Following their endorsement by podcasters and YouTubers worldwide, USB mics have also made their way into the gaming realm. With great features like low latency, no need for drivers, and an easy plug-and-play setup, these mics are ideal for gaming. But how do you set one up with your Xbox Series X/S?
You can’t use a USB microphone with the Xbox Series X/S by simply plugging it into the USB port on the console. Instead, you’ll need a compatible headset with an integrated mic, or a microphone that allows connection via 3.5mm jack to use with an audio splitter at the Xbox Controller.
This may seem like a lot of work, but it’s actually quite simple and only takes a few minutes. The best part is that you don’t need any special drivers or software to get the mic working, making it even easier to use. Let’s look at exactly how to set up your USB microphone on an Xbox Series X/S and what you’ll need.
Can You Use a USB Microphone With an Xbox Series X/S?
Yes, you can use an external microphone, maybe even a USB microphone, with your Xbox One or Series X/S, but it’s not as simple as just plugging it in. To use your USB microphone on an Xbox Series X/S, you’ll need three things: a headphone audio splitter adapter (on Amazon) and a male-to-male 3.5mm aux cord (also on Amazon), and a headset that will allow the mic signal to be run through the 3.5mm cable instead of the USB-cable it probably came with.
So, the USB microphone must have a 3.5mm audio jack, and you can’t simultaneously use a standalone microphone with another headset that has a mic. Complicated right? Thanks Microsoft!
The Xbox Series X and S have a single 3.5mm audio jack on their controller where you plug in your headset — both mic input and audio output go through the same port. If you want to use a standalone microphone, you’ll need to split the port into two, so that your mic will go into one, and your headset will go into the other.
And since you’ll be using a USB microphone, you’ll also need a male-to-male 3.5mm aux cord to connect the mic to the 3.5 mm jack on the splitter.
How Do You Set Up a USB Headset on an Xbox Series X/S?
If you have the necessary accessories and your USB microphone meets the requirements, setting it up is a breeze. Here are the steps:
- Set up your Xbox and power on both the console and the controller.
- Connect the headphone audio splitter adapter to the 3.5mm audio jack on the controller.
- Connect one end of the male-to-male 3.5mm aux cord to the USB microphone and the other to the “Mic In” port on the splitter.
- Plug the USB end of the microphone into one of the USB ports of the Xbox console to power it up. Or you can also use a power bank or any other external USB power source for this purpose.
- Turn on your mic, adjust the volume, and start using it for gaming, party chat, or whatever you want.
If you have a MixAmp (on Amazon), you can skip the method above and use that instead. To do so, connect the MixAmp to your controller’s 3.5mm jack, then connect the USB microphone to the USB slot on the MixAmp. Voila! You can now use your USB microphone with ease.
Note that these methods should work with most USB microphones with a 3.5mm audio jack. However, Xbox consoles have been known to be particular about the peripherals, so some mics may not work as intended due to different hardware and software configurations.
Xbox Series X/S Troubleshooting
If you’re having trouble using your USB microphone with your Xbox Series X/S, here are a few troubleshooting tips that might help:
- Restart your console and controller; it can help resolve many connection and configuration issues.
- Xbox Series X/S has privacy settings that can prevent your mic from working. To check if that’s the case, go to Settings > Privacy & online safety > Xbox Network Safety > Communication & Multiplayer and make sure ‘Speakers and Microphone’ is set to ‘Everyone.’
- Check if your mic is muted by pressing the mute button (if it has one). Also, check the sound level settings in the Xbox Guide and make sure your mic volume is not set to zero.
- Try connecting your USB microphone to a different USB port on your console. Sometimes, a particular USB port might malfunction or not work as intended.
- Ensure the 3.5mm audio jack on your controller is clean and free from dust or dirt. Use a can of compressed air (on Amazon) to blow away any dust particles that might be blocking the connection.
- Test your microphone on a different device to see if it’s working. This will help you determine whether the issue is with your mic or Xbox Series X/S.
- Maybe your mic is working, but your friends have muted you; that’s why they can’t hear you. Have your friends check their settings as well.
- The 3.5 mm connector on a USB microphone can be a single or double ring; they may appear similar but are not. Make sure you’re using the correct one.
- If nothing seems to work, it’s possible that your USB microphone is not compatible with Xbox Series X/S. In that case, the only thing you can do is to buy a new mic that’s known to work with the console.