Xbox gaming consoles operate with wireless controllers as well as other radio frequencies (RF radiation). But how bad is the radiation from these devices?
Here’s all you need to know about radiation from the Xbox.
Abbreviations used in this article:
EMF: Electromagnetic Fields (All types of radiation)
RF: Radio Frequencies (Radiation from wifi, cell towers, and other wireless technologies)
ELF: Extreme Low Frequencies (Radiation from power lines)
EHS: Electro-Hypersensitivity (Syndrome where you are very sensitive to EMF radiation)
V/m: Volts over meters (How we measure RF radiation)
How Much EMF Radiation Does An Xbox Emit?
Before we get started here it’s important to clarify that it’s not possible to use an Xbox without being exposed to radiation. The whole thing is building the way that the controllers communicate wirelessly.
It’s also important to mention here in the beginning that the Xbox will always emit radiation. Even when it’s turned off it will continue to emit radiation. But we will get back to that in a second.
So, let’s take a look at how much radiation we are dealing with.
The Box Itself
The box is constantly emitting a lot of radiation. That’s what mentioned above, it will even emit radiation when it’s not turned on. There are several types of (possible) radiation going on around box.
In a second, we will see exactly which types of EMF radiation we are dealing with from the Xbox itself.
But luckily, there’s a solution to this which works quite well.
First, you need to stop using your Wi-Fi signal to connect your box to the Internet. It’s simply not necessary because you can just plug in an ethernet cable from the Xbox to your router in order to get connected to the Internet. That will rid use the RF radiation significantly.
Next up is the problem with the RF radiation being emitted from the box toward the controllers. There’s an easy way to deal with this source as well.
You can simply choose to cover the thing with an EMF blocking shield. There are several products on the market such as blankets, garments, and other types of EMF blocking materials. You can also wrap it in tinfoil because the tinfoil actually limits the EMF exposure a lot.
It’s a very good idea to do this because the box emits high levels of RF radiation a couple of times each minute. On top of this, we have the constant Bluetooth signal that will shoot out RF radiation as well.
If you choose to do this you will be dependent on the wired controllers as we would look at below.
In order to use wireless controllers, they will have to constantly connect to the main box which they won’t do as well if you choose to cover the thing with EMF protecting material. This radiation is a Bluetooth signal and it’s pretty strong.
The Wireless Controllers
The wireless controllers communicate with the box using Bluetooth. This means that we have a constant two-way communication going forth and back between the device in your hands in the box below the screen.
Bluetooth radiation is RF radiation. That means we are dealing with radio frequencies that are quite similar to the radiation we get from Wi-Fi routers, smartphones, laptops, etc.
It’s a really bad type of your math and you’re definitely want to limit this by simply throwing away the wireless controllers and use it wired controllers instead. Luckily, this doesn’t take away anything from the playing experience as you quickly forget about the wire on the floor.
It’s simply an unnecessary source of radiation to use a wireless controller when you have the option to wire the controller. For the same reason that we always choose to wire our laptops and desktop computers with Ethernet cables instead of using the wireless Wi-Fi signal in the house.
If you choose to use a wireless controller you will also have to keep the main box uncovered. That means that you will have a lot more radiation in the room and the room next to it.
The box itself is emitting a lot of radiation, as we looked at above, and we want to shield that radiation. We can only do that if we choose to throw away the wireless controllers because they need the wireless signal from the main box in order to work.
The Wired Controllers
These are your friends when you want to create a gaming environment with low levels of EMF.
We always prefer wired technologies over wireless technologies because the Bluetooth and the wifi signals are some of the worst sources of RF radiation.
Luckily, the Xbox company is still offering the opportunity to use a wired controller. This is great as it offers the possibility to limit the amount of radiation significantly around the Xbox.
Headsets For The Xbox
People will often use a headset with the Xbox. This is very convenient when you are gaming because you will have the microphone for talking to your friends and you will have very good sound quality.
So, there are many good things to say about using headsets for gaming. And there’s probably not a way around that if you want the best possible experience.
