Oculus founder Palmer Luckey has since moved on to greener pastures after leaving Facebook in 2017, founding his own border defense firm Anduril Industries. That hasn’t kept him from mulling over some of the niggling issues with the now nearly three year-old Oculus Rift though. To him, and many long-time users, a weak point in the headset’s internal audio cabling has surfaced after prolonged usage—something he vows to help remedy by creating a repair kit for out-of-warranty Rifts suffering from the dreaded right-audio cutout.

While Oculus’ customer service is one of the best in the industry, users with out-of-warranty Rifts have really only three options to fix their headsets: buy general replacement parts direct from Oculus, contact Oculus and see if they’ll repair it (for a fee), or solve the issue with good old-fashioned elbow grease.

The right-audio cutout issue isn’t something you can fix with a new headphone though, likely owing to a malfunctioning ribbon cable inside the headset’s strap, so last summer Luckey cast a bid out to Rift owners on Twitter to buy up headsets suffering from the problem.

This, we learned recently, was an effort by Luckey to understand just how wide-spread the issue was.

Luckey has since purchased what he calls “a lot of headsets with these types of failures,” saying he’s now creating a kit that will help out-of-warranty Rift owners fix the problem themselves.

Some users have gone great lengths to fix similar audio issues, with one user going as far as (unadvisedly) supergluing the right headstrap in place to limit the strap’s movement.

A more sensible solution: YouTuber ‘Virtual Reality Oasis’ released a video guide featuring a quick fix for the left headphone, which requires only a single external cable to bridge the left and right audio contacts. This, according to video commenters, also appeared to fix right audio issues as well in some cases. Although if Luckey is creating a bespoke repair kit, a more permanent fix could be more complicated than that.

More information on the repair kit is said to arrive this weekend. We’ll be updating this article with new information as it appears.

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  • JesuSaveSouls

    I have this issue.Unscrewing it and rescrewing fixes only briefly so I had to use external headphones and always have to choose the alternate audio software opposed to oculus when booting up games.Actually it’s somewhat inconvenient but cheaper than replacing and for the five or ten bucks the headphones cost it sounds bigger and better.

    • Jason Lovegren

      https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01GOK2DW2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05__o00_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1

      These headphones are fantastic and often have 40 dollar sale. Wireless and prefer them over stock. Suggest to still use Oculus microphone but have been using these headphones and haven’t look back.

      • Pablo C

        Having this issue, I’m using very good bluetooth headphones. Still, this is somewhat inconvenient, since they add weight and cost, the signal can be interrupted by other electronics, you need to charge them, remember to turn them on, and bluetooth uses some of your CPU.

  • Pablo C

    I first had this issue on the right audio, which was fixed by unscrewing it a quarter. Then I had it on the left, unfixable so far. I use my rift everyday, so I wonder if this is an issue everyone will have at some point, which is very dissapointing from Oculus. Since I got the audio issue I’m using a bluetooth solution, and, I’m not buying any other product from Oculus.

    • Jason Lovegren

      I had all kinds of latency issues with bluetooth. I’ve had no issues with the pair i’m using and with slightly better base. Direction audio still works perfect. I do have a suggestion for you though. If the stock headphones only have the right audio going out you should be able to solve with the following. Take an old pair of headphone and remove the gauge wire, then unscrew left ear piece and wrap the gauge wire on the bottom peg, screw back in. Then wrap guage wire to right ear piece and do the same. Your completing the audio connection from the outside.

  • Pablo C

    Having the audio issue, and guessin that everyone will have it at some point (since it is a design problem) it posses a complicated dilema for me: my next VR device surely wont be an Oculus one, but then, what will I do with all Oculus games I have bought. That’s why since I got this problem, I’m buying software only from Steam.

    • jj

      damn most htv vie people are saying the same cause of htc customer support and price. so were in an odd spot

    • FireAndTheVoid

      You will still be able to play the Oculus games using Revive

    • disviq

      well, this design flaw surely won’t be in Rift S. And at least Oculus CS seems to have clearly better opinion than HTC…

  • impurekind

    I had this issue and even contacted Oculus and got a free replacement set of headphones, but the issue hasn’t been present for quite some time now so I just assumed it was resolved. Interesting that it’s an actual thing and not just something unique to my headset.

  • MosBen

    He’s into border security now? Ugh…

    • brandon9271

      What’s wrong with that?

