Tech

Best Xbox Gaming Headset for 2022

While you could technically use regular headphones to play, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should. For those serious about their game, the fuzzy audio of a sub-par headset could mean the difference between a sweet win and a crushing defeat. If you’re looking to take your gaming performance to the next level, a good start is to grab a good set of gaming headphones, which offer clear, immersive sound that lets you hear every shot and footstep around you.

Whether you have a tried and tested Xbox One or a mighty new one Xbox Series X or Series S, a wired headset is a simple and affordable option. Both generations of controllers come with a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, so it’s a simple plug and play setup. Also, it’s worth noting that many, if not most, of the best Xbox headset options in the wired gaming headset category also work well with the PlayStation 5Windows PCs, Macs and the Nintendo switch.

However, if you want to eliminate the cable running from the controller to your headphones, there are plenty of wireless headset options as well. The beauty of them is that most don’t require a USB dongle to connect wirelessly (most Wireless PS4 Headsets do, for example). Microsoft’s Xbox wireless technology allows you to quickly pair with your Xbox dongle. Wireless models that require dongles are specifically listed below.

In making this selection, we mainly focused on a few key variables, including design (build quality), comfort, and sound quality, plus additional features (e.g., noise cancellation, noise isolation, detachable microphone, and Bluetooth connectivity), as well as price. Some even offer surround sound. We also considered microphone quality, as this is especially important if your gaming session requires group coordination. Those who are not heard cannot develop strategies.

Finally, as far as we know, all wireless Xbox One headsets listed here will also work with the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.

With these basics in mind, let’s talk about the best Xbox headset. These are the results of our own home tests, which are updated regularly, as well as some of the other most popular gaming headsets on the market right now. All of this can greatly enhance your gaming experience, especially if you are going to embark on a long gaming session.

Continue reading: Best Gaming Headset for PS5

David Carnoy/CNET

Turtle Beach has updated their popular Stealth 700 headset, improving both performance and comfort. The build quality is solid and I liked the “cooling gel” memory foam ear pads which fit my head really well and play well with glasses. The headband is also robust and well padded.

Turtle Beach says this Gen 2 model has upgraded 50mm Nanoclear drivers – the sound is more detailed and “accurate” – there’s a redesigned metal-reinforced headband, and a larger, high-sensitivity microphone with flip-to-mute -Function. Its engineers have tuned it to deliver an even “more detailed and precise sound”. I found it sounded pretty good and the headset fits your phone and is also good for listening to music and taking calls while you play. There’s a “brand new” Turtle Beach Hub app for iOS and Android that lets you tweak the audio and remap buttons.

This headset works with both older Xbox One consoles and the next-gen series consoles. Battery life is now up to 20 hours – the headset charges via USB-C – and thanks to Xbox Wireless technology, you can connect to the Xbox wirelessly without using a dongle like you have to do with the PS4.

If you look at this in comparison to the stripped down Stealth 600 Gen 2, which retails for $100, that model is good too, but the Stealth 700 Gen definitely feels more premium. It really is a good $150 wireless Xbox headset.

HyperX

If you’re looking for a really solid wired headset at an affordable price, the HyperX Cloud X is an excellent choice. It’s built tough, has good sound with strong microphone performance, and most importantly, it’s comfortable to wear during long gaming sessions. It was designed for use with the Xbox One and S and X series, but is also compatible with PS4 and PS5, as well as Nintendo Switch and PCs.

Read our HyperX Cloud Alpha preview.

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The Razer Nari Ultimate for Xbox is a beast among wireless headsets, at least size wise. However, it’s not heavy and its auto-adjusting headband makes it one of the most comfortable gaming headsets you can buy. Just notice that the ear cups really stick out from your head. The ear cushions feature cooling gel-infused cushions, and the Razer logo lights up.

Apart from the excellent sound quality and comfort, the other distinguishing feature is the built-in HyperSense haptic feedback technology, which allows you to feel the game while playing. You could call it a gimmick, but it adds another dimension to the gaming experience. The only downside is that battery life will be impacted when turned on. It’s 6 hours with HyperSense on and 20 hours when it’s off.

It’s worth noting that this is an open-back headset, which helps open up the soundstage and gives the audio a more airy quality, but sound will leak out of the headphones, which might annoy others around you. I found the microphone performance to be good, but not outstanding.

This also connects wirelessly to a PC Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows.

SteelSeries

On the PlayStation and PC side, Arctis has its high-end Pro Wireless ($330), which some say is the best all-around headset for those two platforms. But for Xbox, if you’re looking for a higher-end wireless headset, the Arctis 9X Wireless is an excellent choice. It connects directly to the Xbox wirelessly without a dongle and can also be used with your phone with a Bluetooth connection. It delivers 20 hours of battery life.

David Carnoy/CNET

If you can’t quite afford Turtle Beach’s new Stealth 700 Gen 2, the new $100 Stealth 600 Gen 2 is a good alternative. While it doesn’t have the premium build quality of the Stealth 700, it’s a very comfortable headset with good sound and performance. Audio quality has been slightly improved, and like the Stealth 700, it comes with a larger, highly sensitive, foldable microphone that integrates seamlessly with the headset when retracted (muted).

An audio preset button on the left earcup lets you quickly adjust your audio, and Xbox Wireless technology makes it easy to connect to your Xbox. The battery life is 15 hours and the headset charges via USB-C.

The headset is shown in white but is more readily available in black. The PlayStation version includes a dongle for wireless connection with PS4 and PS5.

SteelSeries

If you’re looking for a much cheaper alternative to the 9X, check out the Arctis 1, a well-designed (but less fancy) wireless model that retails for around $100. While you need to use a dongle (included), it works when connected to Xbox, Switch, PlayStation, or even Android (the USB-C dongle comes with a USB-A adapter cable). It’s good value for money, with a detachable Discord-certified microphone, and battery life is rated at up to 20 hours, which is pretty decent.

Amazon

Like the Steel Series Arctis 1 above, the HyperX Cloud X Flight uses a low-latency 2.4GHz USB dongle for its wireless connection to your Xbox, rather than connecting directly without a dongle. This is a very comfortable headset with great sound and good microphone performance (the microphone is detachable). It also has very good battery life (up to 30 hours), although you’ll need to turn off the LEDs on the earcups to maximize battery life. Hopefully the next-gen version will switch to USB-C charging (it uses Micro-USB).

Amazon

As far as basic wired gaming headsets go, you can’t go wrong with HyperX’s Cloud Stinger Core. It’s comfortable and has good audio quality and microphone performance. Build quality isn’t as good as some of HyperX’s step-up models, but you can’t expect everything for $40 or less.

David Carnoy/CNET

The Quantum 100 is the entry-level model in JBL’s new line of Quantum gaming headsets, ranging in price from $40 to $300. There’s nothing fancy about this model, but it’s fairly light and comfortable with nicely padded earcups and a detachable boom mic. There is a volume control and a microphone mute button on the left ear cup. It also works with other gaming consoles and is pretty decent for music, although it’s a bit light.

While some of JBL’s higher-end models have wireless connectivity and even noise-cancelling, the Quantum 100 are just basic gaming headphones that will appeal to casual gamers on a tight budget.

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