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Why is Oculus Audio Not Working? Troubleshooting Guide

Why is Oculus Audio Not Working? Troubleshooting Guide

Sound is a big part of the feeling of getting caught up in a virtual reality experience. That is why the audio from headsets like the Oculus must work well and connect to the overall experience. But, what do you do when the audio keeps cutting out or you can’t hear anything at all? Is there a way to fix this problem? 

Luckily, there are five ways that you can solve this problem:

  • Set up audio settings in SteamVR.
  • Rule out issues with the built-in headphones.
  • Set the Oculus as the default audio playback device.
  • Check the compatibility between the motherboard and Oculus. 
  • Disable the audio drivers for all devices other than Oculus. 

With these five ways to manage the problem with your Oculus headset, you must be curious about how each one works. Luckily, we’ve gone through every step you need to follow to make each one work. So, if you’re not familiar with the ins and outs of each process, we have you covered! Keep reading our article to understand how to troubleshoot each issue. 

Fixing Common Audio Issues With The Oculus Headset

No one wants their audio to dip in and out when they’re halfway through a virtual reality game. Not only is this distracting, but it can also really affect gameplay and your ability to functionally use the Oculus headset. However, if you are struggling with audio issues on an Oculus, here are five ways to solve the problem.

Connect It To SteamVR

SteamVR is the platform that you can use to play games that involve virtual reality. Luckily, there is a way to connect with this platform to make your headset the default audio player. This will help you take care of any issues that come up with the SteamVR platform not being able to recognize your audio device. 

By using this method, the most significant benefit is that once you take off the headset, your default audio device can become the mechanism for audio from then on. You don’t have to engage in a lengthy process to get your audio to work every time you use the platform. Here’s how the process works. 

  1. Switch on your computer that you want to use for gaming.
  2. Launch the SteamVR on the computer from the Start menu.
  3. Next, click on the dropdown menu at the top of the window.
  4. From here, select Settings, and then navigate to the Audio page.
  5. On the Audio settings page, look for ‘When SteamVR is active, set playback device to…’
  6. In the dropdown menu, select the Oculus headset.
  7. The following heading will say, ‘When SteamVR is exited, set playback device to…’
  8. Choose your other speakers and select them from this dropdown menu. 

Now, when SteamVR is open, it will automatically change your headset to the manual device. As you leave the software, it will switch back to your other speakers or headphones. That way, you don’t have to manually change the headphones every time you use SteamVR. 

Related: The 5 Best Headphones for Oculus Quest 2

Check For Mechanical Issues

If there is a significant problem with the built-in headphones you get with the Oculus headset, you may have to replace them. However, you don’t have to get worried about that situation without a little bit of investigation. By disconnecting the Oculus headset, you can get a better idea of whether the headphone is the problem. 

Now, switch over to another headphone or headset and see if the audio works. If it does, that means there is indeed a problem with the headset. However, if the audio issues persist, you may have to check your system settings first. 

Set As The Default Audio Device

Now, even though we set audio settings with SteamVR, there are chances that the method may not work. If that is the case, you need to change the default audio device on your system. You can do this using this straightforward process.

  1. In the taskbar on your computer, you will see a speaker button.
  2. Right-click the speaker button, and look at the menu that opens up/
  3. Now, choose Playback devices from this menu.
  4. In the list of devices, you will see right-click on your Oculus headset. 
  5. Select the option ‘Set as Default Device.’
  6. Finally, select OK to save your selection.

Now, the computer will play audio from the headset, knowing it is the default audio playback selection. This should solve the problem, but if it does not, keep reading the rest of our troubleshooting tips. 

Make Sure The Motherboard Is Compatible

If you are constantly hearing a popping sound while you are playing a game on Oculus, there is a chance that the problem is an incompatible motherboard. This is a complicated problem to handle, and you may want to consult a professional before making any changes. 

However, you can look for expansion cards on sites like Amazon to help solve this issue. Plug the cable from the Oculus headset into the expansion card instead o the motherboard. This will allow the sound to disappear and eliminate the compatibility issue. 

Disable Audio Drivers For Other Devices

Sometimes, your audio may completely cut out even when you are halfway through a game. This can sometimes go away with a restart, but that might be the last thing you want to do while in the middle of the game. In this case, it is hard to identify a fix. Some people have said using a different USB port can help, but another thing to look at is the audio drivers. 

You can disable the device drivers for other audio equipment using the Device Manager on your PC. Here’s how: 

  1. In the Start menu, open up the Device Manager software.
  2. Look for Audio Inputs and Outputs.
  3. From here, click on all devices that are not your Oculus headset.
  4. Right-click and select Disable Device.

Now, all of the other devices will be completely disabled. The only problem with this is that to get those audio devices to work, you will need to enable them again. 


If your audio settings are not solved with these steps, it is time to contact customer support. If the issue is too fart gone, they may ask you to replace the Oculus headset.