Microsoft hears gamer requests, reveals free Xbox One Chat Headset in official unboxing video

We’re all pumped for the Xbox One’s impending launch. We still don’t know exactly when the console will appear in stores other than the month of November. It must be getting close at any rate because Microsoft has just released an official unboxing video as well as three accessory-specific videos.

Normally I don’t care for unboxing videos, but this one is an exception. For one: it gives us a nice look at how the Xbox one’s components relate to each other in size, not to mention the ports on the back and side of the console. All good things.

The real news however is what comes inside the box. It’s got all the stuff we expected plus one item we didn’t… a Chat Headset! And the video reveals that the Chat Headset won’t just come with the “Day One Edition” of the console. It will be included with every system. That’s a victory for communication and teamwork in Xbox One games!

Communication is key

The headset’s inclusion is big news because Microsoft had originally announced that the Xbox One would launch without one. Their reasoning was that the Kinect’s microphone would allow voice communication, making a headset pack-in unnecessary.

This rubbed gamers the wrong way for multiple reasons:

  • The original Kinect’s speakerphone-style communication picks up more background noise than a headset, resulting in inferior sound quality.
  • The Playstation 4 costs $100 less than an Xbox One and includes a headset.
  • Corded headsets cost Microsoft like a dollar to make (maybe two dollars this time due to the nice buttons) and yet add an immeasurable value to the online experience in games.
  • The Xbox 360 launched with a bundled headset and created a standard that gamers expect Microsoft to live up to with subsequent consoles.

Headsets really are an irreplaceable accessory in modern online gaming. So many games involve teamwork, whether it’s Call of Duty, Halo, or the upcoming Titanfall and Battlefield 4.

Xbox One Chat Headset

The ability to actually communicate with each other and strategize is paramount to the team-based or cooperative experience. Yes, a team of voiceless nobodies can still win a game, but they’re at a disadvantage compared to a talkative team.

Playing with somebody who can’t talk, you might as well be playing with a bot. Socializing is half the fun in multiplayer gaming. Plus everybody hates the guy with no headset, so you don’t want to be that guy.

Closer look at the Chat Headset

Now that we’ve established the importance of having a headset when playing online, let’s look at the packed-in Chat Headset itself. The new headset has mute and volume controls built right in at the case where it connects to the controller. This allows users to make adjustments without reaching away from the controller during gameplay. So did the original Xbox 360 headset before Microsoft switched designs. But the new volume controls actually look much more attractive and easy to use.

Xbox One Chat Headset

I’m not going to lie to you – headsets with thin cords like this one will undoubtedly have are just designed to break. The wires get bent around too much inside and break apart internally. But still, even a cheap headset’s inclusion sets the precedent that Microsoft wants online players talking to each other. And if your headset does give out, you can always replace it with the same model ($24.99) or a more durable one.

Xbox One Controller

Next up is a closer look at the Xbox One’s beautiful new controller. It closely resembles the old style but has at least three major improvements:

  • The d-pad is a much more responsive and accurate design.
  • The triggers have built-in vibration, independent from the main controller vibration.
  • The analog sticks have been tweaked for comfort and responsiveness.

Xbox One Controller

The Xbox One Controller will retail for $59.99.

Play and Charge Kit

Finally, the new Play And Charge Kit works much the same as the Xbox 360’s version. It’s a rechargeable battery pack that can be charged by plugging the controller into the console. The charging cord is 9 feet, and you can use the controller while charging.

Xbox One Play and Charge Kit

The innovation on the new model is you can charge the battery pack outside of a controller. That should be handy for people who own more battery packs than they do controllers.

The Play and Charge Kit will sell for $24.99. It will also come bundled with a controller for $74.99, a $10 savings.

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!

