Twitch has created a world where gamers can live out their childhood dream of making a career out of playing video games. In a time when Instagram and TikTok influencers have the potential to earn high salaries, video game experts should be no different. One of Twitch’s biggest success stories has to be Richard Tyler Blevins, aka Ninja. Ninja has generated millions of dollars of income from his professional gaming career and has even branched out with appearances on The Masked Singer and in the feature film Free Guy. This legendary streamer has built up a huge following of aspiring and professional gamers who try to emulate him by using Ninja’s headset as well as the same keyboard and mouse.
They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, so of course, fans of Ninja have often tried to emulate their hero, from dyeing their hair to buying the controller that he uses in tournaments. Often overlooked, one of the most crucial pieces of equipment for any Esports player is their headset. From avoiding miscommunication to comfort levels after hours of wear, the best gaming headset can make all the difference in the world. If a gamer is wondering what headset Ninja uses, they’re in luck. Here’s an in-depth look at the headset Ninja relies on when gaming, and how his choice impacts the rest of his streaming setup.
Who is Ninja?
Fans of professional gaming will probably already know Ninja. Bursting onto the scene in 2009, Ninja began his Esports career playing Halo 3. He’s been a part of many of the best teams, including Cloud9, Renegades, Team Liquid, and Luminosity Gaming. He started streaming his sessions in 2011 and would eventually break many Twitch records, including becoming the first Twitch streamer to surpass 3 million followers. Many of those records were set when he began streaming Fortnite Battle Royale in 2017.
Aside from personal gaming, Ninja has done many creative things to build his brand. He’s invited celebrities such as Drake and Travis Scott to join him on his streams. He performed in disguise on the Fox television program The Masked Singer and voiced a character in the 2022 film Hotel Transylvania: Transformania. He even partnered with MasterClass to create an outlet where he could give advice to aspiring video game streamers.
As a highly-influential streamer, the world is always paying attention to Ninja’s thoughts on the various streaming platforms. After moving to Mixer in 2019, soon enough, Ninja would return to Twitch in 2020 after the shutdown of the Microsoft-owned website. As a result, Blevins has unique insights as to why some streaming services fail while others thrive. Blevins shared his thoughts on the new streaming kid on the block, Kick, praising its potential but also warning that its current payout system to broadcasters is not sustainable. Despite these concerns, after joining other major Twitch streamers complaining about restrictive advertisement policies Twitch would later backpedal on, Ninja cast on Kick for the first time on June 9th.
Ninja’s streaming future is still uncertain since he continues to sporadically broadcast on Twitch. Regardless, if Ninja ever decides to leave the platform entirely, he may just find a permanent home on the rapidly developing Kick.
What Headset Does Ninja Use?
Ninja uses the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro Headphones wherever he is streaming or competing in a live event. While not specifically developed with gaming in mind, these premium headphones are great for all types of games, be it FPS, MOBAs, or RPGs. Without an attached microphone, this headset would be used when playing single-player titles. Additionally, these would make for an ideal option when listening, mixing, or mastering music.
In the design of the DT 990 Pro, Beyerdynamic utilizes its privately developed Tesla driver technology. Named after famed electrical engineer Nicola Tesla, this technology is the key to the headphones’ dynamic range throughout their highs, mids, and bass sounds. This alone improves a player’s game experience, as differences in the sound of gunfire or explosions at a distance can provide a vital advantage in multiplayer matchups. Knowing how much time one has before a threat arrives can greatly influence strategy and help determine when to heal, retreat, or charge.
A major difference between these headphones and ones that traditional gamers have usually experienced is the fact that they have an open-back design. Without getting into the technical details of this design, it can be said that, under the right circumstances, open-back headphones can provide sounds that are more natural and clear. Open-back headphones perform best when the user is in a quiet area all by themselves. This is because open-back design headsets aren’t noise-canceling to ambient sounds and incur a good amount of sound leakage. If the DT 990 Pros are being used to listen to something near someone, they will be able to hear what’s coming out of the headphones, and the user will be able to hear them. This is all at the trade-off of improved sound quality. So, this would be beneficial to a gamer who is playing alone.
Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro are audiophile-quality headphones ideal for content creators recording and editing their own productions. The over-the-ear DT 990 Pro perfectly balances low, mid, and high tones with a transparent listening experience. The headphones have exceptionally comfortable and stylish gray velour earpads for hours of pain-free listening. The adjustable steel headband is equally pleasant to wear, part of the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro’s durable yet lightweight construction.
