This Xbox Series X headphones update could fix its most annoying issue

If you're partial to playing Xbox Series X games with an Xbox headset attached, you'll know the pain of connecting your headset and finding that external audio – from a TV's speakers, for example – still keeps playing until you separately mute it. Thankfully, though, Microsoft appears to finally be fixing the irritating issue.

In a blog post, Microsoft laid out a feature landing with Xbox Insiders – which should hopefully roll out to the wider Xbox gaming public soon after. 

The post states that "A new streamlined audio settings experience is now available with new features such as 'Mute Speaker audio when headset attached'." Anyone on the Xbox Insider program can find this function in the Volume & Audio Output menu, under Audio Testing & Details.

This is a common bugbear for current-gen Xbox gamers trying to use console-compatible gaming headsets. It's easily fixed, but requires further input in a process that feels like it should be automatic, and the latest update should do just that. 

It's still a feature that PS5 players have been enjoying just fine, and it's annoying that anyone with an Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S has been missing it for a full year after the consoles' release.

Analysis: Transparency is only a good thing

The Insiders program has long been a way for Microsoft to signpost incoming features, giving us a look at what the company is keen to test on the Xbox platform.

Before Dolby Vision gaming rolled out on Xbox consoles in full, it was trialled here, and it offers a great level of transparency for those wanting to know whether their biggest console problems are being fixed anytime soon.

Microsoft also says it is "investigating reports of the audio mixer being unable to adjust chat/game audio levels", so hopefully there'll be more news on that front soon for anyone affected.

That's not all, though. The latest update for Xbox Insiders includes "testing for color blind filters" to help "those with color blindness or color vision deficiency to explore more current games" – applying to "games, movies, apps, menus" and the like. 

If you're testing out this feature, or any others in the latest update, any feedback you give Microsoft should help improve the feature before its wider rollout. That's what being an Insider is for, isn't it?

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