How to fix when your Xbox Series X or S headset isn’t working

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Having trouble communicating with your team or friends during a group chat? Let’s fix this problem. When an Xbox Series X or S headset isn’t working, you may experience a few different effects. Typically, your friends in conversation can’t hear you on Xbox Live, and you can’t hear them either. If only one part of the headset is malfunctioning, you may hear your friends when they can’t hear you, or vice versa. It is possible that your headphones are simply broken, but there are also a number of solutions that you can try before you take them out of service.

What are the reasons an Xbox Series X or S headset is no longer working?

This type of issue can be caused by issues with the headset itself, the controller, the adapter if you’re using a wireless headset, and even improperly configured privacy settings on your Xbox Series X or S. Problems like frayed cords and broken wires, damaged or dirty connections, and unplugged wireless adapters are all commonly associated with Xbox Series X or S headsets that stop working.

Are you trying to use your Xbox One Wireless Headset with your Xbox Series X or S? If it stopped working when you changed consoles, it may not be compatible. Check with the manufacturer if your headset is fully compatible with the Xbox X or S series.

While headsets can and do break, it’s fairly easy to fix most issues that cause an Xbox Series X or S headset to stop functioning at home without much help.

To repair your Xbox Series X or S headset and start chatting with your friends again, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure your controller is connected. If you are using a wired headset, make sure your controller is securely connected to your Xbox before you do anything else. Since the headset is connected to the controller, it will not work if your controller is not connected. If you find that it is not connected, try to sync to the controller again.
  2. Make sure the wireless adapter is connected. If you’re using a wireless headset that uses a USB dongle, unplug it from your Xbox and reinsert it. Make sure it is properly inserted and fully pushed in. If it was on the back, try inserting it into the front USB port for a stronger wireless connection.
  3. Make sure your headset is charged. If you are using a wireless headset, make sure it is charged and turned on. If the battery is dead or not charging, it will prevent it from working properly with your Xbox X or S series.
  4. Make sure your headphones are not muted. Most headsets that work with the Xbox X | S series have a mute button on the headset or in the lanyard. Try mute and unmute to see if your friends can hear you. The switch may not be working properly, in which case you can turn it off by switching between buttons.
  5. Inspect the headphone cord. If you see any signs of fraying or broken wires, it will prevent the headset from working properly. You can fix broken wires if you have the right equipment, get professional help, or just replace the headset.
  6. Check the connection with the controller. If you are using a wired headset, unplug it from the controller and examine the plug and socket. If the plug is dirty, clean it. If you notice any debris in the socket, try shaking it, removing it with a toothpick or other thin instrument, or blowing it out with compressed air. Hold the connector firmly when plugging in and unplugging the headphones. Pulling on the cord may damage the connections or the port itself.
  7. Try a different controller or device. If you are using a wired headset, try plugging it into a different controller. If you don’t have another controller, try plugging it into a computer, laptop, or other device that has a headphone port. If it works there, your controller is faulty, or you may be having issues with your Xbox privacy settings.

Xbox One controllers work with X or S series consoles. If you have a working Xbox One controller, you can sync it with your X or S series and use it to test your headset during this step.

  1. Plug the wireless dongle into another device. If you are using a headset with a wireless dongle, try plugging it into a computer or other device it is designed to work with. If it works with the other device, it’s probably not designed for Xbox Series X | S. If your wireless headset works with the Xbox X | S series natively, you won’t be able to complete this step because other devices don’t use the Xbox wireless protocol.
  2. Try a different headset. If you have another wireless or wired headset, try it instead and see if it works. If so, your original headset may be broken. Check with the manufacturer if it is still under warranty.
  3. Increase the sound from your headphones. If you cannot hear anything, the sound may be too low. Adjust the audio volume with a control on your headset, or with your Xbox Series X or S settings.
  4. Adjust your privacy settings. Xbox X or S series have privacy settings that may prevent voice chat from working. If you are not a child and you are not using a child account, you can fix this problem yourself.
    1. Navigate to Profile and System> Settings> Account > Online privacy and security.
    2. Select Xbox Live Safety.
    3. Select View details and customize.
    4. Select Communications & multiplayer.
    5. Choose who you want to be able to communicate with.
  5. Replace the batteries in your controller. If you use a wired headset, weak batteries may cause the headset to malfunction or even malfunction. Try a set of fresh batteries and see if that helps.
  6. Update your controller firmware. If you have outdated or corrupted firmware, it can also prevent a wired headset from working properly. To update your controller firmware:
    1. Press the xbox button to open the guide.
    2. Navigate to Profile and System> Settings.
    3. Navigate to Devices and connections> Accessories.
    4. Select the controller which does not work.
    5. Select the three-dot menu and check if there is a firmware update.
  7. Get your Xbox X or S series working. In some cases, a problem with the console itself can prevent a headset from connecting and working properly. This problem can usually be resolved with a simple power cycle:
    1. Turn off your Xbox Series X or S series.
    2. Disconnect the console from the power supply.
    3. Wait five minutes, and plug it back in.
    4. Turn on the console and check if your headphones are working.
  8. If your headphones are still not working after trying everything, you may just have the wrong headphones. Try contacting the manufacturer for further assistance or to find out if repairs are possible.

Due to the typical cost of repairs versus the cost of replacement, it often makes more sense to just buy a new Xbox headset rather than pay for the repairs.

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