Last week we learned Oculus founder and former executive Palmer Luckey was getting ready to release a repair kit for out-of-warranty Rifts that suffer from a manufacturing flaw that results in malfunctioning audio in one (or both) of the headset’s integrated headphones. Now, Luckey says, he’s giving it away for free.

Luckey announced the repair kit on his personal blog, dubbing it the ‘RR1’, or the Rift Repair One.

If you haven’t tried your own homebrew method yet, the fix is more simple than you might think, requiring no tools or knowledge of the internal workings of the headset’s audio cabling.

Essentially, Luckey’s kit works by bridging the left and right audio contacts with an external cable, resembling more or less the same solution featured in a quick video guide by YouTuber ‘Virtual Reality Oasis’.

Image courtesy iFixit

Having bought several malfunctioning Rifts from Twitter and Reddit users over the past year (at it’s current price no less), Luckey determined the problem stems from long-term use, which he says “often leads to failure of important electrical paths in a specific ribbon cable that winds through the strap.”

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It seems most of his Rifts with the issue fail at the ground connection for the right headphone audio module, Luckey says, which has resulted in countless threads across the Internet asking for a solution. It also works for users with a complete failure of both integrated headphones.

The repair kit, Luckey says, can be “configured in a variety of ways to address a variety of different failures while running in parallel to the existing electrical system.”

“Most people only need a common ground between their right and left headphone audio modules – just slap the wiring harness on, slip the bypass discs between the pogo pins on the headphones and the strap receptacle, you will be back in business!”

For users with full audio failure, the kit allows you to directly tie-in external audio sources, presumably plugging into what appears to be the RR1’s integrated 3.5mm audio jack.

Before sending off for a kit, Luckey suggests going through some standard first aid steps to diagnose the issue, including contacting Oculus Support if tightening the connection, cleaning the contacts, or fixing your PC’s sound settings doesn’t work.

Failing that, out-of-warranty Rift users can send a copy of their Oculus Support ticket and their mailing address to RiftRepairOne@gmail.com for their very own RR1 repair kit and setup instructions.

Luckey explains he’s releasing the free kit not only out of a duty to maintain the product he undersigned, but to keep the ecosystem healthy for the sort of powerusers that would run into the problem in the first place.

“Properly functioning, high quality audio that does not rely on fumbling with third party headphones and cables is an important part of getting users to regularly engage, and the market research bears it out – there is a reason everyone is building audio into their headsets, even companies that initially doubted the importance,” he says.

Because Luckey isn’t selling the kit, and requires applicants to already have a Rift in a fail state, you might look at the RR1 as more than just a charitable act to the Rift-using community. It could serve as a strong message to Oculus to address the issue, be it by directly referring out-of-warranty customers to Luckey’s kit, or publicly acknowledging the issue and taking the matter into their own hands.

Whatever the case may be, it looks like many long-term Rift owners will have the full use of their headset now just in time for the long wait for the next Rift headset—the fabled ‘Rift S’, which is said to include inside-out tracking and could presumably have a higher resolution display.

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  • mellott124

    Impressive to say the least. Never seen this happen at this scale by an individual. Bravo Mr. Palmer.

    • jj

      it’s only 50/50, yes its pretty epic to to see someone being responsible about their products issues, but it really should be expected since the other outcome is just a mass amount of buyers being shit out of luck cause of their faulty product. So its good cause they’re making things right, and most devs today wouldn’t do that, but its also to fix their own mistake so they do’t get bad press.

      • BJames

        The person doing this is no longer part of Oculus or Facebook – so it’s not even remotely his responsibility nor should it be expected. But he did get filthy rich thanks to founding and selling Oculus to Facebook, and must have some sense of duty to the people who helped fund that success.

        • jj

          it’s his responsibility because he would get a lot of bad press if he didnt do it…. like i said, otherwise this would be a perfect cornerstone argument against any future palmer product he makes.

          This is expected because the other outcome is people start to shun oculus/fb/palmer products due to them breaking right out of warranty. So for the sake of oculus and any future palmer products, it is his responsibility to fix this, or they’d be at risk of reduced sales and stocks from bad press and no trust in relations to cheap and faulty products.

          • Cybis Z

            Nobody thinks that Palmer designed the Rift all by himself. Thus, nobody blames Palmer personally for an electrical defect that Facebook’s numerous electrical engineers failed to catch. Defective Rifts only reflect poorly on Facebook, since FB has the resources and knowhow to fix the problem and just chooses not to because it’s less expensive that way.

            Furthermore, if you leave a company, you’re no longer responsible for that company’s projects. Heck, you’re not even held responsible for the parts that *you* made. My old employer isn’t going to call me complaining that some old SQL script I wrote years ago for them has a bug in it. It’s not my responsibility to fix anymore.

