Best Gaming Earbuds - Audiostance

The 10 Best Gaming Earbuds

Have you watched any esports tournaments lately? Are you a LAN enthusiast yourself? Well, it would come as no surprise that you’ve probably seen your fair share of gaming earbuds that pros are using more frequently. Gaming earbuds are very much like in-ear monitors that fit inside your ear canal. Their main attraction is their lightweight design and portability that seeks to rid gamers of the bulky headphone experience.

In the pro scene, they’re used in conjunction with headphones to supply in-game audio, while the latter cancels out surrounding crowd noise. In the following guide, we will discuss the best gaming earbuds currently available and what you should look out for. If you’re an amateur looking to go pro, or if you’re simply looking for a new lightweight audio experience, we’ve got you covered.    

Our Pick!

Razer Hammerhead Pro Gaming Earbuds

Razer Hammerhead Pro

With precision-tuned 9mm neodymium drivers, the Razer Hammerhead Pro features an optimized inner acoustic chamber that aims to produce a strong bass signature while still maintaining clear mids and highs

Quick Pick – Our Awards!

Gaming Earbuds vs Headsets

Gaming headsets have the drawback of being relatively cumbersome over long periods of time. Sure, they can have excellent padding and breathability, but if you’re playing on a hot summer day, you’re going to take some strain after a few hours. However, that cannot take away from the fact that they provide excellent sound quality and immersion when compared to speakers and gaming earbuds.

Gaming headsets, for now, still reign as king when looking at overall and well-rounded frequencies. With that being said, some gamers out there will be ready to lose some sound performance if it means a lightweight and compact alternative. Most high-end gaming headsets that offer padding and wireless technology to improve upon the experience can be hundreds of dollars. Gaming earbuds on the other hand are often very affordable and can provide a respectable audio experience in addition to their many benefits.  

Whatever the case may be, you will need to take into consideration all the factors and reasons when deciding which option is better. Do your glasses pinch your face when you’re using headphones? Are you not as sensitive to sound quality differentiating between mid-lows and rumbling bass? Do you want to save some money and still have a very comfortable gaming experience? Perhaps you’re thinking about going pro and you’re looking for the best starter options. These are the kind of questions that often come to mind when deciding on your first pair of earbuds.

Our Selection of the 10 Best Gaming Earbuds


1. Razer Hammerhead Pro Gaming Earbuds

Razer Hammerhead Pro Gaming Earbuds

Razer is a well-known brand when it comes to quality and sound performance. Their classic green signature builds are always a good option for gamers looking for equipment that’s going to last a long time. One of Razer’s best selling earbuds in the Hammerhead series, the Razer Hammerhead Pro offers a built-in microphone and call control. The Razer Hammerhead Pro is marketed as music and gaming earbuds and has been labeled as ‘hammering the bass’ so we can expect some very nice lows. 

Design and Build   

The Razer Hammerhead Pros feel comfortable and sturdy in the ear. Their incredible aircraft-grade aluminum body makes them ultra-lightweight and durable. Taking a look at the ear-tips, Razer has included 3 different silicone sizes to ensure that you find a snug fit. These are intended to block out external sounds and keep the music in your ears. Also included are bi-flanged ear-tips which add even more comfortability and sound isolation through their additional silicone flap. This second layer seals off background noise and provides better sound isolation when compared to other gaming earbuds.

An in-line controller is present to take calls, but users should be aware that there is no volume control or mute button for gaming. It is rather disappointing to see at this price point that the Hammerhead Pros earbuds don’t feature a quick volume adjustment button. This means if you’re gaming on PC, you’ll need to change the volume on the desktop.

Sound and Performance

Inside the Razer Hammerhead Pro earbuds are precision-tuned 9mm neodymium drivers. Together, these are paired with an optimized inner acoustic chamber that aims to produce a strong bass signature, while still maintaining clear mids and highs. They are fairly bass-heavy earbuds so if you’re sensitive to lows you might want to avoid these. You can, however, just adjust the equalizer levels to your liking as well.

Moving onto the omnidirectional microphone, it is clear and picks up sound relatively well. Overall, the sound quality for both drivers and microphone are good, but they may not be audiophile-worthy if you have a sensitivity to bass.

Connectivity

The Razer Hammerhead Pro earbuds are wired and come with a splitter. Their 3.5mm jack can be connected to your smartphone or console, and the adapter can be used with your computer. The cable length is around 4.27 ft and they weigh just 48 oz, so they aren’t going to feel like they’re dragging one side of your ear down. Although they aren’t wireless, these earbuds will provide a comfortable fit throughout long gaming sessions.

