Most of the headphones in the market come with 3.5 mm jacks which are then inserted directly into the playback devices or are used with various kinds of amplifiers and external DACs. However, there are many headphones in the market now, which come with USB cables and their own external DAC.
This set up can be used to enhance the functionality of the headphones, especially in gaming headsets, where this set up is used to implement virtual or true-surround sound experience. In this article, we will be listing some of the best USB headphones that you can buy to enhance or upgrade your audio experience.
ASUS is not very much into the headphones and the company has released a limited number of headphones as of now. However, ASUS ROG Centurion is one of the only headphones in the market when it comes to True 7.1 surround sound. The headphones provide 10 individual drivers, which take care of the surround sound experience. The design of the headphones looks quite attractive, especially for gamers.
It comes with a high-end DAC+amplifier, which also works as a stand. You can adjust various kinds of stuff on the device, such as headphones output mode, mic mute, headphones amplifier, etc, along with various customized audio profiles. It comes with a detachable microphone as well, which provides Environmental Noise Cancellation (ENC), although this feature is quite buggy and it makes the sound quality of the microphone very bad.
As for the sound quality of the headphones, they do a fine job at handling details in the audio but not as good as stereo headphones having the same price-tag. Moving on to the sound signature, these headphones are a bit bass-heavy. The surround sound experience of these headphones is great although and these headphones provide a great advantage in competitive gaming for this very reason.
Overall, these headphones are one of the best USB headphones for gaming if you are looking for a true 7.1 surround setup, although these would be a lot better if the company fixes the microphone issue.
HyperX is a sub-brand of Kingston and it manufactures products targeted towards gamers. HyperX Cloud II is one of the best modern USB headsets that provide you with excellent comfort while not compromising on the audio quality by any means, thanks to the large 53 mm drivers. The design of the headphones is not the best but it looks way more professional than most of the other gaming headphones. One of the best things about this headset is that it is much more comfortable than other gaming headphones, as its clamping force is very optimized and the earphones and the headband are very soft as well. The headphones are closed-back but still, they are fairly breathable than other gaming headphones.
As for the sound quality, the headphones emphasize the mids and the bass is slightly emphasized too, making them extremely good for competitive gaming because most of the important elements in the game lie in the mids. Since the headphones come with their own DAC, you can set up virtual surround sound, providing a whole new experience, especially if you are coming from stereo headphones. This reduces the portability of the headphones, as they are not very usable without the device due to high impedance.
Moreover, these headphones are incredibly better than gaming headphones by Steelseries, Logitech, or Razer, etc, when it comes to music-listening. The sound detail is amazing for the price and the imaging is very precise as well.
All-in-all, for the price, you cannot get better headphones than the HyperX Cloud II and you should definitely have a look at them if you want to buy a headset for both gaming and regular music-listening.
3. Razer Electra V2 USB
- Great Looks
- Well-balanced sound signature
- Comfortable for people with small ears
- Metallic headband can be tricky
- The sound detail could have been better at this price
Design: Over-Ear / Closed-Back | Frequency Response: 20 Hz - 20 kHz | Impedance: 32 Ohms | Weight: 294 g
Razer is one of the most renowned companies when it comes to gaming peripherals and their headsets are greatly regarded by professional gamers. The Razer Electra V2 USB, however, is not a flagship headset, in fact, it is targeted towards the low-end users. The quality of the headphones is great for the price and they feel quite comfortable. The shape of the headphones feels quite impressive although the ear cups are not very large, which is why the headphones do not fit people with large ears comfortably.
The sound signature of the headphones is quite well-balanced, although the sound detail is not the best for the price. The headphones lack bass too, unlike their Kraken series, which greatly emphasize the bass. The microphone quality is pretty bad and it feels just okay for communicating and wouldn’t suit anything else. The metallic headband of the headphones is although a good thing when it comes to durability, however, it gives a lot of vibration upon touch, providing a humming sound.
Conclusively, if you want a cheap good-looking USB headset, Razer Electra V2 USB is one of the best choices and it is a pretty durable headset too.
MPOW is not a renowned company but it manufactures a lot of headphones that provide a great value. MPOW HC6 is no exception and these headphones have an on-ear design with protein leather ear cups. The quality of the headphones is quite good although a lot of people will find on-ear headphones less comfortable, although these kinds of headphones won’t make your ears hot. The weight of the headphones is quite low as well which somewhat compensates for comfort loss due to on-ear design and the thin headband is certainly a big factor here.
The sound quality of the headphones is quite amazing for the price and you will not find many headphones that provide better sound quality at this price. The in-line controls are much better than most of the similar headsets and you get big buttons for mute, volume control and microphone mute functions. The microphone is noise-cancelling and features the standard boom-mic design, having a 270-degree rotation.
In all, MPOW HC6 is a great cheap headset that comes with USB interface and you can easily use the headphones for conference calls and music-listening, although for games, you should look at other options.
Logitech H390 is one of the cheapest headphones by the company, which comes with the USB interface. The design of the headphones is quite similar to MPOW HC6, although it has an over-ear design. The headphones are quite lightweight and provide great comfort, although the ear cups feel a bit small, which is why people with big ears might not feel very comfortable. The headphones are very cheap and these should not be expected to last more than a year or a bit more and that’s all we can say about the durability of the headphones.
The sound quality of the headphones is okay for the price and the sound is well-balanced. The microphone quality is although good and you can use these headphones for all your Skype conference calls or likewise. The in-line controls provide a volume wheel as well, which provides ease of use. The boom microphone can also be rotated like most of the headphones in the market and provides effective noise cancellation.
Overall, if you are short on budget and want a cheap USB headset for communication, Logitech H390 won’t disappoint you.