on March 7, 2014
I'm a casual gamer and as a casual gamer I didn't need a headset that costs as much as a console and had more buttons than a space shuttle. What I needed was a comfortable headset that was easy to use, had great sound quality, and was affordable. Earlier today I picked up the new Xbox One Stereo Headset and couldn't be happier. 1.) They're incredibly comfortable. 2.) There are only five buttons (volume up, volume down, mute, and two buttons that allow you to balance the volume between the game and chat.) 3.) The sound quality in both the earpieces and microphone is crisp and clear. I was just playing Battlefield 4 and you can easily hear everything and everyone around you. The sound is very well balanced and believable. 4.) For this level of quality, you can't beat $79.99.
If you're someone who games for six hundred hours a week and needs a tuning fork to adjust every audible intricacy of defiling an opponents remains, this headset probably isn't for you. If you're like me and you're looking for an excellent quality product that's easy to use, look no further.
If you are not interested in reading a long review, the main point which virtually all reviewers seem to agree upon is that the Xbox Stereo headset is a good value due to the unbeatable price. If you are going to buy a new headset for your Xbox One, you will not find a better value.
PRO: The Price is Unbeatable.
The Xbox One Headset Adapter retails for $29.99 (and because the adapter is included in the box) technically you are paying just $50 for the Stereo Headset (or less if you are able to find the Stereo Headset on sale - the Price on Amazon recently dropped from the suggested retail price of $79.99 down to $59.49 which is an even more impressive deal).
PRO: The Xbox Stereo Headset receives both Game Audio & Chat Audio and only uses one cord.
The Xbox Stereo Headset uses one 4ft cord which runs from the right side of the headset & plugs into the bottom of the controller (via the adapter included in the box). The cord is flat exactly like the cord utilized by the headset that comes included with the Xbox One. The flat design is intended to prevent the cord from getting tangled.
Microsoft had previously stated that other headsets would not receive Game Audio while plugged only into the adapter underneath the controller, but this appears to have changed. You should NOT experience any audio issues if you are using other headsets, but the worst case scenario is that you would have one cord plugged into the controller in order to receive chat audio, and a second cable running to your Xbox/TV/Audio Receiver for game audio. If you have a wireless gaming headset - this will not be an issue. You would have one cord plugged into the controller (for chat audio) and the wireless portion will be sending the game audio. The problem there is that Wireless headsets are much more expensive than $50 and they use batteries which can run out in the middle of the game.
PRO: The Xbox One Stereo Headset does NOT use any batteries.
The Stereo Headset is like conventional headphones in that they do not need a power source. You can use these headphones with any device that has a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. It will work while plugged into you Laptop, Mp3 player, iPod, iPhone, Roku Remote, and even your Discman & cassette Walkman!
PRO: Microphone Placement.
The Stereo Headset does NOT have a removable microphone, but it does fold out of the way when you are not using it. The Microphone is on the left side of the headset and folds down out of the headband. When not in use, the microphone folds upward into the headband and is held securely in place with a small magnet. Microsoft has done a great job of hiding the microphone. You truly can take this headset on the go and nobody would ever notice that it includes a microphone folded away. When stored away in the upright position, the microphone will absolutely not shake free. It is also nice that there is no mic or volume control attached to the cord. Personally, I do not like when there is a heavy object hanging from the headphone cord - whether it is volume control, a microphone, or a battery with the on/off switch for noise cancellation. They swing wildly and restrict your freedom of movement. This is not the case with the Xbox One's Stereo Headset. Just 4ft of flat cable that is light and doesn't get in the way.
PRO: Microphone Function.
The microphone does not bend or twist, and does not wrap all the way around in front of your mouth. While it barely extends to the corner of your lips, it does work extremely well both when chatting on the Xbox One and when chatting on the phone. When connected to my Nokia Lumia 920 (a Windows Mobile phone) callers stated that they could not tell I was using a headset. My wife states that calls really do sound as though I'm holding the phone to my ear. So, if you're the type of person who enjoys wearing your larger stereo headset on the go, this headset will serve you quite well if you also need to accept phone calls.
PRO: Each Cushion Comfort.