      • MosBen

        I mean, at the most basic level it’s just another sign of being involved in shitty conservative politics still, which is why he was ousted from Oculus in the first place. On a more substantive area, the US already spends an inordinate amount of money on border security and it’s become a ridiculous shibboleth on the right that makes actually dealing with immigration policy issues basically impossible. And beyond that, with the continuing disaster that has come from privatizing any number of areas best performed by the government, private contractors getting involved in border security issues almost certainly involves massive wastes of money, among lots of other potential problems.

        • G-man

          youre talking about waste of money and think the government should do thing nstead? have you never seen how inneficient things are when governments do that? private industry if you waste time and money you go bankrupt/get fired.

          • MosBen

            That’s not always the case in private business (eg Trump Casinos, fake college), but it’s most certainly not the case for private contractors being outsourced work traditionally performed by the government. Like I’ve said, look at the private prison industry. It is both wasteful and doesn’t do a very good job, and yet it keeps on staying in business because they have powerful lobbying in their corner.

          • brandon9271

            Yeah, way to cherry pick something to prove your point. Nearly every government run business is a bloated mess.

          • MosBen

            Keep in mind that I have not said that government is better than private industry at literally everything. I’ve said that there are areas in which the government is better at achieving good policy outcomes at a reasonable cost, and that there has been privatization in some of those areas that has both produced bad policy outcomes and bad cost control. I’m sure that we could find some examples of programs run by the government that were not done well and may be better performed by the private sector. But the private sector also fails to achieve superior results in some areas, like prisons, and I think that there’s ample reason to think that border security is an area like prisons that will not be better handled by private industry, and indeed that the profit motive will warp incentives to produce bad results.

          • G-man

            how is it wasteful? if its a private industry then it is functioning for profit. to be wasteful would mean its is not being as profitable as it could. so whoever owns it should be doing something about it otherwise they are just throwing their profits away

          • MosBen

            That’s not true. Waste from the perspective of the buyer can be very profitable to the seller. The issue is that if the seller finds out about the waste and has other options, they might go with those other options. But there are plenty of examples of private contractors winning a contract with the government and the contract ends up including a lot of waste, or potentially just being wasteful entirely.

          • G-man

            the key there being the government. asgain. you just proved my point. that things the government do and how they do them inherently waste money.

        • Pre Seznik

          His solution is purportedly cheaper and more efficent than even a simple wall would be. If anything, he’s offering high tech alternatives to obtrusive and unsightly construction work. Your bias is just blinding you to why this is good.

          • MosBen

            Well, since a wall is an ineffective waste of money and bad policy generally, that’s faint praise indeed. A public expenditure should be both for a worthy policy and effective at implementing that policy. It is certainly possible that Lucky’s “solution” is cheaper than a wall, but that doesn’t mean that it’s cheaper than the good border policy implemented by the government. It being effective also doesn’t mean that it is effective at something that is actually good policy.

            But to stick to my original point, this is another sign of being involved in shitty conservative politics. It’s possible that I’m totally wrong, and he’s trying to short circuit shitty conservative politics with his company, or something. And it’s also possible that he’s come up with some great solution that is both super cost effective and also represents good policy. But there’s ample reason to be skeptical on both accounts.

    • USPatriot

      That’s awesome that he is into border security. He cares about this country unlike Zuckerberg and his crew.

      • MosBen

        Right…How do you know that he cares about the country, as opposed to just wanting to make money off of border security hysteria, or just being racist, or any of a multitude of motivations that aren’t “cares about this country”?

        • USPatriot

          The “you are racist because you want a wall” thing is a joke. I know because he supported a President that cares about the country instead of a treasonous crook that sold us out many times over. If he makes money AND helps protect us from the invaders from 3rd world countries then all the better. Has nothing to do with race – they have no right to invade our country.

          • MosBen

            First, I didn’t say that anyone was racist for wanting a wall. You inferred from his starting a company involved in border security that he cares about the country. I pointed out that you don’t know that to be the case, and he could have many reasons for doing so, including being a racist.

            Also, I don’t believe that Trump cares about the country, or at the very least that he doesn’t care about it in a way that isn’t generally shared with most people that have an affinity for the place that they live. But it’s absolutely not the case that supporting someone like Trump necessarily means that the supporter cares about the country. As with border security, there are lots of reasons why someone might support Trump despite not caring about the country in a general sense. And, of course, this can be said of any politician. Corey Booker cares about being vegan, but most of his supporters don’t despite supporting him.

            Finally, even accepting for the sake of argument that there was a problem with border security which required a significant response, it would be better if the solution wasn’t provided in a way that wasted money bolstering some company’s profits.