Razer Hammerhead Pro V2

Another option in the Hammerhead series is the Hammerhead Pro V2. The Pro V2 allows you to control your volume and microphone, and it also features a 10 mm dynamic driver (as opposed to the 90 mm divers of the Pro).


2. HyperX Cloud Earbuds– Gaming Earbuds for Console and Mobile Gaming

HyperX Cloud Earbuds– Gaming Earbuds for Console and Mobile Gaming

Are you looking for gaming earbuds that are specifically designed for console gaming? The HyperX Cloud Earbuds is not only an affordable option that caters to all your console gaming needs but it is optimized specifically for the Nintendo Switch too. 

Design and Build

The Cloud earbuds are housed in a bright red color that is the flagship tradition of many HyperX products. The cables are flat and prevent any tangles from taking place, and situated in the middle is an in-line microphone which enables you to answer calls. Unfortunately, there is no volume adjustment switch, but if you’re playing on Nintendo Switch or computer, adjusting the volume should be easy enough. Additionally, the Cloud earbuds also have a nice little 90-degree angled connector which makes them a breeze to plug into whatever device you’re using them on.

Comfort is everything when it comes to long gaming sessions, and finding a custom earbud that is exactly to your liking can be a challenge. Like many brands, HyperX has tried to accommodate all by including three different sized silicone tips. Traditional earbuds enter deep into your ear cavity and create an almost ‘vacuum’ feeling inside your ears. This design can be uncomfortable for some and that’s why HyperX has designed the Cloud earbuds to sit over the ear cavity instead. Furthermore, their wedge shape style also makes them a bit easier to remove once you’re done.

As for the plastic body itself, it isn’t anywhere near as durable as the Razer Hammerhead’s aluminum body, but it should be able to take a few falls without breaking. HyperX has also been nice enough to include a little carrying case to go along with the earbuds.

Sound and Performance

The HyperX Cloud Earbuds are certainly intended for gaming with regards to their sound signature. The mids have been increased compared to traditional music-focused earbuds, and the lows have been enhanced ever so slightly to not overshadow the overall game sound. Voice communication will be clear, and you’ll be able to differentiate between sounds coming from various directions.

When looking at the microphone, it produces a crisp clear output but unfortunately catches some background noise. If you’re planning to use these in a loud environment your party members in-game will hear what’s going on around you.

Connectivity

The 3.5mm connector is gold-plated for longer durability and rust prevention. The cables feel well-made, but it would be a good idea to keep them enclosed in their carry case should you want to extend their lifespan. Unfortunately, HyperX has not included a splitter with these earbuds, so if you’re getting them for PC you will have to order the attachment separately. You will be able to use them for in-game volume, but the splitter is needed should you want to use the microphone.


3. Turtle Beach Battle Buds In-Ear Gaming Earbuds Headset

Turtle Beach Battle Buds In-Ear Gaming Headset

Turtle Beach is one of the biggest names in gaming headsets, and it was only a matter of time before they released their very own pair of gaming earbuds. The Battle Buds are designed for on-the-go gaming and more specifically, mobile and Nintendo Switch players. 

Design and Build

The Turtle Beach Battle Buds are a rather unique-looking pair of earbuds due to their larger shape and detachable boom microphone. The overall build quality is what you can expect from something at this price range. 

Once inside your ears, the Battle Buds offer some good stability and they’re not going to be falling out your ears anytime soon. These are larger earbuds so they will stick out a bit further than regular sizes, but it shouldn’t cause any hassles. Turtle Beach has also included three sizes of interchangeable ear-tips and stabilizers for each earbud, for the best fit possible.

The in-line remote is also impressive at this price range. There is an easy-to-use volume slider, as well as a mute button for your microphone. On the other side of the remote, you’ll find a single button that can be used to take calls, play or pause music, and skip tracks when clicked twice.

Sound and Performance

The Battle Buds are good sounding earbuds for videogames, and that’s about it. While they win our vote for best mid-range gaming earbuds, these aren’t going to win any awards for soft bass or heavy treble. However, if you want to use these earbuds for footstep clarity, or just to play casual games such as Animal Crossing, you won’t be disappointed. 

The highs can sometimes be a little piercing to the ears, but it won’t take away from the experience – as long as you’re not blasting the volume. The noise isolation and leakage are also excellent. You’ll be able to block out most of the background noise around you. The Battle Buds also keep the noise inside your ears and prevent any leakage from taking place. Nobody is going to hear you playing Pokémon on the subway.

