The Oculus Quest Elite Strap With Battery
The recently unveiled Oculus Quest 2 headset is more comfortable than the original Oculus Quest. It is smaller and light and it is also built with a softer strap. The Quest 2 has offered improvements on many fronts but the comfort hasn’t improved considerably.
While the design of the Quest 2 is lighter and therefore more comfortable on the face, the headset is still front-heavy and you still feel this weight after a short period of time immersed in VR. The facepads of the headset will dig in and its soft strap will also make it a little harder finding the right “sweet spot” of balance and comfort.
Now for the first time, Facebook has launched a headset together with an upgraded strap accessory known as the Oculus Quest 2 Elite Strap. Previously, such a role would have been filled by third-party manufacturers.
The Elite Strap is more of an Oculus Quest 2 comfort mod. Users can remove the foam face-lining along with two side fittings of the headset to remove the existing strap and replace it with the Elite Strap.
The Elite Strap is made of plastic and is built with a hard lining which can better handle the weight of the Quest 2 headset. The Elite trap also has a dial at the back which you can turn to get a tighter fit on the head. These straps aren’t fitted with any headphones or extras. However, Facebook partnered with Logitech to create a headphone solution for the Elite Strap.
The Elite Strap alone costs $49. There is also the Elite Strap with a carry case and which is equipped with a battery pack for longer play sessions and this goes for $129.
The Elite Strap makes it a lot easier to fit the Oculus Quest 2 headset on your head. When you turn the dial back, the strap will lengthen to fit any head. Once it has accommodated the head, it will only be a matter of twisting the dial back to get the best fit for yourself. The harder strap will wrap around the dome of the back of the head and the two straps on the side of the headset can be twisted to get the right angle.
The strap also makes it easier for you to have longer play sessions and sustained use. The Elite Strap improves the weight distribution which will make it easier and more comfortable for you to play for longer without much strain from the Quest 2 headset. Without the strap, you will begin feeling some fatigue on your forehead and cheeks after several minutes of play. With the Elite Strap, you can sustain longer play sessions without feeling fatigued.
So far, the most comfortable design for a VR headset has been the halo-ring design found in hardware such as the PSVR or Oculus Rift S. This consists of a top ring that transfers much of the headset weight further up the wearer’s head where the device can rest more comfortably. In this design, the headset’s visor will be hanging in front of the wearer’s face without pressing in and there is a counterweight at the back that creates an even weight distribution. It’s up to users to decide which of these designs -Elite Strap vs halo ring- they find most comfortable. After all, comfort in a VR headset usually varies from user to user.
The original Oculus Quest headset has been around for less than 18 months but over that short duration of time, it has already spawned lots of third-party mods, accessories as well as replacement straps. In the initial Quest, the original straps had to be forcefully removed, which can be messy. For example, the original Quest strap could be replaced with the HTC’s Deluxe Audio Strap which significantly improved the comfort level while also adding an audio solution. The other option to get a comfortable balance in the first Quest is by strapping a counterweight to the back of the strap such as the VR Power which will double as a battery back.
In the Quest 2 headset, it is a lot easier to remove the straps so there will likely be a strong push for new third-party accessories as well as mods for the new headset in spite of the official Facebook accessories. Third-party manufacturers are likely to exploit the inherent strap design in the Quest 2 to take the comfort to new levels.