Best Xbox Headsets 2017 – Buyer’s GuideLast updated: Thursday, September 28, 2017
Here is our list of the best Xbox one headsets. We’ve chosen these based on audio, build and voice chat quality, as well as price, to make selecting your Xbox headset easier.
Best Xbox Headset 2017
Best Mid-range Xbox Headset: Turtle Beach XO Seven Pro (£99.99)
The Turtle Beach XO Seven Pro is a well-built, good-looking Xbox headset that benefits for a light-weight, sturdy over-ear design that offers a level of comfort and range of features that make it the best Xbox headset in the sub-£100 price range. The XO Seven Pro offers features and functionality typically reserved for more premium headsets, including 50mm Neodymium speakers, removable boom mic with mic-monitoring, a range of audio EQ presets, and Turtle Beach’s SUPER HUMAN HEARING functionality, offering an edge during competitive play.
When it comes to comfort, the XO Seven Pro excels, benefiting from generously, memory-foam padded ear cups and adjustable head band. This padding, combine with this headsets light-weight, makes it ideal for longer sessions of play. Overall, the Turtle Beach XO Seven Pro is an excellent choice for anyone looking for the features of a premium headset, at a price that won’t break the bank.
- Includes Mobile Cable with In-Line Mic for making calls, gaming, and music
- Superhuman Hearing Mode to pick up quiet audio cues like footsteps
- Game and Mic Presets to fine tune your audio experience
- Variable Mic Monitor so you can hear yourself in the headset
- Master Volume, Game and Chat Volume mix controls and Mic Mute
- Premium 50mm Neodymium speakers tuned for Xbox One
- Swappable speaker plates for customisation
- Tournament-grade durability, comfort, and noise-isolation
- Adjustable, padded headband for a perfect fit
View our full list of the best mid-range Xbox headsets under £100.
Best Budget Xbox Headset: Turtle Beach XO Three (£49.99)
The Turtle Beach XO Three headset is the latest, budget Xbox One headset from Turtle Beach, and is the cheapest headset in their 2017 line-up. The XO Three offers high-quality audio and voice chat at a low price, featuring an over-ear design with 50mm Neodymium speakers, omnidirectional noise-cancelling removable mic, convenient in-line controls and connects to the Xbox console via a standard 3.5mm headphone jack.
Despite being billed as an entry-level, no-frills Xbox headset, the XO Three benefits from a high level of build-quality and comfort, with generous padding, a leather-wrapped headband, and fabric-wrapped ear cushions. Overall, the Turtle Beach XO Three headset is the best Xbox One headset for anyone looking for a new headset on a budget.
- Rugged, Comfortable Design – The XO Three has a thick, sturdy and robust frame with a plush leather-wrapped headband and breathable fabric-wrapped ear-cushions that allow you to play for hours in complete comfort.
- Surround Sound Ready – The XO Three is surround sound ready for Xbox One and compatible Windows 10 PCs so you can experience your games, movies, and music with deeper immersion. (Available on Xbox One and compatible Windows 10 PCs with an update from Microsoft.)
- Crystal Clear Chat – Turtle Beach’s renowned high-sensitivity mic picks-up your voice loud and clear, and can be removed when watching movies or listening to music.
- Convenient In-line Controls – Convenient in-line controls place Master Volume and Mic Mute right at your fingertips.
- Versatile Compatibility – Works great with Xbox One and PS4 controllers with a 3.5mm jack, as well as with PC, Mac, and mobile/tablet devices with a 3.5mm connection. Other Xbox One controllers require the Headset Audio Adaptor (sold separately).
View our full list of the best cheap Xbox headsets under £50.
Things to Consider When Buying an Xbox Headset
When it comes to Xbox headsets, there are numerous things to weigh up and consider before making a purchase, as your new headset is going to be an essential, frequently used bit of gamer kit, so it’s important to get the right one that suits you.
Things to consider include connection type – whether wireless or wired – design, comfort, surround sound support and aesthetics, to name a few. While much of this will come down to personal preference, comfort is a factor that will be key for everyone, as using a bulky, uncomfortable gaming Xbox headset for hours at a time is going to take its toll, ruining the experience.
We’ve looked at a number of these factors below and have put together a useful list of what you need to consider before parting with your cash and buying a new headset for your Xbox.
Audio Performance and Quality
Virtual Surround Sound Support
True surround sound headsets are disappearing from the market, as headset brands move towards virtual surround sound, as regular, two-membrane stereo headsets can support it without any additional hardware. The reasons for this are lower costs, and less sophisticated hardware, as true surround sound headsets require multiple membranes to achieve the effect, which impacts the price of manufacturing these headsets considerably. As well as this, the lack of multiple membranes works to keep headsets light weight, which is a significant factor when it comes to the overall level of comfort a headset offers.
