The best VR headsets in 2021
The best virtual reality headsets have come a long way in the past five years. The resolution has increased, the barriers to entry have been lowered. Modern headsets have improved tracking, more detailed motion controllers, and lower prices for those looking to explore VR for the first time.
For the intrepid VR explorers, there are great inexpensive VR headsets with high quality visuals and no other hardware demands, or you can choose a super detailed headset that requires the latest and greatest in gaming graphics hardware to cutting edge experience, across a range of budgets. Here are the best VR headsets you can buy, no matter how much you have to spend on them.
Best cheap VR headset
Oculus Quest 2 64 GB
- Resolution: 1,832 x 1,920 per eye
- Monitoring: Upside down – 6DOF
- Controllers: Redesigned Oculus Touch
Instead of advancing visual fidelity with its next-gen headsets, Oculus VR has focused on accessibility, and the boy has taken a big step forward with the Oculus Quest. Since then, a few significant, albeit slightly more minor, fixes have been made with the Quest 2, which has become one of the best VR headsets you can buy. It has all the benefits of the original Quest, but with higher resolution screens, improved controllers, and a lower price tag that makes it extremely accessible.
Completely wireless with reverse tracking, excellent motion controllers, and its own built-in processing capabilities, the Quest 2 is as self-contained as a VR headset can be, and with the option of up to 256 GB of storage, it has all the space you need. need a large library of games. If you need more space or just want a more premium VR experience, you can connect the Quest 2 to your gaming PC via an Oculus Link USB-C cable or via its developing wireless Airlink to shoot. harnessed the power of your PC. the Quest 2. This means you can launch Steam and play a lot more VR games than there are on the Oculus Quest 2 alone.
The 64GB version of this headset starts at under $ 300, making the entire VR ecosystem that is the Quest 2 cheaper than even a simple headset connected to a PC would cost a few years ago to hardly, not to mention all the external sensors and motion controllers. The Quest 2 is the complete VR package, and it’s one of the most affordable on the market. It’s not only the best cheap VR headset, it’s one of the best VR headsets.
Best VR headset for Games
- Resolution: 1440 x 1600 per eye
- Monitoring: Valve Index Base Stations – 6DOF
- Controllers: Knuckle Valve Index Controllers
Gaming PCs will always push the high end of the mainstream VR space forward, as they have the hardware to power it. Valve’s Index headset, trackers and controllers represent the latest generation of high-end VR, with a high-resolution display (running up to 144Hz, compared to 90Hz for first-generation headsets), more field of view. wider than most helmets and reduced visual crowns. In short, this is the best VR gaming experience available today, with the exception of a few niche headsets that aren’t as well supported or designed.
It leverages a second generation of Valve’s Lighthouse tracking sensor, allowing you to expand your room-scale play space up to 100m², and since they are external, controller and headset occlusion is reduced. almost impossible. The Valve Index is the most accurate, low latency tracking solution of any VR headset today, and when combined with the incredibly versatile motion controllers, delivers one of the VR experiences at scale. the most immersive room possible. The only real downsides to the Valve Index are its price and the fact that it lacks any kind of wireless capability.
Best Windows Mixed Reality Headset
HP Reverb G2
- Resolution: 2 160 x 2 160 per eye
- Monitoring: Upside down – 6DOF
- Controllers: HP Wireless Motion Controllers
Early commercial VR headsets look pretty outdated by today’s standards, and that’s doubly true for some of the early Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) headsets. The HP Reverb G2, however, builds on the successes (and failures) of the past, leveraging four upside-down tracking cameras for precise six-degree freedom of movement. That, combined with its new, much higher resolution displays, easily makes it one of the best VR headsets ever made.
The extreme resolution of 2160 x 2160 per eye is one of the highest resolutions found in any VR headset, meaning the screen door effect is all but eliminated. The text is crisp and easy to read, and you can see much more detail on characters and objects in the distance than on most other VR headsets.
The physical design has a lot of tweaks to improve ergonomics for a comfortable fit, and while the Velcro headband design looks a bit outdated, it still helps the headset sit comfortably on your head for long sessions. The sound from this headset is excellent too, with on-ear headphones that immerse you in high-quality sound while allowing you to interact with the real world. Controllers aren’t as well-followed as some of the other headsets, which makes the HP Reverb G2 not as good for gaming as the Valve Index, but it’s not far behind.
