You’d be hard-pressed to find the new Xbox Wireless Headset from Microsoft in stores and there might well be a very good reason. Three months after the release of the Xbox Series X, Microsoft finally released this first-party headset ($100), that is not only backward-compatible but also connects to Windows 10 PCs and mobile devices.
You may be wondering, how good could a $100 first-party headset be? In a nutshell, surprisingly good! Given that the price point for a decent headset can run anywhere from $150-$299, we were a bit skeptical at first but after testing our skepticism faded.
Let’s talk about physical design, which is the first thing that caught out attention. Like any over-the-ear headphone, this set is big, but not heavy at all, weighing in at 11 oz (312g). The fit is nice, albeit sometimes a little tight on the ears, but nothing that’s uncomfortable due to the super-soft ear cushions. We did notice a lot more trapped heat than in other aftermarket brands. The upper band has the same soft foam cushioning that the ear cups feature. Overall, these feel great! Best of all, these require no dongle and connect directly with your Xbox.
We immediately fell in love with the controls. Unlike other headsets that feature small dials that are hard to find during a heated gaming session, the Xbox Wireless Headset features large dials that are the size of the ear cup. One side controls the split between game audio and party audio and the other side controls overall volume. This alone made this purchase well worth it. We did find that the mute button on the boom mic was difficult to locate at times. While the headset does feature a non-invasive light to show when the mic is muted, it would have been nice to see a boom mic that self-mutes when folded up.
While the design is great, what about audio quality? After fiddling with the in-app settings and customizing the sound through the equalizer, the sound quality was impressive for a number of games new and old. The audio was equally impressive on games that supported Dolby Atmos as well as those that do not. Games like PUBG, that do not have Dolby Atmos baked-in sound even more realistic, enabling the player to hear more accurately. As Microsoft puts it, the mic provides “crystal clear chat,” and from our testing, this is no marketing ploy. Party chat with four people sounded incredibly crisp and rarely if ever, had any background noise thanks to the auto-mute feature that automatically cuts the mic when not speaking. The auto-mute sensitivity and mic monitoring levels are all customizable through the Xbox Accessories app.
Have you ever put your headset away and forgot to power it off, only to find it dead the next time? Believe it or not, some headphones don’t feature an auto power-off mode. Thankfully, that’s not the case here. The Xbox Wireless Headset turns on and off with the push of a green button on the headset. Additionally, if your Xbox console is off, it will turn the system on when pressed. Best of all, when you turn the system off, the headset powers down as well!
If you’re anything like us, we rarely remember to charge our headsets or game controllers. The good news is that Microsoft’s claims of a 15-hour battery, charged via USB-C, are legit and held up in our testing, giving more time between charges. USB-C cable is also included is of high quality, albeit a bit short at 14 inches.
The Xbox Wireless Headset is a downright incredible competitor in the highly competitive market of gaming headsets. With its comfortable feel, incredible sound quality, sturdy build, and, best of all, the $100 price point, we find it to be certainly one of the best in its class. Best of all, it just works and gets rid of that pesky “Can you hear me?” at the start of every gaming session. The Xbox Wireless Headset is available if you can find them, at all major retailers and online at Xbox.com.