Pick up the Xbox Wireless Headset from a coffee table and prepare to play a game.
Xbox Wireless Headset photo from the Microsoft Store

I was one of the lucky ones during the Xbox Series X launch and scored a console on launch day. It did everything Microsoft promised, like higher-resolution graphics, near-instant load times, backward compatibility, and more. After laughing at a note from my delivery driver, I put the console through its paces. But it wasn’t until the launch of the Xbox Wireless Headset a few months later that I noticed one glaring omission. Audio would play simultaneously out of the speakers and the wireless headset when you had it connected. I had gotten accustomed to the PlayStation family of consoles, where the speakers would get muted. It made playing at night, or any time when you were trying to be quiet, rather challenging.

It wasn’t a deal-breaker as you could manually mute the speakers, but it was an extra step that shouldn’t have been necessary. Gamers lived with this for about a year after the console’s launch. Until a November 2021 update by Microsoft added a new option to address it. I honestly didn’t even find out about it until months later because it is only briefly mentioned in the published update notes. I figured it was worthwhile to write about it here because others could have missed it as easily as I did.

If you have the latest software update, go to your General settings and then choose Additional options, you will see a new “Mute speaker audio when headset attached” option to toggle. I still think this should be enabled by default, but I’m glad they added it either way. So now, when you connect a wireless headset, the speaker volume will be automatically muted, and all is right and good in the world.

Are there any other specific features or options that you think the newer consoles should have had but didn’t? I would like to hear your thoughts.