Why we like it: If you own a PlayStation 4 and you’re interested in getting a taste of virtual reality – or if you want to play some VR games without spending the money on a gaming PC and a high-end headset like the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive – Sony’s PlayStation VR is an easy recommendation. There are a whole host of headsets available, too – everything from powerful, high-end models like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift to mobile experiences like the Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream View, and the brilliantly simple Google Cardboard. Combined with a faster Snapdragon 835 processor compared with the Oculus Go’s Snapdragon 821, the Quest offers a much more compelling and immersive VR experience, all without the unwieldy cable or PC requirement of the Rift S. We hope to see more standalone 6DOF, dual motion controller headsets in the future, like the upcoming HTC Vive Focus Plus. Oculus has both tethered and standalone headsets from the Go, to the Quest, to the Rift S. HTC has the Steam-friendly Vive and Vive Cosmos, and the developer-focused Vive Pro Sony has the PS 4-focused PlayStation VR (that will apparently work with the PlayStation 5 if and when that system comes out), and Microsoft is supporting its Windows Mixed Reality platform with a variety of headsets from different manufacturers. Up-to-date pricing and reviews for VR virtual reality headset on the market can be found at the VR headset adviser website.
Why we like it: The Oculus Rift S is the top pick in our review of the best VR headsets for PCs because it combines a comfortable, approachable design with the largest selection of games and other media If you’re serious about getting into VR, a high-end PC headset like the Rift S is worth investing in. The jump in quality and tracking compared with that of a standalone headset results in a more immersive experience and better games. Several competitors have emerged since then, from the HTC Vive and Sony’s PlayStation VR to smartphone-powered headsets such as Samsung’s Gear VR and Google Cardboard. Tethered headsets like the Oculus Rift S, the HTC Vive Cosmos, and the PlayStation VR are physically connected to PCs (or in the case of the PS VR, a PlayStation 4 ). The cable makes them a bit unwieldy, but putting all of the actual video processing in a box you don’t need to directly strap to your face means your VR experience can be a lot more complex.
VR hygiene accessories for Oculus Quest, Rift, HTC Vive and other virtual reality headsets. Various high-profile tech companies such as Google, Facebook, HTC, and others are focusing more resources on developing additional and sophisticated HMD’s for standalone VR. At Aniwaa, we think the future of VR does exist in increasingly wireless yet powerful virtual reality experiences via standalone VR headsets. Standalone virtual reality headsets (a.k.a. untethered, wireless, standalone VR) don’t require a PC or a smartphone to deliver a VR experience.
While Facebook’s announcement made big news, they are far from the only player in the space, as Google ( Cardboard , Daydream ), Samsung ( Gear VR ), HTC ( Vive ), Sony ( Playstation VR ), and others have introduced platforms and hardware for virtual reality. If you don’t want to spend the money on a gaming PC, we think the appropriate first headset for most casual gamers is the Oculus Quest; you can read more about it in our guide to standalone headsets Another solid, lower-priced option is the Sony PlayStation VR , which currently costs about $330 for a starter bundle and works with the $300 PlayStation 4 gaming console. The ASTRO Gaming A40 TR and A10 headsets are compatible with Virtual Reality headsets and will fit perfectly over the HTC Vive, Oculus, or PS VR headset.
A wild-card pick for PC VR is the Vive Cosmos, the follow-up to 2016’s HTC Vive The Cosmos has self-contained tracking like the Oculus Rift S and a better-resolution display than the original Vive, but also has swappable faceplates that will add more cameras for mixed reality and external sensor tracking (for larger holodeck-type experiences). The HTC Vive is the other main virtual reality headset for gaming PCs and offers an even more immersive experience thanks to an extremely high-resolution display that makes images seem crystal clear. Dedicated VR headsets cost from about $400 for the Oculus Rift or Sony’s Playstation VR headsets to about $600 for the HTC Vive.
