This week, Microsoft has shared details regarding the improved voice communication available on the Xbox One. Partnering with Skype, Microsoft is promising crystal-clear audio unlike anything currently provided by the Xbox 360. If you have ever used an Xbox 360 headset, you will know that this is a very welcome improvement.
The Xbox One will be integrated with Skype’s audio codec, which has an excellent track record due to the millions of hours of use within Skype already. The audio codec will be used to power both Skype on Xbox Live, as well as in-game chat and multiplayer party chats. Regardless of how you choose to chat, the quality provided by the Xbox One will be a major improvement over the Xbox 360’s chat quality.
Furthermore, we’re learning that the Xbox One Wireless Controller will feature a new expansion port that will expand the data transfer rate between the controller and console. Combined with Skype’s audio codec, this will enable crystal-clear digital audio with the Xbox One Chat Headset. Speech will be captured and rendered at 24 KHZ PCM, which is a 50 percent capture rate and triple the current rendering sample rate of Xbox 360 headsets. As previously noted, the Xbox One Chat Headset will come standard with every Xbox One console.
While chatting on an Xbox 360 headset isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the world, I find that it can be rather frustrating at times. Most of that frustration comes when trying to use it effectively during moments of high traffic. For instance, trying to communicate effectively in a packed game of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 or Halo 4 can be more hassle than it’s worth. Party chats are slightly better, but even those can prove to be frustrating. If Microsoft can effectively harness the technology provided by Skype, the improved voice quality could be a major coup for the Xbox One.