The absolute best VR headset on the planet!
A VR headset will help you get an incomparable visual and kinetic experience. See the world without leaving the room. Play games or draw three-dimensional pictures using VR headsets together with specialized software and a build-in controller free hand tracking.
Watch digital cinema movies, explore the corners of the universe with educational applications, or hang out with friends in social applications using one of the following VR headsets.
Display: Dual PenTile OLED | Resolution: 1440 × 1600p | Field of View: 100° | Refresh Rate: 72Hz | Controller: 2nd gen Oculus Touch | Sound: integrated stereo speakers
⊕ Wireless and standalone
⊕ Everything you need is included
⊕ Protection system, movement tracking
⊕ Broadcast to smartphones/TVs
⊕ Extensive library of applications/games
⊖ None found
The Oculus Quest headset combines wireless power with motion tracking and six degrees of freedom. No need to use a set-top box, PC or smartphone. Without external sensors or a calibration process, you can get started with a simple setup in the mobile application.
Due to the integrated sensors, you can walk around a designated play space and don’t worry about hitting a real wall.
The model is praised for a large clear OLED display with integrated speakers. Using the hand tracking function, you can play without a touch controller in certain games.
Moreover, it is quite lightweight with enough internal memory. Users can connect Quest to the PC via a USB-C cable to play games available on the computer. Thanks to its autonomy, accessories included, accessibility and a large library of games, it is truly the best VR system.
Professional-grade VR headset
Display: 3.4” dual LCD | Resolution: 1440 × 1700p | Field of View: 110° | Refresh Rate: 90Hz | Controller: HTC Cosmos | Sound: in-ear headphones, integrated microphones
⊕ Without external tracking sensors
⊕ Improved motion management
⊕ Folding and adjustable
⊕ Extensive shared library
⊖ Expensive for a tethered device
⊖ Requires a full-size DisplayPort
The newly released Vive Cosmos features a higher resolution than the original Vive. Autonomous tracking is provided by 6 outward-facing cameras that can track the user’s location and don’t require base stations. This virtual reality headset includes two redesigned and improved motion controllers.
A perforated removable faceplate guarantees better ventilation. Pressing on the overhead sound-proofing headphones will let the panel rise like a visor. Space may become expensive, but its flexibility can be interesting for creators.
The best VR headset for consoles
Display: 5,7” OLED | Resolution: 960 × 1080p | Field of View: 100° | Refresh Rate: 90/120Hz | Controller: DUALSHOCK 4, PlayStation Move/Aim (not included) | Sound: integrated microphone, stereo headphones
⊕ Motion/sound tracking
⊕ Ability to view non-VR apps and movies
⊕ Support for multiple controllers
⊕ Affordable, with an extensive library
⊖ Resolution/movement tracking could be better
⊖ Controllers and camera aren’t featured
If you own a PS4 console or higher, PlayStation VR is the most affordable option with a high refresh rate head mount and motion control support.
This VR headset PS4 model features an environment and sound tracking function. When you aren’t playing VR games, you can watch movies. The model boasts a cinematic mode that lets users watch movies and TV in a theatre-like setting with a frequency of 120 Hz.
This headset is well-regulated for convenience, intuitive in use, compatible with several types of Sony controllers, and has impressive developer support.
Next-level experience on gaming PC
Display: RGB LCD | Resolution: 1440 × 1600p | Field of View: 130° | Refresh Rate: 80/90/120/144Hz | Controller: Knuckles, HTC Vive (not included) | Sound: integrated off-ear radiators, integrated dual microphone array
⊕ Qualitative image
⊕ Support for Vive controllers/hardware
⊕ Convenient and adaptable to the face
⊕ Qualitative build with an expansion port
⊖ Expensive for a wired headset
⊖ Updates may give an error
⊖ Heavy weight
If you own a powerful gaming PC and you are after the VR headset for racing games, this model will provide you with remarkable VR experience with support for Knuckles’ pressure-sensitive finger controllers. Not many applications use them yet, but Valve’s hardware is compatible with HTC Vive, which is also based on the Steam VR platform.
The ultra-clear display is a liquid crystal panel that offers a wide range of refresh rates according to the power of the PC. A wide field of view and one of the best visual images are other significant features of this model.
It is the best VR headset for PC due to the presence of impressive technology and convenient features, such as end-to-end USB connectivity for future accessories and crystal-clear sound through near-field speakers.
