Can I use a standard dynamic microphone with an Xbox 360 ? To be sure I can, I would need to be confirmed that 1. any dynamic microphone with a 3.5mm mini-jack plug + a 3.5mm=>2.5mm adapter would work ? 2. The Xbox 360 doesn't disable audio output through optical output or AV cable output while a jack is plugged (I'm wondering because I know that some devices and TVs do this for the sake of convenience)

I'm going through this because I want to use an external mic, but I definitely don't want to use a headset because I have very good Sennheiser headphones already.

Thank you !

  • my roommate has an adapter for his xbox controller that takes the pink/green audio in/out and puts it down to one jack that plugs into the controller. Doesn't seem like exactly what you're describing, but you're definitely not limited to designed for xbox mics
    – turbo
    Feb 6, 2013 at 18:40
  • Ah yes, I forgot about that option. I think I would still prefer if the microphone is plugged to the console, though (can't break the mini-jack due a bad move or something like that)
    – Toto
    Feb 6, 2013 at 18:42
  • I'm a bit confused, where would you plug this into the console? As far as I'm aware there is no audio input on the console, just the the av cables/hdmi port for output. Unless it is a feature on newer models I'm unaware of
    – turbo
    Feb 6, 2013 at 18:44
  • Well, I don't know, I thought the standard MS headset (provided with the console) comes with a 2.5mm mini-jack IO plug ?
    – Toto
    Feb 6, 2013 at 18:47
  • Don't headsets for the 360 plug into the controller?
    – Frank
    Feb 6, 2013 at 18:48

1 Answer 1


The jack on the Xbox 360 controller is a 2.5mm combination mic/mono speaker jack. I haven't tested this myself, but I've read that the pinout on the headset connector is mic/speaker/ground going from the tip towards the cable.

Microsoft doesn't really publicly specify the characteristics of mics that can be plugged into this port. No doubt there are some specs, so I can't say for sure that any generic mic plugged properly into this port would work.

When a headset is plugged into this jack, the game audio continues to be routed to the A/V connectors (ie, Component, HDMI, and/or optical) on the rear of the unit, but any voice chat audio is routed to the mono speaker jack on the controller. Without a headset, all of this audio is routed to the A/V connectors on the rear. Therefore, you can't plug a headset into the jack on the controller and turn the TV volume all the way down and expect to hear the game audio. Likewise, I don't believe you can plug in a mic and not a mono speaker to this jack without killing voice chat audio.

You can try to somehow mux the TV's (or your receiver's) audio into the voice chat audio in some fashion, but that can be a challenging DIY project. Just plugging it all together might work, but controlling relative volumes and signal issues/current flows might get awkward or complicated without at least a rudimentary knowledge of audio electronics hardware.

There are also third party headsets that handle this connection for you, and I've heard mixed reviews of such devices, so make sure you look into reviews of any specific models before you make a purchase.

What I personally use is an Astro Mixamp which is a wireless device that connects to the TV (optical), the controller, and a standard PC headset, and properly routes the audio around the room. You say you've already got a good Sennheiser headphone set - this is exactly the setup I use at home, a PC151 hooked to the Mixamp and my controller/the TV.

  • I think there might actually be a way to get game volume from the headset. I remember back when I played COD people would use turtle beach headsets as it allowed them to hear in surround sound and figure out where people were coming from, but they also functioned as mics. If you look here: turtlebeach.com/product-detail/xbox-headsets/ear-force-xp-seven/… it plugs in with a 2.5mm jack but has "independent game and chat volumes" according to the specs. edit: maybe not, seems you might have to do some extra things to use turtle beaches upon further research.
    – turbo
    Feb 6, 2013 at 18:54
  • @turbo these headsets actually have a box that connects to the A/V connectors on the TV or the Xbox to grab the game audio. I have several friends who use a similar headset. It's not routing the audio to the 2.5mm jack, it's wirelessly sending the game audio to the headset, where the muxing of the voice chat takes place.
    – agent86
    Feb 6, 2013 at 18:58
  • Ah makes sense, never actually knew anyone willing to shell out for them so I'm unfamiliar with how they work.
    – turbo
    Feb 6, 2013 at 18:59
  • @turbo, the mixamp actually works the same way, but it doesn't come with a headset, and (from comparisons to friends' setups) the wireless is a bit better, and you can bring your own headset.
    – agent86
    Feb 6, 2013 at 19:00
  • Interesting, something to look into as I'm getting tired of the cheap, flimsy headsets from M$.
    – turbo
    Feb 6, 2013 at 19:02

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