August 29th 2013 9:00 am PT

Xbox One delivers premium voice quality via hardware improvements and Skype’s audio codec

Today we want to share some details about the incredible voice chat improvements made to Xbox One and how these changes will enhance your communication with the Xbox One Chat Headset on the console.

Thanks to integration with Skype’s audio codec, which has a proven track record of high-quality voice through billions of hours of use within Skype, as well as dedicated audio processing (for Xbox One conversations via Skype and multiplayer party chats), Xbox One offers higher quality voice chat with the Xbox One Chat Headset compared to Xbox 360—whether you’re chatting in-game or through party chat with Skype on Xbox One.

But the improvements don’t stop there. The Xbox One Wireless Controller’s new expansion port dramatically expands the data transfer rate between the controller and console. Combined with Skype’s audio codec, this enables crystal-clear digital audio with the Xbox One Chat Headset, both capturing and rendering speech at 24 KHz PCM, which is triple the rendering sample rate and a 50 percent capture rate improvement over Xbox 360 headsets. And, as we shared before, the Xbox One Chat Headset comes with every Xbox One console.

But don’t just take our word for it. Listen to this short sample for yourself:

We think gamers will immediately notice the improvement here—whether it’s through crystal clear in-game chats over the Xbox One Chat Headset, through the sound of crisper conversations taking place over Skype or with your multiplayer party chat.

We can’t wait for you to hear the improvements first-hand in a couple months.

*Voice chat requires Xbox Live. In-game voice chat and Skype require an Xbox Live Gold membership (sold separately).

Cross posted on Xbox Wire

Xbox 360, Xbox Live, Xbox One By Larry Hryb, Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson

  • rrcplus

    There’s a big difference between those two.

  • DavidinCT

    Yea, there is a big difference but, I wish you could keep compatibility with the 360 for a temp (for 6 months to a year) so while everyone gets their Xbox one, you can chat with your friends who have not upgraded yet.

  • DeeBG

    Hey sorry if this was previously posted, but “Skype’s audio codec” = SILK right (I assume a customized version to take advantage of the Xbox One’s audio processing). If memory serves me, SILK was developed in-house around the time Global IP Solutions was snatched up by Google (GIPS had provided the base of codecs used for audio before this).

    Assuming this is the case, this is a huge boon for the service and something to look forward to (for those who have used Steam voice chat or the chat inside of many VALVe games recently, you have already experienced how clean this sound can be). Also if you use Teamspeak or other software where low latency is important and don’t see SILK listed as an option, it may be displayed as Opus (which is the much improved codec OSS solution that replaced Speex). Also if I’m dead wrong about any of this please correct me!

  • Dennis Fluttershy

    Major mentions both Skype and “multiplayer party chats”, but then “chatting in-game or through party chat with Skype”. If you have an Microsoft-account (like Xbox) you can use Skype with it, I guess that’s what’s going to happen. So, the limit is probably what limit Skype has.

  • Dennis Fluttershy

    I’ve used Skype many times, even during multiplayer games. I only have a 8 Mbit/s connection, but still high quality sound and no DCs.

  • Dennis Fluttershy

    “chatting in-game or through party chat with Skype”, I think Skype will be used, as you can use Skype with a Microsoft account (eg Gamertag).

 

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