Both ear pieces are surrounded by extremely soft foam covered in breathable mesh (not leather or a leather imitation). I do NOT believe that they are made with any type of memory foam as they offer no resistance and immediately spring back to their original position after squeezed. But, this is fine as they are very soft & comfortable. My ears are both pierced to a 00 guage (10mm or slightly less than the cap of a Sharpie) and I can wear the headset with no discomfort due to my piercings (which is pretty rare with headphones). Also, because the foam is lined with mesh, I have been able to play Titanfall for 3 hours without feeling as though they are becoming hot, or causing any sweat. The foam does a great job of reducing the noise in the room around you (making up for the lack of true Noise Cancellation technology).
PRO: Earpiece movement
Each earpiece (both left & right) can pivot up and down as well as to both left and right.
PRO: Audio Quality
Every review I have read agrees that the headphones sound good (especially for their Med-Low price point). But, I freely admit that I have avoided purchasing $200+ headphones because I simply can't hear a difference worth paying double or triple the price.
PRO & CON: TV Volume
When you are watching TV, Blu-Rays, or other video through your Xbox One, the audio will play through your headphones (which is great), but the TV does not mute. You will have to manually turn down the volume on your TV, or use Kinect voice commands to adjust the TV's volume.
PRO & CON: Quality Feel
Overall the Xbox One Stereo Headset feels as though it is sturdy and made with quality.
- The headband feels solid & secure even though it is made entirely out of plastic.
- The cushion on the underside of the head band feels like a thin rubber that is unlikely to crack or tear. Although, if you run your fingers along the seam where the rubber connects to the headband you will feel two sections where on each side where there is a small gap. It seems as though the rubber seam may someday bubble open at these points which could potentially cause further separation, but this is just speculation.
- The thin cable is not removable from the right side of the headset, but gives no indication that it would break or pull loose. Because there is only one connection point, it is extremely unlikely that the connection becomes jeopardized. (When headset cables connect on both the left & right side - it always seems as though one cord gets pulled causing just one speaker (usually the left) to short out, or stop working all together).
- The one CON in construction is the connection point between the headband and the earpieces. Though they can pivot both up/down and left/right the connection feels weak. When moving them back & forth with your hands, it feels as though you could easily snap them apart. I would worry about them breaking while being jostled about in a backpack. I would recommend wearing them around your neck during travel. I would also think they would be safe resting in a duffle bag when you travel with your Xbox One.
- The 3.5mm connector is not made out of gold. But unless you are a hard core audiophile, this wont impact you in any way.
CON: Audio Controls.
Controlling the chat audio & game audio seems straightforward, but is very confusing.
The headset adapter has 5 buttons. On the left: Game Audio & Chat Audio. In the middle a large mute button that lights up when you press it. On the right: Volume Up & Volume down.
The trouble is that there is no visual to tell you if the volume is actually moving up or down & nothing to show you what the maximum or minimum volume is. Do you hold the chat audio button while pressing + or -? Good question. Has the Xbox registered that you want Game Audio vs Chat Audio? Also a good question. When you're in the middle of the game and trying to adjust the volume it is hard to notice an impact.
I would have much preferred a wheel type knob or a horizontal slider. A physical object that can rotate or slide up or down: Top being max volume, bottom being minimum volume. Or, some indication on the screen to visualize the selection you are trying to make.
UPDATE: The default audio selection on the headset adapter appears to be game volume. If you plug in the headset adapter & stereo headset and begin pressing either the + or - button, game audio increases or decreases. When you reach maximum volume you will hear a beep to indicate that the volume cannot be increased any further.
CON: No true surround sound.
This Stereo headset does have stereo sound, but does NOT have true 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound. While the sound quality is fine, I have experienced no benefit from the stereo sound. For example, while playing Titanfall I have not been able to notice opponents moving towards me from one side or the other.
The first thing you will notice when unboxing the headset is that they are huge. They are not sleek by any means. I like headphones to fit with a low profile. I don't need to look like a DJ with giant headphones what stick way out from my head. (My wife says I look like I'm working on the runway at an airport.) Each earpiece is built with a cone shape that protrudes outward about 1.5 inches. Then the headband adds more space. In between the ear pieces and the top of your head there is a 2 inch gap (between your head and the headband). This issue is not particularly unique with stereo headsets as most of them seem to have a bulky fit, but it's nice to have a nice fit that doesn't draw attention.
CON: Personal Audio feedback.
At this point in time, the Xbox One Stereo Headset does not allow you to hear yourself talk. This issue is not at the forefront of most consumers' minds, but it will drive you crazy.
