What sound system do you usually use when you are playing games? Do you plug your PC to a full set of speakers or do you prefer using headphones for a more immersive experience? If you chose the latter, are you comfortable using them for hours?
While a lot of people do use headsets, there are some that prefer using earbuds instead. If you are part of this demographic, read further to find out my recommendations for the best gaming earbuds in 2020.
Even though gaming headsets provide a more immersive and bombastic sound experience, some people still prefer using gaming earbuds for the purpose that they are much more subtle than their larger headphone counterparts.
If you are always on the go and you consider yourself a person that plays a lot of mobile games, then getting some earbuds would make sense as opposed to getting a bulkier headset.
Now, with that out of the way, here are some of the best earbuds for gaming in 2020:
Best Gaming Earbuds in 2020
1.Razer Hammerhead True Wireless
I know, you probably have a reluctance to using wireless earbuds but hear me out (no pun intended). Wireless audio solutions have come a long way and you no longer have to suffer from latency and whatnot.
The Razer Hammerhead True Wireless is what I would consider as a top TWS (True Wireless Sound) solution for people that do not want to contend with wires while they are on the go.
This product has got it all. Unlike other Razer headphones out there, this one produces a more balanced soundstage as opposed to the others that produce too much bass.
Aside from that, another landmark feature of this product is that its wireless capability is so far ahead of the competition that latency is never an issue.
In fact, when you enable its gaming mode, your teammates can hear you on the other side without any lag whatsoever.
Its included charging case allows you to charge the earbuds for 3-4 times as it can hold up to 16 hours of battery.
You can easily pair this with an Android phone or an iPhone and you can download its instruction manual to help you know exactly how to use this product’s features.
If I had to say something negative, it would be that its wireless range is not as good as other TWS earbuds out there. At 10 meters, it could start to suffer from signal loss, so it would be best that you stay within 5 meters of your mobile device or PC to get the full benefit.
All in all, the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless is one of the best wireless earbuds on the market today.
2.HyperX Cloud Gaming Earbuds
HyperX is one of the companies that you can trust when it comes to gaming audio as their headphones are pretty tough to beat for the price.
That being said, the HyperX Cloud Gaming Earbuds is the company’s first foray into the earbuds market and it is definitely showing the others how it is truly done.
The earbuds themselves are quite comfortable because instead of using the usual silicone tips, the company opted to use a different set of ear cups for maximum comfort.
The soundstage is pretty balanced with a slight bias to the lower frequencies. It does not muddy the other frequencies, so you do not have to worry about that.
In the box, you get a total of 3 different-sized ear cups so that you get the best fit for you and it also comes with a convenient carrying case as well to store the buds when they are not in use.
Although from an audio perspective, this is one of the better sounding ones on the market, I do have to point out that its red flat cable might not appeal to some.
Still, at $40, the HyperX Cloud Gaming Earbuds are pretty tough to beat, especially for what they can offer for the price.
3.Turtle Beach Battle Buds
If you want a pair of earbuds that favors the lower frequencies heavily, then this next one’s for you.
The Turtle Beach Battle Buds are quite unique in that they come with a detachable microphone that allows you to speak with your buddies on Discord or any other similar service.
Mic quality is passable, though it could have been improved in some areas. It is not aesthetically pleasing when attached but the good thing is that you can simply detach it when not in use.
Aside from the microphone, the Battle Buds are perfect for first-person shooters simply because it favors bass responses better than the others.
Where this product falls short is in its build quality as it is made entirely of plastic. But, for a $30 pair of earbuds, that is a compromise that a lot of gamers are probably willing to make.
4.Klim Fusion Earbuds
This next pair of earbuds might not be as popular as the other recommendations, but if you browse through Amazon’s top earbuds list, you will find this next gem among them.
The Klim Fusion Earbuds are surprisingly good despite its very affordable price. This product has a lot of notable features but the biggest one is probably its comfort.
You see, unlike the others that make use of silicone ear cups, the Klim Fusion makes use of Memory Foam for supreme comfort. That means that the ear cups themselves conform to the actual shape of your ears that makes these things comfortable to wear for hours.
What’s more, it comes with an included microphone and carrying pouch so you can store them if you are not using them.
