Xbox One Audio & Chat

Issue: I can only hear game or crew chat audio, not both

Audio Balance – Changing the volume via this setting does not increase/decrease game or chat audio individually, it’s a balance slider. Therefore, players setting the game audio to 100% will hear 0% chat audio. 

  • Try resetting the game and chat balance, checking that you can both hear your crew and chat with them, then adjust as required.

Screenshot of the Xbox Stereo headset adapter

  1. Game balance
  2. Chat balance
  3. Volume up
  4. Volume down
  5. Mute

Game/Chat balance:
 These two buttons adjust the mix of game audio versus chat audio. At default, the mix is 50/50, but you can adjust it to anywhere from 100/0 to 0/100. For example, if you want more game volume than chat volume, press the button with the controller icon until you reach the level you want. A tone will sound when you have reached 100 percent.

Note You might also have game audio coming from your TV. If you don't want to hear the audio from your TV, simply turn down the volume on your TV. (When you plug a headset into your controller, this does not automatically mute or adjust the sound from the TV.)

Mute: This button mutes your chat audio so other users can't hear you. It doesn't mute game/music/app audio. This button has an orange LED to indicate that you’re muted. This LED lights up only if you plug a headset into the adapter.

Volume: Volume up and down buttons control all audio coming to your headset, including game and chat audio. If you don't want to increase both game and chat audio at the same rate, adjust your game/chat audio balance (see "Game/Chat balance," above).  


Issue: I’ve joined a crew, but I can’t hear them talk and they can’t hear me

Party Chat – We know from our forums that some crews are entering the game and setting up a party chat for their crew. Players who don’t accept the invite or join the crew late are not automatically added, so they may believe that their chat isn’t working and their crew is silent.

  • Unplug and reconnect your headset/Kinect
  • Ensure your microphone is not muted
  • Ensure that neither you or the person you want to communicate with are using Party Chat


Issue: I’ve joined a crew, and I can hear them talk but, they cannot hear me

Game Chat & Microphones – This could be caused by a variety of issues. Here’s what to try to resolve this issue: 

  • Unplug and reconnect your headset/Kinect
  • Ensure your microphone is not muted
  • If you do not have a headset, but do have a Kinect, make sure you have it enabled for use in chat (Go to settings with a Kinect plugged in, you should see a setting “Kinect mic for chat”). This needs to be ON if you want to use the microphone built into your Kinect for voice chat
  • Check whether your privacy settings allow voice communication (Settings > Account > Privacy & online safety > Xbox Live privacy > Communication & multiplayer > Voice, text, invites).
  • Check whether Sea of Thieves can access your microphone (Settings > Account > Privacy & online safety > App privacy > Microphone)

Note for the last two bullet points: These are part of the Privacy & online safety and potentially controlled by a parent/guardian, so please get permission if the controls are enabled and require a password to change them.  


Issue: Voice chat is not working at all

Check Hardware - If you are not receiving any chat functionality at all, it may be worth checking that your hardware is up to date and working.

  • Ensure that the microphone is working outside of the title. This can be tested when in a party with other users.
  • Check that your controller is up to date. To do this please follow the article on how to update your wireless controller
  • Inspect your different sound settings throughout the Xbox One console. There are a few different areas in which this can be configured:
    • Press the Guide button, then from the side menu shown highlight the settings COG icon and scroll down to Audio and select it. Ensure the microphone is enabled and that your Headset Volumes and Chat Mixer are balanced correctly.
    • Press the Guide button, then from the side menu shown highlight the settings COG icon and scroll down to Settings then select it. From the General section select Volume & Output. Scroll through the various Volume options to ensure that you have your chat options configured correctly. 
  • Performing a hard reset of your Xbox One console may also solve the issue. This will clear your consoles cache and once completed may solve the issue. To perform this:

    1. With the console is powered on, hold the power button for 10 seconds
    2. Once the console powers off, reboot and your cache will be cleared 
  • Confirm that your router NAT type is set to Open. Any other settings can result in issues with audio and chat. To check this through your console: 
    • Press the Xbox button on the controller.
    • Go to the System tab.
    • Then go to Settings.
    • Then go to Network.
    • And then go to Network Settings.
    • Check what it says next to NAT Type.


Further information on troubleshooting headset issues can be found in this article:

Set up and troubleshoot your Xbox One Stereo Headset and Adapter


Below are details for the various voice chat statuses when looking directly at another player. All of the below work both for your own crew and enemy crews:

For the sake of clarity, we will refer to the players in the below scenario as You (Your character) and Fred (Crew mate / enemy).

Not talking


The player will see no symbol above Fred’s gamer tag due to the following circumstances:

  • Fred has no microphone connected.
  • Fred has a microphone connected but is not talking.
  • Fred has their microphone muted.

Player talking


The player will see a speech bubble symbol above Fred’s gamer tag due to the following circumstances:

  • Fred is talking and you should be able to hear him.
  • You may encounter our voice chat bug which means you would see this but not hear Fred, this can be fixed by unplugging and re-plugging in Your headset.
  • If You see this and still hear no talking then you may have your audio setup incorrectly through the OS.

Player Muted


The player will see a symbol with a line through it above Fred’s gamer tag due to the following circumstances:

  • You are in an Xbox party and the symbol will appear when Fred is talking, when he is not you will see no symbol.
  • You have muted Fred and the symbol will be permanently above his gamer tag.
  • You have blocked Fred and the symbol will be permanently above his gamer tag.
  • You have set up your OS security settings to block all talkers.


If your problem is not resolved and you perhaps need further support please create a ticket for the Sea of Thieves customer support team.  




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