In this video, I check out the Kiwi design On-Ear Audio Elite Strap for Quest 2.
You can buy this head strap for:
Or can buy this head strap for $79.99 direct from the Kiwi design store ➡️ https://bit.ly/kiwiaudiostrap and don’t forget to use my discount code OQPLAY to get 5%-off your order at check out.
It’s great that we are starting to see a number of accessory makers make audio solutions for the Quest 2. Internal speakers of the Quest 2 are pretty good in their own right, but there are times when you might want to slap on some headphones and not entertain anyone that might be nearby you with the same audio. Sure, you can attach a pair of earbuds or a pair of headphones but with some of these audio solutions for the Quest 2, this means that the headphones are automatically integrated with the head strap.
This on-ear audio strap from Kiwi design takes the best of its upgraded elite strap and integrates some rather well-designed and decent-sounding headphones into it.
In the box, you get the head strap itself with the earphones already attached, there is a separate back piece that comes with an attached top strap and there is a card guide, telling you how to install the head strap onto your Quest 2 headset.
Looking over the head strap, it is a near identical replica of their Upgraded Elite Strap, but instead where the hinge point was on their Elite Strap, they have added an adjustable headphone on each side.
The strap uses the 3.5 mm audio connection and its audio cable connects to both headphones, and slightly off centre is where the audio connector splits into a short length of cable that connects to the Quest 2 audio port on the left side of the headset
The foam top strap and rear pad are pretty much the same as their Upgraded Elite Strap, and the dial at the back and its mechanism are pretty much the same too.
Installation & Fit
Like the Upgraded Elite Strap, installation is very simple. You just clip on both arms of the head strap onto the side rails of the headset, attach the rear pad to the inside of the back of the strap, then remove your facial interface to install its top strap, and you’re good to go.
The strap’s dial adjustment is just the same, it’s very smooth, and you can also push the back of the strap towards your head to adjust it forward much quicker. Being a hinged head strap, though, you don’t have to do that much adjustment because you can simply pull the back part of the head strap upwards to remove the head strap from your head.
Looking over the audio side of the head strap. The mounted arms of the headphones sit quite proud on each side of the head strap, which now makes the width of the strap much wider, so because of this, you might find that if you have the official or an elite style carry case, this head strap will no longer fit into it.
The headphones can be swung back towards the head strap arms, however, there isn’t much forward adjustment beyond their downward facing position, and the ear pieces themselves can be adjusted up and down to get the best position for the ear cushions to sit on your ears. These ear cushions don’t hover over your ears like the recently released Logitech Chorus headphones do, so in short, this will give you a much better bass response, much less audio from leaking to anyone outside VR. If you plan to use this head strap for fitness, with less air circulation between the cushions and your ears, these soft ear cushions might get a little sweaty. Luckily they are made of PU leather material so they can be easily wiped down afterwards.
On first wearing the Kiwi design audio strap, I found that the earphones would rotate along with the rear of the strap as you took it off, but I soon realised that if you first hold the headset on your face and then lift the head strap up or down when you put it on or off, the headphones stay more in place and require much less or no further adjustment. For this reason, its adjustable hinge on the side of the head strap can rotate beyond 90 degrees upwards which allows you to easily remove the head strap whilst the earphones remain positioned on your ears.
The headphone arms are spring adjusted, for outwards movement, so that the ear cushions can stay forced onto your ears without adding a lot of extra pressure to them. Sadly, unlike the HTC/VIVE Deluxe Audio Strap, their position can’t be permanently held outwards to give your ears a rest or help when taking the head strap on and off your head. Instead, you’ll need to swing them back onto the side arms of the strap if you don’t want them touching your ears.
As for their sound quality, these earphones are probably one of the better if not the best sounding headphones I have used that have been made specifically for the Quest 2. They have a good level of bass, which makes them very punchy for shooting games like Pistol Whip, as well as in music based games, such as Beat Saber. I did find I needed to have the volume almost maxed out, with the last volume bar possibly being too loud in certain games.
I found when using this audio strap, the sound was more present in my ears and a little bit more immersive than using the built-in speakers on the Quest 2 headset. The fact that the earphone cushions sit on your ears, they give you a much better sound response than most headphones do that will blast the sound whilst hovering over your ears. This is pretty much the same as what the built-in speakers on the Quest 2 headset are already doing, those audio solutions position the audio over your ears more, so they will sound much louder and clearer than the stock speakers but with less bass than headphones like on this strap, that sit on your ears. So with all this said, I think these headphones are definitely an improvement over the stock internal speakers of the Quest 2, plus their audio will not be as heard by anyone that is nearby.
This on-ear audio head strap from Kiwi design for the Quest 2 currently retails for $79.99 directly from the Kiwi design store, and if use my coupon code, OQPLAY, you can get another 5%-off your order at check out. I’ll leave my links to this head strap down below to learn more about this audio strap and to buy yourself one.
Sadly, at this time of recording, this audio strap was sold with a limited run of 50 pieces, which are all obviously sold out. There is no news on whether Kiwi design is going to update or change the design from some of the feedback they’ve received or whether they’re just gonna roll out more units of this same strap soon, but I thought I’ll post my review now, so that when it does come in stock you can jump in and order yourself one, knowing that you’re gonna get a great adjustable and comfortable elite head strap with a very comfortable and decent sounding audio solution integrated into it.
As long as you hold the headset as you tilt the head strap down onto the back of your head afterwards, I found there were no more issues with the earphones moving when I adjusted the head strap. If I were to nitpick, I would say they should have done something a little bit neater with the audio cable on this head strap. They could have used a thinner or flat audio cable to allow for easy storing underneath or behind the facial interface foam cover, or generally make it easier to tuck it away from being so easily seen. Its current size does feel like a little bit of an afterthought, and it hasn’t really had as much design put into it as the rest of the strap has had, so it all flaps around loosely and it doesn’t look as neat as Logitech’s solution.
Finally, there is an issue with storing the Quest 2 with this strap attached. The fact that this head strap is so much wider means that it will no longer fit in an official case, or any case that is dedicated to accommodating an elite head strap, so you have to look for a larger case that can accommodate the full width of this head strap.
But overall, these are small gripes, and this head strap is generally a fantastic addition to anyone looking for a comfortable Elite Strap, as well as enhancing its audio in one single product. For $79.99, I think that’s a relatively decent price, and maybe in the future, we might see Kiwi design take their long overdue battery strap and integrate it with this audio solution for the Ultimate Quest 2 Elite Strap.
0:00 – Brief overview
0:18 – Unboxing
0:33 – Features
1:15 – Installation
1:30 – Strap adjustment and fit
1:49 – Headphones
2:56 – Wearing the strap
4:09 – Audio quality & volume
5:21 – Where to buy & my impressions