Table of Contents
- Sony WH-1000XM4 – Wireless Comfort At A High Price
- SteelSeries Arctic 7X – Budget Headphones Offering Quality Performance
- Bionik BNK-9007 Gaming Headset – Designed for VR Exclusively
- Sennheiser HD 350BT Wireless Foldable Headphones – Compact Design and Portable
- Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II – Stick Them In Your Ear Holes!
- Mark Levinson No 5909 – The Most Expensive Headphones With The Best Wireless Experience
- Overall – Quality, Variety and Budget
Virtual reality offers levels of immersion that no other medium comes close to. Whatever your taste, be it gaming, socializing, or consuming content like movies, music, or TV shows, virtual reality has taken us to a place we’ve never known before. Having the outside world blocked out is part of the charm of virtual reality. The headset does the work of blinkering your vision but sounds are another issue. Most headsets have built-in speakers for sound but that doesn’t help block outside interference. Some headsets have built-in headphones with mixed results that won’t please many users even though they can be quite passable. However, if you want the full experience and need to step it up to the next level then you owe it to yourself to purchase a decent pair of headphones. We’ve taken the hard work of researching and budgeting for you through and compiled a list of the best quality and also the best value for money range available today. Let’s get into it!
Sony WH-1000XM4 – Wireless Comfort At A High Price
The Sony WH-1000XM4 headset offers excellent noise-cancellation and sound quality. The cup design with soft cushioned padding help to block out outside noises while also sitting lightly and comfortably on your ears. Very similar in look and design to Sony’s previous model WH-1000XM3 this newer edition offers superior sounds, comfort, and noise cancellation for users. Every quality of the previous model has been improved upon while still having some new features under the hood. New additions include DSEE upscaling, multipoint pairing, conversational awareness, and auto-play/pause using a built-in sensor. This headset packs quite the punch!
The highlight for virtual reality users is that the Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones also support Sony’s 360 Reality Audio format. This gives users spatial 3D audio on stereo headphones, plus the LDAC codec that can send a bit rate of up to 990 kbps. In layman’s terms, you can pinpoint to direction and closeness of sounds within your virtual reality experience giving you an edge in both realism and gameplay cognitive awareness.
The Sony WH-1000XM4 is well-designed, comfortable to wear, and great for noise cancellation of wireless noise-canceling headphones. Best of all they are wireless and easy to connect to any device. The lack of wires gives players more freedom of movement which is essential for virtual reality users. Couple this with the impressive 30-hour battery life off a single charge and virtual reality has never been so attractive.
The only downside is the price tag! Retails for approximately $349.99 although shop around as it regularly goes on sale. The price is a little steep but it comes with all the bells and whistles that make it one of the best wireless headphones on sale to date. If you have the money, you are getting great value for your high purchase as the quality of the finished product is hard to argue with.
Take a look at the specifications if you’re interested in the Sony WH-1000XM4:
HEADPHONE TYPE Closed, dynamic
DSEE EXTREME Yes
CORD LENGTH Headphone cable (approx. 3.94 ft., OFC strands, gold-plated stereo mini plug)
FREQUENCY RESPONSE (BLUETOOTH® COMMUNICATION) 20 Hz–20,000 Hz (44.1 kHz Sampling)/20 Hz–40,000 Hz (LDAC 96 kHz Sampling, 990 kbps)
PASSIVE OPERATION Yes
FREQUENCY RESPONSE 4 Hz-40,000 Hz
CORD TYPE Single-sided (detachable)
DRIVER UNIT 1.57 “, dome type (CCAW Voice coil)
FREQUENCY RESPONSE (ACTIVE OPERATION) 4 Hz-40,000 Hz
SENSITIVITIES (DB/MW) 105 dB / mW (1 kHz) (when connecting via the headphone cable with the unit turned on), 101 dB / mW (1 kHz) (when connecting via the headphone cable with the unit turned off)
BATTERY LIFE (CONTINUOUS MUSIC PLAYBACK TIME WITH INTERNAL MEMORY) Max. 30 hours (NC ON), Max. 38 hours (NC OFF)
BATTERY CHARGE TIME Approx. 3 Hours (Full charge)
BATTERY CHARGE METHOD USB
BATTERY LIFE (WAITING TIME) Max. 30 hours (NC ON), Max. 200 hours (NC OFF)
SUPPORTED Bluetooth AUDIO FORMAT(S) SBC, AAC, LDAC
FREQUENCY RANGE 2.4 GHz band (2.4000–2.4835 GHz)
BLUETOOTH® VERSION Version 5.0
SUPPORTED CONTENT PROTECTION SCMS-T
EFFECTIVE RANGE Line of sight approx. 30 ft (10 m)
PROFILE A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP;
QUICK ATTENTION Yes
AMBIENT SOUND MODE Yes
PERSONAL NC OPTIMIZER Yes
NOISE-CANCELING ON/OFF SWITCH Yes
ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE OPTIMIZING Yes
Portable Headphone Amplifier
VOLUME CONTROL Touch Sensor
What’s In The Box
- Carrying Case.
