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How to turn off the Kinect microphone during multiplayer games on Xbox One

I feel so embarrassed right now. I've had the Xbox One for about 3 months, and I just learned that the Kinect microphone has been on while playing multiplayer games. I assumed that no one could hear me when the headset isn't connected. This means other people may have heard things that I didn't want them to hear. Don't make the same mistake. Turn off that Kinect microphone.

Here's how to turn off the Kinect microphone:

  1. Go to Settings. To do this, press the Menu button on your controller, or say, "Xbox, go to Settings."
  2. Select Kinect.
  3. Uncheck 'Use Kinect microphone for chat.'

That's it! Voice commands still work even when this setting is off.

If you ever wondered why you were hearing other people talk on the phone or having conversations with somebody else in the room, they probably do not know that Kinect is broadcasting. Did you know about this setting? Have you heard some interesting conversations while playing multiplayer games on the Xbox One? Let us know in the comments!

Mark Guim is Video Editor at Windows Central. He switched to Windows because the MacBook Pro isn't Pro enough. You can follow him on Twitter at @markguim.

52 Comments
  • Lmfao
  • Hahah its funny
  • If you have ever wondered why every game shows a speaker icon when you are talking...
  • Skype won't work with this setup FYI
  • Yeah I was gona mention this. Headset still works for skype though
  • Yup found the Skype thing put the hard way. Need a separate setting just for games
  • Yes we do... as you're essentially eavesdropping against your own will haha. What I tend to is plug my headphones in and press mute, not ideal but gets the job done. As people don't want to wait for you in the game lobby. By the time you have muted them on the xbox via the players met screen - they have long gone.
  • Thank you for the information.
  • vote now for a fix https://xbox.uservoice.com/forums/251617-kinect/suggestions/6178536-have...
  • Haha! Seems faster...
  • Ha ha, what a noob ;-)
  • Lol hopefully you weren't talking too much trash.
  • This was one of the first things I did when I got my X1, I always wondered if people always played with their headphones on so other people can hear them or their music lol or had their headphones on and plain just forgot about them. Now I know why :P
     
  • MS need to add a more nuanced option other than turning off the microphone for everything.
  • I agree, I want to leave that option on so that when I Skype I can just talk without connecting a headset or going back to the Settings to turn it on but I also don't want it to be on when I am playing a multiplayer game.
  • Maybe someone will suggest that on the Xbox uservoice site. :)
  • https://xbox.uservoice.com/forums/251617-kinect/suggestions/6178536-have...
  • In game based voice command/button combo
  • Um, I was playing FIFA with my Xbox Live friend they probably didn't know about this and when I scored I heard them scream "Son of a b*tch" and I replied "I heard you assh*le" and that's the story of why this setting leads to you losing friends
  • You seriously lost friends over two one-liners exchanged over Kinect? That's pretty sad.
  • I think he might have been using some hyperbole there for humours sake.
  • I was playing ryse with a stranger on the internet... My batteries died mid match so I swapped them out as fast as I could so we wouldn't die. I came back, put the headset back on and said... Sorry. .. He said "batteries huh". ... I said how'd you know? "I heard you drop them". Hard floors. :). Then he explained to me that Kinect mic is always on.. :)
  • You need to turn this back on if you want to Skype chat with anyone. I turned it off and was wondering why my gf couldn't hear me. I thought my Kinect had broken or something. This has happened to me multiple time haha
  • GT=oskee lights
  • This was one of the first things I done when I got my One.
  • Same as Kinect on 360.. I forgot the first few days as I usually sport the headset. But yeah, seriously embarrassing. I was like wow! :-X
  • Dont worry, in the online games the 99% are from France, colombia... (no)
  • Isn't this off by default, though?
  • I think on by default. I don't remember touching any settings
  • I've known only because I go thru the settings of anything I get or nee updates. I usually keep it as I'm too lazy for the headset
  • I wish it was off by default when you get an X1, instead of defaulting to on. So tired of hearing little kids taking away and swearing as they play, people talking in the background, music and other TV noise in the background. Ugh, just mute these people by default for us Microsoft!
  • This.
  • I learned this recently too, too bad others that play PvZ haven't as there's a lot of annoying voices
  • Oh man hopefully Ms doesn't record me ......here comes the feds!
  • I'm pretty sure this setting is just for parties, not for general multiplayer. If it was I would expect almost everyone to have chat on, and I only see a few. I also have this don't turned on and I see no loudspeaker next to my name when in lobbies, like I do when I have my headset plugged in.
  • I thought this was the case also. at least in TF, it seems like this is the case. the chat icon isn't lit up with kinect only and no party chat, but is active for party chat.   however other games could be using it by default. can't really tell since there's no led indicator on the kinect besides the led indicator for when the camera is on.
  • This happen to me with The Xbox 360, I was playing online with my friend but I didn't want to chat so I disconnect the headset from my controller right so while the game was loading I was telling my Mom & Wife that my friend in person is so dumb and lame etc but he was a fu**ing player! So guess what? He was hearing everything thru my Kinect - I thought chat was only via headset only fuc# me!) and He says: "Next time make sure your kinect voice chat is off" I didn't say anything I was in shock and so I stay quiet during the rest of the game sections but then I disconnected because I was so Ashamed... I feel so stupid because I didn't know kinect can here you at that time:'(
  • Ouch I feel your pain.
  • This did indeed happen to me. Playing titanfall with my 92 year old grandmother in the room. I was playing the game for the first time and very badly I might add. The players must have been rolling in the aisle with laughter. Me trying to explain the game, cussing ranting and raving. They finally jumped in and gave me a polite hard time about my mic. I was so embarrassed I have not been back... So thanks for telling me how to turn off the mic, maybe I will try multiplayer again some day now that I know the trick.
  • I thought the default was Kinect off for chat? Anyways, I did this day one, or when the next patch came out. Don't remember.
  • Thanks for the heads up! Just changed my settings
  • Wish more people used this setting, sick of hearing kids/parents yelling in the background! Although sometimes it can be amusing.
  • I feel like a dick when I yell at people for their Kinect mic being on but I feel like if you were paying attention when setting up you would see the option.
  • Lol
  • Noob
  • Doesn't work on COD have to use the headset i my experience.
  • Yup I knew shut it off last month. Not all games use it so I don't think its a problem.
  • I learned mine was on the day I got it thanks to a Skype call. I hadn't plugged my mic in yet, but my friend could still hear me. He claims that the sound quality was great. I had 2 fans on in the background. He says he couldn't hear them at all. Not sure if I believe him.
  • I discovered this a while ago, should be off by default
  • Hah.  Just another of my 17 reasons why I do NOT do console gaming.
  • They should add the option to disable voice commands too. Sometimes I'd my music is playing loud it scares with Kinect
  • Ugh, so frustrating that the Xbox One seems to have the least active mics in games when everyone has both a Kinect and headset in box!