The Oculus Quest’s external speakers that are built internally into the headset are pretty decent. They are a great way to hear what’s going on in your VR world as well as the world around you, but there are sometimes periods when you’re playing on your Quest where you may want to be more immersed in the VR experience. You will likely want to wear a pair of earbuds or headphones instead.
If you own a smartphone, it’s likely you already have a pair of 3.5mm headphones that you can use with your Quest, but many of them have a length of cable that is so long that they can easily get in the way during any physically active gaming session. Any cable that gets tangled around you can quickly pull you out of any VR game immersion, as you mess with your headphones, so having headphones with shorter cables is key.
The KIWI Design Oculus Quest Headphones has been built specifically for use with the Oculus Quest. Their 33cm in length cable is a very generous length, that’s long enough to attach to each respective 3.5mm side ports on the Quest headset, but not too long that they would get tangled up around your body during a game.
Inside its tiny white box, you get two separate in-ear headphone cables, one for each ear, and a set of small, medium and large ear caps to suit the size of your ear canal. Being earbuds, rather than earphones, these earbuds go directly inside the ear canal, this allows for better sound deadening and improves the overall bass response.
With the correct ear tip used, you can heavily reduce any outside sounds. This is great for enhancing overall immersion in games on the Quest, but you must also be aware of our surroundings and the environment with both your vision and now your outside audio also being impaired. I always prefer earbuds to earphones, as this creates a tight seal in your ear, to not only block any outside noise but it also really helps to enhance the bass levels in the audio.
The sound quality of the KIWI Design Oculus Quest Headphones is great, just as long as you have a decent seal in your ears. I can’t really fault them really. They sound just like the Spectrashell OQ9 we reviewed last year. The bass is good, probably not as bassy as the Spectrashell OQ9. Their 10mm Neodymium Magnet drivers inside sound very close, and they also have similar clear mid-tones and its treble range is good too.
Each earbud is well designed and built. Due to their 1mm bigger driver, they weigh a little heavier than the Spectrashell OQ9, by just 1-2 grams at 4 grams total. Their exterior casing is made of glossy black plastic with a hint of colour given by a red chrome ring that circles around them. The swappable ear caps are semi-transparent in colour and are a bit firmer than the Spectrashell OQ9. For me this made them feel slightly less comfortable in the ear and due to their slight extra rigidity, they also gave a squelching sound each time you bury them into your ears. Each black cable that connects to the business end to the 3.5mm jack is of decent quality and is slightly thicker than the Spectrashell OQ9, and it also features a 3000+ bend lifespan to its connector end.
With the earbuds removed from each ear, they simply dangle on their own short cable alongside each side of your face, making them easily reachable for when you need to reinsert them again. Being earbuds there is the advantage of having no extra weight on the top of your head if you be wearing a pair of solid headphones, and with your ears not being covered by on-ear or over-ear earcups, this allows air to flow around your ear, which is ideal during any fitness-based sessions, keeping you cooler in the process.
The KIWI Design Oculus Quest Headphones are priced at a reasonable price of £21.99 from Amazon ($20 US). They are a great sounding pair of earphones that come in at half the cost of the official Oculus branded headphones, that costs £49. There is a lot to like from these headphones from KIWI Design, however, the one issue I face is with its chosen length. At 33cm in length, this is double the length of the Spectrashell OQ9 earbuds, and for me, this is far too long. So long in fact that I even managed to catch their cords a few times during games where I had controllers close to your face.
I would have also liked a cloth pouch or bag to put these earbuds in when they are not plugged into the Quest, however, placing them inside the compartment of the official Oculus Quest Travel Case keeps them safe and protected. If you looking for a pair of in-ear headphones with good bass and a pleasing warm overall sound quality that will help enhance your Oculus Quest experience, and you can live with the long 33cm length, then give the KIWI Design Oculus Quest Headphones a listen.