The latest evolution of the HTC Vive range, the Vive Pro 2 boasts a ridiculous '5K' resolution x pixels per eye a degree field of view and a Hz refresh rate. Provided you've got a powerful gaming PC to back it up, this is as clear and lifelike a display as you're able to find in the consumer VR space right now. After hours of testing we still found ourselves stunned by how good games looked in this device.
We found during testing that the screen can get hot after prolonged use, the controllers haven't changed much since the very first Vive headset released, and the external tracking stations and tethered cabling can be a hassle to set up compared to free-roaming devices like the Oculus Quest 2.
Still, if you want your VR gaming sessions looking their absolute best, and have the cash to afford the headset and accompanying high-end PC, this is an enthusiast's dream. That means if you already have one, and not a powerful gaming PC, this may be the best VR headset for you. It's found a natural home in our living room. Its refresh rate is responsive, and we've had no issues with the reliability of its head-tracking. The collection of PlayStation VR games is also impressive.
Sony has addressed one of our biggest objections with the PlayStation VR — that its accessories are sold separately — by offering a variety of packs and PlayStation VR bundles with devices like the PlayStation Camera included. However, PlayStation Move controllers, while included in some bundles, aren't in every one. So while you have to be aware of the additional cost involved, depending on what bundle you opt for, recent price cuts have made the PlayStation VR even more affordable.
Otherwise, you may consider waiting a few months. Virtual reality has come a long way since Oculus founder and controversial VR poster boy Palmer Luckey introduced the world to the Oculus Rift back in But, unfortunately, it's more of a baby-step.
The good news for early adopters is that, to reduce frustration, Oculus has made the Rift S completely backwards compatible with the original Rift titles, and made the Rift forward compatible with the vast majority of games released for the Rift S and Oculus Quest with some minor exceptions. At the time of writing, you can still get stock at some retailers that haven't sold out already but it's officially not being sold anymore after it was discontinued earlier in the year.
Instead, there are a few core brands with immersive reality teams, hardware know-how and software smarts to create truly wonderful virtual reality experiences. But many are still available to buy new via tech retailers or second-hand, via sites like Ebay. With the Quest you still get an all-in-one VR system that works straight out of the box and offers six-degrees of freedom and a huge selection of apps and games.
Upon release, the Oculus Rift felt like a game-changer. One of the first VR headsets to prove that VR could be a highly immersive and enjoyable experience — one that even people with the right PC set-up could experience at home. Although the Rift S is already following in the original Rift's footsteps after being discontinued. And, for a long time afterwards, it was the king of consumer VR tech.
Fast-forward to and a lot has changed. Now, there are multiple VR headset options you could buy right now. Mobile VR is a term used to describe a VR experience powered by your phone. Generally speaking, you get an app on your phone, which shows you VR content and then you put your phone inside a mobile VR headset.
Right now, there are a number of augmented reality headsets on the market. But very few are aimed at regular consumers. Many of the best augmented reality headsets, like the Microsoft Hololens 2 , are available to buy but the focus seems to be more on augmented reality for an enterprise or business setting, like the Microsoft HoloLens 2 Industrial Edition , which is an untethered mixed reality device designed and tested for use in regulated industrial environments and the Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2.
But we predict this will change soon and you'll be able to get one of the best augmented reality headsets for casual use in your home — just like the best VR headsets in our list above. One reason we're so sure about the future of augmented reality headsets is that major tech brands are currently pumping a lot of time, energy and resources into new AR offerings. Take Apple as an example, it's no secret Apple is working on an augmented reality and virtual reality product - referred to at the moment as Apple Glass and Apple VR.
This depends on your priorities. If you want ultimate freedom and hassle-free VR, a wireless headset will suit you the best, the Oculus Quest 2 is currently the best option. However, wired headsets do offer the very best graphics and refresh rates, so if it's top performance you're after, they'd be number one for you — if you have the PC to power them and the budget to afford them, of course.
It's also worth considering the games you want to play. Some VR games are only available on certain PC-powered devices. Having said that, VR software libraries do have plenty of overlap across devices and some wire-free headsets can optionally be linked up to a PC over a cable to expand the titles they have access to. Choosing the best VR headset for you will mostly depend on the price, the platform, and your preferences.
