Many great gaming monitors out there don’t have speakers, and it might seem that connecting an Xbox Series X to these monitors means that getting sound out of it is impossible (or just extremely confusing).
So is there a way to get sound from the Xbox Series X when connecting to a monitor without speakers?
Most monitors have a 3.5mm jack to connect headsets or speakers to receive sound from the Xbox Series X. Other sound options include connecting approved Xbox Series X gaming headset directly to the console, to the controller through the 3.5mm jack, or using an HDMI audio extractor to route console sound to speakers and third-party headsets.
Depending on the model of monitor you’re connecting and the way in which you’d like to receive sound from the Xbox Series X, there are quite a few ways to get sound even if the monitor itself doesn’t have speakers built-in.
Let’s dive into more detail about all the ways you can get that awesome gaming sound from the Xbox Series X.
How To Get Sound From The Xbox Series X If A Monitor Has No Speakers
So you’ve just connected your Xbox Series X to your long-beloved gaming monitor through an HDMI cable and realize: Wait… how do I get sound out of this console?
One thing that’s surprising right off the bat (especially if you’ve owned a previous-gen Xbox console) is that there is no digital optical audio out jack located anywhere on the Xbox Series X hardware.
This is kind of crazy in a way because this limits connecting many soundbars, headsets, and speakers into a dedicated optical audio port like before.
But that’s okay! We’ll just have to come up with more clever ways that we can get that same awesome sound from the Xbox Series X through our favorite speakers and headsets, even if a monitor has no speakers.
Let’s get right into it:
Depending on the way you’d like to receive sound from the Xbox Series X will lead to the best ways in connecting the console to your monitor. This includes speakers, headsets, and soundbars.
Connecting Speakers to the Xbox Series X
There are a few ways you can connect speakers to your monitor and from the Xbox Series X that will allow sound to flow through when you’re gaming.
If you have USB speakers, you can connect them to the USB port of your monitor and be able to receive sound from the Xbox Series X.
If they also have a 3.5mm connection and your monitor only supports sound through a 3.5mm jack you should be able to get sound while gaming on the Xbox Series X that way as well.
However, if your monitor does not support USB audio or 3.5mm connections, you’ll have to tap into the HDMI connection between your Xbox Series X and the monitor to also get sound to your speakers.
The way to do this is through an HDMI audio extractor, like this highly-rated one on Amazon.
What this neat little gadget does is take the existing HDMI audio/video signal that is coming out of the Xbox Series X and split it off to allow 3.5mm and digital audio out connections to your speakers.
Just a couple of things to be aware of. Many HDMI audio extractors on the market only support up to a certain video rate, like 4K picture at 60hz, and limit the number of audio speakers channels that are coming out of the extractor, like 2.0 channel and 5.1.
As long as you are not running a large 7.1 surround speaker system or a monitor that’s trying to run 4K at 120hz with your Xbox Series X these HDMI audio extractors work great at giving you more connection flexibility with your audio setup.
But if you do need the extra channels and/or need the added visual boost that will get you to the full Xbox Series X video output of 4K at 120hz, be sure to check out this HDMI audio extractor from Avstar.
Although it costs a bit more than almost all other extractors, this unit will run up to 7.1 speaker channels for full surround sound and video throughput of 4K at 120hz, which is the maximum output of the Xbox Series X.
Connecting A Headset to the Xbox Series X
This is probably my favorite way personally to get the best sound out of an Xbox Series X: through a good pair of gaming headsets.
There are a few things to keep in mind when trying to connect your headset to the Xbox Series X.
First, if you have a gaming headset that is designed for the Xbox Series X (this also includes the previous-gen Xbox One system as well) you can connect directly to the USB port of the Xbox Series X.
Some Xbox Series X headsets, like the official Xbox headset by Microsoft, don’t even need a USB dongle in order to connect to the console, it’s all wireless.
Talk about seamless!
Other “designed for” Xbox headsets connect through a USB dongle or mixer hub directly to the USB port of the Xbox Series X so that you don’t need to worry about connecting to a monitor’s 3.5mm jack in order to get sound.
Third-party headsets, or headsets that are not originally designed for the Xbox, will not work if connected directly to the Series X’s USB port.
But there are several other ways you can still get sound from the Xbox Series X to your favorite headset, albeit not quite as direct as first-party units.
Check if your monitor supports sound through a headphone jack (3.5mm connection). This audio jack is most likely located along either the side or rear of the monitor.
Many gaming headsets (even wireless ones) have a 3.5mm auxiliary jack option, and you can always get an audio extension cable from Amazon if the monitor is too far away.
Another way to get Xbox Series S/X sound to your headset (even if it’s non-supported) is to connect it to the 3.5mm headphone jack found on the bottom of the Xbox wireless controller.
As long as you don’t mind a wire attached to your Xbox controller while you’re gaming, this can be a convenient and great-sounding method to get all the awesome audio feels from the console.
If you’ve read any previous articles of mine in the past you’ll know that I always find myself spending many long gaming sessions listening through HyperX Cloud Earbuds.
Their lightweight portability and clear mids make them fit for a wide variety of game genres, and it easily plugs into the 3.5mm aux jack of the Xbox controller.
If you decide to try the Cloud buds you won’t be disappointed one bit.
Some gaming headsets use a digital optical connection to receive an audio signal.
If your headset connects via a digital optical audio connection, connecting an HDMI audio extractor between your Xbox Series X and the monitor will allow you to connect this type of headset and get sound from the console.
You can also connect a 3.5mm headset or speaker to the HDMI audio extractor and get Xbox Series X sound that way as well!
So depending on the type of headset (and monitor) you’re rocking with you can connect to the monitor itself, an audio extractor, or the Xbox controller. All three options will still produce good sound from the Xbox Series X regardless of the connection method.
Connecting A Soundbar to the Xbox Series X
I wanted to separate the soundbar and speaker sections in order to highlight the ways to connect an Xbox Series X to a monitor with a soundbar that uses HDMI for an audio signal.
If you are using an HDMI soundbar, you can connect the Xbox Series X directly to the HDMI soundbar through an HDMI connection, and then connect to the monitor for the picture.
Remember, make sure to use another HDMI 2.1 cable to connect the soundbar to your monitor, especially if it supports a video rate passthrough of 4K at 120hz. Otherwise, the video signal will be downgraded to the capabilities of the HDMI cable when showing the Xbox Series X picture on the monitor.
I know many people, including myself, that still own a nice soundbar that uses digital audio output to receive audio signal from the source.
If you’re like me and still run a non-HDMI soundbar (digital optical audio), connect your Xbox Series X to an HDMI audio extractor.
This will allow you to connect your soundbar to either the digital optical audio port or 3.5mm aux jack of the audio extractor so that you can get sound from the Xbox Series X and connect to your monitor through HDMI.
Getting sound from the Xbox Series X doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your favorite existing speakers, headset, and monitor that may be speakerless.
Yes, the Xbox Series X doesn’t have a digital audio port, third-party capable USB audio port, or 3.5mm aux jack built-in.
But by trying these clever audio connection methods mentioned, I hope that you’ll find at least one that will allow you to find an Xbox setup that brings your gaming to a whole new auditory level.
I also published another guide sharing tips on how to best optimize the picture settings on your Xbox Series S/X here on GizbuyerGuide.com. Be sure to check it out!
Happy gaming, friends!