Did you know there are limitations to what you can and cannot do with a Bluetooth headset? And do you know whether there are ways to get around these restrictions?
Xbox One consoles don’t fully support Bluetooth. While you may be able to connect Bluetooth headphones and hear in-game audio, you will not be able to engage in two-way chat, even via a third device or an installed Bluetooth transmitter or receiver. You will need an Xbox-compatible headset.
You may be wondering if it’s true that Xbox consoles are not Bluetooth compatible, as you may have been able to pair a Bluetooth-enabled device to your console in the past.
Is Xbox One Bluetooth Capable?
Gamers worldwide love accessories that not only enhance their gaming experience by delivering a quality product but also look fantastic and feel good.
Bluetooth headsets, in particular, feature in the community as a symbol of status, almost indicating how seriously you take your gaming. This poses a potential problem, though, if you’re wondering if you can use a Bluetooth headset on Xbox One.
When Microsoft released the Xbox 360 almost two decades ago, the company decided to forego Bluetooth capability on its consoles, and instead use a radio signal for wireless communication with accessories.
There are various reasons why the electronic bigwig may have decided to go this route, but either way, the lack of Bluetooth carried over to the Xbox One console.
The Xbox One does allow for some Bluetooth connection, however. While it isn’t a simple plug-and-play option like on other consoles, Xbox One will transmit only in-game audio via Bluetooth and won’t allow the gamer to chat via the technology. Enthusiasts have discovered a few workarounds that may be worth investigating.
Gamers who find the lack of Bluetooth connectivity with the Xbox One console frustrating theorize that Microsoft chose this pathway to maintain the monopoly on branded headsets and other compatible accessories. However, that’s not necessarily the only reason why the manufacturer went in this direction.
But the question remains: is a smaller selection of compatible wireless Xbox One-compatible headsets the only way, or can I connect a Bluetooth headset to my Xbox One console?
Can You Use Bluetooth Headphones On Xbox One?
If your console is an Xbox One, you may not be thrilled to hear that while the console has Bluetooth capabilities, this is mostly for wireless controllers to connect and not for pairing with a full audio setup.
This means that Bluetooth headphones cannot simply be paired to an Xbox One console and allow you to listen and chat back and forth online.
However, there are some ways around the problem if you have your heart set on using a wireless headset.
And while Xbox One-specific wireless headsets are available, you may have a pair of Bluetooth-enabled headphones waiting to be used. Let’s look at the main alternatives to get around the lack of native Bluetooth audio connectivity with your Xbox One.
Buy The Right Headphones For Xbox One
The easiest, cheapest, and quickest solution to using a headset with your Xbox One that isn’t wired is to buy Microsoft’s Wireless Headset specifically. They are available in stores and can connect without an issue to your console. However, you are slightly more limited in variety here than the myriad options available for regular Bluetooth headsets.
Connecting an Xbox Wireless headset is as easy as it gets and is done similarly to how you connect or pair a new controller to the console – press the pairing button on the headset and on the console; the process should guide itself.
Gamers using these accessories report high-quality audio, although there are professional headsets that would deliver a much higher level of quality –some of these require a Bluetooth connection. Microsoft has tried to remedy this by partnering with brands that offer superior quality audio and chat despite not being Bluetooth compatible.
If this isn’t the answer you’re looking for, and you want to use a different headset that requires a Bluetooth connection, don’t throw in the towel. There are ways and means of getting around the fact that Xbox One doesn’t offer Bluetooth audio connectivity – but it does require spending some additional money.
Connecting Bluetooth Headphones For Xbox One
If you’ve got Bluetooth headphones and don’t want to use the Xbox-specific wireless headsets, there are a few things that you can try to make them work. Firstly, it’s worth noting that since the Xbox One console doesn’t support Bluetooth audio, it doesn’t mean you can’t listen to your game using Bluetooth headphones.
But for the generation of gamers who survive on hours of online gaming that requires chat, this just isn’t good enough. Microsoft paid attention to this feedback, though, and around 2015, their gamepads and controllers were updated to include a headphone jack. This allowed a wider variety of headset usage that didn’t limit gamers to Xbox-only style headsets.
To mitigate the fallout from gamers who could not connect due to having any audio jack, Microsoft developed and marketed an Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter, which adds a headphone jack to older controllers and allows connection to a Bluetooth dongle.
These then allow Bluetooth connection – but are still unable to do more than send audio out to a speaker, meaning you can hear everything in-game but not communicate via voice chat. Similarly, you could buy a Bluetooth transmitter that allows you to connect any wireless headset. While it will add Bluetooth capability, it doesn’t allow two-way audio – bringing us back to square one.
This brings us to a conclusion that while Xbox One allows Bluetooth connection to a set of Bluetooth headphones, you will not be able to fully utilize all its functions, and two-way chat will remain a problem.
