The best VR headset 2018: which headset offers the best bang for your buck?

Best VR Headset Buying Guide: Welcome to TechRadar's Round-up of the best virtual reality headsets for PC, phones and consoles that you can buy in 2018.

Update: Can VR with smartphone compete with their counterparts connected to PC? ?

To know for sure, see our Review of Google Daydream View (2017) . Here's a breakthrough: While it's not as powerful or as robust as Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, we were impressed by the variety of virtual reality content that is offered with Google's mobile headsets, in addition to its ability to run virtual reality from a phone.

The big question is whether independent VR headsets will usurp mobile virtual reality as the new form of virtual reality gaming anywhere. With the Oculus Go rumored for its release soon, we probably do not have much time to discover it.

The original article continues below …

The best VR headsets can be difficult to pin down, especially when virtual reality devices are increasingly advanced and, at the same time, lower their prices to record lows. .

The permanent price drops have swept the landscape of high-end virtual reality, making it increasingly difficult to choose between headphones that bring something unique to the table.

Decisions are complicated by the fact that there is apparently a new VR headset or a significant advance in an existing one every day. Where once Oculus Rift and HTC Vive dominated the best VR headset conversation, new headsets are springing left and right, some even without wires.

On the other hand, the most powerful VR headphones are also in the foreground. The HTC Vive Pro, which will launch on April 5, is a considerable update of the HTC Vive that also has a considerable price of $ 799 / £ 799 (approximately AU $ 1,015).

Then, of course, there are the mobile headsets, namely Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream View. These are also about to meet an important rival in the form of the independent Oculus Go.

You can skip down to see our options and in-depth explanations, but it's important to keep in mind that permanent price cuts have caused the so-called traditional VR headsets more in line with one another.

The best four on the market right now, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, HTC Vive Pro and PlayStation VR, are, of course, also the most expensive of all conventional VR headset offerings. These four offer unparalleled immersion through superior refresh rates, extremely high resolutions, and both HTC Vive and Oculus Rift offer motion control and room scale control for your hands right out of the box.

You get the same advantages with the HTC Vive Pro, except that it does not include any accessories in the box, yet.

Each headset has its own distinctive strengths and weaknesses, and if you are not aware of this before you buy it, it could be a very expensive product. mistake to make But that is exactly why we gather this guide.

And, if you want a less expensive rate, our guide also includes two mobile VR headsets for your consideration.

The best VR headset: HTC Vive

HTC Vive reigns over the competition

Availability: Out | Price: $ 499 / £ 499 / approximately AU $ 615

The best overall virtual reality experience

Software associated with Valve

Requires a high-end GPU

It's still expensive

When originally released, the HTC Vive was streets ahead of its closest competitor, the Oculus Rift. It allowed for room-scale tracking of the box, and it came with two motion controllers that allowed it to offer a much more immersive experience.

Now, however, the gap has narrowed. Today, the Oculus Rift matches much of Vive's functionality and includes two proprietary motion controllers.

But the Live still has an advantage over the Oculus because, for our money, room scale tracking is much better. The feature allows you to walk around a 4.5 x 4.5 m wide space, adding another dimension to the sensation of presence that you experience when using it; not only are you pressing up on an analog stick, you are using your legs to walk.

That's if you have enough space in your actual room, of course.

The headset itself contains two 1080p screens which makes for a very sharp image. Unfortunately, it is not high resolution enough to prevent you from distinguishing individual pixels when you use it, and the HTC Vive Pro, with its 78% increase in dots per inch, offers a much sharper display in addition to the built-in function. audio, that the original Live does not have.

However, despite not being the last and greatest Live, where the original HTC earns points back is in its price.

Although it is still more expensive than Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive Pro has some shortcomings that do not justify its high price. For the regular user who does not have the funds to buy an HTC Vive Pro, the HTC Vive offers a still excellent experience at a lower cost.

Read the full review: HTC Vive

Best VR for console players: PlayStation VR

Virtual reality has reached consoles, and is impressive

Availability: O
utside | Price: $ 299 / £ 259 / AU $ 655

Affordable

Almost PC performance

Good selection of games

Missing necessary accessories in the box

Poor work which seals the light

Irregular tracking of the motion controller

There is no way to avoid the fact that to run HTC Vive, HTC Vive Pro or Oculus Rift you need a fairly important game PC, which is a great investment for most people.

That's not the case with the Sony PlayStation VR, which requires little more than a PS4 console to work.

Considering the huge power difference between the PS4 and the PC, the PlayStation VR is a surprisingly capable virtual reality headset. Its refresh rate is pleasant and responsive, and we have not had any problems with the reliability of its head tracking.

Thanks to the support of Sony, the selection of PlayStation VR games is also impressive. There were dozens available at the launch, and many more followed their first year of sale.

Sony tackled one of our biggest complaints with the PlayStation VR, that its accessories are sold separately, by offering a variety of packages and packages with devices like the included PlayStation camera. However, the PlayStation Move controllers, although included in some packages, are not in all.

While you should be careful with the additional charges involved, depending on the package you choose, the recent price cuts have made the PlayStation VR even more affordable. It may not be the superior VR headset, but the PSVR is certainly a good argument for users.