- Steel, leather, plastic
- Noise Cancellation
- 370 g
- Studio-grade sound quality
- Very sturdy and comfortable
- Impressive mid and high tones
- Not noise cancelling
- Amp recommended for best sound
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro comes in 250 Ohm and 80 Ohm variations. Ninja relies on the 250 Ohm version, but the device introduces some complexity into the setup of most gamers. Ninja’s headset is designed to be connected to professional audio equipment which has higher power usage. Most underpowered PC sound cards will output audio to the DT 990 Pro that seems muted or muddy. To get around this limitation, Ninja added a Creative Sound Blaster X7 DAC to his rig to provide the powerful and balanced sound DT 990 Pro is capable of. Trying to use the DT 990 Pro with consoles is even more problematic, so choosing the best gaming headset for a PS5 or Xbox Series X is more sensible.
Thankfully, for gamers who don’t want to spend hundreds of additional dollars on a DAC, the 80 Ohm Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro is a better match for most PCs. Even so, the headphones may still sound a bit underpowered without purchasing an additional amp like the TC Helicon GoXLR mixer or the Creative Sound Blaster X7 that Ninja utilizes. Another option is the Beyerdynamic TYGR 300 R Gaming Headphones, which look and perform similarly to the DT 990 Pro. The TYGR 300 R is not a gaming headset either, which is why the company has bundled standalone microphones with them in the past.
Ninja’s Mic of Choice
Shure MV7 USB Microphone
Shure MV7 USB Microphone is a high-end, standalone mic built for podcasting and recording live streams of gaming or other content. The all-metal, dual USB/XLR mic promises to last through hours of use and future upgrades to other audio equipment, such as dedicated mixers. With a sizable boom and built-in audio processing, the Shure MV7 is one of the best mics for crisp and professional vocal delivery.
- USB, XLR
- Corded Electric
- 2.31 pounds
- 4.3 x 12.3 x 5 inches
For the best possible quality and since Ninja’s headset lacks a boom mic, like many other streamers, Blevins uses a separate external microphone to record audio. After using the Electro-Voice RE20, which has a long history with FM radio hosts going back to the late 1960s and remains just as popular today for content creation and streaming, Ninja is now using the Shure MV7 mic attached to the RODE PSA1 boom arm. The Shure MV7 is a podcast microphone that comes in black and white colors, though Ninja prefers the black one. It has both USB and XLR outputs that work with his TC Helicon GoXLR mixer. The MV7 has a dynamic transducer, a unidirectional polar pattern, and a touch panel interface with a mute switch. The voice isolation technology in the Shure MV7 is why Ninja sounds so crisp and clear in his streams. It is one of the more popular mics used by streamers and podcasters.
For gamers who want to go the external microphone route, it’s also important to remember that the DT 990 Pros are wired headphones. While there are advantages and disadvantages to not being wireless, there is a reason why some players will opt for a different set. Some gamers find it uncomfortable to have a wire dangling all over themselves, and the fact that it is added weight, but that’s the only thing uncomfortable about these headphones. On the other hand, wireless headsets need to be charged which can be a hassle in the middle of an intense gaming session. Designed with comfort in mind, the combination of high-tech textiles and ear pads in the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pros creates a pain-free experience, even during long periods of wear.
Beyerdynamic is a German company that has made a name for itself by delivering the highest quality products while developing cutting-edge technology. The modern look, durable design, premium sound, and maximum comfort of the DT 990 Pro are a testament to that. If gamers are willing to pay top dollar for a professional streaming setup, they might want to take after Ninja and get a pair of one of the best gaming headphones for themselves.
What Other Streaming/Gaming Gear Does Ninja Use?
Logitech G Pro Wireless Gaming Mouse
The G Pro Wireless Gaming Mouse is a result of Logitech’s collaboration with the top Esports competitors in the world. The mouse has the perfect ergonomic shape for hours of comfortable use and weighs only 80 grams. Offering a HERO 25K DPI sensor for deadly accurate tracking, the Logitech G Pro Wireless Gaming Mouse relies on LIGHTSPEED connectivity for a lag-free 1ms report rate.
- 80 grams
- 25600 DPI
- 60 hours
- Programmable Buttons
Blending together a lightweight design and subtle RGB lighting, the Logitech G Pro Wireless is Ninja’s mouse of choice. For the types of games he plays, i.e. competitive shooters, a lightweight mouse is essential. And being a streamer, the glowing Logitech logo on the top of the mouse helps to add that extra bit of flare. The G Pro Wireless also uses the company’s advanced HERO 25K sensor for precise tracking and, as the name suggests, it is a wireless mouse. Logitech’s LIGHTSPEED wireless connection allows for a 1ms reporting rate lag-free gaming experience that is necessary for competitive games, which is why it is also used by other pro gamers and streamers.
