Treat your ears
With the release of Titanfall, the buzz around the Xbox One has picked up once again. To appease the competitive multiplayer crowd, the console has quite a bit of packed-in hardware, including that pricey Kinect 2 sensor package and a small headset. Unfortunately, anyone who has used the Kinect half of that knows that Microsofts claim that the sensor could more than handle in-game chat isnt totally accurate.
Microsoft also chose to change the headset jack for its new console, meaning that your Xbox 360 headsets sets arent compatible with the Xbox One. That means theres only six Xbox One headsets currently available for the system. There's no need to guess which headsets are compatible with the new hardware, weve got the rundown for each one right here.
Be sure to check back as we add even more Xbox One headsets as they become available
Xbox One Chat Headset ($24.99/free)
-Compatible with: Xbox One -Wired
The Xbox One Chat Headset is the most basic headset youll find here, and its also the one that comes packed-in with every Xbox One. Its cheap and barebones. Youll only have one speaker and its limited to voice chat output. If you need something a bit more robust that can handle game audio as well, then you might want to consider the next set on our list...
Xbox One Stereo Headset ($79.99)
-Compatible with: Xbox One -Wired
The Xbox One Stereo Headset is a step up from the bundled hardware. Gaming is often about losing yourself in a new world. While the starter headset is certainly functional, it also only covers one of your ears and the immersion can be lost. In some cases, thats not necessarily a bad thing--especially if youre playing with some friends on the couch--but for most people playing at home, total coverage is preferred.
These cans are also sturdier than the standard chat headset and show off the same sleek, minimal aesthetic as the Xbox One console itself. Also included is a detachable piece that puts basic headset controls volume and mute just under the Xbox One controller.
Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Four ($99.95)
-Compatible with: Xbox One -Pseudo-Wireless -Detachable Mic
For about $20 more than the Microsoft-built Xbox One headset, you can pick up the Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Four. A bit of a mouthful, but that bump in price brings a few extra features. First of which is a detachable mic. If youre not actively using chat features, you can just set the piece aside. The other bang for the extra buck is the bump in quality.
The XO Four and indeed the rest of the Turtle Beach sets mentioned in this article all use 50mm drivers to produce their sound. The size of the driver loosely correlates with volume and the strength of lower notes (bass). Its far from a perfect correlation, but it typically holds. Whether or not youll want a bass-heavy set or one thats well-rounded will largely depend on personal preference.
Turtle Beach Ear Force Atlas ($149.95)
-Compatible with: Xbox One, PC, Xbox 360 -Pseudo-Wireless-Detachable Mic-In-line amplifier
Turtle Beach has doubled down on the expectation that Titanfall players will be the main customers for an Xbox One headset, with the Titanfall branded Turtle Beach Ear Force Atlas. The speakers are the same as the Earforce Four, except this set brings some comfort upgrades--like ear cups--plus an in-line amplifier for a bit more power. Its also compatible with both the Xbox One and PC, and uses an adapter for the Xbox One--making the Ear Force Atlas a more practical choice than the other Xbox one exclusive sets on this list.
Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven ($159.95)
-Compatible with: Xbox One-Pseudo-Wireless-Detachable Mic
The last in our Turtle Beach line is the Earforce XO Seven. Once again, they use the same tech as the Atlas and the XO Four. This time, in lieu of cross-platform compatibility, Turtle Beach has opted for cosmetic and comfort upgrades. The pads of the XO Four have been upgraded to memory foam and the back plates on each ear-cup are swappable so you can customize the look of your set. Besides that, there arent too many differences between this headset and the XO Four.
Polk Audio 4Shot ($159.95)
-Compatible with: Xbox One, Smartphone/tablet-Wired-Retractable Mic
Last in our line-up is the Polk Audio 4Shot. Its the most expensive of the bunch, and also has a fair set of high-end features. First, the headphones allow you to take calls while gaming. This will obviously mean a lot more to some than others (I know I dont answer my phone while gaming), but more features is rarely a bad thing. The 4Shot also brings a retractable mic, and a steel headband. Construction is sturdy and functional, though there is, one key problem.
The 4Shot set initially had some issues with the Xbox One controller firmware. Thats in the process of being fixed now, but it was a big enough problem that the company released an official statement here. In the interim, Polk Audio has been sending customers new attachable microphones, so at least you know theyre dedicated to fixing the problem.
Microsoft Headset Adapter ($35.99)
-Compatible with: Xbox One
As we mentioned earlier, the Xbox One just doesnt have a lot of dedicated options for headsets. But now, Microsoft has released its Xbox One Chat adapter, allowing you to use most 360 headsets on the new console. Not every headset works, however. Some older headsets like the Skullcandy Slyr used component cables to connect to the console, and since the Xbox One doesnt have that connection anymore you wont be able to use that set even with the adapter.
What will you get?
Have you used any of these sets before? Which did you prefer? What about for the 360? Let us know in the comments. Also, be sure to check back. As we get our hands on more Xbox One compatible headsets, we will be updating this article. If you're looking for more information on headphones, be sure to check out our Best gaming headsets and Best PS4 headsets.