If you mostly play first-person shooters or action games, then you’re going to want to look for an Xbox headset with some surround sound capability. It’s important to note that not all headsets support this, so you’ll want to pay attention to technical specifications, looking for support for Dolby Atmos and Windows Sonic, which are the leading virtual surround sound options for Xbox One.
Comfort and Fit
The level of comfort an Xbox headset provides is arguably one of the key factors in choosing which headset is best for you, as making the mistake of purchasing an uncomfortable headset will impact your gaming sessions, especially when playing for multiple hours at a time. When it comes to comfort, there are two things to consider:
- The overall weight of a headset
- The material and design of a headset’s ear cups and headband
When deciding on which Xbox headset to buy, it’s important to choose one the benefits from soft, generously padded ear cups, with materials such as suede leather being some of the best in terms of secure fit and softness. You’ll next want to look at the headband, ensuring that this is equally well padded and, if your head is on the larger side, can be adjusted for a better fit.
Weight is just as important as padding, having as much of an impact on comfort, so you’ll want one that is light enough that you barely notice that you’re wearing it. Just like padding, the material used in a headset’s build will impact its weight significantly – something which the retail price of the headset has a significant impact on, with cheaper, inexpensive headsets tending to be heavier than premium, expensive ones. To find out the weight of any headset, refer to the technical specifications provided by the manufacturer. Most people find headsets that weigh 350g or more to be uncomfortable after several hours of use.
Mic Quality and Type
Features and Functionality
There are 3 Xbox headset connection types – wireless, utilising one of the Xbox consoles ports (HDMI/USB/Optical), new direct-to-console wireless, and wired.
It’s worth noting that the first one of these – found in older wireless Xbox headsets – isn’t truly wireless, as you will still need to connect a chat cable to your controller to use in-game chat. That could be a problem for some, particularly those concerned about cable management, however, you should also know that the newer direct-to-console wireless headsets are limited in choice, as only a handful of headset manufacturers have so far licensed the technology from Microsoft. Which of these you opt for is going to come down to personal preference, and if you’re loyal to a particular headset brand.
The last connection type – wired Xbox headsets – interface with the console’s controller, either with the use of an Xbox headset adapter in the case of launch controllers, or plugging in directly in newer ones. Most popular headset brands now include a headset adapter in the box, so you won’t have to go out and purchase one separately as was the case in the past.
We go into more depth on the different Xbox headset connection types in the next part of this article, covering the pros and cons of each to help you decide which of these is best for you.
Xbox Headset Connection Types
There are different connection types that Xbox headsets use to interface with the console, these are wireless, direct-to-console wireless, and wired, connecting to the console through the Xbox One controller. Which of these types of headset is best for you is determined by both your personal preference and budget.
Wireless Xbox Headsets
If you’re like us, you’d prefer a wireless headset for your Xbox over a wired one. It’s important to note that up until recently, the only wireless headsets for the Xbox One haven’t been fully-wireless, with these headsets all requiring a chat cable to use voice chat during online play. The reason for this was a lack of universal wireless connectivity, with the console not supporting traditional Bluetooth connectivity.
These wireless Xbox headsets can vary in their setup, with there being a broad range of different ways that a headset can interface with the console. These headsets typically include a base station, which connects to one of the console’s ports, such as its USB, HDMI or Optical port, as a well as a chat cable, which plugs into the Xbox One controller. This is perhaps the most significant drawback of this type of connection, as these headsets aren’t fully-wireless. Due to the numerous ways in which a traditional wireless headset can interface with your console, you’ll need to consult the instruction manual for directions on how to set up the headset model that you have.
Before you begin the process of connecting an Xbox wireless headset, the first step is to charge it. It’s recommended to leave your new headset to charge overnight, as this helps to maximise the longevity and capacity of the headsets batteries, and can is done either using a controller charging cable, drawing power from the console, or from a mains socket, using a mobile phone or another micro USB charger. Headsets have an indicator light that will tell you when your headset is fully-charged and ready to be setup.
- More choice, with more of these headsets on the market than direct-to-console wireless ones
- Fully-wireless in-game audio, ideal for solo, offline play
- Fewer cables than wired headsets
- Often connect to the console through an external base station
- Not fully-wireless, requiring a chat cable attached to the controller
- May need Xbox headset adapter to connect chat cable if using launch controllers
- Can be complicated to setup, with a range of different base stations and ports used
Wireless Xbox Headsets (Direct-to-Console)
Xbox headsets that connect using Microsoft’s direct-to-console wireless connectivity feature are relatively new – with the upcoming Turtle Beach Stealth 600 and 700 headsets being good examples. Headsets like these offer a fully-wireless experience, including voice chat, which, unlike earlier wireless Xbox One headsets, interface with the console without any external base station or chat cable. Syncing a headset with your Xbox console can take up to 10 seconds. Should your headset fail to sync the first time, wait for 30 seconds before repeating this process.