As previously mentioned, the Turtle Beach Battle Buds also comes with a detachable boom microphone.  The recording quality is exceptional (given that its an earbud microphone) and your voice will be clear and easy to understand. There’s no static or distortion, as found in some headsets that rely on the microphone being built into the inline controller. At the same time, it also does a good job of blocking out noisy environments, so those around you won’t hear anything when you’re trying to communicate.

Connectivity

The Turtle Beach Battle Buds are multiplatform compatible. This means that they’re designed for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 controllers with 3.5mm jacks, as well as the Nintendo Switch. They also work great with computers and mobile devices equipped with 3.5mm connections, but you will need to buy your own splitter should you want to use them on PC.


4. Sony MDRXB50AP Extra Bass Gaming Earbuds

Sony MDRXB50AP Extra Bass Gaming Earbuds

The Sony MDRXB50AP earbuds are favorites among gamers and music lovers alike. These earbuds allow users to experience clear bass that is more defined, without any risk of damaging your ears and the delicate earbud speakers. They’re simply well-built and reliable earbuds at a fraction of the cost in terms of quality.

Design and Build

The MDRXB50AP earbuds are sleek and simple in design. While Sony is known for making most of their headsets in black, but this particular model comes in an assortment of colors. In terms of comfort, the Extra Bass earbuds have a typical in-ear fit, but they’re also angled so they won’t enter as deeply into the ear canal.

The Sony MDRXB50AP is built with 12 mm dome type driver units that are driven by high energy neodymium magnets for a more powerful sound. The audio cables have been nicely rubberized and flattened to prevent tangling from taking place. 

There is an inline control, but it can be somewhat disappointing for gamers. It is a single button that can be used for skipping tracks, pausing or playing music, and taking phone calls. You’ll find no microphone mute button or volume slider here.

Sound and Performance

The Sony MDRXB50AP is for bass enthusiasts. If you’re looking for lows that are deep, punchy, and extra boomy, these are the earbuds for you! The 12 mm dynamic drivers allow the bass to come through the speakers clearly without causing any distortion making them perfect gaming earbuds, as well as listening to all things EDM.

The bass comes as a trade-off though, indeed you’ll be blown away by the lows coming out of these little guys, however, the mids and highs will lack in some areas. Vocals and instruments will seem a bit muffled when overpowered by the thunderous bass. For the price, we wouldn’t expect Sony to be able to cover all areas of sound, so if you haven’t grown accustomed to high-end sounding headphones, you may not be able to tell the difference at all. These earbuds are still able to hit all ranges adequately and provide a pleasurable gaming experience.

Microphone quality is average and a tad sensitive to background noise. These aren’t going to block out surrounding sounds for those listening to your callouts, but you’ll be able to use them on both PC and console.

Connectivity

As noted above, the Sony MDRXB50AP can be used across all platforms. They feature a 3.5 mm jack so you’ll need an adapter should you want to use the microphone on your computer. For PC use, you will be able to control your microphone sensitivity. If background noise is an issue you could simply turn down the microphone level to your liking until only your voice is present. As for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, these earbuds will be able to work right out the box. Overall, the MDRXB50AP offers excellent value for money and is a bass enthusiast’s dream if they’re looking to purchase gaming earbuds.


5. Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Canceling Earbuds

Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Canceling Earbuds

Bose is well-known for its noise-canceling headphones since the company first introduced the QuietComfort series. Over the years they have updated the series by adding on-ear and over-ear models to the series, and now have an earbud variation to carry on their noise-canceling legacy. 

Design and Build

From the get-go, you’ll notice that the Bose QuietComfort 20s are premium good-looking earbuds. The black rubberized cables have been complimented by soft blue accents. The comfortable ear tips are soft and made out of flexible silicone. The fin-like design hugs the inside of your ear providing additional support and maximum comfort. With this unique design also comes a gentle seal that contributes to the full-spectrum noise reduction technology.

The Bose inline control features 4 buttons for you to take control of your gaming and multimedia experience. Siri or Google Voice are all included too.  Further down the cable, you will also find an in-line battery that powers the active noise cancellation. It’s slim and lightweight, so you don’t have to worry about it weighing you down. It may appear large in the images, but it isn’t a power bank by any means. 

Its also good to mention here that Bose has made the cable pretty lengthy at 12 inches. A clip has also been included to help with cable management. If you’re gaming from a PC, there’s nothing worse than a short cable that tugs at your ear when turning your head to the side.

