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How To Fix Xbox Series X/S Audio Not Working

When you set up a sweet gaming spot at home, top-notch audio quality is always on the priority list. But what if your Xbox Series S/X is still giving you sound problems? The sound, and especially good sound, is part of the gaming experience, so issues here can be a real bummer

If your Xbox Series X/S audio isn’t working, it could be caused by incorrect audio output settings or problems with the cables and TV. Update your system and, if you’re plugging into your controller, make sure that’s up to date too. Wireless headsets may need to be re-paired to the console.

While restarting and re-pairing a headset is pretty routine, some of the other fixes here involve going into the Xbox’s settings and fiddling about. Let’s take a detailed look at what causes audio problems on an Xbox Series S/X and how to resolve them.

Why Is the Audio on Your Xbox Series X/S Not Working?

Your Xbox Series X/S could be having issues for a number of reasons, including outdated controller software, misconfiguration of the Xbox audio settings, faulty HDMI cables, or problems with the audio-video on your TV. 

In rare cases, audio issues may be fallout from other connectivity issues, like if your console struggles to stay connected to WiFi. Some people note that their consoles have problems simply shutting off randomly. These systems do start to show their age and fail in kind of unexpected ways over time, and you’ll see symptoms like slower download speeds and, yes, intermittent audio issues.

These are the most common causes of Xbox audio problems: 

Outdated Controller Software

Since your audio is usually directly connected to your controller, it’s often a fault with the controller software that causes issues with the Xbox audio. If you have an older controller, compatibility issues may be behind the audio problems. 

While you should get notified of updates, sometimes the updates are overlooked, which leaves the controller outdated. 

Faulty HDMI Cables 

A faulty HDMI cable may also be behind the audio issues you’re facing. A damaged cable could cause distortions and delay in the sound output. If your Xbox is connected to an external speaker system, the sound problems may be caused by the cables connecting the Xbox with the sound system. 

Misconfiguration of the Xbox Audio Settings 

While the default settings are usually best for the Xbox sound output, sometimes the settings may be misconfigured. If you haven’t played with the sound settings before, then you shouldn’t have a problem with the sound settings, but it’s worth checking anyway. 

If the poor audio quality is caused by misconfiguration of the audio settings, you’ll have to change them to suit your preferences. We’ll explain how to change audio settings later. 

TV Hardware Problems  

TV hardware and software problems could also be behind your audio problems. If the audio-video receiver’s timing is off, it could affect the video and audio match. Other issues with the soundbar could also be behind the audio problems.  

While this problem will require you to contact your TV company, it’s quite rare and usually only found in new TV models. 

How Do You Fix the Sound on Your Xbox Series X/S?

Before we look at the detailed fixes for Xbox Series X/S audio problems, first check whether your volume and mute settings are correct. Make sure that your headset isn’t muted and that the sound volume isn’t too low. Also, check that there’s nothing wrong with your headphones or speakers. 

If everything else is good, try these fixes to resolve your audio problem: 

Update Your Xbox Controller

Since a faulty controller is behind most Xbox audio problems, the first thing you should do is to check whether your controller software is up to date.

To check for controller updates on an Xbox Series X/S, go onto the settings on your Xbox and select accessories. Under the “devices and connections” option, check for any updates for your controller. 

If your controller is already updated, then try another fix. 

Replace Faulty Cables 

If your HDMI cables are faulty, it will probably affect more than just the audio. Always check for any damaged cables and replace them with a high-quality option like the Zeskit Maya High Speed HDMI Cable (on Amazon).

The same goes for faulty headphones, speakers, and other audio hardware. 

Set the Audio Configuration Correctly 

While audio configuration shouldn’t be a problem if you haven’t tampered with the factory settings, it’s best to check them anyway. Under the settings on your Xbox, select “volume and audio output.” If your audio system is connected via HDMI, select the HDMI option under “speaker audio.” Otherwise, choose “optical.” 

The correct audio format is 5.1 or 7.1 uncompressed, although it’s better just to leave the settings at “stereo uncompressed.”