If you’re looking at buying gaming headphones, you must note that they come with some problems.
Here are some of the common issues you may encounter that can help you decide if they are meant for you:
1. The Microphone on my Gaming Headphone is not Working
One of the key features of gaming headphones is the microphone.
Gaming headphones have microphones as a way for gamers to communicate with fellow players while online.
Instead of having to chat, like older multinetwork games have, you can use the microphone to speak directly with other players in your game through services such as Discord or Mumble.
That’s why it’s important to have a working microphone, especially when you’re competing over a multiplayer video game.
If you’re having issues with your microphone while gaming, here are some things you can do.
Close Other Apps that Have Access to Your Microphone:
One possible reason for your microphone would be a possible conflict with other apps that may be using it.
You see, some apps tend to hog the microphone, which denies you from using other apps.
You can think of it as a safety feature: you wouldn’t want something recorded without your notice.
Grant Access to Microphone:
Some computers now have manual permissions that need to be set to grant access to input and output devices connected.
This feature is activated for security purposes, as microphones can serve as hearing devices.
Most notably, Windows 10 has a feature that needs you to grant access to the microphone for you to use it.
Likewise, mobile devices like smartphones have a per-app permission setting, wherein you will be asked if you want to grant access to your microphone before using it.
For Windows 10 users, here’s how you grant access:
- Press Start on the lower-left corner, then opens the Settings.
- Click Privacy and select Microphone.
- Select Change and ensure that the Microphone is active.
- Select Allow apps to access your microphone.
Set the Microphone as the Default Device:
The microphone might not be set as the default device that your computer will use, and in some cases, the microphone input volume might also be set to mute, which is why your computer isn’t pick up any sound.
Here’s how you grant the microphone access on Windows 10:
- Open the Control Panel and select Sound
- Go to the Recording tab and right-click on any empty spot in the device list, and select Show Disabled Devices Right-click on your headphones in the list and select enable
- Right-click once more and select Set as Default Device
- Right-click the Headphones and select Properties.
- On the Levels tab, move the volume slider to the highest value, then click on Ok.
Update Audio Drivers:
This holds, especially if you are using a pair of USB headphones, but even if you are using a 3.5 mm plug to connect your headphones, you may want to check for updates to the soundcard.
For those using USB headphones, you can check the website of the manufacturer for any driver updates.
For those who want to update the soundcard driver:
- Open the Control Panel and select System.
- Open the Hardware tab and expand the Sound, Video, and Game Controllers category.
- Open the Sound Card and click on the Driver tab.
- Click on Update Driver.
For those using Bluetooth gaming headphones, you can check with the manufacturer of your unit if it updates the firmware.
And to be sure things will work, restart your computer after to let the update take effect.
Troubleshoot the Actual Hardware:
You can try plugging into other ports if using USB gaming headphones.
For those using older gaming headphones with two-plus on one end, make sure they are plugged into the right port.
These plugs would be colored green and pink. It would be best if you plugged them into the corresponding colored jack behind the motherboard.
If your headphones come with a detachable cable, try swapping out cables to check if it works. Note that you will need a cable with a TRRS (tip-ring-ring-sleeve) plug to diagnose properly.
You can also try plugging your gaming headphones into another compatible device and see if the microphone works.
In some cases, the microphone of your gaming headphones can be detached. You can try using another compatible microphone.
If it still fails, you need to have your gaming headphones checked. Some technicians can try replacing the actual cables.
2. The Cable is Not Working
One of the weakest points of any gaming headphones is the cable not working.
Gamers get excited, and sometimes they accidentally tug the cable, which breaks the wires inside.
The list goes on, and the only way to fix it is to replace the actual cable.
Moving forward, you should also prevent your cable from getting caught, which would cause it to tug and break its wires inside.
You should also wind your cables properly and store them in cases where there’s less risk of breaking when pressure is applied by accident.
The last thing you want would be to go to a LAN party with a busted headphone cable upon arrival.
3. Gaming Headphones Have no Sound
There are plenty of reasons why gaming headphones would not have sound.
There could be a broken wire in your cable, your computer might not have it set as the output device, and the list goes on.
To help you troubleshoot this, you can follow the same steps with the microphone diagnosis:
- Close other apps that may be using your headphones, as this can be a source of conflict.
- Set the microphone as the default device so that your computer or device puts audio out to your headphones and not your default speakers.
- Update Audio Drivers, especially for USB headphones and even Bluetooth headphones.
