When VR concept was first introduced a few years ago, not many would have imagined it would become so popular. It was highly expensive and seemed like the kind of technology that gets embraced by the rich and then burns out after a while when something better comes up. But fast forward into 2019 VR is bigger than ever and it only seems to be gaining traction. Now you can enjoy your favorite band’s show as if you are there, choose from an unlimited library of VR games and watch movies in a truly immersive mode. Don’t be surprised if soon enough you are able to visit the moon from the confine of your home. Unfortunately, the increased VR popularity has now presented a new set of problems. Selecting the VR device that suits you best. At the early stages of conception, this was not much of a debate since HTC VIVE and Oculus Rift were the two dominant brands. But now, although they still remain popular selections, new VR headsets have been developed that are also worth considering.
|1||HTC VIVE||PC||1080×1200 pixels|| |
|2||PlayStation VR||PlayStation 4||1080 x 960 pixels|| |
|3||DESTEK V4||Smartphone||Smartphone-dependent|| |
|4||Oculus Go||Standalone||2560×1440 pixels|| |
|5||Google Cardboard||Smartphone||Smartphone-dependent|| |
|Resolution||1080 x 960 pixels|
Last Update on 2019-03-20 at 05:42 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
1. HTC VIVE – Best VR Headset for PC
As you may already well know, the HTC VIVE and the Oculus Rift are the headsets that revolutionalized VR and many people can’t seem to settle on which is the best of the two. Well, they all are all great in their own rights but I prefer VIVE to Oculus. And here is the reason why.
For starters, I think VIVE’s rugged build and the matte black finish makes it more physically appealing. But this should not be about beauty so let’s see what specs it packs.
It comes with two OLED displays, one display per eye with a resolution of 1080×1200 pixels each. HTC further uses PenTile technology to improve the image clarity by introducing subpixels to the picture. The headsets also support room scale tracking and allow you to move around in a space of between 6-inch by 5-inch to 15-inch by 15-inch with 360 degrees of freedom (DoF). If you don’t have that kind of space, you can still enjoy the virtual experience of the VIVE while standing or seated.
The controllers are heavier compared to the Oculus Rift but instead of analog sticks they use a functional trackpad which has a better response to motion. The inclusion of a base station ensures that all the components of the HTC VIVE system communicate effectively for a completely immersive experience.
|High quality build||High system requirements|
|Excellent image quality|
|Advanced motion control|
As a VIVE user, you will have access to over 2800 VR games with Resident evil and Fall Out being some of the notable titles. For the regular steam games, you can make use of the theatre mode for one of a kind experience. You can opt to get your VR content from Steam or VIVEPORT which is the official app store for HTC VIVE.
There is a newer version of these headsets, the HTC VIVE Pro, which comes with minor improvements like a 78% increase in image quality and a built-in audio. However, it has its shortcomings like the lack of a base station and controllers and considering how much it costs I would say it’s an overkill. You are better off with the original version.
When it comes to PC gaming then a few will do it like VIVE. The compatibility with steam games together with the inclusion of its own app store means you will never run out of adventure. You also get access to tracking accessories that make playing games a more natural experience.
2. Playstation VR – Best VR Headset for PS4 Players
The PlayStation VR is the first ever VR headset to support gaming consoles but as you might have already deduced, it will only work for the PlayStation consoles. PS4 and PS4 PRO to be precise.
This VR headset comes with a single 5.7” OLED 1080p display running at 120fps. This is a deviation from the other headsets on our list that feature split displays. You will notice that the images are sharper and cleaner and that is because the headsets have a higher subpixel count.
For better motion tracking, the PSVR not only relies on the built-in sensors but also on the dual lens PS camera that tracks your movement by following the blue LED lights that are visible in the image. The camera is bought separately.
|Made for PS4||Less resolution than competition|
|Great picture quality|
|Great motion tracking|
|Huge game library|
|Wide selection of controllers|
In terms of controls, you can use the standard PS Dualshock 4 controller, Sony Motion controllers or the new Aim controller. As you can expect, the collection of available VR games is impressive. Moreover, you can play the regular PS4 games in theatre mode which gives you the impression you are sitting in front of a large screen. And finally, when you are done playing games you can switch to Cinematic mode to watch a movie or your favorite TV show in a true VR experience.
If you are looking for a way to make your PS4 gaming time more exciting then the PSVR is the perfect opportunity. You will not lack in terms of available games to play and this VR headset produces the same level of performance as the more established HTC VIVE and with a better refresh rate.
3. DESTEK V4 VR– Best VR Headset for Smartphones
When it comes to Mobile VR headsets, one of the first names you will hear is either Google Daydream or the Samsung Gear VR. They are all great devices but have their set of limitations which the DESTEK V4 has capitalized on and thus the reason it’s on our list.
