Review: HTC Vive Wireless Adapter

Our Rating

Today we will be reviewing the HTC vive wireless adapter. So as you may probably know I got to experience the wireless adapter back at Gamescom during the Arizona sunshine. It was an experience of its kind and I was super impressed on how it performed on the show floor. But can I replicate that experience at home. Yes, I have got myself an HTC Vive Wireless Adapter and I am going to review it, so stay tuned.

 

I have got myself an HTC Vive wireless adapter kit and the Pro module kit for this review. I’ll always be upfront and honest with my opinions on this equipment, so in today’s article I’m going to be showing you the following

  1. What comes in the box
  2. How to set HTC Vive wireless adapter
  3. Then finally my review

First up, let’s see what’s in the box and talk about the price now this kit is 299 USD for the Wireless adaptor kit and that comes with everything you need for the original vibe.

HTC-vive-wireless-adapter

The core kit comprises of the 1) wireless adapter which is compatible with the vive and Vive pro 2) a battery with clip, 3) USB cable a PCIe card 4) Wireless link box that comes with a six-foot cable and 5) The original Vive cables.

As this system uses a PCIe card you’ll need to ensure you have a 1x slot spare on your motherboard. Unfortunatel,y though this will roll out people with laptops. Also, I’ve heard that people with AMD Rison processors are reporting issues, so please be aware of that before jumping in if you’re in the AMD camp. If you have a vibe bro you will need the additional pro kit. That’s going to cost you an extra $65.

 

In the pro kit you get 1) a display port cable 2) replacement padding for the back of the headset and 3) a vive pro cradle mount.

Installation of HTC Vive (or pro) wireless adapter

I am pleased to report that the installation is a breeze. but I’ll cover it briefly here.

Step 1: First thing you want to do is put the battery on charge so you can get it fully charged when you get everything else ready.

Step2: Power off your PC and switch off the power supply make sure you ground yourself and install the PCIe card in a 1 X slot. If a 1 X slot isn’t available on your motherboard you can install it in a 4x slot.

Step3: Next you’re going to want to connect the wireless link box to the PCIe card and mount it so it’s pointing at your play space.

Step4: Grab your vive and remove the interface to remove the original cable.

Step5: Then install the wireless adapter and the padding on the headset.

Step6: If you’ve got a vibe Pro you’re going to need to swap out the cradle plate using a screwdriver.

Step7: Then just download and install the software and once that’s installed make sure you reboot your PC.

Step 8: Then the final step is the fun part we get to test it out the Vive wireless adapter with a bunch of different games including Creed, Super hot Twilight path.

I have to say, I was really impressed with how quick and easy the installation it was. It took around 30 minutes in total and that was it unlike the TP cast which took the same amount of time to get set up but hours and hours of troubleshooting to get a good experience.

 

HTC Vive Wireless adapter review

HTC Vive wireless adapter  vs TP cast

The Vive solution just works straight out of the box. Unlike the experience I had for the TP cast there’s no obvious degradation of the image that you see in the headset and there’s no latency. Using the TP cast with the oculus rift you get slight cropping of the field of view and you lose your microphone. If you’re not using open TP cast in terms of rate, the vive wireless adapter is slightly heavier than the TP cast module. However, the battery is much lighter of course that’s because it’s a much smaller capacity.

I ran the vive wireless adapter for around two and a half hours before the battery died and it will take about 6 hours to fully recharge again just like the TP cast. You get no warning when the battery is about to die on you. The headset just turns off so be aware of the length of your play times.

HTC Vive wireless adapter: battery

If you do want a spare battery for those longer gaming sessions it’s going to cost you an additional $60. They recommend that you use an official vive one. I tried it with two battery packs but they just simply didn’t work I did some research though and apparently if you find a battery pack that supports quick charge 3.0 it will work. One warning, just be wary of cheap batteries as it could cost you more in the long run.

During my hours of testing I had a couple of occasions where the signal was weakened and you could see that represented in the headset as the view becomes a little bit pixelated. Thankfully this lasted just a matter of seconds and only occurred twice during my playtesting. The vive wireless adapter features a lighter single cable run from the battery to the headset and the battery has a clip meaning you can easily attach it to a pocket or a belt. The TP cast has a chunkier cable and uses a belt of its own so it isn’t quite as convenient as using the vive.

HTC Vive wireless adapter: built

The replacement padding I have to say was a bit of a disappointment. It just acts like a huge sponge which soaks up sweat. Especially when I was playing games like creed and I was sweating a lot I’d come back to the headset an hour later and it would still be damp to the touch. I would have preferred a leather pad or something similar to roll the sweat off rather than soaking it up like this. Especially for the amount of money that you’re paying.

I also experienced some audio desync when recording content using the vive pros onboard microphone. Although to be fair I wouldn’t recommend recording videos using that microphone as it just sounds terrible. It was just a little bit out of sync and I was able to sync it back up in post and more testing is really required to work out exactly what happened there.

HTC Vive wireless adapter vs TP cast adapter

Overall this is a better product than the TP cast. If you’re looking for a wireless solution for the vive this is the product that I’d recommend.If you own an Oculus rift, I tested this product with it but sadly I couldn’t get it to work so the TP cast is still your only option.

So there we have it that’s the HTC vive wireless adapter. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again being Wireless in VR is awesome. The feeling of being able to freely move around your play space is great and you don’t get that immersion breaking moment where you’re tangled up with the cable. I’ve been using the TP cast with the oculus rift for some time now and I use it every single day. I just couldn’t go back to using a wired headset anymore. However, I could never really recommend that product as it was such a complicated mess to setup and troubleshoot. Also, you had to use third-party open TP car software to get the best experience out of it.

Now, thankfully that’s simply not the case with the Vive pro wireless adapter kit that I’ve got here today it just works straight out the box and you don’t have any issues at all now the biggest bone of contention I would imagine will be the price it is still pricey for what you get but if you’ve been sitting on the fence for a wireless adapter for your vibe for some time now this is the only wireless kit I would recommend sadly this kit doesn’t work with the Oculus rift I did actually try it as I was super intrigued to see if it would work with both systems and then I could just swap the module over and use both systems when I want to swap between them but unfortunately that’s not the case if you’ve got an oculus rift the only solution right now is still the TP cast.