Sound and Performance

The Bose QuietComfort 20s maintain Bose’s signature balanced and neutral sound. They are excellent for anyone looking for earbuds that do not overemphasize a particular range but instead lets them all radiate equally. In other words, there’s going to be enough detail to suit analytical listener’s and gamers, and enough oomph for those looking for a bass experience. 

Some would argue that in-ear monitors or earbuds will not be able to compete in quality when compared to headphones. The QC 20s however break the stereotype, delivering vocals that feel front and center. In-game sounds are vibrant and there’s no muddiness to the audio even in action set pieces. Gaming and music simply handle perfectly in all areas, making these earbuds ideal for any situation.

Microphone quality is clear and easy to understand, but background noise handling is mediocre. These earbuds are best suited for a quiet environment, as they will struggle to separate ambient background noise from speech. As for the noise cancellation itself, it performs great and you’ll be able to block out most background noises. One thing to note here is that when the noise cancellation technology is turned on, the sound isn’t as crisp from the speakers. This might be a placebo effect, but we’d recommend you keep it on.

Connectivity

The QC 20 has both console, mobile, and computer support. The 3.5 mm connector will fit directly into an Xbox One controller, allowing you to use the earbuds for both in-game sound and recording. The earbuds, unfortunately, do not come with a splitter, so you’ll need to buy one separately if you want to use the microphone on PC.  


6. Shure SE215 Sound Isolating Earbuds

Shure SE215 Sound Isolating Earbuds

If you were to google ‘good entry-level in-ear monitors’ you’d likely come across the Shure SE215. These earbuds are a great option for audiophiles on a budget, and gamers in search of something to elevate their usual listening experience. 

Design and Build

The Shure SE215 features an angled earbud design that contours to the shape of your ear. Stability and comfort are satisfied with 6 included ear tip variations. These are one of the few earbuds that include three sizes for both foam and silicone.

Taking a look at the earbuds themselves, the translucent casing creates a very nice high-tech feel despite it being made of plastic. The audio cables are heavily rubberized and detachable and provide multiple convert/upgrade options. This also means that, unlike many other designs, the SE215 cables are also replaceable or customizable. In most cases, when your budget earbuds fall apart due to wear and tear, you’ll need to buy a whole new pair. Shure has made the longevity even better by also including a 2-year warranty on the SE215 earbuds as well

Enclosed in the case are singly dynamic micro drivers that have a frequency range of around 21 Hz to 17 kHz. These should not be confused with the SE315 and SE425 models, as they are identical in appearance. The SE215 is available in black, blue, and clear colors.

Sound and Performance

The Shure SE215 offers enhanced bass for personal listening or professional monitoring. The sound isolating sleeves can block up to 37 dB of ambient noise, so you’ll be able to game in peace without background noise interrupting your experience.

The overall sound signature is still neutral and this will be welcomed by many. Indeed, the earbuds are able to provide stable mids and highs, but they can also provide warmth in the bass when needed. Very much like the Bose QuietComfort 20, there isn’t any emphasis on a particular frequency, but rather a balanced sound for all genres. Now would be a good time to know that the Shure SE215 earbuds are also generally half the price of the Bose QuietComfort 20. So, if you’re looking for premium quality, without needing to spend hundreds of dollars, the Shure SE215 earbuds might be for you!

The SE215 does not have a microphone or an in-line controller, these are purely earbuds that will be connected to your device for listening only. If you’re planning to use these as PC gaming earbuds, an additional external is will be needed.

Connectivity

The SE215 comes with four different convert/upgrade options with regards to cabling. The classic 3.5 mm universal earphone jack is included with the standard version. The Bluetooth edition can provide up to 10 hours of battery life when fully charged.


7. Linsoul TIN Audio T2 Double Dynamic Drive Earbuds

Linsoul TIN Audio T2 Double Dynamic Drive Earbuds

The Linsoul TIN Audio T2 earbuds are high-quality in-ear headphones designed for the critical listener. If you’re a gamer looking for a pair of earbuds specifically for single-player titles, these might be what you’re looking for. The T2s have no in-line controller support or microphone, so you’ll be buying this for the sound performance only. 

Design and Build

When you first unbox these earbuds, you’ll notice right away that these are built like tanks. The silver color is complemented by a nice white braided cable which is also detachable. Like the Shure SE215 earbuds, these can be replaced in the future if needed.

As in-ear monitors, they can be hooked into your ears by adjusting the cable around your ears. While the ear tips seem a bit larger than average, Linsoul has provided various tip options including silicone and memory foam, to ensure a perfect fit. In total, there are 7 ear tip sizes, including a nice bright blue set to add some color to the build.

