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Best Xbox Series X/S headset 2023: Our favourite gaming headsets for your new Xbox

Looking for a headset to complement your new console? These are the best gaming headsets for Xbox Series X and Series S

If you’re going to splash out on a new Xbox, it makes sense to get yourself the best gaming headset you can afford. The Xbox Series X and S are fantastic machines. Although they might not shout about proprietary Tempest 3D audio like a certain rival console manufacturer, the new Xbox consoles do have spatial audio technology built in. Specifically, they support audio standards such as Dolby Atmos, DTS X and Windows Sonic, which means picking out a new headset is an exciting but daunting prospect.

Whether you’re gearing up to step into the shoes of Senua in the Hellblade sequel or you’re looking for a replacement for your last-gen headset, picking out an audio peripheral can be tough. There’s so much research to be done and so many questions to be answered. Why not let us make your life easier? These are our picks for the best gaming headset for the Xbox Series X/S that you can buy right now.

Best Xbox Series X/S headset: At a glance

How to choose the best headset for you

Should I go with wired or wireless?

This really comes down to preference. If you’re sick of wires sitting on your lap while you play, wireless might be the way to go. On the other hand, owning yet another wireless device that you need to keep charged might seem like a bit of a chore.

In terms of quality, you won’t notice much difference. Wireless headsets nowadays use a mix of Bluetooth and USB wireless connectivity. Bluetooth is certainly convenient and allows for quick setup; that’s why it can be found in most wireless earbuds and AirPods. However, Bluetooth isn’t always the best for sound quality and it can also tend to give you latency issues, which you definitely don’t want when you’re gaming.

Wireless gaming headsets that use USB dongles and plug into your console or PC instead transmit a specific radio wave frequency that doesn’t have to compress sound files as much, and offers you less latency. To find out which method each headset uses, take a look at the key specs of our listed headsets below.

A quick note for content creators: if you use an Elgato capture card or other wired capture device, we recommend you stick to a wired headset. Getting third-party capture software to play ball is hard enough, and if you throw a wireless headset into the mix you might make your life even harder.

Should I worry about driver size or surround sound?

If you ask us, headsets with virtual surround sound are great if you can afford them, but do you need them? Absolutely not. It tells you a lot that the majority of competitive esports athletes turn off any virtual surround-sound settings their headsets have. Sound design in games has come a long way and a lot of developers now put in the extra work to make positional sound cues more accurate, regardless of what headset you use. So when an extra bit of software is being used in a third-party headset, quality and accuracy of sound mapping can sometimes suffer as a result.

What you should pay slightly more attention to is the size of the driver in a gaming headset. The drivers in gaming headsets are usually between 40 and 60mm in diameter. The larger these drivers are, the more powerful the mini-amplifier that will be transmitting soundwaves into your lugs.

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How much do I need to spend?

Chances are, you’ve had to save up to get yourself a new console, and if you chose an Xbox, you’re going to be spending even more money on the likes of a Game Pass subscription. Although there are some cracking headsets on the higher end of the pricing scale, you absolutely don’t need to go over £100 for a great gaming headset.

Do I need RGB lighting?

Short answer: no, you do not need decorative RGB lighting on a product that sits above and behind your eyeline.

If you do want headsets with all the bells and whistles though, RGB lighting is definitely an option on many newer models. Some are customisable too, so you can pick a colour that complements the background of your stream setup, for example.

Admittedly, a few headsets do have practical LED lighting on the microphone or the headset itself that will tell you if you’re muted or if your headset needs charging. These can definitely be useful, although we’re still trying to figure out if RGB lighting in general actually makes you a better gamer or not. More on this story as it develops.

How we test Xbox Series X gaming headsets

Every gaming headset that we test undergoes the same process. Before actually wearing the headset, we conduct stress tests on the headband and ear cups, noting the materials, size and weight to judge build quality. We inspect the number/type of buttons and ports, along with how easy they are to access. Following this, we connect the headset to an Xbox Series X console to assess the ease of the connection process (be it wired or wireless). If the headset supports simultaneous Bluetooth and 2.4GHz connectivity, we also connect it to a smartphone and stream audio via Discord and Spotify.

We then use the headset for at least one week. During this period, we evaluate the performance of the microphone by recording our voice and seeking feedback from friends or colleagues while gaming in quiet and loud environments to test the mic’s noise cancelling abilities. Where applicable, we allow the battery to drain from a full charge in order to assess overall battery life. To evaluate the sound quality, we game using the headset and listen to a wide variety of audio content. We pay close attention to the representation of frequencies and evaluate whether Microsoft’s Spatial Sound (if supported) functions well using any compatible game.

The best gaming headsets for Xbox Series X/S to buy in 2023

1. Xbox Wireless Stereo Headset: Best official Xbox Series X headset

Price when reviewed: £90 | Check price at

The official headset for the Xbox Series X and S features direct, easy pairing to either console, light and flexible build quality and some clever design elements. It will provide you with a quoted 15 hours of battery life in wireless mode, and has a USB-C charging cable that’s 35cm long. If that seems a little on the short side for you, there’s a wired version of this headset, which is also cheaper. The driver size in these headphones is 40mm, which is a tad on the small side, but what it lacks in power this headset makes up for in comfort and design.

Both ear cups incorporate large rotating dials that control volume and game/chat audio mix. With the latest console software updates, you can also save some EQ settings for your varying gaming activities. For the price, there are better options with bigger drivers and longer battery life, but it’s always useful owning an official peripheral like this, not least because future software updates may net you even more exclusive features.

