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Can Oculus give us some clarity on the cause of Right Headphone problem and how to avoid it?

Level 7
To start with I want to commend Oculus for providing RMAs for some
people with this issue who are outside of their warranty period. This is excellent customer service and a great way to keep brand loyalty and trust in the Rift as a whole. I feel
bad for those you have denied though for whatever reasons you have. It
is pretty unfair that apparently through no fault of their own their
Rift audio has died without any chance of repair or an option to buy a
replacement ribbon cable to attempt repair themselves.

Can Oculus give us some information about why this is happening to some users?

it a fault with some Rifts during manufacturing or are the users doing
something that increases the chance of this internal ribbon cable tearing?

Is there anything we can do to avoid this happening to us?

Should we be avoiding stretching the headband springs too much?

is pretty critical because Oculus still have no paid spare parts or
repair service. If we inadvertently break our Rifts through normal use
when out of warranty we are shit out of luck and have to buy a brand new
headset or switch to an external set of headphones. Unless of course your support staff decide to provide an RMA outside of warranty which appears to be about a 50/50 chance from the 36 posts I read.

I did some
searching on this topic on both reddit and these forums and found about
36 posts on the topic since June 2016. 16 of these posts occurred in the
last 3 months so it appears to be something that is getting worse with
time. If this happens to more and more people when out of warranty this
is going to be a large PR problem. That said 36 posts of the however
many tens/hundreds of thousands of Rifts out there is quite small in the
big scheme of things too. Having a way to fix it ourselves by buying
a part if out of warranty would be great for piece of mind though.

Do you have any plans for spare parts service?

Some clarity on the issue would be great to be sure we treat our expensive excellent VR device with the care it deserves.

Possible causes
wondering if the underlying cause is the tension springs in the
headband itself somehow catching on this internal ribbon cable causing it to
tear. Maybe repeated stretching of the headband springs over time causes
the ribbon cable to move into a position where it can tear inside the

Springs here

Springs in action as this person stretches the tension springs to put it on

this is known to cause the problem could Oculus let us know so we
stop doing it as much. I'd much prefer to avoid doing whatever it is
that can cause this ribbon cable to tear than run the risk of it happening when I get
out of warranty.

Some pics of the torn ribbon cable from various posts

CPU: i5 6600K (conservative overclock), GPU: Asus GTX1080Ti (not overclocked), motherboard: Asus Z170 Pro Gaming, USB Card 1: Inatek 4 Port, USB Card 2: Startek 2 Port

Level 7
Based on the two posts above here are the points that appear to be where the problem occurs



Original images sourced from iFixit Teardown

Modified images here incase the Oculus forums shrink the pictures down too much.

If anyone has a dead Rift I'd love to see some close ups of these two areas.

Where do they connect to the mainboard?

Are they one long ribbon cable or is it in a few parts with junctions across the entire headstrap?

Also what does the ribbon cable do at these possible fracture points while flexing the tension springs?

CPU: i5 6600K (conservative overclock), GPU: Asus GTX1080Ti (not overclocked), motherboard: Asus Z170 Pro Gaming, USB Card 1: Inatek 4 Port, USB Card 2: Startek 2 Port

Level 9
Great you bring this up, but personally I don't think that Oculus would either directly or indirectly admit that such a flaw even exist(ed).
As likely most others who had this happening, I didn't do anything "special" to my Rift and neither is my head unusually big or something which would stretch the band beyond "normal". Just normal use of Rift really.
Whether the ribbon tears on the indicated location...I don't know. I have seen pictures where the cable broke right where the connector is, near a small board in the Rift.

Level 7
Yeah I'm guessing they will remain completely silent on the matter publicly as well. My main concern is the obvious rise in these complaints in the last 3 months. I'm hopeful that it is only something that will end up affecting a small percentage of users and not something that will affect everyone eventually.

If there is something we as users are doing which might increase the chance of happening I think it would benefit both Oculus and the consumer to know to avoid a particular action with the Rift. The less Rifts ending up with this problem the better for both users and Oculus.

