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Xbox One headset adapter users encountering chat audio issues (update)

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Some users of the Xbox One stereo headset adapter are running into audio issues with in-game chat, and Microsoft is looking into the problem, a representative for the company confirmed to Polygon today.

Xbox One owners are reporting on the Astro Gaming forums and Xbox forums that game audio comes through just fine for them, but other players are telling them that their voice chat is distorted and crackling. According to the individuals in question, only in-game chat audio suffers from the issue; party chat, Skype calls and Upload Studio voice-overs, for example, are unaffected.

The mono headset that comes with the Xbox One features its own adapter, but third-party units like the ones from Astro, Turtle Beach and others require the stereo headset adapter, which costs $24.99.

"people say how my mic audio sounds awful"

"When I am in a party or just any in-game chat people say how my mic audio sounds awful. It's described as crackly and garbled," said OldMikeyJ on the Astro forums. OldMikeyJ is using the Xbox One stereo headset adapter with the Astro A50 headset, while Xbox forum user BlueFlash is having trouble with the Astro A40. Other individuals on the Xbox forums said they're experiencing the same problem with headsets made by Turtle Beach, so the issue doesn't appear to be isolated to Astro headsets.

"We've heard about a small number of users experiencing intermittent issues. We're actively investigating and are working on a resolution," a Microsoft spokesperson told Polygon.

According to a moderator on the Astro forums, the company has found a workaround that should fix the audio issue, and will release a firmware update this week for the Astro A50 wireless headset system and the MixAmp Pro 2013 edition. The moderator added that those are the only Astro devices that can accept firmware updates. We've reached out to Astro Gaming for more details, and will update this article with any information we receive.

Update: An Astro Gaming representative told Polygon that "this isn't different from what we saw when the PS4 came out and the A50 and MixAmp both needed firmware updates as well."

"this isn't different from what we saw when the PS4 came out"

The rep continued, "The new consoles work a little differently, and in particular have different levels set for mic input that requires some fine tuning of our products to make them work perfectly." Astro expects to release a firmware update for the A50 and MixAmp Pro 2013 this week.

In addition, the rep confirmed that MixAmps manufactured prior to 2013 — they're easy to distinguish from the current one, because only the older ones took batteries — can't accept firmware upgrades. "These were products that were sold prior to 2013, before we had any idea what PS4 [or] XB1 would turn out to be," the spokesperson noted. According to the Astro rep, owners of older MixAmps who are unsatisfied with their performance on the new consoles can contact customer service to receive a discount on an upgrade to the latest model.