Best for PlayStation gamers, best laptops for VR · Best graphics cards for VR · Oculus Quest 2 review. The Index works with external headlight boxes similar to those of the HTC Vive, which means you must first set them up in a room. It's not as self-contained as the Quest 2 or the HP Reverb G2, which can crawl the room with the cameras built into the headphones. It's definitely not wireless either, but if you already have some older HTC Vive hardware, you can add parts of the Index to mix and match.
The best VR headsets take you out of your room and take you to another universe, seamlessly and without lots of cables and other inconveniences. There are quite a few options out there that it can be a little confusing to start comparing specifications without the context of what you would want from a VR headset. Comfort, simplicity and a screen that won't make you vomit are essential when it comes to the best virtual reality headsets. We've got our hands on a bunch of companies like Valve, Oculus, HTC, HP, Samsung and more to see which ones are worth buying.
Quest 2 becomes more than just a standalone VR headset with Oculus Link. You can play games specially designed for the standalone headphones and therefore rendered with the integrated Snapdragon XR2 chip, or stream from your PC with Oculus Link and a compatible USB Type-C cable. We used the official Oculus Link cable, although it is very expensive. You can use a cheaper cable, but keep in mind that some don't offer the length, bandwidth, or power that more expensive cables can offer.
That can be a bit of a problem, but not always. It becomes an all-in-one virtual reality Swiss Army knife, capable of delivering great virtual reality and games on the move through titles compatible with SteamVR and Oculus Rift. It is now able to offer a refresh rate of up to 120 Hz, thanks to a recent upgrade, making it an even sweeter offer. If it doesn't bother you, Quest 2 is a quick and easy device to jump into virtual reality.
Most wired headphones require the use of one or two external sensors. The Oculus Quest 2 is a self-contained unit capable of tracking the movement of the controller, hand and helmet without the need for an additional kit, just like its predecessor. The inside-out tracking in the Quest 2 manages to stay exceptionally well and without fear of falling out of the eye line with sensors. It is true that independent experience is still hampered by energy-efficient silicon, and there is no way around it.
The Quest 2 not only takes care of onboard processing, but also tries to conserve battery power to ensure decent average operation. That's about two hours of battery life to play. As a complete VR headset for a wide range of uses, the Quest 2 is simply unparalleled. The fact that they are also the cheapest VR headsets we recommend is the icing on the cake.
Read our full Meta Quest 2 review. (opens in a new tab) The Valve Index has some of the best images of any conventional VR headset available on the market, with a screen resolution equal to Vive Pro, Quest and Odyssey+, but combined with a refresh rate of 120 Hz (up to 144 Hz) in an unsupported experimental mode. currently). The 130° field of view is also the best in its class and there is virtually no detectable screen door effect inside the headphones.
Does everything sound good? Yes, the Valve Index is the grandfather of virtual reality headsets. If the list of specifications weren't enough, the Valve Index feels great to carry. It's a little heavier than the Rift S, enough that the weight was noticeable in our side-by-side comparison, but the shape of the head strap distributes that weight better around the head. Not to mention, it's built with carefully selected, high-quality materials, with top-notch weight distribution.
Strap materials feel quality more like a padded t-shirt and extra soft than standard foam padding, never bothering me during extended gaming sessions. The Valve Index is the grandfather of virtual reality headsets. The Valve Index also has impressive technology and practical features such as the USB pass-through in the slot hidden behind the front panel. There are tons of cool third-party mods for this slot, including cooling kits.
The Index is a room-scale VR experience, which means that it requires two base station sensors placed around your play area. HTC Vive and Vive Pro, as well as next-generation Oculus Touch controllers, use base stations. The Quest 2 and Vive Cosmos (opens in a new tab) use inside-out tracking, meaning sensors on the helmet instead of placing them around the room. After getting used to that more streamlined experience, configuring sensors for the index was frustrating.
And all of those premium features come at a price. It's the best virtual reality headset on the market. If you don't consider the value proposition. At almost a thousand dollars, the full Index package costs up to three Quest 2.Read our full review of the valve index (opens in a new tab).
The HTC Vive Pro 2 brings with it a series of updates to the front of the screen to make it one of the most impressive options on the market. The native resolution of 2448 x 2448 pixels per eye is incredible, and when combined with the 120 Hz refresh rate and 120 degree field of view, it becomes one of the best viewing experiences on the market. Of course, with these types of resolutions, you'll need a high-end machine to get the most out of these headphones, and HTC recommends an Nvidia GeForce RTX 20 series or Radeon RX 5000 series GPU to maintain a smooth experience. For testing, we connected the headphones to our high-end test PC, which houses a GeForce RTX 3080 (opens in a new tab) and an AMD Ryzen 9 5900X (opens in a new tab).
