The KIWI design Comfort Battery Audio Head Strap is the kind of accessory your Quest 2 deserves. It’s a brilliant third-party strap upgrade that doubles playtime and seriously improves the Quest 2 experience.
the good bits
Far more comfortable than the stock strap
Easy to find a good fit
Adds up to five hours of extra battery life
Audio quality is impressive
the not so good bits
Relies on stock facial interface
Quest 2 can’t track external battery level
KIWI design Comfort Battery Audio Head Strap for Quest 2
As good as the Meta Quest 2 VR headset is, there’s one area that’s a common complaint amongst users – the head strap. Frankly, it’s dreadful and it lets down an otherwise brilliant bit of kit. Thankfully there’s other solutions available, including this; the KIWI design Comfort Battery Audio Head Strap.
It’s not all about comfort however, there’s added benefits to a third-party strap too and KIWI bring a host of bonus features to the party. It all comes at a premium though, so having already invested in a Quest 2 VR headset, should you get a new strap too?
The original head strap for the Quest 2 is a very basic affair, the KIWI design Comfort Battery Audio Head Strap is the opposite. There is a lot going on here and it makes the Meta Quest 2 look considerably more sci-fi.
Rather than the elastic sides of the original head strap, the KIWI Comfort Strap follows the Meta Elite Strap and takes a hard plastic approach. There’s a little bit of bend and flex in the arms though so they don’t feel at risk of snapping and they should be sturdy enough to stand the test of time. The over-head strap has also had an upgrade over Meta’s elite choice, with KIWI sticking a thick foam pad along the length of it which is a very welcome addition.
The 6,400mAh battery is neatly contained in the back housing in a way that actually better balances the unit as a whole. The Meta Quest 2 always had a tendency to feel like it’s hanging off your face, but the Comfort Battery Audio Head Strap acts as a counterweight and it all feels more secure as a result. Despite the extra hardware there’s no discernable weight increase and I almost couldn’t notice the difference once it was on.
Attached to the battery housing is a nicely padded foam ring which hugs the back of your head. As with just about everything on the KIWI design strap this is a nicer solution than Meta’s basic approach and a welcome upgrade. The over-head strap and back cushion are covered in ‘ultra-soft protein leather’ and both feel smooth and premium.
Hanging off the side beams on spring loaded arms are a pair of over-ear headphones 40mm drivers. They may not look it at first glance but these are super cushioned and nestle comfortably onto your ears with some vertical adjustment on offer as well.
Meta may have set the bar pretty low with their own strap but KIWI have made massive improvements to the overall experience with the Comfort Battery Audio Head Strap.
I found the extra support of the back cushion along with the counterweight effect of the battery made the Quest 2 feel considerably more secure and comfortable on my head. The padded over-head strap also helped avoid irritation for extended gaming sessions compared with the fabric. You’ll still need to bring your own facial interface as there isn’t an upgraded option included with the strap, but it’s fully compatible with the original interface or KIWI offer their own set of upgraded replacement interfaces too.
The KIWI elite strap features a click wheel on the back and it’s a simple solution to finding a secure and comfortable fit. Each step on the wheel is small enough that minor adjustments are easy to make, though I found myself tweaking the fit a lot more throughout play sessions on the KIWI strap than the official Quest 2 Elite Strap. I’m not entirely sure why as they both feature the same overall concept but I never felt I could settle on the perfect fit for extended periods.
That said it was still a world away from the experience of the original strap and considerably more comfortable to wear. I can’t imagine going back to the default strap at this point and would urge any Oculus Quest 2 owner to invest in an upgrade. You’ll thank yourself later.
The built-in 6,400mAh battery adds between 2.5 and 5 hours of play-time on top of the Quest 2’s own juice, though unlike the official Elite Strap the headset doesn’t recognise and display it as an external source. This doesn’t actually make a real-world difference apart from a lack of understanding of how much energy you’ve got left to play with in total, but it would have been nice to see.
Unlike the base strap, I’ve been impressed with the default on-board audio quality of the Meta Quest 2 so I initially wasn’t sure of the need for an external option. However I was pleasantly surprised with the bump in performance from using the KIWI design Comfort Battery Audio Head Strap. The on-ear pads deliver a richer, louder sound than the in-built speakers and are soft enough to barely notice once you start playing. The spring-loaded arms also fold up so while they can’t be detached, they can easily be tucked away and unplugged if needed.
If you’ve been wondering if you need an upgraded strap for the Meta Quest 2, frankly the answer is yes and the KIWI design Comfort Battery Audio Head Strap is a great choice. The addition of the back cushion along with the counterbalancing effect of the battery make it considerably more comfortable to wear and easier to adjust.
The extra playtime from the external battery is great, though the headphones might be overkill for some people. They perform well but you could save yourself some cash and opt for the battery only option instead. Regardless of which you choose though, you’ll find a massive improvement over the Quest 2 default strap and the KIWI design option is highly recommended.