Best gaming earbuds 2022: top in-ear headphones

The best gaming earbuds offer plenty of benefits over their over-ear counterparts. Aside from being lightweight and easily portable, you can also wear them for prolonged periods of time and use them with a range of other devices as well. In other words, they’re perfect for marathon gaming sessions, especially on the go.

While you’re more likely to get regular day-to-day use out of the best gaming earbuds than you would with top-of-the-line headphones, ultimately, they could save you a lot of money compared to a dedicated gaming headset that’s not going to get much use outside of your sessions. However, admittedly, many of the best gaming buds don’t pack the same level of sound quality as the larger best gaming headsets, which can result in a less immersive experience especially given the lack of virtual surround sound.

Earbuds also tend to be less ostentatious than over-ear headphones, so much so that even the offerings from gaming brands are subtle and stylish, which can’t be said for their headphone counterparts. So if versatility, affordability, portability, and comfort are as important to you as quality sound, we’ve rounded up a few contenders that are the perfect candidates for the job. Ranging from affordable to expensive, there’s an option for every budget, with a mix of wired and wireless earbuds depending on your preference.

Still unsure of whether earbuds are for you? Don’t forget to take a look at our recommendations for the best wireless gaming headsets. These let you cut the cord but don’t skimp on sound quality.

The best gaming earbuds 2022

best gaming earbuds: Bose QuietComfort 20

(Image credit: Bose)

1. Bose QuietComfort 20

The best gaming earbuds

Specifications

Battery life: 16 hours on a single chargeConnection: 3.5mmNoise cancelling: YesWeight: 44gCompatibility : Android, PS4, Xbox, Switch, PCMic: Yes

Reasons to buy

+Noise cancellation+Great battery life+Secure fit

Reasons to avoid

-Much more expensive than the competition

The QuietComfort 20 earbuds are the first in-ear noise cancelling headphones from Bose, which means that you’ll need to charge them up if you want to get the benefit of the feature. The built-in rechargeable battery offers a generous 16-hours of listening time, but you can of course carry on gaming with passive mode if you forget to juice them up.

While drowning out your surroundings so you can focus on the action is a definite plus, if you’re at home with a bustling household, you may need to tune into what’s going on from time-to-time, which is where the Aware mode comes in handy; with the touch of a button, two of the four noise-cancelling microphones will allow the sounds of your environment to pass through to your ears, so you can stay immersed while having the guarantee of not missing out on anything important. 

What’s more, the QuietComfort 20 earbuds are super comfortable to wear thanks to the soft StayHear+ tips that you don’t need to cram into your ears to ensure a secure fit.

If you’re after a good pair of noise-cancelling earbuds for gaming or your commute, that also let you easily tune into the world around you when you need to, the Bose QuietComfort 20 is our top pick. They’re some of the best gaming earbuds around. 

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(Image credit: HyperX)

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(Image credit: HyperX)

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(Image credit: HyperX)

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2. HyperX Cloud Earbuds

The best gaming earbuds for under $50/£50

Specifications

Battery life: N/AConnection: 3.5mmNoise cancelling: NoWeight: 19gCompatibility: Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, Mobile (3.5mm only)Mic: Yes

Reasons to buy

+Eye-catching design+Mic is solid for the price+Decent bass performance

Reasons to avoid

-All tips are quite large-Not great for playing music

Although they were originally created to go up against Nintendo Switch headsets, the HyperX Cloud Earbuds will work very nicely indeed with anything featuring a 3.5mm jack. Want to swap over to mobile or the Steam Deck? No problem… especially because the red cable is tangle free and won’t get too wrapped up around itself. The jack being at a 90-degree angle is also pretty handy, all things considered.

As far as the in-line mic goes, it’s not bad for online play and we found it doubled up well for video meetings on the work laptop too. For such a cheap price, we were surprised at just how much bass you get with the HyperX Cloud Earbuds, but the mids and highs leave a little bit to be desired, especially if you want to use them for music as we found some of the higher frequencies way too sharp to stick with.

A neat carry case and multiple eartips make this a really good value proposition overall. The tips are really solid too and won’t be falling apart any time soon. Even the smallest ones are pretty big though, so we’d pass on these if you have smaller ears.

