With the lure of Game Pass, I was finally convinced to get an Xbox Series X. And, because of the Xbox Series X’s immense graphical power, a lot of my friends had migrated away from the blue of PlayStation to the green of Xbox.
Coming out of the PlayStation ecosystem gave me a few questions.
The main one being a headset. After all I would need to talk to my friends.
Would I need to buy one or would the Xbox Series X come with a headset?
Does the Xbox Series X come with a headset? No, The Xbox Series X and S do not come with a headset. A headset was not included with the Xbox Series X to save Microsoft money. You can buy your own headset. However, if you wish to use your own headset, you’ll need to buy a 3.5mm aux adaptor that fits to the Xbox Series X/S controller.
So Microsoft couldn’t be bothered to include a cheap headset. How typical of them. Anyway, in the next few sections, I’ll explore why Microsoft chose (rightly) not to include a headset in the box. And then I’ll swiftly shift up a gear to look at the best headset for your Xbox Series X, and how to get your current headset working with your Xbox.
Ok, let’s get started.
Is a headset included with the Xbox Series X
As noted above, the Xbox Series X and S do not come with a headset. Sadly, you’ll need to fish out the last few dollars rattling around in your piggy bank and buy a separate headset.
But, before you do let’s recap on what’s included in the Xbox Series X’s box when you buy it:
- The console
- Power cable, no power brick it’s all in the console
- Ultra-high-speed HDMI 2.1 cable
- Wireless Xbox controller
- 2 AA Batteries for the controller
As you can see from this dainty little list, there isn’t a headphone in sight. That’s because Microsoft, being the money-making monopoly that they are, decided to drop the headset.
But why would they do that?
Let’s take a look…
Why did Microsoft stop including a headset with the Xbox Series X and S?
The first thing I thought on learning that the mighty Xbox Series X didn’t include a simple headset was, why? Why would Microsoft cut the headset from the box’s contents?
Well, there’s one main reason…
The biggest, reason why Microsoft didn’t include a headset with their Xbox Series X and S consoles is that it would simply cost them too much money.
But hang on, I thought the Xbox headset that was included with bygone consoles was cheap, flimsy, and just a little bit (ok, a lot) rubbish? Surely, Microsoft could afford to include one of these headsets to help people get started on Xbox Live?
Well, apparently, no. It would cost too much.
You see, a simple headset, even one with a flimsy single speaker and microphone that makes you sound like your underwater, during a storm, costs Microsoft cash. These simple pack-in headsets might only drain the bank of $2, but $2 dollars adds up over multiple consoles.
Think about it, including those simple headphones in every single Xbox box, at a cost of $2, over the course of console’s generation could cost Microsoft, I kid you not, hundreds of millions of dollars. Seriously, if Microsoft sold 100 million consoles this generation, and included a $2 headset, it would cost them $200 million over the next 6 years.
So, little expenses mount up to huge expenses very quickly.
Did older Xboxes come with headsets?
Well, after doing a bit of digital digging, this is what I found out:
The Original Xbox, the Xbox One X, and the Xbox Series X and S didn’t come with a headset.
Conversely, all version of the Xbox 360 and the original Xbox One did come with a headset.
|Xbox 360 Slim||yes|
|Xbox 360 elite||yes|
|Xbox One X||no|
|Xbox Series S||no|
|Xbox Series X||no|
Which headset is best for the Xbox Series X?
Microsoft doesn’t use Bluetooth on the Xbox Series consoles. Instead, they use a proprietary wireless technology called Xbox Wireless Radio, or XWR for short (Catchy!). So only certain headsets and peripherals are wirelessly compatible out of the box.
If you have a normal headset that you use with other consoles, you’ll have to buy an adapter. More on that later.
For now, let’s take a look at the best headset that’s built to be used with the Xbox Series X and S out of the box.
The Xbox Series X/S Wireless Headset
Welcome to the frankly supreme official Xbox Wireless Headset (XWH). Positioned as the BMW of headsets, the XWH was designed in-house by Microsoft to offer the best sound quality at its price point, while taking advantage of all the audio technology scrunched into the Xbox consoles.
So what are the main benefits?
- Enhanced spatial audio that makes use of Dolby Atmos and other spatial audio formats.
- You can wirelessly pair directly to the Xbox Series consoles. No wires (Yes!).
- You get enhanced signal quality: there’s no lag or breakup in the sound from interference
I don’t own a pair of these myself as my ears are snuggled up to my Sony 1000XM3’s (Probably the best headphones in the world, other than the newer XM4’s) and I pair them with an aux cable (Yeah, I’m old school!).
But my partner does have a pair of Microsoft’s headphones for use with her Xbox Series S. I’ve tried them and I can’t tell the difference between Microsoft’s headphones and Sony’s. So, superb sound all around, then.
Also, over 1000 people on Amazon have given the Xbox Wireless Headphones the thumbs up and 5-stars. So, you’re not just taking my word for it, you’re taking the word of thousands of positive reviews from thousands of happy customers.
Interested? Even just a little bit? I don’t blame you. Head over to Amazon now and check them out (Yes, it’s an Amazon affiliate link. We need the money, as we gave up using email and now pay to send messages using homing pigeons).
Use your old Headphones
Have you already got a good pair of headphones? Yeah, so have I. When I found out the Xbox Series X didn’t use Bluetooth, I thought, “That’s it! My £250 headphones are going to be useless! Where’s the bin?!”
Fortunately, my Sony ones didn’t end getting thrown onto my already vast trash pile, after I learnt that you can buy a 3.5mm Headphone aux adaptor for the new Xbox Series X controller.
LevelHike, an electronics brand that earns its living on the streets of Amazon.com, sells an aux headphone adaptor that fit’s snuggly onto the Xbox Series X controller.
I use this on my own Xbox Controllers and it has worked flawlessly from day 1. As it has for over 600 5-star reviewers on Amazon.
I could go on about how good this simple and dependable piece of technology is, but you’re better off just taking a look at it on Amazon (Before you say, “I’m not clicking on his Amazon link! Please remember, pigeons don’t feed themselves. You’ll get the joke if you read the previous section!)