Inside each earbud, you will find a dynamic 10 mm woofer and a 6 mm tweeter (2DD drive unit). A tweeter is a type of speaker that produces the higher frequencies, while the woofer offers support for low-frequencies. Most earbuds have a single driver that has to perform for all frequencies. The 2DD drive unit is therefore the cause for the impressive sound when compared to others. What does this mean for videogames? Better immersion and an overall better speaker for everything else.

Sound and Performance

Starting with sound leakage, the earbuds perform especially well with the canal design. Strangely enough, the noise isolation is not as impressive. Although the T2’s keep the sound from escaping, you may be able to hear background noise. It isn’t the end of the world though; the memory foam tips still do a good job at blocking out common house noises.

The TIN T2 earbuds shine in their audio performance. As expected by an IEM, they have a bright sound signature with amazing mids and highs. Instruments are detailed and vocals are crisp. At the higher frequencies, there is no fatiguing or sharp piercing sound. Sound is still perceptive to the individual though, and therefore some users have reported an improvement in sensitivity when using the foam tips.

Earlier we said that these earbuds will shine in a single-player gaming experience and these strengths pay testament to that. If you’re a fan of story-rich games with a lot of dialogue and classic music, these earbuds will not leave you disappointed! On that note though, the bass is fairly light and bass-heads should heed caution. There definitely is some punch to these earbuds, but they’re not on the level of something like the Sony MDRXB50AP.

Connectivity

The Linsoul TIN Audio T2 earbuds include a 3.5mm carbon fiber gold-plated straight jack. The cable is detachable, but the earbuds are not wireless or Bluetooth enabled. The detachable feature serves only as a means to replace the cable should it break. 


8. IKKO Meteor OH1 In-Ear Monitor Earphones

IKKO Meteor OH1 In-Ear Monitor Earphones

IKKO is a fairly new in-ear monitor brand, and the Meteor OH1 is their first release. When visiting the IKKO Audio website, you’ll find that the young team behind their products seems to have placed a lot of effort into the originality of their designs. 

Design and Build

The Meteor OH1 design itself closely resembles a teardrop. The shell is a lightweight aluminum that also has a low-profile design. Interestingly enough, the nozzles are actually part of the inner shell and not a separate piece like many other models in this price range. IKKO should be applauded for this as it means more internal and external polishing to get the anodizing and sound channel correct. 

When looking inside the build, the bass will be handled by a 10 mm titanium-plated dynamic driver, whereas the higher frequencies will utilize the Knowles 33518 balanced armature driver. 

Included with the Meteor OH1 is a carry pouch, along with 6 pairs of silicone ear tips. IKKO has included 3 sets of ‘vocal ear tips’ and 3 sets of ‘balanced ear tips’ which come in small, medium, and large sizes. According to IKKO, each style of ear tip will change the way you perceive music and sound. In terms of overall quality, the build will stand out and provide a solid support for gaming sessions. The materials used and design illustrates that a lot of time went into making these earbuds.

Sound and Performance

The first impression of the Meteor OH1 is that of a smooth sound that is not overly analytical or technical. The details are uncompromised and the soundstage is wide and deep. Perhaps the depth is caused by the performance of the 10 mm dynamic driver, which creates an amazing layering over tracks.

The lows create a rumble when the bass kicks in, and due to the extension, this creates a good layer with both mids and highs. Its good to see that the bass does not overpower the other frequencies as found in bass-heavy earbuds. Mids are breathy and spacious, which results in crisp vocals be it in music or in-game. This also means that the transition of rumbling lows from explosions to instruments and vocals will be even. There’s no distortion or sharp piercing noise when the frequency changes. 

The drawback of the sound performance is found in the highs where the treble rolls off a little fast. However, there is still a sufficient amount of air so congestion is prevented. For those sensitive to high frequencies, a slight adjustment of volume can go a long way.

Connectivity

The Meteor OH1 includes a 4-strand oxygen-free cable. The 2-pin 0.78 mm detachable design has a 3.5 mm jack at the end of it which is compatible with smartphones, consoles, and computers. Like many in-ear monitors, there is no microphone included. If you buy a third-party replacement cable, just be sure that it is a 2-pin cable design in order to be compatible with the Meteor OH1 earbuds.


9. KLIM Fusion Gaming Earbuds

KLIM Fusion Gaming Earbuds

At just under 20 dollars, the KLIM Fusion earbuds are ready to take on any task at hand. Many earbuds on this list require additional cables or extensions to make them compatible for all platforms, but not the Fusions. If you’re on a strict budget and want everything in a convenient bundle, these might be to your liking. They’re an excellent choice as both gaming earbuds and as everyday use earbuds. Whether its consoles, computer, laptop, or iPhone, these earbuds are plug-and-play from the box.

