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How to connect Bluetooth headphones to an Xbox One

A good gaming headset is almost as important as a good gaming chair. Pay attention to all your favorite streamers; they all use an audio-enhancing headset in one form or another. The ability to hear audio cues and footprints in high-stakes games like Call of Duty: Warzone and Apex Legends will mean the difference between coming out on top and being sent back to the lobby.

Bluetooth headphones are a must-have for those looking for high-quality audio gear without the frustration of tangled wires. Everything runs on Bluetooth in this day and age. Xbox players, unfortunately, will run into some roadblocks when trying to connect non-Microsoft Bluetooth headphones to an Xbox One. But don’t worry — we’ve laid out a few workarounds below. This guide will walk you through how to connect Bluetooth headphones to an Xbox One.

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How does Xbox Bluetooth work?

Xbox Wireless Headset

The Xbox One does not have the Bluetooth capabilities we’re accustomed to. Xbox One runs on Microsoft Xbox Wireless, which allows for connectivity between systems and Microsoft appliances. There are plenty of Microsoft-made wireless headphones available for purchase. These will work wonderfully with your Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S as they are compatible with Microsoft Xbox Wireless. However, not everybody has or can afford a new pair of Microsoft-made wireless gaming headphones.

Bluetooth on your phone or tablet via the Xbox app

Xbox App Remote Play

Let’s say, for example, you have a pair of Sony Bluetooth headphones you’d like to use with your Xbox One. Of course, these will not work with Microsoft Xbox Wireless, but there is a way players can work around this. The following step-by-step guide may seem a little convoluted, but it is proven to work.

  • On your Xbox One, head over to Devices & Connections and click Remote Features.
  • Make sure the Enable Remote Features box is checked.
  • Download the Xbox App on your tablet or mobile device.
  • Log in with the same information as the Xbox you’re looking to connect to.
  • Click the icon in the top right, next to the notifications bell.
  • Click Remote Play on This Device.
  • Your Xbox will now connect to your device. This may take one or two attempts.
  • Once connected, your console will stream, in real time, to your tablet or mobile device.
  • Connect your Bluetooth headphones to your tablet or mobile device to hear the in-game volume.

Downsides to this method

This method is more of a “back door” way to connect Bluetooth headphones to your Xbox One. You’ll want to make sure your tablet or device is plugged into a charger as this will kill the battery. Also, if you’re using your primary phone, you won’t be able to use it to scroll through social media between loading screens.

You will not be able to chat using this method. Think of this as a pure audio output. If you’re looking to kick back and play by yourself, this method will work. If you’re looking to chat with friends, you’ll need a hard-wired headset or Microsoft compatible headset.

Connect Bluetooth to your Xbox controller

3.55mm Bluetooth Receiver

As an alternative to the method above, you can connect your non-Microsoft wireless headset directly to your Xbox controller. To do so, you will have to buy a Bluetooth transmitter equipped with a 3.5mm audio jack, which is the size of the standard AUX cord.

Not all Xbox Controllers come with a 3.5mm input. New models should, but some older models do not. Check underneath the joysticks to determine if you need another adapter. If it’s time to buy a new controller because your old one is experiencing stick drift, make sure to get one with a 3.5mm input.

Once all the necessary adapters are connected and working, all you’ll have to do is press the necessary pairing buttons to connect your Bluetooth headphones. This setup can be a little ridiculous, especially if you’re forced to connect multiple adapters.

Downsides to this method

Like the Xbox App method, you will be limited to only hearing the audio from the game you’re playing. There are Bluetooth adapters that work for both audio in and audio out, allowing you to use the talk-back feature. These models, however, can be expensive. At that point, you’re better off buying a Microsoft brand Xbox Wireless Headset.

Secondarily, if you’re forced to attach multiple adapters, you’ll be left with a clunky and heavy controller. The battery will die quickly from everything going on.

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Mike Colucci
Michael Colucci is a lifelong video game fan based out of the greater Boston area. He's the one insistent on searching every…
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