Logitech introduced a brand new VR accent this week that goals to convey the nice off-ear audio answer of Valve’s Index headset to the Quest 2.
Valve’s distinctive off-ear headphones have been a chic answer for highly effective but snug audio on the corporate’s Index headset, which was launched again in 2019. The off-ear headphone method implies that the headphones do not get in the best way when sporting the headset, nor do they. Additionally they make contact along with your ears whereas sporting the headset. Due to the bigger drivers being positioned barely additional away from the ear, this method can be mentioned to supply a extra correct understanding of spatial audio, because of the truth that sound waves work together with the geometry of your ears in a extra important method. have been.
Whereas the Quest technically has ‘off-ear’ audio, the headset makes use of a ‘sound-pipe’ design, the place sound comes out via a small slit close to your ears. The result’s a far much less highly effective sound with much less correct spatial audio as a result of the slit does not really align along with your ears. We have been saying because the unique Quest that higher off-ear audio on the headset will do wonders for immersion, however that suggestion has fallen on deaf ears.
However now Logitech could also be headed to the rescue. This week the corporate introduced the Refrain accent for the Quest 2, which apparently goals to emulate Index’s off-ear headphones.
For $100 the Refrain can connect with the Quest 2 utilizing the default comfortable strap or the official Deluxe Quest 2 straps from Meta. The Refrain connects to the headset by way of the USB-C port on the sting, and thoughtfully even presents a passthrough USB-C port so you’ll be able to proceed to cost the headset with out unplugging the headphones. Nonetheless, Logitech warns which you can’t use the Oculus Hyperlink with the Refrain headphones because of the nature of the passthrough USB-C connection.
The corporate has additionally added its personal sensible function to the off-ear headphones: audio is mechanically muted in case you flip them to the folded place. This makes it straightforward to shortly flip the headphones on to speak to somebody within the room, after which get again to your sport.
The Refrain accent weighs in at 182g, which is a non-trivial quantity of additional weight. We have all the time really helpful one thing higher than the default Quest 2 comfortable strap, even with out the accent, however with the additional weight it could be much more necessary to have a greater headstrap possibility. Whereas the headphones work with all of Meta’s first-party straps, it is unclear which third-party straps they’re going to be appropriate with.
The Refrain headphones for Quest 2 are at the moment obtainable for pre-order from Amazon and Logitech for $100, with a launch date deliberate for September 2.
This is not the primary audio accent Logitech has made for the Quest 2. The corporate additionally beforehand launched a pair of headphones and earbuds made particularly for the headset, however not one of the choices appeared actually optimized for a VR use-case. Logitech has additionally ventured into the VR area in a number of different methods over time, together with experimenting with a VR stylus and keyboard monitoring accent.