- Do Beats Work with Xbox One? - June 1, 2022
- Avid Mbox Review – Is This Outdated Interface Still Worth Buying? - February 10, 2022
Beats headphones took the world by storm when they first hit the scene. While they’re not as popular anymore, you may still have an old pair of them somewhere. You may even have one of the newer pairs that were released a few years ago. The question is, will they work with your Xbox One?
One of my biggest frustrations with wireless headphones is that not all of them share the same compatibility settings. Certain devices require certain things, so you may run into a few problems when trying to connect your Beats to your Xbox.
Keep reading, as I’m going to give you a few loopholes that will make them work. I’ll also suggest a few alternative headphone options that are far better for gaming than Beats are.
Bottom Line Up Front: Most Beats headphones and earphones don’t work easily with Xbox One. Ever since Apple bought Beats, the compatibility design was altered, so modern beats don’t even come with 3.5mm audio cables.
To use Beats with an Xbox One, you’ll either need to use a USB adapter or wirelessly connect the Beats to the TV you’re playing on. You won’t be able to use the microphone like this, so getting an external mic is your best option if you want to chat with friends.
What Happened to Beats?
I vividly remember Beats headphones being all the rage when I was younger. Every person in my school wanted a pair, and all the kids who had them were at the top of the food chain when it came to popularity. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve done a bit of research to find out why the hype was so intense.
It turns out that Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, the founders of the headphones, used all their celebrity connections to pump marketing as hard as possible. Beats headphones became a fashion statement, and all the popular artists were using them in their music videos. This drove everyone to want these headphones for themselves.
Are they good-quality headphones, though? Not really. Beats headphones mostly tend to boost the bass frequencies more than any others.
With extended bass, many people thought that these headphones were far superior at the time, considering that other accessible headphones and earphones sat a bit more on the treble side of things. It was a bit of an illusion that Beats headphones were better.
Nowadays, most people are a lot more informed thanks to review channels and blogs like this one. You can easily identify which headphones are good and which aren’t, and Beats headphones are fairly sub-par and overpriced.
This realization is what I think contributed to the brand’s dipping popularity, along with the purchase by Apple.
Beats and Apple
Apple purchased Beats back in 2014. The brand was bought for a whopping $3 billion, and Apple started investigating all the technology that Beats headphones were using. I find it incredibly interesting that Beats were the catalyst to Apple introducing their AirPods, which are so well-known at this point.
Apple also capitalized on the Beats streaming service, converting it into Apple Music, which is now one of the most popular streaming services in the world.
As Apple headphones have been released, the spotlight has been pointed away from Beats more and more. This makes complete sense to me, as Apple doesn’t want anything to compete with their own products, even if they own the brand as well.
The only Beats you’ll find that are still being made are ones that don’t directly compete with any Apple products. Because of this, I don’t see Beats headphones being made for much longer.
Why is any of this important to know regarding your Xbox? I’d say it’s vital information as it explains exactly why using Beats on your Xbox isn’t a straightforward and easy thing.
While Beats are still being sold, the headphones are using Apple technology and design features, making them fit more into Apple’s ecosystem than anywhere else.
Xbox is also under Microsoft, which is a big competitor to Apple brands that perform similar tasks. So, if you have a pair of Beats that were made before the Apple acquisition, they’ll be easier to use for gaming. Anything produced after 2014 will be a bit of a hassle that needs a workaround.
Different Methods of Using Beats with an Xbox One
This is the most basic method to follow, and I suggest that you try it first. You simply need to take the 3.5mm audio cable that came with your headphones and plug them into the slot near the bottom of your Xbox One controller.
If you don’t have one of these cables and there’s no 3.5mm slot on your cans, it means you have one of the newer pairs of Beats headphones. Unfortunately, this method won’t work for you, and you’ll need to check the other methods out.
I’ve suggested this method for all the people that gave into the hype all those years ago and that still have a pair lying around. Thankfully, these older versions are way more compatible with any device as opposed to the newer ones.
