Improving the Valve Index with upgraded headphones. Because the built-in off-ears are just BAD.

Its 2022 and the Valve Index continues to be the best all-round VR package. The tracking, controllers, FOV, refresh rate and comfort are all a cut above the others. For me the only thing that was lacking was the built in off-ear headphone speakers, which I fixed by replacing them with modded Koss PortaPros in 2020, documented here.

I recently re-fitted the original valve off-ear headphones just to remind myself of how bad they sound compared to good headphones, and yep – confirmation they still sound terrible for music. The highs are harsh, and there is zero bass below 40hz. I’m utterly bewildered that people think they sound good in any way. If anyone is playing Beat Saber using the built in headphones – you’re doing it wrong. Try some decent IEMs (or even cheap ones!) – you’ll be blown away.

My original mod has been perfect for me, but for people with smaller heads, the fit was not great.
I’ve now rectified this by designing a bracket that mounts the PortaPros from the back, so that they are on the correct angle for ears. The result is a considerably better fit for differing head sizes.

The last photo shows some of the evolution of this custom bracket. It can slide forward and provides a good degree of vertical adjustment by rotating the PortaPros. The bracket is available on Thingiverse here. Please see my original post on the mod for wiring details etc. Don’t forget to install Equalizer APO and use my profile (fixme upload this tomorrow) to get the Koss’s sounding perfect. I hope this helps more people get better sound on the Valve Index.