Without a doubt Oculus would know what is causing this issue by now. Whether or not they have managed to resolve it in the design or production line who knows. Less than a month ago I know of one user who had to RMA a new Rift that exhibited this same issue only after a week of use. So it still happens with new Rifts.

As a victim of this issue can I ask did you put on the Rift by fully extending the tension springs as shown in the this gif?

I never fully extend the tension springs when putting on the Rift. I just slide it on my head with minimal flex on the springs.

Regardless of how widespread the issue is I still think it is completely unacceptable that there are no user paid repair options or spare parts available almost one and a half years after launch. I've been banging on about it for over a year and many are likely sick of it. I can guarantee though if a minor hardware problem arose with someone's Rift and they had a the choice of buying a replacement part or buying whole new Rift + accessories the choice would be pretty simple. Problem is that choice doesn't exist yet.

Sure Oculus might not want to officially support a spare parts service but how hard would it be too leak spare parts to a 3rd party. The market might not be profitable but it would give some peace of mind to Rift owners knowing that if something goes wrong out of warranty they can possibly fix it as opposed to buying a whole new headset.

CPU: i5 6600K (conservative overclock), GPU: Asus GTX1080Ti (not overclocked), motherboard: Asus Z170 Pro Gaming, USB Card 1: Inatek 4 Port, USB Card 2: Startek 2 Port

Level 9
I think this is a 'common' fault with ribbon cables as such, seen it happen in laptops and nintendo DS/3DS consoles.

Ribbon cables are always a weak point but are generally needed, wear and tear is the answer unfortunately.
Asrock Z77 Extreme 4 + 16GB RAM 1866mhz + i5-3570K at 4.5Ghz + Coolermaster Nepton 140XL cooler Sapphire 8GB RX 580 Nitro+ 256Gb SDD Samsung Evo 850 +3x2TB in raid 0 with 64GB SSD cache Thermaltake Level 10 GT Snow Edition + Toughpower 875w

Level 9

As a victim of this issue can I ask did you put on the Rift by fully extending the tension springs as shown in the this gif?

Definitely not. Normally there shouldn't be a reason to extend them that much anyway.

Level 7
good thread, prob get no official reply sadly, but I do admit I'm a bit nervous about this happening to my rift (even though I baby it). 
EX DK2/VIVE/PSVR | Currently RIFT CV1 & Quest 2 | Future Reverb G2 | VR developer RTX 3080 FE / 8700k / Windows 10 Pro

Level 7
I've seen Oculus support saying to most users that experience this issue to just remove the headphone and clean/blow on the contacts then reattach the headset. This works for some people apparently.

Do people think there is actually a problem with grease or something on the contacts or is this action just moving the ribbon cable around so it connects again? Ribbon cables are pretty delicate so I would think it is pretty hard to wiggle one back into a connection. Maybe a fleck of dirt is getting in between the contacts and this clears that out.

One other thing that occurred to me. Of the people who are being rejected for RMA they are being told to just use an external headset.

The problem could possibly be more than just missing audio though. This ribbon cable appears to also feed the tracking LEDs on the rear of the headset.

I'd be keen for anyone who experiences the missing audio issue to look at their Rift while it is on through a phone camera. As some tears could be only minor there will likely be a few users who will only be missing audio.

Do the tracking lights work on the front and back?


Image from (

I get Oculus don't want to sell spare parts but I'd love to see this ribbon cable appear on ebay from some "mysterious" seller. Even at $50 it would be well worth it to breathe life back into some Rifts.

Edit: Also I have some more images of torn ribbon cables and a potato drawing of the shape of this cable as it leaves the headset.

CPU: i5 6600K (conservative overclock), GPU: Asus GTX1080Ti (not overclocked), motherboard: Asus Z170 Pro Gaming, USB Card 1: Inatek 4 Port, USB Card 2: Startek 2 Port

Level 4
I have the exact same issue. Oculus turned down warranty return, because I opened it up to check it. I have a teared ribbon cable.. Are there any hopes of finding these ribbon cables somewhere?

Level 3
any hope of a repair for this rght headphone not working ? Oculus says because this is a rma unit my warranty is based on orig purchase date.But it took 30 days to get the rma auth. Received new unit and work fine until rht spkr not working support says they can't help.