The best Xbox One headsets have come a long way in the past year, making enormous jumps in sound quality and wireless functionality. This is one of the best crops of Xbox headsets that we’ve seen, and that’s good news for console gamers!
After testing comfort, sound, audio optimization, mic quality, and many other factors, we ultimately picked the updated Astro A50 for Xbox One as our top choice.
v The Astro A50 offers incredible surround sound
v It’s one of the most comfortable headsets we’ve ever tried on
v It also has a very reliable wireless connection quality
v Plenty of audio (and material) optimization options.
TLDR: Top Xbox One Headsets
- Astro A50 with Xbox Adapter
- LucidSound LS40
- Turtle Beach Elite Pro
- Turtle Beach Stealth 420X+
- Microsoft Xbox Stereo Headset
- Mad Catz Tritton Ark 100
#1 Astro A50 with Xbox Adapter (2017) – Editor’s Choice/Best Wireless Headset
|v Wireless surround sound||? On the pricey side|
|v High quality sound transfer||? The charging dock is cool, but hard to use|
|v Lightweight and very comfortable||? Solid but not exactly durable|
|v Comes with alternate earcup material||? Wireless connection occasionally spotty|
|v Reliable battery life||? Mic performance is good but not great|
#2 LucidSound LS40 – Best Surround Sound
|v Excellent wireless surround sound + bass||? External noise is too noticeable|
|v Comfortable headband and pleather pads||? Headphone adjustment is a little annoying|
|v Flexible plugin mic||? Somewhat heavy|
|v Very simple wireless setup|
|v Mic monitoring for clarity|
#3 Turtle Beach Elite Pro – Best Headset for Competitive Gaming
|v Durable and high-quality, extra-large ear cups||? Surround sound only with audio controller|
|v Extensive audio controller for quick adjustments||? Particularly heavy earcups|
|v Great flexible mic setup||? Audio controller may take time to master|
|v Good passive noise cancellation||? Mic can sometimes get tugged out of socket|
|v Great for more professional playing|
#4 Turtle Beach Stealth 420X+ – Most Durable Xbox Headset
|v Extra-durable design for rough conditions||? No surround sound|
|v Lightweight earcups||? Takes up two USB ports on consoles|
|v Flexible boom mic||? Small buttons may take time to learn|
|v Wireless sound|
|v Sireless sound|
Bottom Line: Turtle Beach is excellent at making durable console-focused headsets, and this is a prime example. This headset will not break easily, if things get a little wild. It also offers pretty good wireless sound for a better gaming experience, and the Superhuman sound mode is a fair compensation prize for not getting any surround sound features on this headset.[/ft_alert]
#5 Microsoft Xbox Stereo Headset – Most Affordable Headset Upgrade
|v Surprisingly large 40mm drivers||? Flip-up mix is a little awkward|
|v Good starter headset with very affordable price||? Can’t compare to third party headset sound|
|v Extra light-weight|
|v Good space-saver|
#6 Mad Catz Tritton Ark 100 – Best Sound for the Money
|v Good sound for the price||? Design is a pretty flimsy|
|v Great battery life||? Poor control choices|
|v Nice flip-up mic||? Some wireless connection issues|
|v Lightweight headset|
|v Interesting earcup adjustment options|
Bottom Line: This headset is just a little too flimsy and poorly designed for an easy recommendation. However, if possible we suggest that you try it on in stores. If the unique separate earcup adjustment and mic really call to you, this could be an acceptable choice. Plus, it’s pretty easy to find them for cheap now, and there’s a good chance the recently reborn Mad Catz will continue to (hopefully) offer support for these headphones.[/ft_alert]
Top Xbox One Headsets Compared
|Why Buy It||Wireless||7.1 Surround Sound|
|Amazing surround sound.||Check Price|
|Amazing sound at a lower price.||Check Price|
Turtle Beach Elite Pro
|Great for the pro gamer.||Check Price|
Turtle Beach Stealth 420X+
|This headset will stand up to abuse.||Check Price|
Microsoft Xbox Stereo Headset
|Cheap and works well.||Check Price|
Mad Catz Tritton Ark 100
|Good sound and battery life.||Check Price|
Why You Should Buy a New Xbox One Headset
If you are serious about gaming, especially online or competitive gaming, then you deserve a headset that can keep up. It’s really that simple. The surround sound offered by the best headsets around (and even the amplified EQ settings that the others offer) can help improve your game by allowing you to pinpoint where footsteps, gunfire, environmental noises and entrance animations are coming from, giving you a new advantage when playing. The advanced mic settings will clear up any distortion while allowing you to communicate with your teammates more easily than ever. Even the earcups often help block outside noise and allow you to focus more closely on the game.
If you aren’t interested in online gaming, you may want to consider investing in one of these headsets for RPGs or other in-depth games with lots of environmental sound effects that can be vastly improved by one of these headphone models.
Finally, let’s not forget about wireless capabilities, which many of our top picks include. If you hate having wires tethered to your controller or, even worse, to the Xbox One itself, then you’ll love the latest wireless Xbox-compatible headsets, which route sound through base stations the entirely remove the need for wires.
Note on adjustments: Many Xbox One headsets are designed to work on multiple platforms at the same time: compatibility is an important issue! However, this also has its downside – a number of headsets aren’t specifically designed to work with the Xbox One.
