Friday, 24 May 2024

State of Sound: Xbox One Dolby Digital Update

Xbox One

The next-generation console battle is heating up, and one of the key factors players consider when choosing a console is the audio experience. In this article, we will be discussing the state of audio on the Xbox One, specifically regarding the availability of Dolby Digital output.

The Current Situation

It has come to our attention that the Xbox One does not currently support Dolby Digital output via optical cable at launch. This means that users who rely on Dolby decoding for their gaming headsets might not be able to experience surround sound. This issue affects popular gaming headsets, such as Microsoft-licensed N1 Surround Bar and Astro devices, as they primarily use Dolby for simulated surround sound.

However, it is important to note that Microsoft has assured users that Dolby output will be patched in after the console’s launch. This scheduling issue is being addressed, and users can expect to have Dolby Digital support on their Xbox One in the near future.

Alternative Options

While waiting for the Dolby Digital patch, users can still enjoy high-quality audio on the Xbox One through alternative options. If you have an HDMI receiver, you will be able to benefit from uncompressed 5.1 and 7.1 audio, as well as DTS, as they are passed through HDMI. Even if you have a Dolby-only HDMI receiver, you will still receive 5.1 or 7.1 sound, as these receivers should accept uncompressed surround signals.

For users with Dolby-only headsets, it is important to note that the optical port will only pass stereo and DTS signals. This means that users will receive stereo audio until the Dolby Digital patch is implemented. While we have not personally tested this, reports suggest that Dolby-only headsets still work with the Xbox One, albeit with stereo audio only.

Future Updates and Enhancements

Console launches often come with updates and enhancements, and the Xbox One is no exception. Microsoft is continuously working on improving the user experience, and audio support is a part of that effort. In addition to the upcoming Dolby Digital patch, Microsoft is also beta testing a feature that enables surround sound through the HDMI-IN port. While this feature is currently disabled by default, users can access it in the TV settings/troubleshooting menu to enjoy surround sound using this method.


Q: Will Dolby Digital output ever be supported on the Xbox One?
A: Yes, Microsoft has confirmed that Dolby Digital output will be patched in after the console’s launch.

Q: Can I use my Dolby-only headset with the Xbox One?
A: Yes, you can use your Dolby-only headset with the Xbox One, but you will only receive stereo audio until the Dolby Digital patch is implemented.

Q: Is surround sound supported on the Xbox One without the Dolby Digital patch?
A: Yes, surround sound is supported through HDMI, but Dolby Digital output specifically requires the upcoming patch.


While the absence of Dolby Digital output via optical cable at launch may be disappointing for some Xbox One users, it is important to remember that Microsoft is actively working on addressing this issue. The future patch will bring Dolby Digital support to the console, ensuring an immersive surround sound experience for all users. In the meantime, alternative options such as uncompressed audio through HDMI and the HDMI-IN surround sound beta can still provide a high-quality audio experience.

As a trusted source for all things Xbox One, Wqaindia will continue to keep you updated on the latest developments and enhancements in console audio. Stay tuned for more news and announcements!

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