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The $99 Xbox Wireless Headset is great for gaming — and working from home – CNN Underscored

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(CNN) –

He Xbox Wireless Headphones it may be the ultimate gaming headset for a world from home. This is because in addition to instantly pairing with your Xbox, it can also sync with your phone or PC at the same time to allow you to call or listen to podcasts while you play.

Now we don’t try to encourage you to leave the area during an important meeting to play Halo, but being able to have a single headset to work and play without having to constantly reconnect any devices is a big help. And that adds to the fact that Microsoft’s new headphones sound great for gaming and are comfortable enough to carry around all day, all for an appealing $ 99.

Are Xbox wireless headphones a must for Xbox gamers? This is what we think after several days working, playing and chatting with this tied to our head.

For whom it is: Xbox wireless headphones are for Xbox and PC gamers looking for affordable gaming headphones that have a good sound that also work well with smartphones.

What you need to know: Microsoft’s new gaming headphones offer stunning audio with a very comfortable design, but the highlight is its ability to pair with your Xbox and phone at the same time. This way, you can listen to podcasts and receive calls while still listening to the sounds of your favorite games.

How to compare: Xbox wireless headphones have a similar price and functionality to $ 99 Turtle Beach Stealth 600 There are $ 2 and $ 99 SteelSeries Arctis Wireless 1, but only Microsoft headphones have Bluetooth to pair with the console and the phone at the same time. If you want something more stylish, it’s worth considering Arctis 1 Wireless.

Like the Xbox X Series console that is inspired by the Xbox Wireless Headphones it has a simple design built to match your playroom or your home office. These black headphones are only accented with two green rings on each headset, which highlight their practical earbuds to adjust the volume and chat games on the go.

Our only major drawback with the design of the Xbox wireless headset is that we find it absolutely massive; this is not a headset that we would wear in public, like our daily headphones, as we would with the sleeker SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless. We would also love to see a white version that matches the more elegant one Xbox S Series.

Still, convenience is what really matters when it comes to a gaming headset design, and Xbox wireless headphones offer this in spikes. Thanks to its lightweight eleven-ounce design and thick foam headphones lined with faux leather, we had no issues with using Microsoft headphones for an entire day as we bounced between playing games, making calls, and playing music.

Xbox wireless headphones simplify things with the in-ear controls and take a page out of the Surface headphones 2 playbook with a large rotating dial in each ear: one to adjust the overall volume and another to adjust the mix between game volume and voice chat. There’s also a power / pair button and a mute button for when you don’t want your Call of Duty mates to hear you eat snacks.

The dials are a fantastic touch and we found them much more intuitive than the volume controls, often tiny, placed between a large number of buttons on many gaming headphones. The pairing was also painless as we were able to connect to our Xbox, phone and PC in a matter of seconds. We’re big fans of the minimalist approach of the Xbox wireless headset controls, though a button to switch between preset sound settings (which we’ll get to later) would have been helpful.

PHOTO: Mike Andronico / CNN

The Xbox wireless headphones sounded great with almost every game we threw at them, giving us a competitive edge in shooting and allowing us to enjoy many environmental details in immersive single-player games.

When playing titles like Halo 5 i Gears 5 in the Microsoft handset, we could easily identify where the enemy’s footsteps and shots came from – a crucial audio detail for those who want to get their opponent. In addition, sounds such as the punch of an assault rifle or the explosion of a grenade were a satisfying satisfaction.

Microsoft headphones really shone when we played Ori and the will of the warnings, an atmospheric platform game, similar to Pixar, with sounds as shocking as its visuals. The Dolby Atmos support of the headphones (which allows for a more accurate position sound) allowed us to fully immerse ourselves in the forest of Niwen, as we could hear the birds chirping from all directions and distinguish small details like an enemy splashing in Water. full clarity. Better yet, Xbox wireless headphones were able to preserve these rich ambient sounds without dominating the game’s magnificent orchestral score.

