Vive Pro audio quality

Jovian
New Arrival

Re: Vive Pro audio quality

Had my Pro for a few days, got the beta firmware patch. Applied the EQ hack to ameliorate the situation, some.

 

When is this going to be *acutally* fixed?

biopharmacist
Pioneer

Re: Vive Pro audio quality

I think it's about time that HTC admits that this is a hardware issue. If they could "fix" this with software/firmware, they would have done it by now. It's also about time they tell us whether we'll be receiving replacement headphones and/or a partial refund (at least 100$ considering how good the headphones were ADVERTISED to be).
MartinMarty
Architect

Re: Vive Pro audio quality


@biopharmacistwrote:

I agree.  So many people will be approaching the deadline for returns soon.  Yet, still no solution.  HTC should consider that a partial refund for defective headphones would probably cost them less than having to process all the returned units.  Or at least promise a replacement for the headphones before it's too late.

 

For the few people that claimed decent audio, have you tried listening to rap or rock music with the Vive Pro?  Does it actually sound anywhere near the Deluxe Audio Strap?


@biopharmacist I like to play Audioshield and listen to Tool and I like it loud. No, the DAS could go louder than what I want and the new hardware cannot even get as loud as I want.

MartinMarty
Architect

Re: Vive Pro audio quality

I had an interesting night on the Vive Pro and may have discovered something that will help a little for those of us annoyed with our $800 AM radio audio sections. Hey HTC, the dollar store called and they want their amps back because you're giving them a bad name.

 

1) First I checked for firmware updates and even though I did one the other day when we were first told that there was a SteamVR fix in the works, I found there was another one available so I installed it. I don't know for sure how to find what version I have, but this seams to be the relevant section of the Sytem Report:

 

Device 1 - LHR-4F755F56 Headset VIVE_Pro MV HTC
Firmware: 1518508151 watchman@runner-watchman 2018-02-13 FPGA 531(2.19/0/2) BL 1513896911
Hardware Revision: product 133 rev 2.0.6 lot 2000/0/0 0
Hardware Id: 0x85020006
Watchman Firmware: 1518508151 / 1518508151 (2018-02-13)
Watchman FPGA: 531 / 531 (2.19)
Camera Firmware: 12884967859 / 12884967859 (Version: 03.01.1B3 Date: 2018.Jan.11)
Display Firmware: 2105635 / 2105635
Display FPGA: 6 / 6
Display Bootloader: 1056771 "0x0000000000102003"
Display HW Revision: 2 "0x2"
Audio Firmware: 6 / 6
Audio Bridge Firmware: 288 / 288
Image Bridge Firmware: 9 / 9
VSync to Photons: 0.0004
Display Frequency: 90
User IPD (m): 0.0677
Current Universe ID: 1518395658
Previous Universe ID: 0
Dongle Version: 0DC3C5E50B Version: 1461100729 / 1461100729 (2016-04-19)
Dongle Version: 67ADBB0807 Version: 1461100729 / 1461100729 (2016-04-19)

 

2) FYI, I am still set for the beta version of SteamVR. Didn't want to run the risk of reverting the improvement.

 

3) I went again into the Properties for the Vive Pro Multimedia device and turned on the Bass Boost, +12db at 80Hz. I also turned on the Loudness Equalization, this seems to help also, even though my ancient understanding of what a Loudness control is supposed to do says it would be null when the volume was all the way up - don't care.

 

4) Of course I had the volume all the way up on the SteamVR overlay (System button) menu and on the Windows volume control/HMD button and in my game, in this case TheWaveVR.

 

*** ---> 5) While listening to the DJ in TheWaveVR, I wanted to do something requiring keyboard/mouse. I double-pressed the System button to display the Vive camera view. It attenuated the sound. I changed my mind and decided not to do whatever it was, so having done nothing with the keyboard/mouse, I double-pressed the System button again to get rid of the camera view. It restored the volume setting BUT it was noticeably louder! Still not where I want it but louder. I would say it approximately makes up for what is lost by turning on the bass boost.

 

So all you good people having the audio problem, check for another firmware update, try the loudness control in addition to the bass boost, and try turning the camera view on and off again. I have since found that if I do this even in Steam Home the chirping birds get louder. Like I said, it is still not where I want it but it's another notch closer. Quite simply, with the DAS I could turn it up louder than I wanted and with the Vive Pro we are still fighting to get it loud enough. Don't get me wrong, it is probably where most people would say it is loud but they are probably not old hippies who like blasting loud rock & roll (heck, even the EDM they play in TheWaveVR sounds better LOUDER - the DAS could go louder than I wanted it).

 

Smiley Sad Now, the bad news is that twice in messing with this stuff the sound has got messed up in Windows. One time I could here it quickly alternating between my speakers and my HMD. Both times, the speaker icon in the system tray was like visibly "vibrating" between quiet and loud. When I tried to go into the properties dialog for Playback Devices, I could not get there. The menu simply locked up - not the whole computer or explorer.exe. I had to reboot Windows to get it back to normal.

TylerDax
Settler

Re: Vive Pro audio quality

No,it´s for sure not a hardware issue. I have great, full sound after Steam beta and Firmware-Update like i described before.
Angelus
Pioneer

Re: Vive Pro audio quality

Did you run an A/B test between OG DAS and Pro?

biopharmacist
Pioneer

Re: Vive Pro audio quality

@TylerDax
There are only two people who have claimed improved sound after the firmware update. But more importantly, you claim to have had to use a rubber band to force the headphones onto your ears for better bass. I agree that the springs in the headphones should be stronger. That would also fall under a hardware issue.