            Kudos to Palmer for going out of his way, at a substantial personal cost, to address this issue. It means he really cares about his baby.

          • brandon9271

            Palmer is a decent guy. I like him despite what the far left looneys think.

          • jj

            or despite what the far right quackos think….

          • brandon9271

            He dared to work in silicon valley and not be in the bag for Hillary.. other than that what “wrong” did he commit? Hmmm? oh that’s right.. none.

          • jj

            well since you said far left looneys, i was just evening the playing field and saying the same thing back. so its pretty funny you’d blow up with such an extreme response that’s referring to things outside of this conversation.

            Did i ever say anything about him doing anything wrong in relations to politics? no, so why would you put “wrong” in quotes???? where the flying fuck are you pulling all that from because i didn’t say that?

            all i said is “or despite what the far right quackos think….” and you replied with THAT… yeah good luck out in the world bud, because your projection of your own beliefs of what others believe, is tripping you up more than dems are.
            plus Hillary wasnt the only candidate against asshole trump, which was a large contribution to how the dictator “won”.

          • brandon9271

            I never said YOU were a far left looney but you went ahead and proved yourself one all by yourself. lol you and Mr Fleas have a beef with Palmer and outside of his political views you can’t come up with any other reason to feel that way.. so as I said, other than not being a leftist what’s your beef with Palmer? I said “far left looneys” because those are the people that have a problem with him. Most other reasonable people on either side of the aisle can accept the fact that not everyone agrees with them and its ok. It doesn’t make you a “Nazi” or a “racist.” Those who have that world view are, at best, mislead or at worst, mentally ill. You apparently suffer from TDS.

          • jj

            i’m not a leftist, i was just pointing out how biased you were by presenting the opposite…

            plus i never said i had a beef with palmer either i’ve only talked about his reputation in relations to the rift.

            So if you’re going to make shit up and then use mental illnesses as a way to belittle people, we can just stop here.

            saying “You apparently suffer from TDS.”

            is jsut a different way to rephrase calling someone a retard and if thats how you handle discussions, then its very very clear why you think in the shitty ways that you do.

            I feel sorry for the people who go around slinging disabilities as insults because you don’t realize how ignorant and childish it makes you look, further helping me prove my points.

            So please keep up that irrational name calling and assumptions because everytime you talk it makes you look more dumb and me look smarter.

          • brandon9271

            TDS stand for Trump derangement syndrome.. I didn’t call you a retard. I also never said you were mentally ill. I did however lay out some criteria so I suppose if the shoe fits.. You aren’t a leftist? Hmm.. then there must be some other unclassified group of perpetually offended SJW type people that I’ve not heard of. You learn something everyday.

          • jj

            oh ok yeah i thought you said something else, then word that makes sense and yeah i think the majority of america is experiencing TDS right about now.

          • Caven

            Not true. He was responsible for or part of a number of Oculus PR embarrassments. The Time magazine cover, his infamous “in the ballpark” quote, the release of CV1 with a significantly inferior controller, and his claims of the “danger” of roomscale VR while simultaneously developing that very same capability for the Rift.

            Oculus has gotten a lot better at controlling messaging and avoiding bad PR ever since Luckey left. Oculus has still had missteps (notably the attempt to block Revive), but in general their messaging is much more consistent and professional than before. I’m grateful to Palmer Luckey for kickstarting the VR revolution, but he was never the right person to be the face of a large company.

          • brandon9271

            The Time Magazine cover was the fault of the photographer don’t you think? I mean, tell me you haven’t done something in VR that might look silly if caught in a freeze frame moment. I doubt Palmer personal said, “Here, Use this picture! It makes me look ridiculous!” So his a bit awkward. So is Bill Gates, So is John Carmack.
            You know as well as I do that 99% of the people who talk shit about Palmer are leftist. Let’s not kid ourselves. He wasn’t in the bad for the queen leader and he must be shunned.
            Also, What “significantly inferior controller” are you talking about? You mean when CV1 came with an Xbox 1 controller? The think Touch coming out when it did was Palmer’s fault?

          • Caven

            It’s true that anyone can look ridiculous in a photo captured at the wrong time, but I have an incredible secret that makes me virtually immune to that problem–I don’t do potentially silly stuff around cameras. All Palmer Luckey had to do to avoid a picture like that was refuse to jump in the air barefoot as if he were trying to take flight. Given that the cover photo was taken well within the “standing VR is dangerous” phase Oculus was supposedly going through, it seems that keeping both feet planted firmly on the ground (and in some sort of footwear) should have been easy for Luckey to do.

