Snapping up one of the best Xbox One headsets is one of the safest and easiest ways to enhance your Xbox gaming experience. While some TV speakers will sound acceptable, the speakers are likely mediocre - they aren't designed to be audio powerhouses. And while you would probably need to save very aggressively to get one of the best gaming TVs to capitalise on and enjoy the Xbox One's visual offerings, there is no need to be so drastic with a headset: whatever your budget, you're in the right place.
After unveiling and using your TV for gaming for a short while, you may think that the sound is pretty decent - don't get us wrong, some of the audio coming out of modern 4K TVs is good - but the reality is that they can't compete with a headset specifically designed for gaming, and particularly those headsets optimised for Xbox One. Trust us; you won't have heard and enjoyed audio as rich as the stuff pumped directly into your ear-holes with one of the best Xbox One headsets. Though it's not just about hearing enemy footsteps and gunfire in games like Apex Legends; it's about the soaring scores in single-player games like Assassin's Creed Odyssey, the subtle menu pings in Destiny 2, and the terrifying incidental noises in Resi 2.
Be assured though, that this isn't just a list of the most expensive cans out there: we test a range of headsets and our picks of the best Xbox One headsets always have to conform to a few criteria: the audio quality has to be, at least, of an excellent standard, even if the connection is just an ordinary 3.5mm audio jack; then they have to be comfortable enough to leave you ache-free after those longer gaming sessions; and, lastly, the headset's microphone needs to be clear and user-friendly. Beyond those functional categories, of course, the price has to be right. While some headsets may provide excellent sound, the price tags on these can spiral, so value for money is as critical as anything else.
The best Xbox One headsets
The best value Xbox One headset
We love the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition. The 50mm drivers deliver a clear, loud 5.1 sound that easily matches the quality found in headsets that cost way more than the Tournament Edition. It's one of the best headsets for online play, helping you pick out enemy movements and distant gunfire at a decent range and with great accuracy.
Elsewhere, the Kraken TE is light, comfortable (thanks to cooling tech in the ear-cushions), and sturdy - three things you really need in a mid-priced Xbox One headset. The wired connection comes with in-line controls for volume and mic muting (although this only currently works on PC), and the retractable mic itself is clear without being exceptional. Our previous champion was the Razer Kraken Pro V2; however, the TE now offers superior value and audio for roughly the same price (in some cases, you can even find it cheaper), so it replaces the older model. It's one of the most well-rounded and versatile headsets we've tested and represented great value for money. That bold Xbox green colouring is the icing on the cake.
Feature packed and with excellent wireless audio
The Razer Nari Ultimate is an incredible gaming headset, but one that comes at a premium price. In addition to bringing excellent surround sound, the headset also offers haptic feedback, which means this vibrates in time with the audio so you can literally feel the big noises (usually explosions). While this may seem like a gimmick, it actually makes a noticeable difference to how you experience a game, so if you're big on action titles, this headset is definitely for you.
Elsewhere it's worth noting that the Nari Ultimate is wireless, and that the battery life is surprisingly good considering this has haptic feedback as well as the usual audio features. It's comfy, subtly designed, feels good if you're wearing glasses, and has a retractable mic. In fact, the only real issue is the mic, which doesn't offer the same premium sound quality as the rest of the features of the headset. Not really poor, but not market-leading either. So, if you're a big talker, that could be an issue. If not... there's nothing quite like the Nari Ultimate and if you have the cash we'd recommend this for the feel of using it alone, as it's easily one of the best Xbox One headsets we've tested.
An excellent mid-range gaming headset that handles all media
A new entry to our list, the Creative Soundblaster H6 packs in a lot of quality audio for the price. However, what impresses most about the headset is the way it adapts to other forms of media (not just games). While the 7.1 surround sound doesn't function via a 3.5mm connection on Xbox One, it is perfect for the likes of Apex Legends and Fortnite on PC. Most gaming headsets sound a little hollow when handling dialogue in TV shows and movies. Still, even with a normal connection, the H6 manages to deliver rich audio regardless of how you're using them.
The mic is good too, and it's a comfy pair of cans (although not the softest or lightest headset on this list). Creative itself is an old name in computer audio, having made soundcards for older PCs for years, and that sound pedigree is being put to good use in this particular headset. The only downsides are that some voice comms features are unavailable on Xbox, along with the 7.1 surround sound, while they will work with PC. Shame, but this is still great value for money.
The best Xbox One headset for competitive gaming
Turtle Beach make some superb gaming headsets, and this is one of the best. It's specifically designed to enhance your play in competitive games, like Fortnite, thanks to its ability to enhance nearby noises and give you a chance to not only hear enemies that are sneaking up on you but also to tell you exactly where they're coming from. It's almost spooky when you first start using it.
Elsewhere the sound quality is great for gaming, as the Elite Pro 2 definitely puts you right in the heart of whatever you play, as you can hear everything around you. Sure, the bass levels aren't quite a good as other top-end headsets, but that makes the biggest difference when you try to use it for other media like movies and music. It's super comfortable too, with soft ear cushions and a padded headband. But that doesn't compromise build quality - the Elite Pro 2 mixes metal and sturdy, white plastic to great effect, offering an Xbox One headset that's both stylish and durable. It's expensive, but worth the money, especially if you're looking for a competitive advantage.
Excellent value for money
Sometimes you want a cheaper headset. But just because you're saving money, you shouldn't have to put up with poor audio, terrible design, and lousy build quality. The Corsair HS35 is the headset for anyone looking to save money and still get a decent pair of cans for their Xbox One. This is a thoughtfully designed piece of kit, available in Xbox green obviously, with a sturdy yet comfortable build and some impressive audio qualities
Thanks to memory foam ear-cups and a comfy headband, the Corsair HS35 is still snug without being uncomfortable after several hours of play, and it's tough enough to withstand being pulled on and off your head without too much care. The audio won't win awards, but it's on a par with most mid-range headsets and manages some snappy treble (even if the bass can't match the likes of the Razer Kraken TE). The mic is clear and detachable, and there's a colour-coded cable that plugs into any 3.5mm connection. Simple, easy, and very affordable.