Getting one of the best Xbox One headsets is by far one of the easiest ways to enhance your setup and gaming experience. With sound being so key to our experiences in games now, upgrading to one of the best Xbox One headsets is an ironclad way to heighten your immersion and enjoyment. It's also one of the easiest as usually it's just a simple plug-and-go scenario. TV speakers, as good as they are now, just can't provide the booming depths and sweeping ranges of game audio, just because of their slimline nature. Plus the best-sounding TVs might almost be exclusive to those that are the very best gaming TVs, so you'll probably need to save very aggressively.
However, there's no need for such extreme budgeting with one of the best Xbox One headsets: you can pick up one of the best sets for around, or under, $100. Go north of that mark, however, and you will find some incredibly good ones if you can stretch the budget.
Examining the balance more carefully, your first impressions of your TV's audio might be that its sound is pretty good. And, don't get us wrong, some of the audio coming out of modern 4K TVs is good. But the reality is that they just can not compete with a headset specifically designed for gaming, and particularly those headsets optimized 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 a very good 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. That's also why we check all the major retailers to make sure you're getting the lowest price, every day.
The best Xbox One headset at a glance:
- Steelseries Arctis 9X
- Razer Kraken Tournament Edition
- Razer Nari Ultimate
- Microsoft Xbox One Official Stereo Headset
- Creative SoundBlaster H6
- Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2
- Turtle Beach Stealth 700
- Corsair HS35
The best Xbox One headset in 2020
Acoustic design: Closed Back | Cable length: 4.3ft / 1.3m | Drivers: 40mm | Weight: 13 oz | Compatibility: Xbox One, PS4, PC, Switch, Mac, Mobile
The Steelseries Arctis 9X is very much the Xbox One headset of the moment. Specially engineered to work wirelessly with the console, it provides a near-perfect connection, combined with a rich audio experience, and impressive battery life. It's a great package for anyone serious about sound and getting the most out of their Xbox games. While the headset comes with 40mm drivers, which are smaller than many similarly priced competitors, they're well-tuned and deliver audio that punches well above its weight while retaining a nice clarity and richness.
The trademark SteelSeries 'headband' design offers good comfort levels too, meaning you can play for hours without really noticing that you're wearing the headset, which clocks in at a respectable 1.2 lbs / 372g. The mic is clear, comes with decent noise-canceling, and is retractable for when you're not using it. While you never completely remove the mic, it's hidden enough for you to use this headset as an everyday pair of cans, connecting to phones and tablets via a Bluetooth connection. That's a real bonus. You can even plug in via the 3.5mm connection if you want to connect to other consoles or devices, although you lose a number of features like 3D Spatial Sound here.
It's a superb all-rounder, but one that plays so very nicely with the Xbox One. If you want to seriously invest in a headset that does everything you need it for gaming and beyond, the Steelseries Arctis 9X is well worth a look.
The best value Xbox One headset
Acoustic design: Semi-open Back | Cable length: 4.3ft / 1.3m | Drivers: 50mm | Weight: 12.6oz | Compatibility: Xbox One, PS4, PC, Switch, Mac, Mobile
We love the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition. For the $80 / £75 price, you get a lot of headset for your money here. 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 an in-line control 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, but 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 represents great value for money. That bold Xbox green coloring is the icing on the cake.
Feature packed and with excellent wireless audio
Acoustic design: Open Back | Cable length: Wireless | Drivers: 50mm | Weight: 15 oz | Compatibility: Xbox One, PC
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.
Note that you can buy the Xbox One specific Nari Ultimate headset which is very focussed for the console and gaming, but will then require the Microsoft Wireless Adapter to use it with your PC.
4. Microsoft Xbox One Official Stereo Headset
The official headset
Acoustic design: Closed Back | Cable length: 3.3ft / 1m | Drivers: 40mm | Weight: 7.9 oz | Compatibility: Xbox One, PC, PS4, Switch, Mac, Mobile
This is the official Xbox One headset produced by Microsoft, and despite it's modest price it still delivers a full range of rich stereo audio. It also features a unidirectional microphone for clear communication, which can be flipped up out of the way when not in use. The headset also comes bundled with the Xbox One stereo headset adaptor, ensuring compatibility and providing handy controls over both game and chat audio volumes.
Clocking in at just 7.9 ounces (255g), this is the lightest headset to feature on our list. Its low weight, combined with the breathable fabric ear cups, mean you can happily wear it for long gaming sessions without getting too fatigued. One downside as a result of this lightness is that the headset cable is particularly thin and therefore may not stand up to rough use, so take that into consideration if it could be an issue. It's a no frills option, but does the job.
An excellent mid-range gaming headset that handles all media
Acoustic design: Closed Back | Cable length: 5ft / 1.5m | Drivers: 50mm | Weight: 11 oz | Compatibility: Xbox One, PC, PS4, Switch, mobile
A new entry to our list, the Creative Soundblaster H6 packs in a lot of quality audio for the price. What impresses most about the headset, however, 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, but 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, while they will work with PC. Shame, but this is still great value for money.
The best Xbox One headset for competitive gaming
Acoustic design: Closed Back | Cable length: 5ft / 1.5m | Drivers: 50mm | Weight: 14.2 oz | Compatibility: PC, Xbox One
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.
7. Turtle Beach Stealth 700
A superb value wireless headset for Xbox One
Acoustic design: Closed Back | Cable length: Wireless | Drivers: 50mm | Weight: 9.6 oz | Compatibility: Xbox One, PC
If you're looking for a great wireless option, but can't afford the Razer Nari or Steelseries Arctis 9X, the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 is a great alternative. It uses Bluetooth to connect directly to the Xbox One, and as such it is the officially licensed wireless option for the console. Many other wireless cans need an adaptor, or simply can't handle wireless with XO, but the Stealth is free from all those worries. What's more, the sound quality here is very good - our tests revealed a strong, clear wireless audio with very minor artefacting. Turtle Beach headsets are all specifically tuned for gaming too, so you're getting the stuff that makes a difference - decent surround and superior bass.
Elsewhere, the Stealth 700 is nice and comfortable, although we're not huge fans of the chunky design it brings. Sure, it has green Xbox styling on there, but the shape isn't as elegant as other headsets on this list. When you're wearing it at home, in the middle of a Red Dead 2 binge, though, that really doesn't matter. Turtle Beach's decent mic rounds out the package. At a retail price of around $110 / £105, it's quite pricey, but you can usually find it on offer somewhere.
Note that this will require the Microsoft Wireless Adapter or a regular audio jack to use it with your PC.
A no-frills budget pick
Acoustic design: Closed Back | Cable length: 6ft / 1.8m | Drivers: 40mm | Weight: 8.8 oz | Compatibility: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, Mac, Mobile
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 color-coded cable that plugs into any 3.5mm connection. Simple, easy, and very affordable.