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PS3 firmware 4.20 update fixes 'sidetone' issue, enables virtual surround sound for Blu-ray and DVD

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Sony will be releasing a firmware update for the PS3 that addresses a 'sidetone' audio issue and extends surround sound functionality of its Wireless Stereo Headset.

PS3 Stereo Headset
PS3 Stereo Headset

Sony has announced it will be releasing a firmware update for PlayStation 3 tomorrow that resolves the longstanding 'sidetone' issue that has affected owners of the PS3 Wireless Stereo Headset. Originally intended to help players hear their own voice during multiplayer gaming, the feature has proven to be an unwelcome nuisance for many. With version 4.20 of the system software, you'll now have the option of fine-tuning the amount of microphone audio that comes through the headset, and can even (thankfully) opt to disable sidetone entirely.

Users of the stereo headset have also complained that its virtual surround sound mode has only been compatible with game software thus far, switching to regular stereo audio whenever users put in a Blu-ray or DVD. Sony has clearly been listening to feedback here and the new firmware will enable 7.1 virtual surround listening for BD and DVD media. There's no word on whether that functionality will extend to the console's numerous video-on-demand services like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Instant Video. Optimizations to energy settings and save data management are also included in the firmware, which should be available for download sometime tomorrow.