This product is also backed up by a 5-year warranty which just means that the company has a lot of pride in this product than one can give them credit for.
At $20, the Klim Fusion is one of the best affordable gaming earbuds on the market.
5.Beats Urbeats3 Earphones
This pair of earphones are pretty good for the price. The Beats Urbeats3 is one that you should consider if you want another product that offers a more balanced soundstage.
Now, why would you want an overall balanced sound? You see, people who buy earbuds not only use them for gaming but they also use them for listening to music and watching their favorite shows as well.
Sure, they might not have the impressive bass response of high-end gaming headsets, but they certainly offer something more than just providing some gaming audio.
Its microphone is quite good and its in-line controls just make it more convenient for you to toggle the volume and mic controls whenever you need to.
While this product can be supported by any device that has a 3.5mm headphone jack, iPhone users would receive more benefits compared to people who are using Android devices.
Still, if you are playing your favorite games using a PC or laptop, this can be a great choice.
6.Cooler Master MH703 Gaming Earbuds
Most of the time, when you are using earbuds, you can tinker with the soundstage by using a software EQ of some sorts. Well, this next one actually has a switch that you can press for more bass on the fly.
The Cooler Master MH703 offers pretty amazing sound for a pair of earbuds. That is thanks to its massive 10mm Neodymium drivers.
By default, they provide a more balanced sound but when you press the dedicated bass button on its in-line controls, that is where the magic happens.
With a simple press of a button, you can enjoy punchier bass which is ideal for people who play first-person shooters.
The bass boost feature also improves positional audio as well so you can pinpoint the enemy’s position with improved accuracy.
Its minimalist design might also appeal to a lot of people, especially those that intend to use these earbuds in the office, for example.
My only gripe with this otherwise amazing product is that its microphone is just not that good. And, when you talk a lot with your buddies on the other end of the line, using these earbuds might not be the best solution.
Still, if we are talking purely about sound, the Cooler Master MH703 is definitely one of the best out there.
7.1More Triple Driver
Another pricey earbuds for gaming, does 1More Triple Driver have what it takes to warrant its high asking price? If you ask me, yes!
In terms of audio, these earphones certainly deliver on that front. You get punchier bass without sacrificing the highs and mids which makes it ideal not only for gaming but also for other listening purposes as well.
Its microphone is attached to the in-line controls and although they sound great, you must put careful attention to its position.
You see, when you wear the earphones as they are intended, the microphone can be a little bit too far from your mouth. This means that if you are playing in a noisy environment, it might catch some sounds that you do not intend on including in your chat.
You can easily rectify that by using a clip to keep the earphones near your mouth, but it certainly would have been better if its placement is where it is supposed to be in the first place.
Still, its audio is one of the best out there so I cannot really complain that much.
8.Razer Hammerhead Duo
Let’s go full circle and talk about a Razer product to end this article, shall we? Razer is a brand that prides itself on creating quality gaming keyboards, gaming mice, and gaming headsets, but they also dabble into creating quality earbuds as well.
The Razer Hammerhead Duo is a pretty good set of earbuds mainly because of its driver design. The company has incorporated two drivers on each earbud to ensure that the bass response doesn’t muddy the highs and the mids (which is a common complaint when it comes to Razer’s previous audio solutions).
You get different-sized silicone ear cups to ensure a comfortable fit and its microphone is topnotch.
Since the product makes use of a 3.5mm connector, you can easily use this with a mobile device or you can connect it to your PC without any problems.
For the price of $60, it would have been nice if the company also included a carrying case with it, but that is just me nitpicking at this point.
If you do not like using a wireless pair of earbuds, then the Razer Hammerhead Duo is a perfect wired solution for your gaming audio.
Amazon Luna- Everything You Need to Know About Amazon’s Cloud Gaming Service
It seems that cloud gaming is the future as a lot of companies are pooling their resources just to make things happen.
Amazon Luna is Amazon’s foray into cloud gaming and it is going to be available soon. Read further to find out more information about this new experience.
Google has paved the way for cloud gaming to come to the fore with the release of the Stadia not too long ago. Although it was mired with a lot of different issues, it seems that the company has found a way to make things work.
