The best Xbox Series X headsets offer something more than just great sound to a player eager to improve their gaming experience. A good headset – whether wired or wireless – needs to offer comfort, decent battery life, crystal clear chat… and look good, to boot.
Whether you’re the sort of player that needs a headset to pick up every whisper and yelp as you call out snipers in Call of Duty, or needs to hear every slight bit of sonic detail as you race down an old English country lane in Forza Horzion 4, a decent headset should be able to adapt with you – no matter what you’re playing.
The best Xbox Series X headset isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution – no, each person is going to value different parts of the package in different ways. Whether you’re gunning for top-end sound, a mic that won’t balk at your agitated shouting, or a headset that can sit for hours on top of your head without causing discomfort, we’ve got you. Our experts have appraised and tested each of the headsets below to bring you the information you need to have complete peace of mind when you hit the ‘buy’ button.
As an added bonus, each of the accessories we’ve listed on this page work with the Xbox One, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X, too. You can thank Microsoft’s promise that Xbox accessories will be forward and backwards compatible for this gen and last-gen for that. Some of the headsets listed will also work on Windows 10 PCs or mobile, too, meaning you get even more bang for your buck. But we’re here to focus on getting you that perfect sound for your console, first and foremost.
Without further ado, then, check out our selection of the best Xbox Series X headsets for 2021 below.
Microsoft’s Xbox Wireless Headset almost defies belief at times. The official headset offers exceptional sound quality, a direct wireless connection with the console, Bluetooth and great quality of life features for a truly competitive price point.
We were thoroughly impressed with the Xbox Wireless Headset, which offers a pleasing premium look and feel not often found in this price bracket. It can also be completely customized to suit your listening preference using the Xbox Accessories app. Not only are there various equalizers for you to try, but you can adjust them to dial in a sound that suits you.
The Xbox Wireless Headset also makes use of clever functionality often reserved for higher-end headphones, such as the auto-mute feature, which isolates background noise when you’re not speaking, and mic monitoring. We particularly enjoyed the mic mute light which lets you know whether the microphone is active.
Additional touches such as hearing the familiar Xbox sounds that help indicate when your headset is turning on or off only serve to make the Xbox Wireless Headset feel like a true extension of the console. However, you can also use it on Windows 10 PC via Bluetooth or an Xbox Wireless Adapter, and listen to another device at the same time.
Honestly, apart from the slightly weak mic monitoring (which we hope can be improved via a future update), the Xbox Wireless Headset ticks so many boxes that you’d be hard-pressed to justify more expensive headsets.
Read the full Xbox Wireless Headset review
If you’re a gamer who takes their kill death ratio seriously and primarily plays competitive games online, then the Fnatic React Plus should be part of your arsenal.
Not only does the Fnatic React Plus offer crystal clear sound that’s specifically designed to help you pinpoint your enemies – the 53mm drivers are calibrated to prevent bass frequencies from overpowering the mids/highs – it also comes with an excellent microphone which means your squad will never miss one of your crucial call outs midgame.
We’re not exaggerating when we say you’ll perform better in your favorite competitive online multiplayer games when wearing these headphones, but we did have some slight qualms when it came to comfort and build quality. Nevertheless, if we had to choose a pair of headphones exclusively for playing multiplayer games, the Fnatic React Plus would be it.
Read the full Fnatic React Plus review
While there are more premium gaming headsets currently available for Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S players, Turtle Beach’s Stealth 600 Gen 2 delivers exceptional bang for your buck, thanks to its excellent sound quality and robust features.
Handily, Turtle Beach offers a Stealth 600 Gen 2 model that’s designed specifically for Xbox consoles, meaning users can pair the gaming headset directly to their Xbox One or Xbox Series X/S without the need for a USB dongle or optical connection – it’s as simple as pairing a controller.
From an audio standpoint, the Stealth 600 Gen 2 delivers vibrant spatial sound (the headset worked well with Windows Sonic and Dolby Atmos for Headphones) with a decent amount of depth. This is due to their powerful 50mm drivers, which offer exceptional clarity and bass, depending on your audio preference.
A mode button allows users to cycle through four EQ settings: Signature Sound, Bass Boost, Bass + Treble Boost and Vocal Boost. Additionally, a quick press of the power button will enable Superhuman Hearing mode, which amplifies subtle sounds like footsteps and reloading weapons in order to give players a tactical advantage.
You also get a flip-down mic which mutes when flicked up, separate volume rockers for chat and game, along with the much appreciated inclusion of mic monitoring, allowing you to hear your own voice while you chat.
It wasn’t always smooth sailing, though – we experienced a spotty connection on a couple of instances during online matches in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, with dotted sound resembling Morse Code coming through. That said, it didn’t occur often enough to be a real cause for concern.
It’s also worth noting that the headset a somewhat cheap plastic feel, and it sits fairly tight on the head and around the ears, leading to some discomfort during long gaming sessions. That said, Turtle Beach’s Stealth 600 Gen 2 gaming headset is a terrific all-rounder for those who want to keep a lid on their finances.
Read the full Turtle Beach Stealth 600P Gen 2 review
One of Xbox Series X’s ‘interesting’ little quirks is its own wireless audio system, which requires headsets to go the extra mile to interface with. That’s meant historically it was difficult to get the higher-end Arctis models from Steelseries to play ball here, but with the 9x the pain all goes away.
The first clue here is that green colorway – this is structurally very similar to the Arctis 7 and Arctis Pro models available for PC and PS4, but with the requisite hardcoded Xbox Series X compatibility. Being essentially the same shell, that means the ski goggle headband is just as comfortable as it is on other models, and the layout of the controls is still just about perfect. Chat mix and volume scroll wheels, mic mute, all located on the rear of the earcups. Simplicity itself.
What you’ll always hear about Arctis cans is that they sound ‘flatter’ than others. This is a reference to its flat EQ response (imagine a straight line along an equalizer) rather than any notion the sound will leave you feeling flat. It’s lively and detailed, like affordable audiophile gear – it just doesn’t smother on the bass like many PC gaming manufacturers feel compelled to.
The only fleck of spittle in your ointment is that it’s quite tricky to get these to play nicely with Windows. You’re relying on the Bluetooth connectivity only in Mr Gates’ ecosystem, which means dropouts and connection issues are that bit more common. This is one for the Xbox devotees, then.
Read the full Sennheiser Arctis 9X review
COD and Astro headsets. Since the earliest days of Xbox, the two have gone hand-in-hand like lovelorn teenagers, skipping off together into aspiration purchase territory for those of us who don’t feel completely fine with dropping $250+ on a headset.
And as the gen 4 version of the A50 turns up, well, plus ça change. It’s still incredibly comfortable, right away and for long sessions. It still sounds like sellotaping a high-end surround sound speaker system to your head (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it). And you’ll still notice the whole in your current account. But the A50 does enough to retain its crown.
The wireless base stand has been whittled down to a slimmer profile that takes up less space on your desk or TV stand, retaining the LED functionality to let you know volume and charge levels, whether surround is enabled, and when Xbox or PC mode are selected. A PS4-compatible version’s available too, if the space under your telly is platform-agnostic.
While wireless charging seems to take a while longer than traditional USB charging, we think the sound and comfort here make that tiny grumble all but a moot point. It’s a perfectly balanced, weighted, and cushioned design that hugs your head and simply never gets heavy.
As for the sound – clear, crisp, throaty in the low-end – heaven in games, and just as suited to music and movies. The Command Center app accompanying these cans isn’t quite as fancy as the hardware but, in truth, you won’t need to fiddle with it much in the first place to enjoy the best from it.
Read the full Astro A50 Gaming Headset review