No Dolby 5.1 support with Xbone optical port (surround headphone users beware!)

old

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May 11, 2013
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The problem with this is you need a proprietary adapter which doesn't exist yet for any headphones. I'd like to know how they're going to handle this. The MixAmp for example requires a digital input like optical to receive a 5.1 signal -- is the controller port a digital out? If it is you need some kind of DAC in the adapter itself to turn it into an analog signal for the headphones.

Sounds like vague marketing speak until we know more details.
So I dug around and this is what I've found.

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-10-18-xbox-one-headset-adapter-not-coming-until-2014

Gaming audio accessory manufacturer Turtle Beach has revealed that Microsoft will not release its Xbox One headset adapter for third-party headsets until early 2014...For the Xbox One, Microsoft has a proprietary data port that's not compatible with most Xbox 360 headsets. Turtle Beach confirmed to CVG that Microsoft's headset adapter will also be needed for new headsets. The adapter will be included with every Turtle Beach headset.
Looking at the product description at gamestop for the Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Four (marketed explicitly for the Xbox One) shows that is uses the standard 3.5mm audio jack that many headphones use.
http://www.gamestop.com/xbox-one/accessories/ear-force-xo-four/110308

This implies (used loosely here) MS is releasing an adapter for their controllers in early 2014 that allows gamers to plug their 3.5mm headphones into the Xbox One controller's 5.1 sound port. It would be better if we had official confirmation from MS on the matter.
 
Mar 11, 2012
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I got a response back from @XboxSupport

my tweet:

"Does the Xbox one support Dolby digital 5.1 from the optical out port?


Xbox Support (1-5)Verified account‏@XboxSupport
@Millatron We don't have any details on that but be sure to keep an eye out after launch. ^CR



Doesn't sound good, duders.
 
Jun 19, 2013
10,866
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I got a response back from @XboxSupport

my tweet:

"Does the Xbox one support Dolby digital 5.1 from the optical out port?


Xbox Support (1-5)Verified account‏@XboxSupport
@Millatron We don't have any details on that but be sure to keep an eye out after launch. ^CR



Doesn't sound good, duders.
Not good at all.
 
Nov 5, 2013
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Looking at the product description at gamestop for the Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Four (marketed explicitly for the Xbox One) shows that is uses the standard 3.5mm audio jack that many headphones use.
http://www.gamestop.com/xbox-one/accessories/ear-force-xo-four/110308

This implies (used loosely here) MS is releasing an adapter for their controllers in early 2014 that allows gamers to plug their 3.5mm headphones into the Xbox One controller's 5.1 sound port. It would be better if we had official confirmation from MS on the matter.
IF this is correct then the Xbox One will output virtual surround on the sound port of the controllers. It will then do something similar to the Astro MixAmp or other such devices and you can plug any supported stereo headset into the adapter and get virtual surround.
 

Totobeni

An blind dancing ho
Nov 3, 2007
18,732
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I got a response back from @XboxSupport

my tweet:

"Does the Xbox one support Dolby digital 5.1 from the optical out port?


Xbox Support (1-5)Verified account‏@XboxSupport
@Millatron We don't have any details on that but be sure to keep an eye out after launch. ^CR



Doesn't sound good, duders.
yeah :|

this is really crazy, Dolby Headphone and using Astro Mixamp and TB DSS with my Ad700 is the best way to go since I mostly play with headphones on and everything unless will be a huge downgrade.
 
Oct 19, 2005
14,485
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I got a response back from @XboxSupport

my tweet:

"Does the Xbox one support Dolby digital 5.1 from the optical out port?


Xbox Support (1-5)Verified account‏@XboxSupport
@Millatron We don't have any details on that but be sure to keep an eye out after launch. ^CR



Doesn't sound good, duders.
Just add another bulletpoint to the rushed console release outline for XB1. It's entirely believable this thing was targeted to release next year. Crazy how mixed bag the Sony launch has been and how awful MS's is and it's not "launched" yet.
 
Nov 27, 2012
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I got a response back from @XboxSupport

my tweet:

"Does the Xbox one support Dolby digital 5.1 from the optical out port?


Xbox Support (1-5)Verified account‏@XboxSupport
@Millatron We don't have any details on that but be sure to keep an eye out after launch. ^CR



Doesn't sound good, duders.
So then what if your main audio source is a soundbar that only has optical in but supports DTS and DD5.1?

Will a game or app (like netflix) that only has DD 5.1 be downsampled to stereo and sent to the soundbar that way, or does the XB1 re-encode the DD5.1 signal and spit it out as DTS.
 

Totobeni

An blind dancing ho
Nov 3, 2007
18,732
0
0
So then what if your main audio source is a soundbar that only has optical in but supports DTS and DD5.1?

Will a game or app (like netflix) that only has DD 5.1 be downsampled to stereo and sent to the soundbar that way, or does the XB1 re-encode the DD5.1 signal and spit it out as DTS.
since the the source only support DD then Xbox One will give you stereo (because that what only output from Xbox One to the soundbar via optical).
 