Amazon also wants in on the action and although there are some similarities with Luna and Stadia, there are also some stark differences as well.
Before I begin, I just want to explain the concept of cloud gaming. Basically, instead of downloading games to your gaming PC or whatever platform you choose to install them, you will just stream those games using data centers that are scattered all over the world.
It should go without saying that you need to have a fast internet connection to make this happen and so that you will not experience high latency (which was a huge problem when Stadia launched).
That being said, the premise of Google Stadia is that you need to either purchase an individual game so that you can play it at any time (forever) or you could subscribe to the monthly plan and play the games that are on offer every month (and continue to play them so long as you’re subscribed).
With Amazon Luna, you will be presented with different channels that you can subscribe to. Each of these channels has different games on offer which makes this quite appealing for game developers to show their mettle.
Right now, the platform is still in beta and there are only two channels available at the moment- Amazon’s own Luna Plus and the Ubisoft Channel. The latter will have 50 games that you can play right away and more Ubisoft games will be added in the future.
Keep in mind that this channel-based system makes it so that developers can price their services accordingly. It remains to be seen how much Ubisoft will charge individual users, so stay tuned for that.
1080p and 4K Gaming
Just like Google Stadia, Amazon Luna will support both 1080p and 4K resolutions. Of course, the latter would be more taxing and you will need a fast internet connection to be able to enjoy high-fidelity gaming. I suggest that you get a WiFi 6 router and a compatible device to make the most out of your experience.
Unlike Stadia, Amazon Luna is more flexible in that it supports a lot of different devices. Not only can you play on your PC, but you can also choose to play it using your iOS devices, Android phones, and you can even utilize the company’s own FireTV devices as well.
Now, there has been this entire debacle about Apple’s 30% cut on every app in its App store but the good news is that Amazon can circumvent that.
You see, when you are going to play on your iOS devices, the application will actually be a PWA or a Progressive Web App. Basically, the game that you want to play will run in a contained web browser instead of it being an actual application that you install in your device. This bypasses the whole 30% cut issue which is a good thing.
NVIDIA Hardware Use
According to a recent Steam survey, the vast majority of PC users are all using NVIDIA graphics cards. This is a good thing for Amazon Luna because it means that it can support a lot more people.
That is because the company’s cloud gaming service will use NVIDIA GPUs instead of AMD cards (which Stadia uses for graphics processing).
Supposing that Amazon Luna will be more popular than any other cloud gaming service out there, NVIDIA will enjoy huge profits as a result.
Can Be Streamed to Popular Sites
Twitch is arguably the most popular streaming platform today and Amazon is looking to forge a partnership with the said service to allow you to stream your games to the popular website.
The said platform is widely used as a means of generating revenue- something that is quite popular today due to the recent pandemic.
This move also makes it appealing as well as more and more content creators can use Amazon Luna to reach a broader audience.
New Controller with Alexa Support
Just like Google Stadia, Amazon Luna also requires you to get a special controller. The good thing is that the control will have a microphone so that you can use Alexa for specific voice commands.
What’s interesting about the Luna’s controller is that it is completely connected to the Cloud, which means that you do not have to pair it with the specific device you are going to use to play games online.
According to Amazon’s website, it should have a grippy texture and will feature low-friction thumbsticks that provide maximum performance across the board. By using the controller’s microphone, you can actually tell Alexa to fire up the specific game that you want to play, so long as it is inside the channel that you’ve subscribed to.
Amazon Luna is quite enticing, at least, on paper. It is shaping up to be a better cloud gaming service compared to its competitors but the service is still in beta, so there are more things that need ironing out before its official release.
Right now, there are only two channels that are available and Ubisoft hasn’t imposed its pricing yet. The Amazon Luna channel is priced at $6.99
If you are interested in getting in on the action, you can be an early beta tester by subscribing to the service.
Amazon Luna will be out sometime in October.
Acer Nitro XV340CK Review- A Greatly Competitive Ultrawide Gaming Monitor Under $500
Ultrawide monitors used to be a niche display in that the only people who work on productivity tasks and creative workloads usually buy them.
Fortunately, the display technology has evolved and gamers, too, can enjoy a much wider screen.
