A Guide to Choosing the Right Headset

min read
A young woman sitting down with a headset on.
BetMGM May 19, 2024, 12:07 PM

Online casino games have come a long way since the early days of the internet. The first online slots and casino table games were extremely primitive by today’s standards. Gameplay has improved by leaps and bounds, and so have graphics and sound effects. This means you need the right equipment to make the most of your gaming experience when playing casino games online.

But you don’t have to rush out and spend a bunch of cash. Most online casino games are optimized for mobile play, so you’ll always get the best graphics that your smartphone or tablet can produce. Sound is a different story, though. Even if you have a high-end mobile device, using the wrong gaming headset with it can ruin your gameplay. But headsets can be really expensive, so how do you decide which is the best gaming headset for you? Below, you’ll discover a guide explaining how to choose a gaming headset. 

Why a Good Gaming Headset Is Essential for Online Casino and Video Gaming

Headphones are an excellent example of an invention that has completely transformed the online gaming experience. Here are a few reasons why a good gaming headset can make all the difference:

Immersive Sound Effects

Most online casino games, like online slots, come with unique and immersive sound effects tailored to their theme. These sound effects can really bring the game to life. Take the Guns N’ Roses slot by NetEnt, for example. This music-themed slot features some of Guns N’ Roses’ best hits, and playing it simply wouldn’t be the same without a quality headset for gaming. 

Better Gaming Experience

Detailed sound effects can provide valuable auditory cues that enhance gameplay. In slots, distinct sound effects for winning combos, bonus rounds, and special features make every spin more exciting. Similarly, in live dealer games, clear audio ensures you hear the dealer’s instructions and responses, making your gambling session smoother and less stressful. Great sound effects are also key for AR and VR gaming.

Privacy and Focus

Online casinos now make it easy to play your favorite casino games anywhere, any time — on your commute, during your work break, while traveling, or while waiting for a friend at a coffee shop. The options are endless. Of course, in some scenarios, you’ll want your privacy and to be considerate of others around you. Nobody wants to listen to your live dealer poker game blaring while they eat their lunch (although they might be a bit more forgiving of that Guns N’ Roses slot, depending on their music tastes). 

Improved Audio Quality for Mobile Gaming

Not all mobile device speakers are created equal. Thankfully, quality headphones can compensate for the often subpar built-in speakers found on smartphones and tablets, providing the best online gambling experience possible while on the go. 

How To Choose a Headset

Now that you understand why headphones are crucial when playing online casino games, dive into what to look for in a gaming headset.

1. Gaming Platform

The most common gaming platforms that today’s gamers use to play online slots and casino games are Android, Windows, and iOS. Headsets with a 3.5mm connection should work on most mobile devices and PCs running on these platforms (except newer iPhones without a headphone jack). That said, the best PC gaming headset won’t be the same as the best headset for an Android smartphone, so do your homework before buying anything.

2. Wired or Wireless?

Gaming headsets can have wired or wireless connections. Wired headsets use cables to connect with your device via 3.5mm jacks or USB ports. Wireless gaming headsets connect via Bluetooth or a wireless USB dongle. Both headset types have their pros and cons, so it’s important to pick the one that’s right for you.

Wired headsets tend to be less expensive than their wireless counterparts, so if you’re looking for the best budget headset, chances are it’ll have a wired connection. There’s a good selection of wired headsets to choose from, and they’re convenient to use because you don’t have to charge them. On the downside, the cables get tangled up, and it’s inconvenient to walk between the kitchen and the couch (or wherever) while you’re trailing a wire.

If you’re less focused on best-buy gaming headsets and more interested in a premium gaming experience, consider wireless headsets — usually viewed as the best gaming headsets of the bunch. There’s no substitute for the freedom of movement they give you. Granted, wireless headsets are more expensive on average, and you have to charge their batteries, but battery life has improved tremendously in recent years.

There’s also a future-proofing aspect to this decision. Apple removed the 3.5mm headphone jack in 2016, and other manufacturers could follow suit. So, your wired headset and your device might eventually become incompatible.

3. Build Quality

You want your headset to be as comfortable and durable as possible. All-metal headbands are more durable than plastic headbands. On the comfort side, take a look at what the headband cushion is made of. A thicker cushion can reduce some of the pressure that builds up during long gaming sessions. This can make a material difference to your performance at skills-based games that require concentration. After all, you don’t want to be distracted by sore ears when you’re at a crucial stage of a game at a live casino online.

Earcups can also make a big difference to your comfort. Memory foam velour is the best, least sweaty option (compared to pure foam, “pleather,” or leather).

Clamp force and weight are also important. You want your headset to clamp evenly on your head around the headband and ear cups. As for weight, lighter headsets are better for long sessions, so if you’re thinking of a durable metal headset, make sure there’s enough padding. Not all head shapes are the same, though, so it’s advisable to try on different models, if possible.

4. Noise Isolation vs. Noise Cancelation

Unwanted noises can be annoying when you play casino games, so it’s good to know you can filter them out with a decent gaming headset. Most headsets on the market offer some form of noise isolation, typically either “passive noise isolation” (mostly referred to as just “noise isolation”) or “active noise-canceling” (ANC).

Noise-isolation headsets are designed to physically block sound from outside sources. Tight-fitting ear cups and headbands are key here.

ANC headsets use a specific technology that improves audio quality by actively filtering out background noise. They typically cost more.

Which headset type you use depends on how much background noise affects your game. Online slots, for instance, tend to have vibrant soundtracks capable of overpowering most background noise. Noise isolation should be enough unless you live near a construction site. But if you’re at a table with a live dealer or croupier in a live casino online, you’ll want to hear what they’re saying when you interact. An ANC headset could be the way to go here.

5. Stereo, Virtual Surround, or 3D Sound?

Gaming headsets come with stereo, virtual surround, and 3D sound options. Stereo is when two strands of audio come out of the left and right speakers. The cheaper headsets tend to be stereo.

Virtual surround sound mixes the audio into separate channels to make it seem like you’re listening to sound coming from multiple directions. It’s closer to how sound works in real life.

Finally, you have 3D sound, which is also known as “spatial audio.” The technology maps the audio to virtual 3D locations so that the sounds are more precise and realistic. As you’d imagine, 3D headsets are the most expensive of all.

Which type you choose depends, again, on your gaming needs. Stereo is perfectly good for most online casino games. But surround sound can improve your gaming experience. Some online slots like NetEnt’s Guns N’ Roses, Motörhead, and Jimi Hendrix have such great soundtracks that you’re bound to enjoy them more with surround sound.

Then there’s the relatively new casino sports betting phenomenon of virtual sports such as football, basketball, horse racing, and more. These events all feature hyper-realistic track-and-field sounds, as well as authentic commentary and crowd response. Surround and 3D sound can only take the experience of virtual sports to higher levels.

Tune in To Top-Notch Casino Content at BetMGM Casino

Attention to detail, such as graphics and sound, is important at BetMGM Casino. BetMGM Casino’s broad range of online casino games provides a feast for the eyes and ears. Immerse yourself in online slots with story-telling themes that take you places, enjoy a few hands of video poker, or level up and play casino games with a real dealer at BetMGM Casino. 

Register to explore, and don’t forget to browse the various welcome casino bonus offers available before you start playing. And remember, you can use your BetMGM rewards online and in physical casinos like MGM Grand and Bellagio. Note that BetMGM Casino’s online offerings are only legally active and available to players in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and West Virginia.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.