For example, there aren't any headsets for console gamers besides PlayStation VR and, if you need a standalone headset, you're basically stuck with the Oculus Quest or Quest 2 — but that's not a bad thing. Although it's worth noting it might not always be that way. The Oculus Quest 2 saw a downward trend on its price compared to its predecessor, suggesting that as the scale of the VR audience ramps up, the price of the hardware will slowly come down, too.
Each of the best VR headsets has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, and if you're not aware of these before you buy, it could be a very costly mistake to make. But that's exactly why we put this guide together. Every VR headset that we include in our Best VR Headsets buying guide has been reviewed in the environment and on a machine that meets the recommended specifications of the manufacturer.
Each device is tested extensively across a range of software available in the headsets' associated store. Many of our reviewers have experience using different ranges of virtual reality hardware, enabling them to make informed comparisons between products.
Once you've nabbed yourself one of the best VR headsets around, there's the question of what to play on it. If you're stuck for ideas, check out the best VR games on PC. It really is a great time to get into virtual reality. The Oculus Quest 2 both improves on the specs sheet of the original Quest and delivers it for cheaper. With a new LCD at x per eye, the Quest 2 offers exceptional clarity for an entry-level headset, through which you can enjoy a slew of games either purpose-built for the standalone headset, and thus rendered by the onboard Snapdragon XR2 chip, or beamed from your PC using Oculus Link and a compatible USB Type-C cable.
It's now capable of up to Hz refresh rate, thanks to a recent update, making it an even sweeter deal. The Quest 2 is also one of the quickest headsets to get up and running on this list. With Inside-Out tracking and hand tracking built-in, you can go from unboxing to up-and-running in VR in just a couple of minutes. There's only one hitch in the Oculus Quest 2's plan for virtual world domination: compulsory Facebook account login. The Oculus Quest 2 requires a Facebook account.
The company says it's to better serve you, the customer, with services and products, although for a good while there the only discernible 'benefit' was direct to feed screenshots. Not great. Meta did seemingly look to be rid of this mandatory login, but it's currently still in place.
Read our full Oculus Quest 2 review. It also boasts some impressive technology and handy convenience features, like per-finger tracking on the excellent Index controllers, USB passthrough for future accessories, and fantastic, crystal clear audio via the near-field speakers, which hover just off the ears.
It's also comfortable to wear, built from carefully selected, high-quality materials, with top-notch weight distribution. But all that comes at a price. It's the best VR headset on the market At nearly a thousand dollars, the complete Index package costs as much as three Quest 2s. There aren't many solid use cases for the finger tracking technology either, apart from Half-Life: Alyx, which you get for free.
Read our full Valve Index review. Best gaming keyboard Best gaming chairs Best mechanical keyboard Best wireless gaming mouse Best wireless gaming keyboard. The HTC Vive Pro 2 is one of the most recent headsets to hit the market, and it brings with it a number of updates on the display front to make it one of the most impressive mainstream options around.
The native resolution of 2, x 2, pixels per eye is incredible, and when coupled with the Hz refresh rate and degree field of view, makes for one of the best viewing experiences around. HTC has stuck with the satellite setup for the Vive Pro 2 to ensure you get accurate controller tracking, which means you'll need plenty of power sockets to get everything up and running.
The full starter kit comprises the headset, two first-generation controllers, and a pair of Base Station 2. The headset is available on its own as well, which is useful if you're upgrading from a first-generation setup. Not exactly cheap. It's a pricey upgrade over the Valve Index and doesn't do enough beyond the improved display to really justify that cost.
Still, if you're looking for the very best display around, particularly as an upgrade, there's certainly a case to be made for the Vive Pro 2. It's a shame the starter kit is so expensive really. If future-proofing your setup in terms of image fidelity is your main concern, it will not disappoint. With p per eye, the Reverb G2 manages to completely alleviate the screen door effect that can cause issues with some lower resolution headsets—provided you have a powerful enough GPU to handle it.
Still, even playing in lower resolutions, you get to take advantage of great features like the highly inclusive, physical IPD toggle on the underside of the headset; the range is impressive compared to other options on the market. You also get a lovely long cable for large spaces and a comfortable headset, though it does fall a little in terms of FOV.