            As for the significantly inferior controller, yes, I’m talking about the XBox One controller. I get that it was a stop-gap measure, but that’s not how Oculus was presenting it at the time. They tried to claim that for many games it would be the optimum control method, and that developers were too committed to gamepad development to be able to pivot over to Touch controls. Never mind that it’s been proven games initially released as non-VR titles can still be adapted to VR with motion controls, and Valve has had no problem helping companies develop for motion controllers long before a release-ready product. If they really couldn’t pull off a simultaneous Rift/Touch launch despite using a simpler, more mature tracking system, they should have focused on the positive aspects of their products instead of making lame excuses to cover up shortcomings. I mean, they even went so far as to claim standing VR was dangerous just to try to limit Vive’s early roomscale advantage. Funny that standing in VR suddenly isn’t dangerous anymore now that Oculus had Touch and 3-4 sensor tracking.

          • brandon9271

            You mentioned “they” a lot when discussing Oculus’ failure to have motion controls at launch. I agree with you THEY made a mistake. How is that solely Palmer’s fault? I honestly think he got the ball rolling at Oculus and that was about the extent of it. There were a lot of people working there at the time. If he’d had that much control over things the Rift wouldn’t have had Fresnel lenses. He’d mentioned before that they were crap but apparently it wasn’t his decision to make.

          • Caven

            The failure to launch with motion controls isn’t the problem, though I see I was way too vague about that in my initial post. My problem was with Luckey’s excuses for that failure. Rather than acknowledge that Touch controls aren’t ready yet but they’re eager to get people into VR as soon as possible, he came up with lame excuses as to why somehow an XBox One controller was the optimum choice.

            Sure, a lot of decisions were clearly out of Luckey’s hands, but he did have full control of his mouth, and that’s what was making Oculus’ PR problems bigger than they needed to be.

          • Caven

            Oh, and maybe lots of people complaining about Palmer Luckey these days are leftist, but my complaints about Palmer Luckey and Oculus precede his “Oculus Trump” controversy. I was merely pointing out things Palmer Luckey did/said that could have contributed to Facebook taking advantage of the political controversy to pull him out of the spotlight. I’m not convinced the political controversy by itself was the reason Palmer was removed, but it absolutely was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

          • brandon9271

            It’s the straw that not only shouldn’t have broken the camel’s back, it shouldn’t have had any bearing on his employment at FB at all.. Seriously, I don’t understand how anybody could be OK with that as even a remote possibility. Do you really want to live a country where you can be fired for you political affiliation? What’s next? Maybe we can terminate people for their religion or sexual orientation.

          • care package

            “or despite what the far right quackos think….”
            This comment explains a lot

          • jj

            it was mocking brandom who said the same thing, i just put in right instead of left….. so you have a crazy double standard here.

            Lefts are looneys but rights arent wackos?? hmm i wonder who you support

          • care package

            I support truth, something degenerate amoral liberals despise, if you really must know. They also love to base their ad hom arguments off their own feelings and emotions, which is where the logic and reason is lost. This is where your long history of dumb posts come in. Liberalism is a mental disorder

          • jj

            …yeah so you just have me all figured out dont you? same with liberals, they’re all exactly the same right? but right wings are all unique and smart and know whats up right? yeah that makes so much sense! The side you pair with is perfect and you just go out assuming people belong to groups that you make even more assumptions on….

            I feel bad for you, your life must suck when you make such negative assumptions about everyone. Can you even walk down the street without assuming something about someone?

            again you have an insanely biased and ignorant double standard here that proves how closed minded you are, because youre just assuming everything and dont have any context other then assuming i belong to a group and assuming everyone from that group is the same.

            please continue, its very entertaining for me to see you belittle yourself with your own comments.

          • jj

            also you didnt even respond to what i said about how i was just mocking brandon…. you just dove right into a left v right debate without even thinking about the context of what was being said.

          • care package

            Who said anything about dumb? It’s never been about intelligence. It’s about theology. Always has been. It’s about moralist vs amoralist. Degenerates btw are those who glorify or praise immoral behavior. I have my own immorality as does everyone. The difference is whether or not you justify it

          • jj

            yeah who said anything about dumb?

          • jj

            thanks for explaining what amoral and degenerates for those that didn’t know but that doesnt change what either of us said. I talked about just flipping brandons comment the other way to show how biased and ignorant it was and you launched into an anti liberal campaign of assumptions that youre stillllllll going on about

          • care package

            You did.

          • Rlee

            snowflake POS.

          • jj

            awww you upset ? please tell us more about it

          • jj

            if all your gona reply is snowflake pos then ist pretty clear what kind of person you are…. the kind of person who buys large things to make up for his micro dick and tries to be louder instead of accurate. Lets hear it bud, im pretty curious what else u have to say, it should be pretty funny for us all to hear, and laugh at.

