has on-ear volume and haptic controls that you can use to tweak audio on the fly. The bundled iCue software allows for more advanced EQ settings and audio presets if you want finer adjustments. Note that the software and the headphones themselves are Windows-only.

The detachable unidirectional microphone has noise cancelation built-in to help cut out environmental noise and improve voice quality for those on the other end of the call. Whether you’re talking to colleagues on Skype or your teammates during a match, your voice remains crisp and clear.

The HS60 is designed with gamers in mind, so comfort is a top priority even during extended wear, thanks to its memory foam ear cups and lightweight aluminum frame.

Overall, the Corsair HS60 is an impressive USB headset for Windows users that works well in a range of situations, at a very reasonable price.


  • Impressive, immersive sound
  • Comfortable and lightweight
  • Versatile headset suitable for both work and gaming
  • Competitive pricing


  • Haptic feedback can get a bit much if used for extended periods
  • Windows-only

Buy on Amazon

Best USB Headset for Gaming: SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC

SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC Wired Gaming Headset - Certified Hi-Res Audio - Dedicated DAC and Amp - for PS5/PS4 and PC - Black

The SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC is one of the most highly regarded pro-gaming headsets, and the first to support High-Res Audio (HRA), a lossless sound format that’s much closer to the original recorded audio quality. It provides full surround sound, rumbling bass, and positional audio to give pro gamers a competitive edge in multiplayer.

The GameDAC is what makes the Arctis Pro unique. This small digital to analog converter (DAC) ensures higher-quality audio than you’d usually get from a USB or wireless connection. It has robust EQ and audio adjustment options, and you can connect it to other audio sources and outputs, including speakers, as well.

Aesthetics-wise, the Arctis Pro eschews the flashiness of typical gaming headsets and goes for a sleek, subdued exterior. There’s still a customizable RGB light on the earcups, but it’s far more subtle than usual, and can be turned off if you’re not a fan. The boom mic can be retracted into the earcup when not in use.

The fabric on the ear cups feels soft against the skin, but while the headband length can be adjusted for a better fit, the clamping force is comparatively high. This creates a lot of pressure on the ears, and can cause discomfort during marathon gaming sessions.

The ClearCast microphone of the Arctis Pro is decent enough, delivering clear audio with good noise cancellation. It’s on par with most mics on this list, so nothing special, but it’s unlikely to disappoint.

Despite a couple of minor hiccups, the Arctis Pro is one of the best gaming USB headsets you can get. Its exceptional sound quality and accuracy, combined with the power and flexibility of the GameDAC hub, make this an obvious choice for any avid gamer.


  • Fantastic surround sound quality with excellent positional cues
  • GameDAC allows for deep audio customization on the fly
  • Sleek aesthetics


  • Not comfortable for long sessions
  • Comparatively expensive

Buy on Amazon

Best Wireless USB Headset: Plantronics Voyager Focus UC

Plantronics - Voyager Focus UC with Charge Stand (Poly) - Bluetooth Dual-Ear (Stereo) Headset with Boom Mic - USB-A Compatible with PC and Mac - Active Noise Canceling - Works with Teams, Zoom & More

The Plantronics Voyager Focus UC is the ideal wireless USB headset for remote workers, and anyone else who needs to make calls regularly and sound good when they do it.

How can a USB headset be wireless, you may ask? It’s similar to many wireless mice and keyboards, using a small dongle that plugs into your computer’s USB port and transmits wirelessly to the headset. 

As well as the dongle, you can also pair the headset with any of your Bluetooth devices, and switch between these devices on the fly. Smart sensors automatically answer incoming calls when you put the headset on, or pause the music when you take it off.

Unusually, the headset comes with a desk stand that you can use both for charging, and to store the Focus UC when you’re not using it. It’s a nice touch, keeping it fully powered and safely out of the way until it’s needed.

The Voyager Focus UC leans more towards crisp, clear audio than having a wide sound range, making it less ideal for music. That’s perfectly fine, since this headset is aimed at professional users, and you’ll likely be mainly using it for calls and work tasks. The noise-canceling microphone likewise delivers clear voice output during calls.

We also like the useful set of controls on the headset that let you start, pause, or skip audio and mute or unmute the mic. An indicator light on the side tells you if the mic is off, which is a nice touch. Bottom line: this is a great wireless USB headset for making calls, especially if you often need to switch between devices. 


  • Long talk time (up to 12 hours)
  • Smart sensors can switch between music/calls automatically
  • Support for multiple devices
  • Intuitive headset controls


  • Narrow audio range, with weak bass

Buy on Amazon

Best USB Headset for Music and Movies: HyperX Cloud III

HyperX Cloud III – Wired Gaming Headset, PC, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Angled 53mm Drivers, DTS, Memory Foam, Durable Frame, Ultra-Clear 10mm Mic, USB-C, USB-A, 3.5mm – Black

The HyperX Cloud III boasts some of the best surround sound you’ll find in a USB headset. While marketed as a gaming headset, it’s a good companion for music and movie lovers as well.

