HTC Vive Deluxe Audio Strap: Reviews and Where to Buy, Restock Updates
The HTC Vive Deluxe Audio Strap (DAS) has finally been released, however its super hard to find, out of stock, and a lot of people are wondering if it’s really worth the $100 price tag. The Vive is already the most expensive VR headset available and this brings it even closer to $1000!
Update: Now back in stock at some retailers!
Availability and Stock of the Vive Deluxe Audio Strap
Update: The HTC Vive Deluxe Audio Strap is now coming back into stock in some stores.
Currently the Vive Deluxe Audio Strap is out of stock almost everywhere.
Where to Buy the Vive Deluxe Audio Strap DAS:
Updated – Now Back in Stock at Some Locations! There are a few major retailers that are stocking it that you should keep an eye on:
- Amazon (price varies, see above for up to date price)
- Microsoft’s Store ($99.99 + $6.00 Sales Tax)
- HTC’s Vive store ($99.99 + $18 Shipping to the US)
- B&H Photo ($99, Free Expedited Shipping, No Tax in Most, however not shipping at the moment)
At Amazon and HTC Vive’s website you can sign up to be notified when they are back in stock, however I can assure you that this is not the most reliable method.The notification email will most definitely be delayed and may not be sent out until hours or days after the Deluxe Audio Strap was back in stock. By the time you get the notification it very well may be sold out again. I’ve seen this happen personally on other items in the past.
Amazon Vive Deluxe Audio Strap – Availability at Amazon.com
Amazon itself was stocking the Deluxe Audio Strap, but sold out immediately. Currently there are some 3rd party sellers that are selling (re-selling) it at about twice the price. If you’re really desperate to get one as soon as possible, that could be an option.
Below is the always up to date in stock availability and price of the HTC Vive Deluxe Audio Strap at Amazon.
HTC Vive / Vive Store: Deluxe Audio Strap
Status: In Stock! $99.99 + $18 shipping to the US
However there is an $18 shipping fee, which is much more expensive than other retailers.
The official HTC Vive site also has a store that carries the Vive and the Deluxe Audio Strap. This too is currently sold out. It does have an option to sign up to be notified when it is back in stock so be sure to sign up for that at the below link.
Here it is at the HTC Vive Store: Deluxe Audio Strap Product Page (out of stock)
Microsoft Store: HTC Vive Deluxe Audio Strap
Status: in Stock! $105.99 after free shipping & tax
Yes for some reason the Microsoft Store is stocking the Vive Deluxe Audio Strap, but it sold out just as quickly as every other source (probably faster assuming they had less stock than Amazon and HTC.)
I’m not sure why Microsoft’s store was one of the few sources to receive stock of the HTC Vive Deluxe Audio Strap. They do carry the Vive itself, as well as the Oculus Rift, and many other non-Microsoft products, but I think I can speak for most consumers when I say that most people would not look to a Microsoft Store to buy Virtual Reality products. Honestly I wasn’t really even aware the there was a Microsoft Store beyond the XBox marketplace / store.
Here it is at the Microsoft Store: HTC Vive Deluxe Audio Strap Product Page (out of stock)
B&H Photo and Video Deluxe Audio Strap In-Stock Status
Status: In Stock Soon
Currently out of stock at B&H, a large and well known photography and electronics retailer. You can sign up on their website to be notified when it is back in stock here as well.
When will the HTC Vive Deluxe Audio Strap Be Back in Stock?
I contacted HTC / Vive’s customer support for information, but they did not have any information to share. At the present time unfortunately there is no news on when there will be more back in stock.
Some people have reported that HTC claims that more stock is coming in weekly. I’ve been monitoring the three major websites every day since release and have not seen any of them restock.
While this is just a guess, most likely it will be a month or two (mid or late summer) before a new major manufacturing run can be arranged and completed, then shipped to distributors. It seems HTC has underestimated the demand for the Deluxe Audio Strap, or perhaps they just were not able to arrange a large enough manufacturing run for the first set. Another possibility is that they kept the first manufacturing run small in case of a defect.
Note: Updates on stock are at the bottom of the article, shortcut here.
Defects with the Foam Padding / Lining of the HTC Vive Deluxe Audio Strap?
There have been pretty widespread reports that there is an issue with the foam padding on the first run of the Deluxe Audio Strap (DAS). Many customers who were lucky enough to pre-order or get an early order in have reported that the padding / foam will deteriorate when it gets wet. This is something that is actually likely to happen due to sweat if you are in a warm room or are playing an active game. Users have reported that the foam padding will start flaking and rubbing off. Some other users tested this further and intentionally rubbed the lining, then reported that it is just a superficial / cosmetic issue and is not a big deal.
At the very least you can expect to get some black flaking from the foam padding after use, though it may not affect functionality. Something to keep in mind however.
This article will be updated when the Deluxe Audio Strap comes back in stock. If you’re waiting to buy one, bookmark this page and check back in the future!
Update June 28: users on reddit have shared photos and details that HTC / Vive has been working on the foam padding issue. It appears they are now offering a new type of foam as a replacement to current owners. You can contact customer support on the HTC website for a free replacement.
While this is currently unconfirmed, it seems very likely that the Vive Deluxe Audio straps are having the new foam installed before shipping out, and that would explain the lack of stock. It appears no new stock has gone out since the initial preorder shipments. Some preorders from about 6 weeks ago still have not been delivered.
Here is the reddit thread and below is an imgur gallery about the changes to the DAS foam padding. One user mentioned that the new foam is a bit more grippy and may not feel as nice as the old foam did at first. For example, it seems it will catch on hair more. However it seems the flaking issue is gone with the new foam.
Photos credit: reddit user u/Tony1697
More to come, it seems like some progress is being made as HTC already has replacement foam available. I would expect to see stock start trickling in within the next couple of weeks, though this is just a guess at this point.
Final Update: Deluxe Audio Strap Now In Stock at These Locations:
Updated – Now Back in Stock at Some Locations! There are a few major retailers that are stocking it that you should consider buying from: