After three console generations of leaving the job of creating premium gaming headset solutions to licensed, third-party manufacturers, Microsoft has announced that it is finally throwing its hat into the ring with its own official headset offering, the aptly-named Xbox Wireless Headset.
Taking several notes from its direct competitor Sony as well as its most successful audio accessory-producing partners, The Xbox Wireless Headset incorporates support for “industry-leading” spatial sound techonolgies such as Windows Sonic, Dolby Atmos and DTS Headphone:X (take that, Sony Tempest3D audio) to provide “realism and audio precision that fully surrounds you” and “low latency, lossless audio for exceptional sound quality”.
As the Xbox Wireless Headset is intentionally designed as a bespoke companion to the Xbox Series X/S and PC platforms however, the spec sheet offers up a bevy of quality of life options, conveniences and features that are not easily found in equivalent Xbox-licensed products at its price point (or its direct, similarly-priced competitor, Sony’s Pulse 3D Headset). Among these are a noise-isolating, bendable dual-mic with an indicator LED that lights up when the wearer speaks, an optional auto-mute function for automatically eliminating mic noise when the wearer isn’t talking, Bluetooth connectivity with support for simutanous pairing between Xbox Series X/S and a mobile device at the same time (which means you can talk on the phone while also game chatting and/or being immersed in your Xbox’s game audio), and completely wireless, dongle-free connectivity to Xbox Series consoles and PCs with Bluetooth 4.2 or better (PCs with earlier versions of Bluetooth will need the Xbox Wireless Adapter, which is sold separately). A full-featured Xbox Accessories App will allow users to tweak Equalizer settings, as well as adjust the aggressiveness of the Auto-Mute feature, the brightness of the Mute Light and the the Mic Monitoring levels. And the round, disc-shaped earcups aren’t just for show, they function as the actual control dials for audio balance (left earcup) and volume (right earcup). Boasting 4 hours of battery life from only 30 minutes of charging, the headset will deliver a maximum of 15 hours per full charge (approximately 3 hours).
The Xbox Wireless Headset can be pre-ordered right now from the Microsoft Store for $129.99 CAD and officially launches on March 16th, 2021.