Design and Build

The first thing people worry about in budget earbuds is their design quality and materials. The Fusions have a metal shell and are magnetic, so you can hang them around your neck when you’re not using them. This is already a step-up from conventional budget in-ears that are made of plastic.

Next, we have comfortable memory foam ear tips. KLIM has included three pairs that come in various sizes and fits. Traditional silicone style ear tips have also been included, but the foam variations provide the best comfort for long gaming sessions.

The earbuds themselves have an in-line controller and microphone that can be used to make calls and pause/play music. It is a common thought that budget builds may yield value for money – but only for a short period of time. KLIM is one of the few manufactures to be so confident in their products that they’re willing to offer a 5-year warranty on the Fusion earbuds.

Sound and Performance

The KLIM Fusion earbuds have 8mm drivers. The sound quality, in general, is very clear and more than what you’d expect for something at this price range. KLIM also boasts that the Fusion has ‘powerful bass’ – and they weren’t kidding! These earbuds can produce decent lows when listening to EDM tracks.

You always have to bear in mind that these are budget earbuds though, and they’re not going to provide sound quality on par with 100-dollar earbuds. The earbuds lack good sound separation and the highs are somewhat piercing at times. However, there are no crackles and echo sensations that are often found in cheap earbuds. You’re still getting a lot out of these little guys.

The inline controller has both a play/pause button and a volume adjuster. This makes the Fusion an excellent option for apps such as discord or TeamSpeak, should you want to chat with your friends in-game. Microphone clarity is average, but you’ll get your message across without any issues. In other words, it won’t be crisp, but it won’t have crackling static either.

Connectivity

The Fusion earbuds are something special when it comes to connectivity. They have included everything you’ll need inside the box. PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch are all covered. The standard connection is a universal 3.5 mm jack and this can be supplemented by the included adapter for PC. In other words, the Fusions are ready to handle anything out of the box. 


10. Betron YSM1000 Earbuds

Betron YSM1000 Earbuds

Are you a bass head on a serious budget? The Betron YSM1000 may be the best bass-heavy pair of earbuds under fifteen dollars. If you’ve always wanted a pair of Beats headphones these may yet be a cheap alternative for your listening preference. Packed with a bunch of accessories and features you’d find on mid-range earbuds, the YSM1000 seeks to impress all.

Design and Build

Beats headphones are often attributed to the hip-hop genre and flashy lifestyle. Well, the Betron YSM1000 has tried to capture this image in the best way possible. The buds are either silver or red and are complimented by gold accents. You may think this sounds impossible, but Betron has managed to make the earbuds look premium on a budget. Taking a peek at the cables, you’ll find that they have been rubberized with a transparent coating. Being able to see the wires inside has never looked so cool, especially with the red earbuds to match.

In terms of comfort, Betron has tried their best to be accommodating for everyone. 6 pairs of silicone earbuds have been included in various sizes and types. Additionally, 2 pairs of foam ear tips, a wire clip, and a carrying bag are also included.

How long will these earbuds last? Betron has provided a two-year warranty, but we think they may last longer. The Betron YSM1000 is well built and very sturdy. The in-line controller is made of metal, as opposed to plastic. The earbuds are dense and should be able to withstand some pressure, while the cables are thick enough not to break easily.

Sound and Performance

They weren’t kidding when they said these earbuds were bass-heavy! The low bass responsible for thumping and rumbling is sure to satisfy those looking for a deep and heavy sound. How would these differ from Beats? The answer is that, although the earphones are very boomy, they can also be muddy and overwhelming in certain areas. Lower frequencies can overpower the mids and highs depending on the genre. 

Since the earbuds are bass-heavy, the mid-range can be thick and cluttered. Treble is average with vocals and instruments struggling to show detail and brightness. However, if you’re a bass head music lover interested in a punchy sound, this may not bother you as much. Likewise, if you enjoy heavier and deeper sounding audio while gaming, then this also shouldn’t be a problem for you.

Noise isolation and leakage handle fairly well, considering the audio style. You’re not going to be disturbing anyone unless you’re in a quiet room, and the foam earbuds manage to keep out surrounding mumbled noises.  A microphone is also included and the recording quality is clear without crackling. Finally, the volume can be tailored to your liking through the in-line controller – which is a nice touch.

