The Oculus Rift’s $599 USD price is the result of the inclusion of several high quality components such as two OLED displays and integrated tracking systems. One feature that hasn’t been flagged up when talking about the overall cost of the device, however, is the integrated audio that will provide a standardised set of headphones attached to the device for everyone to use. Some have suggested that removing this feature could bring the price of the kit down, but Oculus VR’s Palmer Luckey disagrees.
Luckey said as much in this week’s Ask Me Anything session on Reddit. “The overhead of managing a SKU without headphones would cost more than the savings of removing headphones,” he explained. “The integrated audio hardware is better than most cans out there, even expensive ones – the Rift has a built in low-noise DAC and amp, and our audio SDK is tuned around that hardware. Good audio does not cost much to build, especially when it is piggybacking on existing materials and distribution (ala the Rift). Give it a chance!”
Audio is an incredibly important part of immersing players in a VR environment. 3D audio solutions are needed so that sounds react realistically in relation to the player’s distance and direction to its origin. Oculus VR is confident that its integrated audio, backed up with Head-Related Transfer Function (HRTF) tech.
Keep reading VRFocus for the latest updates on the Oculus Rift.