I bought the Elite Strap with Battery alongside my Quest 3 on launch day and I’ve had plenty of time to test it. This article is going to cover the pros and cons of the Quest 3 Elite Strap with Battery and share my opinion on whether it is a good solution for your Quest 3.
The Quest 3 Elite Strap with battery is an optional accessory for Quest 3 that combines a rigid and more comfortable head strap with a rear-mounted battery to extend the amount of time you can use your device before you have to stop and recharge. It aims to solve two of the most significant issues with the Quest 3: Comfort and battery life.
The default Quest 3 head strap is marginally better than the Quest 2 head strap, but it’s still relatively uncomfortable, and wearing it results in the headset wobbling on your face as you move. A number of early testers of Quest 3 had mentioned that the new headstrap was much better than the one for Quest 2, but I think it’s only a minor improvement, and inadequate for more than occasional, short VR sessions.
Although the Quest 3 is a lot slimmer than the Quest 2, it’s actually a little bit heavier, and all the weight is at the front, so the default head strap is never going to be able to compensate for these design decisions. I had the official Elite Strap with Battery for the Quest 2 and found it to be a good option that worked reliably for several years. As a result, I picked up a Quest 3 Elite Strap with Battery without thinking too much about it.
The Quest 3 comes with a 19.44Wh battery inside, which is sufficient for about 2 hours of gameplay, but I’ve always found this to be too short, and it does impact my enjoyment when I know my time with the headset is limited.
The Elite Strap with battery has a capacity of 17.9Wh, so you don’t quite double the battery capacity of your device by using it with the Elite Strap with Battery. Based on how I’ve been using my Quest 3 since launch, I am getting between 3.5 to 4 hours of usage when using the Quest 3 Elite Strap with Battery.
This feels like a reasonable amount of time, and I’m usually ready for a break when the headset is starting to run out of battery. If I need additional battery life, I have a number of external batteries that I can connect to the Elite Battery Strap to extend the battery life further.
Quest 3 Elite Strap With Battery Video Review
In addition to this article, I’ve also made a video to share my thoughts about the Meta Quest 3 Elite Strap with Battery. I cover all the pros and cons and discuss my experience of using it since Quest 3 was released. I also discuss whether you would be better off opting for a third-party head strap in preference to the official strap, and why I went for the official battery strap.
Quest 3 Elite Strap With Battery Specifications
- Product dimensions: 241 mm (L) x 173.1 mm (W) x 101.5 mm (H)
- Weight: 331 g
- Form factor: Head strap with attached battery
- Color: White
- Material: Plastic, silicone (rear head support), fabric (top strap)
- Battery capacity: 7.68 V/2,330 mAh/17.9 Wh
The Quest 3 Elite Strap with Battery comes in a similar box to the Quest 3, and it contains only the head strap and a small manual, but it’s well packaged and looks like a premium product out of the box. The Elite Strap with Battery is made of exactly the same plastic that the Quest 3 is made of, making it blend in really nicely with the Quest 3.
The majority of the weight of the battery strap is in the battery, which is positioned at the back, and this acts like a counterweight to the headset, making the overall unit feel much more balanced on your head. Although the battery strap adds about another 60% of the weight of the Quest 3, it doesn’t feel any heavier to wear due to the more balanced weight distribution.
In front of the battery, there is a large silicone head support, which has enough flex to mold to the shape of your head, while being sufficiently rigid to hold the headset in place. There is a top strap that connects from the center of the head support and then connects to the top of the Quest 3 in the same way that the default head strap does.
It took less than two minutes to detach the default head strap and install the Elite Strap with Battery. The unit was about 50% charged when it arrived, so I put it on to charge for about an hour before using it.
The cable that runs from the battery strap connects to the USB-C port on the left side of the headset, and then there is a separate USB-C charging port on the bottom of the Elite battery strap. You plug your charger into the USB-C port on the Elite Battery Strap and it will then charge both the headset and the external battery.
The battery strap is able to provide power to the Quest 3 at least as fast as you are able to drain the battery while using the headset. This means that the battery strap will always drain before the headset, and you will always utilize all of the available charge across the two batteries when using your headset.
The Elite Strap with Battery also has a button on the bottom of the battery that serves as a charging indicator. If you press the button, a flashing orange light indicates low charge, orange indicates medium charge, and green indicates that the battery is fully charged. You will see similar indicator lights when the battery strap is plugged into the charger.
