Why does the Vive Microphone always sound like this?

Eric_Lorenz
Contributor

Why does the Vive Microphone always sound like this?

I'm doing some tests for a VR game on the microphone input quality for both Vive and Oculus Rift. While testing the microphone for the Vive, I noticed that there is some crazy sample rate reduction and what sounds like bit crushing.

When I'm actually in the game, the microphone sounds great and I don't hear any of the weird processing. If I record the microphone into a DAW using a sample rate of 48k, the sample rate reduction gets pretty crazy, and when I record at a sample rate of 44.1k, no signal will go above 8kHz (it's like it's roling off everything above 8kHz).

Furthermore, through our tests, since I found that the mic sounds better when recording at 44.1k I would try to have the input settings constantly at 44.1k, but many times I saw that windows would change it back to 48k and resulting in some extreme sample rate reduction.

I'd like to know if anyone can help me with this or at least shed some light on how the vive microphone works. We're trying to come up with a soulution to get both Vive and Oculus mics to sound similar for a game, and this whole issue with the Vive mic is confusing us.

 

 

Oculus Mic Test 16 bit 48kHz.PNGThis is the Oculus Rift Microphone, sounds much cleaner than the Vive dispite the Vive sounding better in gameVive Mic Test 16bit 48kHz.PNGVive Mic: Here you can see me whistling up (and notice the mirroring?)Vive WASAPI 8bit 44.1kHz.PNGVive Mic: here is a recording at 44.1k, less sample rate reduction, but all frequency content gets cut off around 8kHz

Vive Staff

Re: Why does the Vive Microphone always sound like this?

Hi @Eric_Lorenz,

I am currently tracking down answers to this question. Thank you for the detailed report!

To reach Viveport's customer service team, email customerservice@viveport.com

To connect with a live support agent for hardware support, go to www.vive.com/support, click on "contact us" in the top righthand corner, and then opt to speak with a Live Chat agent

David R

Technical Specialist - San Francisco, CA; Monday-Friday

Click here to send me a PM

glitch
Visitor

Re: Why does the Vive Microphone always sound like this?

Hi David, I am on the team with Eric and we've subsequently been doing more digging, so I wanted to share our findings and concerns.

Choosing 44.1khz in Windows results in a clean, antialiased recording, but somewhere in the pipeline the signal is downsampled to 16khz. (see Eric's third pic)

Choosing 48khz in Windows results in a nasty recording full of aliasing and the signal seems like it is downsampled to 4khz. (see Eric's second pic)

It seems like the driver is not respecting our sample rate choices. And in the case of 48khz, the sample rate as very wrong and there is no antialiasing filter (possible bug?).

For now, we will workaround the problem by sticking with 44.1khz, but our players will undoubtedly try to boost quality by bumping up to 48khz and unknowingly broadcast some very scratchy sounding voice. We have just confirmed that we can hear the aliasing in game.

Vive Staff

Re: Why does the Vive Microphone always sound like this?

@Eric_Lorenz @glitch.

Quick question, is your team using a consumer Vive or Vive pre's? The mic is substantially different between the two models. 

To reach Viveport's customer service team, email customerservice@viveport.com

To connect with a live support agent for hardware support, go to www.vive.com/support, click on "contact us" in the top righthand corner, and then opt to speak with a Live Chat agent

David R

Technical Specialist - San Francisco, CA; Monday-Friday

Click here to send me a PM

Eric_Lorenz
Contributor

Re: Why does the Vive Microphone always sound like this?

@VibrantNebula, We have the standard consumer Vive 

Re: Why does the Vive Microphone always sound like this?

I'm having the same problem with quiet audio and rolloff at the 8k mark (suggesting an actual sample rate of 16k). This results in very muffled and inaudible microphone output from the Vive headset. All devices have been set to 44.1K sample rates and 16-bit audio. Is there any other reason this problem might occur? Please let me know if you need additional information. Thanks!