How to Connect Wireless Headphones to Xbox One

Microsoft's protocol makes it easy

If you're looking for a wireless sound solution for your Xbox One gaming console, you have a few important things to keep in mind. Not every headset will work, and there are a different means 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 several 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 model of headset you buy, you'll either use an included wireless receiver that plugs into a USB port on the hardware or connect to it directly, similarly to how you sync an Xbox One controller.

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

How to Connect Wireless Headphones to Xbox One

Once you've obtained a set of compatible wireless headphones, you'll connect them to the Xbox One using one of two methods.

If Your Headset Has a Wireless Adapter

Some wireless headsets come with a USB adapter that plugs into the console and transmits sound data to the headphones. If this is the case, all you need to do is turn on the Xbox One, connect the adapter, and switch on the headset. It will connect automatically, and the Xbox One will immediately switch the audio output to your headphones.

If Your Headset Doesn't Have a Wireless Adapter

If your wireless headphones don't connect through a USB dongle, you'll have to take a few more steps, but the process is typically no more complicated than syncing a controller. Here are three ways you might get your headset working.

These are general directions that may not apply to all models of headsets. 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 the wireless information. Attach the base station to the USB and optical cable ports. Typically, your headset will automatically pair with the base station, but you'll need to charge it completely before you use it.
  • For other headsets, press the sync button on the left side (Xbox One) or lower-right corner (Xbox One S and Xbox One X). Hold the power button on the headphones until it pairs with the console.
  • Connect your headset to the Xbox One via the USB, and then turn on the peripheral. Once the Xbox recognizes the headset (usually because the power indicator will stop blinking), you can unplug it.

Do You Need a Wireless Headset?

The main appeal of going wireless with your sound is that you won't have cords lying all over the place, but the Xbox One's setup means that's not necessarily going to be an issue. A wired headset plugs directly into the controller and lets you receive both game and chat audio without running a longer cord to your TV or soundboard. The only cord involved goes between your headphones and the controller you're already holding, which can still help with the clutter.