When it comes to the head strap on the Oculus Quest 2, reviews are usually mixed. Although the included soft strap of elastic and velcro is adequate, it still leaves us with the feeling this is one area that definitely should be improved. We know Oculus did this to keep the unit cost down, but at what cost to our comfort?.
The Elite Strap is essentially a rigid strap with a counterweight. The main focus being to balance the weight of the unit on the front of your face. Unlike the included elastic strap, the Elite Strap has a wheel dial adjustment. This feature makes it very easy to get the right fit. We were forever having to adjust the elastic one as we found it came loose during gaming sessions where we had to do a lot of movement. For stationary gaming, it was merely OK.
With the counterweight in place, it took away a lot of the strain the headset can put on our heads. Without a counterweight, the Quest (and every other VR headset in truth) will seem front heavy. Some users complained of stiff and achy necks after prolonged use of the Quest, and less so with the Elite strap attached.
There’s a rubber piece mounted to the strap grips the part of your skull which juts outward at the back. It is this rubber piece that allows the strap to sit comfortably across your head. The strap is designed to grip in a way that it will distribute much more of the headset’s weight from the front of your head, to the top of your head instead. Rather than simply tightening the elastic strap like a vice against your face, this better weight distribution relieves some of the pressure on your neck.
To fit the Elite Strap, place it on your head as normal and use the dial adjustment on the back. As you twist the dial, the headset will tighten in small increments and you will hear it click as it does so. To loosen the head strap, simply spin the dial in the opposite way. Find the setting in which you feel most comfortable. It may take some time in the headset to discover which one is right for you.
The Elite Battery Strap is essentially the same. As the name suggests, its an Elite Strap with a battery attached. It does have an even better counterweight though thanks to the included battery. The battery should provide an additional 2.5 hours play time for those long gaming marathons.
Its not always obvious how much better these straps can be to someone new to VR. Comfort in a VR headset has been a consistent problem for years, as many users, particularly first time ones, are not aware of how to adjust their head strap correctly, leading to the discomfort they feel after use.
There are some cheaper third party alternatives that have come on the market since its release but at $49/£49 we think the Elite Strap is more than a worthwhile investment. Would we purchase the Elite Battery Strap? – no. But only because we love the Anker Charging Station – and the battery prevents the headset fitting inside. Other battery extending solutions are easy to use. Please see out battery reviews for more information on which one we think is best.
UPDATE: some users have reported that their Elite Straps are breaking. We have not found that with ours after nearly 6 months of regular use however. Hopefully these issues are in small numbers as we still really rate this product.