When shopping for the best accessories
for your computer, it’s easy to overlook the ones you can use for listening to audio. Computer headphones don’t usually come standard with your PC, so you’ll need to purchase these separately.
How will you know which pair is right for you? HP’s pick for top computer headphones for entertainment are these three :
1. HP OMEN headset 800
2. HP OMEN Mindframe headset
3. BeoPlay H4 wireless over-ear headphones
With an emphasis on sound quality and plug-and-play compatibility, these headphones offer realistic sound for gaming, video, and music applications. They’re easy to use as well, making them great for users with every level of technical experience. These computer headphones can also be used for more than just computer programs or gameplay.
First we’ll take a look at what you should consider as you shop for your new headset
, then we’ll outline the best 3 HP headphones for entertainment.
What are computer headphones?
Also known as a “PC headset,” computer headphones are designed to be used seamlessly with desktop
and laptop computers in either PC or Mac formats. They may be specifically made and branded for use with computers, or they could be developed with a variety of uses in mind.
How do they differ from regular headphones?
In many ways, computer headphones are very similar to standard audio headphones. The most basic models use the same 3.5 mm headphone jacks that we know from our digital audio players, phones, and tablets. Headphones that connect this way can be used with all devices that share this headphone jack.
The ways that computer headphones are unique, however, include the ability to connect via Bluetooth or your computer's WiFi connection. They can also feature a microphone that transmits audio directly through your computer's gaming or video conference interface.
Computer headphones can be larger, more comfortable, and encourage longer wear sessions, too.
Just like the standard headphones you see people wear on airplanes, some computer headphones have optional noise-canceling technology. This means that they produce an audio experience that blocks outside noise so you can focus primarily on your game or music.
Computer headphones can have as many, or as few, features as the headphones you buy for other uses. The one thing they all share, however, is that they can be connected to any PC or laptop without complicated installation requirements. They are genuinely plug-and-play and are optimized for the things you enjoy doing on your computer.
Ways to use PC headphones for entertainment
There are dozens of ways to enjoy the high-quality sound that computer headphones can provide, but some of the most popular applications include:
- Watching movies and TV shows
- Listening to music
- Editing video and sound clips
- Communicating with friends and family via web chat
- Business video conferences
- Online learning and virtual classrooms
- Content creation
- Teaching or consulting
The most popular reasons for using a computer headset, however, are gaming and recreational applications. While the same headsets used for leisure can also be used for business and professional purposes, they feature a more striking design and are best suited for fun.
Best features of computer headphones
When you’re searching for a high-quality pair of headphones, you want to keep an eye on the size, levels of adjustability, and comfort.
Look for materials that are either breathable or plush. If you are sharing the headphones between users, make sure that they can be resized easily and can be wiped clean after each session. Some of the better headphones come with ventilated head straps or cooling components to prevent excessive sweating and discomfort.
There are other details to look for in a quality computer headset. They include the following:
Headsets marketed specifically as computer gaming headphones are known for their bold colors and sleek design. You’ll find bright orange, red, blue, green, and black to be key elements of their looks. They are usually a bit larger than other headsets, too.
If you want a headset that has a smaller profile, consider general-use PC headphones that aren't marketed to gamers. They have many of the same features but their more subtle appearance also makes them suitable for business or professional uses.
It’s common to look for headphones with a microphone for computer use because many computer applications have audio output and input functions. Video games, video conferencing, and web chats are three top uses for headphones where a microphone is necessary.
What should you look for in a headset mic? Ideally, you’ll want the microphone to be prominent enough to reach your mouth, but not be so clunky that it interferes with speech, comfort, or your overall enjoyment. You should be able to push the mic back or tilt it upwards.
Mics may also come with a muting function for when you don’t want to transmit sound. The mute button may be on the mic itself or your computer’s audio controls. Better yet, some mics have volume, mute, and on/off buttons housed in the cord just below the headphone connection, while others will become muted if you position the mic completely upwards.
3. Wired vs wireless
Like most computer peripherals, advances in tech have made it possible to choose products that aren’t tied down with cords. If you don’t like the idea of being tethered to your desk, you may appreciate the features of a wireless computer headset
. These are surprisingly affordable and offer many perks beyond their wired counterparts.
So, is wired or wireless best for you? If your computer has Bluetooth and you are willing to pay a bit more for the convenience and portability that wireless headphones provide, they can be a good option.
They don’t have the same level of sound quality as wired headphones for the same price, but it isn’t noticeable for most applications. The other issue is that there can be audio lag caused by the connection.
If you want the cheapest headphones money can buy, wired is a better option. For the same price of a medium-level wireless headset, you can usually get a higher quality wired set. They do use a USB port or 3.5 mm jack, however, so if space on your laptop is scarce, wireless with Bluetooth connection can be valuable. Some wireless headsets use a dongle as well, so check the product description to know for sure.
