If you're not a fan of foam face pads that suck up lots of sweat, you may want to seriously consider a VR Cover for Oculus Quest 2. After all, while the Oculus Quest 2 ships with a thicker, more dense foam facial interface, at the end of the day it's still foam. That makes it less than sanitary to pass around to friends or family that might be using the portable Oculus Quest 2, and it makes cleaning these pads in the age of COVID-19 near impossible.
VR Cover has been around since the early days of consumer VR headsets like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, providing replacement padding that's designed to better withstand the sweat that comes from an active VR experience. This polyurethane leather replacement is better designed to wick off sweat and, probably most importantly, actually designed to be cleaned after use. It's even got a custom gasket replacement that features passive vents to better help guard against lens fogging. Is this $30 Quest 2 accessory worth your money? Let's take a look.
VR Cover for Oculus Quest 2
Bottom line: VR Cover for Oculus Quest 2 is a hygienic PU leather replacement for the foam pad that ships with the Quest 2. It's easy to clean, easy to change out, and even helps reduce the chances of fogged up lenses.
- More comfortable than Quest 2's foam pads
- More hygienic and can be cleaned
- Two pads make it easy to swap out a clean one quickly
- Nose guard helps block out extra light
- Passive vents help cut down on lens fogging
- Will cause sweat to drip down your face
- Can be damaged if not carefully removed from velcro
Hygiene at the forefront
VR Cover for Oculus Quest 2 What I like
The Oculus Quest 2 ships with some super-absorbent foam pads, and while that's great for keeping sweat from running down your face, it's not exactly clean. That, alone, is probably the single best reason to invest in a VR Cover for Oculus Quest 2. It's really just the best way to keep the whole experience from getting gross, especially if you're passing the Quest 2 around to other people in the room to play.
VR Cover for Oculus Quest 2 ships in a nifty little plastic box that can be used to safely store all of the pieces long-term. In each box, you'll find a plastic gasket replacement that sports velcro pads to attach one of the two PU leather pads included. These pads are super soft, super plush, don't absorb sweat at all, and come in two thicknesses for comfort. They're designed to be cleaned and wiped down and are easy to remove and replace. If you're one of the gamers that describe the Oculus Quest 2's default foam pad as scratchy or comfortable, you'll be pleased to know that the soft PU leather material that VR Cover uses here is far more comfortable on the skin.
These plush pads attach to the included plastic gasket replacement via several velcro pads, helping to keep them from slipping during play. This plastic gasket clicks right into the Quest 2 in place of the original gasket Since there are two in the box, you can easily remove one after a particularly sweaty VR session and slap the other one on in just a few seconds, making it convenient to clean the extra pad between gaming sessions or people.
The official relaunch of the product has also sparked a new way to customize the color to your liking: the Winter Edition. A special edition white foam matches the Quest 2 perfectly, and the dark red gasket looks really snazzy sandwiched in between all that white. You can also choose from two differently colored noseguards.
As someone who has owned several different types of pad covers and replacements for VR headsets over the years, I can attest to the build quality of these VR Covers. Some covers clearly look like homemade replacements, but these VR Cover PU leather pads look like the official accessories that they are in every single way. Construction is not only stronger than previous iterations from the company but it also just looks substantially better than the ones initially sold for the first Oculus Quest.
VR Cover includes a rubberized nose piece cover that helps block out additional light. You can easily remove this small flap if it bothers you or doesn't fit your face quite right, giving users some additional comfort customization. That's an important improvement over the Quest 1 version, which didn't offer this option at all. Some packages also come with a lens guard that can keep your lenses from getting scratched while being stored or transported.
The plastic gasket that replaces the default one also includes some impressively designed passive vents that help reduce lens fogging. I've always had a huge issue with lenses fogging up on any VR headset and I found that these vents help substantially. There's still some fogging initially, but it goes away far quicker than when using the standard gasket that ships with the Quest 2.
