In this day and age gaming headsets have almost become a requirement to play video games, especially for younger gamers and those who compete for cash. Gamers these days need headsets to communicate strategies or shoot the shit with their friends or esports teams, as well as to provide the clearest sounds possible by having two speakers strapped to their head. Competitive gamers definitely need a solid headset with surround sound so they can hear every shot around the map, or the light patter of footsteps of someone trying to take them out from behind — both bonuses for winning the day and becoming an online hero. Even gamers living in close quarters, or with little kids who go to bed by 8pm can benefit from a quality pair of headphones built specifically for gaming.
The problem is that there are so many brands out there with a plethora of different lines and models that run all the way from $20 to $400, so navigating the headset retail waters can be a treacherous affair. Unless you’re a hardcore competitive gamer and/or audiophile, you can still grab a quality headset for less than $100. In fact, Turtle Beach has a new affordable model for the Xbox One called the XO Three, and it performs quite admirably for a headset that costs just $69.95. Best of all, it can take advantage of the new Windows Sonic surround sound feature available on the Xbox One and Windows 10 PC, so for a very fair price you can get high-quality surround sound capabilities to make your games sound even more like they’re taking place in your gaming room.
The XO Three headset is a wired headset, so it must be plugged into the AUX port on your Xbox One controller, or into the headset adapter if you’re still using an old controller. The cable provides enough length to keep you from being tangled up in it, and it has in-line controls for volume and chat, which makes toggling either setting a breeze. It also will work with any other device that supports a 3.5mm AUX jack, so the XO Three can also be used with a PC, the PS4, mobile devices, and anything else you can jam its cable into.
This headset boasts 50mm drivers, so the cans are large enough to cover your entire ear surface, which in turn creates an almost soundproof seal to make your games sound as clear, crisp, and loud as you desire. I tested the headset on an Xbox One S while playing Mass Effect: Andromeda, which by the way hasn’t gotten much better, but I knew its sound design would be great for testing out the XO Three. I wasn’t wrong either as this game supports surround sound, which the headset handled admirably once I toggled the console’s audio settings to use the Windows Sonic feature built into the menu. I could here location based sounds clearly, so every firefight felt alive and in my face. The ambient sounds of my ship and the Nexus space stations also came through precisely to make each area I was in feel alive. Dialogue was clear and concise, and the mic worked well for chatting with a friend in a party while I played.
In terms of the XO Three’s design I would consider it to be rugged. It’s made out of hard plastic with a simple black color design accented by green mesh in the headphones themselves. The band has thick padding in it and it rests comfortably on your dome. I probably had the headset on for close to two hours and didn’t notice any sort of fatigue from doing so. The only design aspect I would challenge is the overall size, which is large and not very convenient to carry around with you all day, but most gaming headsets aren’t built for on-the-go sessions, so I don’t really consider the size to be that big of a deal.
If you’re looking for an affordable headset for the Xbox One that supports surround sound and the health of your bank account, then you should look no further than the XO Three from Turtle Beach. For $69.95 you will get a quality gaming headset with a sturdy design and clear sound delivery. It’s a great entry headset if you’ve never felt like investing over $100 into a pair, so if you’re interested you can pre-order the XO Three today to add a bit of punch to your late night gaming sessions without awakening everyone in your living space.
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Review Statement: The author of this review was provided a sample unit from the manufacturer for the purposes of this review.