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Best Headphones with a Mic for Professionals and Gamers

Best Headphones with Mic for Professionals and Gamers

Arthur Smalley
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Given how much time we all spend communicating online, a good pair of headphones with a mic can make a real difference. The pandemic created a fundamental shift in how society operates. With remote or hybrid work models becoming the standard for many of us, we now have a greater appreciation for quality headphones with a mic.
Whether for communication during virtual meetings or immersing yourself in your favorite online game, improving the sound quality you send and receive creates a better experience for everyone involved.
We've all been left frustrated by poor audio. Struggling to hear your boss through a bad laptop mic and having to ask them to repeat themselves. Miscommunications that make you and your team lose a game you shouldn't have.
The thing is, headphones and microphones have improved, and you don't need to break the bank to find a good pair of headphones with a mic that suits your needs. Whether for professionals in a virtual meeting or gamers trying to coordinate when things get hectic, there's no excuse to rely on subpar headphones or a computer's default microphone.

Headphone with mic: Factors to consider

With so many options available, what factors make the best pair of headphones with a mic?

Sound quality

The most crucial factor is how good things sound through the headphones. Unfortunately, this is a difficult quality to quantify. So much of sound quality comes down to personal preference and no single metric encompasses every aspect.
Frequency response is an important factor, with many users looking to emphasize the bass or treble. However, some users prefer a flat response that balances all frequencies equally. Audiophiles also consider many other tools, such as signal-to-noise ratio, frequency range, distortion ratio, and percent of Total Harmonic Distortion (THD).
Another critical factor for sound quality is bitrate, which is the amount of data processed each second. While headphones can cap the maximum possible bitrate, the audio source generally defines bitrate.

Microphone quality

How well a microphone picks up and transmits your voice depends on several factors, including:
Microphone type: For headphones with a mic, the main types are built-in (within the headset), in-line (positioned on the headphone wire), and boom mics (on a small movable boom next to the user's mouth).
Design: The specific technology used to convert sound waves into an electrical signal.
Mic direction: Most commonly unidirectional (picks up sound from a single direction) or omnidirectional (picks up sound from all sides).
Noise isolation: Features that reduce ambient sound.
Position: Where the microphone is in relation to the user's mouth.

Earbuds vs. headphones

When considering which headphones to buy, a major design choice is earbuds (smaller devices that fit directly into the ear) or headphones (larger devices that fit on or over the ear). Therefore, it is essential to understand the difference between a headset or USB microphone.
While sound quality can vary for both types, earbuds are more compact and portable. However, headphones generally have better noise isolation and are more comfortable to wear for extended periods. Also, when choosing between headphones with a mic, earbuds reduce your options compared to bulkier headphones that can include a higher-quality boom mic.

Bluetooth vs. wired headphones

Bluetooth headphones have exploded in popularity, removing wires for more convenient use. While choosing a pair of wireless headphones with a mic can be a great option, they also create limitations.
Wireless headphones generally have lower sound quality due to the audio compression required to transfer data via Bluetooth. Most wireless audio devices are limited to a maximum bitrate of 320 kbps, with many only supporting 256 kbps.
In addition, choosing a pair of Bluetooth headphones with a mic means considering factors such as battery life, range, and latency.

The best HP headphones with a mic

HP Bluetooth Headset 500

HP Bluetooth Headset 500
A great all-around pair of wireless headphones with a built-in mic at a good price point, the HP Bluetooth Headset 500 is an ideal upgrade for gamers and professionals. With the ability to remove unwanted background sounds and powered by Bluetooth 5, the headset is also comfortable (soft over-ear cups), portable (folds to take up less space in your bag), and easy to use (on-device buttons to answer calls and adjust volume).
Thanks to a 300 mAh battery, the Bluetooth Headset 500 can provide up to 20 hours of use on a single charge. The plug-and-play USB Type-C port makes charging simple, and with an indicator letting you know how much battery is left, you'll never get stuck scrambling for the charger.
  • Battery life: Up to 20 hours
  • Weight: 0.48 lb
  • Minimum dimensions: 7.5” x 6.8” x 3.4”
  • Charging cord: USB-C

