If you are wondering how to fix your Oculus Rift headphones, you could be experiencing the sound not working from both earphones, or just from the left-hand side.
You will have VR audio issues if you have not updated your Oculus Rift sound drivers on your PC, your settings have been configured incorrectly, or, there is a damaged ribbon cable within your headpiece.
Checking that your volume is not muted, and your Oculus Rift has the latest software downloaded can help fix your headphones from not receiving any sound.
This guide will supply you with all the possible reasons why your Rift headphones are being problematic, and provide you with 5 simple solutions so you will know how to fix your Oculus Rift headphones.
Why are my Oculus Rift headphones not working
Your Oculus Rift headphones may not be working because you have not selected them from the Oculus app on your computer, or your headphones have not been connected securely.
Reason 1. Incorrect settings
In the Oculus app on your PC, if you have not chosen the correct headphones for the Audio output setting, you will not hear any sound.
Your Rift also needs to be set as the ‘Default’ device.
Reason 2. Volume is muted or too low
You may be unaware that the volume on your computer is muted, or set too low.
Reason 3. Faulty ribbon cable
Your Oculus Rift headphones have a ribbon cable that travels all around your headphones to supply sound to the right and left earpiece.
If this cable is faulty, it will stop audio from being able to be transmitted through the headset and reach one or both headphones.
Reason 4. Rift update required
Your VR audio could not be working due to an outstanding update.
Updates are continuously being done to improve performance and get rid of any potential issues that may cause system errors.
Reason 5. Build-up of debris
Does your Oculus Rift keep losing sound? This could be due to your headphones needing a deep clean.
Your headphones may appear clean on the outside, however, there can be a build-up of dust or debris within the electronic pieces of your headgear.
You wouldn’t know if it was dirty just by looking at your headphones, as you would need to unscrew the earphone off the headset.
Reason 6. Outdated sound drivers
The Oculus sound driver on your PC could be due an update.
If this driver is outdated, it can cause problems with the sound cutting out.
How do I fix my headphones on my Oculus Rift?
Here’s how to fix Oculus Rift headphones in 5 easy fixes;
Fix 1. Check your audio settings
Your settings may have been configured incorrectly, resulting in your audio not coming through to your headphones.
Step 1. Open the Rift app on your computer
Step 2. From the menu on the left-hand side, choose ‘Devices’
Step 3. Select ‘Rift’
Step 4. Under ‘Audio Output in VR’ you should have ‘Rift Headphones’ selected
Also, check that your volume settings have been set high enough for you to hear and that no volume option has been muted.
Your Oculus Rift headphones should be set as your ‘Default Device’;
Step 1. Right-click on the volume image at the bottom of your PC
Step 2. Select ‘Sound Settings’ followed by ‘More Sound Settings’
Step 3. Under ‘Playback’ check that your Rift audio headphones are selected
Step 4. Click on ‘Set Default’
You can now confirm this by pressing ‘OK’.
Fix 2. Update Oculus Rift software
Step 1. Access the app on your computer
Step 2. Click on ‘Library’
Step 3. Select ‘Updates’
The Oculus app will now check for an available update. If there is one, confirm you want to go ahead and wait for the update to finish.
Fix 3. Clean your earphones
Step 1. Unscrew each earphone off the headset
Step 2. You should see ‘contact plates’ below the two holes where the pins go into
Step 3. Using a cotton bud, clean the pins and the holes (pull the cotton bud a little to make a sharp end that can fit into the holes) with an alcohol-based cleaner
Step 4. Clean the contact plates
You can now reconnect the headphones to the headset.
Fix 4. Update Oculus sound driver
If the sound driver for Oculus has not been updated on your PC, issues will occur with your audio.
The quickest way to complete an update is to download Driver Talent onto your PC and follow the steps to update the Oculus Rift, sound driver.
Oculus Rift left ear not working
It has been noted that many Oculus Rift users are experiencing an issue mainly with the audio from their left earpiece.
The sound is either intermittent or does not come through at all.
This would be due to a faulty ribbon cable within the headset. This cable runs along from the right-hand side strap all along the back of the head strap, to the left earphone.
(Did you know; ever wondered how Oculus Rift tracking works? The device has a constellation tracking system that helps track movements in space, so when you’re moving around in VR, your brain will perceive the movement as you would in real life.)
If the cable is damaged before it reaches the left-hand side of the earphone, the audio will not work and can cause the Oculus Rift sound to be crackling.
Fix 5. Bridge faulty ribbon cable
Before you proceed with this fix, make sure you have the following;
- Flathead screwdriver
- Wire cutters
- Measuring tape
- Flexi wire
Step 1. Remove facial interface and headset cable (along with any other attachments you have added)
Step 2. Unscrew the earphones (check the pins are not damaged)
Step 3. Measure out a 36cm long Flexi wire cable
Step 4. Strip the ends of the cable and twist the strands
Step 5. Make a little ‘hook’ with the ends
Step 6. With your left earphone, put the hook around the lowest pin and twist it around so it does not fall off
Step 7. Screw your earphone back onto the head strap while keeping the wire on the pin
Tip, put your head strap upside down when completing this step
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Step 8. With the wire running behind the head strap, connect it to the right earphone by making a hook to go around the lowest pin
Step 9. Secure the right earphone back onto the head strap
You can now reassemble your Oculus Rift and connect it back to your PC.
Note, make sure you have screwed your earphones back on as tight as possible.
With this extensive guide, we hope you now know how to fix your Oculus Rift headphones, whether it was the right and left ear piece giving you problems, or just the one side.
If none of our 5 simple steps fixed your Oculus Rift audio issue, you may need to request a headphone replacement.
Before doing so, make sure your headphone cable is not faulty, or a screw has come loose from fastening the earphone’s pins to the head strap.