In the world of gaming headsets, there are virtually unlimited choices. From high-end audio solutions for professional gaming to basic rigs for gaming with friends, there are literally hundreds of options. But what do you really need for gaming?
In short, it depends on what type of game you’re playing. Most multiplayer games rely on communication between teammates. For most gamers, this is going to mean a crisp, clear mic, and earphones that perform well on vocal frequencies. This is just common sense. For single-player games, a sense of space is what separates a good headset from a mediocre one. Many games, particularly survival horror and puzzle games, rely on subtle audio cues to improve gameplay. To get the most out of these games, you’ll want a headset with surround sound.
Today, we’ll examine two of the hottest gaming headsets on the market: the RUNMUS K3, and the Beexcellent Gaming Headset. Each one offers its own unique features and benefits. So regardless of what type of game you prefer, one of theme is sure to fit the bill. If you’d like to see even more headset options, check out our Corsair HS-series review. There, we looked at three of Corsair’s latest offerings.
The RUNMUS K3 is a chunky, 1.17-pound headset that’s built for long gaming sessions. The headband is generously padded, with a faux leather finish that’s easy on your eyes as well as your head. In addition to being well-padded, it’s also adjustable. Both ear cups can be independently extended from the main frame, which ensures a comfortable fit on most faces. The ear cups themselves have a composite construction that provides the best of both worlds. The inner surfaces are a soft, breathable mesh that allows for plenty of air flow. The outer padding is made of memory foam, which conforms perfectly to your face and provides a secure seal. As a result, the K3 doesn’t cause any pressure points or discomfort, even during a marathon session.
The ear cups are attached to the head band by sturdy aluminum frames. They pivot 180 degrees, which further improves the fit. The microphone boom is also well constructed. It has a ribbed, gooseneck design that can be adjusted to just about any position. On the end, the microphone is covered by a soft foam baffle. This improves the clarity of your voice, as well as keeping your mic clean.
The K3 can be connected in two different ways. The default connection uses a 3.5mm plug, which is compatible with the widest variety of systems. You can use it with your PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, or Xbox One. Keep in mind that first generation Xbox One controllers will require an adapter for the 3.5mm plug. Newer Xbox One controllers will work just fine without any faffing about with adapters.
Alternatively, you can use the included USB dongle. This will only be useful for connecting your K3 to your PC. However, it will allow for 2 extra features that the 3.5mm jack doesn’t offer. First, it will allow you to take advantage of the K3’s 7.1-channel simulated surround sound. We’ll talk more about that in a second. But secondly, a USB connection is required to power the built-in RGB lighting. Admittedly, this is purely a cosmetic feature. But it looks super cool when the RUNMUS logo is lit up on both of the ear cups.
Audio Quality & Extras
The RUNMUS K3 has 50mm audio drivers, which are slightly larger than your average headset driver. These drivers provide better sound than you would get from a standard set of earbuds. In particular, you’ll appreciate the bass response. It’s punchier and more powerful than you’ll get from tiny earbud drivers. This is particularly evident in horror and suspense games, where ominous rumbles foreshadow impending danger. Now, take all of this with a grain of salt. While the K3 outperforms any earbuds on the market, it doesn’t replace a set of studio headphones. This is to be expected, since headsets have to balance more features than true headphones.
Still, you’re still going to get much better sound than even your average headset. The K3 offers 7.1-channel surround sound for an excellent sense of space. In any game genre, you’ll know where your enemies – and your friends – are located. Keep in mind that this feature only works on PC, with the USB dongle attached. Console gamers will be limited to the standard 2-channel surround sound. On PC or console, the active noise cancellation is powerful. It blocks out virtually any background noise, so you can give your game 100 percent of your attention. That said, it’s actually too powerful in some cases. It makes it hard to hear yourself when you’re in a party chat.
The K3’s microphone also offers noise cancellation. This ensures that other players will be able to hear you clearly, without any interference from background noise. As a result, you’ll be able to communicate well with your teammates without any trouble. The K3 comes with a 12-month manufacturer’s warranty. If there are any unexpected issues, all you have to do is send it back for a refund.
