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Xbox Party Chat to gain speech transcription and synthesis

Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S
Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S (Image credit: Matt Brown | Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft is testing speech transcription and synthesis for Xbox Party Chat.
  • Speech transcription converts conversations from Xbox Party Chat into text in real-time.
  • Synthesis of speech reads typed text in the synthetic voice of your choosing.

Microsoft is testing out new accessibility features for the Xbox platform, including the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. Insiders can test out two new features that improve access to Xbox Party Chat, speech transcription and synthesis of speech from text. The features make it easy to communicate through Xbox Party Chat if a person cannot speak or hear.

Speech transcription converts spoken words from Xbox Party Chat into text that appears on your screen. Text is shown within an adjustable overlay. The feature also attributes speech to specific members of the chat, so it should be easy to follow along.

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

Synthesis of speech is a related feature that works in the other direction. With it, you can type into Party Chat Text and have it read out by a synthetic voice to other players. You can choose from several voices in different languages.

You can use the features independently or in conjunction to make Xbox Party Chat more accessible. An Xbox news post (opens in new tab) announces the feature. Here's how to enable it:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Ease of Access.
  3. Select Game and chat transcription.
  4. Enable Speech-to-text, Text-to-speech, or both.

That same settings area allows you to select the voice for Text-to-speech.

Xbox already supported game transcription for in-game speech and reading typed text to other players, though the latter did not have an option for a synthetic voice until now.

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at