Best Earbuds for Gaming (updated)
“Listen to the sound of the earth turning” – Yoko Ono
She might not be the most popular chick on people’s minds and I’m not mentally prepared to broach the subject of her musical career, but she did have her moments.
Through her many art projects, she’s attested to the fact that sound is capable of drawing us in to worlds that we could never imagine; a sense that’s capable of influencing other senses in to believing what it wants them to believe. Now, what better world is there to get lost in than that of a good video game? For example, The Elder Scrolls III was a personal favorite of mine; the graphics were trashy and the combat and NPCs could get annoying, but the way the world drew you in despite all of its shortcomings and made you feel the atmosphere it generated was absolutely magical, as the sounds and music of Morrowind gently nudge you further and further towards the brink of this new world, rife with the beginnings of a grand adventure.
Now, I’m well aware that Morrowind is nowhere near the best game to use as an example, but that’s my point; it’s the atmosphere that you get lost in, that is what really sticks with you, and sound plays a wonderful role in taking you through that wonder. The way that sound gets to you makes all the difference and, frankly, the better the sounds you hear, the more immersed you will feel. A mono headset is definitely not the same as a stereo headset with an emulated sound stage.
For the low-key gamer in us all that would like to enjoy a good session of wandering and immersive adventure whilst in public, without drawing the attention of everyone nearby with an oversized pair of brightly colored, LED spangled, gaudy headphones; a good , light and durable pair of ear-buds or IEMs will see us content. Problem is, there are plenty of them out there, ranging from the cheap and short-lived to the unmindfully expensive. We’ve taken a look at the best of them and picked out the ones that would perfectly suit the gamer in us all, and hey, we’re pretty musically inclined too and taken that in to account. We fancy a few good jams and playlists while we aren’t gaming, we can’t help it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Gaming has become an integral part for most people. Whether they’re playing on the go via their smartphones or laptops, or they’re playing on their game consoles or PCs, gaming has brought happiness to a lot of people.
We at Gamingfactors.com want to put more focus on the audio experience of PC gaming. That is why we have created a series of guides that includes the following topics; the best sound cards, Best Wireless Gaming Headsets 2017, Best Microphones for Gaming and more. With this guide, we also want to cover the best gaming earbuds. Please let us know if you have any suggestions.
Now, there are two important parts to gaming: the audio and the visual. Most people deem the graphics of any game as the most important thing, overlooking the audio component. Yes, you can play games without the audio, but you’re going to miss out on a lot of things. What I am saying is that the in-game sound is just as important as the eye candy.
Now, you can either go with a discrete speaker setup or you can go with a gaming headset. If you decide to go for the latter, then you will be much more immersed in your games. That being said, some people do not like using headsets because they are heavy, especially when worn for a prolonged period of time. Fortunately, you can opt for a pair of earbuds instead. In this article, I will talk and recommend some of the best earbuds for gaming that you can buy on the market. I will categorize them by different price points so that you can easily browse my recommendations.
Without further delay, here are the best earbuds for gaming:
Best Gaming Earbuds with Mic 2017 – All Featured in this Guide
|Best Earbuds for Gaming 2017||PROS||CONS||Latest Price on Amazon|
|Granvela G10||Powerful bass for the price, Comfortable, Solid build quality, Carrying Case||Memory foam ear tips not that durable||Check Price|
|Edifier P270 Gaming Earbuds||Professional design, Natural Sound||Lackluster bass||Check Price|
|Panasonic ErgoFit Earbuds||Impressive audio performance, Trendy with a lot of color options||Doesn’t come with a carrying case, No microphone||Check Price|
|Turtle Beach Ear Force M1||Durable, Balanced Sound||Lacks a carrying case||Check Price|
|Tt eSports Isurus Pro||Detachable microphone, Large drivers, Superb Sound||Color of the cord might not appeal to many, Design is hit or miss||Check Price|
|Mad Catz E.S. Pro 1||Pair of microphones for better voice clarity, Great ergonomics for maximum comfort||Lacks a bit of bass compared to the Isurus Pro||Check Price|
|Razer Hammerhead Pro V2||Nice aesthetics, Bass-heavy sound signature, Durable||Too much bass drowns out other sounds, not that good sound isolation||Check Price|
|Sennheiser Momentum||Amazing Sound, Nice Design||Lack some depth in the mids||Check Price|
Best Budget Earbuds with mic for Gaming
1. Granvela G10 Review
Pros: Powerful bass for the price, Comfortable, Solid build quality, Carrying Case
Cons: Memory foam ear tips not that durable
First on our list of budget earbuds for gaming is the Granvela G10. A somewhat unknown brand, the G10 is surprisingly pretty good for its price.
For the price of only $13, the G10 have a surprising set of qualities. For one, it has a solid build construction because the earbuds are made of aluminum.
Second, the Granvela G10 comes with 9mm drivers which has a surprisingly good sound quality. The sound quality does not rival the high-end earphones; no, not at all. But for the price, it is quite considerable. Heck, it can even outmatch some of the midrange earbuds on the market.
Communication is important in gaming and the reason why I’ve recommended the G10 is that it also comes with a microphone; complete with in-line controls and a splitter cable.
The microphone’s performance is a bit on the tinny side, but you can’t really expect something out of this world for such an inexpensive price, right?
Since earbuds have a small form factor, the people from Granvela also included a convenient carrying case.
Also, people do not have the same ear sizes, so they’ve also included different sized eartips as well. There are two extra memory foam eartips and three gel-type eartips.
The memory foam eartips are much more comfortable, although they are not as durable as the gel-type eartips.
For the price of only $13, the Granvela G10 has a respectable audio quality with some amazing addons as well. This is a perfect pair of earbuds for people who are on a budget.
2. Edifier P270 Gaming Earbuds Review
Pros: Professional design, Natural Sound
Cons: Lackluster bass
If you want a pair of earbuds that have a neutral sound, then the Edifier P270 is a very good choice.
This inexpensive pair of earbuds sports a 10mm driver which produces more of a natural sound rather than a bass-heavy sound stage.
Having a neutral-sounding set of earbuds is perfect for people who not only want to use it for gaming, but also for people who want to use it for media consumption as well.
I am pretty impressed with Edifier because even though this is one of their budget earbuds, they took the time to improve its aesthetics.
Among all of the budget earbuds in this list, the P270 is arguably the best in design. According to the company, the P270 earbuds had a 13-step manufacturing process that ensures quality and durability.
All I can say is that it has a professional-looking design; something that you wouldn’t normally see in an inexpensive set of earbuds. Furthermore, it has than metallic sheen which truly adds to its aesthetic appeal.
The Edifier P270 also comes with a microphone with in-line controls and sound quality is not something to brag about. Still, it is clear for the most part, though it may sound a bit tinny.
The P270 also comes with some additional silicone earcups that have different sizes to perfectly match your ears.
Probably, the only downside I can think of with the P270 is that it lacks that bass oomph that most gamers would love.
But as I’ve said, the P270 is crafted not only for gamers but also for people who listen to music and watch movies as well.
3. Panasonic ErgoFit Earbuds Review
Pros: Impressive audio performance, Trendy with a lot of color options
Cons: Doesn’t come with a carrying case, No microphone
Now, if you didn’t like the Edifier earbuds above because of its lack bass kick, then you can try Panasonic’s ErgoFit Earbuds. These inexpensive earbuds have a pretty impressive audio performance. It has a frequency response of 20Hz-20 KHz and an impedance of 16 Ohms. These earbuds also have a 9mm driver that provides ample bass without drowning out the mids and the highs.
The Panasonic ErgoFit Earbuds are great because you can also use them for purposes other than gaming. You can listen to music with it because of its audio range and it can also be used in the gym as well because its materials are somewhat sweat-resistant.
Also, these earbuds are trendy because you can get these with a variety of color options. Choose the one that fits your personality!