Connectivity

The YSM1000 has a 3.5 mm gold-plated connector that can be used with smartphones, consoles, and computers. The cable is, of course, not interchangeable and therefore you’ll need to buy an adapter in order to use the microphone on PC.

Gaming Earbuds vs Normal Earbuds

Can you use AirPods Pro for gaming? You may be asking yourself this very question right now. The simple answer is yes, you will be able to use these earbuds for gaming and their sound quality may be on par with regular gaming earbuds. However, this is only on the condition that your computer supports Bluetooth connectivity. Normal earbuds also generally cater to music and short calls only. They do not prioritize microphone clarity and sound immersion as needed in video games.

Features such as compatibility, comfortability, noise cancellation, and others, are all factors which gaming earbuds add in their products to make sure you’re getting the best experience possible. But what happens when manufacturers present normal earbuds as gaming earbuds?  How do we tell the difference and make sure we’re getting something worth our money? The answers lie in the details and features. Lets take a look:

Features to Look for When Buying Gaming Earbuds

01

Drivers

When someone mentions the word drivers you may think one of two things: software that is used to make the device function; or the hardware needed to produce sound. While in most cases making sure that your computer has the latest software drivers for optimal performance is important, earphone drivers are what you should pay the closest attention to. Gaming earbuds are very small so they will likely have two drivers at most. The general rule followed is the larger the driver, and the more drivers you have, the better and clearer the listening experience will be.

02

Microphones and Adapters

Most earbuds come fitted with a built-in microphone. If you’re going to be playing multiplayer games then communication is very important. Although your background noise might not be distracting to you, other players might find it very annoying. You should, therefore, make sure the earphones you choose have a good quality microphone. What we mean by this is a pair of earbuds that have good background noise cancellation, and provides a clear output without distortion.

It’s difficult to know how you will sound until you get the product and test it out, but look around online and check customer reviews. Has anyone complained about the voice quality and sensitivity of the microphone? These factors are very important if your gaming earbuds are specifically being bought for competitive team-based games.

Having a high-quality microphone is good and all, but will it work right out the box? An easy way to spot that a pair of common earbuds are being marketed as gaming earbuds are adapters that are included. When connecting earbuds to your smartphone the microphone and speakers will work immediately with a single cable. Computers are different, however, and will require a splitter. The splitter will divide your single cable into two: one being for your sound, and the other one is for the microphone.

If this sounds confusing, think about the 3.5mm connector found on many headphones. You’ll connect that 3.5mm cable into another cable that has two separate connectors at the end of it. They’re often green and pink and will be found at the back of your computer on the motherboard. Additionally, adapters that are included save you time and money. Nobody wants to take a trip to the store when their brand new gaming earbuds arrive.

03

Compatibility

We’re back on the subject of cabling and compatibility is important when figuring out what you want to use your gaming earbuds for. Are they specifically for the PC, or would you like them for your console too? A 3.5mm connector will work with the latest consoles and computers. Bear in mind that gaming earbuds might be PC exclusive and will come with a splitter that is permanently attached to the cable. You may get the game sound, but that doesn’t mean your microphone will work.

Older consoles such as the Xbox 360 won’t work at all and you’ll need a console exclusive adapter that will need to be ordered separately. What about wireless gaming earbuds? There are a range of Bluetooth enabled gaming earbuds that are also available. These will require some setup and you should consider audio latency that will come into play.

04

Brands

A good brand reputation is a great starting point when deciding which pair of gaming earbuds are for you. They may be known for offering high-quality products, and their return policies are solid if anything goes wrong. However, this shouldn’t deter you from taking a leap to a lesser-known brand.

If the earbuds come with a warranty and have multiple positive reviews then it might be a good idea to save some money. Big brands can sometimes overcharge because they know they are high in demand. Whatever your choice may be, go for a deal that matches your budget, but ensures quality, performance, and a somewhat insurance.

05

Design and Build Quality

The fit and comfort of gaming earbuds are just as important as sound quality. Different earbuds are marketed with fancy colors and shapes but you should be focusing on the build materials and durability. A tough frame will prevent any breakages when they take a fall. Soft silicone and foam tips can do wonders for long sessions when your ears take a strain.

Different earbuds also come with different ear tip sizes so you should be aware of brands that offer a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. Get something that will feel custom, but also molds to the shape of your ears. Your gaming setup is often catered to your preference, from in-game sensitivity to brightness, so why shouldn’t your hardware?

06

Frequency

Many brands like to advertise that their earbuds have an amazing frequency range. If you’re unfamiliar with frequency, it relates to sound and is measured in hertz (Hz). The general concept is that the wider or broader the frequency range, the better the chance the earbuds will be able to replicate the audio as intended by engineers.

Now, don’t get too excited when you see a brand advertising their gaming earbuds at 50 000Hz, you’re not going to get an outrageous advantage in-game. Statistically, the average human hearing range is around 20 to 20 000 Hz. In ideal laboratory conditions, we can hear sounds as low as 12 Hz, and as high as 28 000 Hz.

So, what are the important frequencies to be aware of for an optimal gaming experience? The bass, or likely explosions you’ll hear across the map, will be anywhere near the 20 to 250 Hz range. Vocals, bullets, and general game noise will be around the 250 to 4000 regions. Finally, higher frequencies, or otherwise the treble will fill in the remaining frequency up till 20 000Hz.

This certainly doesn’t mean if a pair of gaming earbuds advertise a 20 to 20 000Hz range that you’re guaranteed high-quality sounds in all aspects. Reliance will still fall upon build and driver quality. Frequency awareness is just a step towards knowing that your earbuds will be capable of reproducing the sounds that you want to hear.

Wired vs Wireless Gaming Earbuds

As previously mentioned, gaming earbuds come with an assortment of advantages over their bulky headphone cousins. They’re extremely comfortable and lightweight; their small frame and size make them an excellent option for travel; they’re more affordable when compared to headphones, and their 3.5mm jack or Bluetooth connectivity makes them easy to use for multi-platform support. The 3.5mm cable and Bluetooth connectivity raises an interesting question though, is wired or wireless better?

From a starting perspective, you’re likely thinking that wireless earbuds would be way less hassle with fewer cables. Who wouldn’t spend a few more dollars, never having to worry about their cables being clipped against their chair when standing up, or worse, snagged on a door handle if they’re connected to a smartphone. Well, the reality is there is a shortfall, and that can come in the form of audio latency.

Audio latency is the time it takes for audio data to move from your computer to your earbuds. A wired pair of earbuds produce an unnoticeable amount of lag which varies between 5 to 10 milliseconds. The basic process is that your computer processes digital audio data and converts it to an analog audio signal, which is then streamed to your earbuds. 

However, when we take a look at wireless or Bluetooth earbuds, they spend a lot more time in that ‘processing stage’. For starters, digital audio is processed by your computer and then passed to your Bluetooth earbuds over a wireless signal. It is then converted into analog audio and sent to the drivers. Additionally, if you have a pair of true wireless earbuds, they may introduce more delay as they try to ensure that both right and left earbuds remain in synchronization.

Wired vs Wireless Gaming Earbuds - Audiostance

Looking at statistics again wireless Bluetooth earbuds experience at least 32 milliseconds of audio latency under the best conditions. If you’re buying a budget pair of earphones, you’re more likely to experience anything between 100 and 300 milliseconds of delay, especially if your earbuds keep everything in sync.

Does this mean the end of your wireless earbuds journey? No, we would not deter you from buying a pair if you’re set on a wireless experience. There have been leaps in Bluetooth technology through version 5. Bluetooth 5.0 processes data faster, and generates a much higher audio quality than its predecessors. It uses a technique called audio-video sync (otherwise known as A/V sync) which estimates the audio latency of your setup and adds the same latency to the displayed image on your monitor.

In other words, your video and audio will be aligned and appear as though there are no delays. This A/V sync technique will obviously not be used for gaming as it’s in real-time, but it’s worth knowing if you plan on using your earbuds primarily for Netflix and videos. 

If you’re strictly looking for low latency wireless gaming earbuds you should focus on audio codecs. Gamers should lookout for earbuds that advertise the 16-bit aptX LL codec, which operates at around 40 milliseconds mark, or alternatively the aptX adaptive codec, which alternates bit rates and delay times depending on the task at hand.

To some all of this up, you’re likely going to get less audio delay and an overall better-quality sound experience through a wired pair of earbuds. However, if you’re set on wireless earbuds you could opt for a brand that offers Bluetooth 5.0 support and an aptX LL or aptX adaptive codec. These will likely incur more costs, but they will reduce latency and give you the added benefit of less cabling.  

Our Pick!

Razer Hammerhead Pro Gaming Earbuds

Razer Hammerhead Pro

With precision-tuned 9mm neodymium drivers, the Razer Hammerhead Pro features an optimized inner acoustic chamber that aims to produce a strong bass signature while still maintaining clear mids and highs

Zach
Written by
Zach

Zach is a South African-based writer, audiophile, and PC enthusiast. When he's not writing for Audiostance, you'll find him reading and re-enacting scenes from the Lord of the Rings.

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