Xbox One Dolby Digital output via digital optical coming post launch

UPDATE: Astro have a workaround for their headsets.

UPDATE: Astro headsets can produce Dolby 7.1 audio even from the Xbox One's stereo-only digital optical output, the company has said.

"Microsoft's decision to drop Dolby encoding on their SPDIF [Sony/Philips Digital Interface Format] output at launch does have ramifications for ASTRO's products," the company told Eurogamer.

"While our products do not process DTS signals, we do have on-board Dolby encoding in both our A50 Wireless Transmitter as well as our Wired MixAmp Pro."

Astro said Xbox One users will need to select stereo output for game audio, but its MixAmps will process the stereo signal with Dolby ProLogic 2 and encode it with Dolby Headphone for simulated 7.1 Surround Sound for gaming headphones.

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This again.

ORIGINAL STORY: Full Dolby Digital audio via digital optical will be added to Xbox One at some point after launch, Microsoft has confirmed.

Xbox director of product planning Albert Penello took to NeoGAF after it emerged Xbox One's digital optical output only delivers sound in stereo, not a true Dolby Digital 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound signal.

"Dolby Digital is coming post launch," he said. "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."

Penello added it was his understanding that Dolby-only headsets will work with Xbox One, but you will only get stereo audio.

"I have not tested this myself, but I'm told it works," he said. "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," Penello said. "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."

Eurogamer investigated the next generation of consoles and how they work with headsets in an article published earlier this month. For more on the console itself, check out Digital Foundry's Xbox One hardware test.

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