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The Elite Strap turns the Quest 2 into a better-fitting VR headset, and adds a battery boost.


Scott Stein/CNET

The Oculus Quest 2 is a fantastic standalone VR headset. But it does have some drawbacks (besides, controversially, now requiring a Facebook login): the battery life is just ok, the new head strap is a little uncomfortable, and it’s hard to easily and safely store the VR headset.

Those problems are all solved with a single Oculus accessory that, while expensive, is pretty fantastic. I’ve been trying the Oculus Quest 2 Elite Strap with Battery for a week, and it’s changed my feelings on the Quest 2. It’s an accessory that, while bulky, is seriously excellent for any longer-term VR user looking to spend a lot of time gaming. Consider the additional $129 a worthy upgrade for a decked-out Quest 2, especially since it also includes a very solid carrying case.

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The Elite Strap (right) attaches by snapping onto the sides after taking off the Quest 2 strap (left). The case (rear) is included too.


Scott Stein/CNET

The strap is much more comfy

The first Oculus Quest had a bulky but sturdy head strap that Facebook left off the Quest 2 in favor of a simpler (and probably cheaper) elastic set of velcro straps. Those can be popped off, and the new Elite Strap snapped on in their place. The foam-padded strap feels much more like the way the best PC VR headsets are constructed.

The side bands extend out, and a rear dial on the back of the headband tightens and loosens the fit. It’s easy to take off, and the headstrap balances weight better to avoid eye pressure. The Quest 2 face mask fits me differently, now, pressing against my forehead a bit more, my cheeks and eyes less. It’s far better for longer sessions.

The battery pack ‘doubles’ playing time 

A battery pack inside the rear of the headband plugs into the USB-C port on the side of the Quest 2, with a new pass-through USB-C charge port added to the back of the strap system (it’s just for charging, though: to use PC-connected Oculus Link features, you unplug the battery). The battery pack and Quest 2 charge together when plugged in to USB-C, and together they offer a lot more play than the two to three hours of the Quest 2 normally. 

I can’t tell yet how much more battery life specifically as I haven’t been able to play multiple hours at a stretch. However, I can now play for hours throughout the day and still have charge left, which is great. The only downside is that the battery pack and Quest take a long time to charge back up. Like, we’re talking an overnight charge.

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The case holds the Elite Strap and battery when attached to the Quest 2, plus controllers and charger, all well separated with plastic barriers.


Scott Stein/CNET

The case is essential

Oculus sells the Quest 2 carrying case separately, but it’s included with the battery pack strap. It’s more important than you might think. I find it extremely annoying to safely stow VR headsets, even around the house. I try to make sure the inner lenses don’t scratch, and VR headsets should be kept away from bright sunlight — direct sunbeams can cause burn-in on the displays when hitting the inner lenses. 

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The Quest 2 case (right) is bigger than the original Oculus Quest case (left) even though the Quest is smaller, because the Elite Strap makes it bigger. Oh well.


Scott Stein/CNET

The Quest 2 case carves out just enough room for the headset, controllers and charge cable, with plastic barriers to keep things from damaging the headset. The hard case is also reasonably protective for travel. I keep the Quest 2 in it as a light and dust shield, and it’s designed to fit the Elite Strap and Battery perfectly. Or, you could store the Quest 2 without the Elite Strap.

Three accessories in one bundle

The head strap, the case and the battery pack are all useful add-ons for hardcore users. The bundle makes sense together, and Facebook has elegantly designed the whole thing to work extremely well. You could buy the Elite Strap without the battery, or the carrying case separately, but they cost $49 each. The bundle feels a lot more logical, adding the battery for what amounts to an extra $30. I’d call this an accessory Facebook should have included with the Quest 2, but it’s clear that the Quest 2’s lower price came at the expense of extras. Adding this accessory to your Quest 2 brings the price of your VR headset closer to what the Quest cost in the first place last year. It’s worth it.


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source: cnet.com

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