Like older wireless Xbox headsets, it’s best to leave your headset to charge overnight before you go ahead and sync it with your console. The reason for this is again to increase the maximum capacity and lifespan of the headset’s batteries.
Xbox One offers support for up to 4 headsets being synced with the console at any given time, a feature that runs counter to the conventional wisdom that the experience a gaming headset provides is a solitary one. The Xbox One also supports multiple wired headsets. However, this isn’t possible with earlier wireless headsets, so if you’re intended to use multiple headsets with your system wirelessly, you’ll need to opt for those that support direct-to-console.
As with any new technology, one of the significant drawbacks of direct-to-console wireless headsets is the lack of different headsets to choose from, with a limited number of headset manufacturers and brands licensing the technology. This will of course likely change in the future, as the technology becomes more popular, however, for the time being, you will find the selection of available headsets on the market to be limited compared to those that utilise traditional wireless and wired connectivity.
- These headsets are the newest, offering lots of functionality and features
- Fully-wireless, interfacing with the Xbox One via direct-to-console wireless technology
- No need for a separate chat cable, with support for wireless voice chat
- Up to 4 headsets can sync to an Xbox console at one time
- Good cross-compatibility, working with many Bluetooth enabled devices
- Easy to setup and sync with your console, with the click of a button
- Less choice, with a limited number of headset brands licensing the technology
Wired Xbox Headsets
The most common headsets, wired Xbox headsets have been available since the launch of the console, connecting through a port on the console’s controller. If you have a launch system, your controllers will require an Xbox headset adapter to use a wired headset, with later controllers having the functionality this adapter offers built-in.
These headsets are the easiest to setup as if there is a problem connecting it to your console there is only one place to look – the wire. When you first plug in a wired headset to your Xbox One, be sure to turn the volume knob down to protect your ears. Other than that, there isn’t much else to it, just plug the headset into your controller or headset adapter, and you’re ready to go.
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of a wired headset is their price point, with these headsets tending to be much cheaper than their wireless counterparts, making wired headsets an excellent choice for anyone picking up an Xbox headset on a budget, with good-quality wired Xbox One headsets retailing for around £50.
- Inexpensive, with a good-quality wired Xbox headset costing around £50
- More choice, with more wired headsets on the market than wireless ones
- Better cross-compatibility, being compatible with any device with a 3.5mm headphone jack
- Easy, plug and play setup, just connect to your controller, and you’re good to go
- Often lack many functions and features of wireless headsets, offering more of a no-frills experience
- More cables, mean more cable management
- If used with launch controllers, will require Xbox headset Adapter
Cheap Xbox Headsets are a Bad Idea, Here’s Why
If you’ve never owned an Xbox gaming headset before and are debating whether to invest in a more expensive, mid or high-range headset, over the numerous low-cost, cheap options on the market, then read on, as this part of this article is written for you.
They Put You at a Disadvantage
The first point that we need to make is that most gamers will be using their Xbox headset primarily for online, competitive play. During these sessions, there will be winners and losers, so it’s important that you don’t start on the back foot by using a headset that puts you at a distinct disadvantage over other players. This rules out cheap, mono headsets, as they take away your ability to determine the direction of in-game sounds, making it far harder to pin point the position of your opponents, something that will drastically reduce your kill to death ratio.
They Use Cheap Components
The next point is that cheap headsets use components of a lesser quality -notably their mic and speakers – that are vastly inferior to those used in better quality ones. These result in audio that sounds tinny and lacking in bass, reducing the immersive experience that an Xbox gaming headset can provide, eliminating the point of having a headset altogether. The use of lower quality components will also negatively impact on the lifespan of your headset, meaning that you’ll probably have to fork out for another one far sooner than you would have had to with one from a more reputable brand.
Comfort is up next, as cheap headsets both lack the generous padding and quality materials of their more expensive counterparts and tend to be heavier, making them extremely uncomfortable to use during sessions of play that span several hours. If you’re like us, you game for multiple hours, not minutes, so don’t make the mistake of picking up a heavy, uncomfortable headset, as you’ll quickly regret your purchase.
Cheap Headsets: Final Thought
When it comes to Xbox headsets, and much like any other product, the saying “buy cheap, buy twice” rings true. Whether this is due to the headset breaking, the poor experience it provides, or both, in the long run, you’re going to be better off investing a little more on your new Xbox headset. We’re not saying that you have to fork out hundreds of pounds on a premium headset with all the bells and whistles, quite the opposite, as you can pick up a good performing, reasonable-quality headset from a reputable brand these days for as little as £50.
If we’ve failed to convince you, and you still want to look at a cheap headset, visit our best Xbox headsets under £30 list to see which of the Xbox headsets in this price range are passable.