As a new META Quest 3 owner and coming from a PC wired HP Reverb G2 prior to that, it was of great interest to be offered the chance to review the ANNAPRO Battery Head Strap for Meta Quest 3 (kindly provided by ANNAPRO). We’ll now refer to it as just the “ANNAPRO Strap” from now on (they do make other accessories as well). Is this a worthy purchase considering the Quest 3 battery life isn’t great at around 2-3 hours depending on what you’re playing and what settings you’re using?
Having lived with the default fabric strap that ships with the Quest 3 for a while, we can honestly say there are lots of improvements or benefits having the ANNAPRO strap, but some negatives depending on individual use-cases (more about that in moment). Currently on sale with a small discount, a single strap will set you back £57/$69.99 with Free Worldwide Shipping, Tax / VAT which is pretty good (normally £65/$79.99. We’re not sure where the company resides, but the website suggests they have a global network of warehouses to ship from and the product is made in China. Ours arrived pretty promptly in the UK, and there were no customs issues, so assume it was shipped locally. Depending on where you are based expect shipping to range from 3-10 days which is pretty decent.
Right, on to the review. Once arrived, you’re going to need to remove the original fabric strap from META. It serves its purpose and is lightweight as an advantage, but not the most comfortable to wear, or adjust, especially if there are multiple users with differing head shapes. It also gets pretty dirty being white and all. Removal is quite simple though, so there’s no real need to explain that. Just pop-off the straps from the side arms and bingo! Well, it’s the same process for putting the ANNAPRO Strap. First remove the Quest 3 inner facia, attach the rear brace to the ANNAPRO Strap back panel which clicks into place, then thread through the soft top strap before attaching the unit to the Quest 3 side arms where the assembled ANNAPRO Strap snaps on. You can easily just pop that off too if required. Finally, put the inside facia back on. It should take no more than 5 minutes to put together ready for use.
First things first then, it does not come with a USB-C cable, so you’re going to need to get one or simply use the one that came with the Quest 3. However, you might find that if you’re doing gaming marathon seated or standing sessions and don’t require wire-free then attaching a longer cable might be a better option. The charging port is on the back of the strap making it more convenient than the default which rests on the side strap. There is a short cable and clip from the ANNAPRO Strap that connects to the USB-C socket on the Quest 3 side strap which you can plug-in or remove as and when is necessary. A caveat or two here, if you leave the Quest 3 with everything plugged in when not in use, it might drain the ANNAPRO Strap so it’s always best to just disconnect the side cable when not in use. Another caveat is the charging port at the back does not act as a bridge, so you can’t use an airlink cable in the same socket which is a shame because it’s way comfier having it on the back rather than the side. This isn’t an issue if one is wireless streaming using apps like Virtual Desktop though, and works really well at keeping things charged.
Charging times vary depending on how you are charging. If the Quest 3 has a green light which means it’s fully charged, then expect the ANNAPRO Strap battery to take up to three or more hours to fully charge from empty. It’s going to take longer if the Quest 3 needs charging first, so bear that in mind. We always keep the Quest 3 fully charged, but in some sessions that’s not always an option. So, expect the ANNAPRO Strap to extend the default battery life around 2-3 additional hours before it starts eating away at the Quest 3 battery. There is an option to keep the ANNAPRO Strap charging (wired) as you are playing. We found some mixed results here, and again, depending on what you’re doing, what settings you have on the Quest 3, what type of power supply you’re using will determine how long it takes before fully draining. We spent pretty much an entire day and didn’t run out of power this way however, it wasn’t in constant use so would start charging when taking a break. The ANNAPRO Strap does have four tiny LEDs to determine how much charge is left and what status it’s in. There’s also a small button which allows you to stop or start charging as and when required. A caveat here as well, the USB-C charging port does feel a bit flimsy on our unit and has a little bit of wiggle room. We’re not sure how this will hold-up over extended use. We also found that charging didn’t always work in this manner due to said wiggle, but this might be our unit and how we’ve been charging it with the wired connection. On that note, we’ve been using passthrough mode, full brightness, 90hz virtual desktop app writing this script for the last 60 minutes with the ANNAPRO Strap plugged in to the power at the same time. The Quest 3 battery remains at 99% and the strap power has two LEDs illuminated. So, this would suggest if we continued as we are, we’d get an additional 2 hours of play which isn’t too shabby.
So, onto the actual comfort and fitting. It feels generally well made and quite sturdy with no real signs it’s ever going to break which is reassuring. There’s a small dial knob on the back which loosens or tightens the strap, alongside the option to raise or lower the Quest 3 from the face before putting on or when in use. It’s pretty easy then to swap to someone else to use especially when compared to the default fabric strap. Depending on what you are doing such as like now we’re writing the script for this review inside the Quest 3 using Virtual Desktop and passthrough there is no need for it to be so tight on the face, so it’s fairly loose and comfortable for extended periods of usage. The battery acts as a counterweight which means it sits comfortably on your head with less pressure on the face which is nice. When gaming however, like when playing Asgard’s Wrath 2, you’re going to need to fit it a little tighter to prevent any wobbling. Now, this is quite subjective and depending on head and nose shape alongside how vigorously you’re moving around will determine if the fit is too loose or not. We’ve read that some people haven’t managed to entirely eliminate wiggle so bear-that-in-mind. All that said, we find the ANNAPRO Strap to be way more comfortable than the default fabric, but it does feel noticeably heavier adding an additional 0.75 LBS to the Quest 3’s 1.13 LBS so, just under 2 LBS. In comparison, the PSVR 2 weighs in at 1.23 LBS and the Rift S weighs in at 1.2 LBS. The price you have to pay for extended wire-free use unfortunately. Obviously, there are some solutions where you can attach an external battery to a belt or house in your pocket, but these means having a cable. Last caveat here is that the ANNAPRO Strap is NOT ideal for lying in bed on back to watch movies in bed. The bulky battery at the back makes this uncomfortable. Technically, you could put the original strap back on and use a USB extender to attach to the ANNAPRO Strap and do it that way, but we’ve not tried and cannot verify if that is viable. We have tried to watch movies in bed though, and it just means you have to think about your position more to get comfortable. The extended battery life means it’s quite possible to sit through 3 hour+ movies without worrying about the battery running out. Great we imagine for those long-haul flights.
EDIT: We actually just experimented with the tilt function a little more, and you can actually tilt the battery so that it’s not directly behind your head. This means you can lie back quite comfortably to watch/play. It’s not ideal but still works as long as you’re not shifting about too much.
To conclude then, the ANNAPRO Strap for Quest 3 is a nice investment. Similar in design to the official Meta version but at around half the price is well worth it. We’ve not had to take it off whilst typing here and could continue to work and play like this for many hours. The battery, whilst heavy counterbalances the weight on the face which is pleasant especially when coupled with a silicone face cover. Therefore, it’s a no-brainer for those who want extended play times without compromise and comes highly recommended. It’s also easy to quickly swap out to the default fabric if you do want to just lie in bed on your back to watch a movie or two or tilt the battery so it’s not directly behind you. Alternatively, you could just invest in some softer pillows.
Score 9/10 or 4.5/5 stars!