The Xbox One Stereo is a well-balanced headset that holds a lot of potential. With its ability to be updated during its lifetime, it will hold onto its value as a basic, no-frills headset.
This Microsoft headset seems to be one of the first basic headsets of the new console generation. Our more budget-conscious readers will enjoy this price tag; while most third-party headsets on the market hover around the $150 mark, the Xbox One Stereo headset sells for $79.99. With the total package including a standard headset hookup for the PC and PS4 and a headset adapter for an XB1 controller connection, gamers looking for a quick, cheap purchase will enjoy this price tag.
Let’s start with comfort. The Xbox One Stereo headset has two over-the-ear headphones with cloth padding on the inside, which helps keep that gross feeling of sweaty regret after hours of intense game time. The headphones are flexible enough to fit most ear types without a problem, and with over-the-head design and adjustable length, the headset fits well even over my own giant head. The connection consists of a nicer quality wire that is long enough to avoid entanglements while gaming. The mic only adjusts in a vertical direction, but is relatively sturdy, so unless your rage quitting habits reach beast-mode levels, you won’t run into too many problems.
What about audio quality? At no fault of the hardware, the headset won’t simulate an exceptionally impressive level of surround sound. The Xbox One Stereo headset currently doesn’t support either 5.1 or 7.1 audio, in part because the audio is routed wirelessly through the controller. While the wireless audio amazingly has almost no discernable lag [no seriously, if you are noticing lag, you should tell someone because you have super powers], the technology for transmitting the surround sound wirelessly is not present in the controller. But fear not! Xbox One controllers will automatically search for patch updates for new sound hardware upon boot-up, including 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound support. So in due time, you’ll have your full audio setup within this simple headset.
As for asthetics...Microsoft is great at a lot of things. Pretty designs isn’t one of them. The headset, only sold in black, consists of standard smooth matte plastic over its spherical headphones. If you are looking for something sexy, look elsewhere.
So should I buy this? The Xbox One Stereo headset is a well-balanced headset that holds a lot of potential, despite its basic appearance. The headset will hold its lifetime value for a while, thanks to its ability to be automatically updated. If you are just trying to own a simple audio system to prevent your parents, kids, or significant other from knowing when you’re gaming, the Xbox One Stereo headset gets the job done. At $79.99 and plug-and-play versatility, its the best value for anyone searching for a simple Xbox One headset. But if you’re seeking a feature-heavy device, I would suggest either getting a more expensive headset with optical support, or waiting until the next round of headsets to be released.