Speaking of scores, Xbox wireless headphones offer proper music performance, though it won’t compete with a pair of dedicated headphones. Rock songs like “Cat’s Cradle” by Tigers Jaw it got muddy quickly as the guitars and bass tracks mingled into a wall of indistinct sound. The atmospheric hip-hop of “Lovin ‘Em” by Kid Cudi it came out better, as Microsoft headphones provided full sound bass to back up melodic croons and smoothed synths.

You can adjust the Xbox wireless headphones to your liking with the Xbox Accessories app on Xbox and Windows 10, which provides various microphone and audio output options. Here you can jump between various sound modes, including play, movie, music, and voice, change the headset’s auto mute feature, and enable microphone monitoring to hear your own voice as you speak.

The difference between the EQ modes was small but noticeable. The game’s default settings are generally balanced, while the heavy bass, well … adds more bass. Movie and speech presets were useful for highlighting explosions and dialogue in Captain America: Civil War, respectively, while the Music preset is pretty subtle and didn’t do much to improve the relatively poor music production of the headphones. Needless to say, the music sounded much better on Microsoft headphones when played over Bluetooth via a phone or computer than via Xbox Wireless on our Xbox One S.

The Xbox Accessories app provides some decent customization options in the Microsoft headset, but they include warnings. You cannot use the application on your PC when connected via Bluetooth (you will need to connect with a USB-C cable) and there is no mobile application. There’s also no easy way to see how much battery life is left in the headphones, other than the LED light on the back of the device that turns orange once it’s time to recharge.

Xbox wireless headphones have a solid 15-hour battery life, which largely matches our tests. It took us two days of heavy use, including several hours of gaming and calling, even to receive a low battery warning on Microsoft headphones.

PHOTO: Mike Andronico / CNN

Xbox wireless headphones offer great overall sound for gaming, but it really stands out for its ability to pair with multiple devices at once. Microsoft headphones can be connected to an Xbox console and a Bluetooth device (such as your phone) at the same time, allowing you to play the former while listening to podcasts or making calls to the latter. It’s a really amazing feature, especially in a world of work from home.

Thanks to the dual pairing capability of the headphones, we were able to chat by voice with colleagues and friends via Slack and Discord for hours and hours, although we were able to hear the sweet sounds that made us fall for the demons in our Xbox. Both audio sources were clearly transmitted each time and there was no indication of delay or interference. We had to adjust the volume manually on both the headset and our phone to find the right balance, but everything sounded great after a small modification.

This is very useful for some reasons. If you’re on Xbox but playing a cross-platform title like Fortnite with your friends on PC or Nintendo Switch, you will still be able to chat with them thanks to universal applications such as Discord. It also means you can use the same headphones to play and make important work calls (no trial if you decide to do both at the same time), all without having to do any annoying sync again any time you want to switch phones / l computer and your Xbox. Bluetooth support for Xbox wireless headphones makes it a great choice for real-time streaming Xbox Game Pass Ultimate titles on your Android phone, especially considering the number of Bluetooth gaming headsets in this price range.

Microsoft headphones also held up well in terms of actual microphone quality. Several people we chatted with reported that they could hear us clearly, and the voice recordings we made were loud and clear, even if they sounded robotic. The good quality of the Xbox wireless headset microphone is a relief, as the actual microphone is quite short and, although it can be bent, it cannot be retracted to bring it close to the mouth. While there’s a handy LED in the microphone to let you know when you’re silent, we’ve had to force our eyes even to be able to see it.

PHOTO: Mike Andronico / CNN

With an immersive gaming sound, an incredibly comfortable design and a reliable microphone, the $ 99 Xbox Wireless Headphones it would be an easy recommendation even without its additional features. But its ability to pair with your Xbox and phone at the same time really makes it an instrument that turns Microsoft headphones into a device that makes it easy to call or capture podcasts while you take out some Gears of War

Xbox wireless headphones are not the most attractive headphones out there, and some in-ear control options would have been appreciated. If you want something more stylish that also works well with Nintendo Switch, the SteelSeries Arctis 1 wireless for Xbox is a worthy alternative.

Still, Xbox wireless headphones are a great value for Xbox and PC gamers, especially those who spend so much time in conferences and games.

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