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Oculus Rift’s Integrated Audio is ‘better than most cans out there’ says Luckey

The Oculus Rift’s $599 USD price is the result of the inclusion of several high quality components such as two OLED displays and integrated tracking systems. One feature that hasn’t been flagged up when talking about the overall cost of the device, however, is the integrated audio that will provide a standardised set of headphones attached to the device for everyone to use. Some have suggested that removing this feature could bring the price of the kit down, but Oculus VR’s Palmer Luckey disagrees.


Luckey said as much in this week’s Ask Me Anything session on Reddit. “The overhead of managing a SKU without headphones would cost more than the savings of removing headphones,” he explained. “The integrated audio hardware is better than most cans out there, even expensive ones – the Rift has a built in low-noise DAC and amp, and our audio SDK is tuned around that hardware. Good audio does not cost much to build, especially when it is piggybacking on existing materials and distribution (ala the Rift). Give it a chance!”

Audio is an incredibly important part of immersing players in a VR environment. 3D audio solutions are needed so that sounds react realistically in relation to the player’s distance and direction to its origin. Oculus VR is confident that its integrated audio, backed up with Head-Related Transfer Function (HRTF) tech.

Keep reading VRFocus for the latest updates on the Oculus Rift.

  1. Palmer, you’re a child. Many, many years from now you’ll look back and see that. If, that is, you don’t die of obesity first. Wear shoes and a tie, stop eating everything you see, exercise and lay off the teen cosplayers buddy. Most of all? Shut up, get off social media and let the big boys run the show. Amatuer.

    1. What’s the matter Paul? That just sounded like “success envy” lashing out at a young person who made a big difference in a field that lay stagnating for years. If you have something to debate, then by all means debate it but simply resorting to personal attacks is, well… amateur. (note the correct spelling of the word).

    2. What part of that ridiculous rabble of your is people supposed to take seriously? For someone calling out others as children, you have a lot of growing up to do yourself.

  2. I’m getting tired of this price whinging and that they should have done this or that to make it cheaper. Hell no I say!

    The internet is rife with people bemoaning the price and sure, Oculus and particularly, Palmer could have handled expectation a lot better but at the end of the day this is really a debut technology and like any new tech, price always starts high until mainstream adoption (and competition), drives pricing down.

    I believe Palmer when he says the Rift is as cheap as they could possibly make it for consumers. This is bleeding edge technology after all. Look at the prices you pay for the latest flagship smartphones and these are mainstream products operating in highly competitive markets. When you look at it that way, the price for the Rift doesn’t seem so bad at all.

    If you want to be an early adopter of leading edge VR, then this is the price you have to pay right now… that’s just the way it is.

  3. @Paul Bryant Your comments directed towards Palmer speak volumes about your character. Not in a good way.

  4. My issue with the Rift headphones is that they’re open (meaning they leak sound outward and let external sound in) and supra-aural (meaning they sit on the ear rather than encircling it). I need isolation for where I’ll be using the Rift, which means I’ll be using my Audio-Technica ATH-M50s (which are closed and circum-aural) most of the time. Otherwise I would hear too much of my girlfriend — phone conversations, cooking, the TV, etc.

  5. This is a huge mistake on Facebook part, headphones are something people like personalized, some like over the ear, some like in the ear, etc, etc,

    This is a misstep, along with the price. And to all of you out there who think $600US is as cheap as they could gone on pricing arent thinking too straight.

    No WAY IN HELL, this thing costs even close to $600 to make, they are rolling in all their startup costs, delevopment cost, factory tooling costs to the consumer. Not that I’m saying that’s wrong, but they could have sold it cheaper. To lie about it is even worse.
    Plus I’ll guarantee there’s profit in there too.

    Also to anyone who thinks Lucky is due some sort of award for pushing VR forward, needs to study the landscape a bit better and vr’s past.

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