How to Connect Oculus Quest Bluetooth Headphones: No Latency by@Limarc

How to Connect Oculus Quest Bluetooth Headphones: No Latency

August 5th 2021 22,139 reads
Read on Terminal Reader
Open TLDR
react to story with heart
react to story with light
react to story with boat
react to story with money
Oculus Quest 2’s Bluetooth feature is listed as experimental, meaning it isn’t ready yet. When it comes to trying to connect headphones to the headset via Bluetooth, the experience is unplayable. The latency between the action in the game and the sound effects playing in your headphones is so bad that it's not worth it to play that way. The answer is in a $15 - $30 device known as a Bluetooth audio transceiver. This device acts as a bridge between your Oculus Quest and your Bluetooth headphones, bypassing the Bluetooth function of the headset.
image
Limarc Ambalina HackerNoon profile picture

@Limarc
Limarc Ambalina

Hacker Noon's VP of Editorial by day, VR Gamer and Anime Binger by night

facebook social icontwitter social iconyoutube social iconinstagram social iconlinkedin social icon

Table of Contents:

  1. The Problems With Connecting Bluetooth Headphones to the Oculus Quest
  2. How to Connect Oculus Quest Bluetooth Headphones with No Latency
    1. My Setup
    2. Hardware Required
    3. Steps to Connect Headphones to Oculus Quest
    4. Results / Games Tested


Hey fellow VR addicts. For a long time, I’ve been experimenting with Oculus Quest 2’s Bluetooth features. Right now, the feature is listed as experimental, meaning it isn’t ready yet. Unfortunately, when it comes to trying to connect headphones to the Oculus Quest 2 via Bluetooth, the experience is unplayable.


Basically, the latency between the action in the game and the sound effects playing in your headphones is so bad that it’s not worth it to play that way. When perusing online for solutions, I couldn’t really find any, so I decided to experiment and find a solution myself! In this article, I’ll teach you how to connect your Bluetooth headphones to the Oculus Quest 2 and get a clear connection with pretty much no latency (noticeable latency anyway, I’m not an audiophile so I can’t measure this down to the millisecond).



Problems Connecting Bluetooth Headphones to the Oculus Quest [Latency Issues]

While doing research on my own, I noticed that many Redditors reported the same thing. This thread has a few users reporting the audio latency issues.


One of the most likely reasons is that that Oculus Quest and Quest 2 controllers themselves rely on a Bluetooth connection to the headset to work. Therefore, since there are already 2 devices being paired to the headset, adding Bluetooth headphones isn’t that viable, as there isn’t much room left in the “bluetooth bandwidth”. This was a theory reported in this Reddit thread.


Now that we know some possible reasons causing the latency, how can we get around this and connect Bluetooth headphones to the Oculus Quest 2 and remove the latency? The answer is in a $15 - $30 device known as a Bluetooth audio transceiver.


How to Connect Oculus Quest Bluetooth Headphones with No Latency (in 4 easy steps)

So here is the setup I have, in which this method works very well. Just to be clear, this method works with just the native Quest games and PCVR setups as well. I tested it on both native Quest games and playing games through Steam VR and Virtual Desktop.

Headset

Oculus Quest 2 - 64 GB model

PC CPU

Intel i5-4690k

PC GPU

GEFORCE GTX 1660S

PC RAM

24GB DDR3

Bluetooth Headphones

I tested this method on the following Bluetooth headphones:
-Anker Soundcore Life Q10
-FosPower Bluetooth Wireless Sports Earphones
- NoName Bluetooth Earbuds fromWish.com


Required Hardware:

  • Bluetooth audio transmitter or transceiver
  • Wireless Bluetooth headphones (obviously)


I tested this method on the following Bluetooth headphones:


4 Steps to Connect Oculus Quest Bluetooth Headphones:

image
Step 1: Buy a Bluetooth transmitter or transceiver

These devices are relatively cheap and shouldn’t cost you more than $15 to $30 USD. This device acts as a bridge between your Oculus Quest and your Bluetooth headphones, bypassing the Bluetooth function of the headset which isn’t quite effective enough yet.


Make sure to read reviews, and find the best bang for your buck. The most important thing to watch out for is to ensure that you purchase a Bluetooth 5.0 model and not an older lower-powered device.


Also, be sure to find one with a short enough audio cord that it doesn’t get in the way. You’ll be sticking the transceiver to the top of the Oculus Quest and plugging it into the quest headphone jack.


Ideally, the chord should be about 18 - 20 CM or 7 - 8 inches in length.


image

I went with a Bluetooth 5.0 transceiver from Soundpeats that ran me about $27 USD on Amazon Japan. You should be able to find something similar or even cheaper when searching for transceivers on your local online stores or at your local shops.


For example, here’s one under $20 on Amazon.com in the United States.


Step 2: Connect the transceiver to your Oculus Quest


To connect the transceiver to the top of the Oculus Quest, plug in the transceiver to the quest headphone jack first. This will help you gauge the best position on top of the Quest.


To stick it in place, I used thick double-sided tape like this:


image

This also makes it fairly easy to remove if you want to use your transceiver for other purposes too.


