Xbox One: optical headsets restricted to stereo, Dolby Digital support coming post-launch

Thursday, 21st November 2013 08:51 GMT By Dave Cook

Xbox One’s digital optical output only allows headset sound in stereo, according to a few console reviews out there online. Microsoft’s Albert Penello has stepped in to say that full Dolby Digital support is coming after the console launches.

Kotaku’s review in particular made an impact, triggering a NeoGAF thread. Essentially, it means that owners of expensive headsets crafted by Turtle Beach, Tritton and so on will only hear stereo sound when connected via Xbox One’s optical port.

Penello posted in the thread to cool matters. He said, “Dolby Digital is coming post launch. This was a SW scheduling issue pure and simple, and I know people are disappointed, but we will have it. Anyone with an HDMI receiver should be fine, as we pass the uncompressed 5.1 and 7.1 through HDMI as well as DTS. Even if you have a Dolby only HDMI receiver (which I’m not sure exists), you will still get 5.1 or 7.1 sound since those receivers should accept uncompressed surround.

“For the Dolby only headsets, my understanding is that these will work but you will only get stereo audio since we only pass Stereo and DTS through the optical port. I have not tested this myself, but I’m told it works. Regardless, I understand this is an inconvenience, but again we’re going to have Dolby coming.

“This is unrelated to the HDMI-IN “Surround Sound” beta. To clarify, we default HDMI-IN audio to be converted to Stereo. However, we do have a feature you can access in TV settings/Troubleshooting that enables Surround Sound in “beta” form. If you check the box, and you get Surround, you’re golden. We found some inconsistencies in STB’s during testing and decided to disable it by default to insure a good initial setup experience for people.”

What do you make of the above?

Via MP1st.



  1. Game Hunter

    Some might disagree,but I think that it was better if both Sony and Microsoft released their consoles in 2014 with all features available at launch.It sucks that X1 and PS4 lack some functions that are very important to some people.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. CyberMarco

    @1 +1

    Not like these consoles are rushed as fuck… Oh wait!

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Dragon

    What does rushed mean? Features get added always.
    In that case, almost every electronic hardware right in the market in rushed, since they are receiving updates.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Francis O

    The Xbox One was rushed to market. The UI proves that. Its just a solid black background with a bunch of squares.

    Now this…

    Ryse Son of Rome sucks, Forza 5 has far less cars than Forza 4… yet costs more and charges for extra cars.

    Dead Rising 3 isn’t as good as the previous games.

    This is next gen? $500 system, $60 controllers, $60 games, $60 for Xbox Live, $20 season passes, Microtransactions planted in games to purchase upgrades. Are you kidding me?

    Microsoft can keep their “next-gen” system. The Xbox One is a rip-off.
    At least the PS4 is cheaper and doesn’t block features like Hulu behind a paywall.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. viralshag

    Oh no! Not a solid black background for the UI! Well that proves everything…

    #5 1 year ago
  6. VibraniumSpork

    ^^^ Yeah, I don’t know. Most of these features seem to be more in the realm of being ‘understandably overlooked’. In respect of the above, there’s still Surround Sound catered for in the majority of cases, just not for those relative few who have Surround Sound headsets.

    Other niche stuff I’ve seen people complain about: PS4 Camera cable length. There’s apparently a 6ft cable attached to the camera, but a few people have said this *still* isn’t enough as their console sits on an ‘Entertainment rack’ that’s meters away from their TV/Projector. Some have said that you can’t strip the cable and augment with an extension either. This sucks for a few folk but really, if Sony and MS had sought to cater to each and every first world problem their customers could dream up we’d be waiting for these things to launch well into 2015…

    #6 1 year ago
  7. viralshag

    @6, Well Sony always seems to oddly stingy with their cable lengths. If I remember correctly, wasn’t the original PS3 cable to charge the pads ridiculously short?

    Edit: And don’t get me wrong, I would rather have a cable to charge a pad then no cable or rechargeable pad at all. Looking at you MS… o.O

    #7 1 year ago
  8. bradk825

    @1 Yup.
    @3 yeah, but they aren’t usually basics.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. Doppleganger

    DD sucks anyway!
    How is this next gen why we don’t even have at least DTS audio or greater!

    Im sorry I know PS4 fan boys are so stupid and buy the system just for graphics and nothing else cause its an utter garbage console but theres actually people out there that are aware of better audio as well.
    Im sick consoles having such horrible audio!

    LOL PS4 people saying its rushed when that console is so limited to begin with and at release the Xbox One does more anyway.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. VibraniumSpork

    @9 “We pass the uncompressed 5.1 and 7.1 through HDMI as well as DTS.”

    DTS on current-gen consoles too; BF4 sounds pretty lush running through my Onkyo receiver via the PS3. Jus’ sayin’…

    #10 1 year ago
  11. Phat

    My sincere advice is that you buy a Xbox One, not even a PS4. Why? You can see here:

    #11 1 year ago

    Wow. Didn’t even see this story today.

    This is pretty pathetic, though.

    Not only are headsets not supported until ’2014′, but now you can’t even use them purely through the Optical cable.

    It’s like they’re intentionally trying to force people not to use headsets or something.


    There isn’t really any point in me getting an X1 right now…

    I’d rather play CoD on the 360 with my headset, than through speakers, or just with a bog standard Stereo signal.

    #12 1 year ago

Comments are now closed on this article.