Which VR headset should I get?

Gaming & Accessories

A recent study concludes that 17.7% of Americans will use VR headsets this year. This means that nearly 60 million people in the U.S will use a VR headset at least once a month. Almost 40% of all VR headsets are sold by Facebook.

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immerse yourself in the world of virtual reality with the right setup

Few people might know that virtual reality headsets are much older than you would think. Oculus made the technology famous in the mid-2000s, but the first headset was created in 1968. It was called the Sword of Damocles.

But it took several decades for commercial viability and technology to produce the models that we have today. The now-discontinued Oculus Rift first launched in 2016 and quickly grabbed the attention and admiration of many. 

From there, several companies started to produce their own versions to work on different platforms. Game development companies also took note and launched a host of titles, with varying degrees of success. 

Best VR headsets to buy

Top VR headset

Oculus Quest 2

Oculus Quest 2

What you need to know: This is an all-in-one system that doesn’t require a dedicated platform.

What you’ll love: The Quest 2 is the latest VR headset from the company that arguably started the virtual reality trend. Where other VR headsets need a dedicated operating system or platform to run, the Quest 2 doesn’t. It is an entirely stand-alone system that anybody can use. The all-in-one headset has a super-fast processor built in, and the display has 50% more pixels than the previous model. The bundle includes the VR headset, two Touch controllers, two AA batteries, a silicone cover, glasses spacer, charging cable and the power adapter. Available games for the system include Star Wars, The Climb 2, Jurassic World and Population: One. It is available in 128GB- and 256GB-storage-capacity models. 

What you should consider: If data privacy is a concern to you, you’ll be disappointed to learn that you need a Facebook account to use it.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top VR headset for gaming

 HP Reverb G2 VR Headset

HP Reverb G2

What you need to know: This is a good option if you require a high resolution.

What you’ll love: This VR headset is easy to set up, even without a base station. It offers a resolution of 2160 pixels per eye and eliminates the screen door effect. The bundle comes with two controllers, which will make moving around the virtual worlds a lot easier. It has an IPD slider so that you can modify and focus to gain clarity.

What you should consider: Since there is no base station, tracking volume in this VR headset is limited.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Other VR headsets to consider

 

PlayStation VR - Marvel's Iron Man Bundle

PlayStation VR – Marvel’s Iron Man Bundle

What you need to know: The perfect choice if you want a dedicated gaming VR experience.

What you’ll love: PlayStation’s VR headset is the only such device available for gaming consoles, which made it a lucrative purchase for many players. With tons of VR content available, the bundle comes with the headset, two Move controllers, the PS Eye camera, and the latest Iron Man game. Gamers have mentioned that the title isn’t the best to show off the headset’s capabilities, but it is still a worthwhile bundle nonetheless. If you have the latest PlayStation 5, you’ll be excited to know that the system is fully compatible with it. Older PS4 games can also be upgraded to the PS5 version and still work on the PlayStation VR headset.

What you should consider: Some gamers have mentioned that the focus wheel doesn’t allow for many variations. Players with eyeglasses often struggle to get the visuals in focus.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

Valve Index Full VR Kit

Valve Index Full VR Kit

What you need to know: A complete system for the most immersive experience.

What you’ll love: The Index VR system from Valve is one of the most complete that you’ll find. Compatible with Steam games and Steam VR, the bundle includes the headset, two controllers, and two base stations. The headset’s display is comprised of dual 1440×1600 RGB LCDs, a refresh rate of 120Hz, and is fully backward-compatible with 90Hz games. The lenses allow for a great field of view, and for the visuals to remain crisp whether you are moving your head or not. For sound, the headset makes use of off-ear speakers, meaning that you don’t feel the pressure of headphones. Through specific adjustments, the headset can be fine-tuned no matter your head size, face angle, and ear position.

What you should consider: It is currently one of the most expensive VR headsets to buy. Retailing for around $1,500, the system can be prohibitively expensive for cash-conscious buyers.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

HTC VIVE Pro 2 Virtual Reality System

HTC VIVE Pro 2 Virtual Reality System

What you need to know: A complete system for the most immersive experience.

What you’ll love: One of the few VR headsets that is capable of 5K visuals, the display has a resolution of 4896 x 2448 pixels. This also allows for a wide field of view, which can stretch as far as 120 degrees. This has been done to bring it as close to the human eye as possible, nearly covering your peripheral vision. Most games and apps that are compatible with the Vive Pro 2 will allow for the 120Hz refresh rate. This means that visuals will be crisp and clear and motion blur shouldn’t be an issue. The headset also features an adjustable strap that can accommodate most head sizes and gamers with eyeglasses. To minimize the strain on your eyes, in addition to a focus wheel, it also has an IPD adjustment dial. The Interpupillary distance (IPD) is the measurement between the centers of the eye pupils.

What you should consider: The headset is marginally cheaper than the Valve Index, which would make it a hard sell to most gamers. HTC has also fallen out of favor with most gamers, which could further impact after-market support and sales.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

 

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