Among the improvements to come to the latest version of the Vive is easier access to a feature that will maximize the device’s field of view between users and be a boon to glasses wearers.

The Vive Pre (and consumer Vive, which is essentially the same) has both a mechanism to adjust the distance between lenses (IPD), but also the distance from the user’s eyes to the lenses. Maximum field of view is achieved when the lenses are as close to the eye as they can comfortably be, and for each user this distance will be different depending upon facial structure.

htc-vive-lens-to-eye-distance-adjustment-knob 2

Revealed in the Vive’s manual, HTC has smartly combined the headstrap attachment and lens-to-eye adjustment knob into a single mechanism. To adjust the lens-to-eye distance, grab the rubber part of the headstrap attachment on the sides of the headset and pull outward to unlock the mechanism. From there, twist each knob equally to move the lenses forward or back. Click the knobs back into place to lock in your setting.


This adjustment will come in especially handy to make room for those who need to wear glasses while using the headset. On the original HTC Vive development kit, this adjustment was even more hidden, with a tiny knob inside the face-gasket, making it impossible to adjust while wearing the headset. The Vive Pre’s way of doing it should make it easy to dial in your fit while actually wearing the device (rather than doing trial and error).

See Also: Hands-on – HTC Vive Pre Brings Notable Improvements to Visuals, Tracking, and Ergonomics

The Oculus Rift DK2 also had such an adjustment, but the consumer Rift that’s shipping next month doesn’t. Oculus instead says they’ll include several different foam liners to create a buffer for those with or without glasses, though we suspect this will be a more cumbersome adjustment, especially when passing the headset around between several users.

Vive XR Elite Gets Face-tracking Add-on with Eye & Mouth Sensing

Sony’s PlayStation VR headset also includes a lens-to-eye adjustment though it’s achieved in a slightly different way. The PlayStation VR headset hangs down from the supporting band around the user’s head, and a button on the bottom of the headset allows the user to slide the entire display enclosure closer or further from their eyes.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • sirlance

    I have already allocated money for the vive..and we are building a home soon ,i told my wife my office has to be a certain size which has befuddled her…lol

  • james harrison

    “Maximum field of view is achieved when the lenses are as close to the eye as they can comfortably be.”

    Not sure this correct. Too close and you see the edges of the screen in your field of view. It’s all about getting the right balance.

    • benz145

      FOV will either be limited by the edge of the lenses or by the edge of the display. Either way, you get maximum FoV by having the lenses as close to your eyes as possible. Technically, this could be untrue based on the exit-pupil of the optical system, but for the types of lenses we’re talking about, I’ve never seen it come into play.

      • Sam Illingworth

        Won’t it make the individual pixels more noticeable though?

  • VR Geek

    I really think the Vive, plus Gear VR is the Best all around combo at this time. Other than Lucky Tales, I am finding myself much more interested in the Vive and Gear VR experiences than CV1. I have been a big fan of Oculus and still am, but the CV1 is really not impressing me. I have tried the Vive for several hours and was totally blown away over crystal cove which is similar to the CV1. Somehow Oculus’s flagship product is closer in use case of the Gear VR than the Vive. How did this happen?

    • John R

      I feel the Rift will be a slightly superior headset (mostly due to lenses) but VR to be novelty without motion controllers, at the least, as well as 360 degree tracking. For this reason I feel like Vive is currently the only viable VR setup to consider right now (especially seeing as it is so close in price).

  • Hatless Chimp

    I’ve tried them all and taking everything in its this order.
    1st – HTC Vive
    2nd – PSVR
    3rd Oculus Rift CV1

    HTC Vive will be the VR eSports headset of choice. It works perfectly with the Virtuix Omni thanks to the better 360 tracking of the headset and controllers. The PSVR is amazing and 120hz is way better than 90hz. More people will be able to afford them and their are 36 million potential users on day one by buying a single product. Where as PC users with a capable system are few and far between. Oculus has an epic fail on their hands with the touch controller, hence why its delayed! There is no 360 tracking and the controller is weird in the hand. Watch this space!!!


      All reports of UX speak to the natural feel of Oculus Touch, and 360 tracking works with 2 sensors.

      • John R

        Occlusion issues are improved with 2 sensors; there are still issues with 360 tracking with 2 sensors (with Touch).

  • UKRifter Oculus VR

    This is only a hidden feature if you didn’t read the manual. So, in what sense is it hidden? Additionally, discovering this “hidden” feature doesn’t allow you to increase FOV as the device is already set to full FOV by default, it only allows people with glasses (or Marty Feldman eyes) to pull the lens away a bit.

    • Yaniv Ben David

      That’s right, it is set to full from factor. Btw, I love and subscribed to your YouTube channel :)

  • Byron Guernsey

    Oculus did not include any “additional foam liners”. You get 1 foam liner. My vive on the other hand included 2- and it never claimed to need them to adjust the distance. So draw your own conclusions.

  • Cynically Apex

    My IDP Is 63.5 yet when adjusted to that in the Vive it is still blurred

  • Joe Holliday

    Not sure how you consider it “hidden” when it’s plainly explained in the manual…

  • Eddie Dery

    I cannot turn these knobs on my Vive. I have applied considerable force, but I fear breaking it if I push too hard. Anyone else having similar issues?

    • Joel Miroi

      First pull them out and then turn them.