          • jj

            its so fucking funnny to me that i repeated what you said and just switched left to right…. yet people are calling me out. basically any comment towards my statement gets forwarded to yours because its mocking yours. so when people like rlee reply with snowflake pos, i bust a nut laughing so hard because i don’t care for a side i was just calling out your bias towards one side.

          • brandon9271

            I said “far left looneys.” That’s a very specific group of people. I didn’t say ALL leftist are looney. No once. You changed the comment to “far right looneys” OK.. so what? There are, in fact, far right looneys, centrist looneys, communist looneys… it takes all kinds. I’m really not sure why you got so defensive about it unless something about “far left looney” resonates with you personally. As far as Palmer is concerned. Yes, 99% of the time I see people online condemning him solely for his political affiliation and calling him a “racist” “a bigot” and all the rest. IF you have such an opinion of someone you don’t know solely because they did support your chosen candidate then YES you are a looney. If that doesn’t apply to you then DROP IT. If it DOES apply to you.. well, I’m sorry. I hope you correct your course. Life’s to short to get so bent out of shape over such trivial things.

          • mellott124

            Not his responsibility at all. Palmer did not design every aspect of the Rift nor does he work for Oculus anymore. The fact he’s doing this is way way above and beyond.

          • Raphael

            Palmer no longer being part of OctopusVR is under no legal or moral obligation to fix rifts. He could have just shown a tutorial but even that he wasn’t obligated to do. He’s doing it because he actually does love VR.

          • jj

            I listen to raphael above all because his mockery of all headsets shows his unbiased towards a single one.

            and of course hes not under legal or even moral obligation, but its still his baby and his name will forever be related to it.

          • Raphael

            I largely agree with this except for the part where you start talking about fried chicken. I do indeed make a mockery of all headsets in an unbiased fashion even though I’m under no legal or moral obligation to do so.

          • jj

            Well now you are morally and legally obligated to keep it up or I’ll be legally and morally offended.

            Ps where is this friend chicken you speak of because I’d like some.

          • Alexisms

            He wouldn’t get any bad press, Oculus/Facebook would. He didn’t design the headset single handedly.
            Also companies usually wash their hands once a produce is out of warranty.
            Why is it that some people just can’t be pleased that someone is going out of their way to help them? The self entitlement shown within the gaming industry as a whole is incredible.

          • brandon9271

            I think it’s above and beyond what anybody could consider necessary. Facebook is a multi billion dollar corporation. THEY could stand behind their product and take care of this problem easily enough. It’s not Palmer’s responsibility at all. It’d be like going over to someone’s house and fixing their toilet because they’re living in a house you used to own. Sure, it’s a really kind gesture but nobody with half a brain would think it was their obligation to do anything at all.

          • care package

            “a lot of bad press if he didn’t do it….” lmao. SMH sometimes dude…..ok, maybe more than sometimes……

          • jj

            Everyone knows palmer made the oculus, if it fails, its related to him. you cant argue that and i’d love to hear you try so, begin…

          • Ellie 187

            He doesn’t own the oculus rift anymore, its not his responsibility. The purchasers (aka facebook) own responsibility now.

      • Rlee

        Do you even know wtf is going on here?

        • jj

          based off what you have said below compared to what I have said as well as others, I do and you dont.

          all you’ve said is snowflake pos…..so yeah i’m pretty sure you dont know wtf is going on here.

          • Tom

            Anybody ever hear back on this? Curious what the status is since I didn’t even receive an automated email response and it’s been a month.

  • Proof XR Lab

    Proprietary parts are particularly problematic once defective, and its a shame this was not addressed in house as when it works, the on board audio system is very capable. Once its faulty though…and often just out of warranty.

    It is indeed refreshing to see Mr. Palmer offering a solution to a known issue on the Rift, and at no cost to the owner apart from a little time.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4a8df54c7ee293390ab1bf49744d493af55d9be73747f1451f680d515c838601.jpg

  • Good Guy Palmer

  • wcalderini

    Uhhh….since the “fleas” guy doesn’t seem to be here today….umm…”google something palmer lucky alt right “trump be bad””?

    Just trying to keep the comments section consistent. (Definite Sarcasm for those who may be oblivious) :)

  • Tesla

    Why is he doing that instead of Facebook?

  • ADHR

    I have only sound in one side since many mounths ago. I tried the cable solution but not work!!
    So I play rifts not as I played it before this problem.
    Surrounding sound is very important

  • Tom

    Anybody submit and hear back or receive something? I submitted and haven’t heard anything (not even an automatic reply). I realize he’s probably bogged down with responses but figured I’d ask anyways.