- Plug Adaptor for In-flight use.
- Headphone cable (approx. 47 1/4″)
- USB Cable: Type-CTM (approx. 7.87″)
SteelSeries Arctic 7X – Budget Headphones Offering Quality Performance
SteelSeries has long been renowned for producing quality headphones with gamers in mind. The Arctic 7X was specifically designed for use with the current generation of consoles in mind. Recommended highly for Xbox Series X/S and also the Sony PS5, SteelSeries have won awards for the Arctic 7X. This quality of high-performance gaming headphones is also ideal for virtual reality. Stand-out features include lossless 2.4GHz wireless audio* with low latency which is amazing for gamers. The 24-hour battery life is perfect for long play sessions and makes it easy to stick on and forget about it. The cushioned cup over-ear design is both lightweight and comfortable on the head even during long virtual reality sessions.
*Wireless connection only works through a USB-C dongle which is supplied. There is also an adaptor to connect through USB-A. This still may not be compatible with your VR headset. Please check before purchasing.
For the more social among us who love spending time in either VRChat or RecRoom, the SteelSeries Arctic 7X comes with a retractable clear cast noise-canceling microphone. It uses a bi-directional design adopted by aircraft pilots that provides superior noise canceling making your voice crystal clear for those listening even in a noisy environment.
Price wise too, the SteelSeries Arctic 7X won’t break the bank. Currently retailing in Walmart for $139.99 these headphones hit the sweet spot between affordability and quality. If you’re more budget orientated then these are the perfect set for your VR needs. Check out the specifications below :
Speaker Quality Neodymium Drivers 40 mm
Headphone Frequency Response 20–20000 Hz
Headphone Sensitivity 98 dBSPL
Headphone Impedance 32 Ohm
Headphone Total Harmonic Distortion < 3%
Headphone Volume Control On Ear Cup
Microphone Frequency Response 100–6500 Hz
Microphone Pattern Bidirectional
Microphone Sensitivity -38 dBV/Pa
Microphone Impedance 2200 Ohm
Microphone Location Retractable
Wireless Range 40 ft, 12 m
Battery life 24 hours
What’s in the box?
- Arctis 7X Headset
- USB-C wireless transmitter
- Mobile audio cable
- Charging cable
- USB-C to USB-A adapter
Bionik BNK-9007 Gaming Headset – Designed for VR Exclusively
Now for an entry that was specifically designed for virtual reality headset users. The Bionik BNK-9007 is not a conventional set of headphones. Their unique design has a sole purpose. These headphones clip onto your VR headset making them useful for virtual reality but not much else. The minimal form factor makes them quite portable however and as long as you are happy that these can only really be used with your VR headset, then this is still a great purchase to consider. The 3.5mm jack makes it compatible with virtually any headset out there and they are extremely lightweight.
The Bionik BNK-9007 has plenty of adjustment options making them easy to find a comfortable fit for a variety of heads and ears! This makes long gaming sessions possible without any discomfort for the user. Additionally, these headphones have great sound quality that gives virtual reality users enhanced positional awareness to stay alert and give you the edge when gaming competitively. Playing shooters against your mates like Population One now might feel a little easier and lead to more wins. Lastly, the included headphones wire wrap lets users safely store these headphones without damaging the cable.
