The hotly anticipated Vive Deluxe Audio Strap launched just yesterday and the initial stock has already been nabbed, apparently putting the unit out of stock in both the US and EU regions. HTC has also confirmed that the upgraded headstrap isn’t compatible with the Vive pre, along with investigating some deterioration issues with the strap’s foam padding.

Update (6/8/17): HTC reached out to offer more information regarding the strap’s compatibility with the Vive Pre headset; the blog post announcing the strap’s launch clarifies that those with the Vive Pre will require a conversion kit due to a difference in the connectors that the strap attaches to. The company says Vive Pre owners getting the Deluxe Audio Strap can contact to get the kit for free, which will include a new screw peg and a t6 screwdriver for installation, and be available in mid-June. The original article continues below.

Original Article (6/7/17): In our review of the Vive Deluxe Audio Strap, we found the improved headstrap makes a major difference in comfort and usability of the headset. Despite being priced at a not so cheap $100, the strap’s initial stock has sold out less than 48 hours after launch. On the official product page, the Deluxe Audio Strap appears to be sold out in all US and EU regions, though there’s still availability in some Asian territories. Amazon too lists the strap now as “Usually ships within 1 to 4 weeks.”

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The HTC Vive Pre is nearly identical to the consumer model but isn’t compatible with the Vive Deluxe Audio Strap

Following the launch of the Deluxe Audio Strap, it’s become clear that the strap is not compatible with the Vive Pre, an earlier version of the headset that went out to thousands of developers ahead of the consumer launch.

“Reverend” Kyle Riesenbeck confirmed the incompatibility with HTC, who offered to swap his Vive Pre for the consumer Vive. HTC said there’s more than 7,000 Vive Pre headsets out there, and for those people “a solution” is in the works, according to Riesenbeck.

Riesenbeck also noted an apparent issue with the foam padding on his Vive Deluxe Audio Strap which seemed to be easily deteriorating due to sweat. Via Twitter, HTC’s Shen Ye said “we are investigating and when we have something to share, we will let you know.”

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  • NooYawker

    How many did they make that they sold out already?

    • Firestorm185

      Not enough. xD

  • VRgameDevGirl

    I went on amazon around 1pm and got one when I found out they were out of stock on vive site.

  • Tyler Soward

    ordered mine on Monday night around 10 PM PST – got order confirmation, but still hasn’t shipped.

    • mellott124

      I did the same. About 11pm PST. No shipment details yet either.

      • Tyler Soward

        Contacted their support today (always a joy) they said to give it 24 hours. So maybe will be shipped by tomorrow

    • johngrimoldy

      ‘Thought I received mine today – had a box on the porch. Excited, I opened only to find a single pillow-pack, an single sheet of instructions, and a packing slip. No strap. Unbelievable. And they shipped these (very well protected) instructions FedEx 2-day.
      For having a great product (the Vive), they have been one EFFED UP company to deal with.

      • Tyler Soward

        Dude! Exact same thing happened to me today. Got ya sucker! Irritating. At least the instructions were safely packed. Lol

        • johngrimoldy

          Granted, these are truly first-world problems. Still, just stupid. Based on another posting on this thread, it seems there’s a good chance you and I may be receiving the products today. Of course, now it’s come out that the foam disintegrates when getting wet.

          • Tyler Soward

            Hahaha! Totally first world problems. Perspective. I’m very grateful that one of my biggest personal concerns this week revolves around an accessory to a gaming platform.

          • Tyler Soward

            But I’m still a little annoyed at HTC

          • johngrimoldy

            I received my strap today. I’m sure you did too. It *does* make the Vive fit a LOT better. It’ll also be nice to not have to fiddle with the wishbone on my headphones pressing the 3-in-1 cable down on top of my noggin. We’ll see how the foam holds up.

          • Tyler Soward

            Word. Got mine Friday as well. I really like it. Haven’t had any issues with deterioration yet, and I’ve put some hours into sound boxing this weekend. So far so good

        • RavnosCC

          I got “two” packages. One had a sheet of paper in it, but the other had the strap!

  • Caven

    Wow, I’m glad I was able to get an order in when Microsoft jumped the gun and temporarily allowed pre-orders.

  • Meow Smith

    I’d hold off a bit in till its found out if this is really a issue with the new audio strap.

    • YourGuest

      Turns out to be a false alarm

    • Blackfire1

      Not on mine it isn’t. I got a couple nice rubbed out thumb prints after a session of SPT.

  • Sam Illingworth

    Hmm, gonna need to hear more about this deterioration issue before I order. Recently got new face pads due to sweat.

    • Sam Illingworth

      Although I just read the padding is replacable, so that makes me think hmm, maybe no need to wait? Can replace it later either with third party or HTC’s fix if they make one…

      • Caven

        Yeah, looking at mine I see the padding is attached via velcro. Replacement should be trivial, though of course replacement pads need to be available first. I suppose in a pinch one could fabricate their own foam pad replacement.

      • Mr. New Vegas
        • Sam Illingworth

          Hmm, I’ll wait and see then. Hopefully they’ll send out replacement pads, ideally wipe-clean ones.

  • Caven

    Thanks! I’ll keep that in mind if I need to replace the padding. I tend to stay pretty dry in VR though, so hopefully the original foam will last.

    • Rob

      replacement pads kits for branded cycle helmets like Specialized, Giro, Bell may be ideal for hacking your HMD. Their upper end helmet will have sweat absorbent (cool max), anti bacterial, minimalist pad systems mounted with velcro. easy to browse replacement pads online to find the right form factor to suit.

  • Get Schwifty!

    Hmmm good call!