The Best Xbox One Gaming HeadphonesBy Nick Schmiedicker
Whether you're looking to play "Battlefield 1" with your friends or just prefer a controller over a mouse and keyboard, you'll still need a proper headset to go with your Xbox. There's lots of headsets to choose from, but for the best results I recommend the Razer Kraken Pro V2. Billed as the "headset for eSports pros," you're more likely to see the Kraken Pro V2 next to a computer than a console. But, pound for pound, they have the best performance and comfort compared to the competition.
If you're in the market for a new Xbox headset, let me give you a bit of advice: do your research. There are a lot of headsets out there that are marketed as being compatible with the Xbox One—and while technically any pair of headphones with a 3.5mm jack will work—some of the additional features you're shelling money out for actually won't work at all.
That doesn't mean there aren't plenty of fantastic headsets for the Xbox out there, though. Many manufacturers have taken the extra steps needed to try and deliver a fully-featured, first-class headset—one that won't cost as much as the console itself. While my top pick is the Razer Kraken Pro V2, there are plenty of other options below to help you find the best headset for you.
Updated March 17, 2017
Razer Kraken Pro V2Best Overall
My top pick for anyone that's looking for an Xbox headset. Now, let me preface this entire thing by saying that there are better headsets out there. BUT, they're going to cost you upwards of $300-$500. I don't know about you, but I'm not willing to spend more than I paid for my console on a headset. Instead, the Kraken Pro V2, a headset primarily targeted at PC gamers, does everything I could want without getting bogged down in extraneous features or emptying my bank account.
The audio is exactly what you'd expect from a headset targeted at pros. It's impressively loud and detailed without overwhelming the callouts from your team. And on your end, the fully retractable unidirectional mic delivers your chat without the electric buzz of cheaper headsets. The soft, thick padding of the earcups is heaven to my ears. I gamed for hours without them pressing too tightly or retaining heat.
As far as looks go, I really enjoy the relative simplicity of the Kraken Pro V2's design. Sure, the neon green variant is a bit aggressive, but the white and black options are sleek and don't necessarily scream "gamer" the way some jagged red and black headsets do. And that's a good thing! At least in my book. Of course, I've always been more into performance than looks anyway.
HyperX Cloud Stingerbest value
At $50, it's hard to argue the sheer amount of value you're getting with the HyperX Cloud Stinger. This is a headset that's aimed at anyone who just wants good audio and doesn't really care about frills or unnecessary bits and bobs. Don’t get me wrong: There’s enough here to satisfy most gamers, but the Cloud Stinger excels at being a straightforward experience. It’s the perfect headset for beginners.
The Cloud Stinger supports multiple platforms—meaning you can play on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 without hassle. The mic isn’t detachable, but it can be swiveled upward to be tucked out of the way—which also conveniently mutes it. Plus it’s lightweight and comfortable to boot. The only downside is that it doesn’t feel particularly sturdy or substantial. I’d be careful when packing up your console to game at your friends place, as it could get damaged along the way. But, even then, you’d only be out $50 compared to some of the top-tier headsets which easily cost three to four times as much.
HyperX Cloud Revolver
I'm pretty fond of the Cloud Revolvers myself. There's a clear soundscape that doesn't overwhelm with booming bass or diminish the subtle notes that could mean the difference between a win and a loss. In fact, they're on par with our winner, the Razer Kraken Pro V2, in almost every category. The biggest difference lies in price and aesthetic.
Set those things aside, though, and you still have an extremely comfortable headset. This comes down to an automatically adjusting headband and wide earcups that completely encompass any ear size. The removable mic is fairly generic but provides clear comms that guarantee your team can hear and understand every word. If you don't mind paying a little extra for design and a potentially more comfortable fit, the Cloud Revolvers are an impeccable election.
Turtle Beach Stealth 420X+
Most "wireless" headsets you'll see marketed for the Xbox aren't really wireless. While you'll be free from a tether to your console, you'll still have a cable connecting yourself to your wireless controller. Is it really wireless if you're tethered to a half-pound brick?