EPOS GTW 270

(Image credit: EPOS)

3. EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid earbuds

The best premium gaming earbuds – and excellent for Switch

Specifications

Battery life: 20 hoursConnection: Low-latency BluetoothNoise cancelling: No (Noise isolating instead)Weight: 384g (total package weight)Compatibility: Nintendo Switch, PS5, PS4, PC, MobileMic: Yes; built-in, dual microphone

Reasons to buy

+Impressive sound +Versatile connectivity +Comfortable fit +Premium feel+Excellent battery life

Reasons to avoid

-Microphone won’t work with dongle 

The EPOS GTW 70 Hybrid wireless gaming earbuds focus on offering a high-end audio experience for Switch and mobile gaming. 

These earbuds boast the sort of audio quality you’d expect from the team at EPOS, whose hardware is on our best gaming headsets list, with deep bass, rich mid-tones, and fantastic directional audio making them as impressive playing games on your Switch or PS5 as they are listening to your favourite tunes through your phone. Plus, a charging case comes with the GTW 70 Hybrid that can give the earbuds up to a total of 20 hours of battery life.

They come with a USB-C dongle, allowing you to plug them into your Nintendo Switch and PS5, as well as a cable that will allow you to plug the dongle into a PS4. On top of that, they also support Bluetooth, so you can sync them with any device that supports it.

While they do come with an in-built microphone, this only works when you’re connected through Bluetooth, rather than the USB-C dongle. That’s because the dongle is focused on providing low-latency audio, so there is minimal disruption between what’s happening in your game and what you’re hearing. However, it does mean that you won’t be able to communicate with team-mates online. 

Read more: EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid 70 review

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(Image credit: Future)

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(Image credit: Future)

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(Image credit: Future)

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4. Turtle Beach Scout Air

The best true wireless gaming earbuds under $100 / £100

Specifications

Battery life: 20 hours (6 hours per bud out of case)Connection: BluetoothNoise cancelling: NoWeight: 41.6gCompatibility: Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android, PCMic: Yes

Reasons to buy

+Overall soundscape is impressive+Low latency connection+Touch gestures work well+No overblown bass

Reasons to avoid

-Cheap feeling build materials-Low range feels flattened in certain situations-Mic is muffled

The Turtle Beach Scout Air gaming earbuds are the brand’s first entry into the truly wireless space (console-specific Recon Air pieces notwithstanding). The Scout Airs are fairly comfortable at $99.99 / £89.99, with a solid soundstage that will suit wider open world games and the twinkly melodies of a Super Mario Sunshine run and an impressive per-bud battery life that just edges ahead of industry average. 

We were a little let down by the cheaper feeling build quality of the plastic case and the materials of the earbuds themselves, though. While lightweight, products this close $100 / £100 should be offering a slightly more premium build quality – though to their credit we never had any issues with scuffs or scratches on the Scout Airs in our testing. 

Each earbud offers touch-sensitive controls with hassle-free playback controls, and a notably long stem to hold the dual-mics present. We wouldn’t put too much stock in those mics though, we found them particularly weak at picking voices out from a busy background and overall the sound quality here was muffled on both chat and video calls. 

Running the Turtle Beach Scout Airs on lighter soundtracks like Crash Bandicoot and Hand of Fate 2 yielded some impressive results. There was plenty of detailing across the mids and high ranges in our testing, and a commendable balance during more intense moments of gameplay. However, the bassier ranges are particularly flattened here – something we noticed quickly when switching to a heavier gun in Doom on Nintendo Switch and Rise of the Tomb Raider on PC. This dampened bass persisted through to bass-heavy music as well. 

At $99.99 / £89.99, though, the Turtle Beach Scout Airs really do work hard to bring you an untethered gaming earbud experience without breaking the bank. At $129.99 / £129.99, RGB lovers and those in the market for noise cancellation should be seeking out the Razer Hammerheads, but if you’re up against a strict budget there’s plenty to love here. 

Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Gen 2

(Image credit: Razer)

5. Razer Hammerhead True Wireless (Gen 2)

The best gaming earbuds with sheer gaming pedigree

Specifications

Battery life: c.30 hoursConnection: Bluetooth (up to 10m / 30 ft)Noise cancelling: YesWeight: 53gCompatibility : PC, Android, iPhoneMic: Yes

Reasons to buy

+Great sound+Full 10mm drivers +Sleek design – with RGB+Fast to charge

Reasons to avoid

-Slightly tricky touch controls

Building on the first Razer Hammerhead True Wireless earbuds, the Gen 2 variants offer some serious performance for gaming-focused earbuds, while still remaining affordable without compromising on sound quality.

