I’ve spent the last week trying out Microsoft’s latest wireless headset and I’m seriously impressed. While this headset isn’t going to replace your favorite headphones, it’s a terrific option for Xbox gaming, offering ease of operation that rivals Apple’s AirPods, a brilliantly intuitive control scheme, solid audio quality, and excellent mic response.
If you’re looking for something that’s system agnostic, working equally well across devices like Macs, PlayStation consoles, or the Nintendo Switch, this may not be the right headset for you, as it’s very Xbox-centric despite also working with PC and Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices. But for Xbox players in particular, this is one of the best options in this price range.
Editor's note: This product is currently back ordered and out of stock. Check in the next few weeks for availability.
About the Xbox Wireless Headset
Here are the specs you’ll want to know about at a glance:
Colors: Black with green highlight
Drivers: 40mm (paper composite, neodymium magnet)
Wireless connection: Bluetooth 4.2
Wired connection: N/A
Microphone: Permanently attached boom
Weight: 11 oz.
Battery life: Up to 15 hours per charge
Virtual Surround Sound: Windows Sonic, Dolby Atmos, DTS Headphone:X
Xbox-Wireless-Headset-ITBCredit: Reviewed / Lee Neikirk
In the box, all you're getting is the headset and a 14-inch USB-C cable.
There's not much in the box besides the headset, just a 14-inch USB-C cable for charging and a quick start guide. Hopefully, you like picture books, because the quick start guide doesn’t have any explanatory text whatsoever. It’s easy enough to figure out the setup process, however.
What we like
So good it should come with the console
Every now and again, you find an accessory that feels so seamlessly tailor-made to work with a product, it‘s almost a disservice not to include it in that box. I used the Xbox Wireless Headset alongside an Xbox Series X, and it truly feels like an extension of that console’s better qualities.
Pairing is intuitive and instantaneous, working almost identically to how your paired Xbox controller does: turn on the headset, and your Xbox turns on too. The headset then shows up in the Xbox’s list of accessories, where—like with a new wireless controller—it’ll allow you to assign it to specific profiles, and likely prompt you to update it right away.
Within the Xbox Accessories menu, you can make ample adjustments to specific functions. There’s a multi-band EQ (including 125Hz, 250Hz, 1kHz, 4kHz, and 8kHz), as well as EQ presets that include Game, Heavy bass, Movie, Music, and Speech. Separately, you can also toggle bass boost on and off—but you may want to leave it off (more on that later). You’ll also be able to access settings for the headset’s Auto-mute function (where the microphone automatically silences when you aren’t speaking), toggling between Off, Low, Medium, and High. You can also adjust the brightness of the Mute light, though this setting seems mislabeled: the microphone light is on when the mic is active, off when it’s muted. Finally, you can adjust the level of microphone monitoring, which isolates your voice from background sounds.
In the EQ menu, you'll be able to select from a number of pre-sets, make custom adjustments to the headset's EQ, and toggle bass boost.
It’s a robust suite of settings, but I like that it’s tucked neatly away in the Accessories menu. It keeps the headset itself relatively minimalist as far as buttons go, and makes it easy to reset everything to default if you feel you’ve tweaked too much.
All of this is to say that the Xbox Wireless Headset feels extremely well integrated into the Xbox ecosystem, in much the same way that the official controller does. That’s one big advantage of first-party headsets, and this one fits the bill.
Surprisingly light, with clever controls
Comfort is one of the most important things to focus on for headphones in general, but especially for gaming headsets, which tend to be both worn for very long periods of time and heavier than the average over-ear headphones. Fortunately, the Xbox Wireless Headset is plenty comfortable.
The cushy cups stick out extra far from your head, but for good reason: you twist the plastic backs capping each cup in order to control audio. The left cap shifts balance between game audio and chat audio, while the right cup handles overall volume. It’s very intuitive, and it’s super easy to just reach up and make adjustments. The cups have hardware stopping points on either side of the twist, making it easy to know when you’ve maxed out or minimized adjustments. Also, there’s a clicky stop point halfway between game and chat balance, making it easy to find on the fly.