Xbox Series X is getting another pleasing audio upgrade

Xbox Series X
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S owners will soon be able to enjoy a new update that lets you preview how your audio setup will behave when gaming. 

Xbox Insiders in the Alpha, Alpha Skip Ahead, and Beta rings can now preview a new audio setup screen that lets users scroll through and test a variety of different options, including regular stereo uncompressed, 5.1 uncompressed, and Dolby Atmos for home theater. 

A sound pattern will play along with an animation to show which speaker in your setup is active, allowing you to make any necessary adjustments.

See more

If you’ve been struggling to determine the difference between each audio setup, or simply want to ensure that your speakers are placed in the correct position, this is certainly a handy feature to have. 

You’ll need a compatible receiver to take advantage of some of these options, of course, so don’t expect DTS: X for home theater to work if you don’t have a license or compatible setup that supports DTS: X. 

Analysis: Microsoft is taking audio seriously 

This isn’t the first audio upgrade to the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S that we’ve seen. Microsoft recently rolled out a feature that automatically mutes your TV speakers whenever you connect a headset and the company supports three types of spatial audio: Windows Sonic, Dolby Atmos, and DTS: X.

Microsoft also added the ability to allow audio passthrough for players. This feature lets audio from media apps like Netflix bypass your Xbox and head straight to your audio setup. If you’re lucky enough to own a high-end audio receiver, the benefit is that your chosen device will handle the audio processing instead of the Xbox, which can result in superior sound quality.

It’s great to see Microsoft continuing to improve audio options for those who care about sound quality when gaming. Audio has often been overlooked in the video games industry in favor of flashy visuals and smoother frame rates, but it’s a crucial element of the experience that can increase your overall immersion and even help when playing competitively.

It’s not just Microsoft who is taking audio seriously, though. Sony’s PS5 3D audio is also delivering impressive results in games like Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection, which has a transformative effect on the remastered titles. 

If you’re interested in hearing games the way developers intended, we recommend picking a pair of the best Xbox Series X headsets or the best PS5 headsets. We’ve also rounded up a selection of the best Dolby Atmos Xbox Series X games that really showcase the spatial audio tech. 

Adam Vjestica

Adam was formerly TRG's Hardware Editor. A law graduate with an exceptional track record in content creation and online engagement, Adam has penned scintillating copy for various technology sites and also established his very own award-nominated video games website. He’s previously worked at Nintendo of Europe as a Content Marketing Editor and once played Halo 5: Guardians for over 51 hours for charity. He is now an editor at The Shortcut.