These can be dedicated headsets, like the Oculus VR system and the HTC Vive Alternatively, a headset adaptor and mobile app software can turn a smartphone into a 3D display, like Samsung’s Gear VR system. Why we like it: Mobile VR headsets like the Samsung Gear VR give you the same experience as the Oculus Go standalone VR headset but use a smartphone as their screen, which makes them less expensive if you already own a compatible phone. Games loom large in modern-day VR, partly because the original Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR headsets were made primarily for gamers, and also because games are the most easily understandable entertainment category to show off this technology.
Google is said to be working on a second-generation Cardboard headset, along with a full standalone virtual reality headset that would be similar in design to the Oculus Rift but without the need for a connection to a computer. Today, it’s still one of the easiest and best virtual reality headsets gamers can get their hands on. Most of the games for the PSVR can be played using a Dualshock controller, but its ‘Move’ controllers will let you get the most out of the experience and many starter packs include them. Samsung Electronics partnered with Oculus VR to co-develop the Samsung Gear VR (which is only compatible with recent Samsung Galaxy devices), while LG Electronics developed a headset with dedicated displays for its LG G5 smartphone known as LG 360 VR. 18 19 20 21 Asian hardware manufacturers like Xion and Kolke have developed inexpensive virtual reality headsets.
Based on our reviews, the Oculus Quest is the best VR headset overall, because it lets you play the hottest VR games without being tethered to a PC. Plus, the Oculus Quest now offers hand tracking, so you can interact with content without having to use dedicated controllers. When we looked at VR headsets in 2018 , the world was much more binary; there were a few tethered headsets like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, and a slew of mobile headsets that work in conjunction with a smartphone. The Oculus Rift, Valve and HTC’s Vive, and Sony PlayStation VR — the three high-end headsets we’re currently waiting for — all run off external computers or game consoles.
Apple has mostly ignored virtual reality so far, so there’s no telling when the iPhone might get a high-quality mobile experience like that of a Gear VR. The downside is that especially if your phone is a couple of years old, there’s no guarantee it can handle Google Cardboard apps well. We found that all currently available headsets of this type have less reliable tracking, less content, and worse controllers than the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. The Oculus Rift S offers a high-end VR experience that doesn’t require much fuss, striking a compromise between a more casual headset like the PlayStation VR and the room-scale-focused HTC Vive and Vive Pro.
From left: the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and PlayStation VR headsets. A standalone VR headset gives you a good VR experience without an expensive game console or gaming PC, and Oculus Quest is the best one you can buy right now. At $200 it’s pricier than mobile VR headsets, but unlike those headsets, you don’t need a compatible (and usually expensive flagship) smartphone to use it. The $200 investment gets you right into a Gear VR-like virtual reality experience, complete with an intuitive controller.
And that’s before you address the processing issue; the Rift S and Vive headsets need pretty powerful PCs to run, while the PS VR requires a PlayStation 4. If the cost isn’t a deal breaker but the cables are, HTC offers a wireless adapter for the Vive, but it requires a desktop PC with a free PCIe slot to work. The Oculus Rift is perhaps the best-known virtual reality headset and is designed for use with powerful gaming PCs. There are currently nowhere near as many untethered VR headsets available in the burgeoning virtual reality market, compared to PC VR (tethered VR) and smartphone VR.
27 Samsung prototyped a Bedtime VR Stories app, having parents use a Samsung Gear VR headset and children a Google Cardboard headset to experience a shared virtual world where the parent can narrate a story and shared experience. If you want a great headset with the largest selection of VR games and media that is comfortable enough to wear for extended periods, the Oculus Rift S offers a high-end VR experience at a reasonable cost (especially if you already own a PC). They are usually attached to game controllers which the gamer holds in their hand to interact with the world around them.. Smartphone VR headsets have varying capacities, and can be as simple as a cardboard-constructed headset or more advanced, having the capacity to function almost to the level of gaming headsets.
Since the development of the Oculus Rift in 2012 and the introduction of Google Cardboard, a number of other VR headsets have been released by different companies. PC: To use the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive you will need to hook up the headsets to a powerful PC. It doesn’t need to be particularly expensive, but a rig with a good GPU and graphics card is essential to process the tasks the headset will send its way. If you like the look of the Samsung Gear VR, but own an iPhone, you will not be able to use it. Similarly, if you want to use the Oculus Rift but don’t have a decent laptop that is ready for virtual reality gaming you may need to buy one.