  • I love Microsoft.
  • +1.
  • +ONE
  • Lol...still hard to pick this over a PS4 (as a student)
  • Kinect ➕ Dance Central equals Chicks in your Dorm Room. Think about it.
  • ^^ he has the name smoothdog for a reason
  • you sold me on the xbox
  • You crazy, lol.
  • Skype is probably why they did this
  • Now if they would just grant our request to have all Apps except multiplayer gaming be free....
  • Yes! Down with pay walling!
  • Here, here!
  • I doubt, even Sony now charges for multiplayer.
  • Lol reread his statement. "all apps except..."
  • They removed DRM, they opened up to indie developers, and now they're throwing in a free headset! I love that my Day 1 console preorder keeps getting better and better every few weeks without me having to pay more money :D
  • Yay for positivity!
  • +ONE
  • November 9th... Mark that date on your colanders.
  • Great! Was hoping they would do this.
  • It would we perfect it the first controller you got came with a play and charge battery and charger and the headset wire doesn't seem that bad to me.
  • I have my Turtle Beach.
  • Unfortunately, it won't work without some kind of adapter.  There is no standard audio jack to plug into the controller, and the wireless tech in the One is incompatible with that used by the 360.
    You can still use it for game audio, just no chat.
  • What you say is a bit confusing. You can use any headset you want with the One, but you'll have to buy an adapter to connect it to the controller.
  • Not sure how that was confusing, since I started my comment by saying an adapter would be needed, but ok.
    Unfortunately, we don't know much about the adapter (cost, whether it will actually be available at launch).  All we know is that Microsoft is "working on it".
  • You forgot to mention that it also comes with a Xbox One sticker!!!!
  • Really??
  • +ONE for the sticker! I can't to get mine!
  • The HDMI output only makes it so I can't get it. My tv only has the old plugins :/
  • Probably a good time to upgrade then. HDMI has been the standard for like 5 years now.
  • Yeah probably should.
  • Definitely!!
  • Actually that is not true you can still get the Xbox one with standard you just need a certain cable
  • Yeah, I was just thinking about that, I know the 360 has that special cable.
  • If in the states go to website like and het an adapter to go from hdmi to whatever you need.
  • Sweet, thanks.
  • but why buy a  $500 console, and ruin most of the experiance with low end tv? everything will look disgusting :)
     at the very least, buy a mini 23inch full HD tv/moniter,  and sit closer when u game..  they go for $140-$170, even less if used :S.. (size wont matter much,  36in tv look smaller eventually, esp when u sit far away) if thats too much cash to spend(it IS alot of money), then maybe PS4 plus the moniter.... $550? there is just little logic to buying  the xbone with an old standard tv :S
  • While everything said here is true, those adapters aren't cheap, but not expensive either. The question is, do you want to spend money making old technology compatible, or just go and get new technology. You can get a decent TV for less than the cost of the X1, and it will make your games look better too. Highly recommend getting a new TV imo.
  • Yeah, considering there will be support still for the 360.
  • Yeah, time to upgrade. Even if you buy a cheaper smaller screen size tv as others have suggested. You will be blown away by the difference once you upgrade. :)
  • I have before. Hooked it up to a 1080 I and 1080P its nice❗
  • I'm so excited for this console. I feel like I'm the only one that's excited to use the Kinect for gestures and voice control in the dashboard. That can't be true, can it?
  • I'm really excited for those features as well, I feel that Microsoft is making it a standard more for dashboard and UI navigation, too many gamers still thinking its all about the games. Can't wait! Day one!
  • Personal preference. Mine is, no, not all that excited. I've found the gestures to be extremely inefficient compared to pushing a button on a controller -- not to mention it is far, far less likely to have a button push mis-identified than to have the Kinect misinterpret my gesture.
    Voice commands do come in handy from time to time (when they work; even assuming Kinect 2.0 will be more accurate, I still doubt it will be close to the accuracy of a controller; and while I don't doubt its ability to filter out sounds generated by the console itself, I still question its ability to pick out my voice from my kids in the same room). But still, my primary input methods will remain the controller and a standard IR remote.
  • Good for you, I'm actually curious to try it out.
  • When it comes out, then I feel we'll have a more accurate understanding of how well it functions...all we have is Gen 1 experience right now. *If* they really manage to do everything they say, I'll be certainly happy to hear the, I can't wait! =P
  • Still hard to swallow $60 per controller. Making it $5 more for the Play & Charge as well, and they're really killing the pricing. I mean, we're already getting squeezed for another $100 with the required Kinect (if you're someone such as myself who wasn't planning on buying it).
