How to Connect Speakers to Xbox in 2021

by Editor

The latest addition to the Xbox family is the Xbox X. It’s one of the most powerful gaming devices on the market and if you’re looking to get the most  out of your gaming experience, you will have to use an external speaker system.

We found that one of the most asked questions on the internet today is how to connect speakers to Xbox. While there are numerous ways you can connect a set of speakers to your Xbox, not every method works for everyone. So we thought it would be best if we cover every possible way you can connect speakers to your Xbox.

We found that the easiest way to connect speakers to your Xbox is by connecting them to your TV while you’re gaming. But if you’re looking for a way to connect your speakers to the Xbox so they work only while the Xbox is running, then you would need a different solution.

Today, I’m going to take you through the various ways you can connect your Xbox to a speaker system. We’ll cover how you can do this using both wireless and wired speakers and leave you with a couple of tips on how you can get a truly immersive gaming experience.

Let’s Begin!

Recommended Read: How to Connect Speakers to a PS4

How to Connect Speakers to Xbox

Connect Bluetooth Speakers to your Xbox

If you own one of the newer models of the Xbox, then chances are that you would not be able to connect the console to your Bluetooth speakers at home. This is because the console only supports Bluetooth connectivity only to the controller and no other device.

There are workarounds that you can follow if you seriously want to connect the console only to a Bluetooth speaker and that would be by using a Bluetooth transmitter. 

These rather small and compact devices allow you to connect to any Bluetooth speaker system and the  only thing you need is an optical cable (S/PDIF) and you’re good to go.

I’m going to take you  through how you can connect a set of Bluetooth speakers to your Xbox.

  • Start by purchasing a Bluetooth transmitter on Amazon. These gadgets let you connect a non-Bluetooth device to wireless speakers with the help of an optical cable.
  • We took the Avantree connector as an example here. It comes with a USB power cable and an optical audio cable straight out of the box so you wouldn’t have to buy any other components for this method to work.
  • Start by connecting the optical audio cable to the Xbox and the Bluetooth transmitter. 
  • Plugin the USB power cable and let the device power on.
  • Once the transmitter has powered on, an LED indicator will blink rapidly notifying you that the device is ready to pair.
  • Now, switch on your Bluetooth speaker and turn on Pairing Mode.
  • Ensure the transmitter and speaker are near each other and they will pair automatically.

The Avantree transmitter allows you to connect more than one speaker or Bluetooth device to your Xbox at a time. So you can maybe have two speakers positioned around your room

What’s great about using this device is that it connects automatically when you turn the system and speakers on. Also, if your speakers do not support aptX codec, then it would by default run on SBC which is still great and you might notice a 0.2 second lag in the sound while playing any game.

Connect your Xbox to Speakers via your TV

One of the easiest ways to connect your Xbox to a set of speakers is via your TV. This setup can be achieved in any household and you wouldn’t need any additional fittings or components for it to work.

Here are the steps you need to follow in order to connect your Xbox to speakers via your TV. 

How to Connect Speakers to Xbox
  • Connect your Xbox to the TV with the help of your HDMI cable. Make sure the cable is plugged in correctly.
  • Now proceed to connect your speaker system to the TV either via RCA or via the optical cable slot.
  • Turn on your Xbox, TV and Speaker system and then change the TV sound output mode to either Component or optical depending on what connection you chose.
  • You will now be able to play games on your Xbox and the sound will be relayed to the speakers via the TV.

This is by far one of the most straightforward methods to follow and is truly one of the easiest.

Connect to your Home Theater via the S/PDIF Cable

Another way to go would be to connect the S/PDIF cable from your Xbox directly to your home theater system. It’s quite similar to the set up with a TV but here you wouldn’t be connecting your TV to the home theater, rather it’s going to be the Xbox with a direct connection to the speakers.

How to Connect Speakers to Xbox

Here’s how you can get this done.

  • The  first thing you need to do is make sure that your speaker system supports optical-in.
  • If yes, then you can proceed to plug in the optical cable to the Xbox and the other end directly into the speaker system or home theater.
How to Connect Speakers to Xbox
  • Turn on the Xbox and the speaker will turn on automatically. However, if you’re using a home theater then you may have to turn on the system manually and then select the appropriate input mode.

This setup allows you to use the speakers only when your Xbox is running and the speaker wouldn’t be able to run standalone unless you have another device connected to it via either HDMI or Bluetooth. Then simply change the settings and input mode to achieve playback on the home theater .

Connect speakers to your Xbox X or Xbox S

The latest models of Xbox do not support multiple connections like their older counterparts. Here you will have to rely only on the HDMI output and then connect the unit to your TV and then relay that connection to your speaker system.

The Xbox X and S do not come with Bluetooth functionality to connect wirelessly to a speaker setup nor does it offer an optical audio output.

Here’s how you can connect your Xbox series X or series S to your speakers.

  • Follow the same steps as listed under “Connect your Xbox to speakers via your TV”.
  • Ensure you either use an RCA output or S/PDIF out from your TV to the speaker or soundbar.
  • Turn on the devices and you will be able to hear audio playing from your speakers.

The Xbox series X and S allow you to connect wireless headphones to the device but unfortunately, you would not be able to pair speakers via Bluetooth. Even the Bluetooth transmitter won’t work since there’s no 3.5mm audio port or an optical port.

How to change from Stereo mode to Surround Sound on an Xbox?

By default, the Xbox will relay sound in Stereo mode, but if you have a complete home theater set up at home, you will want to experience your game play with surround sound. There’s an easy way to change this setting from within the Xbox settings. 

Follow the below mentioned steps to get the best sounding audio.

  • Start by pressing the Xbox button on the controller and then  navigate to your Profile.
  • Tap on Settings and head to General.
  • Here you will need to locate TV & Display from the list of options and then tap on TV & OneGuide.
  • Click on Audio & Video and then make changes to the audio options.
  • Tap on Stereo and then click on Surround Sound to confirm the change.

Restart your Xbox for the changes to take effect and  you will be able to experience surround sound from your speakers.

How to choose the appropriate audio output on the Xbox?

If you are connecting an Xbox to your TV you wouldn’t have to make any changes to the consoles settings as by default both audio and video will be relayed to the TV via a HDMI cable.

However, for those with an additional speaker setup you will need to select the right audio output option in order to be able to hear the audio on your speakers.  

There are two modes to choose from, you can follow these steps to get this change implemented.

  • Start by pressing the Xbox button on the controller and then  navigate to your Profile.
  • Tap on Settings and head to General.
  • Locate and click on Volume and Audio Output.
  • Proceed to click on Speaker audio and then choose between HDMI and Optical depending on your connection.

HDMI – When you select HDMI audio, ensure the default preset is Stereo uncompressed unless you have a system that can handle and process 5.1 or 7.1 uncompressed surround sound. 

Optical Audio – This option allows you to have the audio played through your speakers only if they have been connected via the optical cable or S/PDIF cable. 

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