You got standard headphones and then you got noise-cancelling headphones. Sure, the latter may be more expensive but it’s the overall impact and quality that makes these headphones a cut above the rest. And with the release of the Master 7 Dynamic MW65 Noise-Cancelling Headphones, we thought we should pay tribute through an appreciation post about noise-cancelling headsets. Whether you’re an audiophile or not, listening to music, movies or games is just way better when your headphones let you focus on the sounds more than anything else in your surroundings.
The Difference Between Usual Headphones Versus Noise-Cancelling Headphones
From a casual point of view, you would think they’re the same. Looking further into the two types of headphones and you’ll discover the vast contrasts. A typical headphone does what any headset does: emit sounds through its speakers designed closely to the ears, nothing more nothing less. They cost as low as $2 but the overall sound quality depends on the price; too cheap means the sound quality is like listening to sounds through a canister. Besides that, there’s really nothing else except looking good through its design.
Contrastingly, noise-cancelling headphones do more than just emit sounds through its speakers. It offers what they call an active noise control – a common featuring in this kind of headphones that draw away low-frequency noise and ambient sounds. Thus, the result is nothing but pure sounds coming from the device you plugged in. This is why people who want some isolation while working or studying, players who play competitively and audiophiles just savoring sounds always prefer noise-cancelling headphones.
Do Brands Matter?
If you ask any audiophile when it comes to high-quality headphones, they’ll tell you that overall quality comes first before anything. In other words, brand names do not matter – what matters is how a particular model holds up to audiophile standards. However, all headphones are not created perfectly. One model may have poor bass quality, the other one lacking in noise reduction, and the other feeling too heavy for the ears.
How are Gaming Headphones Different?
Additionally, some brands do feel overpriced for the sake of the brand’s value. For example, gaming headsets are always slightly pricier than standard noise-cancelling headphones. If you thought the latter was expensive, wait till you get a load of gaming brands. Do they offer more than regular noise-cancelling headphones? According to the advertisements, they do. But, according to the buyers, they mostly don’t. The only main difference here is the addition of an adjustable microphone but most headphones in the market already have built-in mics anyway. They sell them more than regular headphones because they want to make you FEEL like a real gamer and above and beyond plebs and casuals; that’s it. If anything, we recommend getting noise-cancelling headphones without the gaming brand if you want to play video games.
It’s The Same Type that Aviators and Sleeping Aids Use
Another reason why it’s more expensive than regular headphones is that these use the same technology for pilots and sleeping aids. In fact, the noise-cancelling feature derived from aviation way back in the 1950s and is still used today. It just so happened that this tech is now used for the public.
And if you happen to have trouble sleeping because of background noises, the headphones will do the trick. The earmuffs are exactly the same and the active noise control helps delete ambient sounds, making this a must for people suffering from insomnia and any other sleeping disorders.
The Main Catch of Noise-Cancelling Headphones
Of course, there are a few cons to these headsets. First of all, these require batteries or USB ports. The active noise control feature is separate from the headphones in general as these require a separate power source. And if you’re the traveler type, you will constantly need extra batteries to power up the noise cancelling feature.
And since the active noise control feature is separate, that also means these headphones are heavier than the regular ones. The extra weight is due to the added electronics and battery slots. Also, if you notice it, these headphones sound softer than regular types especially when noise cancellation is off. This is not necessarily a bad thing but if you prefer loud and proud sounds over silence from the outside world, you might want to just get the usual headphones.
When you have the budget, getting noise-cancelling headphones is truly worth it. With adjustable sound configurations, active noise control, and comfier earpads than a regular headset, it’s easy to see why audiophiles prefer this kind of accessory more than anything. Moreso, if you suffer from insomnia, and other sleeping disorders, noise-cancelling headphones truly help you focus on the music and concentrate on getting a good night’s sleep.
Every gamer craves for the best headset that provides everything from godsend audio quality, most comfortable earpads that are better than your pillow in bed, and a clear microphone that doesn’t jitter.
However, to afford such kind of headset, you will need to spend a lot of money as much as $299 or even more.
But what if you only have a budget of less than $100 and still want to have a top-quality headset?
Worry no more as we will dive deep into good cheap gaming headsets.
Now let’s go over to the big question:
What makes a good gaming headset while on a budget?
This may be a no-brainer but of course, top quality audio is what you need.
So how should we qualify good audio?
To make things simple without getting too technical, the most important traits of a wonderful audio quality are clarity and bass.
Clarity in the sound department is important as you want to hear the game fully like you’re witnessing a choir singing in a theater. The last thing we want is to hear muffled audio while your favorite Halo theme song is playing on the main menu.
Clearer audio makes for better immersion into the game as you get to hear everything from the humming orchestra while exploring a forest, travelers chatting together from a distance, the birds chirping on the trees, and hearing every footstep your character makes.
Bass is also what makes good sound quality. Yes, some people like their sounds with more bass while some want it less; A headset that delivers the right amount of bass is good enough—not too much, not too less.
Without bass, there is a good chance that there will be bad “tearing” quality when something loud comes up such as explosions or the loud clanging of swords contacting each other. It’s very unpleasant to the ears unless the headset has good enough bass support.
Another important trait that you must look forward to is the overall comfort of the headset.
Everything from the softness of the earpads to the adjustable headgear should be taken into account.
If the earpads aren’t comfortable enough, you will begin to feel an agitation after hours or even minutes of prolonged headset usage.
Sweat is also part of the standards for comfort. The longer you use the headset in one seating, the more sweat you build up.
The last thing you want is sweat dripping off your headphones after you take it off or sweat soaking up within the earpads and the speakers themselves, causing a rupture in the audio.
If the earpad material isn’t high-grade quality, the coating itself will deteriorate as time goes by.
A headset with good earpads should be able to absorb the sweat without feeling soaked.
Luckily, this article is full of headsets that don’t feel cheap when it comes to comfort, be it earpad comfort or sweat build-up.
Let’s face it, a lot of headphones suck when it comes to mic quality unless you’re buying something that is beyond your budget. The last thing you want is a headset with a microphone that sounds like you were talking in the sewers.
Good microphone quality means better communication, especially with competitive games
Don’t you just hate when you’re saying something important to your teammates only to have them reply with, “???” Yeah, it sucks when all they hear from you is a cluster of muffled sounds.
Fortunately, the budget headsets we have here are all above standard when it comes to mic quality.
Should I get wired or wireless?
The answer to whether or not you want something traditionally wired or wireless is all up to you. Just take note of the following:
Headphones attached with wires are always connected with either 3.5 mm jack or USB or even both by default. This is your usual no-fuss tried and tested type of headsets which you can never go wrong with.
The only flaws here are that they get tangled easily if you aren’t careful and they only have a limited range from the input.
Nonetheless, this is generally the preferred type of headset for PC players and console gamers
Some people get easily stressed out by wires and to deal with that, wireless headphones exist. A wireless headset looks very minimalistic as an audio apparatus and is always nice to look at.
Just expect wireless headsets to be on the range of $80 to $99 for good sound quality and smooth audio without lag.
There are also downsides to using wireless headphones, however.
One of the biggest cons is that it is battery-charged. If you don’t charge your headset regularly, it’s going to break your momentum during a heated game when it dies down in the middle of a fight.
Another is that since this is signal-based, any obstructions will cause the audio to lag. You need to have a clear pathway for your audio source to your wireless headset.
Wireless gaming headsets are recommended for console and PC gamers who want no stress at all on wires.