Best for PlayStation gamers, best laptops for VR · Best graphics cards for VR · Oculus Quest 2 review. 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. 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 experimental mode not currently supported). 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. 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. 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 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. Read our full HP Reverb G2 review (opens in a new tab). 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 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 instead 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. 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 VR 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.
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. As mentioned earlier, the Quest 2 is powered by a Qualcomm SnapDragon XR-2 SoC, a processor and graphics chip derived from the company's top smartphone processors, but optimized for VR and AR capabilities. The Quest 2 is a standalone device that doesn't need a computer.
However, it also offers the ability to play PC VR content via a USB connection or a Wi-Fi connection, giving you the best of both worlds. 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.
Pimax offers a variety of headphones, of which we have reviewed many. The Pimax 5K+ was the first Pimax helmet we formally reviewed and left a lot to be desired. By the time the Pimax 8K X arrived in our laboratory, the company had already addressed many of the software problems we had in the beginning. In addition, headphone performance continues to improve with each subsequent firmware update.
The 8K X has dual 4K displays, one per eye. The default refresh rate on these displays is 75 Hz, but you can expand them to 90 Hz if you have an RTX 3000 series GPU to control pixels. The most important feature of Pimax headphones is the 170-degree horizontal field of view, which is 30 to 40 degrees above the competition. Varjo differentiates itself from the competition with professional-quality components.
Not only are the individual screens in this headset ridiculous at 2880 x 2720 pixels, but they are the first virtual reality LCD screens to offer mini LED backlighting for accurate color accuracy. Varjo also calibrates panels for 99% sRGB and 95% DCI-P3 color, and 150 NIT brightness. The Varjo Aero also includes additional advanced features that help justify the incredible price, such as eye-tracking cameras that allow interaction of the gaze and a focused representation. The headphones also have a motorized IPD adjustment that works with the eye tracker to ensure that the headset is always perfectly adjusted to the position of the eyes.
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. Unfortunately, you can't buy a Vive Focus 3 unless you run a business, and even if you did, there's not much you can do with it as a consumer. The headphones have no formal store for gaming distribution, and HTC is making no attempt to bring the headphones to the consumer market in North America.
HTC Focus 3 is also one of the most comfortable HMDs we've ever tested. The rear-mounted battery helps keep the weight of the device well-balanced, and the sturdy headband helps keep the device secure on the head. The Focus 3 even comes pre-equipped with removable, moisture-resistant cushions that are easy to wash. If you already have a robust gaming PC, or are willing to spend a lot of money to buy or build one, and you have room space large enough for room-scale VR, grab a SteamVR headset, which will give you the best overall experience.
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. The Quest 2's LCD screen offers 1832 × 1920 pixels per eye, which beats high-end headphones like the Valve Index, though the different style on the screens makes it a bit of an apple to orange comparison. The best virtual reality headsets will provide the highest quality VR experience that current times can offer. If you are looking for high-end headphones, for example, we recommend the Valve Index as the first option.
It's a fully standalone headset, which means you won't need a premium gaming PC to run it (or the cables to connect it). At the moment, the four best VR headset ranges on the market (Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Quest 2 and PlayStation VR) are, as expected, the most expensive of all the major VR headset offerings. virtual reality can be an impressive way to enter virtual worlds, even if it is still a new technology that is far from being a “most people buy”. However, since these VR experiences work with your phone, rather than a fantastic piece of high-end hardware, they can't compare to the experience you'd get with any of the best VR headsets above.
They're not on this list for several reasons, but the most important one is that they're augmented reality (AR) headsets, not virtual reality headsets. HTC also offers different versions of the Cosmos (Elite, XR and Play), which have different controllers, as well as tracking and camera settings, but in reality you can change the front plate, the controllers, the tracking base station and, indeed, you will use a different version, which makes it very customizable, versatile headphones. That resolution is at the top of the market today, offering super clean images that you won't find in cheaper headphones. The higher the field of view, the more you can see around you and the better the headphones recreate natural human vision.