Remember that wireless headphones for PC use need to be regularly charged. Even if you plan on using a wireless pair, having a wired pair on hand can come in handy if you’re unable to charge your headset or if you need headphones while they’re charging.
Do you plan to use your computer headphones only for your computer? If you're like most people, you may want to use them with your gaming consoles and your smartphone. Depending on how you plan to use them, knowing their compatibility is essential.
Headphones that use a 3.5mm jack can be plugged into any device that offers one. This includes most gaming consoles and their controllers, computers, radios, and smart devices. If your headset only connects with a wireless dongle, you can only use it with devices that provide a USB port. Of course, Bluetooth headphones can only link to compatible devices.
If you plan to make a significant investment in your computer headset, examine your listening habits to see if your purchase can be used with the maximum number of devices or uses. Remember that a few gaming sets are made only with gaming in mind and may only work with the brand of software that manufactures them. Look for installation instructions on the package as well as operating system compatibility before you buy, too.
5. Premium features
Other high-end perks that some headsets offer include noise-cancellation and higher-quality audio for listening to both digital and analog outputs. For someone who wants to have the same listening experience for a vinyl record as a digital album, some distinct features may be required.
You may also want your headphones to include premium materials, such as brushed aluminum or leather. Basically, it all depends on how distinct you want your headset to be when it comes to appearance and features.
The 3 best computer headphones
Depending on your sound needs, you may choose a wired set, wireless set, or one designed for gaming or audiophiles. See the top picks in every category of computer headphones on our list.
1. HP OMEN headset 800
If a no-nonsense sound is what you're after, the HP OMEN headset 800
offers wired reliability and all the perks of gaming headphones. This set weighs in at less than a pound and has excellent clarity while giving you incredible comfort. The headband fits all sizes of players and evenly distributes weight for long periods of gameplay without pinching or feelings of pressure.
Since it’s a gaming set, the microphone is above par and offers the same quality you’d expect from any product in the HP OMEN gaming line
, including a DTS Headphone:X sound profile for life-like audio. It’s also priced competitively for a premium gaming headset with incredible audio and microphone performance.
2. HP OMEN Mindframe headset
For another level of gaming and entertainment sound, consider the vibrant and rich audio delivered by the HP OMEN Mindframe headset
. Another treasure in the HP OMEN gaming line, these offer FrostCap, which is the world’s first ear cup-cooling technology. That means you can listen for hours and never get sweaty ears!
The striking black-and-red design is a popular one for gamers, and the included mic tucks back into the frame when not in use. As for connecting the HP Mindframe
to your computer, simply use any available USB type-A port.
This wired gaming headset works effortlessly to stream audio in all scenarios. Get the immersive in-game sound you want, or just sit back and let the 7.1 virtual surround sound capture the heart of your favorite digital album. The positional audio makes you feel like you’re actually in the room with the musicians.
No gaming gear would be complete without the ability to personalize and show off a little bit. The RGB lighting display on the outside of the ear cups is customizable from the HP OMEN Command Center
. Make your mark on the world while you listen in style. The Command Center software is necessary for use, and you can download it for free from the Windows Store.
3. BeoPlay H4 wireless over-ear headphones
If you can’t live without the freedom that wireless headphones for computers offer, the BeoPlay H4 wireless headset
is worth checking out. With the quality audio Bang & Olufsen is known for, it features long-lasting and comfortable materials for hours of heavenly sound. With leather, aluminum, and steel accents, you’ll look the part of a true audiophile.
Each full charge gets you up to 19 hours of playback so you can use it at home for any of your entertainment needs and then take them on the road. They work with the included 3.5 mm audio cable with mini jack for when you’re not near a charger, too. These are for listening only and do not have a microphone.
How to shop for computer headphones
Whether you’re looking for your perfect pair in-store or online, knowing a few things ahead of time can cut back on confusion when you shop.
To make the best use of your time, answer these questions before you buy:
- What connections does my computer support (USB, 3.5 mm, Bluetooth, wireless)?
- Will I be using the headphones for other uses?
- Do I need a microphone?
- Will I have time to charge my headphones between uses?
- How long is the playback for wireless models?
- How long is the cord?
- Will I need noise-canceling or other premium audio features?
- Does my computer have the right operating system for the set?
- What comfort features do I want?
- Do looks matter?
- What is my budget?
- Will I be sharing these headphones between users?
Headphones may seem like a pretty simple purchase, but the options on the market require research and discernment to get right. With so many options available, you’ll find at least one pair that’s perfect for the way you use your computer.
Today’s computer headphones also come with warranties, and those sold by HP® have our excellent customer service
, too. If you have a difficult time choosing the product that’s right for you, consider chatting with an online rep to get a better idea of the options available. Whatever model you end up with, the right computer headset can bring you into a whole new world of audio entertainment.
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