Step 3: Pair your Bluetooth headphones to the transceiver


If you went with the transceiver (and not just a transmitter), first ensure that your transceiver is set to transmit mode (we are transmitting the Quest’s audio to the headphones).


Once that’s done, turn on the transceiver and turn on your headphones. Follow your headphones’ and the transceiver’s pairing guide to pair the devices together.


Step 4 (only for PCVR gamers): Experiment with plugging the transceiver into your PC audio jack or the Oculus Quest audio jack


When trying this method for PCVR gaming you have the added option of plugging the transceiver into your PC’s audio jack.


My PC has a sound blaster z sound card, and to take advantage of that, I plugged my transceiver into my PC and ran the audio through the pc.


To do this, I set the Oculus Quest volume to 0 so that the audio from Virtual Desktop doesn’t come in through the headset while I’m playing.


Then in the PC audio settings, DON’T choose Virtual Desktop Audio. Choose whatever playback device is associated with the audio jack you plugged the transceiver into.


OR


IF you want to avoid that hassle. Just follow Step 3 and choose “virtual desktop audio” as your playback device in your PC’s sound settings.


Results

I’ve shown you how to connect Bluetooth headphones to the Oculus Quest. However, the most important detail is: how well does it work? Can we truly get 0 latency?


I tested this method on the following games through PCVR:



The results actually depended on the quality of the headphones too. As I said earlier, I tested the following headphones:



I specifically chose cheaper budget headphone options, because I’m kind of on a mission to make VR as cheap and entry-friendly as possible. I’m not a fan of $1000+ VR devices and $1000+ GPUs. I’m looking for options that normal people can afford.


All of these headphones can be bought for under $40 USD.


Testing the NoName Bluetooth Earbuds from Wish.com


Starting from the bottom. I bought some knockoff earphones/airpods from Wish.com that ran me less than $20 USD including shipping.



image

I liked this design because they are the most comfortable and allow you to move freely. Even with boxing games, they didn’t fall out. The same can’t be said for regular over-the-ear headsets. If you jerk your head hard enough during a hardcore boxing match in VR, there is a chance they’ll slide off.


Unfortunately, you get what you pay for. I noticed a decent amount of latency with these. Perhaps their Bluetooth signal just wasn’t very strong of they were made with cheap parts. I wouldn’t recommend going the ultra-cheap route with headphones from Wish.


Results: Noticeable latency

Pros: Most comfortable, great for active games, very cheap

Cons: Latency is particularly noticeable in rhythm-based games


Testing the FosPower Bluetooth Wireless Sports Earphones

image
The FosPower Earphones has a lot of things going for them. They were relatively cheap, lightweight, and sweat-resistant. That might not matter to most of you, but I sweat uncontrollably during VR.


Sweat-resistance with in the earphones is a huge draw for me.


There is a short wire that connects the two earphones together, but it is small and rests on the back of your neck, and is barely noticeable.


When I tested these, at least during my playthroughs, I didn’t have any latency with Skyrim VR. However, for some reason during Skyrim VR sometimes the audio would cut out randomly. I don’t know what caused this. It didn’t happen all the time, but it happened twice in about an hour of play, so I thought that was important to point out.


If you play rhythm games, audio cutting out randomly might be a dealbreaker for you. However, for sports games, these are your best bet from the headphones on this list.


Also, compared to over-the-ear headphones, the quality of audio is obviously lower. These are budget headphones made to be used during physical activities. They are great for boxing games, but if you want crisp, clear, immersive audio, nothing beats over-the-ear headphones.


Results: No latency, but weird audio glitches did occur a couple of times

Pros: Comfortable, best for active games, sweat-resistant, cheap price

Cons: Audio quality is average


Testing the Anker Soundcore Life Q10 Headphones

image

These budget headphones cost just $40 USD and they were much better than I thought they would be. It just shows how far our technology has come, seeing that we can offer such quality at just $40.


Out of the 3 on this list, these headphones had the best audio quality and literally 0 latency when tested on Skyrim VR and Pavlov. But again, I’m not an audiophile, so I didn’t test this down to the tenths of a millisecond.


All I can say is that as someone who plays Skyrim VR religiously, I noticed better audio quality than what comes out of the Quest 2 headset and 0 latency throughout my play sessions.


Anker also claims that these headphones have up to 60 hours of battery life and are quick charging: charge for 5 minutes, listen for 5 hours.


Results: Absolutely no latency

Pros: Comfortable, best audio quality

Cons: Bulkiest option on this list



Final Thoughts on Connecting Headphones to the Oculus Quest via Bluetooth

If you can’t stand the audio quality that the Quest headset provides, you most definitely can connect Bluetooth headphones or earphones to the Oculus Quest.


However, you can’t use the built-in experimental Bluetooth feature that the Quest 2 offers. You have to use an external Bluetooth transceiver and pair your headphones to the transceiver, which you plug into the Quest itself or your PC for PCVR games. I hope this guide helps you get better audio for your VR adventures!

react to story with heart
react to story with light
react to story with boat
react to story with money
L O A D I N G
. . . comments & more!