Have you ever wondered why many Meta Quest headsets spend more time in the closet than on someone’s head? Often, it’s not about the gaming experience itself, but instead the struggle with Meta’s notoriously uncomfortable stock head strap. What many people don’t realize is that there’s a simple solution: upgrading the head strap. In this article, I’ll guide you through the two main types of upgraded Quest head straps, offering an easy and sometimes inexpensive way to enhance your VR experience and extend your playtime.
Head Strap Styles: Halo vs. Elite
Halo style head straps, like the BOBOVR M2 (shown above), are considered by many to offer the most comfort. Halo straps will often have a ratchet mechanism on the back which allows for effortless adjustment to achieve the perfect fit. These straps distribute the weight of the device evenly across the forehead and back of the head, while the Quest headset itself is conveniently suspended in front of your face. This results in the facial interface gently touching only key areas – your eyebrows, temples, and cheeks, minimizing discomfort. The best halo straps will also come equipped with a notched hinge, perfectly balancing the weight from front to back, making them ideal for extended sessions.
Elite style head straps, like the Kiwi Design Comfort Head Strap (shown above), set themselves apart with their exceptional stability, making them ideal for active users who love spending time in Beat Saber, sports games or fitness applications. Unlike halo straps, elite straps distribute pressure across the user’s face, top of the head, and the back of the head. This design, utilizing multiple contact points over a larger area, ensures the headset remains securely in place even during the most intense sessions. Much like the halo strap, a ratchet mechanism at the back facilitates easy adjustment, while the incorporation of a notched hinge assists in evenly distributing weight. This makes the elite straps the perfect choice for users seeking a balance of comfort and stability.
Now that you’re familiar with the different styles of head straps, let’s discuss the different battery backup options that are available. You’ll find straps without any battery, offering a lighter experience, straps with a fixed battery for extended playtime, and those with a hot swappable battery feature for uninterrupted gaming sessions. Each option comes with its own set of advantages and trade-offs, affecting everything from the headset’s weight to the duration of your playtime.
Typically priced under $40, these head straps are a significant upgrade from the stock elastic band, offering a more comfortable fit. However, it’s important to note that while they’re very affordable and reduce the headset’s overall weight, they don’t extend your playing time like battery-inclusive straps. Additionally, the absence of a battery means that these straps don’t provide a counterbalance to the Quest’s weight, which is predominantly towards the front, likely decreasing comfort during prolonged use.
However, there are alternative options available for those who own non-battery head straps to extend their playtime. Many connect their Quest to a portable power bank, which can be conveniently carried in a pocket during use. Accessory manufacturers like ZyberVR have even developed wearable batteries that rest comfortably on your shoulders, while PRISMXR offers versatile batteries designed to be worn like a belt or bandolier. These solutions offer a balance between the lightweight design of the strap and extended gaming sessions.
These head straps integrate a battery within the strap itself, typically doubling the Quest’s playing time. Priced between $40 and $70, these straps not only prolong your sessions but also offer a more balanced weight distribution. This significantly enhances comfort by offsetting the front-heavy nature of the headset. However, it’s important to note that the inclusion of a battery does add overall weight to the headset, which might take some time to get used to.
Hot Swappable Battery
Hot swappable battery head straps, like the innovative design from Binbok (shown above) offer a unique advantage. These straps are equipped with one or two detachable batteries, secured via magnets or other fasteners. Each battery significantly extends playtime, usually doubling it or more. These straps stand out from fixed battery options due to their versatility; when the first battery depletes, it can be quickly replaced with a fully charged second battery, ensuring hours of uninterrupted gameplay. Priced between $40 and $70, with additional batteries costing $25 to $30 each, these straps offer a seamless gaming experience.
Whether you prefer the extended playtime of hot swappable batteries, the balance and comfort of fixed battery straps, or the lightweight simplicity of non-battery options, there’s a perfect fit out there for everyone. Choose wisely and keep your Quest where it belongs: on your noggin.