With the RGB on, the G Pro Wireless can last up to 48 hours while with the lighting off, the battery life can be extended to 60 hours. The onboard memory allows for saving up to five profiles which means Ninja can have his personalized settings no matter which PC he plugs his mouse in.
Logitech G Pro X Superlight
$127 $160 Save $33
The best FPS gaming mouse from Logitech is the Pro X Superlight, a mouse that holds up against its name with a weight of just 63g. One of the lightest gaming mice on the market, the Pro X Superlight aims to be a favorite among fast-paced gamers. The overall design focuses on being sleek, smooth, and speedy. The two programmable buttons that are available on the left side sit nearly flush with the mouse, making it difficult to miskey yet keeping them in a convenient, familiar place.
- Sensor and DPI
- Hero 25K
- RGB Lighting
- Programmable Buttons
- LIGHTSPEED wireless technology
- Battery Life
- Up To 70 Hours
- 100-25,600 DPI
- 400 IPS
- Polling Rate
- 40 G
- Lightweight yet excellent battery life
- Accommodates many different grips
- Reliable wireless connection
- Looks rather plain for a high-end gaming mouse
- Scroll wheel can be inconsistent
Whether they are playing Fortnite or other competitive FPS titles, gamers like Ninja tend to look for lightweight and agile mice, which is why he can also be seen using the Logitech G Pro X Superlight. It is one of the most popular peripherals used in Esports by pros like Alexander “s1mple” Kostylev. It’s no surprise that Blevins approves of this 63-gram Logitech mouse, which thanks to the manufacturer’s latest LIGHTSPEED protocol, rivals the low-latency performance of the best wired mice. The HERO 25K sensor in the Pro X Superlight is what allows gamers to find and lock onto targets with surgical precision.
Despite its minimalist dimensions and weight, the inside of the Logitech G Pro X Superlight contains a battery sufficient to last for up to 70 hours on a single charge. The mouse casts aside features found on other expensive gaming mice like RGB effects and a multitude of buttons, focusing strictly on performance. This has also allowed it to shed more weight compared to the G Pro Wireless. Looking rather unassuming with a classic design and available in multiple colors, the Pro X Superlight fits in with any gaming or streaming setup.
The scroll wheel of the Logitech G Pro X Superlight can act a bit finicky at times and the lack of Bluetooth connectivity makes the mouse not a great option for multi-device usage. Even so, the Pro X Superlight is currently significantly discounted, so there has never been a better time to compliment Ninja’s headset with the same mouse that the streaming legend uses.
Higround AOT Titan Keyboard
The Higround Attack on Titan keyboard is a compact 65% mechanical keyboard. It is a collaboration with the popular anime Attack on Titan and is the Titan version of the keyboard which has images of two titans from the anime on the keycaps. The keyboard itself is part of the Basecamp 65 series from Higround and features a hot-swappable design with Titan Heart switches, PBT dye-sub keycaps, customizable RGB lighting, and a USB Type-C detachable cable.
- Num Pad
- Switch Type
- Titan Heart switches
- Replaceable Keys
- Yes, Hot-swappable
- Number of Keys
- Compatible Devices
- Wired operation
- Yes, USB Type-C
- ABS frame
- Multi-device pairing
- PBT Dye-sub
- Internal Sound Dampening
- Dual silicone dampening foam
- Wrist rest
No streaming or gaming configuration is complete without a top-tier mechanical keyboard. Ninja, who is not fixated on one particular peripheral brand, is often seen pecking away at his Higround AOT Titan Keyboard. It is a 65% mechanical keyboard with Titan Heart switches and, as the name suggests, an Attack on Titan (AOT) theme. Higround offers multiple keyboards in the AOT series, but Ninja uses the Titan keyboard, which has the face of two titans etched on the keycaps. It is a compact keyboard that gives him plenty of space for swinging around his mouse.
SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL Gaming Keyboard
$132 $180 Save $48
The SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL is one of SteelSeries higher-end tenkeyless gaming keyboards. This compact keyboard is an excellent travel companion and suits those that want a gaming keyboard that doesn’t take up unnecessary space on the desk. The SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL comes with adjustable OmniPoint switches, which allow customization of the actuation point between 0.4 and 3.6 millimeters for a more personalized feel. The smart OLED display provides information in games, delivers Discord messages, or displays Spotify songs. The build is durable and stable thanks to a frame built from aircraft-grade aluminum alloy.
