Google’s Stadia controller now has support for USB-C audio devices when playing on a Chromecast or via a web browser. That gives you an easy way to add headphones and a microphone, since you can simply plug in a set of wired USB-C earbuds like the Google’s Pixel USB-C earbuds, gaming headset, the Asus ROG Delta, or even the wireless SteelSeries Arctis 1 gaming headset with its wireless USB-C adapter (It works, a Redditor confirms.)
It’s nice that Stadia players have another audio option beyond the built-in 3.5mm jack, and it’s cool and unusual for any game controller to offer USB-C audio, but it still took almost a year for Google to add it after promising the feature was coming.
Up until now, you could only use the controller’s USB-C port to charge the controller or to plug it into a smartphone or computer with a USB-C cable. In fact, for a long time after launch, that was the only way to use it with a phone or computer — Google sold a $69 wireless controller that wasn’t wireless unless you were playing on its Chromecast Ultra, up until nearly seven months after launch when Google added support for phone and web in May and June updates respectively. It also took a month after launch until Google released the $15 “claw” mount that let you attach the Stadia controller to your phone so you could use it to play Stadia games on the go.
Google also promised that support for Bluetooth audio would be coming to the controller, but has yet to say when the option will actually arrive. At least with Google’s new Chromecast, the company’s giving itself time to keep its promises: Google says it won’t support Stadia until the first half of next year.