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Xbox Wireless Headset Review

Verdict

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Trusted Reviews Recommended

Offering incredible bang for your buck, the Xbox Wireless Headset blends clever design with booming performance, at a price that’s more than reasonable. From multiple device support to EQ customisation, intuitive controls and a comfortable fit, there’s plenty to love here.

Pros

  • Great sound and powerful bass
  • Clever design
  • Easy-to-use controls
  • Incredible value

Cons

  • Plasticky build
  • Mic monitoring could be a little louder
  • No Active Noise Cancelling

Availability

  • UKRRP: £89.99
  • USARRP: $99.99
  • AustraliaRRP: AU$149.95

Key Features

  • Wireless support:Offers a seamless wireless connection to both Xbox Series S/X and PC
  • Smart design: Rotating earcups let you adjust the volume without groping for buttons
  • Integrated microphone:The built-in microphone reduces background noise to focus on your voice

The Xbox Wireless Headset could easily be dismissed as a regular headset with an Xbox logo slapped on – but it’s far more than that.

Offering a simple yet sturdy build, the Xbox Wireless Headset sets itself apart via its super-handy rotating control dials on each earcup, and a bendable boom mic that can be tucked away when not in use, opening up a listening world beyond mere gaming.

With the ability to connect simultaneously to your Xbox device/PC and your phone, it brings the flexibility of multi-listening to the table, too, with solid audio capabilities to boot. Throw in up to 15 hours of use per charge and support for virtual sound tech such as Windows Spatial Sound, Dolby Atmos and DTS Headphone:X, and it promises to deliver on all fronts, at a price that won’t make your wallet weep.

Having spent two weeks gaming, chatting and listening to music through it, it’s time to find out how I got on with the Xbox Wireless Headset.

The Xbox Wireless Headset is available to buy now for £89.99 / $99.99 / AU$149.95.

However, there appear to be stock issues right now, as it currently isn’t available to buy from vendors such as Amazon.

  • Plain design for the anti-RGB crowd
  • Comfortable to wear for long periods of time
  • Mic arm could be perfect with a few tweaks

In a world where most gaming accessories favour harsh angles and tacky RGB lighting, it’s nice to see a game-centric device that’s a little less busy for those of us who have outgrown the ‘Xtr3me 1337’ phase of our lives.

Sporting a simple design and dressed in black, the Xbox Wireless Headset is a sleek, minimal, attractive bit of kit, despite its primarily plastic build. Sure, it won’t win a premium design contest against the likes of the incredibly expensive, lambskin leather-clad Beoplay Portal, but at this price, it doesn’t have to. Its gaming DNA is subtly revealed by the green power button and matching accents on each earcup, along with the flexible boom mic on the left-hand side.

Xbox Wireless Headset

The mic itself can be positioned at any angle, thanks to the flexible arm, and can be pushed up all the way for those occasions when you’re not using it. It’s a clever trick, but it isn’t quite as hidden as, for example, the retractable mics you’ll find on some premium SteelSeries headsets. It might have been even better to have the mic itself in a curved, rather than cylindrical, housing, so that it could follow the curve of the ear cup when closed for maximal invisibility – but that’s just nitpicking on my end.

Weighing in at 312g, the Xbox Wireless Headset isn’t the lightest headset around. However, it’s more than comfortable for hours of constant use, thanks to the foam padding on both the band and ear cushions. The earcups themselves are generous in size and easily managed my larger than average ears, making them a comfortable fit for pretty much anyone.

Given the lack of active noise cancellation, they do a reasonable job of sealing out the worst of environmental noise, although obviously can’t match up to a pair of proper ANC cans.

Xbox Wireless Headset showing off the Xbox logo

Each earcup also has a rotating control dial cleverly incorporated into the design. They feel lovely and tactile, and have definitive min, max, and halfway points. The left dial is used to mix the game and chat audio, while the right is for volume. Compared to tiny buttons or finicky touch-sensitive affairs, these dials are an absolute triumph of form and function, and are one of the Xbox Wireless Headset’s standout features.

Rounding out the design, you’ll find a mute button on the back of the left earcup that handily lights up an LED on the front of the mic, along with a green power/pairing button. The USB-C port is the only thing you’ll find on the right side. Overall, thanks to the ingenious earcup controls, the overall result is a clean and minimal headset that works just as well on a daily commute as it will on your couch.

  • Multi-device pairing for added flexibility
  • Xbox Accessories app for customising features
  • No music control shortcuts

One of the Xbox Wireless Headset’s most useful features is its ability to connect to your phone at the same time as your PC or Xbox console. This is a boon if, like me, you regularly play crossplay games with PC gamers who prefer using Discord above any other voice-chat service.

I played Grounded on the Xbox Series X with a few friends who were on PC, hearing both the in-game audio from the Series X and the Discord voice chat from my Android smartphone, dialling in the perfect mix between game and chat volume for a seamless experience. This dual connectivity also means you can grab incoming phone calls during gaming sessions without having to faff around with pausing and removing the headset.

Xbox Wireless Headset on top of the Xbox Series X

Elsewhere, the Xbox Wireless Headset is packed with the option to tinker and tweak with the settings, all made possible via the Xbox Accessories app on PC and console. The first, and perhaps most important option is the equaliser, which lets you tweak the levels of lows, highs, and mids, while selecting (or turning off) bass boost. This is a crucial feature, and we’ll cover it more in the next section.

