You don't have to purchase a sometimes very expensive gaming headset to get the most from your Xbox One audio experience, especially not if you've already invested in a set of good, sometimes expensive headphones. There are some features you'll lose, but ultimately it might well be the way to go for you.

Products used in this guide

How to connect your headphones to the Xbox One

This part is super simple as long as you're using the more recent versions of the Xbox One controller. These have the 3.5mm headset jack in the bottom, and so to use them all you have to do is plug the headphones into the controller.

If you're using a first-generation Xbox One controller, there is, unfortunately, no headphone jack. As such, you'll need to invest in a Stereo Headset Adapter. It connects to the bottom of your controller with your headphones hooking up to the bottom of the adapter.

You also get added handy features like volume adjust, chat/game audio mix adjust, and a big old mute button. Even on the later versions of the Xbox One controller (with the headset jack), you can gain a fair bit from using one of these.

The official Microsoft one is no longer sold new, however well-known headset maker, Turtle Beach has an excellent alternative.

Sounding good

Turtle Beach Headset Audio Controller Plus

Step up your Xbox audio game

This adapter not only connects headphones directly to the older style Xbox One controller but puts great features like chat/game mix and total volume control into the palm of your hand.

How to control audio without the adapter

If you don't have inline volume controls, you'll have to control the audio on the console directly. It's not difficult, although with the latest update to the Xbox One dashboard, the audio controls are a little more hidden. Follow these steps:

  1. Press the Xbox button on your controller to open the guide.
  2. Scroll all the way to the right to system.
  3. Select audio.

You'll now have options for enabling and disabling any microphone attached, adjusting volume, mic monitoring and the mix of game audio to party chat.

Adding a microphone to your own headphones

Turtle Beach stream mic

There are some really easy, solid ways of adding a microphone to your headphones so you can indulge in a little party chat action on your Xbox One.

One is the Turtle Beach Stream Mic. It's never going to win awards for outright sound quality, but it has one huge selling point: You can plug it directly into the Xbox One console. It's still going to be better than any headset microphone, and it's now pretty affordable, too.

An alternative is to invest in something like the Antlion Modmic 5. This is a microphone that you can clip to your headphones to create your own gaming headset. You use a splitter to attach the headphones and the microphone, so you can have essentially a full gaming headset plugged into your controller.

The bonus is that you can take the microphone off and then just keep on enjoying your headphones. Not all gaming headsets have a detachable microphone, so you really do get the best of both worlds.

Console microphone

Turtle Beach Stream Mic

An Xbox One compatible gaming microphone

This is an interesting microphone in that not only does it work with PC, but also connects directly to the Xbox One console. The sound quality is certainly good enough for party chat, even streaming directly from the console to Mixer.

Detach at will

Antlion Modmic 5

Add a microphone to your own headphones

This detachable microphone clips on to your headphones and combines with its audio before going into your controller, thus giving you great sounding game audio and crystal clear party chat.

Getting more advanced

Astro Mixamp

If you want to get really fancy, particularly if you're a streamer, you can use something like Astro's Mixamp to integrate your headphones with your PC, console, and even mobile devices audio.

Hook up to the console over optical audio, stick the USB into your PC, and connect headphones or a music player like your smartphone over 3.5mm.

The Mixamp gives you control over the mix of audio, like your level of game audio to party chat. If you use one of Astro's more expensive headsets you can get the Mixamp thrown in, but it's also available to purchase on its own.

Mix it up

Astro Gaming Mixamp TR

Mix PC, console and more besides

The Astro Mixamp is a remarkable bit of kit for gamers and the latest model has been redesigned and boasts a better audio processor for better sounding games than ever.

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