Xbox 360 HDMI+Audio Output

After purchasing my new HDMI-equipped Xbox 360, I decided to hook the console up to my LCD computer monitor to check out the video quality the system can produce. As I wrote about earlier, Best Buy pestered me throughout my visit with offers of pricey cables, including a $40 HDMI to DVI adapter, an $80 HDMI cable, and more. Not wanting to pay those ridiculously marked-up prices, I found a much cheaper solution.

Getting high quality video out of the Xbox 360 is quite easy with the help of a $15 (shipped) HDMI to DVI cable from NewEgg. Connecting the console and the display is a snap, and the video settings are easily adjusted to match the native resolution of the LCD panel.

Audio, on the other hand, is another matter. The placement of the HDMI port on the Xbox 360 is quite poor. It resides directly below the standard A/V output, and the component+composite cable that ships with the premium console is too bulky to plug in above the HDMI cable. It’s only possible to plug in one at a time, as one connector blocks the other. Frustrated, I turned to Google to see if anyone else had run into this design oversight. As it turns out, the Xbox 360 Elite package comes with an HDMI cable and an audio adapter cable with a much thinner plug. Unfortunately, the audio adapter cable is not available as a separate purchase, and can only be bought from Microsoft as a $50 HDMI+audio adapter cable kit (or on eBay for $30 and higher). Clearly a better answer was needed.

I took a trip to my local GameStop store to see what kind of cabling they had in stock, and I managed to score quite a deal that easily solved my audio problem. A standard composite+stereo audio cable, presumably from a now-discontinued Xbox 360 Core package, was available for $5, and it had a thin plug attached.

Using the HDMI to DVI cable and the regular video/audio cable, I can get crystal clear video and stereo audio out of the Xbox 360 for a combined total of $20, which trumps Microsoft’s kit by a great margin. After digging up some additional stereo adapters of my own, I now have a pair of headphones connected, ready to play Halo 3 in crisp 1280×1024 video without waking the neighbors.

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Xbox 360 HDMI+Audio Output

85 thoughts on “Xbox 360 HDMI+Audio Output

  1. tone says:

    you need to get a kitchen knife or a very thin screw driver, poke the straight edge in the crack / join and twist. it pops off with ease.
    another way would be to take it out side and stamp on it a bit. but if you dont want to damage anything then use a screw driver!

    has anyone tried dual displays yet??

    Like

  2. Henrik says:

    Anyone tried just a HDMI cabel to an A/V receiver which outputs the video to the HDMI-out of the receiver and the sound to the speaker system, i.e just one HDMI cabel out of the Xbox for both sound and video?

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  3. Tony says:

    Henrik: this should work as the 360 is designed to be connected directly to a TV, so i guess that there is an audio signal coming from the hdmi port. can someone confirm this?

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  4. lorenz0 says:

    fast and easy solution: take std av cable (arcade edition) take off xbox connector cover with a screwdriver. it’s easy.connector cover is only to trust you to buy ms cables.without cover hdmi cable can be connected without av cable too. use rca to 3.5mm adapter for audio connections.

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  5. mafcho says:

    taking the casing off the plug works really well. thanks to all who suggested it on here.

    I really don’t like that Microsoft wants you to buy another cable to do this. I think it is silly. I also think it is silly the system does not come with wireless internet.

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  6. tone says:

    even if the xbox was not planned for wireless internet internally, this is a good reason, because wireless gaming is CRAP. 802.11a/b/g is no good for gaming since these protocols only suppport half duplex communication, secondly only ONE user can either send OR recieve data at any given time.

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  7. Matt says:

    I can’t quite get the thing to pop off using a small screwdriver. Where exactly should I be putting it in? Whenever I get it in there and try and turn the plastic just starts bending, but doesn’t pop off…

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  8. Ryan says:

    For the audio, you can simply pry off the case for the component cable to be able to plug that in with the HDMI cable. Here is a video link of someone doing this:

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  9. JO3 says:

    lol i had the same problem whit that the other cable was too big, i didnt bought a new cable, but i just removed the plastic of it and cuz my xbox always stands on the same place its not rly unsave +D

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  10. Abhishek says:

    SOLUTION FOR THE XBOX 360 ARCADE:-

    You most probably have all the cables required but have no audio when video is on the monitor or no video when the audio comes on.

    When the 360’s AV cable is connected first and then the HDMI to DVI cable is connected second, we were first disappointed that video didnt come up. But it did, AFTER a couple of minutes. Patience, it did work for us on the arcade version too. I guess it just needed some time to figure out what was being done.

    Hope this helps guys.

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  11. Ok. I tried snapping the plastic off and it does work! However, if you are like me and are going XBOX HDMI to monitor HDMI , you must unplug your DVI input from your computer. I had the same problem as a few others here, where the xbox would just restart and it would switch back to the DVI input. If you unplug your DVI from your monitor, it will work.

    Thanks for helping me!

    Like

  12. Chompas says:

    I’m closely to buy an xbox and I don’t have a tv in my room but a dvi monitor. This hack is great! I’ll leave my thoughts after doing this.

    Is there a way to use my pc speakers with that rca outputs? Does the GoPro version comes with that audio/video connectors that you are mention to pop the plastic out?

    PS: Sorry for my english, I’m from Argentina.

