How to Fix It When an Xbox One Controller Headphone Jack Isn't Working

Try these fixes before you buy a new controller

When the Xbox One controller's headphone jack is not working, it can manifest in the following ways:

  • You can't hear others, and they can't hear you.
  • You can hear, but the audio quality is very low.
  • Your headset stops working, then works fine the next day.

Unplugging the headset and plugging it back in might temporarily resolve the problem, but there are other more long-term fixes you can try.

Instructions in this article apply to official Xbox One and Xbox One S controllers made by Microsoft, but some steps may also work for third-party Xbox One controllers.

An Xbox One controller with a headphone jack that isn't working.
 Jeremy Laukkonen

What Causes an Xbox One Controller Headphone Jack to Stop Working?

When an Xbox One controller headphone jack stops working, it's either due to a hardware or firmware problem. Xbox One controller headphone jacks aren't soldered in place, so regular use can cause the contacts to become loose. When that happens, your Xbox One may not recognize your headset, or you may experience poor sound quality.

Audio problems are sometimes attributed to the headphone jack when something else is to blame. For example, damaged headphone connectors, a muted gaming headset, or incorrectly configured privacy settings can all present as problems with the headset jack.

If the Xbox One controller won't connect to the console, or if the Xbox One controller won't turn on, addressing these problems might fix the audio jack.

How to Fix an Xbox One Controller Headphone Jack

Attempt these fixes in order, and check to see if your headphones work after each step.

  1. Disconnect the headset from the controller, then reconnect it firmly. The number one cause of Xbox One headsets malfunctioning is a poor connection between the headset and controller. Unplugging the connector, then firmly plugging it back in, often takes care of the problem.

  2. Check your privacy settings. Press the Xbox button on the controller and go to Settings > All Settings > Account > Privacy & online safety > View details & customize > Communicate with voice and text to make sure the mic isn't muted.

  3. Confirm the headset isn't muted. Depending on the headset, there may be a mute button on the adapter or an inline mute button. Press the mute button and attempt to raise the volume to see if that helps.

  4. Examine the Xbox One headset, cord, and connector. If you see any damage to the headset, cord, or connector, there may be a problem with the headset instead of the controller. If the cord is frayed or the wires inside are broken, repair the wires or buy a new headset. If you see any debris like dirt or food on the connector, clean it with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.

  5. Use a different controller and a different headset. This is the best way to make sure there's a problem with your controller and not the headset.

  6. Update the firmware. If the headset works with a different controller on the same Xbox One console, update the Xbox One controller firmware.

  7. Examine the headset port on the controller. Using a flashlight, look inside the headset port on the controller. If you see any obstructions, remove the debris with a small implement like a toothpick or tweezers.

    Even if you can't see anything, there may be dirt or other debris stuck inside. Blow the port out with compressed air to see if anything comes out.

  8. Replace or repair the headphone jack. If the headphone jack still doesn't work after attempting the above fixes, and you tried different combinations of controllers and headphones to verify there's a problem with the controller, then the jack is probably bad.

How to Replace an Xbox One Controller Headphone Jack

If you have the right tools, you can take the controller apart and check if the headphone jack is loose. If the jack is loose, you can attempt to reseat it, repair it, or replace it with a new headphone jack component. Here's how to take your Xbox One controller apart and fix a broken headphone jack:

To dismantle the controller, you will need T-6 and T-9 Torx drivers or bits. If possible, use a static strap, and be very careful when handling the internal components.

  1. Carefully remove the panels from the sides of the Xbox One controller.

    The side panel on an Xbox One controller.
     Jeremy Laukkonen
  2. Remove the five hex screws holding the controller together.

    One screw is hidden behind a sticker in the battery compartment.

  3. Remove the front and back covers from the controller.

  4. Examine the headphone jack. If it's loose, it probably needs to be replaced.

    A disassembled Xbox controller with the headphone jack highlighted
  5. Remove the two screws that hold down the upper circuit board.

  6. Carefully lift the upper circuit board and examine the headphone jack.

    The headphone jack in an Xbox One controller.
    Jeremy Laukkonen 
  7. If the metal prongs on the headphone jack component are flattened, carefully pry the prongs out with a small implement like a toothpick.

    The headphone jack component from an Xbox One controller with tweezers.
     Jeremy Laukkonen

    If the prongs are broken, you'll need to replace the headphone jack component.

  8. Replace the headphone jack, secure the upper circuit board, and check to see if the headphone jack is still loose.

    Make sure the connector between the upper and lower circuit boards is properly seated and that the upper circuit board is securely fastened. Since pressure between the circuit boards holds the headphone jack in place, additional space between the boards prevents the headset from working.

  • How do I fix it when my Xbox One controller won't recognize my headset?

    If your Xbox One controller won't recognize your headset, first make sure the headset isn't muted and increase the console audio input. Then, clean the controller and headset, update the controller firmware, and power cycle the console.

  • What size is the headphone jack on the Xbox One controller?

    The Xbox One controller uses a standard 3.5mm audio port, so you need a headset with a 3.5mm jack.

  • How do I use an Xbox One headset wirelessly?

    The Xbox One doesn't support Bluetooth, so you need a compatible adapter to connect an Xbox One headset wirelessly. Your headset must support Microsoft's wireless protocol.

  • How do I use a USB headset on my Xbox One?

    To use a USB headset that plugs directly into your console, it must specifically support Xbox One. Most non-gaming USB headsets won't work.

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