How To Set Up Your Xbox One Controller for Headset Play

Demystifying technical hiccups with your Xbox One in just eight minutes!



Niya Andrew • August 23, 2023 • 8 mins read

Xbox One Controller for Headset Play

A typical gripe for Xbox One users is that their controller’s microphone sometimes works flawlessly while the remaining times it’s usually just acting up making loud annoying noises. This occurs whenever they attempt to use the headset for interpersonal communication with their gaming comrades. 

When this happens, you could feel a lot of frustration. The headset’s microphone won’t record your voice; you can’t hear your pals or the footsteps approaching you in the game. All this microphone fiasco just steals away most of the fun out of your gaming sessions. 

If you’re experiencing issues when playing Xbox One. This post is for you, as we identified a few potential triggers for this issue and their corresponding solutions. 

Starting With The Basics:

What causes the “Xbox One controller not recognizing headset” problem? Some such explanations include the following:

  1. There’s a problem with the controller’s earbud jack.
  2. The Xbox One gamepad is antiquated.
  3. The battery in the controller has run out.
  4. The 3.5-millimeter jack is only partially inserted.
  5. The headset is broken or incompatible with my device.
  6. Errors with the Xbox One firmware.

Another disappointing fact about Xbox One is that despite its widespread adoption, it still lacks built-in support for Bluetooth, the most popular wireless standard, annoying users for years because not all Bluetooth headphones pair reliably with Xbox One.

Connecting a 3.5mm Gaming Headset To Your Xbox One

The “Xbox One controller not recognizing headset” issue may occur if the headset adapter is not securely plugged into the controller or if the stereo headset 3.5 cables are not securely plugged into the headphone adapter.

A 3.5-millimeter headset can be attached to the controller in two ways: directly through the headset jack and a third-party adaptor for a stereo headset and the controller,

Directly Through Headset Jack

  1. Connect the headset to the controller.                                                                                                                                                                                        Xbox One Controller Connect the headset to the controller 
  2. Get the Xbox One going
  3. Go to the Settings menu to access your gadgets and peripherals                

    Xbox One Controller Settings menu

  4. Choose the correct controller and adjust the audio to your liking.

Indirectly Through Stereo Headset Adapter

  1. Insert the stereo headset adapter into the controller’s expansion port

    Xbox One Controller Headset Adapter
    LEVELHIKE Stereo Headset Adapter is used in this picture. 

  2. Connect the stereo headset’s 3.5 mm jack to the adapter’s output.

    Xbox One Controller stereo headset's 3.5 mm jack

  3. Get the Xbox One going.
  4. To access your devices and accessories, click “Settings” before proceeding.
  5. Choose the correct controller and adjust the audio to your liking.

Here are some stereo headset adapters to seamlessly connect your gaming headsets to your Xbox One controller:

  1. BIGBIG WON Wired Controller Adapter

BIGBIG WON Wired Controller AdapterProduct available on Amazon

2. LEVELHIKE Stereo Headset Adapter

LEVELHIKE Stereo Headset AdapterUse this adapter for wired headphones with 3.5 mm cord. Available on Amazon

3. Microsoft Xbox Wireless Adapter

Microsoft Xbox Wireless AdapterUse this adapter for wireless headphones with 3.5 mm cord. Available on Amazon.

Connecting Wireless Gaming Headsets To Your Xbox One Controller

Xbox One does not have built-in support for Bluetooth Audio. Still, the company has worked with other companies to provide compatibility with some wireless headsets. 

Follow the instructions below to ensure your wireless gaming headsets work with your Xbox One.

  1. Put your headphones into “pairing mode.” The process for this step will vary depending on the specific headphone model you use. 
  2. Seek out the “Pairing Button” on your gaming system.  

    Xbox One ControllerPress once to turn on your Xbox console  

  3. Press the console’s Pairing Button until the indicator light blinks to activate pairing. This is a sign indicating that your console is ready to be paired.

    Console's Pairing Button

  4. Press the Connect Button on your wireless gaming headsets and wait for the LED to begin flashing. If you see this, it indicates your gadget is in pairing mode.

