After the recent reports that Facebook revealed it had received regarding skin irritation from its foam facial interface for Oculus Quest 2, you may have decided to get some sort of cover to help. VR Cover is one of the most prominent third-party manufacturers of these types of accessories, so VRFocus has tested its latest Oculus Quest 2 range to see if they’re worth a purchase.
The VR Cover Solution
The company has been making covers for VR headsets since 2014, designing products for most major headsets like Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Windows Mixed Reality.
Initially, simple fabric covers to provide a washable, hygienic solution to the sponge-like foam found on most headsets, VR Cover has expanded with a range of solutions which VRFocus has come across in the past.
Offering relatively cheap, affordable products with decent build quality, can the new Oculus Quest 2 versions continue that trend?
VR Cotton Covers
So let’s start with VRFocus’ least favourite part of VR Cover’s Oculus Quest 2 accessory lineup, the original cotton cover which has been made for almost every major VR headset over the last few years.
Previous versions – like the one VRFocus tested for Oculus Quest – were great, not too difficult to attach and they protected the Facial Interface foam from getting gross and sweaty; plus being 100% cotton they were washable.
This new version which retails for €19/$19 still keeps those excellent qualities apart from one caveat, a new fastening system next to the nose. Rather than the old elasticated band which wrapped around the interface, the ends now contain a flexible metal strip – look closely at the pic and you’ll see the stitching – which can be bent around the foam padding.
Unfortunately, this new method just isn’t as secure or comfortable. In fact, when using the cotton cover with an active title like Beat Saber, FitXR, Synth Riders…etc, the ends quite often loosened and in the process began to rub (making for sore cheeks). This invariably meant having to pause gameplay and remove the cover which isn’t ideal.
If you’re not bouncing around your living room then there’s less to worry about, with it far more unlikely the adjustable ends will work loose; retaining the cotton comfort in the process.
Verdict: Not recommended
Now let’s have a quick look at the one item completely unique to the range, the Lens Cover for Oculus Quest 2. The cheapest in the list at only €9/$9, this particular product will depend entirely on how you use (or plan to use) your headset.
If you’re super careful with your new toy, putting out of reach of pets or small investigative hands then, in reality, you shouldn’t need to worry about dedicated covers for the lenses. However, if that’s not the case such as the whole family using the headset, it getting left here there and everywhere or you throw it in a bag for travel; then yes, the lens cover starts to make perfect sense.
Designed to keep dust off the lenses and stop any scratches, the Lens Cover does an admiral job. Made of a dense foam contoured to fit exactly over the Oculus Quest 2 lenses, so long as you ensure there’s nothing on the inside of the cover before fitting there’s nothing to worry about. VRFocus found the material to be durable enough so that blunt objects didn’t seem to pose an issue – ideal if you don’t have a dedicated case for transportation. Put the headset/cover near anything sharp and that’s your own fault.
Installation was super simple too. Whilst VR Cover notes in documentation the Lens Cover slides right in, VRFocus found it far easier to pop the facial interface off, pop the lens cover on, then reattach the interface again. This process meant less repositioning and faffing around.
Also, if you buy the Facial Interface & Foam Replacement Set for Oculus Quest 2 you might get a free Lens Cover (the offer is limited).
Head Strap Foam Pad
To help make the Oculus Quest 2 lighter Facebook did away with the rigid strap from the original and employed a soft-adjustable strap instead – also helping to sell its Elite Strap accessory. With early Elite Straps suffering from splits a cheaper solution is VR Cover’s €19/$19 Head Strap Foam Pad.
Far less elegant but still functional, this t-shaped design strap wraps around the soft strap adding padding as well as some much need stiffness. While the normal strap isn’t exactly uncomfortable the Head Strap Foam Pad nicely hugs the back of the head, working well in conjunction with VR Cover’s Facial Interface Replacement set. It’s also nicely stitched with a good durable feel so general wear and tear shouldn’t be a worry.
So it’s easy to install and comfortable but there is a catch. All that vegan leather, padding and fastening completely obstructs the plastic grips to adjust the soft strap. If you’ve got the headset all to yourself then it’s less of a bother, alter as necessary and then leave it alone. Swapping between players and their various head sizes becomes a far more finicky endeavour, Worth taking into account if you have a family of VR fans.
For those that want a super hygienic solution for energetic VR gaming on Oculus Quest 2 then you can’t go far wrong with the Silicone Covers.
Available in a range of funky colours like Dark Blue, Magenta, Red, and boring Gray, the cheap €14/$14 cover is made from medical-grade silicone which wraps around the standard Quest 2 facial interface. As VR Cover explains in its blurb: “As oiled silicone can cause unwanted skin reactions, we have used an unoiled version so that it is hypoallergenic.”
In practice, VRFocus had no issues with the material, soft and flexible, its easy to attach and gently nestles on the face whilst providing useful grip for those lively videogames. Unlike the Facial Interface & Foam Replacement Set below, the silicone doesn’t crease, thus it’s quick and fuss-free to clean with an antibacterial wipe.
Because it repels sweat so well, if you do perspire a lot then make sure some sort of cloth is nearby, you’ll soon start to feel a buildup in any fitness app as it almost seals to your face. The cover also has a built-in nose guard helping to block out light leakage without intruding into your vision.
Facial Interface & Foam Replacement Set
Time for VR Cover’s flagship accessory for the Oculus Quest 2, the Facial Interface & Foam Replacement Set, comfort and cleanliness in one package.
As the name suggests, this kit swaps out the original Oculus interface for its own design, one where you can attach one of the two foam replacements. These attach by hook and loop, a slightly thinner ‘Standard’ one or the ‘Comfort’ one – also good if you wear glasses. Made from PU Leather, they both cushion the face well with the ‘Comfort’ padding like resting your head on a pillow, so soft. Plus they’re wipeable which makes them far cleaner and more hygienic than the standard Oculus foam interface.
Not only does it sit on the face well but thanks to the Silicone Nose Guard, blocks off distracting light around the nose bridge. Unlike the Silicone Cover above, this nose guard is removable, ideal for a range of faces and noses while being easy to clean.
One feature VR Cover likes to talk about is the passive vents built into the Facial Interface. Honestly, VRFocus didn’t notice much of a difference during the testing process, the lenses still occasionally fogged up, so don’t rely on that too heavily.
When comparing the standard Oculus foam interface to VR Cover’s offering with the Comfort padding and Silicone Nose Guard, there’s no competition; VR Cover is now a permanent fixture on VRFocus’ Oculus Quest 2.
The VR Cover for Oculus Quest 2 Verdict
They all have their own merits but if VRFocus was putting its own money on the table it would have to either the Silicone Cover or the Facial Interface & Foam Replacement Set.
For sheer cleanliness whether at home or during an event, the Silicone Cover is a perfect choice. Quick to clean with an anti-bacterial wipe, the fact it comes in a range of colours helps give it that extra visual appeal.
Or for pure comfort then you can’t go far wrong with the Facial Interface & Foam Replacement Set. Cheaper than Oculus’ own dual fit pack, VR Cover’s product maybe the most expensive in its range yet for the price does a grand job of making a long VR session bearable – an important factor if you’re hooking your Oculus Quest 2 to a PC to play that free copy of Asgard’s Wrath.