Okay, even though the ErgoFit earbuds have a great audio performance for the price, one of its major downsides, at least when it comes to gamers, is that it doesn’t come with a microphone.
Another downside is that it doesn’t come with a carrying case, but it isn’t that big of a deal because you will be wearing them most of the time anyway.
Despite its lack of a microphone, the Panasonic ErgoFit earbuds is still on the list mainly because of its sound performance at a very inexpensive price.Best Midrange Earbuds for Gaming
Best Earbuds with Mic – Midrange
In this category, I will talk about earbuds that cost below $50. I find that these are the best, bang-for-the-buck earbuds for gaming you can find on the market today. So, what are the best midrange earbuds for gaming? Let’s find out.
1. Turtle Beach Ear Force M1 Review
Pros: Durable, Balanced Sound
Cons: Lacks a carrying case
Turtle beach has created gaming headsets through the years, but did you know that they’ve created some great earbuds for gaming as well?
The Turtle Beach Ear Force M1 is the company’s take on earbuds because they know that some people want a smaller audio source compared to those big gaming headsets that can be cumbersome to wear after a long time.
Anyway, the M1 has a noise-isolating design and is perfect for people who want to concentrate more on their games than anything else.
The Turtle Beach Ear Force M1 has some large 10mm drivers with neodymium magnets. In terms of audio quality, it is not surprising that this is one of the better sounding earbuds on the market, and for a midrange price!
Other earbuds are not durable, especially the cord that they come with. But, not the Ear Force M1! Instead of that normal cord you usually find on most earbuds, the M1 comes with a braided cable that ensures that it doesn’t tangle or get damaged easily.
As mentioned earlier, communication is key, especially in gaming. Thankfully, the Ear Force M1 comes with a microphone with in-line controls. Compared to the budget earbuds above, the M1 actually has a respectable microphone performance. The output is clear and you can be heard on the other end without any hitch at all. The M1 also has a gold-plated connector to ensure that there are no interferences when using the earbuds. It also comes with three additional interchangeable gel-type eartips for different sized ears. I do have to point out that the M1’s audio quality is more of a natural sound, but it does have a higher bass output than the Edifier earbuds above. Also, the lack of a carrying case may put off others, but it is no big of a deal. The important thing is that the earbuds function well.
For the price of $33, the Turtle Beach Ear Force M1 is an affordable midrange pair of earbuds for gaming.
2. Tt eSports Isurus Pro Review
Pros: Detachable microphone, Large drivers, Superb Sound
Cons: Color of the cord might not appeal to many, Design is hit or miss
Tt or ThermalTake might not be a popular brand in the US, but it is so popular among Asian countries.
That is because they have an extensive list of gaming and PC components. They, too, have a pair of earbuds that are worth your attention.
The Tt eSports Isurus Pro is a rather odd, but a satisfying one, because it has some unique features that are not found on other earbuds.
One of its standout features is its detachable microphone. I’ve said numerous times already that communication is very important when gaming. The company knows this and they’ve included a detachable microphone that can help with voice clarity.
The detachable mic’s audio quality is far superior than any in-line microphone out there. The audio is clear and it effectively blocks out the unwanted noise in the background.
Another great feature of the Isurus Pro is its insanely large 13.5mm drivers. Most earbuds only come with 9-10mm drivers, but not the Isurus Pro!
What are the advantages of having larger drivers? Well, for one, larger drivers can support more bass output. Second, it provides a better sound due to its large diameter drivers. And third, audio performance is way better than those earbuds with the 9-10mm drivers.
In terms of audio performance, I am happy to say that the Isurus Pro performs really well. As you would expect from large drivers, the Isurus Pro has an amazing bass response and it also has prominent mids and highs. In other words, nothing overlaps which means you’re given a very nice sound performance.
The Tt eSports Isurus Pro actually has another microphone. When you detach the secondary microphone, the in-line microphone will turn on. There are also some controls on the cord that allows you to mute the in-line mic, as well as a button for both previous and next tracks.