When you talk to a friend in person, you can hear yourself talking. When you talk to that same person while wearing earplugs, you feel the need to raise your voice or yell - because it's just odd when you can't hear the words coming out of your own mouth. The Xbox One Stereo Headset does not have any noise cancellation technology included, but the foam does a great job of muffling the noise coming from the room around you. This also means that you feel like you're wearing earplugs. Astro & Turtlebeach headsets route a small amount of your own chat volume back into your headset so that you do not have the sensation of having plugged ears. Hopefully Xbox will change this with a software update in the future, but at the current time this is one of the largest annoyances with the headset.
CON: Controllers Require a Software Update.
In order for your Xbox One Stereo Headset to receive game audio, each controller that it is connected to will need to be updated by connecting it to the Xbox with a micro USB cable (included with the Stereo Headset). The process is not complicated and does not take long, but it is certainly not preferred.
CON: Audio specifications.
It is hard to compare headphones when the audio specifications are not included.
Microsoft states that the Stereo Headset has a "full range audio spectrum of 20Hz-20kHz". That's it. The rest are a bunch of made up and exaggerated adjectives. "awe-inspiring audio", "Booming", "Thumping", "Pounding" bass etc. This is all just opinion to promote the product without any real facts. The audio sounds fine and for the price I truly don't feel anyone will be disappointed, but Microsoft really should list full specs so that the consumer can make a more educated comparison with other products.
If you do want to purchase a new stereo headset, this is truly the best value that you will find.
But, review the pros & cons above - perhaps you don't really need to own a stereo headset. The one ear headset included with the Xbox one might be enough for you. So far I haven't noticed any game advantage with having stereo sound.
on December 2, 2014
I bought this during Cyber Monday for $35 along with an Xbox One controller for $39 with same day shipping for an extra $5.99.
WHY I BOUGHT IT: I have one of those old school vent/heater/AC thing on the floor in the living room next to my "man chair". When she blows, sounds from my uninspiring LG 3530 Sound Bar are.....uninspiring. I threw away my old headphones thinking I'll never need it again because I'm committed to fitness and living an organic life now. Well...that New Year resolution was canceled by February and I'm back to developing my curvaceous physique and thirst for interactive entertainment.
1. Box was elegantly designed with simplicity. It was easy to open. When opened, headphones was there presented like a crowned jewel. You don't have to wrestle through cardboards and plastic like before. Nice to see MS packaging starting to come close to Apple.
2. The box came with a USB cable, controller adapter and the headphones themselves. They all have a feel of decent quality material and construction. All black of course.
3. The ear pieces are comfy enough but definitely not the most comfortable. The construction of the headphones is plastic and fake leather outside. However, the inner part of the bracket that goes over your head is metal. I don't feel like it can easily break. Feels very durable overall.
1. First thing you noticed is as soon as you plugged it into the adapter and hit a button, the xbox prompts you to download software for your controller. It took a few minutes and I'm back to gaming.
2. The sound quality isn't the best but for $35, I cannot complain. In fact, I would rate this as a little above average overall. The most impressive part about the sound is the bass. There is simply nothing in this price range that match the bass response on this set.
3. The microphone is tucked away on the left side of the headset. It does not get in the way. It is not adjustable like the old XB360 mic. It's a fixed plastic piece that can only go up or down.
4. The headset goes completely around your ear. It does a good job of isolating the noise from the vent next to me. However, I can still hear my girlfriend nagging in the background. Fortunately, it's mostly muffed and she can easily be ignored by turning up the volume.
5. Putting on the headset does not mute the TV or sound system. To me, this is a good thing. I use the HDMI pass through on the Xbox so my TV sounds are transferred on the headphones as well.
1. Sound can sometimes get choppy. Connection problems? I've had it happened twice where it asked me to reconnect the controller since I've used this headset. It's weird because I'm only 10 feet away from the xbox with no obstruction besides an foot rest.
2. Battery life will be drastically reduced. I will come back with this later once my battery runs out. I use 2x Eneloop 2100 mAh.
3. The top of the headset is a little low for my head and rests a little harsh. When I tried to adjust it, I discovered a major design flaw. When you extend the headset, it normally extends up as does this headset. But that's when the headset is not on your head. When it is on your head, the extension is angled more towards the side. So I needed more room on top, but I got very little top room and a lot of side room. Now, the headset as a huge arch on the side and I look extra goofy. What if a sexy NSA agent is watching me through my Kinect? I don't want to look so goofy.
