Xbox One to get bitstream audio and Dolby Atmos support

Finally. Bitstream audio is coming to Xbox One. We've been crying out for Microsoft to allow this feature ever since we reviewed the original Xbox One, and at today's Window's 10 event, our audio prayers have been answered.

We hoped bitstream audio would be part of the features for the new Xbox One S, but it wasn't to be. Microsoft's new console currently insists on decoding audio onboard, so it can't handle Dolby Atmos, an increasingly common feature on Ultra HD Blu-ray discs. It also doesn't sound as good as a dedicated 4K Blu-ray player that can do bitstream audio, such as the Panasonic DMP-UB900 or Samsung UBD-K8500.

Not only will the update see Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio logos light up your home cinema amplifier, you'll be able to let the amp do all the decoding and number-crunching. In our experience, this should improve the audio of Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray movies, but we'll need to get our hands on an updated console to give you our definitive verdict.

There's no specific word on when the update will roll out, but we're hoping it will arrive before the end of the year. We'll update this story as and when we get more information.

MORE: Xbox One S review

Andy Madden

Andy is Deputy Editor of What Hi-Fi? and a consumer electronics journalist with nearly 20 years of experience writing news, reviews and features. Over the years he's also contributed to a number of other outlets, including The Sunday Times, the BBC, Stuff, and BA High Life Magazine. Premium wireless earbuds are his passion but he's also keen on car tech and in-car audio systems and can often be found cruising the countryside testing the latest set-ups. In his spare time Andy is a keen golfer and gamer.