The game of poker has been around the US for years, moving from smoky backrooms of saloons to opulent casinos in Las Vegas.
Since the turn of the century, it has become a mainstream pastime enjoyed by millions worldwide. According to the New York Times, that was courtesy of the poker boom, a spell between 2003 and 2011 during which online poker became huge. There’s a second poker boom happening right now, as outlined by Poker.org, which means more players are playing poker online than ever before. It might even be something you dabbled with over the pandemic, as casinos remained closed and your only outlet was your digital device.
If you do play poker online, you may be looking to kit yourself out with some essentials, and nothing is more essential than a good set of earphones. If you watch the World Series of Poker on television, you’ll see players with earbuds in or huge great big cans blocking out all of the sounds. Once those players get to the final, ESPNpressroom.com reports they are not allowed those accessories, but that is one rare instance in which they are not permitted. At home, you might not be able to crank up the stereo, not in a shared house, so earphones are a vital part of your poker kit.
Which type should you buy? We’ve got a guide here to the points you need to consider and how different variations will suit a different kind of player.
Comfort is a huge part of wearing headphones, and if you are playing poker seriously at home, a session could last many hours. That means you need a pair of headphones that score highly in the comfort department, such as the Razer Opus. It almost goes without saying that a wireless pair is essential too; you will not want a wire dangling down and distracting you whilst you’re playing.
When a player in the WSOP wears a pair of headphones, it is to cancel out the noise of the casino around them. Whilst that might be a choice you make don’t rush into noise cancelling at home for a couple of reasons. Firstly, you might need to be aware of your surroundings a little more, for instance, if a telephone rings or someone comes to the door. Secondly, online poker players tend to multi-table; they play several tables at once. A change in circumstance at one of those tables could be denoted by a noise from your device rather than an onscreen prompt. If you can’t hear anything but your tunes, then you could miss a vital play.
As we have mentioned, serious players will sit for several hours at a time playing poker, and as such, they’ll need a pair of headphones with strong battery life. The Edifier W830BT model promises a whopping 95 hours of battery life, which is far more than you’d need even if you were playing around the felt in Las Vegas. If you are looking at the budget end of the market, check out reviews and make sure you have more than 24 hours of battery life. That’s longer than you should play in a single sitting, but it will mean you don’t have to charge up each time.
Finally, consider what else you may use your headphones for, and base your purchase around that. If you are a runner, for instance, then you might buy a pair that are a tighter fit so that you can wear them for exercising in, as well as your poker. If you often travel on a bus and wish to cancel out noise, a bigger set of cans will suit you better, with noise-cancelling capabilities. Headphones are a serious purchase these days, and it would be remiss of you to purchase a pair with only poker in mind.