    So what are the comparisons after all of that? To get 3 controllers and batteries and chargers, plus the added console costs, we're looking at an additional $150 before you even get a chance to buy games. This pricing is why I've gone from wanting an Xbox One at launch to possibly waiting a year or never getting one. Microsoft REALLY needs to realize that gaming costs are at a tipping point where many folks simply can't or won't spend that much money. We're basically paying for a decent laptop without the display at this point.
  • A $10 price increase isn't THAT much more. Because of inflation, you can't expect things to cost the same price forever. And accessories do always go on sale over time. I expect most people (including you) buy multiple controllers over time instead of getting them all immediately with the console.
  • Yeah, I get that. However, there's a point at which they have to realize the inflation rate doesn't equal the rate at which pay increases. So, while the cost to produce the products might imply a $60 price tag to keep the same profit, there's a point at which they probably need to decide if those per-device profits are worth the potential loss in sales.
    I mean, considering that they're jacking up the price of the consoles and increasing the margins by requriring all customers to buy A Kinect, I don't believe that a $10 controller price increase is warranted. Maybe $55, but not $60. I simply don't buy that it's necessary for their bottom-line.
  • Keep in mind that the PS4, and even the PS3, controllers come with "charge n play" built into the darn controller from the start.  MS is just milking money because they can, and they can because XB360 users (like me) are used to it already....
  • But you can't replace Playstation controller batteries when they wear down. I find the AA battery solution far more convenient.
  • That's true however I haven't had a PS3 pad die on me yet but the trigger buttons.. thats a different story. In a few months a brand new controller becomes a baby rattle lol. Never the less people's experience will be different.
  • In my experience, Playstation 3 controllers don't hold a charge nearly as well as Eneloop/Enitime batteries. And even charging them is a pain since the console has to be on or you have to buy a separate charging solution. Rechargeable AAs are just so handy to have - I'm surprised that some people are reluctant to try them out. But yeah, different people will have different luck with controllers, etc.
  • That is true, i heard some horror stories where some charging docks destroyed the capacity of ps3 pads but then again they were most likely waaay over charged.
  • These things are *always* pricey at launch...if I were you, I'd simply wait for some awesome deals or price drops. Hey, you might even win a contest! ;)
  • Yeah, and unless your buying the extra controllers for your children, make people bring their own controllers if they want to play a multiplayer game with you. :)
  • I wear Turtle Beaches also, but this is another WIN for M$ and the XBone, and it shows.  GameTrailers showed a 93 social index for the XBone. 
  • What does that mean?
  • Good to see MS decided to include the headset with the console. Glad I pre-ordered, I'm so looking forward to my day one edition.
  • Can't wait to get my hands in my XB1
  • Will all sound go over the headset? Just in regard of connecting the Xbox to a computer screen.
  • The regular Chat Headset is just for voice chat. But they will sell nicer headsets that cover both ears and carry all game sounds too.
  • Thanks. I was thinking about just connecting a good headset or headphones. Would that also be possible? 
  • You have to use Xbox One-specific headsets. But Microsoft has also promised an adapter that allows Xbox 360 headsets to be used.
  • Okay. Good to know. Thanks again :-)
  • I'm really glad they did that. Those of us who have invested in high-quality devices like Tritton and Turtle Beach headsets would be pretty irritated if our $60+ headsets weren't compatible, I'd imagine. I'd hate to have to spend what will probably be $75 for a next-gen headset I can use on my PC.
  • What about wireless headsets? since the controller uses wi fi direct (or something)?
  • Sadly, Xbox 360 wireless headsets won't work with the Xbone. Shame because I enjoy mine... But I'm sure whatever wireless headset they release on the 'Bone will be much nicer.
  • That sucks, if they approach the wireless headset the same way they approached the controller the out come, I agree should be pretty good.
  • I cant wait to get the xbox one and play titan fall and battlefield 4 :D
  • How nice of them, but as we've seen with all this flip flopping, MS really screwed up this xbox one launch and it is going to hurt them.  Definietely in the short-term, who knows in the long-term. 
    At this point, they've done so much damage and Sony is just taking advantage of the negative pub that the impact of these changes may have been minimized and really should just stuck to their guns. 
  • I was actually excited for the original Xbox one I liked the features
  • Me too.
  • Are you necessary? =/
  • Headset - oh yeah so fantastic. A dream cimes true ;-))
    What I really hope for are good, intelligent and surprising games. So far the PS had an advantage here.  
  • The coming games look pretty awesome. Obviously the ps4 has more of the style of games you like. I for one am very pleased with thxb1 games.
