VR Cover Review (HTC Vive)
For the purposes of transparency, this review was created using a sample provided by the company or their respective PR company. The use of a review sample does not affect my judgement of the product.
As VR games become more and more active and start to be more of a work out for some of the games/experiences, it goes hand in hand with sweat filled foam on the Vive. Not only is this a pain to clean, but you hear the horror stories of Vive’s support with water damage. This is where VR Cover wants to fill the need in the market for easier to clean face covers… so does the product work?
With the HTC Vive the company offers two options when it comes to thickness on the cover, these are 6mm and 14mm – after some discussion with the team I decided on 6mm. The reason for this is there is less chance of it effecting the FOV inside of the Head Mounted Display (HMD).
I’m sure you are thinking; what makes these easier to clean and more hygienic?. This is done by replacing the default foam you receive with the HMD, which is sponge-like so absorbent of your sweat with PU leather. In turn making the material between your face and the headset easy to clean, with anti-bacterial wipes (recommended as better for the skin).
As you would expect the material still gets sweaty on these more active games, but the ease of wiping them down makes them so much more manageable than the foam supplied. Also the team are going to provide you with two covers, meaning even if one needs more a deep clean you will still have a replacement to use. This offers not only more protection to the HMD but also to your face, with the easy removal of germs left behind. Which of course becomes important if you are the only one of your friend-group that owns VR, it means you can easy wipe it down as the HMD is passed around.
Installation / Removal
Installation and removal of the VR covers is really simple. You will just be using the Velcro that is already attached to your Vive, that the original foam used. So, you will just need to remove your old foam from the headset and then attach the VR cover to the Velcro with the soft material on the back and that it is; you are ready to get going with this cover installed. The only part that I found a bit tricky was lining it up so it fit correctly around the HMD, but after a few attempts I go it perfect – that of course could just be me.
With this being the case it is really easy to remove the cover if you want to give it a more deep clean and replace it with the spare one that was supplied.
VR Cover Testing
I have now had my VR cover around a month, and been testing it using multiple games and not only the active ones. So, did the product do what I expected?
Firstly let’s take a look at the main reason I wanted to try out this product and the main reason I see for the product… playing those active games. I have tested using the cover on Beat Saber, Box VR, Sprint Vector and Creed: Rise To Glory – games I know build up a sweat.
I head into these games first with the default foam attached and then the VR Cover, to offer a side-by-side comparison. In doing this I found where the VR cover offers a lot of benefits, it also comes with some issues compared to the foam.
However, the benefits hugely outweigh the issues. The benefits were clear when it came to the hygiene side, as it really is simple to wipe it down after a session in each game, where the foam soaked in the sweat and really needs to be removed and washed to get it fully clean. Where the VR cover will still need removing and washing fully at some point, it is no where near as often that is needed with the foam when playing these active games.
Now, this is one place where the VR cover offered some negatives compared to the foam, and the main issue I found overall – the PU leather doesn’t half make your face feel sticky. This is just down the clammy feeling the heat and sweat from your head against the fabric builds up, where the foam does not really give this feeling. But, this only happens in the active games,
I also tested the VR Cover against the foam playing less active games like shooters and story/seated experiences, and found the VR Cover the more comfortable option for the longer sessions. This is down to the soft feel the PU leather has against your face compared to the foam. Meaning the product also has it’s benefits outside of the active games, and can still be easily cleaned down after a long session in the headset.
If you are looking at buying the 6mm or 14mm foam replacements, for a pack of two this will cost $29.00 (USD). Which for the comfort and hygiene benefits, I think they are worth the purchase and not overly priced. The company also offer a cloth cover for the default foam that will cost $19.00 (USD) for two. This is a cheaper alternative, and you can place these cloth covers over the foam and wash them after use, again with two being provided you can just use the spare one when washing the other.
However, given the PU leather covers are good for a wipe after use, I think they hold a bigger benefit to the cloth version, and would personally go for this option for the extra $10.00 (USD).
- Easy wipe clean after use
- Extra comfort
- Not overly priced
- Sticky/Clammy feeling on active games.
For the amount of benefits you received from the VR Cover in regards to hygiene and keeping the face pad clean, to the additional comfort of the soft PU leather on your face, it’s hard not to recommend the replacement covers. The covers are so easy to install, wipe down and that comfort allows for longer sessions of your favourite games… and all for a fair price.