This simple feature is the reason I'm still using this $99 headset over objectively better ones for the last two years

Xbox Wireless Headsets
(Image credit: Future)
Jorge Jimenez, a messy person

Jorge Jimenez

This month I have been mostly playing Diablo IV
It really feels like I've time-traveled back to the year 2000, fighting hordes of skeletons and demons with my buddies as a Necromancer. And, oh my god, look at that loot!!
This month I have been testing a bunch of 16-inch RTX 4080-series laptops
It's been interesting to see how some of these fancy new (and expensive) 16-inch premium gaming laptops have been stacking up against each other with surprisingly disappointing results.

A few weeks ago, during the Starfield Direct presentation, we were treated to an extensive look at what could be the most highly anticipated game of 2023. Additionally, we got a glimpse of some Starfield-themed peripherals, including the Starfield Limited Edition Xbox Wireless Headset. Initially, I dismissed it due to my reservations about companies rebranding older products and charging a premium for them (which I promise not to complain about again).

While it looks really nice with its 'NASA-punk' aesthetic, I was reminded of something I genuinely appreciate about the Xbox Wireless Headset when I messed with it in person: its design.

The Xbox Wireless Headset is a Bluetooth wireless headset that I reviewed a few years ago, and I truly enjoyed it, although not necessarily for the reasons you might expect. It provided satisfactory sound quality and was reasonably priced at $99. Nevertheless, what stood out to me were its flat earcups, making it my go-to headset for gaming at home.

You might be wondering, "Seriously, Jorge? Who cares about flat earcups? Give me that bass!" I must admit everyone has their own priorities when it comes to selecting a headset. Some value studio-level audio quality or 300 hours of battery life. As for me, comfort and storage are what matter most. In the case of the Xbox headset, I can rest it on its side when it's not in use, and it's fantastic.

Resting it on its side is more visually appealing than laying it flat. Before you mention it, I have several headset stands scattered throughout my house and office, but I only use them when taking product pictures.

As someone whose gaming and workspace has been affectionately described as a "f***ing horrorshow" by loved ones, it's refreshing to be able to casually rest the headset on its side, freeing up space among my numerous controllers, snacks, laptops for benchmarking, Funko Pops, and, of course, stray USB cables.

This is why I switched to a wireless keyboard and mouse setup—less clutter. Oh, and less cable management, my not-so-secret shame as a PC gamer. So anytime there's a product that helps reduce the mess, I'm all for it.

Interestingly, I had hoped to see other gaming headset manufacturers adopt this design in recent years. However, none have come close, except for the highly-priced HyperX Cloud Flight S Wireless, which also features flat earcups but mainly to accommodate wireless Qi charging stations.

We do live in a world where monitors and desks have headset hooks; maybe you're okay with not having flat earcups on your gaming headsets. But for people like me, the ones who leave clothes next to a dirty hamper instead of putting them in it, I need all the help I can get.

HyperX Cloud Flight S Wireless

I really thought we'd see more headsets designed this way.  (Image credit: Future)

Having reviewed dozens of headsets in the past few years, I frequently rotate between different pairs of headphones every other month, never settling on one for too long. How could you stick with just one headset when something newer and shinier arrives on your doorstep every month?

However, the Xbox Wireless Headset has been an exception. This modest $99 wireless gaming headset has held a permanent place on my TV stand and desk for over two years, and it has yet to be replaced by headsets that offer objectively better sound or longer-lasting battery life. What can I say? It's as if the headset was specifically designed for my cluttered lifestyle. So, for the messy gamers in the world, let's see more headsets like these. 

Jorge Jimenez
Hardware writer, Human Pop-Tart

Jorge is a hardware writer from the enchanted lands of New Jersey. When he's not filling the office with the smell of Pop-Tarts, he's reviewing all sorts of gaming hardware, from laptops with the latest mobile GPUs to gaming chairs with built-in back massagers. He's been covering games and tech for over ten years and has written for Dualshockers, WCCFtech, Tom's Guide, and a bunch of other places on the world wide web.