How to use a USB microphone on Xbox One


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The Xbox One is one of the most popular consoles available on the gaming market right now, rivalled only by the behemoth that is the Playstation 5. It comes with a plethora of features, as well as tons of games that work both online and offline.

When it comes to online gaming however, a microphone is basically a necessity. It allows the player to communicate with teammates, ensuring smooth game play and a consistent flow of information between teammates. Some users however have discovered that getting a USB mic to work with the Xbox One can pose a bit of a challenge due to the specifics involved with the console.

Today, we’ll be taking a closer look at this issue to answer the question of how to use a USB mic on Xbox One, as well as the best way to get everything working as soon as possible so you can get back into the game!

What is a USB Microphone?

You may be confused as to what exactly a USB microphone is, and why it doesn’t usually work with Xbox Ones. What exactly separates a USB mic from a normal microphone? Why do people want to know how to use a USB mic on Xbox One? We’re here to answer those questions for you.

Unlike your standard 3.5mm analogue microphone, USB mics plug into your device through the use of a simple USB port. From there, it essentially works the same way as a normal microphone, with the only real different being the input used. Both microphones types convert the analogue signals into digital signals that make them function as intended, but USB mics have two extra circuits, and AD converter and a preamp.

The reason USB microphones have become so prevalent in modern day gaming is because of how affordable and high quality USB mics can be. In terms of accessibility, they’re extremely simple to use and available to purchase just about anywhere specializing in computer products. They’ve become the defacto choice for gamers and streamers all around the world.

USB microphones are also relatively fuss free, only needing you to plug in the USB port to get them working. They’re consistent no matter what hardware you plug them into, they are easy to bring around and they don’t need any other extras or add-ons to extract their full potential. So how can you use one of these with an Xbox One?

Can you use a USB mic on Xbox One?

So, what’s the issue with using USB microphones on Xbox One? Well, the big issue is that the Xbox One only has one single USB port, and it does not support audio input in any capacity. Yes, your USB microphone simply will not work with your Xbox One. Your microphone may be powered on, but it’s not actually transmitting any audio over the USB port.

Now you may be asking yourself, if it doesn’t natively work, then how can it work at all? Well, there are a couple of workarounds that you can use to make it work in case you really want to use your USB mic on Xbox One, though it’s important to keep in mind that you’ll need some extra equipment to make it work. It’s a relatively easy process, so once you’ve got all the parts it’s just a matter of plugging things in.

What do I need to use a USB mic on Xbox One?

So, let’s say you’re ready to commit to using a USB mic on Xbox One, and you’re willing to buy the extra cables and tools needed to make it work. You’re in luck because there’s really not too much to buy. As we said earlier, it’s an easy and simple process once you have everything.

How to use a USB microphone on Xbox One
Speaker / mic splitter adapter cable

First of all, you’ll need your USB microphone of course. You’ll want to make sure your USB mic has an analog 3.5mm jack, or else it won’t work. Then, you’ll want to find a male 3.5mm speaker/mic splitter to plug into your Xbox One. This allows your Xbox One to accept a pair of headphones and a microphone independently. The final piece you’re going to need is a male to male 3.5mm cable, and that’s about it.

How to use a USB mic on Xbox One

Now that you have all your items ready, you can start getting into the act of actually making your USB mic work with your Xbox One. You’ll want to get your male 3.5mm splitter and plug it into the Xbox One’s audio port. This splits the port, effectively giving you one microphone port and a headphone jack, and by extension allowing you to plug in any microphone you want. More conveniently, you can also connect the splitter to the Xbox One controller and you will gain the ability to transmit the audio within the controller signal, and therefore be at a descent distant from the console.

After that, the next step is plugging your male to male 3.5mm cable into both the microphone section of the splitter, and your USB microphone’s 3.5mm audio port. This allows your mic to interface with the Xbox One, which accomplishes what your USB port can’t do on the console. But, that doesn’t give the microphone any power, which leads to the last step.

For your final step, you’ll want to plug the USB microphone into the Xbox One’s USB port. You can also connect it to a power bank if you want to keep it remotely at a certain distance. It powers up the microphone, and from there everything should work perfectly fine. It’s a pretty involved workaround for the sake of using a USB mic, but if you’re adamant on getting it to work, this is your best and only option. Also, using a normal mic would also be similarly complicated, so it’s not too bad.

Everything should work fine from now on however, so it’s pretty consistent to setup after that. Every time you want to play a game, you can get straight into it without worrying too much about planning the whole setup again. On top of that, you can’t argue with the sound quality.

Conclusion

Once you’ve gotten through the few hurdles involved in getting things to work, USB mics work great on Xbox One. They’re a great choice if you’re a gamer on a budget or a streamer trying to make their mark online. Even the extra parts you’ll need don’t cost much, so it still stays more cost effective than buying your normal 3.5mm microphone.


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