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Vive Pro Audio Distorted on Steam VR launch


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I noticed the audio from my new Vive Pro sounds completely normal until I Steam VR launches.  Then everything sounds an octave lower and distorted.  My friends also tell me that my audio throught the Vive mic sounds an octave higher and distorted.  Seems to be a connection.  Most threads I've read are from several months ago and seem to have been fixed automatically.  Any suggestions?

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Hi  - We' d like to examine the error your encountering in greater detail, and if possible reproduce it. We have a couple of questions for you - you can reply via this thread or private message them to me if you'd prefer more privacy.

  • Are you running a desktop or a laptop? If possible, can you provide details about your system?
  • Which version of SteamVR are you currently on? The Main branch (default) or the beta branch?
    • Have you updated the firmware of the HMD at all?
  • Please go into SteamVR's settings -> Audio and check which device is selected at the top where it says "Set Playback Device To"
    • Is it currently set to "Vive Pro Multimedia Device" or is it Set to something else?
    • Do you have an Nvidia Card? 
      • If so, do you see an option for Nvidia audio? Does switching to it improve the behavior? 
  • Which displayport cable are you using to connect the Pro to your PC? Is it the one supplied with the HMD or is it an aftermarket cable? If so which cable?
    • Same with the USB cable. 



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Hi .

 1.) I'm running a desktop I've just recently built specifically for VR.

       - GPU: MSI Radeon RX 580 8GB

       - MoBo: MSI X370 Gaming Pro Carbon

       - CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 1800X

       - RAM: Kingston HyperX Predator 32GB

2.) Steam VR version: 1533664367 (Steam VR Home beta is selected in settings)

       - Steam VR indicates HMD firmware is up to date.

3.) Steam VR Audio settings show "Set Playback Device To" as Vive Pro Multimedia Device.

4.) Display port cable used is the one supplied in the box my Pro came in.  USB cable used is also the one supplied with the Pro.  


Thank you for your quick response! I hope this information helps.


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, just wondering - Does it say Vive Pro "Multimedia" or actually Vive Pro "Mutimedia", with the missing L? Just curious as that has been like that a while for me. I assumed it was the same for everyone, but I would be curious to find it was correct in your setup.

I don't think this issue has been automatically fixed for others as you mentioned in your original post. I think people have just been working around it and dealing with the issue. Some just consider it fixed even though all they have done is stop using their displayport "Mutimedia" device and are instead using the audio supplied by their graphics card. I have no idea whether or not HTC is actually working on a solution or are letting it go, but I have found that some people sadly just overlook it now.

You too will probably arrive at some workaround for this, which is a shame.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I am also having the same exact issue. Audio sounds extremely distorted after starting SteamVR and sometimes my mic is either much higher or lower pitch than normal until restart. 

-I am on a desktop.
    motherboard is an ASUS z-170
    processor is an Intel 6700K
    GPU is an MSI GamingX 1080ti
    32GB of GSkill Ripjaws DDR4 RAM
    OS is Windows 10 Home

-I was on Beta branch when this first started, but it happens on the main branch too. All firmware is up to date. 

-"Speakers (2- VIVE Pro Mutimedia Audio)" is the distorted device ["Multimedia" is mispelt as "Mutimedia"]. The Nvidia audio sounds normal when it works, however sometimes is it completely silent when enabled or it is not detected at all (in both Windows and Steam).

-All link box cables came with the HMD, my linkbox-to-vive cable broke and HTC support sent me a new one, so it is still official. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have this same issue! I'm glad I'm not alone. Everything works perfectly until I start SteamVR.


All firmware up to date.


Using all original cables.


Sometimes a computer reboot or messing with the settings in windows sound settings will get it working, but not always. And I have to do that same song and dance every time. It has not worked first try for me in many weeks.


Did anyone find anything that works? I'm *this close* to just wearing earbuds under the built-in speakers on my $800 headset. Seems like a joke.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 6 months later...

Same here. 


When I first plug in the headset, it sounds OK. When I start up SteamVR it goes full distortion - sounds like compression is wrong or something.


To workaround it, I have to right click volume control to go into Sounds (so I get a full list of devices) then in Playback I have to choose VIVE Pro Mutimedia Audio and then after that I have to choose Vive Pro.


That stops the distortion for me, but it absolutely sucks having to do this every time. Really shoddy work.

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  • 7 months later...

Ya, and it does not look like there ever will be one, lol! 

My workaround is to startup SteamVR and let it find everything (headset, controllers, base stations) and then press the Link Box power button to power it off for 1-2 seconds, then power it on again and let SteamVR find everything again (only takes a few seconds).  Then all's well until the next SteamVR session.  This only adds ~10 seconds to do but it still should not be necessary.

I think that this may be a SteamVR issue because when I power on my Vive Pro headset before starting SteamVR  and run a mp3 music file the sound is great.  The distortion only happens when I startup SteamVR.

Funny but this does not happen when I run my Vive Pro with the Wireless adapter.  Maybe this is because it uses different audio drivers.  So, maybe there is an issue with the Vive Pro wired drivers.  Who knows?

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