          • brandon9271

            Border security has ALWAYS been a bipartisan issue. The Democratic party has been taken over by radicals and suddenly you’re a racist if you want a wall. Even Pelosi said a 21st century problem requires a 21st century solution. That’s what Palmer’s company is providing. It being a waste of money in the name of profit is something you’re pulling out of your ass. Not that making a profit should be seen as a bad thing in the first place but it is to the modern left.

          • MosBen

            As I said in my last post, I haven’t said here that someone is necessarily racist for wanting a wall. This is a classic Venn diagram, some of the people who want a wall are racists, but not necessarily all of them. I’m not sure about the converse, whether all racists want a wall, but I’d suspect that the number is pretty high there. And yes, both parties want “border security”, but there are differences in how that is defined. Some people define it exclusively through the building of a wall, but that’s not the only way to approach the issue, nor is it necessarily the most effective, depending on what other goals there are.

            As for for-profit companies adding waste, or other problems, to privatized areas that were traditionally performed by the government, the private prison industry provides ample reason to be skeptical.

  • Trip

    I had this happen to my Rift too, and itactually made me very happy with Oculus CS. My headset was out of warranty by probably two or three months but they said they wanted me to ship them my headset so they could investigate what happened and they sent me a brand new HMD to replace it! Too bad I kinda hate Oculus for making so much great content Exclusive (and hate Facebook for breaking human civilization). =(

  • brandon9271

    I think it’s pretty cool of him to try and solve an issue that isn’t his responsibility to solve. Maybe this is his way of atoning for selling Oculus to Facebook which, thus far, hasn’t been the disaster everyone claimed it would be.

    • disviq

      It’s just the original Palmer. The tinkerer that can fix anything ;)

  • USPatriot

    Lucky Palmer is great. So sad what happened to him when the vile Zuckerberg kicked him out because of politics. I hope he is forever successful. Wish they were never bought by Facebook.

    • brandon9271

      If he could prove that he was fired for politics here should sue them. Not because he needs the money but because of the principal of it all. FB has not right to fire somebody for being a conservative. If so, over half the nation would be out of work.

      • USPatriot

        I agree. None should be fired for supporting one political party over another. Pure speculation here but I’m assuming part of his exit package from the company probably had him sign that he wouldn’t sue. Again, purely speculation on my part. Would love to see him sue but he is up against Zuckerberg and going against someone so powerful (army of lawyers) is a pretty scary thought.

      • I guess it was just an excuse. FB is a corporate and clearly Palmer is more an innovator, a startupper and doesn’t fit well in corporate environments

  • Roger Bentley

    Palmer please save Ossics X they have screwed so many

    • G-man

      save them? their product is a complete lie. wha is there to save? anyone who gave those con artists money and has now lost it deserves it. everything about their product was complete nonsense.

  • paul

    My right audio cut out and the left followed shortly after. I switched to wireless gaming headphones. But they are to warm for physical games. Hate the audio issue

  • John Smith

    I find it priceless Palmer went on this huge roller coaster with Oculus only to get filthy rich, leave the company and go right back to hacking and slashing again. I love it.

  • Pre Seznik

    Good guy Palmer actually cares about the product he helped launch.

  • Net Shaman

    Finally !
    Thank you Palmer .

  • StygianRenegade

    I didn’t just get the audio cut out. My left started dying then the back tracking started fitzing out. Then the right died. I was forced to buy a second one which within a week started showing a lot of the same issues. Now the left side is duct-taped to prevent excessive movement so I don’t have a repeat of my old one. I really wish the Vive was more affordable…

    • Smokey_the_Bear

      Well…it is a first Gen device… :(
      Soon you can get the Quest, or Rift S….unless of course you’re fed up with Oculus, which I wouldn’t blame you, that’s some bad luck.

  • Just the epic Palmer Luckey, ladies and gentlemen

  • Jeremiah Tothenations

    It’s epic that Palmer is using his skills to help protect the US’ borders, most are too ignorant to realise that a secure border also helps foreigners as well. For example: it reduces people trafficking. God bless him.

    On top of that, he’s helping to fix a product of a company he was fired from, what a legend.

    Hopefully he eventually makes another vr headset, cos I ain’t giving my money to big brother FB.

    • Smokey_the_Bear

      I agree with everything…except the last line. lol, I’m don’t use FB much, I’m not a big fan of the “share everything, with everyone” movement. BUT, a good VR headset is a good VR headset, and the Quest is at the top of my list and I will buy it, unless something else within the next couple months steals the show/my attention. Hololens 2 unveil is just a week away. :) But of course rumors are, it’s still gonna be crazy town prices, aimed at developers.

  • uKER

    Someone simply needs to create wireless headphones that can be screwed onto the Rift’s headband. I know I’d buy them in a breeze.