Microsoft has unveiled their new Xbox Stereo Headset, a new entry-level headset that is a cabled counterpart and equivalent to the Xbox Wireless Headset that was released earlier this year. The new Xbox Stereo Headset will be available from 21st September for £54.99/$59.99.
The headset’s design holds a lot of common ground with the Xbox Wireless Headset, from the style of the ear cups and having on-ear controls for volume and mute, to the design of the adjustable microphone and the plush cushioning on the headband. The most significant differences are that you don’t have green rings around the earcups and that there’s a green cable coming out of it that ends in a still fairly universal 3.5mm audio jack (despite various smartphone makers’ best efforts).
Thanks to this, the headset can be used with Xbox consoles, PlayStation consoles, the Nintendo Switch and plenty more, just by plugging it in.
While it’s marketed as a stereo headset, and does only have stereo speakers for your two ears, it will be compatible with all manner of spatial and virtual surround sound set ups. On Xbox, you have Microsoft’s built in Windows Sonic spatial audio tech, while you can also buy a license for Dolby Atmos and DTS headphone:X. Meanwhile, it will also be usable with Sony’s homegrown Tempest 3D AudioTech engine when plugged into your DualSense controller.
Microsoft has tried to tune the headset for accuracy to the original recording, aiming for clean mid & high frequencies and a strong bass underneath it all. However, if that default tuning is not quite to your liking, you will be able to use the same audio customisation options found in the Xbox Accessories app on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and Windows 10. Some users found the Xbox Wireless Headset lacking in certain areas and took to that app to fiddle with the audio balance themselves.
Not us, though. Looking back at the Xbox Wireless Headset that shares so much with this cheaper offering, Dom really enjoyed the native audio balance right out of the box. He wrote in our Xbox Wireless Headset review:
“The Xbox Wireless Headset is a remarkable feat of engineering, providing a smart and solid build as well as top-notch audio and comfort that are a rare commodity at this price point.”