While technically you can use regular headphones to play games, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should. For those who take their playing seriously, the blurry sound from the headphones under the pair could be the difference between a sweet win and a loss. If you want to take your gaming performance to the next level, it’s a good place to start by getting a good set of gaming headphones that deliver clear, impressive sound, allowing you to hear every shot and step around you.
Whether you have a reliable Xbox One or a powerful new oneor S series, wired headphones are an easy and affordable option. Both generations of controllers have a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, making it easy to plug-and-play. In addition, it is also worth noting that many, if not most of the best Xbox headphone options in the wired gaming headset category also work well with PlayStation 5, Windows PC, and Mac .
However, if you want to eliminate the cable that goes from the controller to the headphones, there are many options for wireless headphones. The good thing about them is that most don’t need a USB key for wireless connection (mostdo, for example). Microsoft’s Xbox Wireless technology allows you to quickly pair with your Xbox sans key. Wireless models that require keys are specifically listed below.
When choosing, we focused mainly on a few key variables, including design (build quality), comfort and sound quality, as well as additional features (think noise cancellation, noise isolation, detachable microphone and Bluetooth connection) along with price. Some even offer surround sound. We also considered the quality of the microphone, as this is especially important if your gaming session requires group coordination. If you can’t be heard, you can’t make a strategy.
Finally, as far as we know, all the Xbox One wireless headphones listed here will also work withi .
Once those basics are in place, let’s talk about the best Xbox headphones. These are the results of our testing at home, which is updated periodically, as well as some of the other most popular gaming headphones on the market at the moment. Any of these can greatly improve your gaming experience, especially when you agree to a long gaming session.
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Turtle Beach has upgraded its popular Stealth 700 headphones, improving both its performance and comfort. The build quality is solid and I liked the memory foam ear pads “soaked in cooling gel” that fit my head really nicely and fit well with the glasses. The headband is also firm and well padded.
Turtle Beach says that this 2nd generation model has improved the 50 mm Nanoclear drivers – the sound is more detailed and “more precise” – there is a redesigned headband reinforced with metal and a larger, highly sensitive microphone with turning and turning off the sound. Its engineers set it up to deliver even “more detailed and precise sound”. I thought it sounded pretty good, and the headphones pair with your phone and are also good for listening to music and receiving calls while playing games. There is a “brand new” Turtle Beach Hub app for iOS and Android that allows you to customize the audio and remap buttons.
These headphones will work with older Xbox One consoles as well as next generation series consoles. Battery life is now up to 20 hours – the headset is charged via USB-C – and thanks to Xbox Wireless technology, you can connect wirelessly to the Xbox without using a key like with the PS4.
If you look at this compared to the reduced Stealth 600 Gen 2, which sells for $ 100, that model is also good, but the Stealth 700 Gen definitely has a more premium feel. These are really good Xbox wireless headphones for $ 150.
If you’re looking for really solid wired headphones at an affordable price, the HyperX Cloud X is a great choice. It is solidly made, has good sound with strong microphone performance and most importantly, it is comfortable to wear during long games. It is designed to work with 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 review.
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The Razer Nari Ultimate for Xbox is a beast of wireless headphones, at least in terms of size. Plus, it’s not heavy and its auto-adjustable headband makes this one of the most comfortable gaming headphones you can buy; just keep in mind that his ear cups really stick out of your head. The ear pads are equipped with pads soaked in cooling gel, and the Razer logo glows.
In addition to excellent sound quality and comfort, another feature is the built-in HyperSense feedback technology that allows you to feel the game while playing. Some might call it a trick, but it adds another dimension to the gaming experience. The only drawback is that the battery life decreases when you activate it. That’s 6 hours with HyperSense on and 20 hours with HyperSense off.
It is worth emphasizing that these are headphones with open backs, which help to open the sound scene and give sound of more airy quality, but the sound will leak from the headphones, which could irritate others around you. I thought the microphone performance was good, but not stellar.
This will also connect to your computer wirelessly with the Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows.
As for the PlayStation and PC, Arctis has its premium Pro Wireless ($ 330), which some say is the best versatile headset for both of those platforms. But for the Xbox, the Arctis 9X Wireless is a great choice if you’re looking for high-end wireless headphones. It connects directly to the Xbox wirelessly without a key, and can also be used with your phone with a Bluetooth connection. Provides 20 hours of battery life.
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If you can’t afford Turtle Beach’s new Stealth 700 Gen 2, the new Stealth 600 Gen 2 is a good $ 100 alternative. While it doesn’t have top-notch build quality like the Stealth 700, these are very comfortable headphones with good sound and performance. The sound quality is slightly improved, and like the Stealth 700, it is equipped with a larger microphone with turning on and off high-sensitivity sound that seamlessly integrates into the headphones when retracted (turned off).
The volume preset button on the left handset lets you quickly adjust your sound, and thanks to Xbox Wireless technology, it’s easy to connect to your Xbox. The battery life is estimated at 15 hours, and the headphones are charged via USB-Ca.
The headphones are shown in white, but are more readily available in black. The PlayStation version includes dongles for wireless connectivity with PS4 and PS5.
If you want a much more affordable alternative to the 9X, check out the Arctis 1, a well-designed (but less sleek) wireless model that retails for around $ 100. Although you need to use a dongle (included), it works when connected to an Xbox, Switch, PlayStation or even Android (USB-C key includes USB-A adapter cable). It’s a good value, with a detachable microphone with Discord certification, and the battery life is rated at up to 20 hours, which is pretty decent.
Like the aforementioned Steel Series Arctis 1, the HyperX Cloud X Flight uses a 2.4 GHz low latency USB dongle for its wireless connection to your Xbox instead of a direct keyless connection. These are very comfortable headphones with great sound and good microphone performance (the microphone is detachable). It also has a very good battery life (up to 30 hours), although you will have to turn off the LEDs on the ear cups to maximize battery life. We hope that the next generation version will switch to USB-C charging (uses Micro-USB).
As for the basic wired gaming headphones, you can’t go wrong with HyperX’s Cloud Stinger Core. It is comfortable and has good sound quality and microphone performance. The build quality isn’t as good as some of HyperX’s advanced 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 headphones, which cost from $ 40 to $ 300. There is nothing special about this model, but it is quite light and comfortable with nicely lined ear cups, plus it has a detachable microphone. There is a volume control wheel on the left earpiece along with a mute button. It also works with other game consoles and is quite decent for music, although it is bright to the touch.
While some of JBL’s top models have wireless connectivity and even noise cancellation, the Quantum 100 is just a basic gaming headset that will appeal to more casual gamers on a small budget.