Today, I am going to review the Acer Nitro XV340CK which is a 34-inch ultrawide gaming monitor that is priced competitively.
Even though this is marketed as a gaming monitor, the Acer Nitro XV340CK actually doesn’t look like it. It looks simple and I love the aesthetics, especially if you want to place this in your office.
The only thing that might make you think that this is a gaming display is that red accent that you can find on the base of the monitor but that’s about it.
Anyway, let’s start with the stand. Aside from the aforementioned red accent, the stand provides good ergonomics.
It gives you the ability to swivel the monitor a complete 360 degrees, you can tilt it to 35 degrees back and you can adjust the height up to 5.9 inches. Because this is an ultrawide monitor, you cannot put this thing in portrait mode.
I love the fact that this monitor has slim bezels. At only 0.4 inches, you can place another monitor right beside it and it wouldn’t really take a lot of screen real estate at all.
The overall build quality is good. Despite the fact that it doesn’t feel premium, at least when compared to the best gaming monitors out there, it still feels sturdy nevertheless.
For the ports, you get two Displayport 1.4 ports, two HDMI 2.0 ports, and two USB 3.0 ports. Due to the wealth of ports on offer, you can use this for your PC or your game console.
The only thing that might be cumbersome for some users is that the OSD controls are situated at the back of the monitor- particularly on the bottom right side. The buttons are also a bit smaller than usual, so you may have a hard time pressing the right ones.
The Acer Nitro XV340CK has a 34-inch IPS display with a resolution of 3440 x 1440 and an aspect ratio of 21:9. It is the same as other ultrawide gaming monitors that you can find on the market so there is no problem with that.
You do have the option to enable the picture-in-picture mode so that you can divide the display in two if you wish to fire up two different programs at the same time. This is why it is not only a handy gaming monitor, but it can also be used for office work as well.
Its contrast and brightness leave much to be desired. With a native contrast ratio of 1048:1 and peak SDR brightness of only 247 nits, it is not the best display when it comes to these things.
However, its redeeming quality is that its colors are accurate. After calibration, I got 95% sRGB, 82% AdobeRGB, and 81% DCI-P3. It is relatively color accurate and it would have been nice for creative workloads, but its peak brightness just falls short of making it an ideal display for such use-cases.
It is also worth noting that if you are in a well-lit room that the brightness could be a huge issue. The good thing is that the display’s matte finish can help reduce glare significantly, though you will still find that it is not bright enough in some situations.
I am surprised by the fact that there is literally no color bleed on the Acer Nitro XV340CK. This is unheard of, especially since ultrawide monitors are notorious for this.
Sure, its peak brightness and contrast could have improved, but gamers are not especially focused on those things. If anything, it is the performance of the display that usually takes the cake and I am happy to report that you won’t be disappointed with the Nitro XV340CK.
Normally, with IPS panels, they tend to not have a good response time, but that is actually not the case here. At just 5.3ms, it is definitely one of the best out there even when compared to other, more premium models.
How about input lag? This is a speed monitor and as expected, input lag is minimal. At just 4.2ms, I am really blown away by the performance of this thing. Every keypress on your gaming keyboard will register almost immediately and that is really great from a competitive standpoint.
It is also worth noting that its 144Hz refresh rate is ideal, especially since most gamers are clamoring for high refresh rate displays anyway.
This is a FreeSync gaming monitor and you can enable this variable refresh rate feature in both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards.
To get a hold of the said features, it is important for you to know that you should use the DisplayPort cable that is included in the box. There is also an included HDMI cable if you want to use this display for your Xbox or Playstation consoles.
With all of those things being said, if I were to ask you how much this thing costs, what will be your guess? If you’ve guessed around $700, you’re wrong.
The Acer Nitro XV340CK is priced at just $450! At that price, you are getting a relatively color-accurate monitor, a really fast display with minimal input lag, and a vast number of ports that you can use for your PC or game consoles.
Sure, its contrast and peak brightness could have been improved, but if you are talking about raw gaming performance, the Acer Nitro XV340CK blows other ultrawide gaming monitors out of the way.
Just make sure that you have a nice gaming PC for this thing to work nicely. Other than that, I highly recommend the Acer Nitro XV340CK for its price and performance.