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  13. Tlux says:

    Ok, i need help

    I have popped the outter casing off the xbox av cable.
    but when i put the hdmi and av connectors in togeather.

    The av connector pushes down on the hdmi cable resulting in the hdmi cable to not work.

    how have you guys gotten around this?

    I have noticed hdmi is very touchy, even the sag from the weight of the cable in the back of the tv can cause it to drop out.

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  14. tone says:

    sounds like your xbox is faulty tlux. my original xbox av cable also rests on the hdmi but it doesnt cause any issues. there seems to be more metal casing on the original xbox av cable. i bought a patent xbox to VGA cable, and when you remove the plastic on this one there is hardly any metal casing underneath. this means there is tons of room with this cable. however im using the vga cable for my other xbox that runs ubuntu.
    tlux, if your going to a computer monitor, you could use a xbox VGA cable instead, but the signal is analogue so it wont be as good as hdmi / dvi
    good luck

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  15. I accomplish this perfectly! I popped out the cover, and with that and a rca adapter I plugged the audio in the mic in of my pc to make it sound through the pc speakers and then I plugged the HDMI > DVI cable to my monitor. All work like a charm without losing any quality.

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  16. Derrick says:

    I’m running into a similar problem I brought a HDMI cable to know that my TV isn’t HDMI compatible but it is DVI I know it can play 1080p will this method work I dont wanna spend more money. one last question what connection are you talking bout for the audio to work can anyone send me a link on how it looks I would be very greatful if someone can answer me back

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  17. @Derrick,

    if you have a TV, use the RCA for audio. In my situation I bought a RCA to Mini Plug adapter (for a few cents) and plugged that in thje mic in of my pc.

    I think that in your case, you have to plug the DVI to your tv and use the other cable to plug the audio via RCA. Check the post above for a hack to make able to plug both cables in the back of the Xbox360. I can guarantee that this works like a charm.

    If you have any more questions, just ask.

    Like

  18. sharon says:

    my husband has an xbox 360 elite, we have bought a HDMI to DVI cable for our tv, this obviously leaves us with no audio, Upon reading this forum i came to the conclusion that we could use the av lead if we popped the cover off the lead, for the audio. We have done this and still got no audio, so guys can someone help, we have hd pic but no audio even with av cable in also.

    Like

  19. Dave says:

    sharon -> Just a thought, make sure the av cable is plugged in all the way in the back of the xbox. With mine, even when I popped the plastic casing off of the av/component cable, I still couldn’t fit the hdmi and av cable into the xbox at the same time. I had to cut away the metal casing to expose the small pcb board for the audio inside of it. Then I was able to plug it in all the way and was able to get audio.

    Like

  20. Tom says:

    Ok so i ran into this issue today and I found another way to get use with both the HDMI and A/V for audio…

    I took the huge xbox plug out to my shed and grinded it furiously with a grinder to make room for it and the hdmi plug. Lucky for me I didn’t cut any of the splicing in the plug and it works. It’s just abit to ghetto for my tastes.

    Like

  21. Brandon says:

    Alright. Microsoft has offically pissed me off for the last time. I went out today thinking that I could get an HDMI cable and a DVI HDMI female adapter for my HP LCD computer monitior. Excited as hell I hooked everything up right and turned on my Xbox. I get great picture and resolution but the audio is non-existent. How much more money am I going to have to blow on adapters and plugins? Also is there a way to by-pass this? I thought HDMI coverd both Video and Audio.

    Like

  22. Tom B says:

    I have the composite cable from an elite, but i don’t have an elite (from my friends old Xbox) and i was wondering if it will work with that, of have they done something to stop it from working?

    Like

  23. @Tom B: As far as I know, it should work just fine. The Xbox AV connector has just about every video and audio option in one plug, except HDMI (which has its own special connector).

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  24. Derek says:

    I made it work using HDMI for video and the regular AV plug from the back of the xbox. It blocks the HDMI at first but i just got out the old trusty utility knife and trimmed away the plastic on the stock, fat, AV connector to the back of the 360 and BINGO! FREE of charge!

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  25. Ahmad says:

    @Derek

    I did exactly the same thing. The problem is that I get no display on my lcd monitor if I use both cables simultaneously. They work fine if I connect only one at a time. But my monitor has no audio output. Did you encounter any similar problems? Any ideas on what I should do?

    Like

  26. Screw Halo, HD or not.. there are far better, more complex and way better looking games out there. You may as well play Halo on a fucking 13″ old school tube computer monitor. Anyways, thanks for the post man, and even more thanks to the comment by the guy who said to rip off the original cable enclosure to be able to fit Composite + HDMI. You the bomb! Anthony I think your name was… Ya! THanks to you.

    Like

  27. Ian says:

    i did the above instructions i already plugged both hdmi cable to dvi + ripped composite cable bundled with my xbox 360 elite to my lcd monitor. the xbox keeps restarting. 1 cable works at a time. if hdmi to dvi is plugged only i get video. if composite is plugged only i get sound. note that i configured my monitor to 720
    (also tried all resolutions given in the xbox screen resolution even optimal) but it still doesnt work when both are plugged. please help. i already bought the separate xbox360 hdmi+audio cables but still didnt work i just wasted my money.

    Like

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