Sound plays a vital role in the world of video games because it radically enhances your immersion. It is therefore important to decide wisely on which sound device performs best when it comes to sound in your gaming world.
Should you use speakers or headphones for gaming? This is a question commonly asked by gamers. There will always be divided opinions regarding this matter because everything depends on many factors. If you are deciding on which of the two will give you the ultimate gaming experience, keep reading. We will explore the differences between the two, and let you know which is best for gaming.
Before we discuss the factors to be considered, let’s get to know these two devices. Sound technology has been innovating throughout the years to appeal to gamers. Both headphones and speakers have targeted gamers with some unique features.
Headphones, or headsets, are devices that directly transmit the audio of your game to your ears through speakers in the headphones. To give more comfort, many headphones are equipped with padding and an adjustable headband to tailor-fit to your needs. Most gaming headphones include a microphone to serve your communication needs with other players.
Headphones can be wired or wireless. Wired headphones typically plug into the audio output of your PC or console. Wireless headphones can be paired via bluetooth or with a wireless dongle.
Speakers, on the other hand, are much larger and typically installed next to your TV or monitor. The sound may not be directly transmitted to your ears but you avoid the hassle of having audio cords around your neck, or anything resting on your head. However, speakers don’t have an attached microphone for easy communication, meaning you’ll need a separate device to communicate with other players.
There are many types of speakers, and they come in a variety of sizes. Most gamers use desktop speakers or home theater systems. But there are other options like bookshelf speakers or sound bars. Speakers are typically paired with an amplifier, although some have those built in.
Which is better for gaming?
Most of us are familiar with these two devices, but how can we choose which is better? Let us now consider the gaming elements being affected depending on the device we use.
Immersion is the first thing that gamers should consider. When you use headphones while gaming, you are immersed in the real atmosphere of the gaming world, and thus gives you an ultimate gaming experience. Having a good atmosphere while gaming is important and that comes complete with high-quality images and sound. Headphones that are specialized for gaming will let you experience immersive sound, from chirping birds, gunshots, running cars, etc. This immersive experience gives you the kind of satisfaction every gamer craves as it feels like you are in the actual game.
Speakers may not directly transmit sounds to your ears, but they can fill the room with the sound of your game, and let you experience the same kind of immersion. However, this will also depend on the kind and size of the room you have. Most speakers perform better in smaller rooms. Although, due to advancements in technology, there are also high-end speakers that are equipped with special features that still perform at their best even in big spaces. The one big advantage to speakers in terms of immersion is the large, powerful sound they can create. Explosion and other bass effects will sound more powerful through larger speakers than with gaming headphones.
Gaming is often best when you have competitors and co-players. Communication with other players is vital, and so all gamers need a device to properly communicate. In choosing the right kind of device, one should consider which device can allow them to communicate well.
Speakers don’t come with a built in microphone. You’ll need to purchase a separate microphone to use. You might also run into feedback issues if sound is playing from your speakers and getting picked up by the microphone. You also get more background noise from your gaming environment when using speakers. It might be hard to hear a teammate over your speakers when your family is talking in the background, for example.
Meanwhile, headphones usually have an attached microphone that you can use while you are gaming. It offers convenience as the microphone is attached to the headphone directly, and doesn’t suffer the same risk of audio feedback since the sound stays within the headphones. Another advantage is that most headphones can cancel background noises so you get to have easier communication with other gamers.
Comfort is another thing gamers need to consider. Gaming usually means several hours sitting and playing. Some argue that headphones feel uncomfortable after wearing them for long hours because they press on your head and ears. It can feel annoying having an audio cord hanging around your neck and getting in the way. Although they can be wireless, the hassle of needing to charge it frequently may be inconvenient. However, others claim that there are well-designed headphones that are ergonomically designed, and can be worn comfortably for hours.
If you choose to use speakers, you won’t be having problems with comfort as it is not attached to your body in any way. There is no cord or battery to worry about. Speakers, once installed, are a much simpler and more comfortable solution.
Privacy is also important to consider. Some may find gaming as their way to escape from reality, and so they want to be detached from their current environment. Headphones offer this kind of seclusion as the sound is directly transmitted to the ears, where nobody else can hear. Also, you don’t tend to hear much from the real environment around you.
Speakers may be limited in providing privacy, especially if you are not alone in the room or the audio coming from your room will be heard from other parts of the house. Speakers are best when you are alone and no one will get distracted from the high volume sounds you create from gaming.
Desk space may also pose a problem if you opt to choose speakers. Choosing to buy speakers would mean having left and right speakers, and maybe even a subwoofer. If you don’t have ample space, then headphones might be a better option for you.
How about the price, which is more expensive? Since speakers need more items to be purchased to have a better quality sound, this might mean a higher price than headphones. Headphones are an all-in-one device, having built-in speakers and a microphone so you only need to purchase one item. Even if you buy cheaper speakers, you will still need to buy a microphone to communicate with other players.
In our opinion, you should use headphones for gaming. But the answer largely depends on the situation you are in and what kind of gamer you are. Are you the kind of gamer who wants other people around you to be involved with your gaming experience? Or do you want privacy in your room? To decide, you will need to figure out which priorities we listed above are most important to you. But overall, for most people, the advantages of headphones outweigh the negatives.
If you have extra money and you want to experience the best of both worlds, you can buy both devices so you can compare and contrast. It is also an advantage if your circumstances while gaming change. You’ll have the option to choose what to use depending on what is called for.