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Buying guide: Gaming headsets for the Xbox One

The headset is a crucial piece of equipment when gaming on your Xbox One. It could make the difference between first or second place when playing your favorite first-person shooter. A good gaming headset could also help immerse you further into the story of your new adventure game. It also could help your marriage by allowing you to stay up late into the night playing without disturbing your partner. Here's a buying guide for your next gaming Xbox One headset.

Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter

Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter

BYOH : Bring your headset to the party with the Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter. The Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter is an inexpensive accessory that plugs into the bottom of your Xbox One controller. With it, you plug in any 3.5mm stereo headset to receive game audio. You can get game audio and chat functionality by plugging in any headset with a built-in microphone. We recommend grabbing this little adapter no matter what route you go. Some older gaming headsets not designed for Xbox One will need this adapter for chat capabilities. Retails for $24.99 [Amazon].

Xbox One Stereo Headset

Xbox One Stereo Headset

Best for beginners : The Xbox One Stereo headset is Microsoft's own gaming headset solution. It launched a few months after the Xbox One and is a great headset to buy if you're a casual gamer. It doesn't have all the whiz-bang features of higher-end headsets, but you do get stereo sound, unidirectional microphone for clear voice capture and more. It also includes the Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter. Retails for $79.99, but can be found for less [Amazon].

Polk Audio 4Shot

Polk Audio 4Shot

Best multi-purpose headset : The Polk Audio 4Shot is one nice looking headset. It is the result of collaboration between audio engineers and game designers from Microsoft Studios. We like the 4Shot because you can use it on your Xbox One, but also take it out to use in public and not look too ridiculous. Most gaming headsets look pretty cartoonish, but the 4Shot is a handsome headset we'd use with our other devices. At launch, there were mic issues, but those have been addressed with subsequent firmware updates from Polk and Microsoft. You find the 4Shot in three color options, though we'd personally spring for blue. Retails for $159.95 [Amazon].

Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven

Turtle Beach XO Seven

Best bang for your buck headset : The Force XO Seven is one great headset if you want to get your money's worth. Most gamers pickup the Force XO Seven if they want a great sounding headset that doesn't break the bank, but also gives them that competitive advantage. Full-range 50mm speakers help deliver stellar audio. You can even customize the look of your headset with swappable speaker plates. You can game for hours in comfort with the noise-isolating memory foam ear cushions. The mic boom can be removed as well if you want to take this out in public and not look like a commando. Retails for $159.95, but can easily be found for less [Amazon].

Astro A50

Astro A50

Best to PwN nOoBs : You can't go wrong with the Astro A50 wireless headset for your Xbox One. This premium headset delivers 7.1 surround sound to your ears. 5.8GHz wireless technology delivers clarity and range when using the Astro A50. You will need to connect a cable to your Xbox One controller to chat, but that's a small price to pay for one of the best sounding headsets around. Pro tip: Grab the Astro A40 if you prefer a wired version of the same headset. Retails for $299.99 [Amazon].

Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 500X Headphones

Turtle Beach Stealth 500x

For the future : Turtle Beach has the Ear Force Stealth 500X coming out on October 31, and we already have our pre-orders in. The Stealth 500X will be a completely wireless DTS headset with 7.1 channel surround sound. You'll get 15 hours of gameplay on a single charge. It's truly completely wireless and doesn't even need a cable connected to the controller to allow you to chat. We can't wait to play Halo: The Master Chief Collection with the Stealth 500X. Retails for $229.99 [Amazon].

What do headset do you use with your Xbox One? Let us and others know!


Reader comments

Buying guide: Gaming headsets for the Xbox One


I bought the Xbox one stereo headset because of the price and design. Even though it doesn't have surround the headphones are great. I highly recommend them and they're sold at a great price.

Agreed. I have the Xbox One Stereo Headset and like it as well. Though I'll be buying those Stealth 500X from Turtle Beach soon.

You missed of the BEST headset for Xbox One, the Steel Series H Wireless.

Much nicer than the Astro's my son has IMO.

agreed official headset for XboxOne is nice, no surround is the only draw back but I love them have great bass and everything... I am eventually going to get a full surround sound headset wish they would make an official one

I'm using a set of turtle beach headsets . They are only stereo but I can still hear some deviant trying to sneak up and steal me dog tags which helps. But definitely fancy a 7.1 headset, For Bf4 and halo master chief edition

I'd recommend everyone to try out your own headsets. A while back I bought myself Nokia by Monster noise canceling Bluetooth wireless headset. It turns out that when I plug them into my Xbox one controller, I'm getting stereo audio that supports built in microphone

I really like the Xbox One headset. I own a pair of Beats Duos (won them at work, no way would I pay for those) and I really like the Duos because they are BT. For my Xbox though I prefer the Xbox set because of comfort.

Does anyone have access to the XBOX One Preview Program? I would really apprecaite an invite.

GT: Rochama

Thanks so much!

Nah, still doesn't matter that it's optical. The console itself can only supply headset sound at 2.0. Should change in a future update.

Uhh... NO, the console supplies full surround to headphones, etc, through optical just fine.  I've got my Tritton's hooked up, and I get 5.1 audio perfectly.

I don't know where you got your info, but it's completely wrong.  Maybe check your settings?

In all honesty, these are cool options, but I really just need a wireless chat headset. I had one for my 360 for years, now I can't stop pulling the controller of the table and smashing it to the floor.

I told Sam when he asked about these on twitter and he didn't include them, which I see as a mistake. I would advise anyone after wireless headphones to check out the Steelseries Wireless H. Just read the reviews or watch some on YouTube, in the eyes of many they are better than the Astro A50s.

Please can someone give me some advice... I really want a set of wireless lugs for my XboxOne but want then to be compatible with my 360. Any suggestions?

