Best gaming earbuds 2023

Image of a black, rounded charging case with a JBL wireless earbud leaning against it.
Credit: JBL

Image of a black, rounded charging case with a JBL wireless earbud leaning against it.
Credit: JBL

The best gaming earbuds might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to picking the right audio solution for you, but don't count them out. They're far less cumbersome than traditional over-ear headsets with a lightweight approach that makes them wearable for long gaming sessions. Better yet, they don't skimp on sound quality, and we can prove it.

When you watch pros competing at Dota 2's The International, League of Legends' Worlds, or any of CS:GO's LAN tournaments, all the pros use earbuds. They're hidden underneath a big pair of noise cancelling headphones so that they can't hear casters commentating on the game, but this means that the best earbuds need to keep pace at the highest level of competition where a lot of money is on the line.

Finding the right pair can be tricky given there are several brands in the mix. First, they need to be comfortable enough to wear for extended periods of time, without causing any irritation or discomfort. They should be versatile enough to work with different devices, including gaming consoles, smartphones, and tablets. And if they're wirless, they should have a battery that'll last a full gaming session.

We've weighed up the best earbuds for gaming from Razer, EPOS, 1More, Turtle Beach, JBL, Creative, Shure, and more to find the right fit for you. Whether you're a casual gamer or a competitive esports player, you're sure to find a pair on our list that will meet your needs.

Best earbuds for gaming

  1. EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid Earbuds
  2. 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones
  3. Turtle Beach Scout Air
  4. JBL Quantum TWS
  5. Creative Outlier Pro
Best gaming earbuds - EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid Earbuds product image of a dark grey charging case with a pair of wireless earbuds inside.
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Credit: EPOS

1. EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid Earbuds

Best gaming earbuds

Colour: Black/Grey Weight: 6.5 grams each Drivers: 6mm
Battery Life
: 5 hours (earbuds) + 15 hours (charging case)
Price:
from $169.00 USD / £129.00 GBP

Pros:

  • Compatible with the PS4, PS5, PC, Nintendo Switch, and mobile.
  • Feature sound isolation technology.
  • Lightweight, weighing just 6.5 grams per earbud.

Cons:

  • Can only use the microphone when connected via Bluetooth.

The EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid Earbuds focus on sound quality and battery life above all else, making them an excellent option for serious gamers.

Starting with the battery, you get twenty hours of juice in total, meaning you can game for nearly a full day without the need to recharge them. They're also highly compatible, connecting to the PS4, PS5, PC, Nintendo Switch, and smartphones with Bluetooth and a low-latency USB-C dongle.

In terms of sound, these earbuds can deliver a deep bass, rich mid-tones, and amazing directional audio. You'll be able to pick out every footstep in-game to get the advantage over your enemies, and enjoy every bit of bass in your music. Plus, they deliver noise isolation for when you want to block out distractions.

One minor issue with the headphones is that the in-built microphone can only be used when connected through Bluetooth rather than the USB-C dongle that comes with the headphones. This is because the receiver reserves all its bandwidth for low-latency audio, synchronising every bit of dialogue to a character's lips. All in all, the overall quality and price of these earbuds make them stand out as an excellent choice for gaming.

Best gaming earbuds - 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones product image of a pair of black and gold wired earbuds
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Credit: 1More

2. 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones

Best wired gaming earbuds

Colour: Black/Gold, Black/Silver Weight: 18 grams Drivers: Three
Price:
from $55.73 USD / £69.99 GBP

Pros:

  • Uninterrupted audio from the wired connection.
  • Inexpensive compared to wireless competitors.
  • Three drivers combined can deliver accurate and clear audio.

Cons:

  • Less freedom to move around due to the wired connection.
  • Incompatible with devices without a headphone jack.

Looking for some of the best wired earbuds without breaking the bank? Look no further than the 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones. While wireless headphones are commonplace these days, there's something to be said for the reliability and consistent sound quality of a wired option.

Considering their price, you get some impressive audio and features that surpass what you might expect from a headphone in this price range. For example, they come with a three-button remote that works with both Android and iOS devices, a feature that's not always available on headphones at this price point.

Their triple-driver setup is also worth a mention. You get two balanced armatures and a separate dynamic driver, allowing the earbuds to deliver clear and accurate in-game sound. Interestingly, they are the world's first THX Certified headphones according to 1More, which is, once again, impressive for their price.

It's worth noting, however, that most phones no longer have headphone jacks. So, if you're a mobile gamer, you may be better off looking at some of the wireless options. But, with a compatible device, these 1More earbuds are hard to beat.

Best gaming earbuds - Turtle Beach Scout Air product image of two black wireless earbuds next to a rounded charging case.
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Credit: Turtle Beach

3. Turtle Beach Scout Air

Best budget gaming earbuds

Colour: Black Weight: Unspecified Drivers: 6mm
Battery Life
: 5 hours (earbuds) + 15 hours (charging case)
Price:
from $49.99 USD / £49.99 GBP

Pros:

  • Cheap for true wireless earbuds.
  • Come with a low latency Game Mode.
  • On-board controls and dual microphones for game chat.

Cons:

  • No noise cancellation technology.

Back to true wireless and the Turtle Beach Scout Air gaming earbuds. Known for its gaming peripherals, it's unsurprising Turtle Beach has made these headphones compatible with a wide range of devices, including the Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android, PC, and the Steam Deck. So, if you’ve invested in Valve’s portable device, then these inexpensive earbuds could be for you.

