The Xbox Series X is getting its first official headset, as Microsoft has unveiled the Xbox Wireless Headset. And, while this over-ear peripheral supports premium audio formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS Headphone:X, it’s only going to cost $99 when it arrives in a month on March 16.
This also supports 3D audio formats and costs $99, though the Xbox Wireless Headset might be the only choice for those who’ve had better luck finding where to buy the Xbox Series X than with where to buy the PS5. It will work with the more affordable Xbox Series S, too.
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The Xbox Wireless Headset combines many of the trappings you might expect from the best gaming headsets of today, including auto-mute when you lift the microphone and voice isolation for clearer in-game chat.
And, because it connects to the Xbox Series X or Series S over a radio connection, you can simultaneously pair a laptop or mobile device over a separate Bluetooth connection. Handy if you want to listen to music while you play.
From footsteps to explosions to your friends in the party. Every sound counts. Announcing the new Xbox Wireless Headset: https://t.co/JUiTLn1Iw4 pic.twitter.com/jmqK5829MaFebruary 16, 2021
Support for Dolby Atmos, DTS Headphone:X and Windows Sonic also makes the Xbox Wireless Headset one of the cheapest to be made with 3D spatial audio playback in mind. The Series X being able to support Atmos gives it an advantage over the PS5 in movie playback, though the PS5’s Blu-ray image quality is slightly better.
It’s also worth remembering that most developers already master their games for positional audio, which can be heard on even relatively basic headsets. So the Xbox Wireless Headset’s Atmos support won’t necessarily give you a tactical advantage in games where you might need to listen out for footsteps and other sound cues.
Nonetheless, $99 is an aggressive price point, so the Xbox Wireless Headset is likely to have more than a few takers. Provided they can actually buy the console, of course. It’s available to pre-order now from the Microsoft Store ahead of its release on March 16.
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James is currently Hardware Editor at Rock Paper Shotgun, but before that was Audio Editor at Tom’s Guide, where he covered headphones, speakers, soundbars and anything else that intentionally makes noise. A PC enthusiast, he also wrote computing and gaming news for TG, usually relating to how hard it is to find graphics card stock.