While the VR revolution may be underway, it still has some work to do. We have seen a number of interesting peripherals and upgrades added to existing systems from HTC, Samsung and Sony in order to better integrate the immersive gaming platforms into homes everywhere. After seeing the aGlass VR eye-tracking technology from one of HTC’s newly acquired startups recently, today the company is unveiling new details on the latest peripheral for its VR headset known as the Vive Deluxe Audio Strap add-on…
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Releasing this summer, the attachment brings high-quality audio to your Vive VR headset, so you don’t have to use headphones when the surround system isn’t available (or appropriate). HTC has built the add-on with “hard-sided” construction and ergonomic interior padding. The Audio Strap is completely adjustable for different users using a quick sizing dial. Integrated on-ear drivers are also fully adjustable (height and angle) to suite your needs. You can easily raise and lower the ear-pads so you can hear your wife yelling from the other room to stop playing video games, standing up with that funny sci-fi hat on your face.
The new Vive Deluxe Audio Strap will release on June 6th for $99.99 at the Vive site and all major retailers. HTC also notes that businesses will be able to purchase the Vive Business Edition (Vive BE) bundle which comes with the Vive headset and the Deluxe Audio Strap. Anyone who has ordered the Vive BE package after February 27th, 2017 should orders begin shipping “later in June”.
Some might argue the idea of using a VR headset without a 5.1 (or better) home theater system is, at last to some degree, defeating the purpose. However, three-dimensional audio still isn’t perfect, but has always been much more effective with a pair of headphones on. There is nothing like the booming bass and intricate environment sounds of a proper home theater system, but clearly some users need or prefer to use headphones and HTC is looking to fill their needs. It is nice to have a fully integrated audio solution here that works well with headset itself in terms of looks and functionality, only time will tell if the audio quality is up to par.
The Deluxe Audio Strap is great for multi-user environments and adds comfort features that make everyday use more enjoyable. A quick sizing dial makes it easy to switch between users or to get in and out of the headset quickly. Hard-sided construction with interior padding also provides better ergonomics and weight balance, enabling you to play longer and remain comfortable during extended use.