Best Xbox One headsets 2021: the top Xbox One gaming headsets

Best Xbox One headsets 2020

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The best Xbox One headset is essential for any gamer sitting down to play Mircosoft’s eighth-generation console. 

Once you’ve got the right accessory to go with your console and your pad, you’ll find that it can improve your gaming experience immeasurably. From helping immerse you into living, breathing RPG worlds to allowing you to chat strategy with your friends in the lobbies of battle royales, a good headset is essential if you want to get the very most from your gaming sessions.

But ensuring you drop your hard-earned cash on the right headset is no mean feat: thanks to the surging gaming market, there is a plethora of Xbox-compatible headsets on the digital and physical shelves, and many of them offer different features to curious shoppers. Some may sell themselves on the quality of their audio processing, and some may value comfort above anything else. Some might market themselves as essential to multiplayer obsessives, whilst others boast of better battery life than their rivals.

Since the launch of the Xbox Series X, you may have noticed that some devices will tell you they work on the new generation – but what about the older hardware? Microsoft prides itself on letting many Xbox-compatible gaming headsets work across both console generations, at least, so that’s one less thing to worry about if you’re thinking of upgrading your setup any time soon. 

It can be a bit overwhelming if you’re not really sure what you’re looking for, so to make things slightly easier, we’ve made sure to test out a wide range of headsets and publish our easy-to-read guide to help you make the right decision.

Whether you’re on the search for something budget or something premium, wired or wireless, flashy or understated, we’re here to help. Check out our selection of the best Xbox One headsets for 2021 below.

Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2

(Image credit: Turtle Beach)

Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2

An affordable gaming headset that’s made for Xbox consoles

Reasons to buy

Pairs directly with Xbox consoles Microphone monitoring Windows Sonic spatial audio

Reasons to avoid

Occasionally spotty connectionA little too tight

While there are more premium gaming headsets currently available for Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S players, Turtle Beach’s Stealth 600 Gen 2 delivers exceptional bang for your buck, thanks to its excellent sound quality and robust features.

Handily, Turtle Beach offers a Stealth 600 Gen 2 model that’s designed specifically for Xbox consoles, meaning users can pair the gaming headset directly to their Xbox One or Xbox Series X/S without the need for a USB dongle or optical connection – it’s as simple as pairing a controller.

From an audio standpoint, the Stealth 600 Gen 2 delivers vibrant spatial sound (the headset worked well with Windows Sonic and Dolby Atmos for Headphones) with a decent amount of depth. This is due to their powerful 50mm drivers, which offer exceptional clarity and bass, depending on your audio preference. 

A mode button allows users to cycle through four EQ settings: Signature Sound, Bass Boost, Bass Treble Boost and Vocal Boost. Additionally, a quick press of the power button will enable Superhuman Hearing mode, which amplifies subtle sounds like footsteps and reloading weapons in order to give players a tactical advantage.

You also get a flip-down mic which mutes when flicked up, separate volume rockers for chat and game, along with the much appreciated inclusion of mic monitoring, allowing you to hear your own voice while you chat.

It wasn’t always smooth sailing, though – we experienced a spotty connection on a couple of instances during online matches in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, with dotted sound resembling Morse Code coming through. That said, it didn’t occur often enough to be a real cause for concern.

It’s also worth noting that the headset a somewhat cheap plastic feel, and it sits fairly tight on the head and around the ears, leading to some discomfort during long gaming sessions. That said, Turtle Beach’s Stealth 600 Gen 2 gaming headset is a terrific all-rounder for those who want to keep a lid on their finances.

Read the full review: Turtle Beach Stealth 600P Gen 2 review

Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament

(Image credit: Turtle Beach)

Turtle Beach Elite Pro with Tactical Audio Adapter

Built like a tank with sound to match

Reasons to buy

Superb sound Exemplary comfort Incredible build quality

Reasons to avoid

Pricey packageNo surround sound in its base state

Turtle Beach is the longest established specialist gaming headset manufacturer, with a fanatical following among pro-gamers – and when you unbox its top-of-the-range Elite Pro, you can see why. It simply oozes no-expense-spared design, and sports all manner of neat touches born from decades of pro-gaming experience.

But more importantly than that, it sounds spectacular, with huge bass and crystal-clear treble adding up to a sound which will allow you to get deeply immersed into whatever game you’re playing. Comfort-wise, it’s exemplary, with big, thick earpads that eliminate all ambient noise, and can be easily adjusted to fit all head-sizes. A neat feature lets you add spacing to the earpads to accommodate a pair of glasses.

On an Xbox One, we’d recommend teaming it up with piece of kit called the Tactical Audio Adapter, which clips into the Xbox One controller and operates as an amplifier, adding some of the extra sound-control features which come in a separate graphic equaliser-style box called the Tactical Audio Controller (which is pricey but adds Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound). 

