At CES 2017, JBL and Harman International Industries took the veil off a couple of new headphone sets designed specifically for the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. The two headphone models are called the JBL OR300 and JBL OR100 respectively, and while the former employs an on-ear design, the latter model takes the form of in-ear headphones.
Unlike most other virtual reality headsets on the market, the Oculus Rift is shipped with a pair of headphones attached to the head strap through a set of metallic pins. Whether or not the inclusion of proprietary headsets was a good idea from Oculus' part is arguable, and VR enthusiasts have had different views on the matter throughout the product’s lifespan so far. Either way, Oculus Rift owners who may what to change the standard headphones attached to the VR headset out of the box can now look forward to JBL’s new product lineup, consisting of the JBL OR300 on-ear and JBL OR100 in-ear headphones. The JBL OR300 boast a “lightweight and comfortable” design featuring “perfectly-sealing ear tips and cushion” for that extra drop of immersion during gaming sessions or otherwise, and they connect through the Oculus Rift headphone pins eliminating the need for wires. On the other hand, the JBL OR100 in-ear headphones offer an even more lightweight design with customizable ear tips and promise to “block out ambient noise” - although no details regarding noise cancellation technology have been mentioned in the official press release.
Both the JBL OR300 and OR100 take advantage of JBL Pure Bass sound technology, and they both include carrying cases. Both models will be available for purchase from JBL’s official website in March 2017. The JBL OR300 on-ear headphones will carry a price tag of $149, while the in-ear JBL OR100 will cost $79. Once again, it’s worth noting that both headphone models connect through the Oculus Rift proprietary connector, which means that owners of the device will first have to remove the existing headphones using a flat head barrel nut before attaching JBL’s alternatives. You can read more on the disassembly of the Oculus Rift in our previous “teardown” story from last year.