IEMs VS Headphones for Gaming (Solved & Explained)

With the increase in popularity of IEMs, many gamers are comparing IEMs VS Headphones for Gaming. They want to know which will be good for gaming from IEMs and headphones.

Therefore in this article, we will compare both IEMs and headphones for gaming.

Both have many differences such as sound, design, comfort, and many others.

However, we will compare both IEMs and Headphone’s sound quality, noise-cancellation, comfort, microphone, connectivity, and affordability because these are the main things for a good gaming headphone or earbud.

Price can change the performance of headphones or IEMs therefore we are comparing the same price IEMs vs headphones for gaming.

IEMs Vs Headphones for Gaming

Sound Quality

Let’s start with the sound quality of both because it is most important for gaming. The sound quality of IEMs is best for gaming and listening to music.

Because their audio is extremely clear because of multiple drivers.

And due to that, you will be able to hear everything going on in the game.

You will be able to hear details and footsteps even at a low volume.

The IEMs can have multiple drivers which means they can sound better than headphones.

On the other hand, headphones only have one driver in each ear cup that’s why their sound is not as clear as IEMs.

Headphones produce a sound that has a little bit of bass even expensive headphones brands claim their headphones have clear sound.

However, headphones are good for gamers who only want to enjoy games.

Or you have to pay a good chunk of the amount for good gaming headphones.

Therefore we can say IEMs sound is better for gaming than headphones.

Noise Isolation or Noise-cancellation

Focus on the game is very important to winning the game.

You can focus by using the noise-cancellation or noise-isolation feature of headphones or IEM. 

IEMs provide passive noise isolation (which means they eliminate background noise without any technology) because they go directly into your ears.

Passive noise isolation is great if you don’t want to spend the extra money and want to hear everything in audio.

Due to IEM’s 100% sound isolation, you will be able to focus on your game.

And win every battle of the game.

However, on the other hand, headphones also have noise isolation.

They also reduce environmental noise and help you to focus on your game.

But there are two types of noise-canceling headphones one of the types is passive noise-canceling headphones and other active noise-canceling headphones.

Passive noise-canceling headphones are not expensive and also their noise isolation or we can say noise cancellation is not great.

However, active noise-canceling headphones noise isolation works well but they are expensive.

Therefore we can say IEMs are good for gaming. Because they provide passive noise cancellation without paying extra money.


Comfort is very important for every gamer. Because if you will feel uncomfortable your performance will be decreased.

As a result, you can lose the game.

That’s why we will compare the comfort of IEMs and headphones for gaming.

IEMs are small in size and easy to fit in any size ear. They don’t cover the entire ear therefore comfortable for hours of gaming.

However, headphones are heavier as compared to IEMs.

They cover your entire ear and put pressure on your skull and head.

Therefore headphones are not as comfortable as IEMs.

So, if you want long-term comfort then you should with IEMs for gaming.


A good microphone is important for gaming. Therefore we should also compare the microphones of both IEMs and headphones.

Most IEMs don’t have microphones therefore if you play online games where you need a good microphone.

Then IEMs are not a great choice.

On the other hand, most headphones have a microphone.

Which can be used for communication while gaming. Therefore for competitive games, headphones will be a good choice. 


Most IEMs have wired connectivity and most of the time they don’t easily connect to the gaming consoles.

However, there are many ways to connect them but only wired connectivity is not good.

Because many people like me prefer wireless connection for moving freely.

However, on the other hand, headphones have both wireless and wired connectivity.

You can easily connect them with any gaming console such as Xbox, PS4, and Nintendo switch. 


A good gaming headphone will cost you from 150$ to 300$.

However, you can buy a good IEM for gaming is about 100$ to 200$.

Therefore we can say IEMs are cheaper than headphones and can be a good option for gaming.

There are many expensive IEMs available out there however, a good one that you can use for gaming is cheaper than good gaming headphones.

Which is better for gaming IEMs or Headphones?

In general, IEMs are better than headphones for gaming. But it also depends on the types of games you play.

If you play games to enjoy for half an hour. Then you should get headphones for gaming. Because you only want to enjoy the game instead of winning every game.

Also, you can easily find good comfortable headphones at a low price that you can use for a few hours of gaming. 

But if you play competitive games and you want comfort and great sound isolation for hours.

Then you should buy IEMs for gaming.

Because they have great passive noise cancellation, they are comfortable for hours, have great sound quality, and are easy to connect with any device. 

If you play casual games then both IEMs and headphones will be good for you.

Best gaming headset with sidetone

Is Airpods Pro good for Pc gaming?