Other categories include mobile headsets, which combine a smartphone with a mount , and hybrid solutions like the Oculus Quest with the upcoming Oculus Link feature that allows the standalone device to also serve as a tethered headset. One of the best VR headsets for PC use, the HTC Vive stands out for a number of key features, including room-tracking capability right out of the box. With so much innovation happening in the VR space, we’re starting to see headsets morph into products that make sense for average consumers rather than early adopters—inside-out tracking that allows for room-scale movement, standalone headsets that don’t require a PC or smartphone, and smart innovations at every price point.
Of the VR headsets on our list, the HTC Vive Pro and Oculus Quest are both tied for the highest resolution, at 1,440 x 1,600 pixels per eye. Tethered headsets tend to be more focused on video games than the rest of the pool, and both the Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR make frequent use of gamepads. If you want to use the Oculus Rift S or the HTC Vive, you’ll need a powerful gaming computer and, ideally, an empty room to set it up in. Both Oculus and HTC have pages featuring compatible VR-ready PCs and bundles, and both list minimum and recommended PC specs (Oculus’s list is here , and HTC’s is here ) for use with their systems.
In an initial round of testing in 2016, I set up and tested the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive in my living room, and then I had four VR beginners (with gaming experience levels ranging from zero to expert) use each system too. But if you’ve already got a gaming PC and want a richer, more immersive VR experience with better graphics and more games, the Oculus Rift S is the one to get. With the HTC Vive Cosmos , Oculus Rift S , Oculus Quest, Valve Index , (which scores you a free copy of Half-Life: Alyx , the next big shot at a flagship VR game) and HP Reverb already on market, we’re not expecting many major VR headset launches in 2020.
The best VR gaming comes from headsets that you tether to a PC. But a VR-ready gaming PC starts at around $900 for a laptop, or a couple hundred less if you build your own PC For more wallet-friendly VR, consider standalone headsets that don’t connect to any system or ones that can connect to your smartphone. Best VR headsets in 2020: Standalone and PC-ready picks from Oculus, HTC and more. The problem with VR at this stage of the game isn’t that there’s too few VR headsets on the market or that there’s not enough content, but that there are way too many to pick from, especially now that there are more and more headsets hitting the streets like the Oculus Quest , Valve Index and HTC’s Vive Cosmos.
At the moment, the four best on the market – the Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Quest and PlayStation VR – are unsurprisingly the most expensive of all the mainstream VR headset offerings, but there are some less expensive options if you’d rather dip your toes into VR before spending your entire pay check. Honestly price and platform will make most of the decision for you – there aren’t any headsets for console gamers besides PlayStation VR and, if you need a standalone headset, you’re basically stuck with the Oculus Quest. Since Oculus launched the Oculus Go standalone headset, the question of where smartphone-powered devices like Gear VR fit in only becomes more relevant.
Simply put, Oculus Quest signals a new age for virtual reality, one that doesn’t need a smartphone or PC to run excellent experiences. Struggling Taiwanese electronics maker HTC has launched new virtual reality (VR) headsets in a bid to appeal to more consumers, as it pins its future hopes to the technology. HTC has launched new virtual reality (VR) headsets called the Vive Cosmos Play and Vive Cosmos Elite.
Also, the Windows Mixed Reality store doesn’t have as many compelling VR experiences as the Rift and SteamVR stores, though you can use SteamVR games on Windows Mixed Reality headsets, again with some software wrestling. The Oculus Quest VR headset combines a wire-free experience with six-degrees-of-freedom motion tracking and two controllers, all without the need for a separate computer to use it. Like Oculus Rift, HTC Vive is a full system VR experience that requires a powerful PC to run. Be sure to visit VR headset adviser for the best VR virtual reality headset on the market to buy.
The Rift S is a tethered virtual reality headset that requires a decent gaming PC to run, but delivers a fantastic gaming experience with brilliant visuals, audio and room-scale play. Headsets cost under £10 from Amazon, you slot your smartphone in the front (it works with Android and Apple phones) and there are loads of free VR apps in the Google Play Store, including a Halloween ride, the beach and even Star Wars.