Could Microsoft's Xbox consoles offer wireless hi-res audio support?

With video game graphics continuing to improve, it's important that sound quality keeps pace. Plantronics has recently launched Dolby Atmos-enabled headphones for pro-gamers, while consoles such as the PS4 and the PS4 Pro received hi-res audio support last year.

But Microsoft has gone one further. The company's Xbox console has been registered as a member of the Wireless Speaker and Audio Association (WiSA), an industry group dedicated to bringing hi-res, wireless audio products to the home cinema market. Other WiSA members include products from Bang & Olufsen, Harman-Kardon and LG.

The Xbox's inclusion into WiSA will allow Microsoft to work with speaker manufacturers on ways of sending wireless hi-res audio from its Xbox One, Xbox One S and Xbox One X consoles to speaker systems.

According to the organisation, WiSA-certified technology means products can transmit 24-bit audio at sample rates up to 96kbps, using the relatively unused 5.2 to 5.8 GHz frequency spectrum.

However, video game consoles have had issues when trying to introduce new technology in the past. The PS4 Pro couldn't play 4K Blu-rays, while the Xbox One S was incompatible with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X at launch.

Could hi-res audio streaming give Microsoft's console the edge over a conventional 4K Blu-ray player? If that day comes, you'll be the first to know.

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Adam was a staff writer for What Hi-Fi?, reviewing consumer gadgets for online and print publication, as well as researching and producing features and advice pieces on new technology in the hi-fi industry. He has since worked for PC Mag as a contributing editor and is now a science and technology reporter for The Independent.