HyperX Cloud Stinger S- A Comfortable 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset
As an audiophile, I’ve always loved HyperX’s gaming audio solution. They are inexpensive and for the price, you are actually getting sound quality that you normally would only hear from expensive products.
In today’s article, I am going to review the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. This is a budget offering that aims to improve upon the original Cloud Stinger with the inclusion of a 7.1 surround sound option.
Do I recommend this headset? Find out later on in the article.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger S is actually quite similar to the original version. It has the same pleather ear cups that envelope your ears quite nicely and the clamping force of the headset itself is actually quite okay.
I’ve been receiving reports that there are some people that have problems with the tightness or, shall I say, how loose this thing can be. But that will probably be a result of the size of your head and not the actual product itself. For me, the fit was okay, but your mileage may vary.
Although this thing is predominantly made in plastic, the overall build quality is good, though I would advise you not to throw this headset when you lose a round in a MOBA game or first-person shooter.
There is a microphone on this headset and just like the original, it is not removable. It would have been nice if you could remove it when you are not using it because even if you fold the microphone (which also acts as a way of muting it), you will still see it which can be annoying at times.
This thing is quite simple and all you have for the controls is the volume slider that is located on the right ear cup.
While other HyperX gaming headsets come with a carrying pouch, I am sad to say that the HyperX Cloud Stinger S doesn’t have one.
All you get in the box aside from the headset is a USB dongle that is attached to a relatively long cable and some documentation. And, since you use this thing completely wired, it can also be used in your Playstation or other game consoles as well.
The 3.5mm analog cable should be inserted in the USB dongle if you wish to use its 7.1 surround sound implementation, but if you are just going to watch movies or play non-competitive games, I suggest that you do not use it.
There are two modes that you can utilize if you are going to use the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. You can use its 3.5mm headphone jack and enjoy stereo sound or you could insert that into the included USB dongle and use the 7.1 surround sound feature.
Keep in mind that if you are going to use the 7.1 output that it is only supported on the PC since you will need the NGENUITY software to enable it.
That being said, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S’ sound signature leans more toward being bright and with a little emphasis on the bass. This seems to be the preference of the majority of gamers since lower frequencies can make those in-game sounds pop-out more.
I also love the mid frequencies as it is quite balanced as well. I’ve had no problems listening to in-game dialog and when I am using the microphone, it just works really well.
Although the high frequencies are okay, I would say that it is the weakest of the bunch, though not so much as to diminish the overall sound quality. You will still hear the sibilance of the cymbals and lead guitars, but it is not as pronounced as the lower and mid frequencies.
As for the 7.1 surround sound, you should enable it in the companion software and it is only available when you are on the PC.
Anyway, its surround sound is okay but I say this because it is a budget gaming headset. If you compare it to the more premium ones, this is subpar at best. Still, you could enable it in your favorite games but I will advise against it if you are just listening to music or watching movies.
Despite a relatively good clamping force, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S doesn’t do so well in terms of sound isolation. People around me can still hear what I was listening to, so this might not be ideal if you are playing at night and there are people sleeping.
There is usually this notion that budget headsets have horrible microphones but not the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. In fact, I would go on to say that it has one of the better ones on the market.
Instead of sounding tinny, the microphone quality of the Cloud Stinger S is full-bodied and my teammates can hear every word I said without any problems.
The volume of the microphone is also quite good as well. Normally, with budget offerings, you tend to sound a bit ‘too far’ but that is not the case here.
Overall, I am quite pleased with the microphone. The only thing that I do not like is that the flippable microphone may impede your vision sometimes, but I think that you can adjust to this.
For a budget headset, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S is definitely one of the better sounding ones. I also love the fact that the microphone’s quality is top-notch and it can even go head-to-head against its more premium counterparts.
I am just a bit disappointed that you do not get a carrying pouch with this one because other HyperX gaming headsets have them. But, this is a minor inconvenience.
I did not feel the need to talk about the NGENUITY software mainly because it is pretty barebones and all you can do with it is to enable the 7.1 surround sound, adjust the volume and microphone, and that’s about it. There is no equalizer present which is quite odd.
Still, for what it is giving you, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S is highly recommended. This thing costs $60.
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