The Best Speaker & Headset Buyer’s Guide – Spring 2022

By Ari Altman | Published March 17, 2022 | Updated March 17, 2022

Corsair VirtuosoWe’ve Got Sound Advice on Sound!

This guide features a dozen of our favorite models at every price point and meeting every need, from home office, to on-the-go listening, to gaming. Whether you want to listen out loud with a big set of speakers or just want to throw on a set of cans and lose yourself in the music, we’ve got what you’re looking for.

Our Latest Picks

For Spring 2022, our Speaker and Headset Buyer’s Guide lists out the top 10 audio products on the market, each representing a different market niche. Among these are “truly wireless” earbuds for working out or commuting, the best noise-canceling headset, and fantastic gaming headsets at every pricepoint. We also list the USB studio microphone we personally use for all our YouTube videos and video conferencing, as well as a wide range of speakers for every user. Seriously, we cover the whole market in just 10 products, and the majority of our picks are under $100, because if you buy for performance rather than prestige, you can actually get a tremendous value!

By the way, we need to make something clear: in general, while a wired audio device will be superior to a wireless one at the same price, the comfort and convenience of wireless tech makes it a feature worth paying good money for, and with the massive improvements in wireless audio fidelity we’ve witnessed over the past few years, we have no hesitation recommending wireless gear to everyone!

Parting Thoughts

In the end, no matter how you want to listen to your music, games, and videos, we’re going to help you find the right setup for your needs! And remember, you can support continued development of this guide by using the links to the products we recommend!

Home/Small Office

  • The Basic PC Speakers

    Creative Pebble 2.0

    Because desktop PCs, unlike laptops, don’t have internal speakers, we recommend you pick up Creative’s Pebble kit. Whether it’s music, You Tube videos, TV, or movies, Pebble will sound great.
    The Guru’s Tip

    Note that some folks are a bit confused by the USB aspect of these speakers, thinking that they offer a single connection for power and audio. That's not quite right - the USB is exclusively for power, while a 3.5mm audio cable is still used for audio. We think that's just fine - what it eliminates is the bulky power adapter and the need for a free outlet.

  • Mini Bluetooth Speaker

    Tribit XSound Go Portable Bluetooth Speaker

    If you’d like to take a dance party everywhere you go, a battery-powered Bluetooth speaker is the answer! Yes, there are a lot of overpriced big-name speakers out there, but in our experience, they just aren’t worth the price. This bargain-priced model from Tribit is an excellent choice, as we found in our full review!
    The Guru’s Tip

    You can easily use these in wired mode with your PC with a simple 3.5mm analog connection.

  • The Deluxe PC Speakers

    Logitech Z207 Multi Device Speakers

    Logitech’s Z207 speakers sound and look great without taking up much space. They’ll also work with any Bluetooth audio device, so you can switch over to phone or tablet audio with the push of a button. Logitech has packed a ton of value into this slimline speaker kit!
    The Guru’s Tip

    The Z207 has a special trick up its sleeve - it has built-in Bluetooth so you can also stream music to it wirelessly, and it will even auto-switch sources when you stop the music on one source and start it on another!

  • Bluetooth Sports Headphones

    Soundcore by Anker Life P2 Mini

    Anker has been making Bluetooth accessories for a long time, and its Life P2 true wireless earbuds are a great example of why it dominates the market. They offer 8 hours of playtime, 10mm drivers for great sound, and an ultra-light weight.
    The Guru’s Tip

    The charging case included with these earbuds an extra hour of playback in just 10 minutes and a total of 32 hours of playback.

  • Noise-Cancelling Headphones

    Sony WH-1000XM4

    There are a lot of headphones out there marketed as noise cancelling, but most just aren’t very good. Sony’s WH-1000XM4, on the other hand, is very, very good. The best in fact! That’s because not only do they have excellent noise cancellation, they also sound awesome. Isn’t that the main reason people use headphones in the first place?!? Other great features include 30 hours of playback on a charge, a quick-charge mode (add 5 hours in 10 minutes), touch controls, a foldable design, wearing detection that shuts off sound when you put the headphones down, and a built-in mic for phone calls.
    The Guru’s Tip

    These headphones are available in 3 classy colors: black, blue, and silver.

  • USB Microphone

    Elgato Wave:3 USB Condenser Microphone

    For seriously-professional audio quality, i.e. what you want if you’re recording content or conducting video calls for a living, you need more than a headset microphone or a mic built into a webcam. That’s where a powered USB microphone comes into play, and the best pick is Elgato’s Wave:3. It offers a sophisticated built-in pop filter and “clipguard” to avoid the various audio problems so many other mics suffer from. It’s also sleek and compact, unlike competitors that try to impress with the space they take up on your desk!
    The Guru’s Tip

    This is the mic we use for all our YouTube videos, and it has never let us down!


  • The Bargain Gaming Headset

    HyperX Cloud Stinger

    HyperX absolutely nailed the design of the HyperX Cloud Stinger, which is why it has remained one of the best-selling gaming headsets on the market since its release. Offering an ultralight, ultra-comfortable design, big 50mm drivers, a flip-to-mute mic, and a sleek design, they simply can’t be beat. Learn more in our full review!
    The Guru’s Tip

    These connect using a 3.5mm analog jack, meaning they are fully-compatible with any device that supports this standard, including many smartphones and gaming consoles.

  • The Budget Wireless PC Headset

    ‎SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless

    SteelSeries has made a name for itself in the gaming headset world with its no-nonsense focus on performance. The Arctis 1 follows in this tradition with high-end drivers, lossless 2.4 GHz wireless for ultra-low latency wireless connectivity on both PC and PS4/PS5, a detachable bidirectional microphone, and 20 hours of battery life.
    The Guru’s Tip

    You can also use this headset in wired mode via an included USB Type-C dongle for Nintendo Switch and Android smartphones.

  • The Deluxe PC Headset

    Corsair Virtuoso Wireless Headset

    Combining ultra-high-end performance with incredible comfort, this wireless headset from Corsair is the ideal all-day companion for listening to the latest market news. This headset also has an audiophile-grade microphone, perfect for teleconferencing. Free free to check out our full review right here!
    The Guru’s Tip

    We've been using our Virtuoso headset daily since it was released, and we wouldn't trade it for anything!

  • The High-End 2.1 Speaker Set

    Logitech Z625 THX 2.1 Speaker System

    If you’re interested in unadulterated stereo sound with a huge helping of bass, then you want a high-quality 2.1 speaker set. There used to be a whole array of models to choose from, and one of the last holdouts happens to be one of the very best, from the PC enthusiasts at Logitech. This awesome 200-watt THX-certified set will really pump out some great audio. If you have the space for the big subwoofer, we’d highly recommend this over a standard stereo speaker set, especially for gaming and movies. And take note: while a lot of speaker sets have subwoofers, a big box does nothing if you don’t have the watts to back it up!
    The Guru’s Tip

    Need wireless connectivity? Then go for the Z625/Bluetooth adapter bundle on the same product page!

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