The Xbox One controller has been very well received by a vast majority. However, there were still features that could've been included that were missing, including 3.5mm headphone support. In 2015, the folks at Microsoft released a new controller that incorporated the previously mentioned port, as well as a few other under the hood tweaks.
Let's see how it stacks up against the original, which you can read my thoughts on as part of a this guide, written in this site's infancy.
You actually won't need scissors for this unboxing, somewhat unusually. But let's get to it.
Unboxing this controller is remarkably simple. Just find the circular cealing sticker and using a fingernail, remove it by flicking a corner until you can get a grip on it and pull it away. This part is a little tricky, but be patient and you'll get it eventually.
Now you can lift the lid of the box (the area with the shop hanger on it) and you'll see the controller underneath.
Push against the oblong expanshion port of your new controller and carefully lift it up and it should pull upwards. Where the controller was, you'll find a spair set of batteries in a plastic wrapper, which you can use if you wish. If you lift the large section that contained the controller and batteries up, you'll find a large number of papers underneath.
Not much needs to be said in terms of this updated Xbox One controller, as it's not much different to the original asside from the headphone port.
Connecting the controller
This was a laborious process, not least because the controller doesn't come with a cable and the one I had was faulty. As I didn't have a spair play and charge battery pack, I had to figure out which way the batteries were supposed to go in. This is far from clear and the connection instructions on the Xbox website for syncing the controller rely on visual cues, making things even more frustrating. However, once I got it connected, through multiple changing of which way round the batteries were and hoping that the lights were doing what they were supposed to, I pressed the menu button in Killer Instinct and was prompted for an update whilst still being on the character select screen.
The update was spoken by narrator and I accepted the notification, allowing an under the hood tweak, namely over-the-air updates, to take effect. There were no hitches in the process and I was up and running within about 2 minutes if that.
The controller is virtually no different to a standard original Xbox One controller as I've mentioned on previous occasions. Consequently, I'm personally a fan of this controller and my tests only showed a small difference in the re-tuned bumpers, which will just take time to get used to.
Connecting headphones was easy enough, but the audio does take around 2 or 3 seconds to connect. Once done though, you can adjust the settings from the guide menu for your headset's microphone monitoring, master volume, balance of game and chat audio, and whether the headset's microphone is enabled. Just back out of the settings area of the guide (you don't have to go into all settings for this) and your changes are automatically saved.
Usage during party chat was simple as well, with the only thing you might need to adjust being game and chat balance. Just plug in your headphones with a microphone connected and you're good to go. Just make sure the microphone is close enough that your opponent can hear you without you unintentionally cutting off mid sentence.
***This section will be updated when I have a chance to test the controller on PC.***
Same design as the standard Xbox One controller. This is subjective, but I personally like the stylistic choices of the ones that came with the original Xbox One.
Audio connections are very easy to work with.
Over the air updates are voiced by narrator when it's active and didn't cause any issues.
Currently none to speak of.
If you're confused about the Xbox One controller's various iterations, just look for the one with a 3.5mm jack and you can't really go wrong.
Return to the main reviews/guides home page