Google Stadia has come into its own as a gaming platform by adding more multiplayer games. Whether you play on PC, television, or a mobile device, a great headset is essential, not only for getting great sound but also communicating with other players. Our pick for best overall Stadia headset is the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless for its solid sound and easy compatibility at an affordable price. Whether you're going wired or wireless, we have plenty of options for your play-style.
Best overall: SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless
SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless
All around great
The SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless headset is one of the best overall headsets because it is a solid piece of hardware for a reasonable price. It may not look like much in its plainness, but it trades the frills for quality sound and easy compatibility with about every platform.
It features the same speaker drivers as the more expensive Arctis 7 and other SteelSeries headsets, emphasizing subtle sounds with low distortion. Unfortunately, it can only output stereo sound, which may be a bummer for those wanting high-end surround sound in their ears. The microphone is detachable for easy packing and offers noise cancelation chatting in-game or through Discord. The headset itself is lightweight and durable with a steel-reinforced band, and contains volume and mute buttons on the headset.
The greatest feature of this headset is its easy compatibility. The headset does not have Bluetooth, but it connects wirelessly through a USB-C dongle, perfect for the Stadia controller when playing across TV and Android phones with its lower latency. It comes with a USB adapter to use with PC, Mac, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. It will work with Xbox controllers, but requires a 3.5mm audio cable that is also included with the headset.
Best budget: Corsair HS35
Base level headset
The Corsair HS35 may not have a cool sounding name, but it's still a solid choice to use if you want to hear and talk with friends in multiplayer games on Stadia without hurting your wallet.
The headset features plush memory foam cushions on the ear cups, though there isn't as much cushion in the headband as other headsets. It comes with a volume wheel and mute button positioned behind the left cup that may take a few tries to use at first cause it is an awkward position. The microphone is average at best, but it is detachable.
It is wired, so it will work with any hardware with a 3.5mm jack. It is up to preference whether a wired headset is the right choice when using a wireless Stadia controller on a TV or Android phone. The stereo sound headset also features surround sound, but it only works on Windows 10 PC after enabling Windows Sound.
Best premium: SteelSeries Arctis 7P/7X Wireless
SteelSeries Arctis 7P/7X Wireless
Pricey, but excellent
The SteelSeries Arctis 7P and 7X Wireless headsets may be specifically designed for PlayStation and Xbox consoles but both offer great sound and comfort for those willing to spend more on a Stadia headset.
The two headsets feature the same 2.4GHz wireless USB-C dongle as the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless that works across the Stadia controller, Android, Nintendo Switch, and PC. The differences are the 24-hour battery life, a retractable microphone that can be pushed inside the headset, and a suspension band similar to a ski goggle headband. The latter makes the headband more comfortable while being secure.
While it is a great headset on its own for Stadia for compatibility and sound, both do offer extra features that are exclusive to consoles. The Arctis 7X features a "ChatMix" dial on the headset that adjusts the volume between Xbox game audio and in-game chat from teammates, while the Arctis 7P takes advantage of the PlayStation 5's own built-in spatial audio system. It becomes a better headset if you own one of the consoles in addition to Stadia, but is still a great choice without the exclusive features.
Best wired: HyperX Cloud Alpha S
HyperX Cloud Alpha S
Wired headset with options
The HyperX Cloud Alpha S wired headset offers great sound with a lot of customizable options while playing multiplayer games on Stadia. It is a great value at its price, and does not need to be constantly recharged like a wireless headset.
The Alpha S gives the player a ton of options to control the volume without needing to go into in-game menus. It features an audio mixer on the wire with several buttons to activate the 7.1 surround sound, adjust volume, mute sound, and change the balance between the game and chat audio. There are also bass adjustment sliders on both ear cups with three settings to increase or decrease the bass. While the microphone is nothing special, it is detachable.
Since it is a wired headset, it requires a 3.5mm jack either through PC or the Stadia controller. It's more of a headset for PC in that regard, unless the dangling wire does not matter when playing on the Stadia controller in front of a television or through an Android phone.
Best lightweight: Razer Kraken X
Razer Kraken X
Wallet friendly comfort
The Razer Kraken X is a step above the cheapest of gaming headsets, but is not devoid of some features that more expensive headsets would have. The light headset has plush memory foam cushions for the ear cups, soft headband padding, and weighs only 0.55 pounds so you can comfortably play Stadia games for hours.
The wired headset is compatible with any device containing a 3.5mm jack like a PC or Stadia controller. It only has a volume wheel and mute button on the ear cup, and it's in such an awkward position that you may have to fiddle around with it each time before the setting is just right. Unfortunately, the microphone is not detachable or retractable, but can be bent into a better position.
The stereo sound is clearer than other headsets in this price range and also features 7.1 surround sound, although, the surround sound is only available on Windows 10 64-bit PCs since it has to be enabled with software that is included. The sound is still good enough when connected to a Stadia controller, and you get all of it without breaking the bank.
Google Stadia can be a tricky platform to find a headset compatible with it if you're planning to game beyond the PC, since some of the best Stadia controllers only work through PC. The Stadia controller, required for the TV, only features a USB-C port and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Any wired headset with a splitter can do fine, but the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless headset takes all the guesswork out and free you from being tethered to a controller on a platform that prides itself on streaming games wirelessly.
The SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless headset is one of the best gaming headsets for Google Stadia out now for its quality sound, ease-of-use, and solid construction for a mid-range price. Not only does it work with Stadia when playing through PC, your TV, or mobile phones, but it is also compatible with every other major gaming platform. You can essentially use one headset for all gaming needs.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Thomas Meyer is a freelance writer and covers all things Stadia for Android Central. His interests include gaming, sports, and the gym. You can follow him on Twitter @tomeyerz.
Thomas Meyer fell in love with video games starting in the mid '90s with a NES, Super Mario Bros., Duck Hunt, and Jack Nicklaus' Greatest 18 Holes of Major Championship Golf. He hasn't stopped and is not planning on to anytime soon. Covers Google Stadia and a little bit of virtual reality.
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