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The best Xbox headsets you can buy: Expert tested

We tested the best Xbox headsets from SteelSeries, HyperX, and more to help you find the best Xbox headphones for your budget and play style.
Written by Taylor Clemons, Staff Writer
Reviewed by Kayla Solino
SteelSeries Arctis Nova 3 | Best Xbox headset overall
Close-up of a SteelSeries Arctis Nova 3 hanging from a HyperX QuadCast S microphone.
SteelSeries Arctis Nova 3
Best Xbox headset overall
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HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless | Best wireless Xbox headset
HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless
Best wireless Xbox headset
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HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 | Best budget Xbox headset
HyperX Cloud Stinger II gaming headset
HyperX Cloud Stinger 2
Best budget Xbox headset
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Razer Hammerhead Hyperspeed | Best earbuds for Xbox
A pair of Razer Hammerhead Hyperspeed earbuds, their charging case, and USB-C connection dongle on a grey background
Razer Hammerhead Hyperspeed
Best earbuds for Xbox
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Corsair HS65 Surround | Best chat mic headset for Xbox
A top-down close-up of Taylor Clemons wearing the Corsair HS65 Surround headset and playing Bayonetta on the Nintendo Switch
Corsair HS65 Surround
Best chat mic headset for Xbox
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An Xbox-certified gaming headset is a great way to round out your console accessories as well as a perfect option for private gaming or for keeping the peace with roommates and family during late-night raids. The best Xbox headsets not only provide you with top-notch game audio output, but also with a high-quality chat mic for clear communication within a game's native voice chat or in apps like Discord and Zoom.

Also: The best gaming headsets

What is the best Xbox headset right now?

My choice for the best Xbox headset is the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 3 for its active noise cancellation support, crisp voice chat, and lightweight, comfortable design. You can keep reading below to find out more about the Arctis Nova 3 as well as my other picks for the best Xbox headsets. 

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The best Xbox headsets of 2024

Pros & Cons
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Spatial audio
  • Active noise canceling mic
  • Great audio quality
  • Pricey
  • No Dolby audio support
More Details

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 3 is a great, wired headset for Xbox users, offering an active noise canceling mic as well as a wide frequency range to give you some of the best audio and clearest chat you can get. The 40mm audio drivers work with SteelSeries' proprietary software to create spatial sound without a bulky 7.1CH converter. And the entire unit weighs just 253g (or just under 9 ounces), which means you'll be able to stay comfortable for longer. 

Read the review: SteelSeries Arctis Nova 3: Hands-on first look 

I got to try out the Arctis Nova 3 for myself, and I was very impressed by the microphone quality. I was able to get broadcast-quality voice chat in Discord, Zoom, and Slack without needing to make any adjustments. Verified reviews from both Amazon and Best Buy agree that the mic offers crisp vocals, but do note that the wire placement for the USB connection may feel awkward for some users.

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 3 features: Form factor: Over-ear | Connectivity: USB-C | Battery life: N/A | Frequency: 20Hz -22KHz | Driver size: 40mm | Noise cancellation: ANC microphone

Pros & Cons
  • 300-hour battery life
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Great audio quality
  • Spatial audio support
  • Expensive
  • No noise cancellation tech for microphone
More Details

This is one of my absolute favorite headsets of all-time, and I've been using my Cloud Alpha Wireless for the better part of 3 years. My work and gaming PC are one in the same, so some days, I'm using the headset for anywhere from eight to twelve hours. The padded headband and ear cushions do a great job of distributing the weight without clamping too tightly; which is great for anyone who wears blue light-blocking or prescription glasses.  

Read the review: HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless review: Solid, no-nonsense audio for gaming, music, and more 

It connects to your PC or Xbox console via 2.4GHz dongle, and while a Bluetooth connection would be preferable, the audio latency seems to be negligible. The 50mm drivers work with DTS: X Spatial audio software to give you virtual 3D sound and help you pinpoint crucial audio cues like footsteps and enemy fire. The best part of the headset is it's impressive battery life of up to 300 hours. I've been able to get an entire month of near-daily use of up to 12 hours at a time before I got a low battery warning; and you can use the headset while it charges, so you never have to interrupt your workflow or gaming session. Verified Amazon reviews agree that the Cloud Alpha Wireless headband and earcups provide a decent amount of comfort for long-term wear as well as one reviewer being able to confirm getting about three weeks of an "average daily use of around 10-12 hours." 

HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless features: Form factor: Over-ear | Connectivity: 2.4GHz | Battery life: 300 hours | Frequency: 15Hz - 21kHz | Driver size: 50mm | Noise cancellation: N/A

Pros & Cons
  • Budget-friendly
  • DTS Headphones: X audio
  • Noise-canceling mic
  • Swivel to mute
  • Some audio can sound tinny
  • Mic not detachable
  • No USB-C connectivity
More Details

The HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 is an excellent, budget-friendly Xbox headset that provides great audio output as well as chat clarity. The attached microphone features a swivel-to-mute function, which makes it easy to quickly mute yourself when you need to have a conversation, sneeze, or just don't want to participate in your game's voice chat. The 50mm drivers are optimized for bass output to give you rich and full-sounding audio without expensive surround sound modules. And you can also quickly adjust volume with the on-board dial to adjust game and chat levels on-the-fly.  

Read the review: HyperX's Cloud Stinger 2 is the perfect entry into gaming headsets 

ZDNET's Rebecca Isaacs was able to go hands-on with the Cloud Stinger 2 and called it a "perfect entry into gaming headsets" with its use of DTS Headphone X spatial audio and the microphone's noise-canceling capabilities for filtering out background sounds or white noise. Verified reviews from both Amazon and Best Buy also agree, and they highlight how lightweight and comfortable the headset is for longer play sessions.

HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 features: Form factor: Over-ear | Connectivity: 3.5mm AUX | Battery life: N/A | Frequency: 10Hz - 28kHz | Driver size: 50mm | Noise cancellation: Microphone only

Pros & Cons
  • ANC and ENC technology
  • Dual connectivity options
  • Built-in microphones
  • Expensive
  • Somewhat short battery life
  • Razer mobile app can be finnicky
More Details

If you prefer earbuds to bulky, over-ear headsets, the Razer Hammerhead Hyperspeed is an excellent choice for Xbox enthusiasts. You can connect it to your console either via Bluetooth 5.2 or a USB-C 2.4GHz dongle for lower latency audio. The 10mm drivers work with active noise cancellation technology to help block out annoying environmental sounds that can ruin your immersion or distract you during critical moments in online matches or tense single-player missions. 

The built-in microphones also use noise-canceling technology to filter out background sounds and white noise that can muddle your voice chat. Verified customer reviews from Amazon highlight the sound quality and comfort of the Razer Hammerhead Hyperspeed earbuds but do note that they will need frequent charging during longer gaming sessions.

Razer Hammerhead Hyperspeed features: Form factor: Earbud | Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB-C dongle | Battery life: 30 hours | Frequency: 20Hz - 20kHz | Driver size: 10mm | Noise cancellation: ANC/ENC

Pros & Cons
  • Dolby audio support
  • Sony Tempest 3D support
  • Discord Certified chat output
  • Excellent chat mic and audio quality
  • No USB-C connectivity
  • Spatial audio on PC only
  • SoundID test can be confusing
More Details

If you play a lot of online multiplayer games or like to hang out in Discord voice chat channels while you play solo missions, the Corsair HS65 Surround has one of the best integrated microphones on the market. With flip-to-mute functionality and Discord Certified output, you'll get crystal clear chat for both game-critical communications and casual conversations. I was able to test out the HS65 Surround for myself and was pleasantly surprised by the broadcast quality output of the mic, which was comparable to the Blue Yeti I was using at the time for both Zoom and Discord. 

Read the review: Corsair HS65 Surround review: A lightweight, dependable gaming headset 

You can connect the headset either to the console itself via USB or your controller via 3.5mm AUX, giving you plenty of options for sitting comfortably while you play as well as near-infinite play time (as long as you have a charged controller handy). And if you're a dual-console gamer, the HS65 Surround works with Sony Tempest 3D audio for the PS5 as well as Dolby Audio 7.1 for PC. Verified customer reviews from both Amazon and Best Buy agree that the Dolby output and chat mic quality are some of the best. But they do note that gamers with bigger heads or who wear glasses may get uncomfortable during long gaming sessions.

Corsair HS65 Surround features: Form factor: Over-ear | Connectivity: 3.5mm AUX, USB | Battery life: N/A | Frequency: 20Hz 1 20kHz | Driver size: 50mm | Noise cancellation: N/A

What is the best Xbox headset?

My choice for the best Xbox headset is the SeelSeries Arctis Nova 3. It features a retractable microphone as well as RGB lighting for convenience and to show off your personal style. And the lightweight design makes it comfortable enough for all-day wear. With the Sonar app, you can create custom equalization settings and enable 3D spatial audio for a more immersive experience. 

