Best Headphones For Sim Racing: 2024 Buyers Guide

Audio plays a huge part of sim racing. You can listen for engine sounds to help you shift, and hear cars around you on track. A good set of headphones is the most immersive choice for sim racing.

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Best sim racing headphones

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Audio is one of the most important parts of sim racing. The ability to hear other cars around you on track and know which side they are or how close they’re getting without looking can help you make quick decisions. As can being able to judge when the right time to shift gear is just from the audio.

These aspects of the audio while sim racing can help certain parts of racing become second nature. And allows you to spend more brainpower focusing on your racing line and making informed on track decisions.

In this guide, I’m going to look at what makes a good pair of sim racing headphones, and which headsets and headphones I’d recommend for sim racing. I’ll look at a variety of different headphones across different budgets and show you my recommendations.

What makes a good set of sim racing headphones?

A good set of headphones needs to be able to improve your overall audio experience whilst providing both immersion and extra information while on track.

Audio can often be overlooked with a much heavier emphasis on getting the best sim racing monitor or sim rig. However, if you get a good pair of headphones, they can really aid your on track decisions and increase your overall immersion.

A good pair of sim racing headphones needs to meet a few criteria. These range from being within a reasonable budget to having good performance and battery life if opting for a wireless headset. Below are some key areas where headphones need to shine while sim racing.

PriceBetter audio performance comes from higher budget headphones, although there needs to be a balance between price and performance.
LatencyIf opting for wireless headphones, low latency is incredibly important to relay audio information in real time.
Noise cancellationRemoving external sounds is very beneficial to help you immerse yourself in sim racing.
Audio performanceUltimately, you’ll want your headphones to sound great to provide the most enjoyable experience.
Battery lifeIf racing with wireless headphones, you’ll need the battery life to last, especially if racing in endurance events.

The best sim racing headphones

Below are our top picks for the very best headphones for sim racing. I’ve included a range of headphones across different budgets, with each option being the best within its price range. These headphones make for excellent gaming headphones, but with key features that make them the ultimate sim racing headphones.

CategoryHeadphonesPrice
Best BudgetLogitech Astro A10 HeadphonesAstro A10£54.99
Best WiredRazer Kraken V2 HeadphonesRazer Kraken V3 Wired£99.99
Best WirelessHyperX Cloud Alpha HeadphonesHyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless£189.98
Best PremiumSteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless HeadphonesSteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless£319.99

Astro A10 – Best budget headphones

I’m going to start by recommending our favourite budget sim racing headphones, the Logitech Astro A10. Astro gaming is a sub-brand of Logitech’s that are targetted at budget gaming. The Astro A10 Gen 2 improve upon the foundation laid by the original A10 headphones in a few ways.

Astro A10 Headphones

This set of budget gaming headphones is wired which is ideal for sim racing due to there being zero latency. They feature an in-built microphone allowing you to communicate with other drivers when racing online, or ask Jeff for an update in the F1 game series!

These budget headphones feature an over the ear design which is comfortable across long race sessions, and they’re pretty lightweight as well. Being a budget set of headphones, there aren’t some premium features.

There is no wireless mode at all meaning you need to find a comfortable position ensuring the wire isn’t in your way. And you also don’t get any form of noise cancelation. Despite these lack of features, at an incredibly low price point, these Astro A10 headphones are easily one of the better sets of headphones for sim racing.

Headphones – Astro A10
Connectivity – 3.5mm jack
Price – £54.99
Where to buy Buy from Amazon


Razer Kraken V3 Wired – Best wired headphones

Moving up in terms of price, the Razer Kraken V3 headphones are our recommendation for the best wired sim racing headphones under £100. While you can get better headphones if you’re willing to pay a premium, these Razer wired headphones are an excellent choice.

Razer Kraken V3 Wired Headphone

Much like other headphones on this list, the Razer Kraken V3 headphones come with essential features for sim racing. There is a built in microphone, they feature a comfortable over ear design and noise cancellation.

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    The audio performance is excellent at this price range. The Kraken V3 headphones feature 7.1 spatial audio that allow for incredible directional audio. As a car comes past you on track, you’ll know immediately which side it is approaching from without looking.

    These headphones also feature a boosted bass feature that really allows the engine noise to sing as you go up the rev range. These are driven by a set of 50mm dynamic drivers that allow for excellent audio at all frequencies. If you are looking for a high quality pair of headphones and don’t mind about dealing with a wire, these Razer Kraken V3 headphones are ideal.

    Headphones – Razer Kraken V3 Wired
    Connectivity – USB
    Price – £99.99
    Where to buy Buy from Amazon


    HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless

    If you don’t like the idea of dealing with a wire hanging in front of your racing wheel or down your back, then a good set of wireless headphones are the better choice. The problem with many wireless headphones in the past has been latency. Added latency can really take you out of the action and even cause you to miss shifts or misjudge cars around you.

