VR Ears was successfully crowdfunded back in May, garnering nearly $200,000 over the course of its month-long Kickstarter campaign. Now the developers Rebuff Reality say its off-ear speaker accessory for VR headsets will ship out a few months later than previously planned.
The project’s Kickstarter says VR Ears offers “high performance audio” via its premium off-ear speakers and built-in Digital Amplifier and Signal Processor.
Featuring a clip-on design, it also supports a wide array of devices including Oculus Rift, Rift S, Oculus Quest, Quest 2, HTC Vive, Vive Pro, Vive Cosmos, PSVR, Valve Index, and Pimax 8K’s rigid headstrap variant.
VR Ears was slated to start shipping in December of this year, however now the Miami-based team says it will officially begin shipping on July 15th, 2021.
The creators cite difficulties making hardware improvements during the global supply chain disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here’s the full statement to Kickstarter backers from Rebuff Reality:
Hi VR Ears Backers,
We have had a long journey this year making a ton of improvements to the design and audio performance of VR Ears, while at the same time dealing with the impact COVID-19 has had on the global supply chain. We are finally ready to begin the tooling process and release a firm shipment date. VR Ears will ship July 15, 2021, with full support for Oculus Quest 2, forward compatibility for all leading VR headsets, and standalone with our HeadStrap accessory.
We know this is not what you were hoping for, we feel the same way. All the funds we’ve gathered have been put to good use improving the product in the best way possible. We take to heart all the support the community has given us this year, just as we have done for TrackStrap, VR Power, VR Shell, and all our other products. VR Ears will be simply awesome. After using VR Ears, you won’t know how you lived without them, and won’t be able to go back to anything else.
Stay tuned for more updates as the tooling and validation process moves forward.
Rebuff Your Reality,
Founder and CEO
It’s important to note that the tooling and validations processes come with their own challenges, so it’s slightly puzzling how Rebuff Reality can give such a precise release date this far ahead of having the final product in hand.
Granted, the company has prior experience in manufacturing, as it offers a line of products such as VR Power, an external battery pack and counterweight for Quest and Quest 2, and VR Shell, an exterior faceplate protector for the original Quest. Still, it would have been a nice accessory for some VR users hoping to upgrade to an audio system similar to what Valve Index features natively.
For latecomers to the Kickstarter, Rebuff Reality has an IndieGogo currently taking pre-orders. Early Bird tiers are still available at a 40% discount off its $150 MSRP, which comes to $89 (€75) for a pair of VR Ears and a single set of clips.