The fit of the Elite Battery Strap is adjusted with a dial on the back of the strap that you turn to tighten or loosen. Whilst you do generally have to loosen the strap to remove the headset and tighten it again when you put it on, this only takes a second or two, so isn’t much of a hassle. In contrast to the Quest 2, you don’t really need to take your headset off and on to see the real world, as the pass-through cameras are now sufficiently clear for most purposes.
The Elite Strap attaches to the two side arms with similar brackets to the default head strap, but it has a rigid, halo design that goes around the sides of our head and feels secure. There is a woven, material top strap that can be adjusted with a velcro strap and there is minimal flex, ensuring that once you find the right fit, it will feel secure every time you put it on.
What I Like About The Quest 3 Elite Strap With Battery
One of the main reasons I’ve chosen the official Elite Strap with Battery for my Quest 3 is that the design and materials fit in so well with the rest of the headset. The Elite strap makes the headset look way better and it solves the comfort and battery life problems very nicely. There will undoubtedly be a wide selection of third-party battery straps available before too long, but I doubt whether there will be many with such good aesthetics and build quality.
The rear head support is large and made of a rubberized material that grips the back of your head really well. The adjustment dial at the back is easy to use and lets you achieve a comfortable fit in a few seconds, and the design is an improvement on the Quest 2 Elite Strap.
The increase in battery life provided by the Elite Battery Strap with Battery feels about right. I’m usually ready for a break after four hours of using my headset, and I think the tradeoff between adding additional weight for a bigger battery, and impact on the battery life is pretty good.
The Quest 3 Elite Battery Strap is really comfortable to wear, and I’ve spent up to 6-7 hours using my headset in a day without any discomfort at all. The headset stays in place even when playing energetic games such as Thrill of the Fight. The side straps don’t touch my ears and I don’t feel any pressure points even after wearing my Quest 3 for a long time.
What I Don’t Like About The Quest 3 Elite Strap With Battery
The most obvious negative about the official Elite Strap with Battery is the price. At $130/£130, I feel it is overpriced, and a bit of an extravagance considering there will soon be multiple third-party alternatives available for considerably less.
I decided to pay up for the official strap because it looks great, but also because there are very few alternatives available at launch, and I really didn’t want to be stuck with using the default head strap for any significant length of time.
The other major negative is that the Quest 2 Elite Strap with Battery is incompatible with the Quest 3 due to a subtle change in the thickness and design of the side arms. I’m 100% convinced that this has been done intentionally to sell more accessories, which is highly disappointing. If the Quest 2 strap had been compatible, I would of course have just used the Elite Strap from my Quest 2.
The Quest 3 Elite Strap with battery has a power cable on the left side that connects to the USB-C power connector on the left side of the headset. Whilst the equivalent cable on the Quest 2 Elite Strap was held in place with a clip, there is no such thing on the Quest 3 Elite strap. This leads the the cable sticking out from the headset, and this isn’t a great look.
This isn’t a major issue by any means, but it just doesn’t look great on what is a premium first-party accessory. I have tried various options to manage the cable, but I haven’t found a solution that I’m completely happy with yet.
The other problem I ran into with my Elite Strap was that the first one I received wasn’t working properly, and I had to contact Meta support to ask them to send me a replacement. Whenever I plugged the first Elite Strap into my headset, it would detect it for a few seconds and then disappear, and not provide any additional power to my headset. Despite trying a variety of potential fixes, I couldn’t get it to work and had to request a replacement.
Thankfully, Meta’s live support was fairly easy to contact, very helpful, and dealt with my issue quickly, sending me a replacement, and this one has worked flawlessly so far.
Alternatives To The Official Elite Strap With Battery
It’s early days for third-party battery head straps for Quest 3, but the ever-popular BOBOVR is due to release a battery head strap in the next few weeks, as is KIWI Design. There are a number of other accessory manufacturers that I expect will launch battery head straps, including ZyberVR, and YogesVR, and it will be interesting to see how these stack up in comparison to the official head strap.
There are already a number of head straps appearing that do not include a battery, and this is always an option if you feel like comfort is your main concern, or you want to use another external battery solution for your Quest 3.
Should You Buy The Quest 3 Elite Strap With Battery
If you want a great-looking battery head strap that has great build quality and materials, and you don’t mind paying a premium, then I think the official Elite Strap with battery is an excellent choice.
However, if you are looking for something a bit more affordable, or one with a larger battery capacity, then you may be better off waiting for one of the alternatives that will soon be available.
Personally, I’m really pleased with the Elite Strap. It’s not perfect by any means, but it solves the two main issues I have with the Quest 3 and looks great too.
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