Gaming Home Theater

Xbox One March Update Brings Dolby and Bitstream Audio Support

Xbox One March Update Brings Dolby and Bitstream Audio SupportMany made a big deal out of the Xbox One’s lack of Dolby Digital support when the console launched in November. It was an easy way to criticize the console for not living up to true next-gen standards. Those who were looking to point out these deficiencies just ignored the fact that most people would be hooking up the console to a TV (which probably doesn’t have surround sound at all) or an audio receiver that supports DTS Surround Sound (which the Xbox One supported at launch). There was one group of people who had a valid complaint though. That group would be users of certain surround sound headsets. The Astro A50 headset is a very popular wireless surround sound headset that only supports Dolby Digital. Microsoft has revealed many details about the multiplayer enhancements coming in the March update to the console, but while using the preview of the update we’ve found another enhancement worth mentioning. This will be the update that brings Dolby Digital audio to the Xbox One.

Previously the audio settings on Xbox One gave you two areas to adjust: HDMI and optical audio options. Under HDMI you had the ability to select stereo uncompressed, 5.1 uncompressed, 7.1 uncompressed, and DTS Digital Surround. If using optical audio you were only presented with stereo uncompressed and 5.1 uncompressed. With the new update “Bitstream out” is added to the HDMI audio settings. The optical audio settings are changed to only offer stereo uncompressed and Bitstream out. They’ve then added a third setting for modifying the bitstream format. In that menu you can select DTS Digital Surround or Dolby Digital. We tested these options with optical audio and our audio receiver responded to both correctly. You can see photos of the update interface in the gallery below.

While we weren’t expecting the audio settings to be improved with the March update, we’re sure some of you will be quite happy to see these new options. We expect this system update to be released within the next week, so you won’t need to wait much longer to configure them exactly how you would prefer.

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About the author

Josh Pollard

Josh has been writing software since his parents brought home their first computer. His love for gadgets and technology eventually spurred a passion for home theater technology. After starting the DMZ, he received Microsoft’s MVP award for Windows Media Center. Even though the beloved home theater PC platform is all but dead he continues to tinker with consumer entertainment technology. He’s a life-long gamer and DIY smart home enthusiast. He co-hosts the Entertainment 2.0 podcast with Richard Gunther and the DMZ’s gaming podcast, Story Players, with Joe DeStazio.