The tracking space is also a little limited without base stations. Still, HP counters this with fantastic IMU gyro sensors that are pretty good at predicting movements beyond the tracking area, as long as they are fluid. Holding your hands still tells a different story, but this shouldn't make a difference in most in-game situations.
So while the Reverb G2 might not have all the fancy greebles of some of the other headsets on the list, it has enough great features that do make it worth a look for the money. Read our full HP Reverb G2 review. The dual 4.
The Cosmos Elite comes bundled with Half-Life: Alyx and 6-months of Viveport Infinity subscription, which at the very least means there are lots of things to try out with your new headset. The Cosmos Elite is essentially the original Cosmos bundled with the first generation base stations and controllers and a different faceplate. This means you lose some of the original's inside-out tracking's immediacies but get improved accuracy for the trouble. That's a hit that does feel reasonable in the right games Half-Life: Alyx, for instance.
You will need a decent area for you to throw your helmeted self around in, though. Still, if you're looking for a premium VR gaming experience, you're going to have to pay a chunk for it, whichever solution you go for. To keep track of your movements, your VR headset needs to use some method of sensing both the headset itself as well as the controllers in your hands. The first VR headsets used what are known as lighthouses, individually placed sensors, or positional trackers, which plugged into your PC.
This is the most accurate method of tracking but is cumbersome, and unless they're permanently installed in a room, you'll need to set them up each time you want to play, and that includes calibrating them anew every time. Inside-out tracking means you don't need external sensors as the headset can keep track of both itself and the controllers around it.
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EyeTap Head-mounted display optical Head-up display Smartglasses Virtual retinal display Virtual reality headset comparison. Positional tracking Eye tracking Finger tracking Simultaneous localization and mapping. Asynchronous reprojection Foveated rendering Image-based modeling and rendering.
Free viewpoint television degree video VR photography Omnidirectional camera. Video game controllers. List of game controllers Multitap Reset button R. Types of eyewear. Aviator Mirrored Solar viewer Shutter Wayfarer. Sim racing. Driving simulator Racing game Auto racing Motorsport Computer simulation. Formula One video games List of racing video games. Racing wheel Direct-drive wheel Full motion racing simulator Virtual reality headset Force feedback.
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Views Read Edit View history. Since the development of the Oculus Rift in and the introduction of Google Cardboard, a number of other VR headsets have been released by different companies. In general, VR headsets are divided into two main types, gaming VR headsets and smartphone headsets. Each have different capacities. They are usually attached to game controllers which the gamer holds in their hand to interact with the world around them.
Smartphone headsets are usually used to watch content as well as light gaming. While there are a large variety of VR headsets available now, several standout brands and models include:. VR Headsets Gaming and content has become more and more advanced, with developers making content that are becoming increasingly immersive. What is a VR headset and how did it come about? What are the types of VR headsets available?
Unlike previous models, the nose cradle is a bit enlarged to fit users with glasses. The headset is compatible with most 4. The included phone compartment holds your devices into place, making it easy to activate the right command. Avid gamers can use this headset for hours without feeling irritated on the eyes, thanks to the anti-blue light coating.
The Pansonite VR Headset offers all-day comfort as it weighs only five ounces and measures 4. The head straps wrap go over the sides and on top of your head for increased stabilization. Such a thoughtful design eliminates the need to remove the headset amidst a heated much due to discomfort. The headset has incredible features designed to provide students above 10 years with a profound connection to the virtual and augmented world.
Both kids and adults can wear this headset for hours without feeling uncomfortable since it weighs 12 ounces. The velcro straps give users enough stretch to fit various head sizes. Apart from being easy to clean, the soft padded foam feels nice on the face. The 95 degrees field of view enhances the interaction when watching marine animals, flying rockets, and more.
The performance in all videos is impressive, so students can stay focused and intrigued when learning. Virtual reality images appear close to the eyes, which may cause eye fatigue and headaches after a while. By noting this, this headset includes an eye protection function for eliminating eye strain and glare. It works with a merge cube, an incredible STEM tool that enables children to go on virtual trips excitingly. Users can use this headset on most Android and iOS devices. This headset unlocks a rich playing field for all your games to ensure they are as pleasurable as possible.
