by Michael Crider on
Trying to find a way to introduce someone to the internet and the digital world when it’s foreign to them (and they don’t like computers) is tough. But you can make that task easier by picking the right hardware.
In many games the ability to hear in-game cues clearly is the difference between victory and respawn. A good pair of headphones makes it easy to hear (and play without bugging your housemates). We’ve tracked down the best Xbox One wireless headsets .
Now, like with any set of earphones or headphones, there’s quite a lot to consider first of all. You want your headset to offer fairly powerful and accurate sound, so that you can hear exactly what’s going on and where. However, you also want them to be comfortable. Who games for only a few minutes after all. You want these cans to be comfortable for hours of play.
In addition to the general “this is for gaming” considerations, there’s a big final consideration related specifically to buying headsets for the Xbox One—there’s no Bluetooth support. Unlike, say, the PlayStation 4, you can’t just take your favorite Bluetooth headphones and pair them to the Xbox. The following headphones either connect to the Xbox directly using the propriety Xbox wireless standard or feature a base station/adapter you plug into your Xbox.
We’ve checked out a mixture of super comfortable headphones, as well as ones with great sound quality. Bear in mind, you’re going to have to pay a premium for virtualized 7.1 surround sound, so we’ve catered for every budget. Here are our favorite Xbox One wireless headsets.
A well established name in the field, Turtle Beach’s Stealth 600 are pretty great for hearing footsteps in game, or simply for taking in some great background music within the game. 50 mm speakers ensure that you hear all the crisp highs, as well as the deep lows, and powerful mids. The headphones connect directly to the Xbox and support Microsoft’s new virtual surround sound, “Windows Sonic Surround Sound”.
The ear-cushions are wrapped in a mesh fabric for comfort, so you won’t have to worry about your ears hurting, and they work well with eyeglasses on account of the deep cushioning and design.
Features wise, they sport individual game and chat volume control, audio presets including Bass Boost, and a 15 hour rechargeable battery, so you’re always good to go.
Like with any audio equipment, money does buy you some pretty great sound quality. That’s certainly the case with the Astro Gaming A50. They’re pretty distinctive looking which won’t be to everyone’s taste, but they’re super powerful when it comes to sound quality. That’s thanks to the Dolby 7.1 surround sound contained within the headphones. Not all games support 7.1 surround sound but the ones that do will sound amazing through it.
The A50s stand out from some of our other choices by eschewing the Xbox’s native wireless support in favor of 5GHz wireless transmission for reduced latency and improved clarity. The base also doubles up as a charger too, but don’t worry if you forget to put the headphones back on the cradle—15 hours of battery life ensures you can worry about charging them tomorrow.
The headset is comfortable but a bit on the heavy side. If you find you love the sound but could use a little more cushioning, there’s a “noise cancellation upgrade kit” that includes thicker synthetic leather earcups and heavily padded headband. Consider it a substantial investment in the world of gaming headphones.
The Turtle Beach Elite 800s throw a lot of options at you. First up, there’s 7.1 surround sound that’s further enhanced by some genre-specific presets to give you an extra edge in-game. There’s dynamic chat boost so there’s no risk of your teammates not hearing you. Active noise cancellation also means you won’t have to worry about being distracted by household sounds as you game.
Throw in mic monitoring, and a very convenient magnetic charging stand, and the $219 price tag seems a bit more justifiable. These headphones will even work with your phone (via Bluetooth), as well as your Xbox One, so you can easily take calls at the same time. They’re a little plasticky in body construction, but what they lose in hefty hand feel they make up for in on-the-head comfort thanks to the lightweight design.
A common issue with wireless connections is limited range. Sure, it might not always be a problem if you happen to game close to your TV but every once in a while, you might want to move around, right? If you want the ability to trash talk your opponents even when you’re headed to the fridge to grab a snack, the Razer Thresher Ultimate headphones features 2.4 Ghz transmission for clear communication up to 40 feet from the base station. The base station isn’t just for transmission, it’s also for charging and a handy place to park your headphones.
Elsewhere, they offer powerful sound thanks to their 50mm speakers, up to 16 hours of battery life, and some neat quick control buttons for gaining instant access to vital options mid game. There’s a retractable digital microphone, and memory foam ear cushions too. What more could you want for the price? (If you love the design and features but want a more budget friendly version, you can pick up the standard Xbox wireless model, the Razer Threshers, which ditches the 2.4Ghz transmission and the handy base station.)
Not so good at remembering to keep your equipment regularly charged? The Plantronics RIG 800 HX will get you out of a jam. A quick charge feature provides you with up to 1.5 hours of gaming on a 30 minute charge. Charge it up fully, and you get a 24 hour battery life.
Speedy charging and long battery life is just the start. They also have a self adjusting headband strap, detachable ear cups, and plenty of controls for getting things just right. 4 different EQ presets mean they stay that way too. They might lack 7.1 surround sound but despite that, the sound quality is still pretty solid and great for hearing your enemies sneak up on you. These are a pair of consistently reliable headphones that live up to the Plantronics reputation well.
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