Sounds are crucial in having high-quality gameplay.
So picking out the right headphones to use is important.
That said, you should avoid getting Bluetooth headsets for gaming.
Because while their wirelessness is convenient…
They’re inefficient for playing games.
Continue reading to find out:
- 3 best wireless headsets for your gaming experience.
- What audio latency is and how it can affect your gameplay.
- 5 real reasons why Bluetooth headphones are bad for gaming.
- And a lot more…
- Why Bluetooth headphones are bad for gaming – 5 reasons
- Are all Bluetooth headphones bad for gaming?
Why Bluetooth headphones are bad for gaming – 5 reasons
#1: High audio latency
Most popular games now put great emphasis on their audio.
So you can even pinpoint your enemy’s location just by listening to the sound.
You can only take advantage of this feature if your headphones have low audio latency.
Audio latency is the time it takes for a sound to happen in-game and for you to hear it.
For example, if your character fires a bullet…
It’ll take dozens or hundreds of milliseconds later before you can actually hear the sound.
And the exact duration of this delay (in ms) becomes your headphones’ latency.
That said, the higher this number…
The more delayed your audio is. And the worst your gaming experience will be.
On that note…
Bluetooth headphones generally have higher audio latency than wired models do.
For example, when I play the game Valorant on my PC…
The audio latency of my wired headphones is only 150 ms.
However, when I use my Bluetooth headset for the same game…
The delay increases up to 230 ms.
So, as a result, I can’t immediately react when an enemy approaches.
And my game’s display and audio don’t match with each other.
That’s why eventually, I decided to stick with my wired headphones when playing video games.
That’s because their audio latency is much lower.
And unlike Bluetooth headphones, they’re not equipped with…
#2: Low-quality microphones
If you like talking to other people while playing games…
Then you shouldn’t opt for a Bluetooth headset because their microphones suck.
Now there are several explanations for this.
But for simplicity’s sake, let’s focus on…
2 key reasons why Bluetooth headphones’ microphones are so bad
They can’t record high-quality audio
Bluetooth microphones have very limited bandwidth.
In other words, they can only record a portion of sound frequencies.
You can think of frequencies as the different pitches in sound.
With that, the lowest Hz values correspond to the audio’s bass.
And the higher numbers are for the higher-pitched sounds.
Now, note that humans can hear frequencies from 20 Hz to 20 000 Hz (20 kHz).
So for audio to be considered good, it should fulfill all the sounds within this range.
However, as mentioned earlier…
Bluetooth headsets’ microphones only record a limited portion of the sound frequencies.
Note: The exact range will depend on your device’s model. But most Bluetooth headphones can’t record audio from 10 kHz to 20 Khz properly.
So while the audio quality from your Bluetooth headphones may be good…
Your voice will sound terrible when other players in-game hear you.
Now, if you’re interested in knowing more about sound frequencies, watch this video:
Add latency to your voice
You’re already familiar with what latency is.
But just to review, it’s the measurement of a delay from the audio source to the receiver.
That said, unfortunately, Bluetooth microphones have high latency.
So you could be saying something to your in-game teammates now…
And they’ll only hear you 2 seconds later.
#3: They turn to “mono” when you use your mic
Speakers and headphones can either be in stereo or mono.
And in simple terms…
Stereo means the audio on your left differs from the audio on your right.
So you’ll know which side a sound is coming from exactly.
On the other hand…
Mono headphones play the same audio on their left and right earcups.
This means you’ll hear a character’s footsteps from both sides of your headset…
Even if it’s actually approaching you from your right.
See, you’ll only get the most from your game’s audio if your headphones are in stereo.
That’s because mono audio can make it very confusing to figure out the source of a sound.
Bluetooth headphones switch from stereo to mono when you use their microphone.
So you won’t be able to hear your headphones’ high-quality sound and use your mic simultaneously.
Note: This happens because of Bluetooth’s Hands-Free Profile feature. Click here to know more information about HSP.
Further reading: 7 Real Reasons Why Bluetooth Microphones Are So Bad
#4: Low compatibility
Wired headphones are compatible with any device that has an AUX port.
In contrast, though…
You can’t link wireless headphones with all kinds of gaming hubs.
So depending on the platform you’re using to play games…
You might not even be able to use Bluetooth headphones in the first place.
But fret not. Let me share with you the…
List of the devices that are compatible with Bluetooth:
- Oculus Quest.
And of course, you should also remember these…
Gaming hubs that aren’t compatible with Bluetooth headphones:
- Nintendo Wii.
- Nintendo Switch.