This display causes gaming worlds to look so enchanting and detailed that you will be forgiven for mistaking them for reality. This beautiful display renders graphics at a frame rate of frames per second that ensures optimal image delivery. This fast image-rendering speed ensures that your actions in the virtual world are reflected immediately. You are guaranteed a comfortable and enjoyable gaming experience. From the fit of the headset to its weight, the VR set strives to remain as inconspicuous as possible.
You will not notice the headset on your head, or feel its weight in the thick of a game. Therefore, your overall gaming experience is enhanced by PSVR. You will feel part and parcel of the gaming world as soon as you put on the headset. The headset has high-precision LEDs that track every one of your interactions in the gaming world and ensure they are realistic and natural.
These LEDs greatly enhance the authenticity of the virtual world. Believable sounds are also incorporated into the virtual world to enhance its realism. The headset uses 3D Audio Technology to deliver realistic impressions of sounds from objects, taking immersion to a whole new level. If you are looking for an adaptable and mindful VR headset, you will love Destek V5. This headset embraces diversity and is conscious of your wellbeing.
The Destek V5 boasts a degree field of vision that increases the visual objects in your view. This wide field of vision enhances your gaming experience by allowing you to soak up more details of the gaming world in a single glance. Games are, therefore, more stimulating and immersive. To protect your eyes from the harmful rays on the screen, the headset comes with anti-blue light lenses.
Your eyes remain safe and sound as you savor the marvelous visuals of the gaming world. While the image resolution is correlated to the one in the connected device, the headset strives to deliver visuals that are as gorgeous as possible.
You can use the headset even when wearing glasses. The Destekis has an inclusive design that accommodates the bespectacled population. There is adequate space for spectacles and a pupil distance button to adjust the position of the visuals to your eyes. The headset is comfortable and lightweight. Since the headset weighs You should be able to move your head freely in all directions without feeling burdened.
The firm and secure headband also improves your mobility. Regardless of your movements in the thick of a game, you are guaranteed that the headset will remain steadfast on your head. VR headsets come in a variety of features and settings, as different manufacturers are attempting to capture this lucrative market. If you have never bought or used a VR headset before, you may feel lost in a sea of technical jargon that can be frustrating. Just remember to keep a few things in mind when choosing one headset over the other.
The sensors should be responsive enough, especially if you plan to play competitively on a PC or console. A light VR headset is better than a heavier one because no one wants to consciously notice the weight of the headset when trying to enjoy video consumption or esports. VR headsets come with controllers which guide the wearer in interacting with the virtual world.
Choose the controller carefully for VR games, as such. It would be best if the controllers are comfortable to hold. The material should be friendly to your palm since you may be playing a VR game for several hours. It is advisable to test your grip before settling for a particular brand. A good controller should be light but weighty. You may have to raise your controller in the air several times if you use melee weapons in the game.
As such, it is a good idea to avoid controllers that will weigh you down since they can cost you victory. Most modern VR headsets come with insight tracking that allows you to scale your room or gaming space. Insight tracking determines how much space you have around you and sets the virtual world to accommodate your needs. Some VR headset manufacturers have started integrating a cinematic mode into the device. The mode is useful for people who want to watch content such as Blu-ray movies in a theater-like setup.
You can also use the functionality to watch your teammates play in competitive esports without participating. It is advisable to buy a VR headset that has the feature built in since it will also give you a chance to test the speakers. Hopefully, the factors here and the VR headset options in the guide provide good direction in finding your next best piece of technology.
The field of view is essential when picking a VR headset. One with a wider view wraps the content further around your peripheral vision, delivering an immersive experience. Comfort is paramount since the weight and padding of a VR headset affect your experience.
Pick a headset with less weight, adjustable straps, and padded foam so you can game for long periods without feeling tired. Another factor to consider is the resolution because it determines how images will appear right before your eyes. The best VR headsets have a high resolution, allowing you to view stunning visuals. Pick a headset with x or x pixels per eye for top quality images. Additionally, battery life should be a key factor when looking for a wireless VR headset.
Augmented reality offers the same experience as Google glasses where a digital interface is projected into your eyes on top of the real world. The technology behind AR devices offers unrestricted movement. Virtual reality shuts off the physical world and replaces it with imagined environments.