Price wise, these headphones won’t break the bank. Because of their limited use, you can regularly find them on sale from anywhere between $50 to $100 so definitely worth shopping around if these tickle your fancy! If you want to know more, check out the specifications below:
Product Dimensions 18.29 x 16.51 x 5.84 cm; 136.08 Grams
Item model number BNK-9007
Hardware Platform PlayStation 4. However, it works with many headsets.
Operating System PlayStation 4. However, it works with many headsets.
Are Batteries Included No
Item Weight 136 g
Sennheiser HD 350BT Wireless Foldable Headphones – Compact Design and Portable
Sennheiser has long been associated with pristine quality when it comes to headphone design. Combining brilliant audio with a sleek design raises the HD 350BT wireless headset above most of the competition. Comfortable over-ear cushioned cups provide deep dynamic bass while also utilizing high-quality codecs including AAC and AptX Low Latency.
Technology doesn’t stop there. The Sennheiser HD 350BT offers Bluetooth 5.0 and fast USB-C charging which you won’t need to use very often as a full charge offers you up to 30 hours of use. This makes planning longer gaming sessions almost unnecessary. Just strap your headphones on and start your VR experience. Sennheiser also has some smart apps you can play around with on your phone which include an equalizer for some fine-tuning of all your aural needs.
The one downside is perhaps the finish. To keep costs down, Sennheiser has opted for a completely plastic set that won’t be to everyone’s taste. One thing that can’t be complained about is the price. You get sophisticated sounds for as little as $89.98 on BestBuy which is an absolute bargain for such a well-loaded tech-savvy device. If you’re interested in the Sennheiser HD 350BT Wireless foldable Headphones then check out the specifications below:
Product Name HD 350BT 5.0 Wireless Headphone – 30-Hour Battery Life, USB-C Fast Charging, Virtual Assistant Button, Foldable
Model Number HD 350BT BLACK
Color Category Black
Noise Cancelling (Active) No
Sound Isolating No
Minimum Frequency Response 18 hertz
Maximum Frequency Response 22 kilohertz
Total Harmonic Distortion 0.3 percent
Sound Mode Stereo
Connection Type Wireless
Wireless Connectivity Bluetooth
True Wireless No
Built-In Microphone Yes
Maximum Talk Time 30 hours
Headphone Fit Over-the-Ear
Adjustable Headband No
Foldable Design Yes
Power, Rechargeable Yes
Battery Life 30 hours
Battery Charge Time 2 hours
Battery Capacity 300 milliampere hours
Charging Interface(s) USB
Product Weight 0.52 pounds
Manufacturer’s Warranty – Parts 2 years
Manufacturer’s Warranty – Labor 2 years
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II – Stick Them In Your Ear Holes!
Not everyone like the cupped headphones on offer and certainly we want to offer some variety to our list to cater to everyone. If earbuds are more your cup of tea, then the sheer quality on offer from Bose is hard to ignore. The Bose Quietcomfort Earbuds II offer a sleek design with superior sound quality and a small form factor making them easy to bring with you everywhere you go.
A rare quality with these earbuds that you don’t find with many is the noise-canceling tech built-in. The earbuds can auto-adjust the ANC to drown out any outside noise without the user having to worry about much. They also boast Bluetooth 5.3 which is ahead of the curve and above most others listed here.
Battery life is a little disappointing but that is all that can be expected from small air buds like these. Out of the box, you’ll get around six hours which is extremely good for earbuds but not comparable to most headphone sets on this list. With the charging case accompanying your air buds, you can get 24 hours charge meaning you won’t need to charge the case that often but it is still something to keep in the back of your mind.
The small form factor, high-quality sound, noise-canceling tech, and wireless earbuds make these an ideal free-form solution for virtual reality gaming. No cables and no bulk make for an easy life.