And the biggest advantage it offers is a wider compatibility with more phones without the need of a special software. The DESTEK will work with almost all phones with 4.5 to 6 inches.
It comes with 103 degrees field of view for an immersive virtual reality. That’s impressive considering the human has a field of view of about 114 degrees. The blue light emitted by your phone is known to cause eyestrain which is why Destek uses special anti-blue and anti-reflective lenses to protect your eyes and also to increase the transmittance for a clearer view of your phone.
|Wide compatibility||Controller not compatible with games|
|Anti-blue lenses for eye protection||Bluetooth Connectivity not perfect|
|Wide field of view||might not work with Google Pixel|
|Excellent view of your phone|
|Quick setup process|
Additionally, DESTEK includes a Bluetooth remote controller to bring even more fun to the end-user. The remote is also used to navigate through the available VR content on your phone and can be used to perform various actions like play, pause, forward and rewind while watching video files. The VR headset also has a conductive touch button/trigger at the top.
The installation process is quick and simple but to ease it further you will have to watch a video tutorial. The head strap is made from leather which enables long periods of wearing without getting irritated. The strap also allows 9 degrees of adjustment to prevent it from touching your ears while reducing pressure from the head and nose.
The Destek is not a well-known brand like it’s competition which means for it to appear on this list it really has something big to offer. It will be a great option for those who could not use the Google Daydream or Galaxy gear VR due to compatibility issues.
4. Oculus Go – Best standalone VR Headset
The Oculus Go is here to usher in the future. A future where you won’t need a phone, PC or console to enjoy virtual reality. Okay, you will still need your phone in the initial stages to set up the VR headset by installing the Oculus app. Once you log in to the app, you will need to link the headset to your Wifi and grant it access to your location. You can also use the app to discover the latest VR games, apps, and experiences.
The Oculus Go is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 mobile platform which is probably the reason it is not as expensive as the more advanced VR headsets. Surprisingly it has better picture quality than the HTC VIVE and the Oculus Rift. It comes with a 5.5-inch 2560×1440 display with 538ppi. To top it off, it comes with a built-in spatial sound for a true surround audio without the need of an external headphone. You can couple the headset with the melodyVR app that allows you access to live music while in virtual reality for an even better experience.
In case you wear glasses you can still use the Oculus Go as it includes spaces to accommodate the glasses. Alternatively, you can opt for prescription lenses that eliminate the need to wear glasses. This VR headset has a field of view of 110 degrees and refresh rates of either 60 Hz or 72Hz. The controller is easy to use and makes navigating to various functions on the headset a breeze.
|Excellent image quality||Still relies on the phone on some level|
|Completely wireless||Limited to 3 DoF|
|Huge library of apps|
|Excellent picture quality|
|Connect with friend in VR|
On the downside, the Oculus Go only allows tracking in 3 directions since its 3DOF, unlike its competitors that track movement in all direction. At full power, this headset will allow you 1½ hours of use if you are gaming or about 2½ hours when watching videos. This version of the Oculus Go comes with 32 Gb storage but for a few more bucks you can get the 64Gb edition as well. More space means you can carry more games videos and apps.
The other feature you are certain to love is the ability to link up with your friends in virtual reality. The Oculus Rooms function allows you to create a virtual apartment and invite up to 3 friends with whom you can play games or watch a movie.
This VR headset is great since it is not dependent on other devices to work. And you would think that this makes it more expensive but no. It remains cheaper than the tethered headsets and the best part is that you can carry it with you anywhere you go and still be able to use it.
5. Google Cardboard – Best Budget VR Headset
If you have no working knowledge of VR then the Google Cardboard is the perfect entry choice. It represents VR in its most basic form and will cost you less than half as much as the other VR headsets. As the name suggests, this headset is made from cardboard. And it is this simplicity in its design that makes it so affordable. And you don’t need any special phone. Any smartphone with 4-6 inches will work perfectly. However, the higher the screen resolution, the better the experience.
To ease how you control your phone, Google has included a circular magnet on the side that integrates with your phone’s magnetometer to enable you to control the phone while still in the box. It also has a built-in NFC tag which activates the Cardboard application immediately you place your phone inside the headset. The app helps you to set up your viewer, browse through the available VR content and launch the application you choose.
|Really affordable||Irritates after long periods of wearing|
|Control button on the side|
|Has NFC support|
|Decent VR experience|
|Wide availability of VR content|
The headset uses special lenses which when combined with VR apps give you a true Virtual reality experience. And I have to say that it works incredibly well considering the price. And the good thing is there are limitless apps and games to explore. You can also watch 360-degree videos on YouTube.
This VR headset may not be the most comfortable to wear and cannot be compared with the bigger names in VR but it offers an outstanding experience. It’s the perfect headset to give you a taste of what VR really entails. You can also find unofficial versions of the Google cardboard that are cheaper but still offer the same functionality. Like the Topmaxian Google Cardboard.
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