Your Xbox One headset won’t work? Get the fix here [QUICK GUIDE]

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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fix xbox one headset

Are you unable to hear sound through your Xbox One headset? Or maybe the mic stopped working, the headset picks up other voices, or it keeps buzzing, and has bad lag and latency issues?

These are just some signs of the Xbox One headset not working, and it can get pretty frustrating, while making the whole gameplay experience so not worth it – I mean, what’s a game without sound or feedback?

What you need to note, however, is that controllers connected via Bluetooth don’t support attachments such as headsets, so if you want to use one on your PC, connect the controller using a wireless adapter or USB, and then connect the headset directly to the controller.

We’ve listed several fixes to resolve this problem so you can get back to your game and enjoy every bit of it.

What can I do if my Xbox One headset is not working?

  1. General troubleshooting solutions
  2. Check your profile/Configure privacy and online settings
  3. Power cycle your Xbox One console
  4. Check your settings
  5. Adjust game/chat balance
  6. Update firmware
  7. Check the chat mixer
  8. Replace your controller
  9. Replace your headset

1. General troubleshooting solutions

If you cannot hear sound, or others cannot hear you when using the headset, here are a few general fixes you can try before using any other solutions:

  • Disconnect the headset or unplug the headset cable from the controller, and then reconnect it firmly to the controller
  • Check that the headset is not muted by checking the mute button on the headset controls
  • Increase the audio by going to Settings>Device & Accessories and select your controller to adjust audio settings
  • Use a different controller or headset to check for any malfunction on the hardware
  • Update your controller to get the latest software
  • Ensure you’re using the Xbox One headset with Xbox One controller only as it isn’t intended for use with other devices, plus the console doesn’t transmit game sounds or music through the headset
  • Clean your Xbox hardware by checking the headset, cord and connector for any defects. Ensure there’s no dirt/debris on the headset connector.
  • Check the controller’s batteries, if they’re low, they won’t provide power to the headset, so you need to charge it before using it.
  • Reboot your console by unplugging the power cord for 15 seconds.

2. Check your profile/Configure privacy and online settings

Check your profile. Sometimes kid profiles prevent chatting, and if the profile you’re using has parental controls switch or change it. To configure Privacy & online safety settings, follow these steps:

  • Sign in using one of the following accounts: Your Xbox account, and the parent account of the child account you’re having problems with
  • Open the guide.
  • Select Settings.
  • Under Account
  • Select Privacy & online safety.
  • Select View details & customize.
  • Select Communicate with voice and text.
  • Select specific friends or everybody, depending on who you want that profile to talk to.

Need more info on how to change privacy and safety setting on Xbox One child account? Check out this article.

3. Power cycle your Xbox One console

  • Press the Xbox button to open guide
  • Select System
  • Select Settings
  • Select Power & Startup
  • Select Power mode and startup
  • Select Power mode
  • Select Energy saving
  • Perform a hard power cycle by holding down the Xbox button for 10 seconds, then press the button again to restart it
  • Try the disc again and wait to see if the Xbox One S console will read it. If it reads, revert back to Instant-On power mode

4. Check your settings

  • On your console, go into the Home screen.
  • Select My Games and Apps
  • Select Apps
  • Select Party and then Start a Party
  • Speak into the mic and if your mic/controller work, you’ll see a highlight next to your name.

Since your headset isn’t muted and you’ve turned your Xbox on and off; plus it’s unlikely your controller is not associated with your profile, it’s probably not related to your NAT settings.

Xbox is unable to find the microphone? Check out this guide to solve the problem in no time.

5. Adjust game/chat balance

You can change the balance between the sound from the game and that of the chat room using the headset adapter.

If the balance for game is 100 percent while chat is 0 percent, the sound you hear will only be from the game and not chat – and vice versa. You can change the balance by pressing the buttons on the adapter (left side).

The mic is very quiet on Xbox One? Don’t worry, we’ve got the right solution for you.

6. Update firmware

To fix Xbox One headset not working, your controller’s firmware needs updating in order to be compatible with the headset’s adapter.

When your controller is updated with the latest software, you get full use of the headset adapter capabilities, including important controller improvements.

Updating can be done wirelessly, via USB, or via your PC.

6.1. Update firmware wirelessly

  • Sign in to Xbox Live on your Xbox One console and install the latest system update if prompted
  • If you have a stereo headset adapter, plug it into the bottom of your controller so it can also get updates.
  • If you’re using a stereo headset adapter, plug in a headset (a headset must be plugged in so the adapter will turn on).
  • Open the guide.
  • Select System
  • Select Kinect & devices
  • Select Devices & accessories
  • Select the controller you want to update.
  • Select Device info
  • Select the Firmware version box
  • Select Continue.

Xbox One won’t update? Take a look at this step-by-step guide to fix the problem easily.

6.2. Update firmware via USB

If your controller can only be updated via USB do the following:

  • Sign in to Xbox Live on your Xbox One console and install the latest system update if prompted
  • If you have one, plug the stereo headset adapter into the bottom of your controller so it can also get updates.
  • If you’re using a stereo headset adapter, plug in a headset (a headset must be plugged in so the adapter will turn on).
  • Plug the big end of the included USB cable into the port on the left side of the console,
  • Plug the small end into the top of the controller.
  • Instructions to install the update will appear. If instructions to install the update don’t automatically appear, you can start the process manually by opening the guide then select SystemKinect & devices > Devices & accessories> controller you want to update.
  • Select Device info
  • Select the Firmware versionbox
  • Select Continue.
  • Press the Xboxbutton on the wireless controller to turn it on. Your controller is now up to date, and you’re ready to use your Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter.

6.3. Update firmware via PC using Xbox Accessories app

  • Search for Xbox Accessories and launch the Xbox Accessories app.
  • Connect your Xbox One Wireless Controller using a USB cable or the Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows. You’ll be prompted to update to Windows 10 if you’ve not yet done so.
  • When the controller is connected, you’ll see the message Update Required if an update is mandatory.
  • Install the update. You can also go to Device Info to check for an update

You can’t troubleshoot your Xbox One Wireless Controller on Windows 10? Count on us to solve the problem.

7. Check the chat mixer

If you’re unable to hear other people, check the chat mixer from the Xbox One settings on the left sidebar menu. To do this:

  • Go to Display & Sound
  • Select Volume
  • From the options, use the slider for the Chat Mixer and slide it to the middle so that other sounds aren’t muted

8. Replace your controller

If you’ve followed these troubleshooting steps but your chat headset still doesn’t work, it may need to be replaced. You can order a replacement, through Device Support on Xbox site.

9. Replace your headset

If you cannot get to a clean fix of this issue, we recommend you to change your headset. We recommend you  Razer Kraken Pro V2. It has a smooth design that will maintain your comfort level during game sessions due to its full-ear coverage.

It will also give you a full audio experience from its neodymium magnets.razer kraken pro v2 xbox headset

You will also have a retractable microphone at your disposal as well as in-line remote controls. Razer Kraken Pro V2 can be found and ordered on Amazon from the link below.

Need more options? Here are the best gaming headsets available.

Were you able to get your Xbox One headset working again using any of these solutions? Let us know by leaving a comment in the section below.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2018 and has been since revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.