The new generation of consoles from Microsoft brought good news when it debuted in 2020. Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X improved the way to play and, despite some setbacks, the final balance was positive. But there was still something missing. Now the company intends to redeem itself with fans who were still waiting for an official headset, with the “Xbox Wireless Headset”, without a pompous name but with a considerable quality – although the suggested price is in the house of salty snacks R$ 1,099.00. Also compatible with Windows 10 and Mac OS computers, in addition to Xbox One, the accessory may be a good option for those who want to unite two worlds. Check the review to see if it’s worth it.
Xbox Wireless Headset Review on Video
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Design and comfort
In its publicity text, Microsoft says that it sought to make the Xbox Wireless Headset with a minimalist design and consistent with the rest of the current Xbox devices. And, well, it kind of happens. The device is really discreet and, like the name, it’s not fancy.
Its colors are still very reminiscent of the Xbox Series X, the “current default console”. The body is all black and has small green details, including the buttons. The same kind of design seen on the console box is still noticed here, with a more “presentation” approach. The user opens the box and is faced with the accessory, ready to be used, without many frills – but, of course, read the manual first, which is right below the device.
Your look sets you apart from the competition, which can be good or bad. It looks almost nothing like the Pulse 3D, the official PlayStation 5 headset, for example, which in turn has a more “futuristic” look. Anyone who doesn’t know can look and “judge the cover”, thinking it’s a lower quality device, but let me tell you that this would be a huge mistake.
Apparently, Microsoft has opted for the “less is more” approach, as much as that strategy has some risks when it comes to visuals. Still, it is an elegant device that matches the proposal of its consoles. After all, who expected the Xbox Series X to be basically a rectangular box?
But it gives the first impression about the design, let’s get down to business: is it comfortable?
The Xbox Wireless Headset is one of the most comfortable headsets I’ve used in recent years, even for those who wear glasses – which is the bad case. The device adapts well to almost any head shape and is so light that you don’t forget you’re wearing it because of the microphone, which is semi-visible in the user’s peripheral vision.
Vision, by the way, is an important part when using a headset. Some are so robust and gigantic that they appear in the “corner of the eye” and can distract from what matters, whether it’s a multiplayer game of Fortnite or an important meeting on the computer.
While comfortable and lightweight, however, it doesn’t seem like the firmest of headsets. Precisely for being light, with about 400 grams, the accessory moves with ease in any sudden turn of the head, whether to talk to another person or simply to look at your side for any possible reason.
One very important thing to mention is that the headset doesn’t let you adjust the bow size when it’s on your head. There is a clever mechanism that fully locks the bow’s slide. It is necessary to remove the device from the head to make the fine adjustment, if desired. At first I found it quite strange, but in the end I found a good solution, which prevents accidents or unwanted and involuntary adjustments.
As for the material used in building your body, I only have compliments. It seems to be tough, despite being that kind of rubber that will peel off over time, although I won’t be sure of that until a few months of use. However, the ear cup pads are removable, but I do not recommend removing at your leisure, as they are not so simple to put back in place.
Finally, it is worth highlighting a detail that is almost merely aesthetic, but that draws attention for being quite different. The indicators R and L, or Right and Left, or Right and Left, are stamped on the inside of the earpiece, very large and in white color. I think it’s the first time I’ve seen a headset use this kind of approach, not discreet but pretty to the eye.
Controls and Connectors
The first experience with the Xbox Wireless Headset can be confusing, so I emphasize: always read the manual before using any electronic device. This is due to its buttons and controls, which are not very intuitive. Pairing with Xbox or Bluetooth computers is technically simple, but it can take longer than the user realizes, which should cause some confusion. Oh and the Bluetooth here is 4.2 low latency.
On the PC, the procedure is the default. He activated the computer’s Bluetooth and paired up, without any great mysteries and without much delay. Once connected, the accessory behaves well in both cases and the connection is maintained with good quality.
The controls are very practical. A simple button, not very well located, can mute or unmute the device. The microphone also “mutates” itself when it doesn’t detect your voice, but this can be modified in the settings, when it’s connected to a console, for example. On the sides of each “ear”, the headset has controls in the shape of the entire piece: on the right it controls the volume and on the left the balance of sound between game and voice.
The robust and large controls, rotating the entire ear, are practical and leave no room for failures or accidents, like pressing any other button accidentally or at least not being able to reduce and increase the volume quickly. The side that contains the game-voice balance control also features a slight “click” to demonstrate when it’s perfectly balanced between the two sound sources.
The device also comes with a USB-C cable in the box, but only for charging. It cannot be used with cable connections such as P1 or P2 or even any USB type. It’s a lack of choice, unfortunately, even though Microsoft makes it clear here that the quality of the Bluetooth connection is the focus, to provide flawless feedback to the player – and that seems to be the case, as I haven’t noticed any kind of delay.
Ah, in terms of connections, apart from PC and Xbox, surprisingly the headset works on cell phones as well, but not on other consoles outside the Xbox lineup, but it’s not Microsoft’s fault. PS4 and PS5 even recognize the Xbox Wireless Headset, but they don’t connect as they don’t accept a native Bluetooth headset, only with a “dongle”. The Nintendo Switch doesn’t even have a Bluetooth connection option for sound accessories, whatever.
And I want to point out a lot here that the dongle just doesn’t exist on this headset, in case I haven’t made it clear yet.
Battery and range
The Xbox Wireless Headset does well on battery power. You can play for a few days without suffering from unusual downloading during a game. It tells you, by visual means, when the battery is low, on the screen, when a full charge is needed, or for a few minutes if you’re in a hurry.
The problem is that it takes some recharge time, about three or four hours to get fully 100%. In return, this will guarantee more than 15 hours of game, or work or any other activity on the computer and console, without interruptions.
Microsoft advises that the battery may last less or longer depending on how you use the accessory. The Xbox Wireless Headset can stay charged for less hours if, for example, the distance between the headset and the paired device is too far, if the volume is always at maximum, if you use constant voice, among other possibilities.
Still, there’s no such glaring difference, and overall the Xbox Wireless Headset does well on the battery side.
And since I talked about reach: the device doesn’t look bad either. I usually play on the sofa in the living room, facing the console, in a straight position and with a distance of about two meters between the video game and my position. I had no interruptions or failures when going to the kitchen, for example, to get a glass of water. The first major interruption came when I had to visit my service area, two rooms away, for whatever reason. But that didn’t completely interrupt.
Sound and microphone
The microphone didn’t make me very happy, I confess, but just because I’m not a big fan of external microphone headsets, I prefer the built-in ones. If you don’t mind that, or if you prefer it that way, the Xbox Wireless Headset isn’t going to present anything negative at this point.
The capture, however, works extremely well!
The headset packs cutting-edge technologies into its guts, including Windows Sonic, Dolby Atmos and DTS Headphone, which provide premium sound capture and reproduction. It may seem like I’m just speaking some difficult names in English, but this kind of production makes all the difference. Dolby Atmos, for example, is well known to those who are used to, or used to, go to some movie theaters that use spatial sound, which changes according to the position of a certain scene.
Windows Sonic is Microsoft’s proprietary format, which works on both Windows 10 and Xbox, as a surround sound emulator for better ambient sound around the player’s ear. The combined technologies translate into some of the best reproductions I’ve ever heard with a headset on Xbox, for example.
Some tested games were Forza Horizon 4, Gears 5, Fortnite, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, Spirifarer, Star Wars Squadrons and Fuser In some of them, the headset was essential, as in Fortnite, to hear footsteps from opponents approaching me.
As increasing and decreasing volume is easy and practical, the user will not have a headache if the sound of a game is quieter or louder. In addition, the Xbox menu at least gives you a plethora of possibilities for extra settings, such as deeper tones, more treble and other ways of capturing for voice. The headset matches the console and its games very well.
Xbox Wireless Headset: Is It Worth It?
The Xbox Wireless Headset is now available for purchase on Amazon and will soon arrive in other Brazilian stores. As I mentioned, its suggested price is R$1,099.00 and this is not such a low investment, especially when you have cheaper options on the market.
But it’s worth remembering that Microsoft’s goal here isn’t just to engage gamers or sell a gaming headset. In theory, it is aimed at any function that is compatible, including a call in Zoom, listening to music on a cell phone or even for those who work with sound on a computer, editing a podcast, for example.
When compared to an Astro A20, for example, which we are talking about here, it is cheaper. The Sennheiser Momentum 3, another headset we evaluated, is in the R$3,000 range. Razer and HyperX, other famous brands for headphone and headset accessories, have more economical options, but there are also premium ones, which exceed R$1,000. On the other hand, Pulse 3D, on the PS5, is sold by Sony for R$ 599, a “trifle” compared to Microsoft’s, even though it has some problems that we pointed out in the review.
In summary, it’s not a cheap device, but those who are going to buy it may be a little used or used to spending this amount of money on a high-quality headset, even for those who don’t play games and need a decent quality device for their work. If you are looking for something “starter”, which is more economical, you may have better options in the market.
But particularly, if I had to invest, I would save a little more money and buy the Xbox Wireless Headset, instead of the Pulse 3D or anything else in the same price range, for example, even though the two are from different devices. The reason is simple: the Xbox accessory was much more comfortable and easier to use, especially due to the absence of a dongle.
Xbox Wireless Headset: Technical Specifications
|Specifications||Xbox Wireless Headset|
|Compatible with||Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Windows 10, Mac, Android and iOS|
|Weight (without box)||Less than 400 grams (approximate)|
|Nominal impedance||32 ohm|
|Connection||USB-C port for charging|
|Frequency response||20Hz – 20kHz|
|battery life||More than 15 hours|
|wireless range||More than 15 meters|
Xbox Wireless Headset
- There is no dongle!
- Very good range and almost flawless
- Battery lasts a lot
- Very light and comfortable (even for those who wear glasses)
- Quality sound with space effect
- Works well on console, PC and mobile
- The first connection to the console is confusing
- External microphone does not please so much
- Price is not the most affordable