When it comes to gaming, listening to micro details is more important than having strong bass or a balanced audio signature. And so it's no wonder that so many people out there are looking for the best headset for hearing footsteps.
The thing is that finding the best headset can prove to be a tougher task than you may at first imagine. That's why we decided to write this article for you.
So, without any further ado, let us get right into it!
- 1: HyperX Cloud Alpha S (Best Headset for Hearing Footsteps)
- 2: Sennheiser GSP 600 Hearing Headset
- 3: Razer Kraken Footstep Hearing Headset
- 4: Sennheiser Game One Headset
- 5: Logitech G430 Hearing Set
- 6: Corsair Void RGB Elite Footstep Hearing Headset
- 7: SteelSeries Arctis Pro With GameDAC
- 8: Astro A40 TR Footstep Hearing Headset
- 9: Logitech G Pro X Hearing Set
- 10: Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2
- The Best Headset for Hearing Footsteps: Wrapping Up
1: HyperX Cloud Alpha S (Best Headset for Hearing Footsteps)
The HyperX Cloud Alpha 2s my be one of our favorite headsets. But there is no doubt that the Alpha S is an improvement in pretty much every single way. Audio, features, build, you name it.
In terms of raw value, the Cloud 2 is arguably still the winner here. But if you want an improved version, consider spending the extra money for the Alpha S.
Let's start by saying that this is one of the most durable headsets we've ever seen. Most of it is constructed with a metal alloy and the few parts that are made of plastic are very thick.
As far as sound is concerned, just like with the Cloud 2s, its highs are rather overemphasized and sharp. And while some people may find that annoying while listening to music, this is precisely what allows you to hear footsteps so clearly.
If you're into it, you also get 7.1 surround sound thanks to the sound card that's included with the headset. However, as with every headset, we feel like it's a bit of a hit or miss. Sometimes it sounds decent while others it's just horrible depending on the game.
Last, but not least, you also get physical bass sliders on the earcups. This can further enhance footstep sounds if you turn them down as overemphasized bass is one of the main reasons why you often can't hear details.
Sound aside, the Cloud Alpha S offers both a removable cable and microphone - which is absolutely great for improving its long term lifespan.
And when it comes to downsides? We really don't have a lot to mention. If you have a large head you may end up finding them to be a bit too tight. But that's largely going to depend on the individual.
2: Sennheiser GSP 600 Hearing Headset
Sennheiser is one of the biggest names when it comes to headphones - if not the biggest. So, when they start making headsets, it's no surprise that they are some of the best out there.
The GSP 600, in particular, is one of the best in terms of value, comfort, and, of course, sound.
Let us start by saying that this is one of the bulkiest headsets on this list. So, if you're looking for something that's not only good for gaming, but also for casual outdoor usage, you better look elsewhere.
On the upside, the huge earcups provide plenty of space for your ears and there's plenty of padding as well. This in combination with the adjustable clamping force sliders on top makes the Sennheiser GSP600 one of the most comfortable headsets.
On the right side there is a volume slider which is very convenient and on the left side, you'll find the microphone. While the mic isn't removable, it offers a very useful feature that's called "Lift to mute". And it does exactly what it says. All you have to do is lift the microphone up and that's going to automatically mute it.
As per usual with Sennheiser headphones and headsets, the sound is more or less neutral without overwhelming lows or highs. That's one of the main reasons why this is a valid option as the best headset for hearing footsteps. After all, you don't want lows overwhelming everything else.
When it comes to downsides, the overall bulk is definitely going to be an issue for some. Compared to the Cloud Alpha S, we also miss the option of being able to remove/replace the microphone and the audio cable. Then again, we probably wouldn't be able to get "flip to mute" with a removable microphone
3: Razer Kraken - Best Cheap Hearing Gaming Headset
Razer is quite possibly the most popular gaming headset brand there is at the moment. And for a company that's known for making good gaming products, the Razer Kraken is admittedly surprisingly cheap.
That on its own could be enough reason to add the Kraken a contender for the best headset for hearing footsteps. But there are obviously plenty of other reasons.
First things first, this is one of the cheapest headsets that we can recommend. You can generally find it for about $65 nowadays which is rather insane considering what it offers.
While it offers strong bass, it also overemphasizes the highs to compensate for it and that's one of the main reasons that you can hear footsteps clearly with it. But, if you want the best competitive performance, we'd recommend turning the lows down a notch.
