Traveling through different worlds through the use of technology alone in the form of virtual reality is a fascinating experience. By using a headset and motion tracking, VR enables users to look around a virtual space as if they were actually there, as well as play a game as if they were in it. Virtual reality (VR) has gained traction in recent years as a result of the development of compelling games and experiences; however, the industry appears to be in a state of flux, with headsets coming and going at a rapid pace.We are keeping an eye on the most promising new products that have recently entered this market.
Oculus is concentrating its efforts on developing a virtual reality headset that can function independently, called the Quest 2, but users will have the option to connect it to a personal computer. Both the Vive Cosmos and the Vive Pro 2 from HTC are compatible with Steam, while HP offers the more reasonably priced Reverb G2 option. PlayStation VR is compatible with Sony’s PS4 gaming console. Valve has its very own high-priced headset called the Index. Even Microsoft is supporting its Windows Mixed Reality platform, albeit in a limited capacity, by offering compatibility with a handful of third-party headsets.
When it comes to getting the best virtual reality headset, there isn’t a huge selection to choose from, but the options on this list will cover you whether you’re looking for a virtual reality experience designed for beginners or one that is driven by a powerful gaming PC.
Sony’s PlayStation VR
Even though the PlayStation VR is getting on in years, what with it having been released in 2016 for the PlayStation 4 and still making use of motion controllers that were released in 2010, this does not mean that it is not something that you should take into consideration if you own either a PlayStation 4 or a PlayStation 5. After all, it does not require any additional hardware if you already own one of those consoles (although if you want to use it with your PS5, you will need to request a free adapter from Sony for the necessary, and it is included in PS VR bundles, PlayStation Camera, in order for it to work).
Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, and Five Nights at Freddie’s: Help Wanted are just some of the games that have been developed specifically for the PlayStation VR and received financial support from Sony during their development. There are a lot of games that can be played with just the DualShock 4 or DualSense controllers; they don’t even require motion controls.
HTC Vive Pro 2
With a resolution of 2,448 by 2,448 pixels for each eye, this virtual reality headset is one of the most advanced kinds of consumer VR headsets that we have tested. It is designed for both enthusiasts and professionals and offers the sharpest picture currently available. It unquestionably provides the most impressive visuals that any VR experience we’ve had to date has offered, but at a steep price: The price of the headset by itself is only $799, but additional costs are incurred for the base stations and controllers (but on the bright side, you can use the Valve Index controllers with it).
It is compatible with SteamVR just like the Oculus Quest 2, and it comes with its own virtual reality (VR) software store called Viveport. In lieu of making software purchases on an à la carte basis, the retailer makes available the pay-monthly subscription service known as Viveport Infinity (Opens in a new window), which gives users unrestricted access to VR experiences. That is an excellent perk in addition to SteamVR.
The gaming titan Valve has been working hard to develop its own virtual reality headset, and the Valve Index is the product of all of those efforts. And it was successful. Valve was able to accomplish this with great success. Our colleagues over at Tom’s Hardware have tested out the headset, and in a Valve Index review (opens in new tab), contributor Kevin Carbotte made the following observation about it: “The Valve Index headset offers excellent visuals, best-in-class tracking, and top-quality build, and its Index controllers are without a doubt the best solution for interacting with virtual worlds.”
The display resolution of the Valve Index is identical to that of the Vive Pro, Quest, and Odyssey+. However, it has a refresh rate that is 120 times faster, giving it the ability to produce some of the most impressive visuals of any mainstream, commercially available VR headset (up to 144Hz in a currently unsupported, experimental mode). The field of view is also the best in its category, measuring in at 130 degrees, and the screen door effect is nearly undetectable while wearing the headset.Therefore, the Valve Index is a high-end virtual reality (VR) system that is both comfortable and sophisticated. It features high-quality construction, comfortable cushioning, and cleverly integrated speakers. The disadvantage of this feature is that it may cause the headset to become quite cumbersome after being worn for an extended period of time.
2nd Meta Quest
The Meta Quest 2, formerly known as the Oculus Quest 2, outperforms the original Quest in terms of its specifications and delivers the same experience at a lower cost. The Quest 2 has a price that makes it seem like it’s an entry-level headset, but it actually has a lot more to offer than that. It has a new LCD with a resolution of 1832 by 1920 for each eye.
To begin with, yes, exactly the same headset as the Oculus Quest 2 is being used here. Oculus was owned by Meta, and when Meta rebranded itself as a separate entity from Facebook, it took the Oculus name with it. You can find listings for the Meta Quest 2 in some places today, despite the fact that the identical Oculus brand is still going strong in other locations. Nobody really knows why Meta made the decision to make the change. For what it’s worth, I found Oculus to be the more enjoyable experience.
HTC Vive Flow
The Vive Flow is an interesting VR headset, in part because it is not really a VR headset. This helps to explain why it is so interesting. You can use them to meditate in a virtual space, watch a movie or show, or virtually socialise with friends or coworkers. They are more like a pair of giant, super-thick VR glasses. It’s great for quick and easy excursions into virtual reality. In order to power it, you will need a battery pack with 10,000 mAh and a USB-C cable. However, because it supports inside-out tracking, there is no requirement for any additional external sensors. It is not as powerful as the Quest 2, so high-fidelity experiences cannot be had with it at this time. Additionally, it is controlled by your Android smartphone, so if you have an iPhone, you are out of luck with this product. You can check to see if your mobile device is supported on this page. It is only compatible with a select few of the apps available on HTC’s Viveport store.
It is helpful that it is extremely lightweight and portable to the extent that it can be thrown into a carry-on bag and used to watch movies while travelling by aeroplane. You don’t have to fuss with any head straps, and you can put it on even if your hair is pulled back in a bun or a ponytail. The design is by far my favourite feature of any VR headset, and it’s comfortable to wear as well. Even if you don’t care about beating your friend’s high score in Beat Saber, you will still feel plenty immersed with this pair of comfortable VR goggles because they provide an excellent field of view.
The best virtual reality headset is either a gateway to another world or, at the very least, a good way to spend an evening in another world without having to leave the comfort of your own home. The virtual reality headsets that are the best combine high quality with a comfortable design and user-friendliness. They also cause the least amount of nausea and vomiting. We put dozens of virtual reality headsets from companies such as Valve, Oculus, HTC, HP, and Samsung through our battery of tests to determine which one is the most suitable.
There was a time when PC gamers preferred tethered virtual reality headsets, but ever since the release of the standalone Meta Quest 2 (which can be tethered to your PC if you want), there has been a significant shift in the market. It is impossible for a potential VR gamer to ignore, given its low price of only $299 and the fact that it offers a truly amazing experience. Premium virtual reality headsets do have a place in the market. However, they need to offer something unique to justify their higher price tags. Otherwise, the features they offer will be significantly overshadowed.