Xbox Wireless Headset review: a great deal — when it works

The Xbox Wireless Headset has the crucial functions I desire from video gaming earphones: I can combine it with my Xbox Series X and my laptop computer (through Bluetooth) at the very same time. I can quickly change the mix of voice chat and video game audio with a twist of an ear cup. It looks good, and at $99.99, it’s more affordable than the majority of the competitors. If just its quality matched its pledge.

When the Xbox Wireless Headset works, it offers a comfy experience with functional noise. In video games, the headset develops a 360-degree soundscape that prefers discussion. The seal of the earphones did an OKAY job obstructing outdoors sound, however it can’t compare to the active noise-canceling innovation of its more costly equivalents from business like Sony and Bose — not surprisingly so!

No, it can’t contend with high-end earphones, however compared to a lot of midrange computer game headsets, the Xbox Wireless Headset is a strong alternative — when it works. For lots of customers, it appears to work well the majority of the time. For me, not a lot.

Throughout 2 weeks of screening, I experienced lots of concerns. Both gameplay and chat audio routinely cut in and out. In some cases I might hear myself talking on a one-second hold-up. Other times, the video game audio would originate from the TELEVISION, regardless of my Xbox settings directing the noise to the headset.

The side-view of the Xbox Wireless Headset against a black background.

Image: Microsoft

I utilized the earphones for a complete playthrough of It Takes 2 with my associate Russ Frushtick. He joked that we required to bake time into the start of each play session for me to hassle with the headset so that it would dependably work. If you’re an adult with restricted video game time, it’s maddening to lose even 5 minutes to IT support on earphones when you can simply plug in earbuds and switch on Discord.

The headset fared much better in other usage cases. It was perfect for bingeing chatty tv like reruns of The Simpsons, however sounded off when it concerned more cinematic material. While enjoying both Malcolm X and The Falcon and the Winter Season Soldier, I observed that background crowd lines were almost as loud and clear as the primary character’s discussion. It was confusing.

Maybe there’s something uncommon about my workplace setup, that something continues to interfere with the headset. Or maybe the headset requires a couple of software application updates prior to it’s prepared for prime-time television — like the majority of video games do nowadays. Whatever the case, I hope it works much better ultimately.

The style is without a doubt the very best in the area: an easy, smooth, and comfy over-ear alternative. The mic is versatile and inconspicuous, its LED idea illuminating to reveal whether it’s been silenced. However for now, the appearance isn’t sufficient to keep the Xbox Wireless Headset in my rotation. I’ll offer it another shot when Halo Infinite appears — ideally then I can end up the battle with its picky connection and other erratic disappointments.

The Xbox Wireless Headset is readily available now and suitable with Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Windows 10 gadgets, and Bluetooth gadgets. This evaluation was carried out utilizing a unit supplied by Microsoft, and is based upon screening with an Xbox Series X, a Windows 10 PC, and an iPad Pro. Vox Media has affiliate collaborations. These do not affect editorial material, though Vox Media might make commissions for items bought through affiliate links. You can discover extra details about Polygon’s principles policy here.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.