Before we plunge into the world of microphone-equipped sets, the Lola headphones are worthy of mention. These headphones are over the ear and fit incredibly well, blocking out all external noise and fluff you'd rather not listen to.
The headphones sport fiber-reinforced 50mm drivers and impedance of 42 ohms. The sound quality is excellent with deep bass capabilities and minimal junk sounds, even when listening to poor-quality compressed files. You may notice that, while stylish, these headphones do have rather chunky ear pieces -- and while not for everyone, this design does seem to give you more of a surround-sound feel than direct music due to the additional spacing.
Lola Blue is also compatible with iOS devices, but there does not seem to be a significant difference in sound whether you use the compatible cable or plug into an Android model.
Price: £209 | $249
The Jabra Evolve 80 is part of a lineup of microphone-equipped headsets designed with productivity in mind -- but happen to be a great option for gaming, too.
Why? The feature which sets the 80's apart from other VoIP options out there in this price range is the active noise cancellation feature. If you're attempting to listen in on a conference call or are running a gaming livestream, the chance to wipe out external distractions is a boon -- and this headset delivers.
The leather-like ear cuffs are comfortable and the sound quality is very good, but for the professional, other important features of note are the movable mic and the 'busy' alert you can either turn on manually or will come on automatically when you are taking a call -- warning anyone around you with red flickering lights that you are not to be disturbed.
See also: ZDNet review
Price: £179.99 | $329
For a more affordable option, the Lindy BNX-60 headset with impendence of 32Ohm in passive mode, as well as a 10-meter wireless range. The headset has a microphone and call acceptance mode with automatic noise cancelling -- which is not quite as robust as other options, albeit reasonable -- and the sound quality is solid, if not exceptional.
Price: £89.99 ($118)
The Game One headset has a straightforward, stylish design built with gamers in mind. You can click down the microphone and adjust the headset to a level you deem comfortable, and the headset stands out in terms of daily ease-of-use -- whether it be adjusting volume levels directly from the device or clicking the microphone away from you to mute everything. To prevent the wearer from becoming too hot, the headset features an open-back design to encourage air flow.
This is not a headset which defines the high-quality and top-of-the-range design we usually get from Sennheiser, but this will likely prove a favorite with gamers when comfort and convenience are key.
Price: £146 | $159
The Steelseries Siberia 800 headset is a model which I have tried out for both work and play, and although the price tag is heavy and setup is a nuisance, it's worth it.
The headset is wireless, allowing you to connect to your game consoles or mobile device without the need for adapters or extra cabling. Each soft ear plug can be adjusted and rotated to fit your head comfortably.
On the left, the microphone extension is flexible, allowing you to adjust its position, and a light will warn you whether it is on mute or not, which is a useful feature.
When it comes to sound quality, the headset offers excellent basic sound, as well as optional Dolby Virtual 7.1 surround sound which is perfect for gaming.
What I like most is the handy receiver which comes with the headset. From this tiny box, you can adjust volume, chat and audio balance, toggle between audio sources and create & switch profiles with different EZ preferences -- helpful when you need a different sound profile for VoIP meetings in comparison to your XBox gaming session, for example.
Price: £279.99 | $299.99