The best Xbox headsets are all worth considering, as Microsoft has banked on a multi-console strategy this generation. Besides the newest Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, new games continue to come out for the Xbox One. As such, you may want a headset that’s compatible with all of these systems.
This is where Microsoft’s proprietary Xbox Wireless protocol is more of a help than a hindrance. Wireless headsets that are compatible with new consoles like the Xbox Series X will also work with the likes of the Xbox One X. And since Xbox controllers include 3.5 mm jacks, you can use almost any wired headset as well. But why use any headset when you could use the greatest ones? Read on to find out the best Xbox headsets, regardless of which Microsoft consoles you use.
What are the best Xbox headsets?
Right now, the SteelSeries Arctis 7X is the best headset for Xbox consoles. It’s not cheap. But you’re paying for serious quality, in everything from sound output, to the microphone, to comfort and design. It launched as an accessory to the latest Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles, but it also works wirelessly with the older Xbox One lineup too.
Another stellar specialist Xbox headset is the Razer Kaira Pro. In addition to being a comfortable gaming peripheral, its built-in Bluetooth connectivity lets you use it as your everyday headphones, too. Or, if you’re on a tight budget, the HyperX Cloud Stinger is a nicely designed wired headset, which will leave you with a lot more of a budget for games. It’s more of a multiplatform accessory than a dedicated Xbox headset, but is still fully functional with the whole Xbox range.
The best Xbox Series X headsets right now
The Arctis 7X is one of the best wireless gaming headsets in general, so naturally it’s an elite Xbox headset. While a little pricier than many rivals, few other headsets can claim to match the Arctis 7X’s blend of lasting comfort, excellent wireless reliability and impactful sound quality. We particularly like the elastic headband, which helps keep the headset secure and comfortable without the need to make manual adjustments.
SteelSeries includes a USB dongle, which also lets you use the Arctis 7X with other devices, like PCs or even Android phones. It’s at its best when gaming — the black and green color scheme shows it was built for the Xbox specifically — but it’s nice to have such flexibility.
Read our full SteelSeries Arctis 7X review.
If you don’t want to shell out a lot of money for the SteelSeries Arctis 7X, the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless for Xbox puts many of the same great features into a more affordable headset. It’s essentially a version of the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless that works with the Xbox Wireless protocol, unlike the base Arctis 1 Wireless model.
That means you get the same comfortable fit, the same full set of onboard controls, the same game-ready performance and the same mature styling, which lets you detach the mic and wear the headset as a pair of headphones without embarrassment. As with the Arctis 7X you get a USB dongle that can also connect the Arctis 1 Wireless for Xbox to your Android phone. A convenient switch lets you jump between the standard USB and Xbox Wireless modes instantly.
Read our SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless for Xbox impressions.
Another compelling mid-range Xbox headset option, the Razer Kaira Pro’s party trick is Bluetooth connectivity. This can work at the same time as the Xbox Wireless protocol, rather than it being an either/or proposition. If you want, you can listen to music from a Bluetooth-connected phone while still hearing every sound in your Xbox games.
There is one notable design flaw here, as turning on the Kaira Pro will automatically turn on the paired Xbox as well. This isn’t helpful if you just want to use the Bluetooth functionality alone. But the versatility is there, and thanks to the comfortable, breathable design and powerful sound output, the Kaira Pro is an excellent Xbox headset when it comes to the essentials, too.
Read our full Razer Kaira Pro review.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger is your best bet if you’re not concerned about using a wired connection, and just want good-quality sound in a comfortable package. The Cloud Stinger is certainly easy to wear, with its lightweight design and generous padding. It’s clearly not a premium product: The microphone merely pivots upwards, as opposed to detaching or retracting when not in use. But for what you pay, you’re getting a good deal.
As long as you don’t push it to the very highest volumes, the Cloud Stinger’s audio quality is high enough for even the most twitchy competitive shooters, and the microphone isn’t quite as basic as they come. It’s a noise-cancelling mic, so teammates will hear your voice without background sounds, like TVs and washing machines.
Read our full HyperX Cloud Stinger review.
It’s probably not too surprising that Microsoft’s own official Xbox headset is one of the better devices on offer. Still, that’s not because of simple branding. The Xbox Wireless Headset impressed us in our testing, particularly on sound quality. Whether in RTS or action games, Microsoft’s headset sounded balanced and detail-rich.
Like the Razer Kaira Pro, you also have the option of connecting to a Bluetooth device while you’re gaming. Post-release updates have improved previously lacking aspects, like the mic monitoring level and what used to be some overly loud notification sounds. It’s still not perfect, as you can’t really adjust the fit once it’s on your head. But the headset is still comfortable enough once you’ve made the right adjustments.
