How To Fix It if an Xbox Series X or S Controller Headphone Jack Isn't Working

Your controller is probably salvageable so don’t toss it yet

The Xbox Series X and S both use a jack in the controller as the primary way to connect a headset, so when the controller jack stops working, you’ll find yourself unable to chat with friends both in and out of games. This problem can be caused by both hardware and software issues, many of which you can fix yourself.

The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S use the same controller, so the instructions in this article apply to both consoles.

What Causes an Xbox Series X or S Controller Headphone Jack to Stop Working?

When the headphone jack in an Xbox controller stops working, it can be due to either a hardware or firmware problem. The headphone jack itself can fail in a few different ways, and corrupt or outdated firmware for both the console and the controller can also cause this issue.

Additionally, a lot of audio problems are blamed on the headphone jack when they are actually caused by something else. Problems like a damaged headphone connector plug, muted headset, and incorrectly configured voice, privacy, or parental settings on your Xbox can all prevent your headset from working just like a bad headset jack.

How to Fix an Xbox Series X or S Headphone Jack

To fix your malfunctioning Xbox Series X or S headphone jack, follow these instructions:

  1. Disconnect and reconnect the headset. You may just have a bad connection, which can make it seem like the jack is bad. Try gripping the headphone plug firmly, unplugging it, and then reinserting it. Make sure that the jack is fully seated, and check to see if the headset works.

  2. Examine the headset, cord, and connector. If you are able to see any visible damage to any of these components, then you’re probably dealing with a faulty headset and not a bad headset jack. Frayed or broken wires can be fixed if you own a soldering iron and heat shrink, or you can just buy a new headset. If you see any debris on the connector, like dirt, food, or rust, try cleaning it off with a cotton swab that has been dipped in alcohol. Allow it to dry, then check to see if the headset works.

  3. Examine the headset port in the controller. It can be difficult to see inside this small port, so use a flashlight and do your best. If you see any obstructions inside the port, attempt to remove them with a thin implement like tweezers or a toothpick. Be gentle, and take care to avoid damaging the internal components.

  4. Make sure the headset isn’t muted. With the headset plugged in, check the physical mute switch on the headset and the mute button in party chat. It’s also possible that your friend has you muted, so have them check that as well if they still can’t hear you.

  5. Try a different controller or headset. If you have multiple controllers and headsets, try them in different combinations. Try a new headset with your existing controller first. If it works, then your headphone jack is fine. If you instead find that your existing headset works with a different controller, then you may have a bad headphone jack or a firmware problem.

    Most Xbox One headsets work with Xbox Series X and S, so try one of those if you have one.

  6. Update the firmware. If you found that your headset worked with a different controller, try updating the firmware of the original controller.

    To update Xbox Series X or S controller firmware:

    1. Navigate to Profile & system > Settings > Devices & connections > Accessories.
    2. Select the controller to update.
    3. Select the three dot menu.
    4. If a firmware update is available, install it.
  7. Check your privacy settings. If your privacy settings are set incorrectly, that can prevent your headset from working correctly.

    To fix your privacy settings:

    1. Navigate to Profile & system > Settings > Account > Privacy & online safety.
    2. Select Xbox Network Safety.
    3. Select View details and customize.
    4. Select Communications & multiplayer.
    5. Choose who you want to be able to communicate with.
  8. Replace or repair the headphone jack. If the headphone jack still doesn’t work, and you’ve tried a variety of controllers and headphones in different combinations that all seem to indicate a problem with your controller, then the jack is probably bad.

    This is something you may be able to fix yourself if parts are available, but you’re better off contacting Xbox support to see if you qualify for a warranty repair.

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