Add sound device flexibility to improve pilot authenticity

I come into Elite as a Flight Sim Enthusiast with some experience as a fixed wing pilot. Elite comes close to being a viable alternative to terrestrial aviation and thus far I have enjoyed using Elite in a similar manner to my use of flight simulation. One quite noticeable short fall is in the manner I experience sound in the cockpit. Flight simulators allow aspects of sound to be directed to any sound output available on the platform on which it is running. This is so the cockpit can be simulated with a reasonable degree of authenticity. Pilots are accustomed to wearing headsets with microphone to communicate via radio. As such, it is normal to have voice comms received thru the headset and ambient engine and cockpit sounds via speaker. Elite as it exists is an all or nothing proposition. I have to have all sound from either the speakers or via the headset.

My suggestion is to provide a similar facility where users are able to configure how sounds should be presented during game play. At least allow voices to be redirected to a different device than the ambient game and music sounds. By default Elite would use the same device for all sound output, so those used to or require this are not disadvantaged. Those with VR helmets come to mind. Otherwise there is the option for others to individualize to suit their own taste.

Whilst I have yet to use Elite in multiplayer, (haven't been able to convince my flight buddies to adopt Elite for the very reason I am posting this) it would seem a difficult proposition to understand wingmen chatter over engine and effect noise when they are emanating from the same sound source. Having voices sourced from a headset and the remaining sound using the speakers would ensure voice comms are comprehensible, the impressiveness of the game experience is maximized as well as lending Elite a sense of in-cockpit authenticity.

Tinroof Rusty
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