HTC’s Deluxe Audio Strap for the Vive virtual reality headset is set to release on June 6, upgrading the auditory experience and the fit of the Vive over the cloth and earbud configuration that it debuted with. Improvements include a wheel for adjusting the fit, as well as extra padding for added comfort over long periods of use.
Although we still consider the HTC Vive to be the better virtual reality headset, one advantage the Oculus Rift did have over the original Vive was that it shipped with a better audio solution. Drawing inspiration from that and possibly from the PSVR’s solid headband design, the Vive’s Deluxe Audio Strap combines an adjustable plastic headband with hefty padding and built-in earphones.
HTC claims that the new headstrap’s ability to quickly adjust its fitting and get the headphones in place makes it great for multi-user environments. HTC also highlights the added comfort and weight balancing that it brings to the table, which will be something that developers and end users can benefit from.
The on-ear earphones feature both height and angle adjustments, and so should fit well for most users, and they can be easily flipped out of the way if you want to hear something from outside the virtual world — much in the way that the Oculus Rift’s earphones do.
HTC is so confident in its new audio-strap solution being a worthwhile upgrade over the original configuration that it will now ship out all Business Editions of the headset with the strap included. For everyone else, you’ll need to spend $100 and wait until later on in June to begin shipping. While the Deluxe Audio Strap will be available for order starting June 6, we’re told that early pre-orders will go out late in the month, so chances are new orders will be sent out after that.
The other new Vive accessory that HTC recently made available to developers was the Tracker. That standalone sensor puck is able to bring all sorts of new accessories and controllers to the virtual world, and this will likely lead to a lot of new and exciting third-party VR peripherals in the near future.