For a relatively inexpensive price, you get five hours of battery life, with an additional 15 hours of juice with the charging case. They may not come with noise-cancelling technology, but their 6mm drivers should deliver some impressive sound.

Moreover, each earbud has touch-sensitive controls, which means that you can pause, play, skip, and go back at the press of an earbud. They’ve also got in-built mics for game chat, and they're even resistant to water with an IPX4 rating.

Ultimately, these are some of the best budget earbuds on the market. And, for gaming specifically, you get a 60ms low latency Game Mode to keep noise delay in the heat of a battle to a minimum. All in all, a stellar choice for video games.

Best gaming earbuds - JBL Quantum TWS product image of a black charging case with one wireless earbud inside and the other leaning on the outside.
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Credit: JBL

4. JBL Quantum TWS

Best premium gaming earbuds

Colour: Black Weight: 11 grams each Drivers: 10mm
Battery Life
: 8 hours (earbuds) + 16 hours (charging case)
Price:
from $149.95 USD / £129.99 GBP

Pros:

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  • Large 10mm drivers.
  • Come with adaptive noise cancellation along with Ambient Aware.
  • Extremely compatible.

Cons:

  • Premium price tag.
  • Slightly heavier earbuds.

The JBL Quantum TWS joins the crowded wireless earbud market, but stands out with some impressive specs. You get a stylish black finish, a frequency response of 20hz-20,000 Hz, compatibility with Bluetooth 5.2 and 2.4GHz wireless, and a more than suitable 24-hour total battery life.

The earbuds also feature adaptive noise cancellation (ANC) to keep distractions to a minimum, although you can also switch on Ambient Aware for when you need to be more in tune with the world around you.

In terms of compatibility, the earbuds can be connected to pretty much any device with a USB-C port using a Type-C dongle. This allows them to be used with gadgets like the Steam Deck and the PS5, significantly expanding their potential uses.

Additionally, the earbuds work with a USB-C port on a phone, eliminating the need for a headphone jack and enabling you to connect the earbuds using the USB-C adapter whenever you're not charging the phone. So, for a hassle-free experience and excellent audio, these JBL earbuds are well worth checking out.

Best gaming earbuds - Creative Outlier Pro product image of a rounded, slide-open charging case with two wireless earbuds above.
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Credit: Creative

5. Creative Outlier Pro

Best gaming earbuds for battery life

Colour: Metallic Umber Weight: 7 grams each Drivers: 10mm
Battery Life
: 15 hours (earbuds) + 45 hours (charging case)
Price: from $59.99 USD / £44.99 GBP

Pros:

  • 60-hour total battery life.
  • Large 10mm drivers.
  • Weigh just 7 grams each.

Cons:

  • Lack wear-detection.

The Creative Outlier Pros are a budget-friendly option with an exceptional battery life for the price. They almost triple the total battery life of any other wireless earbuds in our guide, making them an excellent option to game with while travelling, for example.

With ANC on, the battery life drops to around 10 hours, but the charging case can keep the earbuds topped up. You'll want to make sure ANC is on though in moments when all you want to do is stay focused on your gameplay. However, when you need to stay aware of your surroundings, their Ambient Mode has you covered.

In terms of audio, their 10mm drivers can provide detailed sound quality, including excellent active noise canceling and bass without sacrificing immersion. The headphones even remember your settings, so you can quickly jump into gaming mode without having to worry about adjusting your settings every time.

What's more, you get on-board touch controls, so you can easily navigate and control your headphones with just a few taps. Overall, if you're looking for a budget-friendly option with great battery life and excellent sound quality, the Creative Outlier Pros are worth considering.

Frequently asked questions about gaming earbuds

Are earbuds worth it for gaming?

Earbuds can be a good option for gaming, especially if you prefer a more portable and discreet audio solution. While they may not offer the same level of immersion as over-ear headphones, they can still provide clear and detailed audio, especially if they feature noise-cancelling technology.

When choosing earbuds for gaming, there are a few things to consider. Look for earbuds with a good frequency response range, which can help ensure that you can hear all the different audio elements of the game. Additionally, consider earbuds with a built-in microphone if you plan on using them for online multiplayer games or voice chat.

Another factor to consider is comfort. Earbuds that fit comfortably in your ears and stay securely in place can help ensure that you can wear them for extended gaming sessions without discomfort or distraction.

Overall, earbuds can be a good option for gaming, but it ultimately comes down to personal preference and the specific needs of your gaming setup.

Are earbuds comfortable for gaming?

As touched on above, it's important you find earbuds that fit comfortably to avoid discomfort during longer sessions. However, how comfortable a pair of earbuds are depends on a variety of factors, including the size and shape of your ears, the materials used in the earbuds, and how long you plan to wear them.

Some people find that earbuds are comfortable for gaming because they are small, lightweight, and don't put pressure on the top of the head like over-ear headphones can. Additionally, some earbuds come with different sizes of ear tips, allowing you to find the best fit for your ears.

However, you may find that earbuds are not as comfortable because they can cause discomfort or irritation in the ear canal after extended use. In some cases, earbuds may also fall out of your ears during intense gaming sessions, which can be frustrating.

If you're considering using earbuds for gaming, it's a good idea to try out a few different pairs and see which ones feel the most comfortable for you. Look for earbuds with soft and flexible ear tips, and consider taking short breaks during gaming sessions to give your ears a rest.

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