  • How the hell does the Xbox one have a power brick that big when the ps4. is more powerful ,smaller and has no brick
  • There playing it real safe with the 10 life there giving it
  • "Betting on November"?? Wasn't it actually announced officially by MS as being in November?
  • Oh yeah, that's right. Fixed, thanks.
  • I don't want to see any unboxing videos. I want to be fully surprised when I open it myself on Day One !
  • I'm actually more happy for Microsoft including a 4k HDMi cable. Upgrade! Plus I'm getting the wireless headset as soon as it becomes available. Winning!
  • Can you provide a link to where it says the new Xbox will output 4k? Your the first I've heard of this and if true that's awesome!
  • He mentions the 4K HDMI cable in the first video in this article.
  • That's pretty awesome then, I knew Sony was which makes sense since they make a 4k tv. Glad to hear Microsoft isn't going to miss out like the did bluray.
  • Well, after all the damages caused to Xbox One by those initial ridiculous DRM policies, Microsoft must try to do damage control. This seems a nice way to do it. I would honestly put Major Nelson in charge of all Microsoft's PR. The guy's awesome.
    He almost made me think in that video that the Xbox One design is beautiful , even though I still think it looks like an horrible zombie-VHS player.
  • This.
  • Looks great to me.
  • I never saw a VHS that looked this slick, sorry...
  • Did you see very many? It's completely in line with many VHS player designs. They tended to have more buttons, but sometimes those were hidden behind a closable panel.
  • Lol yeah, especially on the front my initial thought was that the console looked similar to this - the
    RCT689H from LG
    Edit: It seems images are not loading? so here is a link
  • Great example, man. It's silly when anyone claims the Xbox One doesn't look like a VHS player. Maybe they're too young to remember what those look like...
  • Haha it looks like it or maybe they are just trying to block out the bad memories of getting the tape stuck inside one lol..which have started to resurface after seeing the X1.
    It looks like everything is going back to retro era - phones are getting bigger just hope not as big as this one lol.. . Where a decade or so ago the push was to make smaller pocketable devices i.e the motorola v50 wing.
  • Still getting a ps4 even though I like Microsoft I hate the xbox
  • Why would anyone hate the Xbox 360 or Xbox One?
  • Apart from the controlers and both PS's being better than the Xbox's?
    I wouldn't say "hate" but I can understand people who, albeit liking Microsoft, like the PlayStation better. I'm one of them.
  • Better how? Each system has its own hardware advantages, but they're both very close in performance. The 360 has always had superior online gaming features, not that everybody makes use of them or is willing to pay for them. The PS3 has a larger lineup of exclusive titles. Everybody's free to have their own controller preferences, but again, each controller has its own advantages - the 360 has much better triggers and sticks, for instance. But my point was that only a child would hate one system or the other. Both the 360 and PS3 are great, and we're looking at a similar scenario for the next generation of consoles as well. And as adults, we don't have to choose one system or the other. We can get both and thus have access to the full spectrum of games and features, if we so desire.
  • I would only disagree with ps3 and 360 being equally as good were it not for the fact that I'm on my 8th 360. 360's reliability was terrible compared to PlayStation. I would say that makes them less equal when you can't count on your system working from day to day.
  • I myself had one Xbox 360 break and one Playstation 3 break. But the overheating problems that dogged the Xbox 360 for the first few years were solved in the Jasper revision in 2008 and especially the slim model from 2010. Those earlier problems were indeed a total drag, but Microsoft at least provided a pretty good warranty for the RROD problem. And since the hardware has been reliable for 3 years now, it's better to judge the console based on that rather than launch hardware. Speaking of overheating issues, let's not forget that the Xbox One is so large because it's been designed to be able to dissipate tons of heat. Microsoft says it can be left powered on continuously for like 10 years, which is pretty amazing if true. The Xbone shouldn't be plagued by overheating problems at launch - here's hoping the hardware is reliable all around.
  • Fair points, part of me wants to argue for the fun of it but the newborn has made me very tired need sleep lol! All in all I have enjoyed both console very much. So outside of the red ring over and over again in the beginning, they are both fantastic and were both well worth the money.
  • Well, the PS3, not only has those exclusives, it has free online gaming (yes, Xbox's is better but then again, it's better be better!) AND it has a Blu-Ray player allowing for true HD games.
    I actually don't agree. I find the Xbox controllers too fat and unmanegable. But I concede, it is a matter of taste. That's why I said "I wouldn't say "hate"". However "And as adults, we don't have to choose one system or the other. We can get both " know this isn't true, don't you Paul? Many people can't afford to have 2 consoles. Many people (and the number of people who can afford only one increases every day, unfortunately) have to choose between a PS an Xbox or a Wii. So it is normal that they tend to put themselves on one of the sides of the barricade.