However, the older versions don’t have microphones, so you won’t be able to have in-game chats if you don’t have an external mic.
Using a USB adapter isn’t ideal. It’s a bulky piece of equipment that you’ll have hanging from your remote. However, this is the only way that I’ve found that works relatively well with the newer Beats headphones if you want to attach them via a wire.
Xbox One consoles don’t support USB headphones, but you can connect via USB from the other side. You’ll need an adapter that goes from a 3.5mm jack to a USB slot. Then you need to take the micro USB cable that came with the Beats and attack them to that adapter.
This method isn’t foolproof. You may get some delay and some slight crackling from wonky adapters, but it’s better than nothing if none of these other methods that I’m suggesting work.
I suggest you try this one last, though. I’ve just mentioned it before the others as the remaining options are wireless.
Connect to the TV Via Bluetooth
If you have a smart TV that can pick up Bluetooth signals, you’re golden. You can easily connect your Beats headphones to the TV instead of the Xbox and then run the Xbox’s audio signal through the headphones.
This method is incredibly easy, but it only works if you have a TV with Bluetooth. If you’re running your Xbox through an older TV or a standalone monitor, this won’t work.
Also, you won’t be able to use the built-in Beats microphone for online chats as the headphones are connected to the TV and not the actual Xbox.
Lastly, you won’t be able to control the volume from the Xbox. You’ll need to do it with the TV remote. This shouldn’t be an issue if you just always keep the TV remote next to you.
I find this method to be incredibly clean and simple. It’s not only Beats headphones that can work via this path, so keep that in mind the next time you purchase a TV. Bluetooth capability goes a long way.
Stream to Phone
My last suggestion is the most elaborate and complicated, but it works fairly well once you set it up nicely. The idea here is to pair your Xbox One to your smartphone.
You can do this by navigating through the remote connection settings and finding your recognized phone. This will work whether you have an iPhone or Android device.
You then need to download the Xbox app on your phone that allows you to stream your gaming to your phone’s screen. I was amazed when I found out that you could do this, but it turns out that both Xbox and Sony have had this feature for a while.
Once you’ve set the stream up on your phone, you can connect your Beats headphones to it. From here, you’ll be able to hear everything that’s going on within whatever game you’re streaming. You can then put your phone to the side and carry on looking at your main TV or monitor screen.
Something to note here is that you’ll need to have a fully charged phone, as the battery may deplete quite a bit while you’re streaming. You’ll also need to have a reliable WiFi connection. If the connection is unstable, the stream will cut out occasionally, causing the sound to cut out as well.
Getting the Microphone to Work
Out of all the solutions I mentioned above, none of them will allow the built-in Beats microphone to work. Unfortunately, there’s no way around this, and you’ll only be able to use that mic for things other than Xbox gaming.
If you’re not a person who chats to people online, this won’t be an issue. It’s an issue for gamers who hang out online with their friends and chat in groups. You’ll need a mic here.
My suggestion is to stay far away from Beats headphones in this case and get a headset with a mic that is Xbox compatible. However, there’s one thing that you can do if you insist on using your Beats.
Use a Stereo Headset Adapter
A stereo headset adapter will allow you to separate channels for audio and when you talk through the mic. You’ll need to get an external mic for this, and I recommend getting a good USB microphone that is known for being a good gaming option. The Razer Serine Mini is a winner here.
While the USB mic is intended for PC use, the headset adapter will allow you to split channels. You’ll need to plug the USB mic into one of the USB ports on the Xbox and then connect your Beats headphones via a 3.5mm cable to the adapter.
When that’s all set up, you should be able to use the microphone to chat and hear audio at the same time.
Are Beats a Good Idea for Xbox Gaming?
No, I wouldn’t say that using Beats headphones is a good idea for gaming. Again, these headphones were a fashion statement a decade ago, and their sound quality was heavily exaggerated.
They’re quite expensive, and you can get several sets of headphones that sound better and cost less that are fully compatible with your Xbox One.