- Troubleshoot the actual Hardware, and try swapping out cables or making sure you have the right connection for double plugs.
4. My Console Does not Recognize my Gaming Headphones
Did you know you can use your favorite gaming headphones with the modern video game consoles in the market?
But not all gaming consoles have the same steps in connecting them. In some cases, it’s not just about plugging in your headphones.
Here’s how you connect them to the popular consoles in the market today.
Sony Playstation 4 and 5:
There are two ways of connecting your gaming headphones to the Sony Playstation 4.
You can plug the 3.5 mm plug into the controller, which is connected to your console. Once you plug it in, go to the Settings menu, look for Devices, and open Audio Devices.
Switch the audio output to “Headset connected to the controller” if your Playstation hasn’t switched to it yet. Then set the Output to Headphones option is on All Audio.
For USB headphones, you can plug them into the USB port of the Playstation 4. The same steps apply to wireless USB headphones.
If your wireless headphones rely on a transmitter that uses an optical connection, make sure to go to the Sound and Screen settings and set the Primary Output to Digital Out.
You may also have to switch the Audio Format (Priority) setting, but this would depend on your headphones.
For the Playstation 5, attaching headphones is easier than its previous version.
You plug your headphones into the 3.5 mm jack on the controls or plug your USB headphones on the USB C or A port on the console.
The Playstation 5 will set your audio to run by default to the headphones you plugin.
But you will also have the option of running your chat audio-only.
You can set this in the Sound Settings and set Chat Audio in the Headphones section.
You may also adjust spatial audio settings to get your surround sound. There are profiles that you can use for the best sound experience.
Adjusting basic audio may be done with the menu at the bottom of the screen when you press the PS button.
For the Nintendo Switch, plugging in your gaming headphones can be easy, although you may have some settings to tinker with.
You only need to plug a 3.5 mm headphone plug into the Switch.
Unfortunately, most Switch games don’t use a microphone, and you may need a TRRS splitter/mixer to route audio from your switch and chat into your gaming headphones.
Some Switch models offer USB headphone compatibility, but only when connected to a dock.
That means your USB gaming headphones are only best used for home.
Microsoft Xbox One:
The connection process with the Microsoft Xbox One provides users with interesting solutions to connect headphones.
Like the Playstation 4 and 5, you can plug a 3.5mm headphone plug into the jack of the controller.
But not all Xbox controllers have this feature, so you may need an adapter from Microsoft or get one with the jack.
For those using USB gaming headphones, whether wired or wireless, you can plug them into the console as long as it is compatible.
More importantly, the headphones must be designed for the Xbox.
A USB headphone designed for the Playstation is not likely to work with the Xbox.
For wireless headphones that use optical connections for the transmitter, you need to turn off HDMI audio output and set the Optical Audio to bitstream out.
For wireless headphones designed for the Xbox but don’t have a transmitter or dongle, you can connect them by pressing and releasing the connect button on the side of the console.
Then hold the pairing button on the headphones until your TV displays Headset assigned.
Smartphones are perhaps the easiest to connect to.
You can connect with a single 3.5 mm TRRS plug or via Bluetooth.
If your gaming headphones have two plugs for the headphones and microphone, you will need a TRRS splitter to connect them.
General Pros and Cons of Gaming Headphones:
Here are some pros:
Gaming Headphones Can Filter Sound
Many games need critical hearing, believe it or not.
You want to know where your enemies are or where a sound is coming from. Gaming headphones have the advantage of filtering sounds that you hear.
You get to focus on the game and make things easier for you. Many of the headphones in the market offer noise-canceling to reduce environmental noise.
Gaming Headphones Have Built-in Microphones
While many of the headphones in the market now have built-in microphones, Gaming Headphones still have that edge of having a dedicated microphone akin to headsets used by telemarketers.
These microphones were designed to deliver clear audio over your audio chats, making them better for gaming.
Having a clear voice is essential in coordinating with your team when competing. You need to send out instructions to each other to win.
Many microphones can be swiveled away or removed during storage, making them convenient to carry during travel.
Gaming Headphones are Comfortable
Whether you play competitively or for leisure, gaming headphones are a good option since they are designed for long usage.
And not just something meant for 30 minutes.
We’re talking about hours of usage.
You want something that won’t press on your ears and folding them out of shape. You want something that adapts to your ears.
And that’s where gaming headphones are ideal.
Cons of Gaming Headphones
- They can be ridiculously expensive.
- They tend to be single-purpose headphones.
- Not all gaming headphones can be one-size-fits-all solutions.