Most people do not go for earbuds mainly because of the wire being tangled up when using them. The Isurus Pro is different as it has a flat cable, which means it is guaranteed to be tangle-free.
The only major downside to this product is that it has a black and red scheme. Not on the earbuds themselves, but the cord is actually colored red. This might put off some buyers.
But hey, in terms of audio performance and the superb microphone quality thanks to the detachable mic, the ThermalTake eSports Isurus Pro is definitely one pair of earbuds you should get when you’re planning to get one for gaming purposes.
3. Mad Catz E.S. Pro 1 Review
Pros: Pair of microphones for better voice clarity, Great ergonomics for maximum comfort
Cons: Lacks a bit of bass compared to the Isurus Pro
If you seriously like the Tt eSports, but you’re put off with its design and color scheme, then the Mad Cat E.S. Pro 1 is for you.
The E.S. Pro 1 is nearly identical to ThermalTake’s earbuds highlighted above, with a few notable differences.
One notable difference is its color scheme. The Mad Catz E.S. Pro 1 sports a green and black color scheme which is much more appealing to the eyes than the Isurus Pro. But again, the color scheme is not for everyone as the green is on the brighter side.
Anyway, another notable difference is its microphone. Yes, the Isurus Pro does come with a detachable microphone and an in-line mic, but it doesn’t work in unison; you can only use one or the other at a time.
The E.S. Pro 1 is different in that it actually uses both microphones at the same time, providing a better voice clarity than the previously recommended earbuds.
The microphone is detachable and like the Isurus Pro, the in-line microphone will automatically be in use when that happens.
A lot of people do not like to use earbuds for the reason that they do not hold their place for a very long time. Some even report having an uncomfortable experience when using earbuds as opposed to headphones.
Mad Catz took this into serious consideration and they’ve actually made a pair of earbuds that has great ergonomics. The E.S. Pro comes with an “ear hook” that can help put the earbuds in place no matter what you do.
For its audio performance, the E.S. Pro 1 also comes with 13.5mm drivers, but according to a lot of people, it does lack that punch when it comes to its bass.
Despite its lack of oomph in the bass department, the Mad Catz E.S. 1 Pro is actually one of the best earbuds for gaming on the market. With impressive ergonomics and a dual microphone technology, these earbuds definitely deserve a spot on this list.
Top Earbuds with Mic for Gaming – High End
The last category is for the high-end earbuds. The sky is the limit in this category, but I will only include the ones that are actually worth considering. Yes, you can spend a fortune on just about any earbuds, but you want the best ones, right?
Pros: Nice aesthetics, Bass-heavy sound signature, Durable
Cons: Too much bass drowns out other sounds, not that good sound isolation
This list wouldn’t be complete without a Razer peripheral as the company is dedicated to bringing the best peripherals for gamers. As their company slogan says, “for gamers, by gamers.”
What I love about Razer is they continuously improve their products and they listen to community feedback as well.
With that being said, the Razer Hammerhead Pro V2 is a minor upgrade to the previous version. The major differences are mostly from a design standpoint.
Instead of the usually rounded cables, Razer has opted to use flat cables on the Hammerhead Pro V2 so that tangling cables is just a thing of the past.
Another difference is that there is a small ring that is embedded on the outer portion of the earbuds, making them easier to grasp.
Now, I really want to tackle its audio performance. Most gamers want a bass-heavy audio output source because games tend to favor the lower frequencies.
And that is what Razer has done with the Hammerhead Pro V2. The bass is definitely pronounced and punchy that gunshots, cannons, and other in-game sounds will become very noticeable.
However, the company just went for too much bass, drowning out the mids and the highs. This means that the Razer Hammerhead Pro V2 is only suited for games and it is not really meant for anything else (especially Music).
The in-line microphone is clear and it doesn’t require any tinkering at all because it just works right out of the box.
It also comes with a handy carrying case so that you can store your precious earbuds whenever you’re not using them.
The Razer Hammerhead Pro V2 is definitely a very good pair of earbuds, for gamers. But, if you want a set of earbuds that do not drown out the other sounds, you may need to look for another one.
