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How to connect wireless headphones to Xbox Series X|S or Xbox One?

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Many gamers, including users of Microsoft’s consoles, are becoming increasingly willing to use a headset without a cable. How to connect wireless headphones to Xbox Series X|S or Xbox One? The whole process is very intuitive and at a minimum lengthens the preparation for the game. We invite you to read a short tutorial that will help dispel any doubts and pair your personal audio system with the console without any problems.

Discover the step-by-step guide on how to connect Bluetooth headphones to Xbox One for an enhanced gaming experience!

Pairing wireless headphones with Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One consoles – preparation

We can characterize modern headphones that enable cable-free communication on the basis of a number of characteristics. For us, however, the key parameter is their compatibility with Microsoft’s 8th and 9th generation consoles. Only models labeled in this way give the user confidence that the process of connecting the headset will go without complications. In addition, official support from Xbox guarantees full functionality of the audio set, including a working microphone and surround sound. If the purchase of the right device is yet to come, we encourage you to check out our list of the best headphones for Xbox Series X|S.

Very importantly: the consoles covered in this guide do not support Bluetooth. While it is possible to get around this limitation, the functionality of such a connected headset will be limited – we would have to accept a non-functioning microphone, as well as lower audio quality and latency. Nevertheless, we have included such solutions in our guide to help those without a dedicated headset enjoy console audio without tangled cables. In total, we covered 3 ways on how to connect wireless headphones to Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X or Xbox One:

1.   Pairing a dedicated headset with the console that has a built-in Xbox Wireless module – such a headset does not need a USB adapter or base station to function.

2.   Connecting compatible wireless headphones with Xbox using a USB adapter or base station – the additional peripheral is plugged into the Xbox’s USB-A port, and the synchronization itself occurs between the headset and its receiver.

3.   Using wireless headphones via Bluetooth protocol – lower quality sound reproduction, no microphone support.

Additional features and solutions implemented by manufacturers in the headset may slightly affect how the headset pairs with the Xbox Series X|S or Xbox One. Information on the manufacturer’s recommended pairing procedure should always be found in the included user manual. Like a mantra, we will repeat to remember to update the software – some of the older audio systems will properly connect to the 9th generation Xboxes only after uploading new firmware. With everything explained, we move on to pairing the wireless headphones with the console.

How to connect wireless headphones to Xbox Series X|S or Xbox One? Kits without an adapter and base station

The easiest way to connect wireless headphones to Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S is to pair them with the console as we do with the original controllers. This solution is quite often used by manufacturers, but when buying a headset we need to pay special attention to the information about its compatibility. We have no guarantee that all headsets that work with the previous generation of Microsoft consoles will also be supported by Xbox Series X|S, so it is worth checking this on the website of the respective model before any purchase. The most common connection process is as follows:

1.   We are launching the Xbox.

2.   If you plan to use the microphone, make sure it is plugged into the headset. If the headset is equipped with a chat volume knob, it is worth checking that it is not muted.

3.   We turn on the headset in pairing mode (usually by holding down the “Power” button for a long time), or alternatively, when the headset starts up, we find the corresponding switch (it may be labeled “Sync” or “Connect”).

4.   On the console, we press the button responsible for syncing with the peripherals. The Xbox logo should start flashing.

5.   We wait for the process of synchronizing the console with the headset to finish (usually the controls on the Xbox and the headset will stop flashing).

6.   The hardware is ready for use. The TV screen should show that the headset has been assigned to the console.

The headset’s operating parameters are controlled from the Xbox settings. The above method of communicating the headset with the console allows the use of surround audio (Dolby Atmos, DTS Headphone:X or Windows Sonic). If there is a loss of synchronization between the devices (for example, due to connecting the headset to another source), the pairing process must be carried out again in an identical manner.

How to connect wireless headphones to Xbox Series X|S or Xbox One? Kits with an adapter or base station

Some manufacturers add special USB adapters or entire base stations to their wireless headphones. However, the mere presence of such items in a set does not guarantee that Microsoft’s 8th and 9th generation consoles support a particular model. The relevant information about the compatibility of the set with our hardware should be clearly marked in the specification of the headset. Otherwise, we may be doomed to connect with a cable to the 3.5 mm jack on the controller or Xbox One gamepad adapter. How do I connect wireless headphones to an Xbox One, One S, One X or Xbox Series X|S if we have an in-ear audio system with a USB adapter or base station? The process of pairing devices usually looks like this:

1.   We start the Xbox.

2.   If the base or adapter has a mode switch, we switch it to the Xbox position.

3.   To use the microphone, we should connect it to the headphones. If the microphone is permanently installed, it is a good idea to locate its switch and make sure it is not muted on the volume knob.

4.   We connect the station or USB transmitter to the USB-A port on the console. Some bases also require a connection via a TOSLINK optical cable (applicable to Xbox One, Xbox One S and Xbox One X only).

5.   Turn on the headset. Most headsets are pre-configured with an adapter or base station. If the devices are not synchronized, follow the pairing process as indicated in the user manual. If there are no instructions in the documents that came with the headset, you need to contact the distributor or manufacturer.

6.   The headset is ready for use.

We can change all settings of the headset from the console. Some of the configuration can also be done from the level of dedicated applications, everything depends on the ingenuity of the manufacturer. Of course, we have the possibility to use spatial audio formats, prepared specifically for the headset.

How to connect wireless headphones to Xbox Series X|S or Xbox One? Bluetooth headsets

It is worth remembering that there is no way to directly connect Bluetooth wireless headphones to the Xbox One or Series X|S. Microsoft’s listed consoles do not support this protocol, so we have to use some tricks. The two that seem easiest to implement are:

1.   The no-cost option – we pair Bluetooth headphones with the TV to which we have our console connected. If the choice of a suitable display is yet to come, we have already discussed the best TVs for Xbox Series X|S on our portal.

2.   A solution that requires a small investment – for a relatively small amount of money we can buy a battery-powered Bluetooth transmitter plugged into the 3.5 mm minijack socket on the Xbox pad.

We must bear in mind that the ways described above for using BT headphones while playing Microsoft consoles translates into inferior sound quality. When connected via Bluetooth to a display without support for Dolby Atmos or DTS:X in the headphone versions, we will not be able to enjoy surround audio. On top of that, there may be minor delays in the sound relative to the video. However, if these are not major drawbacks for us, the solutions presented above – at least temporarily – can free us from the cable at the headset.

Connecting wireless headphones to Xbox Series X, Series S or Xbox One – summary

As you can see, the stringent compatibility requirements for wireless headset compatibility with Microsoft’s consoles have their advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, the number of models supported by Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S is quite limited, but in return we get a fabulously simple headset pairing process. We are confident that with a little help from our tutorial, every user will be able to handle this task without the slightest problem.

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