Virtual reality is one of the most immersive and interactive gaming experiences imaginable. When you put on that headset with a good pair of earphones, it can make you feel like you really are a soldier on the battlefield or an astronaut in outer space.
There’s plenty of info out there about the best VR headsets and there are already some pretty big name market leaders in that department. However, there are plenty more sets of headphones you can get that are compatible with VR.
Given how crucial audio is to providing a complete virtual reality experience, this choice can be the make or break factor for determining whether or not your VR setup is any good.
We’ve narrowed the huge selection of VR headphones down to our favorites to help you find one that works for you.
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
As the name implies, these headphones from SARLAR have been designed specifically with VR gaming in mind. They are custom built for the Oculus Quest 2 VR headset but will still work just fine with all other headsets, too.
Over-ear headphones like these are always a good way to go if you want to be able to block out external noise and feel the full immersive effects of VR gaming.
The cushions around the edge of these headphones are even thicker than a standard pair of headphones to amplify this effect even further.
The headphones come with a custom length 3.5mm cable which is the perfect length to connect it to the Oculus Quest 2 and most other headsets, meaning you won’t have to worry about dangling wires getting in the way of your movements.
As well as this neat accessory, these headphones also include a VR lens protective cover, microfiber cleaning cloth, velcro tie to hold the headphones in place, and a carry case to make the whole device more portable.
The criticism of a lot of over-ear headphones for VR gaming is that they are clunky and get in the way of the headset. After all, it can often be uncomfortable to have multiple straps going over your head to keep everything in place.
However, because this pair of headphones has been designed specifically for VR, it is super lightweight and sits comfortably on top of the headset.
As well as all the VR customized features, this is also generally a pretty good pair of headphones. The 45mm large-aperture drivers provide them with very high quality audio and deep bass that you’ll feel through your whole body.
Of course, this could get a bit overwhelming with certain games, but thankfully you can adjust audio settings in most game menus.
- VR compatibility - Many of the features of these headphones have been designed specifically for use with VR gaming headsets
- Lightweight - You’ll hardly even notice the headphones are there, even while wearing them for long periods
- Optimized for gaming sound - These headphones provide a great audio quality for gaming
- Accessories - There are plenty of extra gadgets and accessories that come included with the headphones
- Durability - The headphones aren’t made with the highest quality materials and you might find that they damage quite easily
Much like the first headphones we looked at, this pair is also designed specially for use with VR headsets. However, one key difference between the two is that these are in-ear headphones, which provide a completely different audio experience.
Of course, the most obvious difference between in-ear headphones and over-ear ones is that the in-ear versions will not block out as much external background noise.
This can be detrimental to the overall gaming experience as loud background noise can be distracting and break your immersion from a game. However, if your setup is in a room that you know will always be pretty quiet, this shouldn’t be an issue.
The main reason people go for in-ear headphones for VR is because they are less clunky, easier to wear with a headset and are less likely to come loose or fall out/off of your ears.
Similar to the previous headphones, these come with a custom length AUX cable that makes it perfect for use with the Oculus Quest 2, as well as most other VR headsets. Again, this means you won’t have loose wires dangling all over you and inhibiting your movement.
Despite the reputation in-ear headphones have of providing lower quality audio, this pair actually has a lot of cool features that give it a really full sound. Dual audio drivers which are dedicated for highs/mids and bass sounds combine perfectly for crystal clear audio.
Some people might find in-ear headphones somewhat uncomfortable but this pair comes with 3 different sized soft silicone tips to provide more options for every shape and size of users’ ears.
They also use a sturdy aluminum housing which makes the headphones durable and able to withstand some minor bumps and other damage.
- Customized for VR - The customized wire length and audio features make this pair of headphones perfect for VR gaming use
- High quality audio - The dual drivers do a good job of providing a full sound
- Durability - The strong aluminum housing makes these headphones fairly resistant to damage
- 3 different sized silicone tips - Gives you options to find the right size for providing maximum comfort
- Background noise - These likely won’t be as good as over-ear headphones for eliminating background noise
Unlike the first two pairs of headphones on our list, this set from SteelSeries isn’t designed specifically for VR, rather for general gaming use.
What this means is that the audio quality provided by these headphones will be fantastic for gaming but not so much in terms of the practicality of VR gaming.
For example, the drivers inside the headphones are designed specially to control sound distortion and give you crystal clear audio to take in your surroundings during gameplay.
Similarly, this pair of headphones comes with its own detachable microphone that can be used for a host of games and come in very handy for multiplayer online games.
Not only does it have this microphone, it’s also one of the best gaming microphones on the market. SteelSeries boasts studio quality audio reception that provides perfect voice clarity and cancels out a lot of the background noise.
The only downside to these headphones is that they might be difficult to wear for long periods over a VR headset, mainly due to the clunky strap that goes across the top of the user’s head.
These headphones are great for comfort when wearing normally, but if they have to go on top of a VR headset, you might notice them slipping and getting uncomfortable.
However, once you do find a way to wear them comfortably, you’ll find that the padding around the ears feels very nice on the sides of your head as they’ve been designed with sports inspired fabric to keep your head cool and dry.
- Minimal distortion drivers - The sound quality of these headphones is immense and perfect for gaming
- High quality microphone - One of the best gaming microphones available on the market
- Comfortable ear padding - With padding designed with athletics inspired fabric, you’ll hardly even notice these headphones on your ears
- Difficult to wear with VR headset - The strap across the top of these headphones could make them a little uncomfortable to wear with a VR headset
Another pair of in-ear gaming headphones, this set from Amavision represents a much simpler, more budget friendly alternative to some of the more powerful headphones we’ve looked at.
