One of the coolest PS5 features – which it inherited from the PS4 – is now finally accessible on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles, after an eight-year wait.
However, the snazzy new Xbox function is turned off by default, so unless you’re the kind who meticulously tracks each and every Xbox system update, you could be blissfully oblivious of its existence.
So, what exactly is this game-changing feature? You’re undoubtedly accustomed to picking up the remote controller and turning down your TV speakers if you’ve ever used a wired or wireless set of headphones on Xbox Series X.
It’s something I’ve become used to over the years since, unlike the PS4 and PS5, the Xbox One and later generations never muted your TV while a headset was attached.
That is, however, no longer the case.
The sound of nothingness
An update was released in December of last year that provided the ability to mute TV audio anytime you attach a connected or wireless headphone – and it’s a lifesaver. Go to ‘Settings,’ ‘Volume and audio output,’ ‘Additional Options,’ and check the box next to ‘Mute speaker audio while headset connected.’ If you check this box, you’re good to go.
Your speaker audio will now be muted automatically anytime you connect a wired headset to your controller through the headphone connector or use something like the Xbox Wireless Headset that the system recognises.
Now you won’t have to deal with echoing sound from a TV that wasn’t muted or having to beg someone to “down down their speakers” since you can hear their gaming audio booming via party chat.
It’s taken a long time for this to happen
This very basic feature was something I requested in January 2021, so it’s fantastic to see that Microsoft was able to implement it, even though it took an impossibly long time to do it.
When the Xbox One was first debuted in 2013, it made sense since the original controller didn’t even have a 3.5mm headphone port. But, with the release of the updated version of Microsoft’s popular tablet, it became a particularly vexing absence – one that made less and less sense as the years passed.
However, Microsoft deserves credit. The Xbox team has continued to put out significant system upgrades that may enhance the user experience in subtle or major ways. Even though Microsoft stopped producing Xbox One S consoles in 2021, improvements like Xbox Cloud Gaming have helped Xbox One devices in particular.
However, please turn it on
It’s a little annoying that the option is turned off by default, since I’ve run across a few folks who don’t aware it’s there. There’s no need to turn off the TV speaker if you’re using a headset, and I’ve never understood why you’d want it on in the first place.
The next time your colleague complains about being able to hear their television, remind them about this setting. One day, we’ll be able to put an end to this vexing situation once and for all.
Take this essay a rallying cry, for I beg anybody with an Xbox console to immediately enable ‘Mute speaker audio while headset is connected’ for the sake of the community’s ears and blood pressure levels.
Subtly charming pop culture geek. Amateur analyst. Freelance tv buff. Coffee lover