4. The headphones overall is very large. I've had other similar headsets, not for gaming but music, that goes over the ear and doesn't look as large on your head. Granted, at $35, this is roughly $170 less than what I paid for other headphones. I really can't complain much here and this is strictly for Xboxing in my underwear with the blinds closed and no cares permitted.
For $35, it is a solid buy. I can't ask for a better headphone at this price. It's actually not bad for listening to hip hop music due to the heavy bass. If you're an audiophile, you won't be impressed with the sound quality. I'm sure everyone can agree that it's a deal at under $40. The adapter by itself usually goes for $30-35. If you buy other headsets, you'll have to buy the adapter first. So the official Xbox One headset offer a pretty good value for your bottom dollar. If I were to go the Turtle Beach route, it would cost me far beyond the $100 mark.
As of today, a day later, Tuesday Dec 2nd, the price is $49.99. At this price, I'm a little hesitant but I think it's still a great value compared to what's out there. At $70 like it used to be priced, it would be a tough sell. The only way I'll buy it then is if I can't afford a Turtle Beach.
This was one of the best Cyber Monday deals. It's official. I'm official. I finally found a decent Black Fri...Month Deal. Xbox official headphones, headsets, controller, Day One/Zero Edition AAA games since Dec 2013 baby! I'm living la vida loca...or whatever they say. It doesn't matter. My life is complete for December. But next year, I will be serious about my fitness and health. I'm selling everything Jan 1st.
on January 26, 2015
I purchased this because the headset that came with my xbox one died. This was the most reasonably priced. It sounds good and clear, but it's not the most comfortable.
4 months. Thats how long this thing lasted. Not heavy use, the only time I ever use my headset is when a friend and I play, which is maybe a couple hours a couple of times a week. If it's not in use, it hangs on my controller cradle. It had never been pulled on hard, or anything. It even still looks brand new. The other night we had played 1 game, started another, then half way through the mic just goes out. Hasn't worked since. Contacted Microsoft, they were unwilling to replace, even with Amazon proof of purchase. That's not only a garbage product, but absolute crap customer service, When you're unwilling to stand behind something for even 4 months, you know it's garbage, yet you push it out to the public anyways. Highly disappointed. Do not buy.
on March 7, 2014
I have owned 4 sets of Turtle Beaches and one Tritton and decided to try the MS brand for the Xbox One. First glance I love the look of the headphones. Glossy black and matte black. The ear cups are super comfortable fabric and will not make your ears sweat. The top of the headset has a nice thick padding to help with comfort. I wear glasses and I have not had any issues with the cups interfering with them.
The mic fits really nicely into the headband that it's hard to tell that it's there when not in use. The cord for the headset is 4' long from controller to bottom of headphones so it's plenty long enough. Everyone that I play with say the mic volume is the same as it was with the generic ones which is good since one of my friends has the Polks and I can not hear him unless I mute game sounds.
TV sounds do come out the headphones so you can watch tv with these on. I have not used them for watching tv other than testing that so I'm curious on what happens when the controller turns itself off from no use like it normally does when you watch tv or movies. I have had it sitting next to the tv for sometime now and the controller has not turned off so they must have made the controller not go to sleep when the headphones are plugged in and the xbox is on.
After a full weekend I can comment on battery life. I use the Energizer battery station (you can find my review of it) and I am pleased with battery life. I got almost the same amount of time from these as I do with just the stock headset.
I would say the sound quality is on par with my last set of Turtle Beaches and for the money its hard not to recommend them. I plugged them into my Surface Pro tablet and the sound is great and the mic worked perfectly.
I did say a con was that there was no front to back motion but that is not true as pointed out in the comments there is front to back motion I was being to gentle with them when I first got them. So at this point I really don't have a con I haven't had any issues yet with them.
My biggest complaint is not even Microsofts fault and that is in Call of Duty Ghosts if you play Search and your batteries die you get booted from the game so make sure your batteries are full.
Any questions please ask and I'll answer.
Edit: I did edit out where I said that there was no front to back motion since there is, added about battery life, and did use it on my tablet with very good results.
on July 8, 2015
I originally bought these after the mic on my standard headset stopped working one day without warning or reason. (This is actually a common issue from what I've read.) After less than 3 months of use the same thing happened to these. I took great care of both headsets so I know it's not from human error; the mics simply stopped working. I've come to the conclusion it must be an issue with the wire quality. Something internally comes loose and affects the mic functions while leaving the headphone functions intact.
