Which VR Headset Is the Best?
If you’re looking to dive into the world of virtual reality, it can be hard to know where to start. There’s no shortage of VR headsets available, and all of them come with their pros and cons. So when you’re trying to decide which virtual reality headset is the best for you, it can become a tad overwhelming.
But fear not: We’re here to help. Here, we’ve broken down a few of the best options you have at your disposal and what makes each one stand out.
Oculus Quest 2
With a price point of just under $300, it’s hard to argue that the Oculus Quest 2 is anything but a great deal. It includes the high-res headset and two controllers, and, unlike most other VR headsets out there, it’s completely standalone: You don’t need to rely on an additional gaming console or PC in order to use it. However, that option is still there for those who want it to play hit VR titles like Valve’s Half-Life: Alyx, though you’ll need to buy a $79 Oculus Link cable to hook your headset to your PC.
The Quest 2 runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset and boasts an impressive amount of power because of it, a necessity due to it being a standalone piece of hardware. It also comes with an impressive app library that’s filled with notable titles such as Beat Saber and Resident Evil 4.
All in all, the Oculus Quest 2 is a strong contender when it comes to which virtual reality headset is best overall.
PlayStation VR is another stand-out among VR headsets. It comes with a relatively low introductory price of $400, but it does require a PlayStation 4 or 5 to run, which can inflate your overall cost to play. Still, even with the price of the console factored in, it’s a lower cost barrier than several of the alternatives out there, especially those that require a high-end PC to function.
One of the best things about the PlayStation VR is the sheer number of high-quality games you’ll have access to due to the PlayStation branding. Star Wars: Squadrons, Resident Evil VII, and Skyrim VR are all AAA video game titles that have been given the VR treatment for PlayStation, and they’re all better for it. If you’re looking for a VR headset strictly for gaming purposes, it’s worth looking at the PlayStation VR. But it’s also worth noting that this strength is also a weakness: The PS VR can only play PlayStation games, meaning that it can’t be connected to a PC.
Another cause for concern that comes with the PlayStation VR is Sony’s plans for a follow-up. A second-generation headset specifically designed to work with the PlayStation 5 is on the way, so you may want to consider waiting for its arrival instead of picking up the last generation’s VR hardware.
HTC Vive Pro 2
The HTC Vive Pro 2 is undoubtedly one of the most impressive VR headsets out there from a technical standpoint. The display offers the highest resolution available, a stunning 2,448 x 2,448 pixels per eye, and it makes a noticeable difference. Visually speaking, no other headset can match the Vive Pro 2’s quality.
Unfortunately, this high quality also comes with a high price tag. The Vive Pro 2 sells for $799, and that doesn’t include the controllers. You’ll also need a high-end PC to take full advantage of the headset’s capabilities. If cost is no factor, though, the Vive Pro 2 is sure to impress.
The most impressive aspect of the Valve Index isn’t its headset but its controllers. The Index’s “knuckle” controllers have effectively made the motion controls for nearly every other VR setup out there obsolete. While most controllers come equipped with a couple of buttons for interactivity in a VR world, the Index’s controllers can successfully track each individual finger on your hand. It’s a true advance for VR technology as a whole.
The downside to Valve’s finger-tracking technology is that it’s so ahead of the competition that there’s not a wealth of apps or games available just yet that fully take advantage of it. However, this is a minor gripe overall, as more games are sure to come, and the headset still has an excellent display and impeccable audio quality, too.
It should also be noted for potential buyers that this headset relies on “lighthouse” boxes to monitor your movements, rather than sensors and cameras built into the headset. The technology works well enough but can be a limitation for those who don’t have ample free space in their home to set it up.