If the K3 seems a bit bulky for your tastes, there are plenty of other options. For example, the LucidSound LS10 is an excellent mid-tier headset with a comfortable design. However, it doesn’t offer any noise cancelling, so it’s not ideal for noisy environments.
Beexcellent Gaming Headset
The Beexcellent Gaming Headset is built from the ground up with gamers in mind. Across the inside of the rubberized plastic headband, you’ll find thick, lush padding. It doesn’t wrap all the way around, but it’s very thick across the top. Since this is where you’re liable to experience the most pressure, the top-heavy configuration makes sense. The headband is also adjustable, with aluminum inserts that slide easily in and out. As a result, you’ll experience a comfortable fit regardless of your head size. The Beexcellent headset weighs just under a pound, so it’s sturdy without being overweight.
Because of its rubberized design, the Beexcellent headset is extremely flexible. If you sit on it or cram it into a backpack, the frame will spring back into place afterwards. The ear cups are well padded, with thick foam around the outer edge. The inner lining is a soft, sheer fabric that’s both comfortable and breathable. That said, the ear cups themselves don’t swivel or pivot. They’re locked into place at the ends of the headset.
The microphone is mounted on a rigid ABS plastic boom. However, it’s easy to re-position. It swivels 120 degrees, which allows you to put it right where you need it. It even swings entirely out of the way when you don’t need it. The microphone on the end is unassuming, with a mono-directional design that puts the focus squarely on your voice.
The Beexcellent Gaming Headset uses a 3.5mm audio jack. This is more or less universal, and allows you to connect to a PC, Mac, Playstation 4, or Xbox One. As always, ensure that you’re not using a first-generation Xbox One controller. If you are, you’re going to need an adapter. On the audio cable, you’ll notice a small dongle. There, you’ll find volume and mute controls.
You’ll also notice that there’s a Micro USB cable. This is not for connecting audio. It’s a purely optional cable for powering the LED light. The blue LEDs are a great cosmetic feature. But since they do nothing to improve your gameplay, it’s not a big deal to leave them off.
Audio Quality & Extras
The Beexcellent Gaming Headset’s advertising touts the neodymium driver. We’ll spare you the specifics. Suffice it to say that the driver itself isn’t neodymium; the magnet is. This is just fine, since it provides significantly more power and precision than your standard magnet. The drivers themselves are 50mm in diameter, or slightly larger than average. They produce quality bass, although not quite as punchy as the K3. Still, they offer excellent vocal response, which is the most important thing you need for team chat.
That said, the Beexcellent headset doesn’t offer much of a sense of space. The surround sound is only a 2-channel, not a simulated 7.1-channel. For many games, you won’t even notice the difference. But if you’re a hardcore PC gamer who appreciates audio cues, you’ll miss the fuller 7.1-channel experience. There’s also no active noise cancelling. That’s a disappointment, to be sure. However, the ear cups do a good enough job of filtering out most background noise. Unless you’re in a very loud environment, you shouldn’t have any issues with hearing your teammates.
The Beexcellent headset’s microphone doesn’t offer any noise cancelling features. However, it’s uni-directional, and it’s positioned right in front of your mouth. As a result, it’s not going to pick up much background noise. Yes, your teammates will hear it if someone slams a door behind you in real life. But they’re not going to hear feedback from your TV or your speakers. Beexcellent backs up their headset with a 12-month manufacturer’s warranty. There’s no need to worry about getting a dud; just send it back for a replacement.
If you’re looking for an even more affordable option, there’s no reason to skimp on quality. The LucidSound LS1 is an excellent choice. It’s comfortable and it offers good sound quality, although it only covers one of your ears.
As we mentioned earlier, which headset is the best is going to depend on what types of game you play. Both the RUNMUS K3 and the Beexcellent Gaming Headset have a lot to offer. But they’re fundamentally different headsets.
The RUNMUS K3 is ideal if you’re looking for the best possible sense of space. Without investing in an independent microphone and studio headphones, this is the best sound quality you’re going to get. They’re also very comfortable to wear. On the other hand, the Beexcellent is more affordable. It doesn’t offer the same stereo quality, but the drivers provide plenty of bass. In addition, the microphone works well. The uni-directional design blocks out background noise without the need for noise cancelling software.