Best Xbox headset

Best price



SteelSeries Arctix Nova 3



Nova Acoustic System

HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless



DTS Headphone: X

HyperX Cloud Stinger 2


3.5mm AUX

Standard stereo

Razer Hammerhead Hyperspeed


Bluetooth, 2.4GHz

ANC stereo

Corsair HS65 Surround


3.5mm AUX, USB

Dolby 7.1

Which is the best Xbox headset for you?

Though similar, each best Xbox headset has special features and specifications that make it stand out from the next. These expert recommendations can help you find the best Xbox headset based on your personal needs.

Buy this best Xbox headset...

If you need...

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 3

A well-rounded Xbox headset. The Arctis Nova 3 offers spatial audio, a noise-canceling microphone, and comfortable, lightweight design.

HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless

A wireless Xbox headset. The Cloud Alpha Wireless has a 300-hour battery life, which means you can work and game for weeks before you need to recharge.

HyperX Cloud Stinger II

A budget-friendly Xbox headset. The Cloud Stinger II retails for under $50, giving you great audio without breaking the bank.

Razer Hammerhead Hyperspeed

A set of gaming earbuds for the Xbox. The Razer Hammerhead Hyperspeed earbuds give you up to 30 hours of use as well as active noise canceling technology and connect to your console via 2.4GHz or USB-C dongle.

Corsair HS65 Surround

An Xbox headset that can candle multiple connections. The Corsair HS65 Surround is great for owners of multiple consoles, as it supports simultaneous dual connections for easier switching between platforms.

Features to consider when choosing an Xbox headset:

Once you've nailed down a budget for a new Xbox headset, there are a few things to keep in mind while you shop: 

  • Comfort: Whether you like over-ear or earbuds, it's important to choose an Xbox headset that feels comfortable to wear for long periods of time as well as with glasses or a larger head.  
  • Connectivity: With both wired and wireless options for Xbox headsets, gamers can choose between freedom of movement and near-infinite play time. Make sure you double check how your Xbox console allows headsets to connect, whether it's via Bluetooth, 2.4GHz dongle, or 3.5mm AUX 
  • Form factor: Do you prefer over-ear or earbuds? Most gaming headsets have an over-ear design that completely surrounds your ears to better block out background noises and let you focus on your game audio or Discord chat. But there are several great options for gaming earbuds like the Razer Hammerhead Hyperspeed. 

How we tested these Xbox headsets

While testing and researching each Xbox headset on this list, I and other ZDNET experts kept these criteria in mind: 

  • Voice chat: Almost all gaming headsets have an integrated microphone for streamlined voice chatting within games themselves or in Discord. Each model that was chosen was picked because it was either certified for use with Discord or provided clear voice chat audio. 
  • Durability: Gaming headsets have come a long way in terms of build quality and construction materials. Many new models feature strong but lightweight aluminum headbands or earcup forks or high-quality plastics to stand up to daily wear and tear as well as occasional mishaps like falling off a shelf or getting sweaty. 
  • Sound quality: A gaming headset is only as good as the audio quality it gives you. Whether you want a simple traditional stereo headset for occasional casual gaming or something with a robust equalizer app and support for Dolby audio, it's important to pay attention to customer reviews that highlight sound quality so you don't get stuck with an expensive-but terrible or cheap-and-very-terrible headset. 

Why do pro gamers wear two headsets in tournaments?

If you've ever caught an eSports tournament, you may have noticed that many of the pros wear two sets of headphones during tournaments: a pair of earbuds and an over-ear set. The earbuds are meant to provide a feed of game audio, team chat, and coach instructions while the over-ear headset pumps in white noise to drown out crowd sounds as well as potential opponent chat that can give an unfair advantage.

Are wired or wireless Xbox headsets better?

It all depends on your preferences. Wired headsets have the advantage of near-infinite play time since they rely on your console or controller for power. But that also means you're limited to sitting where your headset cord can reach. Wireless headsets give you more freedom of movement but trade off with a battery that must be periodically recharged. Both types of headsets offer similar sound output and mic quality, so it all comes down to what you like best and what fits your budget.

Can I use AirPods for gaming?

You can, but there's a catch: The Xbox Series X|S consoles don't natively support Bluetooth headsets, so you'll need to download the Xbox app to your smartphone or tablet. The app will allow you to connect your AirPods to the console, but only for audio output; you'll need a separate microphone for voice chat.

Do I need noise canceling headphones for gaming?

Unless you're a content creator or pro eSports gamer, a gaming headset with noise canceling technology is a nice-to-have. ANC technology helps to block out background noises like traffic, conversations, and white noise to help you focus more on your game. But if you only play games occasionally, or aren't playing in any sort of professional capacity, ANC isn't a requirement for a great headset. 

More Xbox headsets we've tested

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