Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headset is being released alongside several optional accessories, including two head strap variants, Logitech earbuds and headphones, a “fit pack” for different head sizes, and the Link USB-C cable. As Facebook announced today, the Quest 2’s base model costs $299, but getting the absolute best experience on it will cost quite a bit more.
Oculus Quest 2 review: better, cheaper VR
The Quest 2 ships with a cloth strap by default. Oculus, however, is also selling a padded plastic “Elite Strap” that offers more support and a little bit of a counterweight for the headset’s front-heavy bulk. The default Elite Strap costs $49, and a version with a carrying case and battery — which Oculus says doubles the Quest 2’s two to three hour playtime — costs $129. Having used the Elite Strap, we wouldn’t quite call it nonnegotiable, but it’s a marked improvement even considering the Quest 2’s overall reduced weight.
Don’t expect new upgrade kits for the Quest 2
The $79 Link cable enables one of the Quest 2’s most important features: the ability to play VR games from a PC. This opens up a huge range of VR experiences you won’t find in the Quest’s curated store, including Valve’s entire SteamVR platform. The five-meter Link cable is a luxury option here, since you can find much cheaper alternatives like Anker’s USB-C PowerLine lineup — although they’ll be shorter and stick straight out of the headset, making them less comfortable to use. But if you’ve got a VR-capable computer, some kind of cable is highly recommended.
The default Quest 2 uses small directed speakers instead of headphones, but they leak sound significantly into your surroundings. Logitech is selling two alternative options, including $50 earbuds and $100 over-ear headphones, both of which have custom-length cables and straps to keep them out of the way.
The Quest 2 doesn’t support Bluetooth headphones, and long-cabled headphones get easily tangled while you’re moving your hands in VR. But there’s a standard 3.5mm jack on each side of the headset, so if you don’t want to spend the extra money, you can tie back any pair of headphones you’ve got on hand. Sadly, Oculus isn’t offering a strap / headphones combination like the Vive Deluxe Audio Strap — which you can incidentally mod onto the Quest.
The Fit Pack, meanwhile, is exactly what it sounds like — a $39 kit with two swappable face pads for different head sizes. It also comes with “light blockers,” which are black plastic rings you can snap beneath the lenses to block out a small light gap at the bottom of the Quest 2. (For the record, I barely notice this gap.)
Oculus has sold headphones and carrying cases before, but it’s offering an unusual number of add-ons for the Quest 2, possibly just to preserve the base model’s super-cheap — for a VR headset — price tag. Quest 2 team lead Prabhu Parthasarathy tells The Verge that Oculus isn’t planning ongoing accessory releases, a strategy HTC has used to bring new features like eye tracking to its headsets. “When we build headsets, we try to put a lot of thought into it being an all-in-one solution,” he said. “Adding things to the headset just makes it a little more awkward.”