Next Rift and Rift S Update to Bring Microphone Support to Oculus Link
Oculus Link so far does not provide microphone support and Oculus is finally delivering this with a new update.
With the update 14.0 now rolling out for both Oculus Rift and Oculus Rift S, a user will finally be able to use a built-in microphone when they connect their Oculus Quest headset to a PC via an Oculus Link connection. This will come in handy for players that spend most of their time playing multiplayer games or the social VR games.
The update will reach users in a staggered manner so it will take a few days before all users can try out all these improvements.
The Oculus Link feature enables your Quest headset to act as a PC VR headset and to access the vast Rift library and SteamVR through a high-quality USB 3.0 cable.
The Link connection passes the audio output from the PC VR apps to the Quest headset but at the moment, Link does not pass the Quest microphone via the PC. As a result, in a multiplayer title, a user using Link is able to hear others but cannot speak to them. Currently users using Quest with Oculus Link must use an external microphone that is connected to their PC.
The release notes of the Oculus Rift software v14 update indicate that it now provides support for microphone on Oculus Link. However, hardware owners will also need the v14 update on Oculus Quest for the microphone feature to work.
The PC side of the software already provides support for the mic but the feature will not be available on the Quest headset until the update arrives on Quest. As of yesterday, the feature hadn’t began rolling out yet.
You can check out the current version of the Oculus Rift operating system by clicking on the “Settings” and “General” under Oculus’ desktop program and then you can scroll all the way down.
The Oculus Rift update v14.0 only includes the improvements for Oculus Link. The “pure” Rift users will have none of these.
Other Convenience Functions
Other than the microphone support, there is now a separate Oculus Link button in the Oculus Quest menu bar. When a user activates this button, it will switch to the Link mode. The dash menu of the Rift operating system now also includes a Link button to exit the Link mode.
Additionally, there is now a new feature that allows the users to set the audio volume as well as the sensitivity of the microphone directly on the dash menu or in Oculus’s desktop program.
No New Improvements for Rift Users
Previously, both the Rift operating system and the Quest firmware had to have the same Oculus Link version to run smoothly. This led to some issues as the updates for both platforms do not always appear smoothly. The update 14.0 relaxes the rule as both the Rift operating system and the Quest firmware no longer need to have the exact same version number. With the update, even a version number that is in between is now sufficient.
For example, Oculus Link will now work smoothly even if the Oculus Quest firmware is a version 14.0 and the connected PC Rift operating system a version 15.0.
The new update will also fix various Oculus Link bugs and will further improve the stability of the PC connection. You can check out the full list of the improvements on the Oculus forum.