Top 10 Best VR (Virtual Reality)Headsets of 2018 So Far
With numerous brands launching their own VR headsets in recent years, it may be an overwhelming experience for someone’s who’s looking for the right headset. So, let this list serve as a guide help you choose the best headset for your own personal needs.
What to Consider in Choosing a VR Headset?
The first thing to consider is your budget, since the prices of VR headsets span a wide range. In terms of price, The Guardian indicates you can categorize the headsets into three: budget, mid-range, and high-end. The most affordable VR headsets are usually the ones developed for mobile devices, while the most expensive headsets are those for PC.
On which platform do you want to experience virtual reality? There are headsets for mobile devices, PC, and console. There are also the newly emerged standalone VR headsets, which don’t require any connection to hardware. Combine this factor with price and you can narrow down your choices.
The Oculus Rift has an OLED display with 2160 x 1200 resolution and 90Hz refresh rate. It is HDMI, USB2.0, and USB3.0 compatible. You will need either need the Oculus Touch or the Xbox One gamepad for controls and a PC as its platform.
Being the first modern VR headset to hit the shelves, the Oculus Rift is a pioneer in VR technology. Even though many other headsets launched subsequently, the Oculus Rift’s comfortable design and video/audio quality still hold up. In fact, Oculus Rift is a great recommendation for those who are serious about getting into VR, because of its large selection of games. Oculus seem to be blue eyed baby of retailers, so keep an eye out for deals at major retailers like Best Buy, Amazon etc.
The Oculus Go is a standalone headset, meaning it doesn’t need to be connected to a mobile device or PC. It features a 2560 x 1440 resolution, LCD display and 60Hz refresh rate.
In case you aren’t blessed with a high-end smartphone, you can opt for the Oculus Go. It’s a lot more affordable than the Oculus Rift, but its quality is almost similar. Therefore, it will give you more bang for your buck. You can even sync the Oculus TV app with it to enjoy videos on Netflix and other streaming services.
The HTC Vive, which was also developed for the PC platform, is similar to the Oculus Rift with its OLED display, 2160 x 1200 resolution and 90Hz refresh. It functions in tandem with the HTC Vive motion controllers and is compatible with HDMI and USB3.0. You can use it with the Oculus Go controller.
It’s a close race between it and the Oculus Rift but when it comes to price, the HTC Vive is bit more expensive. It’s also heavier than the Oculus Rift, so if you value lightweight designs, go with the Rift instead. However, the Vive does feature slightly better optics and field of view. It may also be the most immersive headset, given its biggest selling point is its room-scale VR and 360-degree sensors. This means that sports or any movement-heavy games work well on the HTC Vive. In fact, Men's Journal even called it the ideal VR headset for fitness buffs.
The headset itself also requires fewer port connections for it to function. Choosing between the two would depend entirely on your preferences as both are great choices for VR gaming.
HTC Vive Pro
The high-end version of the HTC Vive features an AMOLED display with 2880 x 1660 resolution and 90Hz refresh rate. It has HDMI, USB2.0, and USB3.0 connections, but you can also opt for a wireless option with an adaptor. Its field of view is 110 degrees. The headset also works on PC, and thus requires the HTC Vive motion controllers or other PC gamepads that are compatible.
The HTC Vive Pro improves on the original’s lenses and also has better light blocking, which is a common issue with VR headsets. It’s still as heavy though, but props should be given to its better weight distribution and strap design.
The PlayStation VR’s features are an OLED display, 1920 x RGB x 1080 resolution, and 90hz refresh rate. It connects via HDMI and USB2.0. Naturally, you would need the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 4 controller to be able to use the PlayStation VR. Some games will require the use of other PlayStation 4 controllers like the PlayStation Move and the PlayStation Aim.
The PlayStation VR is one of the most polished headsets on this list with a reasonable price. The obvious drawback is that it only works on the PlayStation 4, and may also require additional devices (like the PlayStation Camera and PlayStation Move controllers) for full functionality. There are many PSVR games that players can enjoy using the PS4 controller, but these don't require much movement. If you want a more immersive experience, those specialized controllers will count. The PSVR's catalog of games features some of the best VR experiences to date, making this a worthy investment overall.
Samsung Gear VR
The Samsung Gear VR is a headset made specifically for the Samsung Galaxy phone models. It can function with the Samsung Gear VR controller and the Xbox wireless controller.
The Samsung Gear VR is one of the best VR headsets in the budget category since it is powered by Oculus. But the market for it is rather niche, since it is only compatible with Samsung Galaxy smartphones. It would be a good investment if you already own a Samsung Galaxy phone or are planning to get one.
Google Daydream View
Like most mobile VR headsets, the Google Daydream View is a headset whose graphics performance depends on the phone. It has a handheld remote for a controller, which is one of the things that make the headset stand out. It is compatible with certain models like the Google Pixel, Huawei Mate 9 Pro, and the Moto Z.
You can tell from its unique appearance that this headset boasts a comfortable design. Quality-wise, it is comparable to the Samsung Gear VR. Perhaps an edge the Daydream View has is that it's a good headset for watching live-streamed events. Coral noted how VR is used to stream Major League Baseball every Tuesday. In a 3D setting, the VR service shows a live game along with real-time statistics and standings. It is currently only compatible with the Daydream View headset, so if you're a big baseball fan, you should opt for this one instead.
Lenovo Mirage Solo
The Mirage Solo has a 2560 x 1440 resolution with LCD display and 75Hz. It is also a standalone headset. You can use it with the Mirage Camera with Daydream to create your own VR content, which could then be shared on YouTube or Google Photos.
As standalone headsets go, the Mirage Solo has a similar performance to the Oculus Go. But it does have a wider field of view at 110 degrees, which is the same as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. It also sports updated processors and bigger storage space. With better specs, it’s only natural that the Mirage Solo has the higher price tag.
Google Cardboard is aptly named such because of its fold-out cardboard viewer. You can either build one from low-cost components or buy a pre-manufactured one. It is compatible with numerous Android and iOS smartphone devices.
This is the headset with the simplest design of this bunch, hence its affordability. It provides a decent VR viewing experience, but it is understandably not as immersive as other headsets. However, it can be a good entry point for people who just want to experience VR for the first time.
Merge VR Goggles
The Merge Goggles adopts Google Cardboard’s design and adds adjustable lens to make it work with most iOS and Android smartphone devices. It can be used on all apps that are Google Cardboard compatible.
While Google Cardboard is only compatible with certain smartphone devices, Merge Goggles was designed to work with all smartphones. It has a variety of headset sizes and colors, which is why it’s a great headset for kids of all ages. It may be the better and more expensive variant of the Google Cardboard, but it does have one drawback in that it doesn’t feature hand controls.
Want to find the best laptops with VR capabilities for your new VR headset? Check out the Wired Shopper’s list of top 10 gaming laptops this 2018.
VR Headset Apps
Before you shell out hundreds of dollars on VR apps that will take you into a ride of immersive virtual world, its worthwhile to note that you can have as much fun playing VR games through your consoles and phones. iTunes & Play Store have countless apps that you can try before making that big spend!
Current BestSelling VR Devices!
- Oculus Rift
- Oculus Go
- HTC Vive
- HTC Vive Pro
- PlayStation VR
- Samsung Gear VR
- Google Daydream View
- Lenovo Mirage Solo
- Google Cardboard
- Merge VR Goggles