January 24, 2023

What is Xbox Wireless? Wireless Technology Explained

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If you’ve recently upgraded your Xbox and are considering getting a wireless controller or headset, you may have come across the term Xbox Wireless.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about wireless gaming technology, including what it is, where you can find it, and how it differs from Bluetooth…

What is Xbox Wireless?

Xbox Wireless is Microsoft’s proprietary technology that allows gamers to wirelessly connect accessories to their Xbox consoles, without the need for a transmitter or USB dongle.

It can be found on official Xbox products, like the Xbox Wireless Controller and Wireless Headset, as well as some third-party licensed accessories.

Xbox Wireless vs. Bluetooth

At this point, you might be wondering why Microsoft doesn’t just rely on Bluetooth to connect Xbox accessories. After all, both protocols support wireless pairing, and Bluetooth can be found on a huge range of wireless devices across the market, including Xbox’s.

Ultimately, it comes down to bandwidth and interference.

Gabi Mitchel, Senior Xbox Hardware Program Manager, Has Already Said It Windows Central that the wireless signal of the Series X and Series S predecessor, the Xbox One, is capable of supporting up to 8 controllers and headsets while maintaining sub-8ms latency. This contrasts with the 2 Bluetooth controllers.

Mitchel also explained that because Bluetooth constantly searches for new connections, the technology is more susceptible to interference from other devices. This affects the responsiveness of your headset or controller.

Can Xbox Wireless accessories connect to Windows, Android or iOS devices?

Yes, most Xbox Wireless accessories are also able to connect to Windows, Android, and iOS devices via Bluetooth.

However, you will need an Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows to access certain Xbox Wireless features on your PC. These include audio through the controller and firmware updates on the Xbox Wireless Controller, as well as the game/chat audio balance feature on the Xbox Wireless Headset.

You can also find Microsoft Surface devices, such as Surface Studio 2, that have built-in Xbox Wireless radio.

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