Just bought the stereo headset, it's very comfortable and I love the sound I get from it. Just looks a little wonky on your head lol.

On the Xbox One I still use the same Turtle Beach Ear Force Delta (Same as the XP-500) I used with the 360. In the beginning it was a pain because I used to have random controller disconnects whenever I used them. Latest updates to the console and controller have fixed it for me and I no longer experience the random disconnects. Would not recommend them if people are looking to make a new purchase because they use the 2.4 GHz frequency, meaning there is interference some times, but not too often to have me go shopping for other headsets yet.

I had tritton ax720s from 2009. They worked great but I wanted to upgrade to Astro a40s. Found a guy selling a50s on Craigslist for 120. Greatest set I've used to date, despite the hate they get from all over.

They have 7 speakers in each ear cup or, through the use of an amplifier, very slightly delay the sound coming from one speaker so its sounds like its behind left or to the right front. Trittons site has animations that explain it better than I could

Mostly "Virtual" surround from two speakers. There's probably only like two Headsets with a bunch of speakers and people who review them say they sound terrible. I think Monoprice makes one of 'em.

Put some stereo headphones on and listen to the audio on the link. This will give you the best impression on how virtual surround sound works.

For me, it will never replace the sound of a regular home theater system. But I'm an Apt dweller and that's as good as it gets without getting the po po po called on Ma Ass.

Nope! I have an old adapter that I can plug my 7.1 headset into. It doesn't let me chat but lets face it, I don't exactly play games on my Xbox one.

This isn't even a contest, in my opinion. The Astros A50s are the best gaming set I have ever used. I have tried most on this list, and owned a pair of Trittons and Turtle Beach cans that are on the high end. The Trittions were better than the TBs, but they both were good sets. Neither compares to the A50s. They are worth the investment, especially when you can update firmware.

I'm a serious gamer, and I think the Xbox One Stereo Headset is a pretty exceptional choice, for two reasons:

1. Sound quality is superb given its price. The audio has great clarity and presence, with satisfying bass impact.

2. It's a passive analog design, similar to the best audiophile headphones. There is no cheesy onboard processing to gimmick up the sound, and no batteries to rundown or recharge. Ease of use, therefore, is very high.


I have the black Polk Audio 4 shot headset. I can't comment on the mic quality cause I only use them for game audio. As far as game audio goes, this headset is BEAST! On a different note, I think it needs to be mentioned that the Xbox One does all the surround sound processing onboard. If you have a stereo headset you'll get "virtual" surround sound. If you have surround sound headphones, you'll get true surround sound. At least, that's according to the research I did prior to my 4shot purchase.

If the surround part is true I may get the xbox one stereo headsets so wife doens't give me gripe since I hardly play it because of work and family schedule.

I have never heard anything other then "not worth the money" when it comes to Astro. Personally I went for the Sennheiser G4me the last time around.

I was holding off for a great headset for Xbox. Now that I game more often with my woman on Xbox One I ordered and expecting the MS stereo Headset and also preordered the X500.

I'll pass the stereo to her when I get my hands on the X500 ones. As an audio visual freak just thinking that it might make half the difference a dts home theater does into your ears with headphones makes me giggle like a girl.

My girl "so ill end up with the cheap ones?" -.- dude...

I bought the adapter and a cable for.My.Bose QC.15. Works perfect for me, and the active.noise cancellation. If you don't want to talk, it works good just as a headset to listen to

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I use Skullcandy SLYR. A big problem with using it on 360 or PC is that the cable is massive. With the X1 chat adapter, you don't need to use the long cable. Perfect for me.

I use the Astro A40 headset and it works great (it's the wired brother of the A50 mentioned in the article).

I've found that it actually works better than the Turtle Beach Sierra I had as I don't get any buzzing through the voice chat with the A40.

I currently have a set of Turtle Beach Phantoms and a pair of Polk 4shot. I have to say the sound from the polk 4Shot is definitely stereo.

The Phantoms work pretty well with the Xbox One except that everyone in chat can hear an echo of themselves. I've yet to find out what's causing this. And the polk 4Shos you have to shout for the mic to pick up your voice.

I've also had a pair of Trittons for my Xbox 360. The biggest problem though with all these headsets has been interference. I think my next headset will be wired. Just waiting to see whether Astro or turtle beach are the first to bring a dts audio controller or mix amp.

Tried all of these and they all fell short. XO Seven was by far the most comfortable. Astros weren't comfortable at all. Need on that works just as well with my 360 as it does with my One.

ok, i've bought the astro a50 and the mic quality is so bad that i started looking for a replacement. just got tired of people telling me i sound like a robot or an anouncer over the school speaker system. (see tons of forum entries on the astro website)


my next choice was the steelseries h wireless. just plugged everything in, chose the standard xbox setting and went in the first party with some friends to try it out!

it's just as horrible! no... even worse!!!

the party chat is not loud enough to really understand people who are talking. it has a setting that lets you play the voice louder or the game sounds louder (liveMix). but that doesn't really work well enough. it's basically the same thing the xbox one has on the headset adapter. (which i've turned to full chat volume by the way)

it has a second setting that let's you fade the game volume whenever someone says something. but to get the voice chat loud enough i had to turn this setting to the max. meaning everytime someone (including me) speaks, the game volume is set to MUTE! so right now people are talking all the time i do not have any game sound... at all!


and did i mention that everyone in the party can hear themselves speak? not like an echo that comes a second or two after someone spoke... simultaniously! as they speak they can hear themselves through my headset back in their own ears!!!


awfull! just plain awfull!!!


i'm gonna play a little with the settings on it... but i guess i'll be returning it tomorrow...

oh and another point: there's no updates for it. some other people must have had the same issue...