One thing that we particularly love is the retractable microphone. You may not be able to remove it but you can still pull it back and use the Kraken as a pair of headphones outdoors.
Comfort-wise, the earcups are spacious and well-padded while the clamping force is just about right. It can be a little bit loose for people with very small heads but the vast majority of you are going to be just fine.
And when it comes to downsides, we really don't have anything major to report. The excessive bass can be a problem when you're trying to listen to small details. But that's something that you can more or less eliminate with the use of an equalizer anyway (not to mention that some people love heavy bass for certain genres of music).
4: Sennheiser Game One - Gaming headset for Hearing footsteps
We know we already mentioned one Sennheiser headset that's worthy of a position as the best headset for hearing footsteps. But the Sennheiser Game One is an entirely different piece of work.
Unlike the GSP 600, the Game One is an open-back headset. In fact, it's one of the very few best wired gaming headsets that are out there. And this kind of design comes with all sorts of pros and cons.
Starting with the positives, the good thing about open-back headsets is that they usually offer much more soundstage than their closed-back siblings. This means that instead of hearing the audio inside your head, you can tell how far objects are and often even where they are more accurately. And this is no doubt a massive benefit when it comes to gaming.
Other than that, sound in open-back headphones also tends to be more natural and airy.
The biggest downside to this kind of design, unfortunately, is noise isolation. Since the enclosure is open, you can hear everything around you as if you're not wearing headphones at all. And, of course, others around you can hear what you're listening to clear as day too.
The bass is also relatively weak. But, in our case, that's actually an advantage since we don't want the base to "drown" other frequencies.
Enclosure aside, this is one of the most comfortable headsets on this list. Even more so than the GSP600 thanks to the reduced weight and velour earpads.
And just like with the GSP600, the Sennheiser Game One comes with a flip-to-mute microphone that's unfortunately also non-removable.
Overall, if you don't mind having zero noise isolation, this one is definitely a candidate as the best headset for hearing footsteps!
5: Logitech G430 Best Value Hearing Headset
This is one of the most popular headsets to ever come out and also one of the few that offer such good value. The great comfort that it offers along with the relatively balanced sound are both good reasons to put this as a candidate as the best headset for hearing footsteps!
Its base is admittedly a bit strong - which is great for bass lovers. But it can also be a problem when you are trying to listen for footsteps amongst the chaos of a match. Thankfully, the highs are also a bit overemphasized, and that kind of balances things out. Still, if you want to gain every little bit of competitive advantage that you can get, consider turning down the bass a bit with the help of a software equalizer.
When it comes to comfort, the earcups are large while the earpads are soft with plenty of depth to them. Their fabric is extremely breathable and smooth on the skin - but keep in mind that it doesn't offer a lot of passive noise isolation. In fact, this is one of the worst closed-back headsets in terms of blocking outside noises.
Both the cable and the microphone are non-removable. So, this is by no means a headset that's suitable for casual, outdoor usage. But even if it was, the bad noise isolation and gaming design of it would probably make it a bad choice for that kind of usage anyway.
The build quality isn't necessarily bad - but it's one step below compared to some of the competitors such as the HyperX Cloud Alpha S which costs roughly as much. Despite the metal frame, there are certain parts that just don't feel that sturdy. Especially the joints.
6: Corsair Void RGB Elite -Good Wireless Gaming Headset
Usually, headsets that are both good sounding and wireless tend to ask for a premium. Surprisingly enough, this doesn't seem to be the case with the Corsair Void RGB Elite!
This is a wireless, comfortable headset that you can get for less than $100 - and it also sounds good. So, if you're on the lookout for something like that, it's hard to go wrong with this one!
Surprisingly enough, the bass is actually a little bit weak while the highs are a bit sharp. That's an audio signature that you don't commonly find in budget headsets - but it certainly helps a lot in micro details. This is one of the main reasons why it deserves a spot as the best headset for hearing footsteps.
Comfort is pretty good as well. The earpads are very soft and there's not a whole lot of clamping force. But, of course, this kind of design also has a couple of downsides. Firstly, using velour means that you're also sacrificing noise isolation. Secondly, having little clamping force may better for your temples, but it also reduces stability - something that can be an issue for those of you with small heads.
