Quest Pro’s microphone has an annoying issue not present in Quest 2.
Quest Pro has a much thinner visor than Quest 2 because it uses pancake lenses, which support smaller panels with a shorter gap to the lenses. This is advantageous for design and ergonomics, but creates a new issue with the microphone.
The thinness means your mouth is much closer to the headset – and thus the microphones – compared to Quest 2. Because of the proximity effect, the closer you are to the microphone the more that low frequencies will be amplified. This results in a bassy distorted sound when air blasts from your mouth, made after certain sounds, hit the microphone. These are called “plosives”.
P sounds are the most common plosive, sometimes referred to as “p-pops”. But it also happens with T, K, D, G, and B noises to a lesser degree.
We noticed this issue in our weekly VR Download podcast. While Quest Pro’s microphone quality is overall better than Quest 2, the popping issue is distracting enough for us to be seriously considering reverting to Quest 2. You can hear it clearly in this test:
Quest Pro has a 3-mic array, up from the 2-mic array of other standalone headsets. With this extra input, could Meta’s engineers figure out an audio processing technique to cancel out the popping? We reached out to Meta to ask if this is an issue they’re aware of and if they’re working on a fix for it. We’ll update this post if we hear back.