Struggling to get your gaming rig set up with your mechanical gaming keyboard and your headset?
Don’t worry – you’re not alone. It’s actually a more common question than you make think.
So can you plug a headset into your gaming keyboard?
Yes, you can use a USB headset with a gaming keyboard. However, getting a gaming headset to work on your chosen platform may be surprisingly difficult, despite them being such a seemingly simple device.
But what if you’re a console gamer?
Can you connect it to your smart phone?
In this article, I’m covering the basics for what you need to know about connecting your headset to your gaming gear, and I’ll explain how to do it, and I’ll even show you a few examples of how it works.
By the way – before we get too far into it here, if you want to get more great ideas for your gaming room or home office and want to connect with other home office hackers to make your space the best join my free private Facebook group, Battle Station Setup here.
How to connect your gaming headset to PC
This will depend on the type of gaming headset you may have. It can be a wired headset or a wireless headset. We’ll show you step by step how to connect each one so you can enjoy the best sound experience possible.
Before we get to all that, let’s take a look at the following things you need to do:
- Check the Audio Output: This will apply if you are plugging in a wired headset. You’ll want to make sure that they are not physically damaged. The audio outputs are located either in the front or rear of your PC tower (this will depend on the brand and design). On a laptop, they will be located on the side or the front. Keep in mind there are three audio ports on a PC: 3.5mm, USB 3.0, and HDMI.
- Does it have headset connectors: If your PC does not have an audio output for a gaming headset, then you can purchase an audio adapter or converter. Amazon will have plenty of these available.
- Plug in your headset connector: Using the jacks for both your headset and mic, plug it into the available outlets. Make sure they are in the right ports.
- Sound configuration: Next, you’ll want to configure the sound output. Go the the taskbar, right click the sound icon, and choose the ‘Open Sound Settings’ option. There will be a pulldown menu under ‘Output’. Select the device you’re using and test it by playing music or a YouTube video. Return to the sound settings and go to the ‘Sound Control’ panel. Find the Speaker settings (where you’ll see a green check) and click properties. Choose the advanced tab and click on ‘Test’.
- Test the mic: Of course, we shouldn’t forget the mic as well. Return to the ‘Sound Control’ panel and select the recording tab. Select the microphone option and find the one that matches your headset. Click ‘Set as default’ and then go to properties. Adjust the levels according to your personal preferences and you should be finished.
If you are using a wireless gaming headset, you’ll want to connect it using the Bluetooth feature on your computer. This can be done by way of the ‘Quick Settings’ tray located on the right hand side of the taskbar. You should see an arrow (^) so click upwards and find the Bluetooth icon, right click on it and choose ‘Add New Bluetooth Device’.
Once a new window opens, you’ll see an option up top that says ‘Add Bluetooth or other device’. Click on it and choose the ‘Bluetooth’. The PC should be able to scan for any available devices. If it picks up your wireless headset, choose ‘Pair Device’.
How to connect your gaming headset to your gaming console
Now, we’ll be taking a look at connecting your gaming headset to a gaming console. Not every console will have the same set up. We’ll be taking a look at how you can connect it to the following:
- Playstation 4
- Playstation 5
- Nintendo Switch
- Xbox One
- Your smartphone
Scroll down to the section that applies to your console and follow the instructions.
How to connect your gaming headset to PlayStation 4 gaming console
There are two ways to connect your headset to a PlayStation 4. The first way is via your controller. The second is through your console.
This will also depend on the kind of connection your headset has. For example, if you have a 3.5 connection (like the Razer headsets), then you will need to plug it into your controller. The built-in headphone jack will be located below the controller itself.
After your headset is plugged in, you will need to go to the Settings menu. From there, you’ll want to go to the ‘Devices’ section and select ‘Audio Devices’. Make sure you select ‘Headset connected to controller’.
You will need to set the input to the same if the headset has a mic. Select ‘All Audio’ for both the speakers and microphone. If the headset you’re using has a USB, the same applies regardless if you are connecting a USB dongle.
How to connect your gaming headset to PlayStation 5 gaming console
One of the best things about the PlayStation 5 compared to its predecessor is the ease of connectivity for headsets. First, you’ll want to plug in the headset or wireless dongle. This can be done using the 3.5mm headphone jack located on your controller or any of the USB ports on the front of console (USB-A or USB-C).