They’re custom made for VR gaming headsets, particularly the Oculus Quest 2 and Meta Quest 2. This customization mainly takes the form of the short wire length, which is perfect for use with VR headsets as it doesn’t leave dangling wires all over you while playing.
This is definitely a pretty simple pair of in-ear gaming headphones but it still does the basic stuff right.
For example, you’ll find that the in-ear vacuum keeps most of the unwanted background noise out of your ears and stops the buds from falling out, even under rapid movement during gameplay.
Similarly, the headphones come with two different sized silicone tips to provide different levels of comfort for any shape or size of the user’s ear.
Of course, at such a low price point, you can’t expect the highest audio quality and durability.
You probably will notice the inferior sound quality compared to other headphones you might have used, but if you need a solid, affordable pair of headphones, these will have all the basic features you need.
- Customized for VR - These headphones fit perfectly with a VR headset and won’t fall out too easily
- Budget friendly - These are some of the least expensive VR gaming headphones you can find on the market
- Suppresses background noise - The vacuum seal keeps pretty much all of the background noise out of your ears
- Audio quality - The audio quality of these headphones isn’t nearly as good as some of the more expensive options
- Durability - The plastic housing and weak materials used to make certain components mean these headphones are more prone to being damaged
At the other end of the budget scale, we have the beast of a pair of headphones from Sennheiser. This is a well known brand for headphones and other audio related devices so you can trust them when it comes to producing some high quality headphones.
This pair is designed with gaming in mind, and has great velvet padding around both ears and on the strap that goes over the player’s head. This means you can wear the headphones for hours at a time while experiencing minimal discomfort or fatigue.
They also come with a high quality microphone which uses noise canceling technology to cancel out any unwanted background noise and keep your voice sound clear for your teammates.
Not to mention, the high quality Sennheiser audio makes these headphones fantastic for gaming, with every sound generated in the game coming through to your ears with powerful depth and perfect clarity.
Of course, being another set of over-ear headphones, these might get a little uncomfortable when wearing with a VR headset.
The thick, curved bar that goes over the user’s head doesn’t often cooperate well with the strap of a VR headset so you might find this to be an issue.
- Super high audio quality - Sennheiser’s audio quality is fantastic in pretty much all their products, including this one
- Velvet padding - Makes the headphones very comfortable to wear for long periods
- Noise canceling - Blocks out most of the background noise in your ears and through the microphone
- Microphone - The flexible arm microphone is great for keeping good communication with other players online
- Quite clunky - You’ll probably notice that it doesn’t sit very well when worn with a VR headset
The last pair of headphones we’re looking at is another fairly simple, in-ear set that works really well with VR headsets.
As we’ve come to expect with most VR headphone sets, these have a custom length wire that fits most VR headsets perfectly.
The whole pair of headphones is designed with strong materials, including the wire. The whole thing has great durability and won’t stop working after only a few months due to regular wear and tear.
It also has three different sizes of silicone tips to allow users to find their perfect fit. Not to mention, weighing only 20g (0.7oz), these are also some of the lightest headphones we’ve looked at in this list.
Unfortunately, while it might be a fairly budget friendly option, these headphones also don’t provide a great level of audio quality. Therefore, if you’re after something that will give you a fully immersive VR experience, you’re probably better off looking elsewhere.
- Budget friendly - This pair is definitely on the lower end of the price scale
- 3 different sized silicone tips - Allows you to find the perfect fit for your ears
- Customized for VR - The wire is the perfect length to use with a VR headset
- Audio quality - You’ll definitely find better audio quality with some of the more expensive options on this list
Best Headphones For VR Buying Guide
If you’ve been through our list and still not found a pair of headphones for VR that suits you, don’t worry! There are plenty of other options out there that we haven’t listed in this article.
If you want to look around for some different headphones yourself, these are the things you should consider.
In-ear vs Over-ear
These are the two main styles of headphones you get for gaming and they both have their own unique benefits and costs.
For example, over-ear headphones are great for blocking out background noise and providing a more whole sound quality. They are also often a lot more comfortable to wear on their own.
However, in-ear headphones are often much more comfortable to wear with a VR headset as they don’t require a large strap to go over the top of your head. Similarly, they’re less likely to come loose or fall out of place while you’re moving during gameplay.
Neither option is better than the other, it’s simply a case of personal preference.
You’ll have noticed that many of the headphones we’ve listed that were specifically designed for VR have a customized wire length. They use only enough wire to connect the headset to your ears, leaving no dangling wires to get in your way while moving.
If you only intend to use your headphones for VR, getting one with a short wire is a great idea.
Again, this isn’t a necessary feature, unless you plan on playing online games and communicating with other players. A gaming microphone that attaches to headphones is great because it’s usually more durable and better for blocking out background noise than a regular desktop microphone.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use any headphones for VR?
Theoretically, you can use absolutely any pair of headphones for VR gaming. Most VR headsets will have a 3.5mm AUX port so as long as your headphones have a regular AUX cable, you’ll be able to connect them to the headset.
The only issue is how well the headphones fit over your head with the VR headset. Some bigger, more clunky headphones could be uncomfortable to wear because of this.
Do you need headphones with a VR headset?
You also don’t necessarily NEED a pair of headphones to play VR games. However, the whole point of virtual reality is to immerse yourself fully in the gameplay. Therefore, if you don’t have fully immersive sound playing right into your ears, the whole thing could feel a little pointless.
Hopefully, you now have a much clearer understanding of which headphones are best for VR gaming. We’ve looked at a few different styles of headphones in this article and there isn’t really one set that’s better than all the others.
The decision is mostly down to personal preference and how you enjoy gaming. Don’t feel pressured to buy any particular brand or style because it’s popular. Feel free to go with whatever headphones work best for you and your gaming experience!
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