The build quality is generally decent with most of the headset being made of aluminum. This also makes it a bit heavy which can be a bit of an issue if you have a sensitive head. One weak point in terms of the build is the microphone as it feels like you can easily damage if you're not careful with it.
Speaking of microphones, the microphone of the Corsair Void RGB Elite sounds kind of thin without any low-end to it - but it's also extremely clear with very good noise cancelation as well.
7: SteelSeries Arctis Pro With GameDAC- Overall best Gaming Headset
Let us start by saying that if you can find the wireless variant, maybe go with that instead as it somehow offers slightly better sound. But this is still a solid choice as the best headset for hearing footsteps. Maybe not out of the box. But, with a little bit of software tweaking, it's absolutely one of the best options.
This is a great-sounding headset as it offers plenty of bass without overwhelming the other frequencies. But, the highs are a tiny bit underemphasized - which is why we mentioned the use of a software EQ. Raising the 16000-20000 is surely going to make a huge difference in perceiving minor details and that's exactly what we're after here.
When it comes to comfort, the soft fabric on the earpads feels nice and comfy on your head and the strap on top that adjusts on your head only makes things better. There is a fair bit of clamping force and that may be an issue for people with large heads. But, the soft earpads that spread the pressure around evenly generally help a lot.
The build quality of the SteelSeries Arctis Pro is absolutely great. Most of the headset is made from metal and that makes it feel extremely sturdy. The only downside to this kind of build is that it also increases weight a little.
Another pro, no pun intended, is that you get a decent microphone that sounds a bit fuller compared to the average headset. The DAC isn't anything amazing but we'd say it's definitely a welcome addition - especially if your onboard audio is bad.
One of the few downsides is that as per usual with non-leather earpads, the sound isolation is mediocre at best.
8: Astro A40 TR - Set of Gamers & Steamers Headset
This is the second open-back headset that we're looking at after the Sennheiser Game One. And as we mentioned above, the extra soundstage that you get from an open-back enclosure is enough to place the Astro A40 TR as a candidate for the best headset for hearing footsteps.
Speaking of sound, the Astro A40 TR provides plenty of bass to the point of being a bit boomy - but not as much as to overwhelm the other frequencies. Highs are a bit sharp and that's how they should be for this case-scenario while the mids are more or less flat/very accurate.
As far as comfort is concerned, we're looking at a headset that offers big earcups, very soft fabric on the earpads, and just about the right about of clamping force. There is a bit of weight to the headset - but there's also plenty of padding on top which should help quite a lot.
All that aside, you're also getting a decent mixer/amp along with the headset which is there not only for volume control but also for channel adjustment. This means that you can easily change the volume of both your in-game audio and chat (Ex. Discord) on the fly.
The microphone is one of the best we've seen both in terms of quality and noise-cancellation. It's still a little bit muffled. But, as far as headsets are concerned, we consider it to be way above average.
The only downside of the Astro A40 TR is that it offers zero noise isolation by design - and the same applies to all open-back headphones and headsets. This headset, in particular, gives you the option of swapping the enclosure for a closed-back variant. But keep in mind that this directly affects the sound quality.
9: Logitech G Pro X Hearing Headset
This is one of the most popular headsets right up there with the HyperX Cloud 2 (even if it's at a much higher price point). If you're watching any famous streamers like Shroud, chances are you've seen a pro using them at least once. So, it's definitely worthy of a spot as possibly the best headset for hearing footsteps.
One thing that's interesting about this pair is that despite offering thick, leatherette earpads, the noise isolation is mediocre at best. But at least it's very comfortable.
The clamping force is a big strong which can make the headset feel a bit tight. However, as we mentioned above, the earpads are soft and thick which makes the headset feels comfortable. And if leather is not to your liking, there is always the option of swapping them out for the velour earpads instead.
The microphone is pretty decent but definitely not as great as Logitech makes it out to be. At least not in terms of audio quality. Because as far as noise-cancellation/noise-handling is concerned, this is the real deal.
As expected at this price point, the audio quality is pretty good. But we personally feel like it needs some adjustments with a software EQ. That's because out of the box, it's a little bit boomy with underemphasized highs - so you may want to turn the 16-20K frequencies up a little.
As with most wired gaming headsets, the Logitech G Pro X naturally offers Surround Sound in case you want to use it. But keep in mind that as per usual, it's a hit or miss feature. Whether it'll sound good or not will largely depend on the game you're playing.
