The Xbox is an amazing console but it doesn’t seem to support USB audio, as you cannot all headsets with it, why is that? I was curious myself so I researched the internet trying to find out.
There are no hardware limitations stopping Microsoft from supporting USB audio with the Xbox, rather it is a design and security choice by Microsoft and to encourage players to buy Xbox licensed products with special communication chips
I will explain if there is a workaround, and how to fix your Xbox audio when is it not working, and the list of compatible Xbox USB headsets.
Why The Xbox Does Not Support USB Audio
Why do gaming companies not support Bluetooth and USB audio? Heck, even the Nintendo Switch supports USB audio and Nintendo is terrible with online!
The official answer from Xbox ambassadors in this thread is generic cheaper headsets latency is 100ms which is a long time for gaming and ad2p(Bluetooth streaming) is not meant for gamer bandwidth and will interfere with the numerous people within 25 feet who are using Bluetooth devices this is called cross-talk.
Crosstalk is whenever a signal is transmitted to another channel and causes a problem or connection is another circuit of the channel if you ever hear anyone random in your Bluetooth connection this is crosstalk happening and it is fairly common.
With bluetooth headsets you get cross talk when too many devices use bluetooth connection, this is why you need specific dedicated adapters using their own frequencies as the 100ms is too much for multiplayer gaming.
With USB headsets the drivers are created by the manufacturer with dedicated Xbox headsets like the fantastic SteelSeries Arctis 9X (Amazon link) which supports up to 4 headsets in the same area without cross-talk happening.
However, PS4 is compatible with far more USB headsets than Xbox One and I wager Microsoft giving official license to headset companies for more income is the likely reason.
It’s similar to Sandisk making Nintendo Switch themed SD cards(Amazon Link) that are the same product but for a higher price, Sony Microsoft and Nintendo all understand the importance of licensing for console accessories as gaming companies often lose money in hard ware sales!
A good example is the Nintendo Joy-cons each costing $45 to produce! Check my post for more information.
How To Get Any USB Headset To Work On Your Xbox!
Connect your USB headset to your PC or Mac and stream your Xbox to your PC/Mac. This passes the audio and microphone input for the Xbox to your headset connected to the PC, allowing you to use any headset for your Xbox!
I do this a lot and even with online gaming the latency is not too bad, and if you have a PC or laptop near you it is an easy solution! I will explain how to do it on both PC and Mac, remember if you want to use your mic press the icon at the top of the screen in the Xbox app to use it!
For best results, you need an ethernet cable, like this highly rated gaming-specific ethernet cable from Amazon it will ensure you get the least gaming delay possible.
How To Stream Xbox One To PC
- If your using wi-fi connection keep your Xbox One and PC close or have a good signal, ideally use a wired ethernet connection for your Xbox into your router
- Connect the headset you want to use to your PC
- Access your Xbox Console companion app, if you don’t have it download it from the Microsoft store
- Select the game streaming setting and your PC will start streaming your Xbox and you can enjoy your headphones!
How To Stream Xbox One To Mac
Luckily for us MacBook users we are not left out! Following my above video is an issue way to stream with your PC using the third party application One CAST which Xbox streaming to Android, Mac, and iOS.
- Download the MacBook application One Cast
- Connect the headsets to your Mac
- Find your Xbox One IP address, by going to your home stream, settings, network settings, advanced settings you will see your IP address on screen!
- Click the OneCast application and make sure your Xbox and Macbook are signed in to the same Wi-Fi
- You will know your connected when a message comes up saying you are connected
Xbox One Compatible Gaming Headsets
I know how much of a pain it is finding headsets that work with your Xbox One, so I compiled a list of the best Xbox gaming websites, watch the above review to ensure you get the best pic for you!
- Steelseries Arctis 9X.
- Razer Kraken Tournament Edition.
- Razer Nari Ultimate.
- Microsoft Xbox One Official Stereo Headset.
- Creative SoundBlaster H6.
- Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2.
- Turtle Beach Stealth 700.
- Corsair HS35.
How To Fix Your Xbox One Audio Not Working
I can feel your pain, having a lovely Xbox One not not being able to hear any audio! Qieri in the below video showcases the steps on how to trouble shoot audio issues.
If only one game is having issues, then likely that games audio settings are incorrect so login to that specific game and adjust the audio settings accordingly.
- Navigate to Xbox home button [General] and [volume & audio output] turn off [optical audio] if that results in an error message go to [speaker audio] and turn it to [stereo uncompreessed]
- If it doesn’t work put your [speaker audio] to [7.1 uncompressed]
- Navigate to Xbox home button [General] and [volume & audio output] and select [Bitstream out] and on [Bitstream format]
- If that doesn’t work restart your Xbox One console with the controller