HyperX Cloud MIX Buds Wireless Headphones

HyperX Cloud MIX Buds Wireless Headphones
Prefer earbuds over bulkier headphones? Look no further than the HyperX Cloud MIX Buds. With high-quality audio using Bluetooth and an ultra-low latency 2.4 GHz gaming mode, MIX Buds are the perfect wireless earbud option.
The built-in batteries offer up to 10 hours of continuous audio and a charging case to simplify recharging (storing over 33 hours of battery life). LED indicators also track charging case battery life, so you'll always know when to plug in with its USB-C charging cable.
Using the HyperX MIX Buds is simple, with built-in multitouch controls to mute your mic and more.
  • Battery life: Up to 10 hours
  • Weight: 0.04 lb
  • Charging cord: USB-C to USB-A

HP OMEN Blast Gaming Headset

OMEN Blast Headset
The HP OMEN Blast Gaming Headset is a great entry-level pair of headphones with a mic for gamers. They offer 7.1 surround sound, a 24-bit USB DAC, and a retractable unidirectional noise-canceling boom mic - perfect for easy control of in-game chat.
Users can hear everything in the game and communicate with teammates. These headphones allow users to create unique audio profiles to match their favorite games with the OMEN Command Centre.
  • Weight: 0.86 lb
  • Minimum dimensions: 4.61” x 7.83” x 8.66”

HyperX Cloud Stinger Core

HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless Gaming Headset
A fantastic pair of wireless headphones with a mic for gaming, the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Headset offers excellent performance without a cable.
The Cloud Stinger Core connects wirelessly via USB (dongle provided) with up to 17 hours of battery life while offering DTS® Headphone:X® Spatial Audio for superb precision, depth, and clarity. Users can control their audio preferences using onboard audio controls for volume levels, and the noise-canceling mic is swivel-to-mute.
  • Battery life: Up to 17 hours
  • Weight: 0.53 lb
  • Charging cord: USB-C to USB-A

HP OMEN Mindframe Prime Headset

OMEN Mindframe Prime Headset
The OMEN by HP Mindframe Prime Headset with FrostCap Ear Cooling is an ideal solution for long meetings or gaming sessions, with in-built ear cooling features.
With FrostCap technology and passive cooling ear cushions, you can stay cool while listening to built-in virtual surround sound for true gaming immersion. The headset also comes with noise-canceling dual microphones, a simple flip-to-mute microphone, on-ear volume control, and the OMEN Command Center for custom EQ settings and RGB lighting.
  • Weight: 1.17 lb
  • Minimum dimensions: 7.95” x 8.54” x 3.58”

HyperX Cloud Alpha S – Gaming Headset

HyperX Cloud Alpha S Gaming Headset
The HyperX Cloud Alpha S Gaming Headset offers top-of-the-line performance for gamers, with HyperX 7.1 surround sound, bass adjustment sliders, and dual-chamber drivers.
This sleek and high-performance headset also features a balance for game and chat audio, a durable aluminum frame, a detachable noise-cancelation microphone and cable, and an advanced audio control mixer.
  • Cable length: 3.2'
  • Weight: 0.68 lb

HP Stereo USB Headset G2

HP Stereo USB Headset G2
Some users may want a pair of headphones with no frills, but that gets the job done. The HP Stereo USB Headset G2 is an awesome pair of headphones with a mic that you can plug in and use right away.
They come with a flexible boom mic that blocks background noise, in-line volume controls, and a simple USB-A connection.
  • Weight: 0.21 lb
  • Minimum dimensions: 6.3” x 5.79” x 2.17”

Summary

The grass is very much greener on the other side when it comes to audio quality. The difference users will experience after upgrading from basic headphones, and a default microphone is astounding.
Whatever you're looking for in your headphones with a mic, whether tailored to gaming or working from home, HP has a range of options to match functionality or price.

About the Author

Arthur Smalley is a science and technology writer based in the UK.

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