Wrapping It Up
Obviously there isn't anything scientific about our testing methods for gaming headsets as our analysis is purely subjective. That said, instead of relying entirely on my own ears, I did bring a few others in for additional opinions on each headset. I stressed that feedback focus on comfort and sound quality when playing games and listening to music.
When it came to comfort and sound quality, all agreed that the $90 Polk Striker P1 Multiplatform stood out as one of the best. The Kingston HyperX Cloud II also did well and most agreed that it was as comfortable as the Striker P1 and sounded almost as good. On the opposite side, neither the Gigabyte Force H3X nor the Tesoro Kuven Pro rated well.
Unfortunately, the Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma is simply too expensive at $100 for a headset that is relatively uncomfortable, limited to USB audio and lacking features such as an inline controller. Meanwhile, the Logitech G430 is decent value for $70 as it offers great sound quality and is quite comfortable, but I wouldn't say it's the best headset in this roundup.
For me, it's between the Kingston HyperX Cloud II and Polk Striker P1 Multiplatform. The HyperX Cloud II looks and feels better in my opinion, but you have to use USB audio instead of your sound card if you want the inline control box. When spending this much on a headset we'd rather not have to choose between having less features or lower quality audio.
If you're simply out to get the best bang for your buck, the Logitech G430 can't be beat in my opinion. Having heard how good it sounds we wish we didn't pass up the chance to test the company's much cheaper G230, which is based on the same design and has many of the same features for just $40. That might actually be the best value going.
Price aside, if I personally had to pick one of these headsets for gaming and listening to music, it would be the Striker P1 Multiplatform. Polk's offering may not look or feel as nice as some of the others, but we can't knock its build quality, its audio quality is the best of this bunch and it allows you to use your sound card while keeping the inline controller.