They still have their place, though. If you love the way they look and the extended bass frequencies they give, you’ll be happy with a pair of them. However, there are better gaming headphones out there.
My Better Suggestions for an Xbox Gaming Headset
Microsoft Xbox Wireless Headset
If you’re looking for reliability and surety that your headphones will work, nothing is more appropriate than the Xbox Wireless Headset. These headphones are specifically designed to be used for Xbox gaming, and they make the whole process of connecting and using them incredibly easy.
I found these to have surprisingly good audio quality, pushing them right up there for gamers who have audiophile tendencies. Microsoft regularly updates these, so the latest pairs always have innovative features that weren’t seen in older ones.
Something I don’t like about them is that you can’t remove the microphone. I wouldn’t suggest these to a gamer who doesn’t use in-game chats because of this.
- Specifically designed for Xbox gaming
- Great sound quality
- Comfortable for long periods
- Both wired and wireless options are available
- Microphone can’t be removed
- The wireless version is prone to occasionally disconnecting
Razer Nari Ultimate for Xbox One
Razer is an incredible brand when it comes to gaming. While I’m not the biggest fan of their bright green branding, I can’t deny the quality of all their products.
I’m suggesting the Razer Nari Ultimate headphones here as they’re a similar price to both the Beats and Microsoft headphones that we’ve already looked through, but they have the added bonus of haptic feedback.
Haptic feedback is when the headphones vibrate a bit according to what’s happening in whatever game you’re playing. You’ll find that your Xbox remotes utilize haptic feedback brilliantly. It immerses you in the game, and you’ll notice when it’s not there.
So, while your hands vibrate when something is crashing, your headphones will give a bit of vibrational response as well. This is something that you shouldn’t knock until you try, as it adds even more immersion.
The sound quality of these headphones isn’t too shabby either. The microphone quality is the big downfall, though. I wouldn’t get these headphones if you regularly chat with people online.
- Haptic feedback is amazing
- Sound quality is great
- Comfortable to wear
- Built-in microphone is low-quality
Razer Kraken Tournament Edition
The Razer Kraken Tournament Edition headphones are far more affordable, and I tend to prefer them as they don’t have the bright green coloring that stands out so much. These are my recommendations for gamers on a budget that still want some of that well-known Razer quality.
These headphones are incredibly comfortable, so you’ll be able to wear them for long periods without your ears hurting. The microphone quality isn’t as bad on these as it is on the previous set, which is impressive considering the price difference.
In terms of sound quality, I think these are fairly similar to Beats due to their extended bass frequencies. Audiophiles will notice the dip in quality around the mids and highs, though.
- Great affordable options
- Surprisingly good microphone quality
- Comfortable fit
- Great bass quality
- Lack of depth in the mids and highs
- Comes with a THX adapter to boost quality, but it won’t work with an Xbox
The Corsair HS35 headphones are an even more economical option. While I wouldn’t recommend these to audiophiles, they’re a great choice if you’re looking for something easy to keep the noise down when you’re playing games.
The obvious fault in the sound quality is the lack of bass, but the mids and highs are good enough to make these headphones a worthy choice. Listening to music may be a struggle with these, but they’re great for game sound and talking to people online.
Speaking of talking to people online, the microphone quality is the standout feature with the Corsair HS35s.
Since this headset is so affordable, I wouldn’t bank on it lasting as long as any of the others I’ve suggested. So, I wouldn’t get these if you’re a heavy gamer that plays for hours every day.
- Very affordable
- Great microphone
- Decent mids and highs
- Noticeable lack of bass
- Durability isn’t amazing
SteelSeries Arctis 7X
If money is no problem, my top suggestion is the SteelSeries Arctis 7X headphones. These are what you need to get if you’re an Xbox gamer and an audiophile on top of that. They’re specifically designed for Xbox use, and they have lossless sound, making them sound way better than anything we’ve looked at so far.
While the idea behind them is to get the best audio experience possible from the newer Xbox Series X, they work perfectly well with an Xbox One too.