We had no problem running any of the games in this configuration, but yes, that's OK in terms of specs. As for the aspect of the software to put the Vive Pro 2 into operation, it is handled by the HTC configuration application, which logically goes through the procedures before handing over control to Steam VR for final configuration. This works well and highlights any problems as you progress. HTC has stuck with satellite settings for the Vive Pro 2 to ensure you get accurate remote tracking, which means you'll need a lot of power outlets for everything to work.
The complete starter kit includes the headset, two first-generation controllers and a pair of Base Station 2.0 satellites. Read our full HTC Vive Pro 2 review (opens in a new tab). The HP Reverb G2 has earned a spot here with the best VR headsets, thanks in large part to its fantastic resolution. If your primary concern is to future-proof your setup in terms of image fidelity, you won't be disappointed.
With 2160p per eye, the Reverb G2 manages to completely alleviate the screen door effect that can cause problems with some lower resolution headphones, provided you have a GPU powerful enough to handle it. The Reverb G2 tracking solution means no base stations are needed, and that means a simpler setup, but it also has some drawbacks. Visible light tracking means that surrounding lighting conditions can really affect your experience. Don't expect it to work especially well in a sunroom or in the dark, as the headphones rely on a very particular lighting requirement to position you correctly in the physical space.
The Reverb G2 may not have all the sleek greebles of some of the other headphones on the list, but it has enough great features that make it worth a look. Some users have complained of problems due to the curvature of the front joint being too extreme, but there are 3D printed solutions if they don't fit well. Even so, connecting the Reverb G2 is at least a step up from the G1, since it is now a single cable instead of two adjacent cables. At 19.5 feet (6 m), it's slightly longer than many other top VR headsets, but the jelly-like feel means it snaps on itself, making it a little difficult to detangle.
The HP Reverb G2 works seamlessly with Steam VR, although I have some complaints with its dependence on Windows Mixed Reality. Essentially, there's no way to prevent it from opening at startup if you've left your headphones plugged in, other than uninstalling them, which I don't want to do because it includes some interesting features. Other than that, I have no real complaints on the software front when it comes to using the set on a day-to-day basis. The Reverb G2 might not have all the sleek greebles of some of the other headphones on the list, but it has enough great features that make it worth checking out for the money.
Read our full HP Reverb G2 review (opens in a new tab). The HTC Vive Cosmos Elite tries to fix some of the problems with the original HTC Vive Cosmos, while maintaining the basic specifications of that model. Primarily, dual 4.3-inch 1440 x 1700 displays operate at 90 Hz. You don't need to plug everything in to use the HTC Vive Cosmos Elite, but if you're trying to charge both controllers at the same time, that's a total of five outlets, compared to the three required outlets on the Cosmos Elite.
However, you can use spare USB ports on your PC. The headset weighs a little, weighs 2 pounds, but the foam padding makes the experience comfortable, avoids a little pressure on the forehead, but the headband attaches firmly. The fact that you can easily lift the screen away from your face is also useful for reorienting and refreshing yourself, since it's a little hot. Inside-out tracking means you don't need external sensors, as the helmet can track both itself and the controllers around it.
Originally, this method was not as effective, it was not as responsive, and it broke the immersion in the game. But with the best VR headset, the Oculus Quest 2, the technology is almost on par with the headlight in terms of responsiveness now. And it's certainly much more convenient. The Quest 2 is a wireless headset, but officially you must connect them to your gaming PC via a USB Type-C cable to enjoy the best virtual reality headset experience with your computer.
But now there are easily accessible ways to do it wirelessly. However, it is necessary to have a Wi-Fi 6 router to deliver the level of performance you need so you don't waste all the time vomiting your guts due to the incessant delay. The valve index could be due to its own wireless module, as some patents have emerged, indicating that at least one wireless head strap (opens in a new tab) has been considered for the company's stellar glasses. While we were a little disappointed to find that the Oculus Quest 2 looked a little cheaper than its predecessor in the hands, we found it more comfortable in our tests overall.
That's thanks to its lighter form factor (503g vs the original 571g) and the wider area of the controller's thumb rest. We were also impressed by how sharp the resolution is once we put on these headphones. You're free to roam around with no tracking area limits and with an overall super flexible setup. It's an all-in-one standalone unit with a fast processor and lots of RAM to get today's games started.
This means you won't have to invest in a high-end gaming PC to keep everything running smoothly here: you're all set to go out of the box. And it's hard to underestimate how important it is to the value of Oculus Quest 2.We noticed that the quality of the HTC Vive Pro 2 is revealed over time. It took us a couple of days to fully adopt the correct settings for our eyes, so it's worth noting that you'll need a little extra time to retouch for the best result. However, once you're there, the investment you've made is worth it.