  • Sure, you have to choose one or the other right at first. But if you saved up for a console once, you can do it again. And at some point, either console will drop in price or go on sale, making it even easier to afford. They'll both be around for 5+ years again. Obviously the situation might be different for people who live in poverty, but that's its own problem.
  • I'm sorry, I cannot stand the PS about awkward and those weird symbols for buttons? Please. =/
  • In my case i dont hate the Xbox 360. Hell i have one!! But Xbox One? i'll pass. Too much back and forth with changes just because they people hating it.Its a good thing they acknowlege their issues and try to fix them, but the damage has been done already. i love Microsoft as i love my Xbox 360, but this time i'll go with Sony.
  • Agreed that Microsoft has been back and forth on their policies, but the console isn't out yet. Once the system launches, that's when the system and its features are set in stone. They'll be around for years, so a couple of months of wavering policies before the console even exists won't matter much after launch.
  • Lets not forget, healthy competition is needed. I'm getting the ONE but will try and get the PS4 later if money allows.
  • Your choice. I love the 360 and plan to get the xb1. Great controls, great features, and great games. The only downside being the pay wall.
  • Damn so much for a slim power brick. 
  • Damn straight. The lack of a chat headset with the system showed that such decisions were being made by people who obviously didn't play games online, and probably didn't play games at all. Good move, MS.
  • This is a great step towards maintaining XBL's dominance. It's all about community, and it's tough to feel like there's a community and a culture in an online ecosystem if nobody's speaking to each other.
  • Lets be honest! Microsoft upset gamers from the beginning (deliberate if you ask me) so then they claim to listen and reverse all their decisions so gamers all go "ooh! Microsoft are amazing, they do listen to us" call me cynical but its all very clever!
  • Would be awesome if the Nokia Monster purity pro (Bluetooth enabled) could connect to the xbox one, i know it can make more more than one connection. Gaming with it whilst still connected to your phone would be awesome. Aaaaah think your game pauses for a call....would be nice integration
  • OMG Jessssssssssssssssss!!!!!!
  • Now if they could just allow us to control the Xbox by the controller with no need for the Kinect if we so choose. I'd only want a Kinect if I can play realistically fps games with a play gun in hand. But that's probably to realistic. So give me the option to not have to have it plugged in!
  • I never heard anywhere that said controllers wouldn't operate the's not like they're completely changing everything. It's supposed to be an all around inclusive use machine and system, why would they nit keep controls available by hand? As for the Kinect connection, there are ways to shut that while thing down. Just wait and see... ;)
  • All around inclusive is fine but they (unless its changed) should allow the system to run and function without the Kinect connected.
  • ehmm.... kinect is optional and controller is optional too =_=......... its not like you only can control it with kinect. if you paid attention you would know that though. thats why its included in every xbox from now, because its the new way of controlling it but it doesnt mean it will be the only.
  • Then would it hurt them to just let me put the Kinect in the attic to collect dust? I have no need for it in any way. It was my understanding that unless its connected the xb1 won't work. Though im a minority in the aspect that I don't want to physically talk to my game system. I don't even use voice gestures on my phone. Sigh...
  • Better to have an open mind and give the new Kinect a chance. It's much more accurate and powerful than the original, and it will be supported and integrated way better in games as well. And if you don't play games that use it, you can just use it for voice commands or ignore it.
  • I've tried to think it through and give it a chance. But I personally don't see me using it. I just see it as a mandatory thing to have cluttering up my area more. If there giving the option to use either voice or controller for the controls then how hard would it be to just make the system not require it at all? If everyone gets one anyways then yea that's good for developers and game creation but why force it there for those of us that dont really want it? Force or option? I think in the mindset of the other half of people it would fare better to include it but make it an option for us to want it or not. One would think they could just write a code or remove a code that requires it.
  • Why is it no November yet?
  • Nice article, but couldn't you find a better photo of Major Nelson? *granted the man can talk*
  • Best screen capture I could find that showed all of the package components. I did try!
  • This is why competition is great - there is no doubt in my mind that this is a part of the response to the PS4 coming in at $100 less than XBone (and the public's reaction to that).