A third option is to buy a Bluetooth transmitter and receiver option, a device you install to your console to allow two-way chat for in-game communications. This is quite expensive, but getting the settings right could be challenging.
Other options include running your gaming through a third device, like a laptop, TV, or even a smartphone. Using a Bluetooth dongle or transmitter/receiver could allow you to hear your audio through these devices but does not guarantee the usage of the microphone.
So, what now?
Wireless Headphone Connection To Xbox One
Fortunately, there is a wide variety of available headsets compatible with Microsoft’s wireless technology. In earlier years, there may have been limitations to what you could buy, where you could buy them, and fewer creative styles that Bluetooth headsets have become known for. Nowadays, there is much more variety and these can be easily purchased in stores and online.
If you own a pair of Microsoft-compatible Wireless Headphones or are trying to find out what headphones to buy, here are some advantages and disadvantages to owning and using them.
Pros and Cons of Microsoft Wireless Headphones
- Proprietary radio signal used for wireless communication is stronger with lower latency than Bluetooth
- Wireless tech means you’re not caught up in wires and can move around easily
- High-quality audio due to spatial sound technology and clear audio picked up from the microphone
- Easy connection and fine-tuning via the Xbox Accessories app
- Comfortable, lightweight design with soft earcups
- Easy to change and adjust volume and game/chat balance by rotating earcups
- The microphone adjusts and tucks up and out of the way when not in use
- More than 12 hours of battery life with an internal, rechargeable battery
- No additional devices/adapters are required to make these headphones work
- Forward compatible with new consoles that come out in the future, meaning you won’t need to find a new headset should you upgrade to a newer Xbox console
- Limitations in creative styles that you often find on other Bluetooth-only brands
- Pricing can be high on specific brands, such as the renowned Bang & Olufsen audio setup that will cost around $400 and upwards
How To Connect Wireless Headphones: Step-by-step Guide
By far, the easiest option is to use Microsoft-compatible accessories, which can be connected to your console without much effort. Here are the steps needed:
Step 1: Turn on the headset and switch on pairing mode. This may be done by holding down the power button until the lights flick on.
Step 2: Switch on the console, and push and hold the pairing button – this is the same process used to pair new controllers to the console.
Step 3: Press the Connect button on the headset and hold until the light flashes. An audible tone should be heard when the connection is complete, and both devices have a steady light on. Your headset is ready to use.
Which Bluetooth Headset Is Best For Xbox One?
There are many options nowadays; Microsoft as a brand is not the only headset that will work. There may be vastly more Bluetooth headsets on the market in general, but it doesn’t mean you are short on choices if you opt for the Xbox One-compatible variety.
The following have been tipped as the best options by those who use them based on audio quality, comfort, and clear chat audio. Pricing is also taken into account as value for money is essential. Here are some of the top choices:
- LucidSound LS50X Gaming Headset: $190 – $250 in terms of price range
- Steelseries Arctis 9X: Priced between $150 and $200
- Microsoft Xbox One Official Stereo Headset: Costs between $85 and $115
- Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2: The starting price is around $200
- Corsair HS35: Priced between $40 and $50
- Razer Kraken Tournament Edition: Costs anywhere from $65 to $115
- Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2: Costs around $150
- Corsair HS75 XB Wireless: Costs around $150
- EPOS Sennheiser GSP 300: Available at around $70
- Microsoft Xbox Wireless Headset: Pricing ranges from $90 to $150
- Razer Nari Ultimate: For sale at about $160
- Turtle Beach Recon 500: Prices start at around $55 and top out at $80
- Razer Kaira Pro: Between $80 and $170
- Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2: Price ranges from $88 to $130
- Audeze Penrose X: Pricing from around $230
Is It Worth Spending A Lot Of Money On A Gaming Headset?
Avid gamers and those who make a living from it will give a resounding ‘yes’ in response to this question. While that makes sense in terms of comfort, audio quality, and long battery life for those who spend hours behind the screen, there are compatible headsets on the market that won’t break the bank but still have loads to offer.
Like most things in life, spending a little more on a higher-quality product will usually also come with a warranty of some sort, which implies you have some recourse if something does go wrong in the early days of owning it. This, together with the knowledge that a slightly higher price generally implies high-quality products used in production, is a worthy investment for a hobby you do take seriously.
While Xbox consoles don’t offer the full benefits of Bluetooth connection, it doesn’t mean you are restricted to shoddy second-rate headsets. Microsoft and the various brands it has affiliated with developing excellent products that connect to your console effortlessly, provide high-quality audio, and won’t necessarily break the bank.
So, while you may not be able to use the Bluetooth headset you were gifted or used on other platforms, and the workarounds for making it function on your Xbox console will require effort and money with a substandard outcome as a result, you can still game to your heart’s content by choosing one of the excellent options mentioned above.