The app also lets you select the level of the auto-mute function – a useful setting that automatically mutes your mic when you’re not talking. You can adjust the sensitivity according to your background noise levels, and it works surprisingly well, negating the need to fiddle around with more traditional push-to-talk settings, if that’s how you roll. It works particularly well if, say, there’s a crying baby in the background, and you want to save your teammates from their piercing wails.

Xbox Wireless Headset and Xbox controller

The next option is the mute light brightness, which lets you adjust the brightness of the mic’s built-in white LED, or turn it off altogether. Somewhat strangely, the microphone’s white LED is on when the mic is on, and off when muted, which seems the opposite of what you’d expect. Not only that, but due to the shorter nature of the mic arm, it’s pretty hard to see the LED any way – although your view may (literally) vary. Either way, it’s nice to have the option to customise it. Lastly, we have the mic monitoring section, which lets you increase or decrease how much you can hear your own voice through the headset itself.

On the battery life front, the Xbox Wireless Headset promises up to 15 hours per charge. I found myself having to top up anywhere between 12-13.5 hours on average with heavy use and phone connections, with the headset being used as my main headset for working at my PC, as well as gaming in the evenings. Overall, it’s a very respectable effort, especially since a half-hour charge provides a four-hour boost. Be warned, though: a full charge takes around three hours, which will seem pretty slow if you’re used to smartphones that fast-charge in well under an hour.

  • Sounds great after tinkering with the EQ settings
  • Dolby Atmos breathes life into games, music and movies
  • Mic quality is good, although monitoring could be louder

Straight out of the box, the Xbox Wireless Headset serves up an incredibly bass-heavy, muddy listening experience, and it isn’t particularly pleasant. I’m not sure why this is the standard tuning that was selected by the Xbox team, but I can only assume it’s to feed the bass-hungry youth with buckets of boom on the low-end.

Xbox Wireless Headset laying down horizontal

Thankfully, the previously mentioned equalizer easily saves the day. With minimal effort you can slide things around so that the soundscape is far more balanced, and after a few minutes of tinkering, the Xbox Wireless Headset sounded absolutely superb, especially given its price.

With things in balance it still serves up a hefty (but refined) low-end, with clear mids and highs to boot. Activate the six-month Dolby Atmos licence that’s included in the box via the Dolby Atmos PC/Xbox app, and you’re in for even more of an auditory treat.

Atmos opens up the listening experience, helping you cut through the onslaught of explosions and environmental noises in a shooter such as Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War, letting you pick out subtle queues such as enemy footsteps, and the direction from which they’re approaching. In something less shooty such as Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2, Atmos shines once again.

With Atmos off, the game’s incredible soundtrack is sort of muddied up, the sound of your skateboard clattering and grinding around various graffiti-laden locations. Turn Atmos on, though, and the sense of space is far more apparent, with in-game sounds echoing off distant warehouse walls, while the legendary soundtrack gets even better without overpowering the action.

Microphone shown sticking out of headset

When it comes to mic quality, the positives continue. From Zoom calls to Discord, in-game chat and phone calls via Bluetooth, I have no complaints about the quality of the microphone. If you’re connected to a PC or Xbox, you can also turn on the mic monitoring option in the accessories app, which lets you hear your own voice through the headset itself – a useful feature to prevent you from shouting loudly or monitoring yourself if you’re streaming or recording.

Monitoring works well for the most part, although it does also mean you’ll be hearing background noises more often. I’d like to see it get a little louder when cranked to max, and it would be great if you could customise the earcup dials, since mic monitoring would, for example, be more useful to me overall than game audio/chat mixing.

As things stand, you have to go into the Accessories app to adjust the monitoring levels, which isn’t ideal. On that note, given the Xbox Wireless Headset’s impressive audio capabilities, it’s a shame there aren’t any music playback controls for easily skipping, playing and pausing tracks. Customising the functionality of the dials would again fix this issue.

There’s very little not to like about the Xbox Wireless Headset. It offers a no-nonsense design with some very clever and intuitive dial controls. It pairs easily with multiple devices, offering flexibility for gaming and work. And – after some quick tinkering – it sounds better than it has any right to, especially if you throw Dolby Atmos into the mix.

My only main gripes are the lack of control customisation options (it would be amazing to swap out the functionality of the control dials as needed), along with mic monitoring levels that are lower than I’d like to see.

Overall, though, you’re getting a vast amount of bang for your buck, and if you’re brave enough to venture out with a slightly protruding mic, there’s no reason that the Xbox Wireless Headset can’t double up as your daily driver either. Nicely done, Microsoft.

Should you buy it?

You’re an Xbox or PC gamer looking for value
If you’re team Xbox and looking for a quality headset without destroying your wallet, the Xbox Wireless Headset is a no-brainer purchase.

You want something a little more premium
If you’re happy to spend the cash, you can upgrade to more luxurious headsets from the likes of Bang & Olufsen, SteelSeries and Audeze.

Verdict

Offering incredible bang for your buck, the Xbox Wireless Headset blends clever design with booming performance, at a price that’s more than reasonable. From multiple device support to EQ customisation, intuitive controls and a comfortable fit, there’s plenty to love here.

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FAQs

Can I use a 3.5mm headset cable with the headphones?

Unfortunately not. The headset only works with a wireless connection.

Does it charge off a USB-C cable?

Yes, the Xbox Wireless Headset can be charged via the bundled USB-C charger.

Does the headset come with with a six-month free trial for Dolby Atmos?

Yes, the trial begins as soon as you link the headset to the Dolby Atmos app.

Full specs

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