HTC unveiled the Deluxe Audio Strap (along with other accessories) for the Vive virtual reality headset back at CES 2017 last January, but it's just been given a release date: June 6. The adjustable rig fits onto the Vive for a comfortable built-in audio experience, instead of having to use separate headphones.
We had some hands-on time with the Audio Strap at CES, and while we agreed it was comfortable to wear and easy to adjust between users, we'll have to test it out in a non-conference setting to do a more thorough evaluation of the audio.
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At US$99.99 each, the Audio Strap does not seem like a necessary expenditure, but it could be a nice addition for anyone dissatisfied with using standard earbuds or their own headphones in VR. For those who might be considering buying a Vive, it's important to point out that the Vive's main competitor, Oculus Rift, comes with a similar audio setup right out of the box.
The Deluxe Audio Strap will be included in the Vive Business Edition (Vive BE) bundle. Developers and businesses that purchased a Vive BE after February 27 will also receive a Deluxe Audio Strap when the accessory starts shipping in June.