Apart from the amazing sound, these headphones have 24 hours of battery life. Not much can beat that, and it means that you never need to worry about the batteries running low. Not unless you’re gaming for 24 hours straight!
The design quality is great, making these feel quite comfortable to wear. Overall, they’re a top-tier set of headphones, and you should get them if you can.
- High-quality lossless sound
- Very comfortable
- 24-hour battery life
- Designed specifically for Xbox
- Very expensive
- People who aren’t experienced with audio may not benefit from the full extent of lossless audio
If you’re looking for some headphones that can be used casually as well, consider getting the Logitech G333 earphones. Small earphones aren’t as ideal for gaming as big headsets are, but these ones are designed with gaming in mind.
They’re a bit heavier on the bass side of things, so you may struggle to hear a few things that focused highs bring out. These are also affordable, so it may even help to have them as your spare set of gaming earphones.
They’re also amazing for playing games where movement is required. This is why many versions of these are intended for VR gaming.
- Smaller and more portable than large gaming headsets
- Built-in mic
- Great for games that require movement
- Sound quality isn’t something to write home about
- Not great for gamers who love big headsets
Answer: Beats headphones have relatively decent audio quality. However, most people assume they’re great because they put a heavy focus on boosting bass tones. At the time when Beats came out, not many other headphones with as wide of a reach did the same, so most people assumed the quality of Beats to be amazing.
You can find headphones that are far superior to Beats at more affordable prices these days. Also, Beats are owned by Apple, and Apple would prefer it if you bought their own headphones instead. All these factors are what are leading Beats headphones to slowly phase out.
Answer: You should get a pair of headphones that are compatible with Xbox. That’s always the first thing to look out for. If your headphones aren’t compatible, you’re going to have a rough time trying to get them to work.
Other than that, you should get headphones that are comfortable and can be worn for extended periods. If you’re playing games for long, there’s nothing worse than having tight headphones that hurt your ears.
Lastly, you should get a pair of headphones that have a microphone if you plan to play games online with friends. This will allow you to talk to them. If you get a pair of headphones without a mic, you may find yourself wanting to use one in the future. Connecting a mic separately to your headphones is also quite a task.
Answer: While Beats headphones were very popular, Apple actually purchased the company because they were interested in their streaming service. At the time, Apple was making everyone purchase songs and albums on iTunes.
Spotify was around and popular, but the Beats streaming service was particularly good at finding and suggesting new music to listeners. Apple bought the company and eventually turned the Beats streaming service into Apple Music.
Apart from that, Apple used many of the Beats design systems to create their own sets of earphones and headphones. It’s because of Beats that we have the Apple AirPods.
Answer: Both have their place, and it depends on your needs for which ones to get. When it comes to gaming headphones, I’d argue that wired headphones are a lot better to have.
There’s less room for connectivity issues, and they’re a lot more reliable. There’s nothing worse than having your headphones cut out while you’re focusing on an intense moment in a video game.
Wireless headphones take away the cumbersome cable, though. You can walk around with these and not worry about anything around you. While I’d never suggest a PC gamer use wireless headphones, it makes sense for console gamers to use them.
Something else to note is that you can get higher-quality wired headphones at more affordable prices. High-quality wireless headphones are a lot more expensive.
Answer: Yes, but it’s not going to be easy to set up. Since they’re purely wireless, you have two options. The first is to connect them to your TV via Bluetooth.
If your TV doesn’t have Bluetooth capabilities, then you’ll need to download the Xbox streaming app, stream your Xbox to your phone, and then pair the AirPods with your phone.
This has a lot of room for error, so it’s always going to be better to just buy reliable headphones that are fully compatible with your Xbox One.
To wrap things up in a short summary, I wouldn’t recommend using Beats with your Xbox One. It’s possible to connect them, but it will take plenty of trial and error. You also won’t be able to use the built-in microphone that Beats headphones all have.
If you want a better gaming experience, you should get a set of headphones that are compatible with Xbox. My top pick for audiophiles is the SteelSeries Arctis 7X headphones, but there are plenty more options out there that suit all budgets.
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