These Gen 2 earbuds this time offer noise cancellation, and an in-canal seal, so you’re getting almost uninterrupted, unadulterated sound quality direct your ears and brain. The breadth of the sound is a huge improvement over the predecessors with a noticeable booming bass that is – somehow – genuinely delivered by tiny earbuds. It really is a thing to behold and enjoy. ElsewhereThe mic remains solid whether you’re taking a call or discussing tactics for your next multiplayer match.

The Gen 2s do retain the touch-sensitive controls, and while these can be neat, there’s a number of touch commands that can get easily mixed up if your finger bumps the earbuds incorrectly or by accident. The battery life is great too, and the earbuds are incredibly fast to charge.

The gaming focus comes through also in the buds’ offering of a low-latency gaming mode with 60ms input latency. That’s faster than Apple’s AirPods. When matched with the sound quality, it results in a strong contender for the best gaming earbuds.

best gaming earbuds: Razer Hammerhead Duo

(Image credit: Razer)

6. Razer Hammerhead Duo

Best gaming earbuds for balanced sound

Specifications

Battery life: n/aConnection: 3.5mmNoise cancelling: NoWeight: 17gCompatibility : Android, PC, PS4, XboxMic: Yes

Reasons to buy

+Dual drivers for balanced sound+Quality build+Comfortable fit

Reasons to avoid

-High frequency sound lacking

The Razer Hammerhead Duo are a fairly basic-looking pair of earbuds that utilise quality materials for a sturdy build that won’t have you worried about tossing them in a bag, or on the living room table if you want to take a break from your game or whatever medium of content you’re consuming. Made of aluminium with a braided cable (which transitions to rubber tubing where it splits), they don’t feel cheap.

The star of the show is the dual driver technology that can separate deep bass from mid and high frequencies, although they do struggle at the higher end, which can get a little shrill. Meanwhile, the inline mic and controls are basic but easy to use, with a button each for volume up, volume down, and play/pause, so you won’t have to rip out your earbuds or fiddle about with the volume control on your console or smartphone before you can have a conversation with someone.

For the price, the Razer Hammerhead Duo are a steal with balanced sound, easy-to-use controls, and a quality build. Some of the best gaming earbuds out there. 

best gaming earbuds: 1MORE Triple Driver

(Image credit: 1MORE)

7. 1MORE Triple Driver

Best gaming earbuds for fantastic sound at a great price

Specifications

Battery life: n/aConnection: 3.5mmNoise cancelling: NoWeight: 18gCompatibility : PC, PS4. Xbox, AndroidMic: Yes

Reasons to buy

+Sleek and stylish +Amazing sound quality +Great value

Reasons to avoid

-Microphone isn’t great

The 1MORE Triple Driver earbuds are a delightfully stylish pair of earphones that offer an impressive quality of sound and build for an affordable price. The triple drivers for which they’re named give a balanced sound at high and low ends, with enough bass so as not to overwhelm – which is great for both gaming and music. What’s more, the in-line remote with volume control is compatible with Android and iOS, which is handy for on-the-go gaming as well as on the couch.

With a slew of silicon tips, you’ll also be able to find a size that will give you a comfortable fit, and seal out any ambient noise, but as with a lot of the earbuds on this list, there’s no active noise cancellation. 

As far as the sound quality and price goes, though, the 1MORE Triple Driver is a winner in our book, and the design tips it over the edge. With aluminium earbuds and a braided cable, the build quality is sturdy, and there are a couple of different colour options to give them a touch more pizzazz, like the rose gold colorway. 

If you’re looking for the best gaming earbuds at an affordable price, you should give these a closer look.

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(Image credit: Roccat)

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(Image credit: Roccat)

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8. Roccat Syn Buds Core

The best budget gaming earbuds

Specifications

Battery life: NAConnection: 3.5mmNoise cancelling: NoWeight: 82gCompatibility: PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, XboxMic: Yes

Reasons to buy

+Impressive performance in lighter soundscapes+Excellent price+Comfortable

Reasons to avoid

-Struggles with heavier soundscapes-Choppy directional audio

The Roccat Syn Buds Core are the perfect Nintendo Switch companion. There’s a no fuss approach to these gaming earbuds, with an affordable price point and simple inline mic and volume controls. In the right soundstage, however, these buds shine far beyond their humble feature list. We were impressed by the handling of finer details in games with lighter, more delicate audio, with the bass and melodic trills of Super Mario Sunshine offering a particularly notable soundstage. 