    Thankfully, wireless audio technology has come along way recently, and the HyperX Cloud Alpha wireless headphones are a perfect example of this. These headphones feel premium thanks to their solid construction. They use metal across the frame which feels high-quality and doesn’t add too much to the weight making them comfortable across longer race sessions.

    HyperX Cloud Alpha Sim Racing Headphones

    The wireless technology is good enough to remove any real latency issues, and both the battery life and audio performance are incredibly good. Much like the Razer Kraken V3 headphones, these HyperX Cloud Alpha’s feature spatial audio which lets you hear directional audio while on track.

    One of the main downsides is that these headphones only connect via a USB dongle and there isn’t an option for a hardwired 3.5mm or USB connection. If you’re only ever planning on sim racing with these headphones in wireless mode then this won’t be an issue.

    Headphones – HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless
    Connectivity – USB Dongle
    Price – £189.98
    Where to buy Buy from Amazon


    SteelSeries Arctis Pro – Best premium headphones

    If money is less of a buying decision, then the premium SteelSeries Arctic Pro headphones are among the very best you can buy for sim racing. This set of headphones offer a range of connectivity options, excellent audio quality and they are among the most comfortable headphones for longer race sessions.

    The versatility of these headphones while sim racing starts with the connectivity options. You can opt for a Bluetooth wireless connection which works well for gaming. If you do want to connect them physically to your POC, you can choose either USB or 3.5mm connections.

    SteelSeries Arctis Pro Headphones

    With these headphones, you also get a wireless transmitter. This is a separate box that can be used to control your headphone’s connection. You can connect your headphones to this transmitter wirelessly or with a wired connection and can even use premium features such as pass-through to allow others to hear the audio inside the headset.

    The drivers inside the Arctis Pro are 40mm stereo drivers. These simulate a surround sound experience that lets you hear directional audio to produce a very immersive gaming experience. These headphones are among the very best sounding headphones you can buy, and the premium features you get are worth the cost if budget isn’t as much of an issue.

    Headphones – SteelSeries Arctis Pro
    Connectivity – USB, 3.5mm, Bluetooth, 2.4G
    Price – £319.99
    Where to buy Buy from Amazon


    Should you sim race with headphones or speakers?

    Deciding between headphones or speakers is very much a personal choice. Many gamers are used to playing games or sim racing using speakers built into a monitor or TV. This makes them an easy choice when opting for convenience and comfort.

    Opting for a set of gaming headphones while sim racing can however increase immersion greatly. Racing with speakers can feel very one-dimensional depending on your audio set-up. Sim racing with a set of headphones can provide directional audio much better. And because you will be eliminating outside noise by using a set of headphones, you can become much more immersed in the on-track racing action.

    Despite the advantages of headphones, some may prefer to race with speakers. Headphones can sometimes be uncomfortable for long durations depending on the style of headphones you opt for, with over-the-ear designs being much better for comfort.

    Racing with headphonesRacing with speakers
    Pros– Incredibly immersive
    – Directional audio to help locate other cars on track
    – Use of a microphone when racing online
    – Noise cancelling to remove outside sounds
    – Maximum comfort without the need for a headset
    – Can involve other people in the same room
    Cons– Can be uncomfortable over longer durations
    – Latency can be an issue with wireless headphones
    – Often provide less directional audio feedback
    – Distractions from external noise
    – Requires an external microphone to interact with other races online

    Wireless or wired headphones?

    When sim racing, you rely heavily on real-time feedback from your headphones. Any latency between your game and your headphones can cause issues while racing.

    For example, if you learn the perfect engine sound that indicates that you need to shift up. Then if there is some latency between the game and the audio, that sound plays ever-so-slightly later through your headset. This can cause you to miss a shift and hit the redline which is less than ideal.

    For this reason, ensuring that the audio latency is as low as possible will help you react correctly to the sounds around you. While wireless headphones are incredibly versatile and the lack of a wire can be more comfortable, you will always run into latency issues while gaming using a wireless headset.

    The latency can be mitigated by a good pair of headphones or by using a good wireless connection. Using a dongle that transmits data over a 2.4GHz or 5GHz connection will be better than using an in-built Bluetooth connection.

    Removing the wireless connection altogether and opting for a pair of gaming headphones that can be wired to your PC or console is even better. A wired headset will provide real-time audio with zero latency, making it much more immersive to sim race with.


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    Article written by Rich

    Co-Founder of SimRacingSetups.com

    Rich is the co-founder, and one of the main F1 setup creators and content writers for SimRacingSetups. With over a decade of experience as a graphic designer, marketing director, competitive sim racer and avid motorsport fan, Rich founded SimRacingSetup.com to share his passion and knowledge of sim racing and Formula 1 with other sim racers.

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