Can a halo strap design work on Quest? Find our in our Oculus Quest Halo Strap Pro review!
If you’ve been following any of our Oculus Quest 2 coverage over the past week, you’ll know the new headset is a decent step up from the original in terms of comfort. But, in my personal opinion, neither device can compare to the cozy fit of the halo strap design seen in the Oculus Rift S or PSVR headsets among others. Personally, I’m desperate to see standalone VR adopt that design.
That’s where VR Panda’s Oculus Quest Halo Strap Pro comes in.
The Halo Strap Pro is an unofficial mod for the original Quest (a Quest 2 design is coming next year). It replaces the hard strap the kit comes with with a plastic ring design. It definitely makes for a more comfortable fit than what you get in the Quest box, though it isn’t the most premium third-party accessory we’ve seen for Quest.
VR Finally Gets Halo… Rings
A halo strap design refers to a headset with a top ring that rests on the top of your forehand, securely looping around the circumference of your head. It takes the pressure of the VR visor off of the front of your face and better distributes the overall weight of the headset across your entire head.
As with other designs, the Halo Strap Pro comes with a dial at the back to lengthen and shorten that loop to find the right fit for you. Going a step beyond, though, a pair of hinges in the middle of the loop allow you to adjust the angle of the back half. It allows the back of the ring to sit where you’d like it to on the back of your head and it’s a great little addition. Padding for where the kit rests on the front and back of the head helps fight fatigue, though the front padding is a fair bit thicker than what you’ll see on other headsets and feels like it gets in the way a bit.
Speaking for my head specifically with the Halo Strap Pro fitted, the Quest definitely feels more comfortable than the base design. For context, I really struggled with the original strap and I’ve been using a FrankenQuest mod for the past few months that did the job pretty nicely. But halo strap designs are easily the best way to fit a VR headset in my opinion, and the Halo Strap Mod imitates the design of the Rift S and PSVR quite well, if not close enough to become a permanent replacement for my past mod.
I’ve found the device to have a firm fit, though you will notice some sway when moving your head quickly. You can reduce this by tightening the strap, but that increases the pressure on your head. In fact, I’ve found it a little tough to get the right balance between that pressure and stability, which isn’t a problem I’ve encountered with official designs on other headsets. I could also never get the headset lenses quite as close to my eyes as I could with other setups.
Ultimately I think the FrankenQuest mod is still the best comfort mod you can make to a Quest, but given that that mod requires an increasingly rare and expensive Vive Deluxe Audio Strap to work, this is an acceptable and accessible replacement.
Attaching the Halo Strap Pro is pretty simple and, crucially doesn’t require you to permanently alter your headset. You will need to take the original strap off, which can be a little awkward but will also slip back into place when you need it. Once you’re done with that, though, the Halo Strap Pro simply slides onto the existing side mounts of the headset. The optional headphones (which we’ll get to in a second) also slide onto side clips quite easily.
There is an optional top strap to thread into the ring behind Quest’s face lining, which you might find helps if the halo ring is slipping down at all. That said, the implementation is a little clumsy, getting you to stick to the back of the halo ring with a velcro sticker and either leave the end of the strap dangling or wrapping it around the back of the ring.
The Pro element of the Oculus Quest Halo Strap Pro, meanwhile, refers to two headphones you can attach to the side of the straps. They’re entirely optional and not the most amazing quality but, given Quest’s native audio option leaves a lot to be desired, they don’t exactly have much to compete against. You won’t be able to get the headphones to really definitively press against your ears, but they do produce a loud and clear sound resting a centimeter or so away from your ears. Still, adding on headphones to the device takes it from the base price of $38 up to $58, and I’d personally recommend sticking with some earphones or your own set of headphones instead.
All of that is to say is that, from a comfort perspective, the Oculus Quest Strap Pro gets the job done fairly well, though it doesn’t feel especially premium. Parts of the plastic feel quite flimsy like they could snap quite easily, especially around the headphones. I also found the mechanism to slide the headphones up and down could get jammed. One of the headphone mounts also felt loose and would sometimes swing a little when I looked down. All the more reason to just stick with the cheaper option.
Turning the strap’s dial is also a little janky and it’s not incredibly solid, meaning it retracts back in with even the slightest amount of force. That can make initially getting it over your head a little finicky.
The Oculus Quest Halo Strap Pro is a solid design with not-so-solid build quality. The halo ring fits firmly and definitely makes for a more comfortable experience than the original Quest strap, though certain elements like the thick padding can get in the way of fully immersing yourself in an experience. Some more flimsy elements of the materials used also risk snapping. Ultimately, though, I’m hoping the Halo Strap Pro proves to be a testbed for a much more stable successor for Oculus Quest 2. If VR Panda makes some big improvements on that front, this could become an essential add-on.
The Oculus Quest Halo Strap Pro is available from VR Panda’s website, starting at $38. Did you like our Oculus Quest Halo Strap Pro review? Let us know in the comments below!