Read our full Xbox Wireless Headset review.
Although the Razer Kraken X is far from alone in offering a sub-$50 price tag, few other cheap Xbox headsets can produce such great gaming sound. Weirdly, this quality doesn’t carry over to music playback. But in games, the Kraken X sounds brilliant for the money. It’s got 7.1 virtual surround sound, too, though you can turn this off if you want a more pure soundscape.
It’s also extremely comfortable. Despite the lack of unconventional tricks, like the Arctis 7X’s stretching fabric headband, you can wear the Kraken X for hours and hours, thanks to its soft, imitation leather-clad padding and lightweight construction.
Read our full Razer Kraken X review.
The Astro A20 Wireless Gen 2 is one of the best Xbox headsets, albeit only if you buy the Xbox version specifically. There’s also a PlayStation model that won’t work with Xbox consoles, unless you buy a special adapter. However, provided you do pick up the Xbox version — identifiable by its green color accents — you can be sure that you picked a fine headset.
Sound quality is high across a range of game genres, and if you want to adjust the soundscape, there’s an equalization mode switch on the right earcup that switches among three different sound modes. And it’s worth reiterating just how comfortable the A20 Gaming Headset Gen 2 is. Even with those odd-looking square ear cushions and angular headrest, it’s easy to wear for long sessions.
Read our full Astro A20 Gaming Headset Gen 2 review.
The HyperX Cloud Alpha is a wired headset, which might not sound so enticing when you can get a good wireless model for a similar amount of money. But if you don’t mind having a cable running into your Xbox controller, then there are much worse options. The Cloud Alpha is extremely comfortable, as we’ve come to expect from HyperX headsets, and its Dual Chamber Driver tech helps reproduce the full frequency range with a clarity to rival the best headphones.
The microphone sounds pretty good too, and is detachable for easier storage. Overall, the Cloud Alpha’s cable is pretty much the only thing that gives it away as a sub-$100 headset, rather than a truly premium one.
Read our full HyperX Cloud Alpha review.
Yet another quality Xbox-ready headset from Razer, the BlackShark V2 benefits from a flexible microphone, brilliant sound quality across multiple game genres and a very reasonable price. It’s also very comfortable — adjusting the earcups to find a perfect fit can be tricky, but once they’re in place you can easily wear the BlackShark V2 for hours.
It might be a particularly wise choice if you play on PC as well as an Xbox console, as the BlackShark V2 can connect through either a 3.5mm or USB connection; as such you won’t need separate headsets for each. The BlackShark V2 gets some bonus features on PC, like custom-configured sound profiles for individual games, though they’re not necessary for great sound on Xbox.
Read our full Razer BlackShark V2 review.
Entry-level Xbox headsets don’t get much better than the Astro A10. For about half the price of a new AAA game, this wired headset delivers clear, punchy sound and memory foam padding that — like its big brother, the A20 Gaming Headset Gen 2 — ensures a comfy fit.
Gamers with large ears may want to steer clear, however, as the A10 does favor a snug fit. But the compact design also makes the A10 better for travel and storage. So does the detachable cable, which also comes with a useful in-line volume slider. The A10 may be cheap, but its attention to detail is commendable.
Read our full Astro A10 review.
How to choose the best Xbox headset for you
By choosing from this list you eliminate one of the biggest headaches of searching for an Xbox headset: making sure the headset is even compatible with Xbox consoles. Three-point-five millimeter connectivity on Xbox controllers helps widen the net of devices that can work. But thanks to the Xbox Wireless protocol, you need to be more careful with wireless models. Again, all the wireless headsets on this list are compatible with Xbox consoles.
You may actually prefer a wired headset, as these provide more rock-solid connections and often lower prices. With wired models, you don’t need to worry about battery life, either. That said, most wireless headsets can go for several days’ worth of regular play before running out of charge, so don’t worry too much about battery life if you want to keep your gaming space wire-free.
You should also consider picking up a headset with Bluetooth if you want something that can double as your headphones for everyday music listening. Just make sure that you can remove or retract the microphone, though, or else you’ll be walking around with a boom mic sticking out.
How we test the best Xbox headsets
Our first step in testing any gaming headset, including the best Xbox headsets, is to see how easy it is to get set up and connected. That includes adjusting the headset to find a good fit. We’ll wear each one for at least a couple of hours to see how comfort levels stand up over time. When possible, we’ll also hand each headset off to someone else, and get their second opinion on comfort. After all, this is a subjective point, however vital.
Sound performance is just as important. We’ll play a variety of Xbox games across different genres, which helps us comprehensively judge each headset’s audio quality. A good headset should be able to add excitement to explosion-heavy gunfights. It should also present dialogue cleanly and clearly, or help your hear quiet sound cues like footsteps.