    Connect Button on wireless gaming headsets

  5. Let the LED indicators on both gadgets settle for a moment. There will be a brief “Headset Assigned” message on the control panel, followed by a tone from the headset.

    The game’s soundtrack will play once the devices are correctly linked.

Connecting Bluetooth Headphones Not Compatible With Xbox One

At first, you might be bummed out that Xbox doesn’t work with the wireless Bluetooth headphones you were so excited to use for your gaming session. But don’t worry just yet; linking these non-compatible gaming headsets with some extra steps is possible.

There are a couple of ways to connect your non-compatible Bluetooth headphones to your Xbox One controller: Use Bluetooth transmitters, a PC connection, via TV or Xbox Mobile App.

Using Bluetooth Transmitters:

A Bluetooth transmitter can bypass the Xbox One’s Bluetooth restriction. Thanks to this handy accessory, use your wireless Bluetooth headphones with the game console. But this step will only allow you to hear your game’s audio but won’t allow you to use your headset’s microphone. 

The steps for using Bluetooth Transmitters are as follows: 

  1. Depending on your Bluetooth transmitter, turn on the Bluetooth settings by pressing the Power Button
  2. Plug the transmitter into the 3.5mm port of your Xbox One controller.
  3. Following the manual instructions for your Bluetooth headphones, turn on the Pairing Mode on your wireless headphones
  4. Hold down the Multifunction Button on your Bluetooth transmitter for about five seconds to pair it with your wireless gaming headsets. By doing so, you can initiate pairing mode on the dongle.

After successfully pairing your Xbox One controller with Bluetooth headphones and establishing a solid connection, you can play using your favorite gaming headsets. 

Employing PC Transmitters:

To skip another expenditure over a Bluetooth transmitter, you can link your computer to your Xbox One to use your Bluetooth headphones. However, the procedures vary from device to device. 

The steps for connecting your Windows PC to your Xbox One are as follows: 

Before going through this method, you must ensure the following:

  1. Both devices must be connected to the same network for streaming to work. 
  2. Xbox Console Companion is required. 
  3. Your computer must be Bluetooth-enabled. 
  4. To ensure a smooth connection, update your PC to at least Windows 10 OS version or more. 

Once all the conditions check out, you may start connecting your Bluetooth headphones as follows: 

  1. Create a new Microsoft account or log in with an existing one, then use the Xbox Console Companion app. 

    Xbox Console Companion app

  2. Connect your Xbox One to your computer by selecting the Xbox app’s Connection icon from the menu bar.

    Connect your Xbox One

  3. Select the Add a Device icon in the upper-right corner of the Connect to your Xbox One window.

    Xbox One Controller Add a Device

  4. Your Xbox One console will be detected mechanically by Windows. You may manually enter your Xbox’s IP address and press Connect to speed up the process.

    Xbox One Console

  5. Go to your Xbox settings > select Devices & Streaming > select Device Connections if you’re having trouble connecting.

    This will enable game streaming from this Xbox to other devices, but only from profiles signed into this Xbox. See if your Xbox is recognized in the connections menu.

    Xbox Device Connections

  6. After setting it up, you can use your computer to manage your Xbox. 

The key benefit of using the computer as your end-user to connect your Bluetooth gaming headphones to your Xbox One controller is that you can enjoy your game’s audio and chat with your gaming buddies. 

The steps for connecting your macOS to your Xbox One go as follows: 

Using OneCast, which has a 14-day free trial but costs $9.99. After that, you can connect your Xbox One to a Mac and listen using Bluetooth headphones. With this app, you may use your mobile smartphone as a controller for your Xbox One. You can also use Bluetooth headphones with it, so you can hear the game’s soundtrack without unplugging your Mac.

However, unlike Windows PC, Microsoft does not support OneCast; as a result, you will only be able to listen to the audio during your Xbox gaming sessions on macOS. 

