Since Xbox consoles used to have an optical out port, you might be wondering why the Xbox Series X doesn’t have one.
Related article! Should The Xbox Series X Use A Surge Protector?
I like having as many connector options as possible, but I also appreciate it when connectors can be consolidated. Though I was concerned when I first learned the Xbox Series X doesn’t have an optical out port, my mind was quickly put at ease when I figured out how to use an optical out port with the Xbox.
- Older Xbox consoles had an optical out port, but the Xbox Series X doesn’t have one.
- Microsoft may have wanted to simplify the Xbox Series X and reduce production costs.
- You can use the optical audio port on a TV to connect a speaker to the Xbox console.
What Happened To The Xbox Series X Optical Out Port?
The optical out port on the Xbox Series X was likely removed to reduce production costs and simplify the connector ports on the console. To connect a speaker with an optical out port, you can connect the Xbox to a TV with an HDMI cable and use the TV’s optical out port to connect to a speaker.
From a business perspective, Xbox probably decided not to include the optical out port on the Xbox Series X or S due to design constraints and to minimize the dollars spent by consumers.
When it comes to engineering a complex electronic device like an Xbox, compromises often have to be made to allow for certain features and design elements to be included.
When it comes to making the best console possible, having more of certain things doesn’t always make a console better for gaming.
Consumers often demand more simplified setups and functionality, so making the Xbox Series X and S without an optical out included was probably because many gamers didn’t seem to value it much.
You may find my article Does The Xbox Series X Come With An HDMI Cable interesting, too.
Optical Ports Vs. Other Ports
Older Device Ports
Back in the day when I first started gaming, I often used consoles and computers with a variety of connecting ports such as DVI, RCA, and VGA.
The cables for these ports were readily available at low prices from a wide range of online and offline stores.
I could easily go pick up an RCA cable from my local electronics store or a general retail chain like Walmart.
Since I have other electronic items like a television, monitor, and stereo receiver that use RCA cables, I could even swap those out by taking cables from other items and using them with a game console.
Many of these older cables also had adapters and converters that allowed me to mix and match the types of cords and cables I used for gaming platforms and other devices like TVs, headsets, and speakers.
Related article! Does The Xbox Series X Have USB-C Ports?
Newer Device Ports
Though newer cables like HDMI cables also have converters and adapters, audio and video ports generally tend to be much more simplified these days.
Many high-end electronics products like the Xbox and large LED televisions use higher-end ports such as HDMI to transmit high-definition audio and video.
Since the Xbox Series X is a higher-definition system compared to other gaming systems, it requires accessories, peripherals, and other components that can work adequately with its gameplay data.
Compared to older audio connectors, the optical audio port uses much higher-quality materials to transmit sound data.
An optical cable uses fiber optics to quickly transfer high-quality audio signals to equalizers, speakers, and other sound-related devices.
How Do I Use An Optical Port Speaker With The Xbox Series X?
If you have a sound bar or another audio playback device that requires an optical port, you can still use an optical cable to link with an Xbox Series X or S.
Instead of connecting the optical port of an Xbox directly to the optical port of a speaker, you would use an optical port from a television to connect to the speaker.
This process essentially takes the sound data from the Xbox and transmits it to the TV and onward to the sound bar or other audio console.
Though I like having the option of having more than one connection, I like the simplicity and streamlined nature of not having to connect an optical out cable directly to the Xbox.
It’s unlikely I’d use the optical port by itself on an Xbox, so I think it’s better to exclude the port on consoles.
It’s better for me to use an optical cable with a TV since the Xbox Series X would link to the TV anyway to play games.
Even if I have optical speakers with Dolby Atmos or a high-end headset to head audio with my Xbox console, I can get pretty high quality audio from just the HDMI cable and television.
Disabling an audio console will also help when it comes to space considerations in my gaming area.
HDMI Audio Extractor
Speakers and other sound devices may require you to plug in an HDMI audio extractor to link the Xbox audio output from your TV.
This item is basically an adapter that can make the HDMI output compatible with a stereo signal that is readable by your sound device.
Though you might be reluctant to purchase a device or software that can take away bucks from your pocket, you might be happy to know an HDMI audio extractor can be purchased at a price of $20 or less.
I’ve actually seen stores sell these items for as little as two dollars, which is not much money for a gamer like me.
Will Future Xbox Consoles Have An Optical Output Port?
I live in a neighborhood where I can pump up the volume very much, but I still like having the option to connect high-powered audio equipment to my Xbox Series X .
Other gamers in the world may value audio capabilities even more than me, so Xbox will probably want to make high-quality audio connection options available for them.
It’s difficult to know if Microsoft will add the optical audio port to future versions of the Xbox, but it might not have to if high-quality audio will have links from other types of ports.
It largely depends on reviews, manufacturing partners, how many people want it, and how software companies program PlayStation game software and other apps to process high-end audio.
In the tech landscape, the shift from optical audio output to HDMI out is evident. Phil Spencer, the Xbox boss, has championed these changes, ensuring the new Xbox meets modern demands. With its launch, many have turned to Amazon to understand its evolution and anticipate firmware updates.
Companies like Astro Gaming, known for the MixAmp Pro TR and base stations, have adapted to the HDMI input needs. As movies adapt, the significance of sound systems, from soundbars to speaker systems, has grown. The Seagate storage expansion card and eARC are innovations to note. Looking ahead, SPDIF, Ethernet, and marginal cost will influence the next gaming generation.
What role does Phil Spencer play in the new Xbox launch?
Phil Spencer, recognized as the Xbox boss, has been instrumental in the development and launch of the new Xbox.
How has Astro Gaming influenced the tech scene?
Astro Gaming, known for the MixAmp Pro TR and base stations, caters to the HDMI input needs of gamers.
Where can I buy accessories for the new Xbox?
Accessories for the new Xbox are available on Amazon, offering products from Blu-ray players to Seagate storage expansion cards.
What should I consider when setting up a home theater with the Xbox Series X?
Consider HDMI ARC, eARC, and your sound system, be it soundbars or speaker systems. Spatial considerations are also crucial.
How do firmware updates affect the Xbox’s life of the program?
Firmware updates bring improvements and extend the life of the program for Xbox.
How can I connect to speaker systems without the optical audio output on Xbox Series X?
Users can connect using the optical audio port on TVs, ensuring high-quality audio options.