Can you use wireless or Bluetooth headphones with the Meta Quest 3?
The Quest 3 supports Bluetooth 5.2, meant to connect you to wireless mice and keyboards for using the in-headset browser or game controllers as an alternative to Touch controllers. You can also technically connect Bluetooth headphones the same way: put them in pairing mode, then go to the Quest 3 Settings page > Devices > Bluetooth and select your headphones, assuming the headset can find them. However, be warned that the latency is really awful.
Just because you can use Quest 3 Bluetooth headphones in this way doesn't mean you should, however. Anyone who tries will notice a painful latency between video and audio, ruining your immersion. We don't recommend it.
Instead, your best option is to connect a short 3.5mm cable between your Bluetooth headphones and the headset's designated port, even if this means they're no longer "wireless."
If you want to use wireless earbuds, you'll need a wireless dongle connected to the USB-C port. Soundcore by Anker earbuds are your best bet — based on both Meta's recommendation and our own testing — because (among other reasons) they use the USB-C port but still allow you to plug in a battery pack.
The Meta Quest 3 has built-in speakers that get 40% louder than the Quest 2 did, providing rich game audio. You'll rarely need to turn the volume up above the middle range to get clear, immersive sound; in fact, you're liable to get some audio bleed if you go any higher.
With headphones or earbuds, you get the best possible spatial sound and avoid annoying your roommates or family members by forcing them to hear whatever you're playing.
But as we've already said, Bluetooth headphones don't work properly on the Quest 3; Meta hasn't made low-latency Bluetooth a priority because you can always plug headphones into the 3.5mm jack and tie or velcro the cord to the Quest 3's top cloth strap so that it doesn't dangle during gameplay.
If you're really invested in making your wireless Bluetooth earbuds work with the Quest 3, then buy a wireless adapter with aptX Low Latency support that you can plug into the Quest 3's USB-C port; it's the only way to interpret the signal quickly enough to avoid lag between game audio and video.
Unfortunately, this solution also ensures you can't plug a battery pack into the USB-C port simultaneously, so you'll have to choose one or the other. We know of Bluetooth receivers like the Anker Soundsync A3352 that plug into a 3.5mm jack instead — bypassing the USB-C issue — but we haven't tested this option for ourselves.
If you're willing to buy new wireless earbuds, look into the Soundcore VR P10, our favorite Quest 2 earbuds that also work perfectly well with the Quest 3.
They plug into the Quest's USB-C port and work over 2.4GHz wireless, giving you low-latency audio (under 30ms) for the Quest 3, PC, PS5, or any other console with a matching port. They're also IPX4 sweat-resistant for Quest exercise apps and offer 6 hours of playtime per charge. Our tester says that they have "deep bass, great clarity, and overall sound quality that's better than most earbuds in this price range."
Most importantly, the dongle offers passthrough charging, meaning it plugs into the Quest 3 port but has its own USB-C port to plug in your battery pack of choice.
The VR P10 earbuds also provide Bluetooth connectivity with a "Dual Connection" mode, so you can stay connected to your smartphone while gaming; if someone calls you, you can answer the call and have the audio automatically switched over from the Quest 3. Since the Quest 3 has full-color passthrough, it'll be fairly easy to see who's calling and decide whether to answer.
Meta now sells "Soundcore by Anker Wireless VR Earbuds" that are official "Made by Meta" accessories to the Quest 3, but they appear to have the same 11mm drivers, LC3 Bluetooth codec, and passthrough-supporting dongle as the P10 model for a slightly higher price. You can probably save a few dollars with the P10 without any discernable difference.
Despite all of the differences between the Quest 3 and Quest 2, it's nice that your old earbuds or headphones should carry over to the new headset. Many other Quest 2 accessories like straps, face covers, and controller straps won't work on the Quest 3.
Made for Quest
The Quest 3 doesn't work properly with Bluetooth headphones, so rely on a 2.4GHz low-latency wireless connection instead. These earbuds give you high-quality sound for their size, don't add to the weight of the Quest 3 as headphones do, and ensure you can augment the headset's battery life if you need to.
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Michael spent years freelancing on every tech topic under the sun before settling down on the real exciting stuff: virtual reality, fitness wearables, gaming, and how tech intersects with our world. He's a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves running, D&D, and Star Wars. Find him on Twitter at @Michael_L_Hicks.