  1. Turn on your Xbox One and launch your OneCast app on your Mac. OneCast app
  2. If your Xbox One is connected to the internet, the OneCast app should recognize it and ask for your Microsoft account credentials.
  3. Connect your Xbox to OneCast and your Mac and headphones.

Once a stable Bluetooth connection is established, you can enjoy streaming live gaming sessions on your Xbox with your favorite gaming headsets.

Connecting Via TV

Connecting your TV to your Xbox One and Bluetooth headphones is simple. You’ll need to hook up the Xbox One set up to the TV before you can hook up the Bluetooth headphones.

Follow these simple steps below to connect your Bluetooth headphones to your TV: 

  1. Connect the HDMI cable that came with your Xbox One to the port on the back of your system.

    Xbox One console HDMI cable

  2. The other end of the cable must be connected to the TV’s back HDMI port.

    Xbox One console HDMI port

  3. Switch the Input Source to the HDMI input with the TV’s remote.

    Xbox One console HDMI input

Next, link up your wireless gaming headsets via Bluetooth to the TV. You may even use Bluetooth audio transmitters for TVs if your TV does not have built-in Bluetooth capability.

Using the Xbox Mobile App

If you’re seeking a way to use your game chat only, connecting your Bluetooth headphones to your Xbox One controller is a possible solution. 

Connecting your gadget to your Xbox using its Mobile App is easy. 

  1. Make sure your headset is connected to your phone’s Bluetooth.

    Xbox Mobile App

  2. To use the social features of the Xbox One software, select the “two people” icon.

    Social features of the Xbox One software

  3. Select the microphone button to begin chatting.

    Microphone button to begin chatting

  4. Allow the app to use your microphone and invite your game’s teammates to join the party.

    Allow the app to use your microphone and invite your game’s teammates to join the party

  5. After you accept permission, the party screen will pop up. Here, you can invite your friends and teammates to play along.

    invite your friends and teammates

How to Fix an Xbox One Not Recognizing Bluetooth Headphones

You can try a few things if your Xbox One controller doesn’t recognize your wireless headphones, even if you do everything right to connect your gadget. 

Force Reboot Your Xbox One 

A soft reset or restarting your console can help troubleshoot your problems with connecting your headphones. 

First, turn off your Xbox One by pressing and holding the power button for at least 10 seconds. To turn off the LED, keep pressing the power button.

Second, after waiting a minute, switch the console back on by pressing the Xbox button.

Third, you’re good to go if the Xbox One‘s startup animation is green. If, after doing the steps above, your Xbox One boots right onto the dashboard (without any animation), you will need to try again.

Then, reconnect the headset once the system has finished starting up to see if this fixes the issue.

Reset Xbox One To Factory Defaults

A factory reset is the last possible solution for the “Xbox One controller not recognizing headset” error. Here is a quick guide to help you factory reset your Xbox One

Power the Xbox console to access the guide menu and select the Xbox button.

Navigate to System > Settings > System > Console info, click Reset 

Select Reset and keep my games & apps from the Reset your Console menu.

Reset your Console

Check whether the issue has been resolved after the completion of the process.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I activate my headset on Xbox One?

For four seconds, press and hold the headset’s green power button (found under the earcups). The headset’s power indicator will begin flashing, and you will hear a pairing mode tone from your Bluetooth headphones

Why isn’t my headset working with my controller Xbox One?

To troubleshoot your unresponsive headset problem, reconnect the headset to the controller after wiping the cable plug with a clean cloth. Use a different controller to put the headset through its paces. Replace the AA batteries or charge the rechargeable battery in your wireless controller.

Why can’t I hear game audio through my headset on Xbox One?

Make sure the volume is up high enough on the guide. To access the audio settings for the headset, press the Xbox button on the controller until you reach the cog icon, and then select the audio option.

Why does my Xbox One controller keep flashing and not connecting?

If your Xbox One controller keeps flashing LED light quickly, it indicates your console is in pairing mode, detecting wireless headphones nearby to connect. But if it is flashing slowly and steadily, it indicates problems with your battery. 

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