Quest 3 Update Brings Improved Passthrough Quality, External Mic Support & Lying Down Mode

The Meta Quest v64 system software update is starting to roll out.

Version 64 is focused almost entirely on Quest 3, bringing improved passthrough quality, external mic support, and lying down mode. The update also makes casting continue when you take the headset off.

As always, keep in mind that Quest system software updates “roll out” gradually, so it may take a few days or even more than a week for your headset to get the Quest v64 update.

Improved Camera Passthrough Quality

The headline improvement of v64 is improved camera passthrough on Quest 3.

Shortly after Quest 3 launched Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth said its passthrough would improve “modestly” over time with software updates, and v64 is the first update to do so.

Here’s specifically what Meta claims has been improved in v64:

Improved resolution
We have improved the perceived resolution for passthrough by optimizing the passthrough pipeline. This makes it easier for users to see finer details and read smaller text in the real world – such as notifications on a smartphone screen.

Improved image quality
We have fine tuned the camera processing pipeline to improve color, exposure, contrast and dynamic range in passthrough. This makes color passthrough better match the real world. We have also reduced graininess (aka image noise) in lower light conditions making for an overall more comfortable passthrough experience in a range of lighting conditions.

UploadVR tried v64 on Quest 3 and can confirm the dynamic range and exposure control have been very noticeably improved, making it easier to view physical screens like monitors and phones. The graininess has also been slightly reduced. However, this all comes at the cost of a slightly darker and less vibrant image. Interestingly, this new passthrough tuning, including the darkness and vibrancy tradeoff, is closer to Apple Vision Pro’s, as we noted in our review of it.

What hasn’t visibly changed however is the harsh geometric warping distortion, our biggest criticism of Quest 3’s passthrough in our review.

External Microphone Support

When Quest 3 launched I was initially excited to use it on our weekly VR Download podcast but found its microphone had the same annoying plosives popping issue as Quest Pro, so I still use Quest 2.

The v62 update brought some improvements to Quest 3’s microphone quality, including specifically to the plosives issue. However, I tested and found it still isn’t good enough for VR Download, and still sounds noticeably worse than Quest 2.

Quest 3 Microphone Has The Same Popping Issue As Quest Pro
Quest 3’s microphone has the same annoying popping issue as Quest Pro:

The new v64 update adds the ability to use an external microphone on Quest 3 via the USB-C port. This can include a mic with a USB-C connector or any mic via a USB-C adapter. We plan to test this for VR Download.

Lying Down Mode

The headline feature of the v63 update was the addition of lying down mode to Quest 2 and Quest Pro, a new experimental feature called ‘Use apps while lying down’.

When it’s enabled, recentering (holding the Oculus button on the right controller or your right index finger to your thumb) while looking up above you will also rotate the virtual coordinate space 90 degrees upwards, letting you comfortably use seated VR apps and games in bed.

However, it wasn’t available on Quest 3 until now. The v64 update brings this same feature to Quest 3. Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth previously said that the delay bringing this to Quest 3 was related to its automatic boundary setup option not present in older headsets.

Continous Casting

Finally, v64 makes casting your Quest’s view to an external device continue even when the headset is taken off. Previously, the stream would go black. This should prevent issues with the stream cutting out when you put the headset back on.