The Turtle Beach Stealth 420X+ headset (yes, it's a ridiculous name) takes care of that by providing a USB wireless transmitter you plug into your Xbox. Sync it once and you'll be set from then on to enjoy true wireless freedom. That alone would make the Stealth 420X+ a great headset, but it also has a laundry list of some of my favorite features: multiple presets to boost voice/chat, bass, high notes, and more, mic monitoring, a dedicated mute button for your mic, and a removable mic.
So why didn't it win when it had all of these amazing features at a relatively affordable price? Comfort. You could have the best sounding headset in the world, but if it's not comfortable for longer than 20 minutes, I can't recommend it in good faith. But because comfort is such a subjective analysis, I also can't wholly tell you to avoid it. If you have a smaller head or just think you won't mind as much, the Stealth 420X+ is a fantastic headset. Just do yourself a favor and try before you buy it.
SteelSeries Arctis 3
The entry model in SteelSeries' new Arctis lineup, the Arctis 3, is a comfortable, great-sounding headset that has the look and style of snowboarding gear. I went with the Arctis 3 over the Arctis 5 and 7 because each of the higher-end models has features (that you'll pay a premium for) that don't work with the Xbox. But what you lose in features you more than make up for in design and performance.
They entire headset is soft and comfortable and fits snuggly without being overbearing. The audio on the Arctis 3's isn't anything revolutionary, but if you're a casual gamer who just wants a bit more of an intimate experience, these get the job done and then some. I was also a big fan of the easy-to-use earcup controls and retractable mic that allowed me to chat and goof off with my friends online and then easily mute myself while my roommates asked me a question. Overall, they're a great headset that you won't be embarrassed to use away from your gaming couch, and for some, that's all you need.
Microsoft XBox One Stereo Headset
A step up from the generic Xbox One Chat Headset that ships with most Xbox consoles, the Xbox One Stereo Headset is an okay budget pick for anyone that doesn't want to deal with frills and fancy features.
It's comfortable, to a point. While the ear cups are soft, the headset pinches a little tightly meaning you won't be able to marathon your games for an entire evening. It also comes with a stereo headset adapter for the controller, which would usually set you back $25. When it comes down to it, though, for $50 I'd recommend sticking with my value pick, the HyperX Cloud Stinger.
Other Products We Tested
As I mentioned above, technically every single one of the headsets I list below will work with the Xbox One. You'll get good, if not great, sound and for the most part great mic quality. However, the headsets listed below are down here for a reason, all of them have some kind of feature that won't actually work with the Xbox. But, for every headset I listed below I have the cheaper version above that lacks those unusable features.
HyperX Cloud Revolver S
Very similar to the HyperX Cloud Revolver listed in the roundup above, the Revolver S headset features an awesome USB sound card audio control box. With the press of a button, you can enhance the output levels and provide extra clarity and depth to your audio—if you're on PC that is. As far as Xbox gaming goes, the Revolver S doesn't offer that much more in terms of performance than the original Revolvers.
Steelseries Arctis 5
The Arctis 5 look and sound great, but the key difference that sets them apart from the Arctis 3—the USB chat mix dial—doesn't work with the Xbox One. They're a solid pair of headphones, but without that chat dial, I can't recommend spending the extra $20.
Steelseries Arctis 7
Following the trend, the Arctis 7's biggest features, namely wireless functionality, doesn't work with the Xbox. Instead, you'll need to plug your audio cable straight into your controller. Now, this wouldn't be so bad if you weren't paying a premium for the wireless you can't even use.
Logitech G633 Artemis Spectrum
A great headset for PC gaming doesn't quite make the cut on the Xbox One. While it'll still work perfectly fine, you lose one of the best features of the G633 Artemis Spectrum, the programmable "G Keys" and custom sound profiles. It just goes to show, if you're looking for a new gaming headset, make sure it's expensive features actually work with the Xbox first.
Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum
Not only can you not use the Logitech function keys, but the G933 Artemis Spectrum also has wireless support that won't work with your Xbox. Instead, you'll have to wire directly into your controller like every other basic headset here. At the end of the day, you're paying for a wireless headset that doesn't work wirelessly (at least with the Xbox).
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