- Media Controls
- Num Pad
- Switch Type
- Number of Keys
- Dual adjustable actuation points
- Excellent build quality
- OLED screen supplies useful information
- Software has quirks
- No alternative switch options
He also uses a SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL wired keyboard or, at least, it stays on his desk. One of the major selling points of the keyboard is its ability to set two different actuation points for its keys. This feature becomes advantageous in shooters like Fortnite where depending on the force of a keypress, the same key can trigger different actions like walking or running. The OmniPoint 2.0 switches used in the SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL are also advanced, relying on magnetic sensors to measure a key’s travel distance, instead of components making physical contact.
Of course, streamers are always looking to impress viewers with modern gear that has some added bells and whistles. Not only does the Apex Pro TKL sport some pretty snazzy RGB effects with per-key illumination, but it also has an OLED display on the upper right-hand portion of its front side. This screen is more than just for show since it can indicate which button mapping profile is currently active, as well as other useful information.
The Apex Pro TKL is especially durable with the same aluminum and steel materials used in aircraft. Also, as a tenkeyless keyboard, with the Apex Pro TKL, gamers like Ninja have more room to move their mouse around and space for additional gear on their desktops.
The Maxnomic Dominator gaming chair has a proven combination of a steel frame and cold-cured foam for a balance of durability and comfort. Offering extensive adjustability with 4D armrests, and a lockable tilt function for the backrest, the Dominator is a chair perfect for working, gaming, or relaxing. The Dominator accommodates any user 5’5″ to 6’1″ tall or up to 220 lbs.
- Upholstery Material
- PU leather
- 4D Armrest, backrest
- Chair Weight Capacity
- 220 lbs
- 4D Armrests and easy adjustments
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Padding not as plush as other chairs
- Option to personalize chair
Streamers and competitive gamers like Ninja have undoubtedly boosted the popularity of gaming chairs. As gaming tournaments became more commonly live-streamed, regular gamers around the world demanded a throne of their own to sit on. Maxnomic is originally a German brand that now manufactures chairs in the United States as well, and Ninja signed an agreement with the company known for their unrivaled build quality. Gamers can’t buy the exact same chair Ninja uses, but it’s a variation of the available Maxnomic Dominator with a custom logo and embroidering. The Dominator can be ordered in a variety of colors, and buyers also have the opportunity to personalize their chairs during checkout.
The Dominator doesn’t have a feature set that will trend on social media, but it’s a chair that’s been proven to last throughout many years of action. 4D Armrests are a capability buyers will often have to pay a bit more for, and ensures that gamers can use the chair for a multitude of sitting positions. This gaming chair is intended for occupants from 5″5″ to 6’1″ tall and weighing up to 220 lbs, so Ninja stretches the maximum height rating slightly, but he still looks plenty comfortable when streaming. Although it uses less padding than some other high-end chairs, the cold foam included in the Dominator is extremely durable.
Build a Gaming Rig Like Ninja
Now gamers have all the information they need to experience in-game audio in the immersive way that only a gaming headset allows for. Ninja’s headset is actually not a headset at all, but rather the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro audiophile-grade headphones. In combination with the Shure MV7 standalone microphone, Blevins has the ultimate in listening and recording quality available for his streams.
If Ninja fans want to take their dedication to the streamer even further, they can emulate his entire setup with the Logitech G Pro Wireless or the Logitech G Pro X Superlight gaming mouse. This device is not only exceptionally lightweight with impressive battery life but also offers wireless performance at par with corded mice. Ninja’s Higround AOT Titan Keyboard or the SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL mechanical gaming keyboard provides him with the flexibility to fire off different Fortnite commands depending on the force applied to a key. Finally, Ninja has made a living sitting in a customized Maxnomic Dominator, and users can enjoy the same level of comfort by personalizing their version of this gaming chair.
Remember that a fan of Ninja doesn’t necessarily have to copy every part of his rig to enjoy gaming or successfully build a streaming audience. Even so, it never hurts to depend on the same reliable gaming gear that accompanied a once ordinary gamer on his journey to greatness.
Q: Why would a streamer use headphones instead of a headset?
Premium wired headphones typically offer the most professional-level sound quality. They lack built-in microphones, so headphones are not the most ideal options for many gamers. Even so, a combination of separate headphones and an external microphone is used by many top streamers for the best possible listening and recording experience.
Q: Which are better, wired or wireless headsets?
Depending on the quality of the individual headset, one may be better than the other. However, most of the time, the difference between a wireless and wired headset is indistinguishable. While the answer may have been wired over wireless in the past, technology has improved in the last several years, making wireless and wired more comparable in the modern gaming scene.
Q: Should I buy a gaming headset or a sound system?
That depends on your needs. A gaming headset does have some advantages; They offer better value for money, better noise isolation and can make gaming a relatively more bearable hobby for your housemates if you share a living room or gaming space.