Key specs – Connection: Bluetooth, USB-C wired; Quoted battery life: 15 hours; Microphone type: Flexible crane mic; RGB illumination: Microphone function LED; Driver size: 40mm; Noise-cancelling mic: Yes

2. SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless for Xbox: Best all-rounder

Price when reviewed: £100 | Check price at Amazon

This is the headset that gives you a bit of everything. SteelSeries is a very consistent brand when it comes to headsets, and this is no exception. Powering this compact and lightweight product is a 40mm driver that punches well above its weight. As for its microphone quality, its excellent noise-cancelling and recording capabilities come “Discord-certified”.

For added convenience, the Arctis 1 allows you to switch to a wired connection after the 20-hour battery runs out. It also won’t matter if you need to plug in via a 3.5mm jack, USB-C or USB A, because this headset caters to them all. It’s also supremely comfortable, which is the cherry on top.

Read our full SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless for Xbox review for details

Key specs – Connection: Wireless (USB-C), 3.5mm wired; Microphone type: Detachable crane mic; RGB illumination: No; Driver size: 40mm; Noise-cancelling mic: Yes

3. Razer Blackshark V2: Best wired Xbox Series X headset

Price when reviewed: £100 | Check price at Amazon

If you wake up in a cold sweat after having fever dreams about Bluetooth audio latency, Razer’s excellent range of wired headsets is made for you. The large 50mm drivers in this headset, combined with Razer’s Synapse software, will guarantee you excellent sound quality regardless of the game you’re playing. Thanks to the 3.5mm headphone jack on the end of the long 1.8m cable, you’ll be able to use this headset on any device that has a headphone jack port.

In the microphone department, the Blackshark features a detachable microphone that has a lot more flexibility to it than many other contemporary headphone mics. It has noise-cancelling capacity too, so your friends won’t be able to poke fun at your mum singing her way through the house.

Key specs – Connection: 3.5mm wired, USB sound card; Microphone type: Retractable crane mic; RGB illumination: No; Driver size: 50mm; Noise-cancelling mic: Yes

4. Venom Sabre: Best budget Xbox Series X headset

Price when reviewed: £33 | Check price at Amazon

You won’t often find gaming headsets with 50mm drivers this good with comfort levels this high. Did we mention it’s also well under £50? Most noticeably, you’ll see that the traditional headband of this headset has been substituted for a very comfortable suspension band and flexible metal outers. This means that no matter your head shape, this set will sit comfortably on you, and even adjust without you having to fiddle about with sliding grooves above the earcups.

For its price, the Venom Sabre also has impressive sound. It reproduces mid and treble ranges with surprising detail, yet doesn’t lack bass. When it comes to the microphone, we were just as pleasantly surprised. Not only does it retract into the headset, which is a feature many modern headsets omit, but it’s also a solid mic for the price. There may not be any fancy EQ settings or magical software, but there are some handy in-line controls for adjusting sound levels and muting yourself.

Key specs – Connection: 3.5mm wired; Microphone type: Retractable crane mic; RGB illumination: No; Driver size: 50mm; Noise-cancelling mic: No

5. Razer Kaira Pro (Xbox): Best premium Xbox Series X headset

Price when reviewed: £150 | Check price at Amazon

The folks at Razer released two models of this great headset: one for the release of the PlayStation 5 – featuring very fancy haptic feedback in the earcups – and the other for the Xbox. While it might not have swanky haptics that rattle your brain when you get shot in a game, the compatibility, design and audio customisation with this version make it one of the best headsets for Xbox gamers. Powered by Razer TriForce Titanium drivers and supported by lush cushioning all around the headband, this headset will be comfortable for anyone to wear.

The Kaira Pro has a detachable cardioid mic which is great for picking up your voice in a clear and crisp tone, as well as cancelling out background noise. There’s an assistant app available via your smartphone that allows you to customise your EQ and sound mix, and a button on the right earcup that lets you switch between them in a flash. If you want the best Xbox-specific headset money can buy, the Kaira Pro has your name on it.

Key specs – Connection: Wireless USB-C; Quoted battery life: 20 hours; Microphone type: Detachable crane mic; RGB illumination: With some editions; Driver size: 50mm; Noise-cancelling mic: Yes

6. Razer Kraken: Best Xbox Series X headset for longer sessions

Price when reviewed: £38 | Check price at Amazon

Comfort is king when you tend to play for longer sessions.This is particularly true if you partake in the odd charity gaming marathon, or you’re a glasses-wearer who finds most headsets unaccommodating. If any of that sounds relevant to you, the Razer Kraken has to be in your consideration. Coming before the Kraken X and its successors, the Kraken remains pound-for-pound one of the best gaming headsets. With slots built into the ear cups for the legs of your glasses, you won’t ever curse your eyesight again.

Moreover, the Kraken has a cooling gel infused into the ear cushions, which might sound like a gimmick but undoubtedly helps to keep the headset feeling lightweight and your head cool. The Kraken is no slouch in the sound department, either. With a 50mm driver in each ear, you’ll keep track of enemy players without any bother. The one downside? Some head shapes may experience some noise escaping toward the bottom of the ear cushion.

Key specs – Connection: Wired; Microphone type: retractable crane mic; RGB Illumination: No; Driver size: 50mm; Noise cancelling mic: No

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