11 votes

The Valve Index Ear Speakers - Research, design, and evolution

2 comments

  1. zlsa Link
    I feel that one of Valve's primary goals was to anchor themselves in the high-end VR space, as opposed to the mid-low end of Oculus/WMR hardware. Audio contributes hugely to presence, and Oculus...

    I feel that one of Valve's primary goals was to anchor themselves in the high-end VR space, as opposed to the mid-low end of Oculus/WMR hardware. Audio contributes hugely to presence, and Oculus in particular has decided to go with decidedly sub-par speakers with their Rift S and Quest.

    Instead of on-ear headphones (like the Rift CV1) or Valve's over-ear speakers (in the article), the Quest and Rift S have gone with an awkward hole in the structure that just kind of lets sound out. I've used a similar system on the Oculus Go (where it's not as big a drawback, being a $200 media machine), and it just doesn't sound good at all. Oculus has supposedly improved the speaker quality on the Quest, but at the end of the day, you're just shooting sound down a plastic tube at the user's ear.

    (The other obvious indicator of Valve's commitment to high-end VR hardware is the IPD slider, which is present on the Oculus Quest but not the Oculus Rift S or any WMR headset, AFAIK.)

    3 votes
  2. bbvnvlt Link
    Cool. Always interesting to see rough prototypes!

    Cool. Always interesting to see rough prototypes!

    2 votes