Playstation VR popularized the Halo strap for VR headsets. A design that still has its drawbacks.
Sony used the same proven design for the PlayStation VR 2, which was copied by many competitors.
You wear a halo-shaped strap that mostly rests on your forehead and evenly distributes the weight of the helmet over your head. The same design has been implemented in Windows Mixed Reality headsets, the Oculus Rift S, and more recently the Meta Quest Pro.
Another advantage of this design is that the helmet does not press against your face, at least not as much as other solutions. In the case of the Playstation VR 2, you can even adjust the distance from the headset to your face.
Halo straps have many disadvantages
A few months ago, during the launch of Meta Quest Pro, I wrote that the perfect comfort solution still does not exist. My experience with Playstation VR 2 gave me the feeling of already seen.
My issue with halo straps is that they cover a lot of my head and can feel constricting, even claustrophobic. Not to mention the discomfort and headaches that can result from the forehead-heavy nature of this design. A phenomenon many users have complained about with the similarly built Meta Quest Pro.
The often rigid design of head mounts can also lead to compromises in image clarity for comfort reasons – or vice versa.
And if the strap doesn’t fit your forehead perfectly, comfort can suffer, as MIXED colleague Ben writes in his PSVR 2 review. After about an hour, the forehead padding becomes uncomfortable and leaves marks. deep pressure. A problem that affects me too.
The problem may resolve itself…one day
Another disadvantage of halo straps: because of the adjustment wheel on the back of the head, you cannot lean back or rest your head. If you are sitting in a chair with a high back, you need to tilt your head forward a little, which after a while will affect your neck. For the same reason, I criticized the Elite strap of the Meta Quest 2.
Oddly enough, the best experience I’ve had so far has been with the basic strap which comes with Meta Quest 2. This simplest and cheapest solution of all works fine for me and doesn’t slip. A fortune and a privilege that few have.
Maybe one day the problem of comfort will solve itself. VR headsets are becoming smaller, thinner and lighter. Virtual reality enthusiast Brad Lynch is currently testing the ultra-lightweight Bigscreen Beyond. He says on Twitter that the Quest 2’s soft strap isn’t necessarily a bad design and could be useful when paired with a much lighter helmet.
It will be a long time before that happens with Quest headsets. Unlike Meta Quest 2, the Bigscreen Beyond PC VR Headset does not have an integrated SoC or battery and requires external tracking accessories.
All information about Sony’s VR headset can be found in our Playstation VR 2 test. The PSVR 2 is currently only available on the Playstation Store. You will also need a Playstation 5.
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