That $24.99 / £24.99 price point does show itself during heavier audio moments, however. The Syn Buds Core struggle to keep up with the messier soundscapes of Doom and can’t quite position directional audio with the same precision of a more premium buy. However, for everyday on the go Nintendo Switch action, and considering you’re not breaking $30, you’re getting solid value for money in performance overall. 

Not only that, but we were particularly struck by the overall comfort of the Roccat Syn Buds Core. These buds hold up well even during longer play sessions, never falling out or rubbing against the inner ear. It’s surprising to see considering the cheaper price point here, and certainly welcome amongst the less durable models on the market right now. 

Read more: Roccat Syn Buds Core review

ASUS ROG Cetra

(Image credit: ASUS)

9. ASUS ROG Cetra

Gaming earbuds with ANC on the Switch

Specifications

Battery life: N/AConnection: Wired USB-CNoise cancelling: NoWeight: 26gCompatibility: Switch, Mobile, PC

Reasons to buy

+Active noise cancelling+Lots of tip sizes+Handy for Switch and mobile use

Reasons to avoid

-Quite pricey

Looking for a few extra features for gaming on the go? How about some (admittedly quite light) Active Noise Cancelling. That’s not something you see on gaming earbuds, especially without forking out way over a hundred. 

You’re getting a decent mic here too, which is handy for playing a bit of online multiplayer on the Switch. The in-line control unit is nice and easy for adjusting volume, pausing tunes or activating the ANC/ambient modes. 

The 10mm drivers are surprisingly boomy for bassier elements and the smaller details don’t get lost either. Earbuds can be a tricky fit, but with four different sized tips and wings, the ASUS ROG Cetra will suit various users.

best gaming earbuds: Turtle Beach Battle Buds

(Image credit: Turtle Beach)

10. Turtle Beach Battle Buds

Best gaming earbuds for playing on the move

Specifications

Battery life: n/aConnection: 3.5mmNoise cancelling: NoWeight: 108.86gCompatibility : Android, Switch, Xbox, PS4, PCMic: Yes (detachable)

Reasons to buy

+Affordable price+Perfect for mobile gaming+Detachable mic included

Reasons to avoid

-Sound is pretty basic

Super portable with a price that’s easy on the wallet, the Turtle Beach Battle Buds are aimed at mobile gamers and those on Nintendo Switch. Of course, the price point means there’ll be some inevitable trade-offs but if you’re using these earbuds on the go, you shouldn’t have too much to complain about.

While the bass isn’t fantastic, and they suffer with relaying the hubbub of an open-world game on the PS4 or Xbox, if you’re diving into a game of Fortnite on the way to school, or watching Netflix on your commute, they do a fine job.

With no noise cancellation and the weight of the awkwardly-shaped housing for the 10mm drivers (compounded by the added weight of the boom mic), they won’t be snug enough to offer an immersive experience. However, they won’t fall out of your ears thanks to the ear grips, and you can switch up the rubber tips to find the perfect fit.

If you’re on a budget, or are after the best gaming earbuds for kids, these are a great option, particularly for mobile or handheld gaming. 

Read more: Turtle Beach Battle Buds review

Apple AirPods Pro

(Image credit: Apple)

11. AirPods Pro

The best Apple earbuds for gaming

Specifications

Battery life: 5 hours + 24 hours in charging caseConnection: BluetoothNoise cancelling: YesWeight: 5.4gCompatibility : Mobile, Nintendo SwitchMic: Yes

Reasons to buy

+Highly compatible with Apple fans’ other devices+Strong noise cancellation +Sealed fit

Reasons to avoid

-More expensive than others

Now that the Nintendo Switch accepts Bluetooth output, the AirPods Pros should be on the radar of any fans of both Apple and Mario. Not only are you getting a strong sound profile from these luxury true wireless earbuds, but pairing to Nintendo Switch is surprisingly quick and easy. Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy all the Siri and Apple Watch integrations if you’re already in the Apple ecosystem. 

Unfortunately, these buds won’t be useful when it comes to your PS5 or Xbox, but if you don’t want to carry separate headphones for your Switch when travelling or commuting, this is an excellent all-in-one option. Plus, that active noise cancellation still shines through when gaming. 


If you’re after some full-size alternatives, be sure to check out our guides to the best PS5 headsets, best Xbox Series X headsets, best PC gaming headsets, and best Nintendo Switch headsets to have you covered on all the major platforms.

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