Today Sony releases the PlayStation 5 into the wild of our living rooms — it’s an international holiday of sorts, meant to be celebrated with never-ending multiplayer matches and gentle stroking of the console’s lovely white exterior. As always, it’s important to party responsibly. In the case of the PS5, that means remembering to mute your mic.
The PS5’s new DualSense controller includes a built-in microphone for the first time, so those players unequipped with a headset can still participate in voice chats during online multiplayer sessions. What players might not realize, though, is that the mic is actually turned on by default.
PlayStation LifeStyle first reported frustrations with the default-on mic yesterday. “At best, it’s annoying,” writer Chandler Wood says. “At worst, it’s awkward and embarrassing.”
Wood discovered the microphone’s penchant for uncomfortable moments while in a multiplayer preview session with press on his PS5. He received frantic texts and calls as a friend urged him to mute his mic because apparently everyone in the lobby could hear his conversation with his wife.
To mute or not to mute? — Wood considers the default-on mic a “big, big, big problem.” It’s a feature that will certainly trip up both long-time PlayStation fans and those new to the franchise alike. It’s also unclear why Sony would have forced the microphone on by default at all.
The built-in mic will likely be used by game developers as an intriguing input option — in which case it would indeed make sense for it to turn on upon startup. In multiplayer situations, though, there isn’t really a great reason to do so.
Simple fix, if you know — The good news: muting the mic is easy enough, once you know it’s necessary to do so. There’s a tiny mute button next to the mic that mutes it when pressed; touching it again turns the mic back on. The orange indicator light should glow when you’re muted, too.
Given how frustrating players are already finding the mic’s default-on to be, it would be surprising if the console’s developers didn’t switch to default-off — or at the very least allow players to choose their preferred default — in future software updates.
Choosing which game console to buy this next-gen season is difficult enough without worrying about broadcasting your private conversations during Gran Turismo 7. So click that little mute button and get back to playing. Your fellow players will thank you for minimizing the chaos.