This bizarre VR microphone looks like a medieval torture device

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Look. I’m not going to knock virtual reality as a concept. It provides some truly meaningful experiences to a lot of folks out there and there’s no denying or dismissing that. That said, this strange VR microphone, which debuted at CES 2023, resembles a medieval torture device and it looks goofy as heck. While I appreciate the effort to improve communication in VR, I just can’t get past the design. In the picture below, those people look actually happy to be wearing such a ridiculous thing. Huh?


The device is called Mutalk and it’s designed to reduce ambient noise and sound leakage in VR environments. You wear it over your mouth like a dog muzzle or horse feed bag. It’s kind of like noise cancelling headphones, but for your mouth instead of your ears. The microphone inside amplifies your voice in VR while the insulation material dampens it in the real world. In other words, this thing is designed to make private conversations in VR much easier. I suppose it’s a good idea if you’re in a business meeting or something, but I’m still skeptical.

Shiftall, the company behind this interesting device, claims it will have a battery life of over ten hours. I can’t imagine wearing the Mutalk for long periods of time, as it doesn’t look super comfortable. I’m not sure I’d want other people to see me using this thing, either. It’s a little too outside-the-box for me, personally. That said, if you’re fine with wearing a muzzle to sound better in VRChat, pop off and enjoy it.

Mutalk is compatible with macOS, iOS, Android, and Windows. The device will become available this summer for about $200.

Virtual Reality