It's also important to note that I have read and watched almost all the reviews for the Vive Pro. Not a single one claimed that it had good sound. Unfortunately, most of them said they had no comment because they weren't audiophiles. However, you don't have to be one to notice a complete lack of bass. All the other reviewers confirmed what most of us are hearing.

I will not be adding a rubber band around my headphones, and I know I'm not alone on that.
Considering how long HTC had to develop the Vive Pro, they should've tested the sound quality.

Again. HTC. Replacements or refund? Personally, I would prefer replacements so that I can enjoy a complete, intact audio/video experience, as the Vive Pro was advertised to be.
paulasheville
Explorer

Re: Vive Pro audio quality

The fact that we're getting no support here other than "feel free to use your own headphones", is just about reason enough for me to not want to give another cent to this company, and return this unit for a refund.

 

For anyone that bought at Gamestop, they may be difficult about you returning it, but if you demonstrate it's a widespread defect, they will allow it.  I own a succesful e-commerce business, and would never in a million years consider it an option to ignore my customer base for this long with such a major issue. My customers would be livid.

 

The resolution is definitely a plus, but with the sound about 25% lower than what I set it at on my  DAS when the volume is maxed, it definitely cancels out any benefit, and for $800, I better come out in the positive.

 

Anyone have any experience with the Samsung Odyssey? I've read mixed reports about the controller tracking issues. I'm wondering if it might be a replacement since it has the same resolution as the Pro.

paulasheville
Explorer

Re: Vive Pro audio quality

TylerDax, for me the quality is improved a bit by the patch, but the volume is the issue. Are you able pump up the volume to levels you could on the DAS or any cheap $20 headphones from Target? Also, for me the volume seems lower in games like Skyrim for instance, than playing music through windows.
Angelus
Pioneer

Re: Vive Pro audio quality

I just share my bad experiences on all thier HTC Mobile / Vive Facebook / twitter / HTC Forum...

MartinMarty
Architect

Re: Vive Pro audio quality


@paulashevillewrote:

The fact that we're getting no support here other than "feel free to use your own headphones", is just about reason enough for me to not want to give another cent to this company, and return this unit for a refund.

 

For anyone that bought at Gamestop, they may be difficult about you returning it, but if you demonstrate it's a widespread defect, they will allow it.  I own a succesful e-commerce business, and would never in a million years consider it an option to ignore my customer base for this long with such a major issue. My customers would be livid.

 

The resolution is definitely a plus, but with the sound about 25% lower than what I set it at on my  DAS when the volume is maxed, it definitely cancels out any benefit, and for $800, I better come out in the positive.

 

Anyone have any experience with the Samsung Odyssey? I've read mixed reports about the controller tracking issues. I'm wondering if it might be a replacement since it has the same resolution as the Pro.


Odyssey is great as far as the display is concerned. Also very comfortable. But the Vive tracking system is king of the hill. So if all you do is seated VR, Odyssey is a great value. I wouldn't call it "tracking issues". The Vive just has a superior design in that area. Too bad they can't seem to execute at 100%. Seems like they have at least one brilliant engineer, some good support guys, and a moron making decisions. How could they really not foresee that customers would expect performance >= previous model?

 

Did anybody try the thing with the camera, or did I lose everybody with the long post?

biopharmacist
Pioneer

Re: Vive Pro audio quality

Thing with the camera?
dgtlhrt
Contributor

Re: Vive Pro audio quality

I have had mixed results after the initial firmware from the steam vr beta patch. Some nights it sounds great and is so loud I have to lower the steam vr sound to around 80% to avoid hurting my ears. Other nights, I can max the sound in steam vr, (and headphones button all the way up) and sound does not hurt my ears. 

There is definitely something disabling the fix at some point, it somewhat seems like if you boot up or start steam vr w the pro audio selected, it doesn't load properly. If you try switching to hdmi vive pro audio, restart steam vr, or computer even, then switch back pro multimedia audio and double check all volume is set to max, sometimes that gets it working louder again.

It's really hard to pinpoint, but there is definitely still something weird going on, and that's likely why some people are saing it's improved and others are not. 

I will try to do some more testng, but really don't have a ton of time to enjoy VR as it is, so I tend to rather play and try to enjoy my Vive Pro, instead of sitting there spending time testing.

Hopefully this helps and we all see a fix soon.

MartinMarty
Architect

Re: Vive Pro audio quality


@biopharmacistwrote:
Thing with the camera?

@biopharmacist Yeah, after the SteamVR update, firmware update(s), etc, turn on the bass boost (and I recommend the Loudness Equalization as well) and go into a game with some sound (even Steam Home with the chirping birds), crank the volume, then do the double-press System Button to turn on the HMD camera view and then double-press again to turn camera view off and see if you get a volume boost. I do.

 

When I turn on the camera, I hear the sound attenuate and the mic comes on and I can hear through the mic. When I turn off the camera and it raises the sound back to the un-attenuated level, it brings it back louder than it was originally, and the bass boost/loudness are still in effect.

paulasheville
Explorer

Re: Vive Pro audio quality

Well I seemed to have somehow fixed the volume issue. I'm guessing what did it was turning on Loudness Equalization in the Windows Playback settings for the device. My guess is that this is overriding some volume attenuation occuring at the system level with the drivers for the device. I can't speak to the quality, but it does seem to be about the same as my DAS headphones now.

 

It's really sad that I've managed to figure out a possible fix just from tinkering, but that the engineers from HTC haven't managed to figure out recommended solutions yet.