One of the most frustrating things for a new Xbox One owner has to be opening the box only to find that they have no way of connecting their wireless Bluetooth headphones to their new gaming device.
Does this mean you have to fish out your old wired headphones?
Fortunately, no. In this article, we’ll explain how to connect Bluetooth headphones to Xbox One and enjoy your gaming experience as you intended, so let’s get to it.
Can You Connect Bluetooth Headphones to Xbox One?
This may sound like a stupid question but the answer will probably surprise you.
Xbox One is not compatible with Bluetooth.
Instead, Microsoft has its own Xbox Wireless standard.
But don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you can’t do it, and we’ll show you how to connect Bluetooth headphones to Xbox One.
What is Xbox Wireless?
Xbox Wireless is a Microsoft-proprietary protocol that allows you to connect your Xbox console with your accessories such as headphones, a game controller, or a gaming wheel.
The protocol first saw use with Xbox One to allow users to connect a controller to the console (nothing ruins the gaming experience like using a controller with a cable that is too short).
This was then expanded to other accessories to bring the ultimate, cable-free gaming experience. Thus Xbox Wireless was born, and today, many third-party manufacturers have their own “Xbox Wireless” devices that you can use on your Xbox console.
What Headphones are Compatible with Xbox Wireless?
There are many Bluetooth headphones around, but with the popularity of Xbox, naturally, more and more manufacturers started to make headphones compatible with this console.
That said, here are some of the best options for Xbox compatible wireless gaming headsets in 2022:
- Razer Kraken Tournament Edition
- Razer Kaira Pro for Xbox
- Razer Nari Ultimate for Xbox One
- SteelSeries Arctis 9X
- Audeze Penrose X
- Astro A50 Gen 4 Wireless 2019
- Logitech G535 LIGHTSPEED Wireless Gaming Headset
- Plantronics RIG 800 LX Wireless
- LucidSound LS50X
- LucidSound LS35X Wireless Surround Sound
- Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2
- Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 Wireless Gaming Headset
How to Connect Xbox One Wireless Headphones to Your Console?
Okay, you’ve bought some compatible headphones for your console, and you’re now staring bewildered as to what to do next.
Don’t worry, it’s really easy, and we’ll show you how to connect your headset and your console in a few steps. Note that this works on all Xbox-friendly wireless headsets:
- Hold down the power button on your headphones until you see the LED light turn on. This means they are now in “pairing mode.”
- Find the pairing button on your console. One pre-Xbox One S and X models it’s on the left side of the console (next to the disk drive), and on newer models, it’s on the front panel, on the lower-right.
- Press the pairing button on the console until the LED starts to blink.
- After a few seconds, the LED lights on both your headset and the console will stop flashing, and you will hear a sound from the headphones, while a “Headset Assigned” note will appear on your console. You should now hear the game audio.
But can you connect Airpods to your Xbox One console? You can! Read this article to learn how to connect AirPods to Xbox One (and PS4).
How to Connect Bluetooth Headphones to Xbox One
Now, what if you don’t have Xbox Wireless headphones but BT-ones?
Unfortunately, Xbox doesn’t support Bluetooth protocol and instead has its own Xbox Wireless protocol that we already mentioned.
That said, if you have Bluetooth wireless headphones, all hope is not lost. It’s just a little more complicated than simply “pairing” the two devices.
In fact, you have four options:
- Connect the Headset via TV
To do this, you’ll need to use your TV as a sort of “bridge” between the console and the headphones.
- First, find an HDMI port on the back of your TV (it should have at least 2 to 3 of them) and plug an HDMI cord into it
- Plug the other end of the cord in your Xbox console
- Make sure to set the source of the TV’s Input to the Xbox port that you’ve just plugged (for instance, HDMI2)
Okay, that’s part one of the operation, but we still need to connect the headphones and the TV. Hopefully, your TV supports Bluetooth (here’s how to tell if your does, btw), but if it doesn’t, you might need to use one of these:
- Media Streamer such as Roku
- Bluetooth Transmitter
- Bluetooth Box
- The TV’s “hidden service menu”
Now, assuming that your SmartTV does support Bluetooth, things will be much more straightforward:
- First, make sure that your headphones are in pairing mode by pressing and holding the button until the LED light starts to blink.
- Enable the Bluetooth function on your TV. If you are unsure, check the manual that came with the TV.
For example, on Samsung Smart TVs M, N and R models from 2017, 2018 and 2019 go to Home > Settings > Sound > Sound Output > Bluetooth Speaker List
- You should see the headphones on the list, under Available Devices
- Select them, and they will now move to Paired Devices
Connect the Headphones via PC
Connecting your headphones with your Xbox console via PC should be somewhat easier since Microsoft powers both the console and the PC.
