Valve Index controllers – The Headphone, Integrated Speakers, and More
Valve Index controllers
Valve Index controllers is a high-end virtual reality gaming headset from Valve, the company behind Steam.
It’s remained in the works for a while, leaked last year, and has now been officially revealed.
What is the valve index?
Valve Index is a powerful, high-end VR headset similar to the HTC Vive (in that it works with Steam VR).
But includes improved technology and improved specifications.
It appears to have a much more gamer-centric design than the higher-end Vive Pro and Vive Pro Eye,
which are meant more for business users.
However, like those devices, this new headset comes with a high asking price.
Valve Index is available as a complete package: with headphones, controllers, and two trailing base stations, or in separate parts as an upgrade if you already own an HTC Vive.
This is because the index is backward compatible and will work with parts of those other headphones.
It strength be an excellent way to get your hands on the new headphones without spending a small fortune, although you won’t get the same experience.
- Built-in over-ear headphones
- Head size adjustment wheel
- Eye relief and IPD slider
The Valve says the new headset has been designed to focus on “fidelity first,” which focuses on visual, audio, and ergonomic design to create a VR headset that is a joy to use:
- Founded on what we know from the images and specs, this new headset should be comfortable to wear.
- It has several premium design features similar to what we have seen in other VR headsets.
- It includes padded and woven antimicrobial fabrics on the headbands, interchangeable ear pads, and various sizing options.
- Integrated ultra-close flat panel speakers
- 37.5mm off-ear balanced mode radiators (BMR)
- 40Hz – 24KHz Frequency response
- 6-ohm impedance
- 3.5 mm headphone auxiliary output
Headphone audio is also designed with a focus on comfort. Integrated headphones, for example, don’t sit over your ears. They hover over them:
- It is meant to help you stay cool while you play while allowing the sound to flow freely. Virtual surround sound comes from around you, rather than inside some headphones attached to your head.
- These ultra near field flat panel speakers are also adjustable so that you can move them based on your head type and the position of your ears.
- 1440×1600 dual LCD
- Refresh rate up to 144Hz
- 20 degrees wider field of view than HTC Vive
- IPD adjuster with 58mm – 70mm range
The Valve Index is designed to deliver the “best in class” VR experiences:
- As such, I would expect some pretty decent specs. This handset has two LCD screens that offer a resolution of 1440×1600 per eye, the same as the HTC Vive Pro.
- However, Valve claims that these RGB LCDs offer 50 percent more sub-pixels than traditional OLED screens, which improves the sharpness.
How does the valve index work?
- Like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, Valve Index needs a gaming PC to function.
- It would help if you also tracked base stations to monitor your movement in the virtual world and transmit that information to your machine and your headset.
- The new configuration of the Base Station 2.0 offers an improved tracking range, a better field of view, and the possibility of increasing the playing space.
- In fact, Valve says that two of these updated base stations can crawl a space that is 400 percent larger than previous technology.
- Add more base stations to the mix, and you can expand the gaming space up to 10 square meters.
- These base stations sweep the area you’re playing in with fixed lasers that cross the room 100 times per second to control the headphones and controllers’ position and movement.
Valve Index Controllers
- USB-C and 2.4GHz wireless connections
- 900 mA fast charging with an 1100 mAh capacity lithium-ion polymer battery
- More than 7 hours of battery life.
- Button A, Button B, System Button, Trigger, Joystick, Force Sensor Follow Button, Grip Force Sensor,
- Finger Follow, IMU
Accompanying the Valve Index headphones are the Index Controllers:
- These controllers have been rumored and displayed in various ways for a long time and were previously referred to as Valve Knuckles.
- The index controllers feature a new redesign designed to allow players to interact with in-game objects more naturally.
- With these controllers, you will be able to pick up, move, throw, and grab items as you would in the real world and in a much more convincing way.
We’ve seen a taste of what this new design means for VR gaming above with a preview of the Boneworks game:
- The index controllers have 87 built-in sensors, which means they will be able to track your hand movement and individual finger positions and things like grip and pressure.
- Valve says this has all been tweaked to allow for a much more natural and precise movement.
- These controllers track individual finger movements and are capable of accounting for different hands if friends come to play and even recalibrate to account for changes in their skin’s ability.
- The index controllers are also “used instead of holding” so your hands don’t get tired while playing the game, as you aren’t continually grasping a controller.
- Secure straps and other ergonomic enhancements like antimicrobial. Moisture-wicking and easy-to-clean fabrics make the controllers much more comfortable and cleaner to use.
- With much less risk of them slipping out of your hand mid-game session.
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