10: Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2-Professional Sound Gaming Headset
The truth is that we've heard a lot of bad words about Turtle Beach headsets. Some say they are overpriced, overhyped, and all-around mediocre. As for us, well, we are not going to take sides. Cause at this point, all we know is that the Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2 is worthy of a spot as the best headset for hearing footsteps and that's all we need to put it on this list.
One of the most important things about it is that it offers great sound quality. Both the bass and the mids are great without anything being overemphasized. This is what makes this headset great not only for gaming but also for listening to music as well.
The highs are admittedly a bit sharp - especially when it comes to vocals - but that's the price you pay for being able to hear footsteps a bit better.
The microphone is one of the best we've tried so far. Not only it sounds very clear while offering great noise-cancellation, but it also has a richness to it.
Comfort is generally pretty good. The earpads are very thick and soft and there's plenty of padding on the top which adjusts to your head. However, keep in mind that it has a bit of a clamping force to it which may be an issue for people with very large heads.
One of the few downsides of this headset is breathability. The thick leatherette can easily make your ears sweat or feel hot - especially during the hot days of the summer.
Other than that, the noise isolation is mediocre at best and we're not very big fans of the in-line controls.
At the end of the day, this is a sturdy headset with great audio quality which is more or less what really matters.
What Does "Open-Back" Mean?
Both the Astro A40 TR and the Sennheiser Game One are the only open-back headsets that we included in this article.
In case you don't know about it, "open-back" refers to the enclosure of the headset. It refers to whether the back of the drivers are covered by a hard material or not.
Most gaming headsets are closed-back as that kind of design offers much better noise isolation - which is often preferred in gaming. However, if you live in a quiet apartment, an open-back headset might be just as good.
In fact, open-back headphones and headsets have plenty of advantages. One of the main ones is that they offer more natural sound with often a much wider soundstage.
What is Soundstage?
We use soundstage to determine how headphones recreate space. The wider the soundstage, the more that you'll be able to tell instruments and sound sources apart in different directions and at different distances.
Mind you, this isn't the same as imaging. Imaging is basically how accurately the sound can be pinpointed left and right and most headsets are pretty good at that anyway.
The difference is that when it comes to soundstage, an open-back headset will almost always have a huge advantage over a closed-back one. The same doesn't apply with imaging as both open-back and closed-back variants can provide great or bad imaging.
In truth, the wider the soundstage the harder that it becomes to keep imaging in check.
At this point, let us not forget to mention that a wider soundstage isn't necessarily better. Some people prefer having the sound sort of inside their heads and that's where earbuds and closed-back headsets are better.
But, when everything is said and done, we believe that a wider soundstage can make the best headset for hearing footsteps. After all, it can make locating the position and distance of the footsteps much easier.
Most gaming headsets can artificially offer a wider soundstage with Surround Sound. However, keep in mind that this is a very hit or miss feature as it simply recreates stereo sound in a way that can trick our ears.
Sometimes it works as it should, but, more often than not, it doesn't.
What Separates the Best Gaming Headset for Hearing Footsteps from the Rest?
The main thing that you want to look out for is balanced bass and mids with sharp highs. That's because the high frequencies are the ones that are responsible for footsteps while excessive base and mids can "drown" such details.
We assume that's also why many popular headsets like the HyperX Cloud 2 use exactly that kind of sound signature. Weak bass - strong treble.
Obviously, there are also tons of other things to keep in mind and that's why we included so many picks. Each option has its own pros and cons. We're talking about build quality, noise isolation, microphone quality, comfort, extra features, compatibility with platforms, and more.
So, at the end of the day, just pick whatever fits you best. As long as it has sharp highs without drowning them by using overly strong bass, you should be good to go. That's the starting point and anything else is extra.
The Best Headset for Hearing Footsteps: Wrapping Up
As you already saw, there is no headset that can beat everything on its own. After all, each pick has its own strengths and weaknesses.
We'd say that the Cloud series is one of the most balanced picks. But, we understand that some of you may want better noise isolation, a more aggressive design, different onboard controls, maybe an open-back enclosure, and anything in-between.
So, at the end of the day, your best course of action is to take a look at our recommendations then pick whatever you think hits closest to your needs.
That's all for now. Feel like we forgot to mention anything important? Got anything wrong? Or perhaps you have more recommendations to add? If so, feel free to let us and everyone else know about it in the comment section down below!