However, if you really want to, there’s a way to…
Connect wireless headphones to non-Bluetooth devices:
- Plug your gaming hub into your TV.
- Ensure that your game’s audio is coming from your TV speakers.
- Plug a Bluetooth transmitter into your TV’s AUX port.
- Put the Bluetooth transmitter in pairing mode.
- Activate your headphones’ pairing mode as well.
- Wait for your devices to connect.
Note: You can also plug the Bluetooth transmitter into your gaming hub’s headphone jack.
This is a simple workaround. However, bear in mind that…
Using an external device like a Bluetooth transmitter adds to the audio latency.
So, although your wireless headphones will successfully connect with your gaming device…
You’ll likely hear a noticeable audio delay that can reduce your gaming experience’s quality.
I strongly don’t recommend using Bluetooth headphones for gaming.
Because if you try to work around their compatibility issues…
You’ll only make the audio latency of your headphones worse.
#5: Prone to connection problems
Just like any wireless connections out there…
Bluetooth isn’t perfect.
That’s why it’s not rare for some of its functions to fail randomly.
And this makes wireless headphones inefficient for playing games.
On top of that, there are also…
Several variables that can affect your Bluetooth connection:
Wireless headphones are powered by their built-in battery.
And you happen to drain most of your headset’s power…
You’ll start noticing minor issues with your headphones.
For example, you might be unable to keep your Bluetooth devices connected.
Or your microphone may stop recording your audio.
In other cases…
Low-battery headphones can even stop pairing at all.
See, it would be annoying if you’re in the middle of the game.
And your Bluetooth headset suddenly starts having random issues, right?
So if you prefer reliability over anything else…
You should opt for wired headphones instead.
Bluetooth headphones give you the convenience of moving freely.
However, there are still limitations to this feature.
See, Bluetooth devices can only remain connected within 30 feet.
So if your headphones and gaming hub are separated farther than this range…
Your headset will disconnect from your device.
You can encounter pairing problems if:
You’ve previously connected your gaming hub or headphones to other devices.
So you need to ensure that…
Your Bluetooth devices aren’t paired with other gadgets before you put them in pairing mode.
Wired headsets don’t have any processors, so they don’t glitch.
However, Bluetooth headphones do.
That’s why now and then…
You might encounter instances when your wireless headset:
- Pauses randomly.
- Won’t pair with your device.
- Keeps disconnecting from your gaming hub.
See, these possible connection problems make Bluetooth headphones bad for gaming.
So if you want a reliable audio device that’s not prone to connectivity issues…
Stick to wired headphones instead. Because they’re plug-and-play devices.
You might also want to know: Are Bluetooth Headphones Encrypted? 7 Security Facts
Are all Bluetooth headphones bad for gaming?
All Bluetooth headphones are bad for gaming.
That’s because the Bluetooth connection isn’t optimized for quickly processing audio.
However, this doesn’t mean that your only alternative left is to buy wired headphones.
After all, you can still choose from dozens of wireless gaming headsets on the market.
Now, don’t be confused.
Not all wireless headphones use Bluetooth to function.
That’s because there are also models that use the 2.4Ghz wireless connection.
Simply speaking, these 2.4 GHz headphones have much lower latency.
So you won’t notice any audio delay from your game to your headphones.
Moreover, these devices can also work at much longer distances.
As mentioned earlier, Bluetooth gadgets can only connect within 30 feet.
But in comparison, 2.4 GHz devices can even be over 100 feet away, and they’ll still work.
That said, let me show you…
3 wireless 2.4 GHz headphones that are best for gaming:
SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro ($350)
I mentioned that Bluetooth and 2.4GHz connections differ from each other.
But what about getting a pair of headphones that has both of them?
See, this gaming headset from SteelSeries lets you listen to your game’s audio using 2.4 GHz.
And at the same time, you can use its Bluetooth connection to call your friends.
Moreover, it also has an AI-powered noise-canceling mic.
So your voice will sound loud and clear to your gaming buddies.
Razer BlackShark V2 Pro ($180)
With its broad frequency response (12 Hz – 28 kHz)…
You surely won’t miss hearing any sound from your gameplay with this headset.
Plus, it also has a 50-mm driver that’s divided into 3 parts.
So you can be sure that you’ll hear the well-crafted lows, mids, and highs of your sound.
JBL Quantum 800 ($137)
This JBL headset offers you both comfort and audio quality in 1 package.
See, you can use this device for hours straight without feeling sore.
And you can also remain competitive with this headset’s audio. Because it lets you hear all kinds of movements from your gameplay.
Moreover, these headphones also have built-in RGB lights.
So this device will surely give a little aesthetic boost to your gaming setup.