The price tag is a little steep at $299 but considering what you get for your money, these are still good value. If earbuds are your thing, then these are simply the best and perfect for an immersion virtual reality experience. If you’re interested in the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II then check out the full specifications below:
Battery Life: 6 hours, 24 hours with case
Noise Cancellation: Yes
Mono Listening: Yes
Microphones: 4x per earbud
IP rating: IPX4
Supported codecs: SBC, AAC
Weight (earbuds): 6.2g each
Dimensions (earbuds): 30.5 x 17.3 x 22.4mm each
Charging: USB-C only
Mark Levinson No 5909 – The Most Expensive Headphones With The Best Wireless Experience
The price for a set of Mark Levison’s No 5909 will set you back $999. This is ridiculous of course but if you can afford this price, then you’re in for a real treat. Hands down the Mark Levinson No 5909 offers the highest sound quality for any wireless headphones on the market to date. The No. 5909 uses Bluetooth 5.1 and also has a very good wireless range and stability. It’s also equipped with Multipoint, so you can connect to two devices simultaneously and switch back and forth between them without needing to re-pair which is convenient.
The 5909 also uses the best state-of-the-art codecs available to date allowing for enhanced and nuanced sounds with 3D spatial audio and pinpoint accuracy. AptX Adaptive and LDAC codecs are both used on the 5909 and the quality speaks for itself. Active noise cancellation is also a feature you might expect at this price. Where it separates from the competition is that the noise cancellation comes in three different modes allowing the headphones to adapt to any environment and still provide you with pristine sound quality with no interruptions.
Battery life also beats out the competition with a whopping 34 hours of play on a single charge. I would never suggest playing long virtual reality sessions up to these kinds of times but it’s great to know that you can charge once and nearly forget about it before you’ll need to charge again. Even if you do manage to run down your battery and need your headphones fast, a 15-minute quick charge will give you 6 hours of battery life which is an amazing feature and ideal for those who need to get going in a hurry.
The design and overall look are a mixed bag depending on your taste. The leather strap and black contrasting metallic black and red personally to me look fantastic but might not be to everyone’s liking. For this price you might expect diamond-encrusted cups, but alas the finished look is quite low-key and professional.
Honestly, regardless of sound quality, look and long battery life, it’s still difficult to recommend these headphones with such a huge price tag. If you have this kind of money to spend then yes, these are the cream of the crop and will give you an amazing wireless experience. For more information, check out the specifications below:
- Hi-Res Audio certified
- LDAC audio codec
- Digital circuitry compatible with 24-bit/96kHz processing
- Acoustic response up to 40kHz
- Expertly tuned 40 mm Beryllium coated drivers acoustically optimized to the HARMAN Curve
- Bluetooth 5.1 with LDAC, AAC, and aptX™ Adaptive technologies
- Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) with three modes
- Ambient Aware mode for situational awareness while on the go
- Four-microphone voice array with Smart Wind Adaption
- Available colors include Pearl Black, Ice Pewter, Radiant Red
- Premium leather headband and replaceable leather ear cushions
- Anodized aluminum frame
- Automotive-grade metallic painted earcups
- Up to 34 hours battery life; 30 hours playtime with ANC enabled
- Up to 6 hours of playtime with a 15-minute quick charge
Hard shell carrying case
- 4 m USB-C to 3.5 mm audio cable
- 1.25 m USB-C to 3.5 mm audio cable
- Cables (power):
- 1.25 m USB-C charging cable
- USB-C to USB-A adaptor
- 3.5 mm to 6.3 mm audio adaptor
- Airplane audio adaptor
- Microfiber polishing cloth
Overall – Quality, Variety and Budget
So there we have it. Hopefully, we’ve catered to all tastes with our list. Recommending a balance of budget and quality would steer most users towards something like the SteelSeries Arctic 7X but tastes may differ. Regardless of your choice or your budget, any of the above headphones will provide you with that extra layer of immersion when playing your VR games or apps. Having 3D sound is a very nice way to elevate your experiences, especially in VR, and being able to block out outside distractions is also very important. Whichever you choose, don’t forget to shop around for a bargain, especially during seasonal sales like Christmas or Black Friday.
If you’ve already settled on your headphones but still don’t know which VR headset to buy then check this out.