The team at Xbox has announced a new headset to complement the new console hardware it launched last year in the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. The new Xbox Wireless Headset promises myriad upgrades to your average, run-of-the-mill gaming headset with best-in-class audio performance and chat features.
When Microsoft set out to improve the gaming experience for the now-current generation of gaming, one key area was audio. The team wanted you to feel like you were dropped into the middle of your gaming experience, and hoped to achieve that with custom audio hardware built into the consoles to relieve the CPU of the workload of processing audio. With the new Xbox Wireless Headset, the platform holder hopes to take the experience to the next level.
The Xbox Wireless Headset allows you to hear games loud and clear with low latency and lossless audio. This new device supports the most popular spatial sound technologies, including Dolby Atmos, DTS Headphone: X, and Windows Sonic. Xbox specifically calls out being able to better hear crucial sounds like enemy footsteps as they attempt to sneak up on you.
On top of being able to hear your games better, this new headset enables players to better hear those you’re playing with. Intelligent chat audio quality is possible thanks to dual beamforming microphone elements that pick out speech, as well as voice isolation tuning that helps your microphone pick up your voice over any background noise. If you’re not feeling super chatty, a new, toggleable auto-mute feature automatically turns off your mic when you’re not talking so you’re not heard unless you’re meant to be; there’s also a manual mute button, just to be safe. Either way, you’re only heard when you want to be heard, and a new light indicator tells you when your voice is being picked up and the mic is active.
All the technology in the world would be for naught if the headset is uncomfortable, so the team at Xbox worked to deliver a lightweight design, large and soft earcups made of polyurethane leather, and an adjustable headband with a thick cushion. Just because it’s comfortable doesn’t mean it’s soft all around, though. The Xbox Wireless Headset features a frame with an inner metal headband, rubberized dial rings for grip, and an adjustable mic that you can easily tuck away if you’re not using it. The earcups also rotate so you can easily adjust the volume of the game or chat.
Much like other premium accessories released by Xbox (like the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller 2), nearly every aspect of the experience in configurable and customizable. Using the Xbox Accessories app on Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, or PC, you can fine-tune and customize your experience, including equalizer settings, bass boost, auto-mute sensitivity, mic monitoring, and even the brightness of the microphone’s mute light. You can also connect to this app to download updates to the headset.
The headset can connect to Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and Windows 10 PC, plus mobile devices via Bluetooth. That means you can use the headset to listen to music on your phone before switching over to your Xbox for gaming without any wires. You can even pair the headset to both your phone and Xbox simultaneously so you can have a call and play games at the same time. When it comes to battery life, you can squeeze four hours of use out of 30 minutes of charging, of 15 hours of use out of three hours of downtime charging.
The new Xbox Wireless Headset is available beginning March 16, and can be pre-ordered starting today. The headset is listed for $99.99.
Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S launched last November, delivering iterative, yet noticeable improvements over its predecessors in the Xbox One and Xbox One X. If you’ve yet to dive in to the new generation of gaming, you can learn more about what those two systems bring to the table by reading our review.
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