2. Sennheiser Momentum Review
Pros: Amazing Sound, Nice Design
Cons: Lack some depth in the mids
Sennheiser is a reputable brand when it comes to audio gear and the Sennheiser Momentum is definitely one of the best earbuds for gaming mainly because of its audio performance.
What really sets the Sennheiser Momentum apart from any other earbuds on this list is its impressive audio quality.
When it comes to gaming, the bass is probably the most favored sound. But, I prefer an all-around pair of earbuds that cover a wider sound spectrum. That is what the Momentum offers.
Whether it is punchy bass, prominent highs, and noticeable mids, the Momentum is able to bring that to you.
There is just a slight problem; the mids aren’t that prominent, at least, when compared to other earbuds. It is noticeable, but compared with other earbuds, it is not really something that you can enjoy that much.
Despite this, the Sennheiser Momentum provides a much better sound stage and it also has that nice noise-isolation, so that you can truly hone in one what is happening inside your game.
Of course, gaming will not be complete without the ability to communicate with other people, so the Momentum is also equipped with an in-line microphone.
It does a pretty decent job when it comes to voice quality and it does a nice job of preventing unwanted noise from pushing through.
The Sennheiser Momentum also has a pretty nice design. It has that predominantly red color scheme with some metallic accents. There is also the company’s logo engraved on the outer portion of the earbuds which adds a nice professional touch.
There really isn’t anything to complain other than the not so powerful mids, but if you’re willing to overlook a minor flaw, then the Sennheiser Momentum is one of the best earbuds for gaming you can find on the market.
Note: I’ve only listed earbuds that are below $100 in this category because I find it to be the budget that most people are willing to spend on gaming earbuds.
But, as I’ve previously mentioned, you can literally buy more expensive earbuds if you want, but I would suggest a gaming headset instead of earbuds for gaming.
What to look for when buying Gaming Earbuds?
To get the best earbuds for gaming, you need to know what to look for. Here are the things that you should look for and consider before buying one.
1. Drivers: The drivers that the earbuds have are very important because it allows you to gauge the sound quality of the particular IEM (In-Ear Monitor). For the most part, you would want at least a 9mm driver, but if you want to have fuller sounding earbuds, you need to have a much bigger one.
2. Ergonomics: Another important thing to consider is the earbuds ergonomics. By this, I mean the included eartips. There should be adequately-sized tips for everyone. The main thing you want are comfortable earbuds, especially if you’re the type of person who’s going to play for hours.
3. Support: Earbuds are not only great for gaming, but for other devices such as smartphones and laptops as well. If you’re using it on smartphones, make sure that the earbuds you’re going to use supports that particular phone. In other words, get earbuds that have an extensive support and can be used on a variety of different devices.
4. Durability: Earbuds can break easily, especially if you’re the rough type. Be sure to buy earbuds that are made with good materials and has a durable build quality.
5. Extras: Though not really important, you want to have extras like a carrying case or a detachable microphone, for example.
As I’ve mentioned earlier in the article, the audio is half of the gaming experience. Whether you’re playing on a game console or a PC, you need to have a nice set of audio equipment to truly enjoy your games.
Gaming earbuds offer the convenience and portability that you don’t normally get from a gaming headset or even a pair of regular headphones.
Earbuds are highly portable and they can be used on a variety of different devices such as smartphones, game consoles, PCs, and laptops.
With that being said, there are some downsides to earbuds as well. For one, they do not give a fuller spatial awareness and positional audio due to the fact that they have smaller drivers compared to gaming headsets.
Second, you might not be able to enjoy a lot more features such as 7.1 surround sound functionality and RGB lighting. Most of these features are only present in gaming headsets.
Again, despite the earbuds not having such features, the gaming earbuds are somewhat of a niche product because not a lot of people are using earbuds, especially in gaming.
But, if you’re the type of person who just wants the feel and ergonomics that earbuds provide, then I hope that this article has helped you get the best earbuds for you.