The headset has a pair of powerful 53mm drivers, and supports DTS spatial audio. You’ll also get positional audio that’s in sync with what you’re watching, helping create a more immersive experience.

The noise-isolating, closed ear cups keep outside sound out, further adding to the realism. Cushy memory foam padding helps keep things nice and comfortable for binge-watching or listening.

There’s a good range of connection options as well: USB C, USB-A (via the included dongle), and standard 3.5mm cable.

The microphone, however, is the one weak spot of the Cloud III. Sure, it has noise-canceling capabilities, but it’s a little quiet, and voice quality isn’t up to par with some on this list like the Jabra Evolve 40 below. The microphone is also quite bulky, although it’s at least detachable if you decide not to use it.

For the money, though, the superb surround sound experience of the HyperX Cloud III makes it a great deal for gaming and entertainment enthusiasts.


  • Competitive pricing
  • Immersive surround sound
  • Comfortable memory foam ear pads


  • The mic is bulky and has only moderate voice quality

Buy on Amazon

Best USB Headset for Work: Jabra Evolve 40

Jabra Evolve 40 Professional Wired Headset, Stereo, UC-Optimized – Telephone Headset for Greater Productivity, Superior Sound for Calls and Music, 3.5mm Jack/USB Connection, All-Day Comfort Design

The Jabra Evolve 40 is the best USB headset for getting on work video calls, hands down. 

This headset has the rare combo of excellent audio and a quality microphone, allowing you to hear and be heard clearly during voice calls even in noisy environments. Both the drivers and mic have noise-canceling features, so you can block distractions from interfering with your meetings.

The Evolve 40 has a lightweight frame and soft leather ear cups, making it a joy to wear throughout the day even for hours at a time. 

One nice touch is the indicator that lights up when you’re on a call, so people know not to disturb you, while a mute button on the side of the headset lets you quickly turn off the microphone when you don’t want to be heard. Finding the optimal mic position takes a bit of time, but once you find that sweet spot, it works flawlessly.

Overall, there’s nothing to hate with the Jabra Evolve 40, and a lot to like. It’s simply a top-notch professional USB headset that helps keep you productive at work.

🎧 If you’re looking for a different option for Zoom calls and the like, check out our picks for the best headsets for working from home as well.


  • Comfortable to wear for hours
  • Light indicators and noise-cancellation features help keep you focused and productive
  • The mic and headphones provide clear voice audio.


  • It takes time to find the optimal mic position

Buy on Amazon

Best Budget USB Headset: Sennheiser PC 8

EPOS Consumer Audio Sennheiser PC 8 USB - Stereo USB Headset for PC and MAC with In-line Volume and Mute Control, Black, Small

The Sennheiser PC 8 is a no-frills, budget USB headset that’s perfect if you’re looking for something to replace your existing earbuds without breaking the bank. It’s a versatile accessory that’s equally suited to music, gaming, and online calls.

At first glance, you’ll notice the small, lightweight nature of the PC 8. This is a perk rather than a downside: the headset doesn’t put a lot of weight on your head when you wear it, and is fairly durable despite looking a little flimsy. 

For the price, the PC 8 delivers above-average audio performance for music and gaming. Vocal clarity is its strong suit, unusual for a budget headset, which makes it an excellent low-cos option for video calls or podcasts.

The microphone’s noise cancellation can be spotty, though, as it sometimes doesn’t work for sources near you. As a result, it’s best in relatively quiet environments.

Other than that, there’s nothing much to say about the Sennheiser PC 8 beyond its sound quality, comfort, and price. If you’re looking for a solid budget USB headset from a well-known audio brand, you’ve found it here.

Note that if you’d prefer a USB C version, Sennheiser also makes the C10 model that includes the newer connector but doesn’t change much else design-wise. It’s noticeably more expensive, though, at least at the moment.


  • One of the most inexpensive USB headsets you can buy
  • Crisp, clear vocal audio
  • Easy to use with no extra features to worry about


  • Noise cancellation function can be improved

Buy on Amazon


For the most versatile USB headset with excellent sound quality no matter where you use it, the Corsair HS60 Haptic wins hands down. If you only want to focus on one type of use, though, we recommend the Jabra Evolve 40 for work or the SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC for play.

Main image via fizkes/, product images via Amazon

About the Author
Marvin Moreno

Marvin Moreno

Marvin is a tech writer and email copywriter based in Manila. A former web developer turned wordsmith, his travel dreams include a month-long cross-country Japan trip, a ride on the Trans-Siberian Railway, and exploring Patagonia. He's also a craft beer brewer and can talk about alcohol all day.

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