Sep 4, 2013
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‏@MikeFisher88
@XboxSupport Does the Xbox One support Dolby Digital 5.1through the optical out? I am hearing that it doesn't.

Xbox Support ‏@XboxSupport3 38m
@MikeFisher88 Xbox One digital surround sound support is available in beta. There's more info on that here:http://t.co/Ltl0OIFscX

‏@MikeFisher88
@XboxSupport3 I am talking mostly about current surround headsets, like Turtle Beach headsets or Astros that use the optical out.

Xbox Support ‏@XboxSupport3
@MikeFisher88 Here's an example of something Turtle Beach is working on for Xbox One: http: http://t.co/nWyXiOMzko

Xbox Support ‏@XboxSupport3
@MikeFisher88 Current Gen headsets will not be compatible with the Xbox One. Adapters are currently being worked on. ^CE

Mike Fisher ‏@MikeFisher88 18m
@XboxSupport3 So when the adapter comes out will the current generation headsets still be surround sound as it is with the 360?

Xbox Support ‏@XboxSupport3 1m
@MikeFisher88 We don't currently have specifics on available adapters. Keep an eye out on http://t.co/D7yqyk54SY and news for info.^CE
Details
 
May 17, 2012
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Gross.

Reminds me of the WiiU situation, but just a little better. At least if you have a non HDMI receiver that can do DTS you are in the clear but this is just terrible for those who use DD5.1 headsets.

Funny thing is that even though this issue might seem irrelevant to some people I was super hyped for a WiiU before it came out and this was the thing that tipped me to not buy the product.
 
Apr 23, 2013
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Seriously. How in the what is this a surprise? They announced this way back with all the other crap during E3. XBOX is proprietary. Was the same last generation with keyboards,headsets, and wheels. Why stop now? It's one reason a lot of people were pleasantly surprised last week after finding PS4 controllers have a normal 3.5 mm jack for headphones/headsets. Everyone had been groomed to think we need special headphones.
 
Jun 27, 2012
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That link makes it sound like the problem is limited to pass through audio, not source audio coming from games.
But i'm still not sure what that would have to do with content not protected by HDCP - such as the games.
It's very easy to understand. Since it is a problem for pass through HDCP protected audio, MS would have to offer two different audio options for the optical output. One for TV mode and one for Game mode. Since MS is lazy and doesn't want to confuse you with too many options, they took the easy way out and just disabled DD on a global level for the optical output. If they simply decided to do nothing you would probably get static or no sound at all if you suddenly decide to go to TV while playing and DD 5.1 over optical is selected.

Another explanation is that you can theoretically snap TV while playing. In this case the console would be very confused even with two separate audio options. It can't send DD 5.1 from the game and stereo from TV at the same time through the same output. So it would either have to default the game to stereo or mute the TV or the game audio completely.

Sounds rather elaborate and confusing. So disabling it on a global level is probably MS's best shot to keep everything consistent. Don't expect a fix anytime soon.
 

Z_Y

Member
Nov 15, 2006
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I tweeted,

@majornelson @xboxsupport Is the no Dolby Digital 5.1 over #XboxOne's optical port true? Why?

and reply,

@WiCkEd_SLy We don't have any specifics to share on that. Keep an eye on http://news.xbox.com for updates. ^AC

Insane. You don't have any specifics on what has been an industry standard since the PS2 over 13 years ago. Damn. This news has been a total buzzkill for me.
 
Jan 12, 2008
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Redmond, WA
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.
 
EDIT: Thank you Albert. That's very, VERY good to hear. :lol

Still though, shame on you guys. This is something extremely basic that shouldn't have been an issue in the first place. Especially when you've announced an adapter that looks to fix support that you just recently broke. It just appears downright villainous. Though I'm extremely glad to hear you'll be fixing it. Good stuff.
 
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.
So I have Direct TV and want my Laker games and all TV stuff in 5.1. I am all HDMI and go into a nice Onkyo. So what you're saying is get my ass in that beta to enjoy the 5.1.

I am in!
 

c3t

Banned
Sep 14, 2013
131
0
0
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.
THANK THE LORDS
 
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.
I was really hoping this would be the case. Thank you so much for letting us know, Albert.
 
Jul 31, 2010
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I know I am dumb, but just for 100% clarification: he's saying that Dolby Digital will be passed through the optical port, once said standard has been added via a post-launch update? Thanks.
 
Jun 19, 2013
10,866
1
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UK
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.
I was hoping to see you. :)

Thank you for clearing it up.
 
Aug 21, 2013
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I know I am dumb, but just for 100% clarification: he's saying that Dolby Digital will be passed through the optical port, once said standard has been added via a post-launch update? Thanks.
He's pretty much just confirming that it is indeed missing.

Title should be changed to reflect the confirmation.