Best for Windows Mixed Reality
Display: 3.5” dual AMOLED | Resolution: 1440 × 1600p | Field of View: 110° | Refresh Rate: 60/90Hz | Controller: 6 DOF Odyssey/Xbox One support | Sound: integrated AKG headphones, integrated microphone array
⊕ Remarkable resolution and integrated sound
⊕ Easy setup without additional hardware
⊕ Extensive library with a subscription
⊕ Adjustable via quick switching
⊖ Random tracking problems
⊖ Sensitive to system requirements
It is an upgrade to Samsung’s original Odyssey HMD model and one of the best Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) offerings. It is admired for one of the best resolutions, and the use of a patented anti-screen door effect to reduce slight graininess. The SDE in Odyssey + is practically invisible.
I can’t help but mention rich and dynamic spatial sound at 360°, which is provided by the integrated AKG headphones. Besides, the instant illumination of the real environment will come in handy.
It offers full support for Steam VR and WMR. HTC has recently expanded Viveport support for all WMR headsets. Adding this extensive subscription library to the Odyssey catalog is a significant advantage, the same as a free two-month subscription.
Easy-to-use VR headset
Display: Dual fast-switch LCD | Resolution: 1280 × 1440p | Field of View: 115° | Refresh Rate: 80Hz | Controller: 2nd gen Oculus Touch | Sound: built-in microphone, integrated speakers
⊕ Excellent price and software library
⊕ Easy to set up, no external tracking stations
⊕ Clear display, decent controllers
⊕ Precise movement tracking
⊖ Resolution and frequency could be better
⊖ Bulky, wired, requires a PC
It is an improvement of the original Rift headset. A high-resolution display and autonomous room tracking with five cameras were added. External cameras or sensors are no longer required, which makes Oculus Rift S easier to use.
It is paired with a PC and attached with a long cable to adapt to the scale of the room. Thanks to the power from the PC, the model is able to provide a longer and more dynamic perception.
Equipped with Quest-compatible touch controllers, Oculus makes the Rift S backward compatible with the original Rift games and with the majority of games for Oculus Quest.
The Oculus collection of games and applications is remarkable. It means that users don’t have to install additional hardware, which is a huge help. On the whole, the model is the best PC VR headset for those searching for a gaming PC-based system with an extensive library of games at a decent price.
Mainstream PC-VR for gamers
Display: Dual 3.6” AMOLED | Resolution: 1080 × 1200p | Field of View: 110° | Refresh Rate: 90Hz | Controller: HTC Vive | Sound: headphones set, integrated microphone
⊕ Ready set out of the box
⊕ Smooth graphics without lags
⊕ Controllers are simple and easy to adapt
⊕ Extensive library with a subscription
⊖ The absence of integrated audio
⊖ Wired device
⊖ Room settings, system requirements
This is a comprehensive virtual reality system connected to a PC. It supports motion control and VR of the entire room. HTC Vive, one of the best VR headsets for PCs, stands out for a number of key features, including the ability to track the room right out of the box.
This PC VR headset supports a variety of innovative accessories, including those letting users carry real-world items, such as tennis rackets. In addition to the ability to purchase individual applications, HTC offers its Viveport subscription service.
Portable, affordable all-in-one VR
Display: 5.5” fast-switching LCD | Resolution: 1280 × 1440p | Field of View: 101° | Refresh Rate: 60/72Hz | Controller: 3 DOF Oculus Go | Sound: integrated speakers
⊕ Accessible without PC or phone
⊕ Wireless device with a controller
⊕ Decent screen and resolution
⊕ Extensive library of applications and games
⊖ Doesn’t monitor the position and the room
⊖ Processor and frequency could be better
It is an inexpensive and convenient standalone virtual reality headset that lets users experience VR without having to invest plenty of money in hardware.
The model is the best VR headset for education at an affordable price because it ignores the wires, doesn’t drain the smartphone’s battery charge, provides clarity of detail, beautiful color and fascinating spatial sound.
Besides, the headset focuses attention on entertainment and communication. For instance, you may use Oculus Rooms to create your own virtual apartment, where you can invite up to three friends to play games together, watch movies, or share your own 360-degree videos.