- The mic stopped working after less than 3 months of use
- Sound cuts out every so often
- People would complain that my voice was hard to hear or very soft
- The headset is very comfortable
- Relatively cheap compared to other brands with similar functions
- Comes with a chat adapter
- Can be used with other devices
- Decent sound quality
- Interesting design
I will not be buying another pair, but instead will try a different brand. My advice to you would be to avoid Microsoft brand Xbox One headsets until the mic issue is resolved.
First and foremost, Amazon shipped really fast, and USPS delivered on Sunday, which was news to me.
The headphone quality is above par, and the way the mic is hidden in the headset is equally cool. Took me a while to figure out how to get the mic down from its hidden place. The sound quality is awesome, and the adapter comes with the setup as well so that is sweet (and the adapter is very nice. and $25 as a standalone product).
Negative: I have noticed that when I am switching between pins and items in the menus, I get a static tiny hiss, which is weird since this is the only place it does it. I guess we can expect an update to fix this, since it seems its an audio file problem with the XB1 menus. Other negative is the cable is kind of thin and cheap, compared to the rest of the unit.
So yea, Once I am in Battlefield 4, it sounds great. You will know you made a wise invested when you load up BF4 and you hear the rainfall in the opening menu. Then in game, its epic. Overall, for the price, this is a great addition to my XB1 gear.
on March 7, 2014
Tested with an extensive few rounds of Plants vs Zombies. These headphones are really pretty darn good. The build quality is stand out excellent. Very sturdy feeling and well made in comparison to my Turtle Beach wireless headset.
The mic is very sturdy and hides away nicely into the side of the headphones when you don't need it. The controls are very good too and I love that the headphones run off of the controller battery!
Sound quality is very good and comparable to my Turtle Beach headset. Doesn't have the virtual surround sound, but sound is still very much positional. Like when I rotated around I could definitely hear distinctly what was going on on each aide of me.
I still really do like to have a simulated surround sound option and I hope that Microsoft includes such a feature in a future update. Totally doable since the controller firmware is upgradeable.
on May 17, 2014
I don't use the chat feature much in games - it seems like there aren't many in games that talk anyways. I got this headset for two reasons:
1. I play after 9pm when my kids go to bed, but I want to be able to hear the game at a loud and clear level.
2. I didn't want to pay an arm and a leg for a "surround sound" headset. You essentially get a $50 headset with a $30 headset adapter included.
This headset comes with the necessary adapter and the controller update is quick and easy.
I am not an audiophile, but I can say that they sound good, not great. There is a slight tinny aspect to these, but I'm not really able to compare them against another brand. If my benchmark is Apple EarPods, then I would say they sound on par, if not the same. Build quality is very good. I'm not concerned about them breaking and all movable parts (the hidden mic) move with ease.
The padding on the cans as well as the "bridge" on top of your head makes these extremely comfortable. Although they're not the sleekest, or sexiest, these certainly get the job done.
These aren't noise-cancelling, but you might want to consider another pair if you like to listen to game audio and chatting. I can't hear myself talk while chatting, so it's hard to regulate the level of my voice. Again, I don't chat much in game, so I bought these solely for the game audio. I have resorted to taking one of the cans off my ears so I could hear myself talk while chatting.
+ Build quality and comfort
+ Sound - not bad for what is essentially a $50 headset
+ Includes the $30 adapter
- Not the sleekest looking, don't plan on wearing these in public
- There's no mic feedback to hear how loud you're speaking when chatting in-game
- Not in my review, but the adapter does cause some crackling with in-game audio. MS has been patching and will hopefully fix this in upcoming updates
on January 2, 2016
We have 3 of these.
The sound is not bad for the price.
They are comfortable enough
The mic works fine
The only one, but big, is that the plastic on the head piece near the sliding part that allows adjustment has broken on all 3 pairs. I put super glue and some black duct tape on them and surprisingly it looks ok and is really not that noticeable. Thing is, I am very careful with my stuff. First issue like this I have ever had with a headset. I have had the wire were out where they attach and become loose before but never just breaking apart or cracking like this. I was able to glue them as I said and it is holding great but it should have never cracked at all. They were never dropped, stretched, or anything that would do that. They look new, besides the tape in that little section so they are not abused.