Those features include Turtle Beach’s Superhuman Hearing, which enhances the sound of incoming players’ footsteps and is great for hardcore first-person shooter fans, and Dynamic Chat Boost, which keeps chat-levels audible even when background noise rises. Plus, it lets you independently adjust game and chat volumes.

Add tank-like build-quality to the equation and you have a headset which has become something of a status symbol for those who take their gaming seriously.

Read the full review: Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament Headset.

Razer Nari Ultimate

(Image credit: Razer)

Razer Nari Ultimate

Innovation means risk taking

Reasons to buy

Solid soundstage All connectivity catered for Plug and Play Comfortable

Reasons to avoid

An expensive investment

There’s an old saying that states “a ship in a harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for”, and Razer really has pushed the boat out with its Razer Nari Ultimate headset. 

The Razer Nari Ultimate is an interesting concept, and something that needs to be tried to be believed. Razer’s designed a strong pair of headphones, with a very out-there feature, making the Nari Ultimate the best Xbox One wireless headset on the market.

Check out our Razer Nari Ultimate review.

Corsair HS50

Corsair HS50

Budget cans

Reasons to buy

Comfortable Sturdy

Reasons to avoid

Lacks surround soundMic can easily be misplaced

A high-quality, low-cost headset from Corsair, this wired option may be the best budget Xbox One gaming headset on the market. It may only feature stereo sound (instead of surround sound), but it’s hardly a noticeable deficit. It produces dynamic sound, and the actual headphones are plush and comfortable. This hardly seems like the budget headset that it is.

Check out our full Corsair HS50 Stereo Gaming Headset review.

(Image credit: Steelseries)

Steelseries Arctis 9x

Pristine Arctis audio for team green

Reasons to buy

Comfortable Durable Flat but detailed EQ response

Reasons to avoid

Limited Windows support

One of Xbox One’s ‘interesting’ little quirks is its own wireless audio system, which requires headsets to go the extra mile to interface with. That’s meant historically it was difficult to get the higher end Arctis models from Steelseries to play ball here, but with the 9x the pain all goes away. 

The first clue here is that green colorway – this is structurally very similar to the Arctis 7 and Arctis Pro models available for PC and PS4, but with the requisite hardcoded Xbox One compatibility. Being essentially the same shell, that means the ski goggle headband is just as comfortable as it is on other models, and the layout of the controls is still just about perfect. Chat mix and volume scroll wheels, mic mute, all located on the rear of the earcups. Simplicity itself. 

What you’ll always hear about Arctis cans is that they sound ‘flatter’ than others. This is a reference to its flat EQ response (imagine a straight line along an equaliser) rather than any notion the sound will leave you feeling flat. It’s lively and detailed, like affordable audiophile gear – it just doesn’t smother on the bass like many PC gaming manufacturers feel compelled to.

The only fleck of spittle in your ointment is that it’s quite tricky to get these to play nicely with Windows. You’re relying on the Bluetooth connectivity only in Mr Gates’ ecosystem, which means dropouts and connection issues are that bit more common. This is one for the Xbox One devotees, then. 

Astro A50

(Image credit: Astro)

Astro A50

The long-time king of high-end Xbox cans

Reasons to buy

It’s got the looks Slimmer stand for this gen Peerless audio and comfort

Reasons to avoid

That price, obviouslyCharging could be quickerNo-frills software

COD and Astro headsets. Since the earliest days of Xbox One, the two have gone hand-in-hand like lovelorn teenagers, skipping off together into aspiration purchase territory for those of us who don’t feel completely fine with dropping $250 on a headset.

And as the gen 4 version of the A50 turns up, well, plus ça change. It’s still incredibly comfortable, right away and for long sessions. It still sounds like sellotaping a high-end surround sound speaker system to your head (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it). And you’ll still notice the whole in your current account. But the A50 does enough to retain its crown.

The wireless base stand has been whittled down to a slimmer profile that takes up less space on your desk or TV stand, retaining the LED functionality to let you know volume and charge levels, whether surround is enabled, and when Xbox or PC mode are selected. A PS4-compatible version’s available too, if the space under your telly is platform-agnostic. 

While wireless charging seems to take a while longer than traditional USB charging, we think the sound and comfort here make that tiny grumble all but a moot point. It’s a perfectly balanced, weighted, and cushioned design that hugs your head and simply never gets heavy. 

As for the sound – clear, crisp, throaty in the low-end – heaven in games, and just as suited to music and movies. The Command Center app accompanying these cans isn’t quite as fancy as the hardware, but in truth you won’t need to fiddle with it much in the first place to enjoy the best from it. 

January 15, 2021
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