Introduction: Xbox One Headphone Setup With Working Chat Audio

The Xbox One like its predecessor the Xbox 360 has the ability for the gamer to chat with friends using the headset. It's a very simple premise and it works well enough. On the market you will find headphone sets adapted to work with the Xbox One where the manufacturer of these gaming headsets have integrated voice chat to work with their product. The proprietary headphone that is packaged with most Xbox Ones will carry only chat signal and game audio output is ported to the TV or the stereo system.

Some of us like using previous older equipment. Others have decent headphones or have taken the opportunity to upgrade their audio hardware and want to use the hardware with the newer system.

The Xbox 360 allowed the user to select chat audio for both speaker and headphone via the menu settings. The problem with the Xbox One is that for whatever reason, the function is not available. The user will want to set audio out put to speakers and headphones because when any headphone/mic is jacked into the controller, the chat audio is AUTOMATICALLY ported to the headphones only.

So if the user is not using an adapted setup, he or she will hear game audio (all the explosions, gun fire, etc.) but no chat audio. The people on the other end will still hear the user's voice.

These instructions will list the required equipment, give brief explanations of what they do. There will be steps to show the connections with necessary explanations. The pictures will help to diagram and visualize where all the wires connect to so if the wording does not make sense yet, use the pictures to help. The final step will be to fine tune audio within the settings.

For the advanced audio person, BOLD lettering will help with quick referencing in conjunction with pictures.

Amazon links are used for simplicity, please research for the best price and the best product that will fit your needs.

At the very end, two things are kindly requested.

Step 1: The Full Monty (necessary Equipment)

This step will list the main components, the next page will address the actual components to enable chat audio.

1. DAC/AMP ( )

- This equipment is what "translates" the audio signal coming from the Xbox One. The signal is sent via the Optical Output (SPDIF). The signal is digital.

-The signal goes through Digital to Analog Conversion(DAC); is then amplified(AMP) to a match the impedance of a given headphone.

You will want to buy a DAC/AMP based on your need and the reliability (in the form of owner reviews). They generally start around 50 dollars and work up to the price of a good used car. Mere mortals like you and I will be good with something between 50-100 dollars.

2. Headphone ( )

- Impedance is measured in ohms(Ω). Headphones generally come in three kinds: 32 ohm, 250ohm, and 600 ohm. When a headphone that is 250ohm or higher is used, generally an amp is used to efficiently power the drivers (speakers). Otherwise the user would need to crank up the volume beyond the point of distortion to get enough audio output out of the headphones.

-To match headphones and amps, take note of the Impedance of the headphone and match it with the output of the amp. The easiest way to do this is to find a set of headphones and searching/googling for what others have bought as their DAC/AMP.

3. Mic

Mine ( )

Popular mic- "Modmic" (

-These are the two mics I know to work. There may be more as others try. Generally the rule is to find a mic that does not require its own portable power. It will passively pick up speech to send to the controller. I took a chance on the Olympus ME-52W.

3. Splitters, Adapters, Extensions.

-This is where the actual magic happens. The rule to follow here is that in general, larger gauge wires are more efficient at carrying signals. Do not try to go to a smaller gauge if you can help it and try to minimize connections for efficiency. "Try" is a fun word--- there are a lot of connections in this set up.

A. Splitter (3.5mm) ( for headphone and mic separation (to connect mic and headphone to controller )



B. Splitter (1/4inch) ( ) can be generic, be sure to get quality.


C. Adapter (3.5mm) Mono to Stereo (


D. Optical (SPDIF) Cord (

Try to find a decent one. The cheaper ones tend to easily come out of the slots.

E. Extension wire ( ) (3.5mm to 3.5mm) or (1/4inch to 1/4inch) by preference. This wire is to extend the distance between the headphone output of the controller (via the splitter) to the Y female connected with the amp to the headphone. The length should be at least 3 ft (or more as an option).

Confused yet? Continue to the next page, young padawan.

Step 2: Connecting Dots


-Jacked into controller is the male 3.5mm end of mic/headphone (non-generic), the Y splits out into distinct Headphone female and Mic female leads. The Mic has a MONO male and requires an adapter to make it stereo. The male of the adapter now goes into the mic female input of the Y split. We are left with the headphone female lead (which we will get back to from the Headphone)

-The 1/4 inch male jack that is the cable for the headphone is plugged into the 1/4 inch female end of the splitter. The splitter gives us two male 1/4 inch ends. One generic end plugs directly into the DAC/AMP. The other 1/4 inch male is jacked into an adapter turning into 3.5mm male. From here we use 3.5mm female to male extension cord. This new 3.5mm male end (of the cord) connects back to the Headphone jack end of the splitter attached to the the controller.


This is where you would connect the Xbox One to the AMP via an Optical Cord (SPDIF).



The last step will address the Xbox menu settings.

Step 3: Setting the Time on the VCR

To test out the mic (picture one)

-Be sure to have have everything plugged in, especially the mic. Navigate to your list of friends where you will select a random friend. Get to the window where you can record a message. If you don't have a mic in, you will not see the mic symbol on the screen. Record about 10 seconds, sing your most favorite song which will annoy this particular friend. NOW play it back to your self, is your voice clear? Before we move on to the adjustments, try to adjust the mic on your shirt and retry the test. Repeat as necessary until you are satisfied with the clarity of your voice. If every thing is great, you are done (until a friend complains about your voice during a game). Now either send the message or... not?

Adjusting settings (picture two)

- Be sure the mic is plugged in, you won't see the options if there is no mic.

-Headset volume is maxed out because this is the volume of the voice chat only. The chat will be of lower volume compared to the main game volume because the game volume is ported through the amp. The main reason for a lower chat sound as alluded to in the parts list is that the Headphone is at high impedance, although power is going to the drivers, it's not enough to be as sufficient as the amp's signal.

-Mic Monitoring is the function that allows you to hear yourself when you speak. Monitoring is very helpful with closed headphones. My headphones are open which means I can hear my own voice well enough. This function is adjusted to your liking.

** Open vs closed headphones is purely choice. Closed headphones might keep more sounds in for those late night sessions. Open headphones open up the sound-stage which helps placement of sounds in the correct area. Think of enemy foot steps to the left rear of you.

Step 4: Sincere Thank You for Stoping By

Thank you for viewing my first instructable. This was written towards the newer gamers who might be new to Xbox. I mainly wanted to inform the reader about the weird inability to change voice chat settings. The Xbox One has been out for quite a while now, I don't think they know this issue, or care enough because not enough people bring it up.

Please go here to voice the need to the "minor" change:

There's only about 5,000 users who care about it? I doubt this number. Upvote this thread, if a reader finds other threads, post them up and I will edit them into this page.

Additionally, If facts are wrong please let me know so I will edit the information. I know I generalized a lot with the thought or hope that people would google for what I left out. This was more a buy this to connect that set of instructions with minor explanations.

Thank you kindly,


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