Read the full review: PlayStation VR

PC finalist: Oculus Rift

Despite some setbacks, Oculus Rift will take your breath away

Availability: Out | Price: $ 399 / £ 499 / AU $ 649

VR Pioneers

Facebook Backup

Room scale is not as good

The current VR armament race is All thanks to one man: The founder of Oculus, Palmer Luckey. As a teenager, Luckey collected virtual reality technology and was fascinated with making his own headphones in his garage. Numerous prototypes and a Facebook purchase of $ 2 billion later, Oculus remains the biggest name in virtual reality.

Some decent improvements have been seen in recent years thanks to the inclusion of Touch drivers (which we would argue are slightly superior to Vive's), and a couple of key price drops.

However, compared to the HTC Vive room scale technology, the Rift is not so good. The reason is that while Vive is designed to allow you to walk in any direction, by default the Rift allows you to place your two sensors in front of you. This means that the tracking is one-sided, and you can not afford to turn around, or the sensors will lose track.

The experience is a little different when you add a third sensor to the mix, but if you are comparing apples to apples, we still believe that Vive makes a much better scale.

That being said, being cheaper than the Live, the Oculus Rift offers a very convincing mid-range virtual reality option for those with less room to spare.

Read the full review: Oculus Rift [19659062] The new arrival for PC: HTC Vive Pro

High resolution at a high price

Availability: Out | Price: $ 799 / £ 799 / approximately AU $ 1,015

High resolution display

Blocks light better than HTC Vive

Built-in headphones

More expensive VR headsets

Configuration is difficult

The headphones can creak

The newest high-end VR headphones in the city come with many impressive specifications. Take, for example, the HTC Vive Pro resolution of 2880 x 1600, which offers a 78% increase in points per inch than the HTC Vive.

This means an ultra-clear visual fidelity that allows you to experience textures and shadows in a previously impossible way in virtual reality.

But the advantages of HTC Vive Pro do not end there. There are also built-in headphones and new nose protectors that do a better job blocking the light than the HTC Vive. In total, the HTC Vive Pro is a clear evolution in both design and technology in the old HTC Vive.

However, despite its brilliant new specifications, new navy blue color and a library of games that will surely grow, the HTC Vive Pro has some serious flaws.

The main one is obvious: it's expensive. It costs the same as the HTC Vive at launch, and does not come with any accessories in the box. That's right: you will have to buy drivers and sensors separately, at least until a package is available later in 2018.

The configuration is also a challenge with Vive Pro, since all its firmware has to be so advanced. date as possible. Even then, you may encounter some challenges, which could dissuade the average user from jumping into the Vive Pro experience.

Due to its price, its challenging configuration and the fact that the HTC Vive still excellent is now much less expensive , the HTC Vive Pro is probably best suited for VR enthusiasts and arcade owners. It is still an incredible headset, one that probably is not for everyone.

Read the full review: HTC Vive Pro

The best VR mobile headset: Samsung Gear VR

If you have a Samsung phone, that is

Availability: Out now | Price: $ 129 / approximately £ 100 / approximately AU $ 120

Lightweight

Compatible with several Samsung phones

More expensive than Google Daydream View

You can not recharge your batteries driver [19659009] Samsung Gear VR has always been a respectable VR headset with smartphone technology, but now that it has a motion controller, it has taken things to the next level.

In addition to the new controller, updated Gear VR is lighter and more aerodynamic than before, and has a USB-C connector that attaches directly to a Samsung Galaxy phone.

Compatible phones naturally include the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus, as well as the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9 Plus, if you have the latest Gear VR headset, that is.

The included motion controller has nuances of the HTC Live Driver Design, with a touchpad and a shutter button, which are not bad things. It is with the controller that Gear VR really takes off, allowing you to interact with the virtual reality worlds in front of you in a previously impossible way without it.

Of course, when powered by a smartphone, the performance of the headphones depends entirely on the phone you have inserted, although in our experience this is not a problem considering the power behind Samsung's high-end phones . However, if you are using an old Galaxy phone, your experience could be noticeably different.

When Oculus prepares to launch the independent Oculus Go headphones, the question of where smartphone-enabled devices like Gear VR fit together only becomes more relevant. But since Oculus Go and Samsung Gear VR share a library of apps and games, you can expect support for Gear VR to continue for quite some time.

Read the full review: Samsung Gear VR

Mobile virtual reality finalist: Google Daydream View (2017)

An improvement over the original, but there is not a ton here

Availability: Outside now | Price: $ 99 / £ 99 / around AU $ 125

Decent VR for a mobile headset

Feels good in the hand

Heavy on the front

Missing compelling content

If you own an Android phone (which is not necessarily a Galaxy) and want to enter virtual reality without spending a fortune on a headset and a configured PC, then consider the Google Daydream View option (2017) as a viable option .

What makes this happen? Convincing headset is your price; is less than $ 100 / £ 100, and a recent discount has made it even cheaper, at least for the time being.

It is also an easy-to-use headset for anyone. Not only does it require little of your part other than installing an application on your phone, but once you are in the world of virtual reality, it is easy to move from one place to another with the included driver.

You will not get the deeply immersive worlds of a high-end VR headset with a PC with Google Daydream View, but you'll get a device that's made of nice material, works with many of the best Android phones, and, do we mention it? what is it?

The content offered is not very convincing, there is not much to attract it to several game sessions, but it is varied and offers something for everyone.

This is not the best VR headset on the market, by far, but it's an easy way to get into virtual reality for owners of Android phones. And that, really, could be all you need to know.

Read the full review: Google Daydream View (2017)