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Microsoft about to fix one of the Xbox Wireless Headset's biggest flaws

Official Xbox Wireless Headset Review Shots
Official Xbox Wireless Headset Review Shots (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft is testing a firmware update for the Xbox Wireless Headset.
  • The update increases mic monitoring levels.
  • Mic monitoring's effectiveness is limited by the arm length of the headset.

The Xbox Wireless Headset is about to address one of its most noticeable flaws. The latest Xbox Alpha Skip-Ahead build includes a firmware update that increases the mic monitoring levels of the headset. As it's in an Alpha build at the moment, it might be some time until we see it roll out generally, but when it does, it should improve the budget-friendly headset.

The Xbox Wireless Headset delivers excellent value for its price tag. It has an impressive feature set that combines Bluetooth and Xbox Wireless audio for dual-source mixing. It quickly earned a spot as one of the best Xbox Series X and Series S headsets. That being said, it isn't perfect.

In his Xbox Wireless Headset review, our senior editor Jez Corden explains how the headset's microphone arm limits the effectiveness of mic monitoring:

Another minor gripe I have is the microphone arm, which doesn't extend further than your cheek. Even with the mic monitoring boosted to maximum volume, the mic will be too far away from most adults' mouths to register any side-tone whatsoever, giving the feature reduced effectiveness.

Hopefully, the increased mic monitoring levels that Microsoft is testing will help this issue. It won't fix how short the microphone arm is, of course, but it could minimize the limits caused by its length.

The same Insider build also removes the free-to-play paywall from Xbox consoles.

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at

  • Come on. It has little to do with the length. Look at any BT phone earphone, or the Surface Headphones. Many have no arm at all and pick up sound fine. It is more likely a poor mic for cost savings or just too low a level mixed in for side-tone. Anyone complain the other end can't hear them?
  • I have only used them once to chat with someone while in a game and the other party said "you sound great". When I read the headline I thought it was going to be to address the bass issue. They are very bass heavy. I adjusted some out via EQ and of course don't have bass boost turned on. Not sure who would need that on. Can't imagine what that would do.
  • I thought the same thing, "they're going to fix the audio issues." But nope, they're fixing a non issue in my opinion. My brother has a pair of these and it's why I opted to spend a bit more and get the Corsair Virtuoso (which aren't perfect mind you).
  • The only issue I have with the headset is frequent disconnect/reconnects happening over-and-over again mid-game. Hopefully this addresses that...