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The best Xbox Series X headsets for 2021

There’s nothing that can enhance your gaming experience quite like a good headset. In addition to bringing the game right to your ears, a good headset will offer spatial audio — allowing you to pinpoint sounds around you — a solid microphone, and excellent comfort, especially for long gaming sessions. Our five best Xbox Series X headsets satisfy all three and more. Microsoft will soon launch their own official Xbox wireless headset, and while the features promised all sound fantastic, until we get our hands on it to test it out, we can’t fully recommend it just yet.

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The best Xbox Series X headsets at a glance

SteelSeries Arctis 9X

Best Xbox Series X headset

SteelSeries Arctis 9X

Why should you buy this: It easily justifies its asking price with native Xbox wireless, virtual surround sound, and excellent comfort.

Who’s it for: The Xbox gamer looking for the best balance of price, performance, and features.

Why we picked the SteelSeries Arctis 9X:

The SteelSeries Arctis Pro headset currently tops our picks for the best gaming headsets. The Arctis 9X is basically the same headset internally, just with a few different features tailored specifically for the Xbox Series X. And the features are specific. Unlike a lot of gaming headsets, you don’t need an adapter with the Arctis 9X. It can connect directly to your Xbox Series X. Even better, you can simultaneously connect another device to the headset via Bluetooth.

Internally, the Arctis 9X uses 40mm neodymium drivers with a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz. Although the frequency range doesn’t reach as high as some audiophile-class headsets, it can still hold its own in the sound department. The wide soundscape of the Arctis 9X gives players much more positional awareness in games and, combined with a digital surround sound solution, even more so. The headset itself is stereo, but you can use Windows Sonic Spatial Audio or Dolby Atmos for Headphones on your Xbox Series X to achieve virtual surround sound.

Externally, the Arctis 9X features SteelSeries’ signature suspended headband — which is very comfortable, even after hours of playing — and large, plushy ear cups. Additionally, the headset comes with a Discord-certified ClearCast microphone that you can retract back into the headset.

At $200, the SteelSeries Arctis 9X headset is pricey. Given the options on the market for Xbox Series X, however, there isn’t another headset that comes even close.

Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2

Best wireless Xbox Series X headset

Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2

Why should you buy this: The Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 headset has all of the features we like to see in a gaming headset, and it’s cheaper than the competition.

Who’s it for: The Xbox gamer looking for wireless audio that doesn’t break the bank.

Why we picked the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2:

When it comes to features, the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 headset matches the Arctis 9X and does so at $50 cheaper. The headset supports native wireless with Xbox One, Series X, and Series S, no dongle required. It works with Windows PCs, too, as long as you have an Xbox Wireless Adapter. Like the Arctis pair, the Stealth 700s support simultaneous Bluetooth, too, so you can take calls or listen to music while playing on your Xbox.

The main difference between the Stealth 700s and the Arctis 9Xs is the build quality. The Turtle Beach headset uses more plastics. Thankfully, that doesn’t lead to a cheaper feel. The headrest is still reinforced with metal, and although it doesn’t feature a suspended headband, there’s still plenty of cushioning on top. The earcups are nice and plump, too, fit with memory foam infused with Aerofit cooling gel.

Audio-wise, the Stealth 700s are excellent. The large 50mm drivers handle bass better than most other gaming headsets, and they help position sound around the soundscape. Like all gaming headsets, the Stealth 700s are stereo. However, they support Windows Sonic and Dolby Atmos for Headphones on Xbox Series X.

Astro A10

Best cheap Xbox Series X headset

Astro A10

Why should you buy this: The Astro A10 headset has excellent sound and build quality, which is a shock at around $50.

Who’s it for: Budget gamers who don’t mind a wire.

Why we picked the Astro A10:

There are certainly cheaper headsets than the Astro A10, but none of them match the build quality, features, and performance of Astro’s entry-level headset. Starting with sound, the Astro A10s can go against the best of them. The dual 40mm drivers are tuned by Astro for gaming, which is a process each headset undertakes, from the $50 Astro A10s to the $300 Astro A50s.

Additionally, the headset comes with a uni-directional microphone with flip-to-mute functionality and a detachable 3.5mm cable, ensuring you can continue using the headset even if the cable breaks.

What really stands out is this headset’s build quality. Like all budget headsets, the A10s use almost exclusively plastic. Instead of trying to cram multiple adjustment points around a plastic body, Astro went with a single point of adjustment: Up and down on the ear cups. Comfort is a little worse as a result, but durability is vastly improved (there are simply fewer points of failure).

Not that you should worry about comfort too much. With large cushions on each of the earcups and a sliver of cushioning on top, the A10s are still very comfortable, even for long gaming sessions.

Read our Astro A10 review

Razer BlackShark V2

Best wired Xbox Series X headset

Razer BlackShark V2

Why should you buy this: The Razer BlackShark V2s cut past features that bloat the price of other headsets, offering world-class performance at budget prices.

Who’s it for: Competitive gamers who need the best when it comes to audio performance.

Why we picked the Razer BlackShark V2:

The Razer BlackShark V2 is a competitive gaming headset with a design much more reminiscent of earmuffs than a gaming headset. As such, the BlackShark V2 is all about performance. The dual 50mm Razer Triforce titanium drivers are excellent at positioning audio around the soundscape. Additionally, Razer uses separate tuning ports for high, low, and mid frequencies. The result is clearer audio around crossover points, such as the low-mids, where other headsets see a significant drop in frequency response.

Equally as important as sound quality is microphone quality, and the BlackSharks don’t disappoint there. The microphone doesn’t suffer from compression in the same way as other headset microphones, offering more vocal clarity at higher frequencies. Additionally, the mic is supported by an included USB sound card, allowing you to access features like a mic EQ, ambient noise reduction, and a voice gate.

Comfort is excellent, too. The gripping force is a little tighter than other gaming headsets, but with a weight of just 262 grams, that’s easy to forgive. Other premium features include a dedicated volume control knob on the headset, a detachable microphone, and a windscreen for the microphone. The Razer BlackShark V2 is easily the best wired headset on Xbox Series X, but it’s also one of the best in general if you play competitive titles.

Read our Razer BlackShark V2 review

Razer Nari Ultimate for Xbox One

Best Xbox Series X headset with haptic feedback

Razer Nari Ultimate for Xbox One

Why should you buy this: HyperSense haptic feedback is more than a gimmick, and it genuinely enhances the audio experience in action games.

Who’s it for: Action game fans who want the most immersion.

Why we picked the Razer Nari Ultimate for Xbox One:

The Razer Nari Ultimate is one of the most unique headsets on the market. It has haptic feedback (or rumble, just like your controller). Razer HyperSense, as the feature is called, is about as gimmicky as it gets. The crazy thing is, it works.

Sound is just vibration, so adding additional vibration on top of that doesn’t translate to shaking on your head. Instead, HyperSense goes a long way when it comes to emphasizing low-end frequencies. Explosions and gunfire, in particular, shine on the Nari Ultimates. That’s because HyperSense doesn’t use standard haptic feedback motors. Instead of operating at a fixed frequency like rumble in a controller, the Nari Ultimates use a frequency range, allowing the vibration to match the resonance of whatever sound it’s trying to replicate.

HyperSense is the star of the show when it comes to the Nari Ultimates, but the headset is still impressive otherwise. The massive earcups and suspended headband are comfortable enough for long gaming sessions — though still slightly behind the Arctis 9X — and the headset comes with THX spatial audio. The “for Xbox One” version supports wireless on Xbox One, Series X, and Series S, too. Be careful, though: Razer sells another version of the Nari Ultimates that work exclusively with Sony consoles.

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