Augmented reality apps project images in a limited area in your eyes. Yes, you can. However, ensure you measure the height and length of your frames to see whether they will fit the VR headset you intend to buy. The best VR headset should feel secure and not tight, so look for one with adjustable straps. Most headsets have soft foam padding, which holds the glasses in place even when gaming for a long time. Your VR headsets may push the glasses back, causing pressure on the nose.
You can eliminate this by giving your glasses a little wiggle room to prevent any irritation. The ideal age to use a VR headset should be 13 years and above since effects on kids below 12 years are unknown. There are many VR headsets specially designed for kids to avoid any future defects while enhancing comfort.
As a parent, pick a VR headset with an adjustable focal and pupil distance function. Additionally, one with anti-blue light lenses comes as a handy addition to prevent prolonged exposure that may cause eye damage. Kids should take at least a minute break after 30 minutes of playing.
However, while wireless VR headsets eliminate the barrier between you and the gaming space, they require frequent charging, which may annoy some users. Wired VR headsets connect to your PC through a cable and are suitable for both new and experienced users. Although most wired headsets offer a wide field of view and high resolution, they limit you from moving around. Well, both headsets have advantages and disadvantages in different ways, so pick one that suits your unique needs.
Robert has a knack for the written word and an unquenchable thirst for learning that he applies wholeheartedly to every project he tackles. No matter the type of work, he places all his energy and ability into it, making sure to communicate effectively throughout the entire process.
With over eight years of freelance writing and editing experience in a variety of fields and styles, he has solid skills in numerous genres. His freelance content writing experience spans a range of product descriptions, blog posts, comic books, SEO, online game dialogue, and product reviews.
On the other hand, watching movies is his thing. Robert is always up-to-date with netflix series. Summary List 9. Editors choice: Oculus Rift 8. BNEXT 8. Atlasonix 8. Homido V2 8. VeeR Falcon 9. Oculus Quest 8. Pansonite VR Headset 8. Sony PlayStation VR 9. Editors choice. Read More Reviews. See on amazon. Read More. Key Features Vivid and sharp display Halo headband Insight tracking technology High-precision touch controllers. Pros Stunning images Comfortable and secure headset Room scale support and precise movement detection Virtual hands.
Cons Lacks believable sound technology. Buy This Product. Shop at amazon. Premium pick. Key Features Flip-up design Six tracking cameras 90Hz refresh rate x combined-resolution. Pros Doesn't require external sensors Sharp display Improved motion controls. Cons Clunky cable. Best value. Specifications Microphone: No Compatability: 4. Pros Easy to use Easily fit on any head size Works well with glasses Works with most smartphones.
Cons Lacks sharp visuals. Pros Comfortable and of good quality Compatible with most smartphones Simple set up HD visual quality. Cons Cannot entirely replace real life. Pros Improved visuals Rich in content Wide phone compatibility Comfortable. Cons No built-in mic. Specifications Microphone: No Compatability: Cellphone What's Included: 2 contact foam, one cleaning cloth, one soft carrying case, one strap, one pair of lenses, user manual Brand: Homido.
Pros Super clear lenses Adjustable optics Comfortable padding. Cons No rotational tracking. VeeR Falcon 8. Pros Protected lenses Lightweight Comfortable. Cons Minimalist design. Oculus Quest 9. We used to see VR headsets powered by smartphones, and while those still exist, they have largely been phased out of the market. However, the company is preparing a new version for release in Xbox head Phil Spencer recently reiterated that he has no current plans to bring VR to Xbox consoles.
The highest-end VR headsets offer incredible resolutions and advanced features like eye-tracking. However, they typically require a high-end gaming computer to maximize their superior pixel count, refresh rates, and feature sets. The standalone HMD segment is benefiting from rapid innovation.
Pimax is also planning to use Qualcomm's hardware in its next-generation VR headsets, which will launch late next year. The VR headset market is evolving rapidly, and it's easy to get confused with all the choices. To help you skip all the confusion, we've prepared a bit of a cheat sheet that should save you some time. Below you will find our recommendations for the best VR headsets worth your money. You should also check out our Best Gaming Headsets page.
It offers the most versatility and the best value in the most affordable package available. The Quest 2 is a self-contained device that doesn't need a computer. Quest 2 offers a high-resolution VR experience without the need for a computer. Quest 2 also offers variable refresh rates, with developers able to target 60hz, 90Hz, and Hz configurations depending on the performance demands of the games. The original 64GB edition is no longer sold. If you find one on the shelf, we recommend leaving it unless it's an outstanding deal.