We know that it’s very tempting to pull a new headset out of the box, plug it in, and plop down expecting it to work. However, we encourage you to think of this as only the first part of the job. You should also take time to look at your mic, volume and audio source settings and make sure they are aligned with the headset you are currently using. Otherwise, some audio or features may not work. We have a guide that can help you set up on Xbox One and explore how these settings work. Bottom line: If the headset doesn’t function properly the first time you try it, don’t panic! This is normal, and you probably just need to adjust a few settings and check all your connections. When in doubt, always try the full reboot.
How We Choose the Best Xbox One Headsets
First, we take a look at the general design of the headset. This includes weight, how it sits on the head, how the headband works, and what notable features it has, such as swiveling earcups or the increasingly popular dualband design for more comfortable head-rest.
We also look at the materials involved in creation (more on this in Features to Look For), what type of materials the earcups are made of, and how durable the construction is. More specifically, we look at how well the mic is designed and functions: flip-up vs. flexible is a common debate, but we generally like mics that have a little of both.
We also test out the buttons located on the headset, and how easy they are to learn and use.
The second big factor we pay close attention to is the sound itself. Surround sound is obviously an important feature for the best headsets, but we also like to see a few different modes or EQ settings.
We judge sound itself based on how easy it is to locate audio cues in the environment, how rich/lifelike the sound it, how the audio deals with treble and bass, the clarity of specific sounds, and related concerns.
Part of this also involves mic sound. Many mics on top-line headsets have dual-mic and mic noise-reduction hardware at work, so we look at how well that works, how easily the mic picks up sound, and how reliable it is during a live chat on a competitive game.
Finally, there are the extraneous issues – how easy the headset is to find, how much it costs, what accessories are available, and other things that may not directly impact quality but certainly matter when it comes to your direct experience.
Features to Look For
A Headset For Your Head
- Swiveling earcups, adjustable headbands, height adjustments…it all comes back to what works for you. How do you wear your hair? Do you game with a cap on? Do you wear glasses? All that matters when it comes to comfort.
- Look for a headset that has comfortable earcups if you have glasses or a hat.
- Look for adjustment options that won’t pull at your hair if necessary. If you have a big head or big ears, then it’s just common sense to find large earcups and a headset that doesn’t squeeze.
Detachable Mics and Cables
- Do you have younger brothers or sisters that also like to play? Do you game in the same room as friends and sometimes get rowdy? Do you have a habit of leaving your headset around where your SO can accidentally sit on it? Then think about detachable mics and cables.
- When mics and cables can be plucked out of the headset, that prevents any permanent damage that may be caused by yanking, sitting, aggressive pulling, or any other “accidents” that can happen around other people. Think if it as useful insurance.
Compatible Surround Sound
- We didn’t talk much about surround sound modes, because the Xbox One allows you to easily switch between DTS and Dolby modes. However, it may be worthwhile to check on your favorite games and forums to see if any games seem to respond better (or exclusively) to one particular sound mode. Then get a headset that supports that mode, too!
- If you’re having trouble deciding on surround sound, then you may appreciate some guides explaining how virtual surround sound works and what you’re really getting. A little research is always a good idea before buying!
Cushioning Based on Gaming Habits
- As we mentioned, both weave and pleather are common earcup cushioning materials (along with variations like rougher weaves, real leather, and so on). Unless you have something like the A50 mod kit where you can choose which material you prefer, it’s best to buy based on your gaming habits.
- Weave works best if your room gets hot and your head gets sweaty – it allows a lot more air to pass through and will keep the headset cooler. However, there’s a cost: weave may not be as comfortable as other options, and you’ll need to wash it regularly, so look for detachable earcup materials.
- Pleathers and leathers work best if you are primarily concerned with comfort, or if you really don’t like shedding hair and getting it stuck in your earcups later (nearby pet or S.O. hair will do this as well). However pleather may be easier to scratch, crack or damage, so you’ll need to be careful with it.
Mistakes to Avoid
? Buying a headset that’s not meant for Xbox One:
With the Xbox 360, a couple versions of the Xbox One, the upcoming Scorpio, and a plethora of PC/PS headsets, you will want to make very sure that your headset is particularly compatible with your Xbox One. Many brands have started coming out with Xbox specific versions of their models just to make this a little easier.
? Buying a headset just because it’s wireless
Wireless features are very cool! It’s especially cool that Xbox is finally seeing truly wireless headsets. But they aren’t necessary. Wireless sound can create new difficulties with interference, lagging sound, and battery charging issues – not to mention, then cost more.
By all means, go with a wireless headset, but don’t buy wireless just for that feature. A wired headset can have all the same capabilities, plus more reliability, so you aren’t always giving something up.
Additionally, we don’t really have space to dig into all the differences in wireless standards and how this is affecting wireless headsets, but if you’d like to read up on it, there are resources online explaining how it works. The bottom line is that it rarely matters with today’s compatibility efforts, but if you have trouble with interference it’s nice to know some details.
? Forgetting what happens to the headset when you aren’t using it
Where do you put it? Who uses it next? Does it need to charge? Think about these questions: they will help you decide what sort of headset to get, if you need a charging dock, how many USB ports you will have free, and other important considerations.
Which Xbox One Headset is Right for You?
It’s easy to recommend both the Astro A50 (for those willing to pay a bit more) or the LucidSound LS40 (for those who want to save money) for top-notch surround sound. If durability is high on your list of concerns or you want extra audio customization, both the A50 and the Turtle Beach Elite Pro are very solid choices.