How to connect wireless headphones to Xbox One

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Microsoft’s protocol makes it easy

If you are looking for a wireless sound solution for your Xbox One gaming console, there are a few important things to keep in mind. Not all headsets will work, and there are different ways to connect.

Here’s what you need to know to use a wireless headset with the Xbox One.

Does the Xbox One have Bluetooth?

Unfortunately, none of the various versions of the Xbox One (including the S and X models) support Bluetooth, so only headsets that use Microsoft’s wireless protocol can connect to the console. Depending on the headset model you purchase, you’ll either use an included wireless receiver that plugs into a hardware USB port or connect to it directly, much the same way you sync an Xbox One gamepad.

However, if you have a Bluetooth wireless headset, you probably won’t be able to use it with the Xbox One. Your best source for finding out if wireless headsets are compatible with the Xbox One is Microsoft’s accessories page, which provides both an up-to-date list of devices that will work and links to purchase them directly.

Once you’ve got a set of compatible wireless headsets, you’ll connect them to the Xbox One using one of the following two methods.

If your headset has a wireless adapter

Some wireless headsets have a USB adapter that plugs into the console and transmits sound data to the headsets. If so, just turn on the Xbox One, plug in the adapter, and turn on the headset. The connection will be made automatically and the Xbox One will immediately switch the audio output to your headphones.

If your headset does not have a wireless adapter

If your wireless headphones aren’t connected by a USB dongle, you’ll need to do a few extra steps, but the process is usually no more complicated than syncing a controller. Here are three ways to make your headphones work.

These are general guidelines and may not apply to all helmet models. Refer to your device’s documentation for specific instructions.

  • In some cases, the headset comes with a base station that connects to the console and relays information wirelessly. Connect the base station to the USB ports and the optical cable. Usually your headset will automatically pair with the base station, but you will need to fully charge it before using it.
  • For other headsets, press the sync button on the left side (Xbox One) or bottom right corner (Xbox One S and Xbox One X). Hold the headset’s power button until it pairs with the console.
  • Connect your headset to the Xbox One through the USB port, then turn on the device. Once the Xbox recognizes the headset (usually because the power light stops flashing), you can unplug it.

Do you need a wireless headset?

The main advantage of wireless technology is that you won’t have cables everywhere, but the Xbox One’s setup means that it won’t necessarily be a problem. A wired headset plugs directly into the controller and lets you receive audio from games and chats without having to run a long cord to your TV or soundboard. The only cord needed is the one that connects the headset to the controller you’re already holding, which can still help reduce clutter.

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