Some of the newest Quest games barely fit on the smaller 64GB model. Headsets manufactured after August will also include an updated face cover for better hygiene. Read: Oculus Quest 2 review. The Valve Index is an old dog in this market, but Valve's first, and so far only, VR headset remains one of the best that money can buy today. Unfortunately, in terms of resolution, the Index is lagging behind the rest of the market. The headset boasts dual x LCD panels for crisp but not mind-blowing image clarity.
The variable refresh rate settings allow you to dial in displays to match your PC's performance, which is an incredible help when you have a less-powerful graphics card in your system. The Index supports 80, 90, , and Hz configurations. The best part of the Index is the versatility of its tracking system. In addition, the SteamVR tracking system is compatible with many accessories, including the Valve Index controllers colloquially known as Knuckles controllers , Vive Trackers, and the recently Kickstarter-funded Tundra Trackers.
You can also get the Valve Index controllers alone or bundle them with a headset. The best value for VR newcomers is the complete kit, including the headset, two controllers, two 2. Read: Valve Index review. If money is no object and you're after the most immersive VR experience you can get, look no further than the Pimax 8K X.
Sure, there are more expensive headsets on the market with arguably fancier features, but nothing compares to an ultrawide headset for the ultimate gaming experience. Pimax offers a variety of headsets, of which we've reviewed many. By the time the Pimax 8K X landed in our lab, the company had addressed many of the software issues that we had in the beginning.
In addition, it continues to improve the headset's performance with every subsequent firmware update. The 8K X features dual 4K screens, one per eye. The most important feature of the Pimax headset is the degree horizontal field of view, which is a good 30 to degrees above the competition. The ultrawide headset doesn't provide must benefit for games like Beat Saber.
Still, if you're into things like racing, flight, and space simulations, the extra peripheral vision makes the experience much more realistic. More : Pimax Vision 8K X review. If you're after the VR headset with the best visual experience possible, then you should look at the Varjo Aero. This headset is by far the most expensive HMD available in the consumer market, and that's for a good reason. Varjo is an enterprise headset maker that caters to the highest tier of the VR market.
As a result, Varjo's products are typically only available for enterprise-level businesses. Varjo sets itself apart from the competition with professional-grade components. The individual displays in this headset are not only ludicrous x pixels, but they are the first VR LCDs to offer Mini LED backlighting for precise color accuracy.
The Varjo Aero also includes additional advanced features that help justify the incredible price, such as eye-tracking cameras that enable gaze interaction and foveated rendering. The headset also has a motorized IPD adjustment that works with the eye-tracker to ensure that the headset is always dialed in perfectly for your eye position. If you're going to pick up an Aero, remember that it does not include everything you need to get it up and running.
Read : Varjo Aero review. The Oculus Quest 2 is the best standalone VR headset that most people can buy, but it's not the best standalone VR headset that exists. Instead, that title belongs to the HTC Vive Focus 3, a business-oriented headset that ticks so many boxes that make up an incredible HMD that we had to mention it here.
Sadly, you can't buy a Vive Focus 3 unless you run a business, and even if you did buy one, there's not much you can do with it as a consumer. The headset doesn't have a formal storefront for game distribution, and HTC isn't making any attempt to bring the headset to the consumer market in North America. Despite it not being readily available for consumers, the Focus 3 is the best standalone headset for many reasons.
HTC packed the headset with a Qualcomm XR-3 but with an active cooling system so the company could push the silicon even further than Facebook did for the Quest 2. The Focus 3 has high-resolution displays and more memory than the Quest 2.
The Best VR Headsets for ; Oculus Quest 2. $ ; Sony PlayStation VR. $ ; Valve Index VR Kit. $1, ; HTC Vive Pro 2. Best VR Headsets to Buy in · Oculus Quest 2 · Best stand-alone VR · $ at Meta · HP Reverb G2 · Highest-Resolution PC VR Headset · $ at. Defy reality with Oculus. Our VR headsets redefine digital gaming & entertainment. Learn more about Quest 2, our most advanced all-in-one VR system yet.