Best VR headset for iPhone and Android
Merge virtual reality
- Resolution: Smartphone dependent
- Monitoring: Gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer – 3DOF
- Controllers: Nothing
There have been a plethora of smartphone-ready VR headsets, from Samsung’s Oculus-backed Gear VR to Google’s own Cardboard. But MergeVR has emerged as an accessible and versatile solution to the problem of integrating a wide range of smartphones into a comfortable headset to give people an affordable taste of virtual reality on their phones. Made from a durable foam, the headset is a perfect solution for kids and young users who can’t treat more expensive headsets with the care they need, and it has an extensive library of experiences. educational and entertaining ready to download and play.
Taking advantage of your phone’s built-in sensors, MergeVR is able to provide three degrees of freedom (3DOF) allowing you to rotate and tilt your head to change your view, but not your perspective. It has a decent field of view which is an improvement over the Google Cardboard, and with a comfortable headband, you can wear it for long periods of time without undue fatigue. It even allows eyeglass wearers to keep their corrective lenses while in use.
The real feature of this device, however, is the ease with which it is operational. VR can be a bulky medium, but smartphone VR headsets are among the most accessible, and Merge VR is one of the most accessible of them. You’ll need to make some minor adjustments to the built-in lenses for your own face shape, but after that you’ll be good to run.
There are much better VR headsets with much more immersive experiences, but for those who want the easiest entry point to VR, this one is one of the best and it’s also very affordable. Just make sure your smartphone is compatible before you buy. Most are, but some are not.
Best PlayStation VR headset
- Resolution: 1080 x 1200 per eye
- Monitoring: PS4 Camera – 6DOF
- Controllers: Move Motion mallets + various third-party options
After four years and five million units sold, if you want virtual reality on your home console, the only real option is PSVR on PlayStation 4 and PS5. Lack of choice doesn’t mean he’s a poor one, however. The PSVR headset features an eye-catching design that helps it stand out from the crowd of black and silver alternatives, and delivers solid visuals considering its hardware relative weakness compared to its PC-connected competitors.
All of the accessories that make this headset possible – the PS4 camera and Move Motion controllers – have functions outside of VR, so you’re more likely to have some of the kit before paying for the headset itself, which saves you money. In the process. Even if you don’t, the PSVR bundle is still more affordable than most alternatives, and it even comes with a free game or two to get you started.
Tracking isn’t as precise or as wide as what’s offered by Oculus, Valve, and HTC, limiting you to just 180 degrees of rotational movement when using motion controllers. But it’s still a fun experience and more specifically aimed at gamers. Thanks to excellent support from developers Sony and PlayStation, the PSVR also has one of the best game libraries of any VR platform, meaning there is something for just about everyone: classics like No Man’s Sky and Skyrim, to the adorable Astro Bot Rescue Mission. A great addition to any PS4 gamer’s arsenal, the PSVR is an affordable way to get great VR experiences without having to purchase heaps of extra gear to do so.
Best VR headset for PC
HTC Vive Pro 2
- Resolution: 2,448 x 2,448 per eye
- Monitoring: SteamVR 1.0 or 2.0 Lighthouse Sensors – 6DOF
- Controllers: HTC Vive Sticks, Valve Index “Knuckle” controllers
The latest in the Vive line of flagship VR headsets, the HTC Vive Pro 2 is one of the highest-resolution VR headsets ever, and it’s certainly the most detailed on this list. With 2448 x 2448 pixels per eye, it has all the resolution it needs to eliminate screen door effect and deliver unprecedented clarity in game or software, whatever the VR experience. you are looking for. It can also run up to 120Hz, continuing the kind of smooth animation and frame rate previously only seen on the Valve Index.
These higher specs are made possible by its use of an LCD display rather than the original Vive Pro’s OLED. This may mean sacrificing some contrast ratio and color depth, but it allows for an improved refresh rate and less ghosting on some high contrast images.
If you’re building on an existing HTC Vive or Vive Pro setup, the Vive Pro 2 is an easy upgrade. It supports first and second generation SteamVR Lighthouse trackers and can work with original Vive and Vive Pro wand controllers or with Valve Index’s “knuckle” controller design. It can even be used with the Vive Wireless Adapter, although you won’t be able to play it at its maximum resolution or refresh rate in wireless mode, which HTC is working to improve in the future.
The HTC Vive Pro 2 isn’t a cheap headset, but it’s undeniably premium, especially in well-lit VR environments. As perfect as it is for gaming, it’s also a great VR headset for businesses that want to present content to their customers or explore 3D models in great detail.