No Bluetooth audio for Google Stadia Controller at launch

No Bluetooth audio for Google Stadia Controller at launch
(Image credit: Google)

The Google Stadia Controller will not support Bluetooth audio at launch, meaning gamers will need to connect wired headphones via its 3.5mm jack to appreciate audio from their favourite games.

Anyone playing on the cloud gaming platform via Chromecast Ultra plugged into their TV will have to wait until Bluetooth support in the dedicated controller is switched on. Fingers crossed this happens shortly after the service arrives in November.

It's not all bad news, though. Those using Stadia with a compatible Google Pixel smartphone or computer (via the Google Chrome browser) will still be able to beam audio from these devices straight to your Bluetooth headphones. This is because you'll be bypassing the Google controller completely.

The news came as part of an information dump from Stadia Director of Product Andrey Doronichev during a Reddit ‘Ask Mer Anything’ session. The interview also revealed that subscribers to the Stadia Pro $10 per month package will have access to 4K HDR game streams in 5.1 surround sound, at 60fps frame rates, along with discounts and around one free game per month beginning with Destiny 2.

"To be clear, Stadia Pro is not 'Netflix for Games' like some people have mentioned," said Doronichev. "A closer comparison would be like Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus.”

If you’d rather pay as you go for titles, then Stadia Base is the package without a regular subscription. Gameplay drops to 1080p resolution and stereo sound but you still retain the 60fps frame rate.

On the social side, Doronichev confirmed that Stadia will host voice chat, include friend lists and players will also have the ability to “create parties” which all sounds jolly fun.

Expect more on Google Stadia as it builds towards the launch.


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Dan Sung

Dan is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi? and his job is with product reviews as well as news, feature and advice articles too. He works across both the hi-fi and AV parts of the site and magazine and has a particular interest in home cinema. Dan joined What Hi-Fi? in 2019 and has worked in tech journalism for over a decade, writing for Tech Digest, Pocket-lint, MSN Tech and Wareable as well as freelancing for T3, Metro and the Independent. Dan has a keen interest in playing and watching football. He has also written about it for the Observer and FourFourTwo and ghost authored John Toshack's autobiography, Toshack's Way.