But how much radiation should we expect from the headsets we used for Xbox one?
The most common type of headphones people use with the Xbox one is the big bulky over-the-ear headsets with a microphone. These can be wireless or they can be wired.
You probably guessed what I’m going to say next? True, we want to get rid of the wireless models.
They communicate with the system using Bluetooth technology which is bad for anything we put on top of our heads when we could be using a wired equivalent instead.
It’s a very easy way to limit the amount of radiation. You just need to use an air tube headset with a microphone. They produce GREAT sound with the in-ear technology and they are almost completely free of all types of EMF. They work by sending the sound into your ears through air tubes rather than electrical wires.
This is great for playing on the Xbox because you can use them for extended periods of time without getting headaches, concentration problems, or any long-term effects from the EMF radiation.
This is what they look like.
You can find them on our list of recommended products.
Compared to other headphones with similar “air-tube tech” instead of wires they have a rich and great sound. I am using them myself for listening to music, working, traveling.
I’m not much of a gamer but I’m sure they would be a great solution for anyone playing Xbox as well!
What Type Of Radiation Are We Dealing With?
So far we have focused on the radiation that comes from the Xbox itself as well as the wired and wireless controllers that comes with it.
But there are other sources of radiation that play when we are playing games on the Xbox.
Radiation From The Box
The box is emitting (at least) 5 types of radiation:
- Bluetooth radiation
In order to connect to the wireless controllers, it will emit a strong Bluetooth signal which is RF radiation.
- Microwave radiation
The Xbox is also emitting microwaves all the time it is turned on. Microwaves are radiation with a slightly shorter wavelength than RF radiation. They are therefore a little more harmful than the RF radiation and they seem to be emitted all the time the thing is turned on. The levels are very inconsistent as they go up and down. They are not easy to detect with EMF meters as they jump between different frequencies and strength.
- Wifi radiation
The Xbox will constantly try to connect to a Wi-Fi signal. Even though you have it plugged in with an ethernet cable it will still try to find wifi networks around it. It does not stop. This is also why you want to cover it with EMF shielding material, as we looked at above.
- Electric fields
We will also have electric fields around the Xbox because it does contain a transformer in order to change the power from the cord to fit the amount of power the box needs. But this sort of EMF is not a big problem because you just need to distance yourself a few feet away from the box.
- Magnetic fields
We cannot have electric fields without magnetic fields. These two siblings are always connected to each other. Whenever we are charging things are using devices with the transformer (like the Xbox) we need to pay close attention to the magnetic fields that arise close to the box. But again, distance is your friend. You just need to add a few feet of distance between you and the Xbox. Don’t place it below your chair or on your lap while you are using the device.
And remember, the device is constantly emitting radiation when it’s turned on.
So you need to unplug the thing completely when it’s not in use.
You don’t want it to run on standby mode or even leave it plugged into the power socket. Pull it out the socket and make sure there’s no power running to the box, at all.
Radiation From The TV
If you are using a smart TV you will constantly be exposed to RF radiation. It’s not possible to turn the RF radiation off when we are dealing with a wireless TV that connects via Wi-Fi.
This is a problem for many of the smart TVs on the market. It’s simply a bad design to create anything that has an RF radiation source built-in which cannot be turned off in any way.
At least you can turn off the Wi-Fi signal at your router but your (smart) TV will still try constantly to find another signal connect to.
So what can you do about this?
As it turns out, there’s actually a very practical and simple solution to get over this source of radiation.
You simply throw out the smart TV and install a big computer screen on the wall instead. Computer screens do not connect wirelessly to anything and they don’t even have a Bluetooth signal attached to them. They are in many ways like older flatscreens before they started to go online by themselves.
That will also leave you out of the surveillance danger.
Did you know that many Smart TV manuals advice you to never mention your credit card details and other personal details around the TV? It’s actually insane when you think about it. The problem is that your data is being sold to third party companies And the manufacturer of the TV want to make sure they cannot get sued.
So in order to clear their backs, they simply write this in the manual so you cannot get after them if your credit card details end up in the wrong hands simply because you say them out loud in front of the TV.