Once it’s connected, the console will recognize the connection and will switch over to that specific audio output. You shouldn’t have to worry about making any audio adjustments unless you need to. If you wish, you can go to the sound settings via the main settings option, choose ‘Headphones’ and choose the ‘Chat Audio Only’ mode.
How to connect your gaming headset to Nintendo Switch gaming console
Nintendo Switch is a console that is known for its versatility. So you will have some connection options to work with. It does have a 3.5 headphone jack which will be useful if you are using just headsets.
However, the Switch has many games that won’t support your microphone (assuming your headset has one). For this reason, you’ll want to find a headset that is compatible with the Switch while connecting a phone in the microphone jack. You’ll need to use a splitter and or a dongle (should your phone not have a headphone jack of its own).
Both the headsets and the phone will need to be connected at the same time in order to enable voice chat features. Yes, it seems like a complicated setup compared to the other consoles. However, this is the best way right now if you want the closest thing to a headphone and mic set up working together.
After these are connected, launch a game that supports this set up using the Nintendo Switch Online app. If the app is opened up via your phone, this will enable voice chat. You can also play first-party Switch games as well including Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Super Smash Bros among other.
Nintendo Switch did make improvements over the years regarding their USB ports. Because of this, wireless headsets have become the popular choice for players of this console because of USB-C dongles, which the Nintendo Switch has connectivity for. It also had a firmware update last September to help support Bluetooth connections.
3.5mm connections will still be just as good if you choose to use a wired headset. If you are using a USB cable headset or a regular headset with wires, you can still get a good audio experience out of it.
How to connect your gaming headset to Xbox One gaming console
The Xbox One is simple when it comes to connecting a game headset. But you can connect it in a couple of ways. It does have a 3.5mm like its PlayStation 4 counterpart. However, older controllers won’t have this included.
For that reason, you will need to upgrade to a newer gaming controller. Otherwise, you can purchase a Microsoft adapter that is compatible with the Xbox One. If you have a wired headset with a USB, you can plug it into the console itself if it’s compatible.
The same goes for wireless headsets (with a USB dongle). The console will support gaming headsets that are non-3.5mm assuming they are made exclusive to the Xbox One. Keep in mind that a gaming headset that works for a PlayStation 4 will not work on this console in particular.
How to connect your gaming headset to your smartphone
Your smartphone will have both a headphone jack and Bluetooth capabilities (depending on the model). If it has a 3.5mm, you can plug in your headset as you would normally. The Bluetooth connection made not be built for gaming, but you do have it as an option should you have wireless headsets handy.
There are specific headsets that can handle booth a headset and Bluetooth connection such as the EPOS Sennheiser GSP 670. Gaming headsets in general will have limited functions if used on a smartphone. Your best use would be using it just for listening to music and that’s about it.
If you have a regular 3.5mm jack, you can use earbud headphones that are wired. An alternative would be ear headphones that you can connect via Bluetooth. These can be headphones that you can tap in a specific area to adjust volumes, accept calls, and so on (depending on the instructions and setup).
Some earbud headphones will have a built-in mic. Unfortunately, these won’t be useful for any gaming on a smartphone. Any good pair of headphones with excellent sound quality may be your best option.
Can you use the USB passthrough on your gaming keyboard?
A USB passthrough will be found on gaming keyboards that are considered ‘high end’. They will include an additional female USB port that you can use to plug in other devices that have a USB plug in. These keyboards are great if you are looking for easy accessibility and connectivity.
You can connect a USB mouse, thumb drive, and even a headset. As long as it has a USB plugin and is compatible with your PC, you should be good to go.
What headsets are compatible when using keyboard and mouse?
This is a question that often gets asked by gamers. You may be wondering if there are headsets that are compatible when using a keyboard or mouse. The answer to this question is that wireless headsets will be your best bet if you are using a keyboard and mouse for gaming purposes.
You should have an additional USB port that is available to ensure that you can connect the audio device properly. Furthermore, it can also be great for those that take wire management seriously. Another thing to consider is the console you are using.
For example, let’s take a look at the Xbox One. If you are using a keyboard and mouse that is compatible with the console itself, you can use headsets that are exclusive for it as well. If it’s on a PC, you can consider the idea of using a USB hub to connect all your devices (if they have USB plug ins).
This can free up any additional ports that you may have. You’ll never know if and when you need an additional device for your gaming experience to be the best.
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