So you want to know if you can use a USB microphone with Xbox Series X. Using a USB microphone with your Xbox Series X will vastly improve your voice chat quality in party chats or when you’re streaming on Twitch.
As someone who has a USB Mic, I took it upon myself to try and get it working with my Xbox and I learned a few interesting things that I’m going to share with you. Microsoft wants you to limit yourself to the sub-par microphone quality of headsets.
Why would you want to do this? Well, maybe you have a perfectly good set of headphones (without a microphone) and a USB microphone. You probably don’t want to have to buy yet another headset.
But that doesn’t have to be the case. You can impress people on Xbox voice chat with your buttery smooth voice using the steps outlined below.
Using a USB Mic With Xbox Series X
Officially, the Xbox Series X does not support USB microphones. However, you can use a USB microphone with your Xbox Series X by using an audio/microphone splitter and a male-to-male aux cord. It will only work if your microphone has a 3.5mm port.
I noticed with my headset as the audio output, the microphone audio was terrible. The reason for this is that if your headset has an attached microphone, and you try to connect another external microphone through the controller, the two will cancel each other out. So for this method to work your headphones can’t have a microphone.
If your microphone has a 3.5mm mic output port, that would be best. On that note, cheap microphones like this clip-on microphone that only uses a microphone cable should work too.
I would personally recommend buying an Xbox certified headset (such as the Hyper Cloud X) because it’ll make voice chatting a lot easier and you won’t have a pile of wires hanging out of your Xbox controller.
In short, if you head out and buy these cables, don’t hold it against me if it does not work.
Now I’ll explain how to use a USB mic with an Xbox Series X.
How to Use a USB Mic with Xbox Series X
To start, you will need a few things.
The links below take you to Amazon, although you can find the same cables in most hardware stores.
- A male to female audio/microphone splitter cable
- A male-to-male three-prong aux cord (a two-ring could work too, depending on the mic)
- A USB microphone with a 3.5mm port and a volume control knob (I like the HyperX Quadcast S)
- A non-USB microphone should work too (no need for the male-to-male aux with a non-USB Mic)
Note: You could also do this with a microphone that connects with a 3.5 mm microphone cable.
Once you have these cables, it’s a matter of putting them all together. Connect the splitter to the 3.5mm port on your controller. Next, connect your headphones to the audio side of the splitter. From there, connect the male-to-male aux cord to the microphone port on the splitter and the other end to the 3.5m port on your USB microphone.
Make sure all the cables are firmly in place and the USB microphone is connected to a power source. It doesn’t have to be connected to a USB port on your Xbox, it can be connected to your PC, laptop, or wall outlet, it only needs a USB connection for power.
Note, that some headsets that have a built-in microphone might conflict with the external microphone when using a splitter. This wasn’t the case for me, I tested a headset that has a mic and one that does not, and both worked fine. But it’s worth looking into.
How to Test Microphone Audio on Xbox Series X
Test the audio. Start a party on Xbox and see if the circle around your name lights up.
A better way to test your microphone on Xbox is to use Discord. If you have a computer nearby, what you can do is installed Quarrel on your Xbox. Quarrel is Discord’s beta client, it’s free and in the Microsoft Store. Download and install Quarrel and sign in to your Discord account on Xbox.
Next, open Discord on a web browser on your spare computer (a phone works too) and either call yourself or join the same server as a guest. You don’t need to make a new Discord account on the web-browser version of Discord, simply exit all the sign-up forms. Remember, you won’t be able to sign in using the same Discord account.
Now try to talk into your USB microphone on the Xbox, you should hear your voice through the other device using Discord.
Xbox USB Microphone Not Working
A common issue with this setup is you might hear a lot of feedback and static. I had an issue where whenever my microphone connected to the Xbox would pick up my voice it would all be garbled and horrible. But sometimes when I would fiddle with the knobs on my microphone my voice would sound better.
Here are some things to try:
- Turn your microphone off and back on
- Reconnect wires
- Make sure wires are fully inserted (should hear a click)
- Try a different USB port
- Plug a USB-C cable into your Xbox controller
- Adjust your microphone’s gain knob
If your microphone has a gain knob, try fiddling with that too. My microphone has a switch for PC and Monitor, only the Monitor mode works on the Xbox, but I constantly hear my own voice. Your microphone could be different.
Fix for Static on Xbox using External Microphone
I found a potential fix for my microphone. I was using the three-ring male-to-male cable to connect the splitter to the headset port on my microphone. After some troubleshooting, I noticed that if I slightly disconnect the aux cable from the microphone slot on the splitter, so it’s half-in, the microphone works perfectly fine with my Xbox.
It seems to me that only two rings of the cable need to be inserted into the splitter. Of course, that may be because my microphone is in monitor mode, it’s the only one that works.
Maybe that’s just an issue with my microphone, but either way, disconnecting the cables like that cleared up the static and it sounds wonderful. Except for the fact I hear an echo of myself.
I know what you’re thinking:
Why bother with all of these cables and issues? I know it’s annoying to have a bunch of wires hanging out of your Xbox controller. Unfortunately the only alternative would be to buy a headset specifically for Xbox. A headset makes things easier, that’s for sure.
With a wireless headset, you won’t have to deal with cables hanging out of your controller, and you’ll be able to voice chat with no issues. As for headsets, I like the HyperX Cloud X wireless gaming headset, but almost any Xbox-certified wireless headset will do the trick.
Can You Use a USB Microphone with Xbox Series S?
The steps to using a USB microphone with the Xbox Series S are the same as with the Xbox series X.
To use a USB microphone with Xbox Series S you need a 3.5mm audio/mic with an aux cord attached to the 3.5mm port on your USB microphone.
You can get a USB microphone to work with an Xbox series X but you might need to do quite a bit of troubleshooting and fixes. I was able to get mine working by slightly disconnecting the three-prong aux cord from the splitter.
Once again, to avoid all this drama, just buy an Xbox-certified headset that has a built-in microphone, it will work much better.
Wondering if you should buy an Xbox or PS5 controller? Read this article!