This fact has nothing to do with the Xbox but it’s just another really good reason to get rid of that stupid smart TV!
Radiation From The Controllers
The controllers are also emitting EMF radiation.
Even though the wireless controllers emit much higher levels of radiation you will also get her some radiation from the wired controllers.
This is because the electricity will create electromagnetic fields around the device. They might not be as strong as many of the other electronic devices in our houses but the fact is that we hold this thing in our hands. Everything we hold in our hands we want to emit very little levels of electromagnetic fields.
One way to protect yourself from the radiation is by using protective gloves. We’ll look at that in the next section.
5 Ways To Protect Yourself While Using An Xbox
Now we know which types off radiation we find around the Xbox.
It’s time to look at how you can protect yourself while you are playing on the Xbox. It’s important to take precautions here because people typically play with these things for several hours per day. It can add up to a lot of radiation over the week or a month.
Let’s start by looking at how you can protect your hands.
1) Wear gloves while you play
You can get EMF blocking gloves which she can use while operating the controller. They will block most of the EMF radiation around your hands.
You might think that your hands are far away from your body and therefore you don’t need to care about radiation around them.
But the fact is, that your blood is cycled through your hands/wrists and you will have radiated most of your blood after playing with the controller for several minutes.
Gloves can be a great idea if you like to play for many hours.
These gloves will not only protect you when you are playing with the Xbox controller. They will also shield your hands from other types of RF radiation when you’re using cell phones, laptops, kitchen appliances with strong EMF, etc.
2) Add distance to the box
You should always aim for more distance to sources of radiation, when possible.
Distance is your friend because every time you double the distance to his source of radiation you will reduce the amount of radiation by four times.
So, while you may not be interested in sitting in the next room you can still add as much distance to the Xbox as possible. This is even more important if you are dealing with a smart TV. As we mentioned above, the smart TVs constantly emit radiation and you don’t want to be too close to it.
The cord to the wired controllers is 10 feet (3 meters) long. So that’s the distance you can keep between you in the box. It would be really great if they were closer to 15 feet but this is what we have to work with.
Unless you know how to change the cord for a longer one that’s probably not too easy to do.
3) Don’t use it while charging
The latest Xbox have the option to let you charge the wireless controllers while you play. You can get a 10 feet (3 meters) charger cable for the handheld controller devices which will let you charge the system while you play.
This is a very bad idea.
When you are charging the thing the radiation levels go up significantly. This is because you add a lot of electromagnetic fields to the RF radiation that’s already present with the wireless controllers.
We always have strong magnetic feels whenever we are charging stuff simply because that is a transformer inside the device. The transformer will take that incoming power and converted to the right amount of voltage. When doing so, a lot of electromagnetic fields are being created around the thing.
You don’t want to have these fields around your body and holding the device in your hand (while it is charging) makes it even worse. You can read much more here about how chargers and Transformers emit EMF radiation at high levels.
This is easy to avoid because we don’t want to use the wireless controllers in the first place. We only want to use the wired controller’s because they don’t emit the RF radiation like the wireless controllers.
Other ways to limit the radiation from the Xbox
- Wired controllers
Remember to always use the wired controllers instead of the wireless controllers. You can read more about why earlier in this article.
- Connect It By Ethernet Cable
This is also explained earlier in this article. We always want to avoid wireless signals whenever we can. It’s always better to use a wired connection because it gets rid of the RF radiation.
As you can see, the Xbox is a huge deal when we talk about EMFs in our lives. Especially around children.
We need to be extra careful with EMF around children because they have thinner skulls and bones which means they are 2-3 times more receptive to radiation from sources such as the Xbox.
I hope this guide was helpful and that you found the answers you were looking for. I’m always happy when I can come up with solutions that do not remove the technology away from us but just teaches us to use it in a more safe and secure away.
I’m certainly a big fan of technology and the Xbox is a wonderful gaming station. But we need to be careful about the radiation on these things because they can be way over the limits we want around our kids.