For the owners of a flagship Samsung phone
Display: Lens, as inserted phone | Resolution: focus adjustment wheel, as inserted phone | Field of View: 101° | Refresh Rate: as inserted phone | Controller: Gear VR | Sound: none
⊕ Lightweight, convenient mounting
⊕ Support for many Samsung models
⊕ Support for a shared library
⊕ Additional USB port
⊖ More expensive than analogs
⊖ Controller batteries aren’t rechargeable
This respectable model now comes with a motion controller, and it may become the best VR headset option for smartphone users. Samsung Gear VR is lighter and more convenient than ever before. It features a USB-C port that connects directly to the Samsung Galaxy phone. Compatible phones include new Galaxy S8 and S9, as well as Galaxy S8 Plus and S9 Plus.
The featured motion controller is equipped with a touch panel and a trigger button. With a smartphone-powered headset, the performance depends completely on the phone, although it isn’t a problem given the power in more expensive Samsung phones. However, if you are an owner of an old Galaxy phone, this may noticeably affect your experience.
Since Samsung Gear VR and Oculus share a library of applications and games, you can expect that the support for Gear VR will be continued together with this series.
Oculus QuestOUR CHOICE
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Sony PlayStation VRFOR CONSOLE
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Valve IndexFOR PC GAMING
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Samsung Gear VRFOR MOBILE
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Since VR technology hasn’t been widely adopted, the choice of such a device is based on the VR headset price and the purpose of use. To watch a movie or educational content, a non-controller headset will be enough, without the ability to move.
A keen gamer requires a complete gaming system with different types of controllers, for instance, for shooting. To use a headset at home, you need an easy-to-configure device that doesn’t clutter the living space with the gaming one.
Standalone headsets offer a VR experience without a gaming PC or a flagship phone and a physical connection. Many of them feature limited controls and not the most powerful hardware, such as a mobile processor. But some of them use external cameras to provide motion tracking with greater degrees of freedom.
Wired headsets should be used with a PC with gaming characteristics or game consoles. Such a headset will take advantage of existing hardware and provide a better VR experience since video processing takes place outside of it. Using a dedicated display improves image quality. External sensors or cameras provide complete tracking of motion, hand movements and head turns. The cable makes them less convenient, but you can invest in a wireless adapter.
Mobile headsets are covers or cases with lenses that you put your smartphone in. The lenses split the screen into two images for eyes, turning a smartphone into a VR device. Mobile headsets are relatively inexpensive, and since all image processing is done on the phone’s processor, users don’t need to connect any wires.
The resolution of an image or display is measured in pixels horizontally and vertically, typically separately for each eye. A higher resolution is better because the displays are positioned close to the eyes. It emphasizes uneven lines, pixelation, and the screen door effect – the visible grid between pixels.
The field of view is measured in degrees and determines the volume of the VR environment visible to the observer or the size of the game world. A wider field of view is an integral part of the sensation of immersion. It minimizes motion sickness and nausea as a result of unnecessary turns of the head when observing.
The refresh rate as the number of images displayed per second is measured in Hertz. High frequency is important for a continuous environment. Low frequency can produce lags and frozen environment, which can spoil the image, cause nausea or eye fatigue. There are restrictions on the support of the specified frequency by VR content or PC hardware characteristics.
The size/weight/adjustments affect the comfort level, cooling, and the time users will feel convenient wearing the VR headsets. The helmet isn’t supposed to be bulky, it should fit tightly and have adjustable elements, such as pupil spacing, vents and head straps. The integrated sound will make the device a little heavier, but it will eliminate the need to purchase an additional accessory.
Motion tracking systems can be integrated into the headset in the form of cameras and sensors. Or they can be external and located in the room in the form of beacons, setting the movement space. Tracking and ease of configuration are crucial to enable three degrees of freedom (the ability to look in any direction) or six degrees of freedom (to look and move the body in any direction).
Controllers, be it a push-button gamepad or a touch wristband, of the best VR headset are often included in a system. They must be intuitive to operate, responsive with accurate tracking of hands and even fingers. The ergonomic design and light weight minimize unpleasant sensations, such as hand and wrist cramps.
The software is supposed to provide a variety of content and a responsive, intuitive interface as proof of developer support. A decent library comprises plenty of games of different genres, applications and movies. The interface is also important, because it gives users access to subsequent menus, as well as special functions, such as voice commands and gesture control.