Wear a bandana
VR Cover for Oculus Quest 2 What I don't like
The first batch of VR Cover PU Leather facial interface replacements that shipped out had an issue with the color rubbing off on some people's faces. Neither my wife nor myself ever experienced this issue, but one of my friends did. After using the Quest 2 for about half of hour, he removed the Quest 2 from his face and found that some of the black coloring from the PU leather had rubbed off onto his skin.
It was pretty easily washed off, but I wasn't sure why this only happened to him and it was pretty alarming to have happened at all in the first place. VR Cover has since recalled this batch and replaced them with a new color formula that won't do this. We've had both batches for review and can confirm that the newer batch doesn't appear to suffer from the same pigment transferrence issue.
I also wish the nose guard was a little snugger, as it didn't block out as much light as I had hoped. For me, at least, it didn't seem to block out much more light than the standard faceguard. You'll also need to be somewhat careful when removing the face pads, as quickly ripping them off the velcro could cause separation between the velcro pads and the PU leather. I didn't have this happen with these particular pads, but it did happen to me several years ago with another headset. VR Cover warns against the possibility of this happening, anyway, so there is a chance if you're particularly rough with the pads.
Since VR Cover for Oculus Quest 2 won't absorb sweat like a foam pad, you know that sweat has to go somewhere. Unless you're wearing a bandana or workout band, that sweat is going to be running down your face. As a result, there's always the extremely slight chance that this sweat could get into the Oculus Quest 2 and damage its circuitry. Given that this has never been a widespread problem on Oculus devices the way it has been on some other VR headsets, this isn't very likely, but it is certainly something to consider if you sweat a lot.
VR Cover for Oculus Quest 2 The competition
Right now, the closest competition to VR Cover's foam replacements is the Oculus Quest 2 Fit pack. This official Oculus-made pack comes with two different sized foam facial interfaces, as well as a pair of light blockers that fit on the sides of each lens. At $40, this two-pack is $10 more expensive than VR Cover's offering, although it does include those light blockers for the lens that aren't in the VR Cover pack.
Just like VR Cover's package, Oculus ships their Fit Pack with two different sized pads — one narrow, one wide. These are designed to give players a slightly better fit than the default facial interface, but the difference is so minimal you may not even notice it. Aside from that, these use the same foam that ships with the Quest 2, so if you're not a fan of that material, this isn't going to do much for your comfort level.
VR Cover for Oculus Quest 2 Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
You want to build sweat equity
If you're someone who sweats a lot in VR and wants to keep that foam pad in good shape (maybe even just for resale value later).
You want to keep it clean
You're rightfully concerned with general hygiene when passing a Quest 2 with a sweaty foam pad around to multiple people.
Those regular pads cause irritation
The foam pad irritates you in some way, whether it's scratchiness or some similar issue.
You should not buy this if ...
Dripping sweat isn't your thing
You'd rather have a foam pad absorb sweat instead of it dripping down your face.
If you need full immersion
You were looking for something that would completely block out all light from the nose gap.
You're not gentle with things
Removing the pads with too much force could irreparably damage them.
Gamers who play games like Beat Saber know just how sweaty you can get in VR. I've seen the foam pad on the original Oculus Quest deteriorate quickly under these conditions, and while the Quest 2 hasn't been out long enough to tell whether it's susceptible to this issue or not, it's highly likely that the foam will look significantly worn after heavy use. On top of that, it's just gross to pass around a sweaty foam pad when multiple people are playing VR in succession. VR Cover's PU leather replacement is the best alternative material replacement you're going to find.
The PU leather is less irritating than the foam that ships with the Quest 2, which some users have described as "scratchy", and it's actually designed to be cleaned and sanitized between uses. Just be aware that all that sweat has to go somewhere, and if you're not wearing a bandana to help absorb it, sweat will absolutely run down your face during heavy VR sessions. It's also worth noting that excessive force when removing these pads could damage them, possibly even irreparably if you're too rough with it.
VR Cover for Oculus Quest 2
Bottom line: After solving issues with an initial problematic batch, VR Cover has delivered an excellent foam replacement for the Oculus Quest 2. Now you can actually clean off the Quest 2 after a sweaty VR session without worrying about damaging the foam or transferring germs to your family and friends.
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