Yesterday we reported on the fact that Skyrim: Special Edition's audio is a significant downgrade (opens in new tab) from the vanilla version of Bethesda's RPG. Now, a Bethesda staffer has responded on Reddit that the developer is on the case (via Kotaku (opens in new tab)).
"We're currently testing a fix and hope to have an update out next week," Reddit user Gstaff wrote. Gstaff claims to work for Bethesda, having spoken for the developer in the past. We've contacted Bethesda for an official statement on the issue and will update this article as we receive more information.
The audio issue was originally explained by Reddit user LasurArkinshade, who said the Special Edition's sound assets were "very aggressively compressed."
"The vanilla game has sound assets (other than music and voiceover) in uncompressed .wav format," the post states. "The Special Edition has the sound assets all in (very aggressively compressed) .xwm format, which is a compressed sound format designed for games. This isn't so bad, necessarily—it's possible to compress audio to .xwm without significant quality degradation unless you crank the compression way up to insane levels."
Bethesda did exactly that, the post stated. LasurArkinshade compared the original game's audio with the Special Edition, and the difference is quite noticeable through good speakers or headphones. Listen for yourself below.
While Bethesda works on a fix, Reddit user TI36X posted about a solution that could work in the meantime.
"I extracted my original Skyrim Sounds.bsa, packed it with 7zip and installed it with NMM in SSE. Seems to work fine," they wrote. "There are two folders in the bsa. Sound and Music. Just pack them into a archive and install by NMM [Nexus Mod Manager]. Someone just uploaded a bsa extractor (opens in new tab) on the SSE nexus that works for this."
We haven't tested the bsa extractor ourselves, so practice caution if you try it out.