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Astro releases MixAmp firmware update to improve PS4, Xbox One chat audio

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

After complaints regarding the performance of Astro Gaming gear with chat audio on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, Astro released a firmware update yesterday in an effort to to fix the issues in question, the company announced in a blog post.

Buyers of the Xbox One stereo headset adapter, an accessory that Microsoft released earlier this year in order to make the console compatible with gaming headsets, began to report that their chat audio was coming out garbled, or with static or crackling. The $24.99 stereo headset adapter is required in order to use third-party headsets with the Xbox One such as products manufactured by Astro, Turtle Beach and others.

The chat issues weren't restricted to Astro equipment, according to those reports. But last week, an Astro spokesperson told Polygon that both the Xbox One and PS4 "work a little differently" from previous consoles and "[require] some fine tuning of our products to make them work perfectly."

Astro's latest firmware update for the MixAmp Pro 2013 edition, the small console that interfaces between an audio source (such as a console) and a headset, aims to fix the problems. According to Astro, the update reduces the microphone volume and eliminates static; optimizes sidetone tuning for the new mic levels; fixes a sidetone bug that had affected the Xbox One boot process; and improves overall compatibility with the console's stereo headset adapter.

The MixAmp Pro update will work with Astro's A40 and A50 headsets. The company warns that customers who use the headsets with a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 shouldn't apply the new firmware; it's only for use with a PS4 or Xbox One. It's unclear if gamers with systems from both console generations have any options. Astro also clarified to Polygon last week that only the 2013 edition of the MixAmp Pro — the model without a battery compartment — can accept firmware updates. If customers with older equipment are experiencing issues with chat audio on the new consoles, they can contact Astro customer support to receive a discount on an upgrade to a newer model.

The MixAmp Pro firmware updates for both Mac and Windows PC are available on Astro's blog.

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