If you’ve recently invested in a new gaming headset, you might not like what you’re about to hear. Literally. Most brand-name gaming headsets can’t compete—from audio quality to design to cost—with your very own pair of headphones and a discrete mic. That’s because headsets are a compromise of convenience.
The convenience: You can select by brand and know that you can pull the headset out of the box and start using it right away, without issues. The compromise? Gaming headsets typically compromise on components, usually at the expense of microphone quality, which means you sound more like you would in an airplane bathroom. With turbulence. I don’t know about you, but we don’t like the sound of that.
Game it yourself (GIY)
If you’ve ever played against someone who sounds like they’re standing right next to you in battle, odds are they’ve built their own headset. Experienced gamers customize every element of their gaming setup. Why should your headset be different? To stay communicative and competitive, put your maker hat on and build a gaming headset that meets your needs. Once you’ve chosen the technology, putting it together can take just a few minutes, with an audio payoff that lasts. In fact, you can build your own, customized, high-quality and affordable headset in three simple steps:
Step One: Grab your favorite headphones
When you expand your shopping focus from headsets to headphones, you’ll probably notice that the options expand dramatically. There really are no limits to what you can find. If you haven’t already selected your go-to pair, it’s time to start sampling what’s out there. Consider the following when testing out your options:
Do you prefer open- or closed-back headphones?
Open headphones allow sound to enter and exit the headphones, giving it more of an open, “speakers in the room” feel. They can work well in quiet environments. But if you’re more often playing in a noisy space, closed-back headphones will cancel out the background noise and let you focus on your game.
What kind of sound do you like?
This is a topic we can’t do justice to in this post, but here are the basics: There are four primary sound signatures you can expect from headphones, flat, warm, bright, and V. It’s very much about personal preference and worth some research to identify your sound profile.
How comfortable will these be during a marathon gaming session?
Casual gamers who play for 1 to 2 hours don’t need to worry too much about this one. But when sessions run 10 to 12 hours, you need a set that doesn’t distract or rub you the wrong way.
Do you care about style?
Your decision doesn’t have to be just about audio quality or comfort. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a set that matches your personal style, whether it’s color, brand or form.
Step Two: Choose your ModMic
There are two gaming-quality ModMics that can transform your audio experience. They’re affordable, easily attach to your headphones, and work on your computer, laptop or gaming console. Get ready. Your gaming friends will notice the difference in how good you sound with a high-quality mic. Find out which is right for you.
Step Three: GIY
Now it’s time to game it yourself. And it’s as easy as attaching the mic to the headphones, using the included clips and covers to manage the cords, and adjusting a few settings. Bitwit tells you what he thinks of the ModMic 5 below.
That’s all there is to it.
Out-of-the-box headsets are right for some. For those of you who want more—more quality, more control, more for your money—you can create a gaming headset that keeps you competitive and ups your game.