You’ll need an Xbox Console Companion app to have both the console and the computer on the same network connection.
Now, to connect your PC and Xbox, you’ll need to:
- Sign in with your Microsoft account on the Xbox Console Companion app
- Click the Connection icon on the app’s left-hand menu to enable it on your PC
- Once you click the icon, a new window should pop up. Click Add a Device on the top-right
- Windows should automatically search for the Xbox One console and once it detects it (it will display “XBOXONE”), click the Connect button
Your Xbox should now be connected to your PC. If the PC can’t detect the console or takes a lot of time, you can type the Xbox IP address in the field under “Xbox One not listed?” and click Connect.
Now that you have the PC and the Xbox connected, you’ll also need to connect the PC and the Bluetooth headphones.
To do this either:
- Turn Bluetooth on by going to Start > Settings > Bluetooth & devices and then turn on Bluetooth
- Or, from quick settings, click the Network icon, select Bluetooth and turn it on
Once you’ve turned Bluetooth on your PC:
- Press & hold the pairing button on your headset to make it discoverable
- Go to Start > Settings > Bluetooth & devices > Add Device > Bluetooth on your computer
- Select the device from the list and click Done
From now on, your PC and headphones should automatically connect whenever they are in range, Bluetooth is on, and your wireless headphones will also be connected to your Xbox console via PC.
Connect the Headphones via Xbox App
The third option to connect your wireless Bluetooth headset and the Xbox One is to use the Xbox One App.
Note that if you intend to play games on the Xbox, this isn’t the way to go as you won’t be able to hear the game’s audio.
This is only for the party chat.
- First, install the Xbox One App on your phone by going to the Google Play Store and clicking the Install button.
- Pair the wireless headphones and your smartphone by pressing & holding the pairing button on the headphones until the LED light starts to flash and turn on Bluetooth on your phone.
- Go to the Xbox One App on your phone and click the Social icon (the second icon, right next to the Home icon).
- On the Social screen, click the headset icon on the top-right corner.
- The app will ask for permission to allow Xbox to record audio. Click While using the app to permit it.
- Now the party chat screen will open, and you can invite your teammates and discuss your tournament strategies and whatnot.
Connect via a Bluetooth Transmitter
There are also Bluetooth transmitters that you can use to connect your Xbox console with the headphones.
The only problem with this method is that you won’t be able to use the microphone, but you’ll still hear the audio, so if you’re doing multiplayer or tournaments, this is probably not the method you’re looking for.
That said, if you’re a single-player, here are the steps to do it:
- Turn on the Bluetooth transmitter by pressing the power button until the LED light begins to flash (usually about 3 seconds).
- On the back of your controller, find the 3.5mm port and plug the transmitter in
- Turn on the “pairing mode” on your headphones.
- Hold the multi-function button on your Bluetooth Transmitter for about 5 seconds to put it into pairing mode.
- If the headphones are in range of the dongle, you should see a blue light on the transmitter indicating it is now paired with the headphones.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use Bluetooth headphones on Xbox One?
Xbox One doesn’t natively support Bluetooth protocol and instead uses the Xbox Wireless protocol.
However, there are several ways to connect your wireless Bluetooth headphones to the Xbox gaming console.
- By connecting both to your Smart TV
- By connecting them via PC
- Using the Xbox One App (only for party chat)
- And, by using the Bluetooth transmitter dongle (only for audio from the headphones, but not the microphone)
How do you connect wireless headset to Xbox One?
To connect Xbox Wireless compatible headphones:
- Put the headphones in the “pairing mode” by holding the power button until the LED light turns on.
- Press the pairing button on your console and hold it until the LED light starts to blink.
- Wait until the LED lights on the console and the headphones stop flashing and become steady. You should see a “Headset Assigned” note pop up on the console, and you’ll also hear a tone from the headphones.
To connect Bluetooth headphones and your Xbox console, you’ll need to do a bit more work, but there are a few options here as well:
- Plug the Xbox One console into your TV using an HDMI cable and then connect the headphones to the TV.
- Connect the Xbox console to your Windows PC and then pair the headphones and the PC.
- Use the Xbox One App on your mobile phone (check out how to connect PS4 or Xbox One to Mobile Hotspot).
- Or, plug a Bluetooth transmitter dongle into your Xbox controller and then pair it with your Bluetooth headphones.
Having a good pair of headphones is one of the most important things a gamer needs to enjoy their gaming experience.
Unfortunately, since Microsoft uses its own wireless protocol and not Bluetooth, this complicates things a little.
Still, with a little bit of ingenuity, you should now know how to connect Bluetooth headphones to Xbox One.