Thinking of buying a gaming headset for yourself or as a gift? It’s worth taking the time to think through exactly what you’re looking for, and what features might be useful. These days most come with a microphone as well, so you can talk to co-players if you’re playing with others, and even use them for conference calls and phone chats. Lightweight, well cushioned designs are pretty standard, so that they can be worn for long periods of time. But there are plenty of other options you need to consider.

Top Pick

Features soft, comfort-focused ear cushions for hours-long sessions. NUBWO

It sounds obvious, but before you plump for your headset check the connection that you want to plug it into, and verify that the headset that you’re buying can either connect to it directly, or via an adaptor. Most, like this much-loved set, will come with a 3.5mm jack — that’s the standard headphone connection that you’ll find on most computers — while this also comes with an adaptor that allows you to connect it simultaneously to your PC’s audio port and mic port at the same time. However, others may come with a USB connection rather than the 3.5mm one.

Smart Design

An almost 7-foot-long cord lets you play anywhere! INSMART

When you’re thinking about a headset, consider where it’s going to be plugged in and where you’re going to be sitting when you use it. If you’re in a relatively small room, with your console, screen and chair in close proximity, this might not be a consideration, but it’s worth having a quick measure to ensure that your gaming position isn’t going to be dictated by the length of your headset cable. These headphones have a 2.1m long cable, which gives you about half a metre more than many others, and the braided wire design should give it durability too.

Syncs Quickly

In-line controller and omnidirectional feature reduces outside ambiance. XIBERIA

Want to get really immersive with your gaming? You don’t just want stereo sound, you want total surround sound. This headset comes with an option for 7.1 surround sound — the eight-channel surround audio system commonly used in home theatre configurations. You may have to download and install additional software drivers to get the full functionality, but those who have report that they’re very impressed with what they’re able to hear.