Quest 3’s microphone has the same popping problem as Quest Pro – an issue that isn’t present in Quest 2.
Quest 3 and Quest Pro have a much thinner visor than Quest 2, thanks to the use of pancake lenses which require a shorter gap between them and the display panels. That’s advantageous for design and ergonomics, but may be contributing to a microphone quality issue.
The thinness means your mouth is much closer to the headset, and thus the microphones, compared to Quest 2. On Quest 3, there seems to be a bassy distorted sound when air blasts from your mouth hit its microphone. The proximity effect means the closer you are to the microphone the more low frequencies will be amplified, and this effect seems to be leaving Meta’s latest VR headsets with a “plosives” problem.
P sounds are the most common plosive, sometimes referred to as “p-pops”, but this jarring also happens with T, K, D, G, and B noises to a lesser degree.
In last week’s episode, I started using Quest 3 on its launch day, hoping that the issue would not be present. Instead, we were disappointed to discover another new Meta headset has exactly the same issue. Listen to the above comparison of the microphone on Quest 2, Quest 3, and Quest Pro.
We aren’t the only ones to notice Quest 3’s microphone quality. YouTuber Mike Cussell, known as VROasis, posted his own comparison to X, showing that this issue actually isn’t present on other slim pancake lens headsets such as HTC’s Vive XR Elite and Bigscreen Beyond.
YouTuber Brad Lynch, known as SadlyItsBradley, also expressed his disappointment with Quest 3’s microphone, while Cezary Sobociński of XRDailyNews called it “an absolute piece of dogshit”.
Meta may be able to improve the quality of Quest 3’s microphone in software, perhaps even by using machine learning to filter out the popping, as popular communication platforms including Discord, FaceTime, and Google Meet now do.
Quest Pro is marketed for meetings and yet nothing was done about the problem there. So will Quest 3 get a fix for this?
We aren’t holding our breath.