Microsoft has built an unfortunate reputation for selling overpriced accessories to their consoles so the announcement of a Xbox One stereo headset for $79.99 came as a surprise. Microsoft had either produced a sub-par headset and set it at a marked up price-point or they had finally gave in and given their customers a product worth bragging about. I’m proud to say that the latter is true.
The most important feature of any headset, the audio from the stereo headset does not disappoint. Because the headset receives audio from the controller via the adapter, sound is limited to stereo signals though surround sound may be added in the future. While not as good as true surround sound, the simulated surround sound created by the headset does the job well. Those who are searching for high-quality sound may not be satisfied but the quality does very well for the average gamer.
As expected with a lower-price headset, the build of the headset isn’t as hefty or sturdy as some of the higher-end sets. The headset feels very light and is actually quite flexible. The ear cups bend back and forth and are able to retract in length, accommodating many different users. The uni-directional mic tucks into the frame of the headset which is perfect for those who plan on using the headset for their computers or phones.
The light weight of the build, the cloth material over the ear cups, and padding on the band makes it very comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. The rounded ear cups could have been elongated to better fit the ear but this is a relatively small issue. Like we have come to expect from higher end headsets, the stereo headset can be worn for several hours before any discomfort sets in; I wore the set for approximately four to five hours and didn’t experience any.
I absolutely love the simple design of this headset. Featuring the same gloss/matte motif as the Xbox One console, the stereo headset has an elegant and sleek look that many other headsets eschew. A small accent of green on the inside of the ear cup is a nice nod to the Xbox color theme but isn’t visible when the headset is being worn. When worn by someone with a large head (like myself) the headset looks a bit too squarish but it may only be a problem for some.
Easily the best aspect of the headset, the low price of $80 provides a place for new gamers to jump into the headset market. And considering that the included headset adapter is regularly priced at $25, you could consider the stereo headset at $55 an absolute steal. I strongly encourage this set for those who are intimidated by the high prices of other headsets on the market.
The stereo headset comes packaged with the Xbox One headset adapter that can be used with any stereo headset. Having a separate detachable adapter allows the headset to be used for the PC and phones, adding more value to the purchase. I attempted using the headset with the PS4 and it actually does have some limited functionality. Audio only comes out of the left side of the headset where the mic is and there is no actual game audio. While a bit disappointing, the headset can tide over those who are desperate for a headset compatible with both systems. As a final bonus, included in the packaging is a small micro-USB cable. While it is intended to be used to update the firmware, the cable can work as a charging cable for your controller which only sweetens the deal.
I was so surprised by the price when the headset was first announced that I felt compelled to buy one on my own. I had been interested in purchasing a quality gaming headset and the price was too attractive to pass up. The Xbox One Stereo Headset is a fantastic piece of audio hardware for an even better value.
Purchase your set here!
[+Great sound] [+Even better value] [+Compatibility with PC and mobile] [+Limited compatibility with PS4] [+Comfortable for long sessions] [-Somewhat flimsy build]