Oculus Quest 2 Elite Battery Strap Review

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Oculus Quest 2 Elite Battery Strap Review
October 12, 2020

Is Facebook’s most expensive Quest 2 strap also its best? Find out in our Oculus Quest 2 Elite Battery Strap review!

 

So here it is, the last and most promising entry in Facebook’s trilogy of straps for the Oculus Quest 2 headset. The Return of the King to the standard strap’s Fellowship, if you will. As you might hope for the most expensive of the official Quest 2 accessories ($129 with a Carrying Case bundled in), the Oculus Quest 2 Elite Battery Strap offers the most comfortable way to experience the new headset, and it lets you play for longer, too.

 

But first, let’s recap. As we said in our full review last month, the Oculus Quest 2 is a smaller, more comfortable headset than its predecessor, but its fundamental design still presents issues. The soft, stretchy Oculus Go-like strap puts a lot of pressure on the front of your headset and starts to dig in. The $49 Elite Strap improves comfort considerably, though much of the weight is still located at the front of the kit.

The Quest 2 Elite Battery Strap features the same fundamental design as the Elite Strap. It’s got two clips you snap onto the sides of the headset, then a hard plastic ring runs around the back of your head with a soft strap sitting on top. A dial at the back of the device lets you tighten and loosen the fit to your head. As with the initial Elite Strap, it makes just getting into VR much faster and more hassle-free than with the standard strap. But there are a few key differences that make the Elite Battery Strap much better than even the Elite Strap

 

Battery Boost

The Elite Strap (Left) and Elite Battery Strap (Right)

 

Obviously the big addition here is the battery extender unit. The battery itself is housed in the rear compartment of the strap, alongside the dial to fit to your head. Then a short USB Type-C cable threads along the left of the strap, running up to reach the charging port in the side of the Quest 2.  You can charge the strap and the headset via another USB Type-C port just under the dial. From what I could gather, the Elite Battery Strap must be plugged into the Quest 2 to charge itself, and the headset’s charging indicator light will signal when both are at maximum capacity. Plugging in two USB cables to the Quest and the strap itself will only charge the former. Impressively, Quest 2 recognizes the battery extender when plugged in and lists separate gauges for both its battery and the core headset’s charge.

So, how long do you get? Well, if you remember, I said the standard Quest 2 battery lasted me two and a half hours playing The Room VR from full to flat during my testing. With the Elite Battery Strap, I played Until You Fall and a few other titles for about three hours before the battery unit was depleted. But then I still had 75% reserve charge left on the headset itself for another two hours of play. So, all-in-all, we’re talking roughly doubling your maximum playtime with the Quest 2 Elite Battery Strap. Keep in mind that more passive apps like media viewers will drain the battery slower, too.

 

Oculus Quest 2 Elite Battery Strap Review – Case Included

The Quest 2 Elite Battery Strap might be on the more expensive end of Quest 2 accessories at $129, but Facebook is throwing in its $49 Carrying Case to sweeten the deal. We have a full written review of the case right here, but in a nutshell, it’s a great way to keep your Quest 2… in a nutshell. It protects the kit and keeps it out of harm’s way when it’s not in use and has a premium feel to it, so it’s definitely a big bonus.

 

Comfort Gains

The added weight included in the Elite Battery Strap (319g compared to the Elite Straps’ 173g) also comes with an appreciated side-effect. The heavier strap offers a nice counterbalance to the front of the Quest 2, helping to alleviate the pressure on your face just a little more than even what’s seen in the normal Elite Strap. The result is the most comfortable of all the accessories Facebook offers for Quest 2.

 

But the Elite Strap is about more than just comfort. As I alluded to earlier, it also makes getting into VR much faster, taking seconds to find a sweet spot to tighten to rather than fiddling around with the original strap’s two back toggles for ages. That makes it perfect for switching between other people. Unfortuantely you’ll see get VR face after long sessions, as you can see below.

Oculus Quest 2 Elite Battery Strap Review – Alternatives

I wrote about this a bit in my original Elite Strap review, but third-party accessories and comfort mods can do a great job of improving your kits comfort too. The VR Cover face lining is a great complement to any Quest 2 setup but it’s very possible that future strap designs get great comfort out of Quest 2, too.

 

Point being that, if comfort is your primary concern, you might see better and cheaper alternatives in the future. I still say that halo strap designs — seen on the PSVR and Rift S — are the most comfortable VR designs, placing weight on your forehead rather than your face. None of Facebook’s comfort options do this and I’ll be first-in-line to try out any mods that do.

 

On the battery front, Rebuff Reality also says its original VR Power Pack for Quest 1 supports the new headset, though we haven’t been able to test this for ourselves just yet.

 

Oculus Quest 2 Elite Battery Strap Review – Final Impressions

The question on your mind is probably this: is the Oculus Quest 2 Elite Battery Strap worth the $80 difference from the original Elite Strap? It’s definitely a steep increase in pricing, but my answer is a pretty confident yes. For that extra money, not only will you get roughly double the battery life out of Quest 2 — which will come in handy for long play sessions of Population: One and The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners — but the added weight serves as a counterbalance to improve comfort even further, and the excellent Carrying Case is thrown in to sweeten the deal too.

 

It definitely makes Quest 2 a much more expensive proposition overall, so you might want to buy the headset first and see what mileage you get out of it but, if you’re already committed to standalone VR gaming, the Oculus Quest 2 Elite Battery Strap is a great add-on.

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