If the HTC Vive Pro 2 seemed a little pricey, the Vive Cosmos Elite system might be the best VR headset for those looking to spend a little less on some of the sleeker features and focus on room-scale tracking. HTC launched its Cosmos headphones with very little fanfare a few years ago, and on their own, the headphones sit as a fully modular system that you can upgrade with a different SteamVR faceplate and tracking bases to your liking. However, its final form is the Vive Cosmos Elite, which makes this version the best virtual reality headset in its line. The VR headset market is rapidly evolving and it's easy to get confused with all the options.
To help you avoid all the confusion, we have prepared a small cheat sheet that should save you some time. Below you'll find our recommendations for the best vr headsets that are worth your money. You should also take a look at our Best Gaming Headsets page. The Meta Quest 2 (formerly known as Oculus Quest) is the best VR headset to buy for most people.
Offers the most versatility and the best value in the most affordable package available. Quest 2 offers a high-resolution virtual reality experience without the need for a computer. The headphones provide 1832 x 1920 pixels per eye, a higher resolution than the Valve Index and HTC Vive Cosmos tethered PC headphones. Quest 2 also offers variable refresh rates, with developers able to target 60 Hz, 90 Hz and 120 Hz configurations, depending on gaming performance demands.
The Valve Index is an old dog in this market, but Valve's first and only VR headsets are still one of the best money can buy today. Unfortunately, in terms of resolution, the index lags behind the rest of the market. The headphones feature two 1440 x 1600 LCD panels for crisp but not mind-blowing image clarity. The variable refresh rate setting allows you to mark displays to match the performance of your PC, which is an incredible help when you have a less powerful graphics card in your system.
Index supports 80, 90, 120, and 144 Hz configurations. The best part of the index is the versatility of its tracking system. The Index headset uses the SteamVR tracking system, first introduced in the original HTC Vive and improved for Vive Pro. The Lighthouse IR tracking system remains the most accurate tracking system for home-based VR systems, especially if you have a set of stations based on SteamVR 2.0.
In addition, the SteamVR tracking system is compatible with many accessories, including Valve Index controllers (colloquially known as Knuckles controllers), Vive Trackers, and the recently Kickstarter-funded Tundra Trackers. Valve offers the Index as a single HMD, which you can use to upgrade an existing SteamVR system, such as an older Vive system. You can also get the Valve Index controllers alone or combine them with headphones. The best value for virtual reality newcomers is the complete kit, which includes the headset, two controllers, two 2.0 base stations and wall mount hardware.
The Oculus Quest 2 is the best standalone VR headset most people can buy, but it's not the best standalone VR headset out there. Instead, that title belongs to the HTC Vive Focus 3, a business-oriented headset that meets so many requirements that make up an incredible HMD that we had to mention it here. If you're looking for a headset that's among our best VR headsets or one that hasn't made the cut, you can find savings by looking at the latest Newegg promo codes, Amazon promo codes, or Best Buy promo codes. If you have to have the best, here it is.
The valve index has a resolution of 1440 x 1600 per eye at 120 Hz, smooth as butter. Expanded base stations allow you to map larger areas for gaming and controllers have full finger tracking. All that great functionality puts it ahead of the competition, but it's also much more expensive, though you can reduce some of that cost by using genuine Vive parts. Do this and you can customize your settings, based on what you value most, or purchase the full Valve Index for the best VR visual experience available.
If “resolution” is the buzzword you choose, Vive Pro 2 is right for you. With a resolution of 2,448 x 2,448 per eye, the HTC Vive Pro 2 will let you forget about the screen effect, but you'll need a powerful PC to run it. One of the biggest limitations of today's virtual reality headsets is the field of view, or FOV. While many other headsets on this list have 100- or 120-degree FOV, the Pimax 5K Super doubles that, meaning you'll have more peripheral vision during your favorite VR experiences.
Choosing the best VR headset for you will likely come down to your budget, as the market is currently heavily segmented based on price. Or you can consider buying the cheaper Valve Index headphones for their slightly higher audio quality. It has to be quite tight to prevent slipping and, although it's not the heaviest virtual reality headset there is, there is noticeable pressure on the cheeks. Plus, buying the PSVR means you'll depend on Sony to release more games and support it (the future of PSVR actually looks pretty good now, as PSVR2 was announced), while the PC-centric nature of the other platforms gives you more flexibility in using headsets.
We like the open-ear setup in a social setting, where speakers can give viewers clues as to what the person wearing the headphones sees. Similarly, Apple is expected to have some kind of advanced VR-AR headphones, either later this year or early next, which could also be very expensive. We think the Oculus Link cable is a worthy purchase for any Quest 2 owner because it allows you to play PC games on the headset, unlocking the entire Meta Quest and SteamVR libraries. Whether you're looking for a standalone model or one that connects to your PC or console, enter another dimension with the best virtual reality headsets and platforms we've tested.
The HyperX Cloud Alpha is the most comfortable and best sounding gaming headset for most people, only hampered by its mediocre microphone. If you're not a fan of Meta practices (aka Facebook), then you'd better scroll further down the list to find a VR headset worth investing in. . .