Top 10 Best headphones for Oculus Quest 2- Complete Guide 2022

If you find yourself on this comparison, it is because you have already heard of it. Oculus Quest, HTC Vive, Pimax, Playstation VR…  So many names that are probably familiar to you if you are a little interested in virtual reality headsets. And that is the problem:  there are plenty of them.  Between the autonomous headsets, those operating via a smartphone or even models using augmented reality technology, we would almost get lost. Fortunately, your wanderings on the Internet have led you to the right place.

Comparison of the main virtual reality headsets

To help you find your way among all this diversity of offers, features and services, we have listed, referenced and compared all the VR headsets available or announced. You will find them all in  our large comparative table , a little further down, preceded by  our top of the most popular VR headsets  in their sector. And if you still don’t understand anything about it, you can always consult  our buying guide dedicated to virtual reality headsets . It will help you learn more about these devices, enlighten you on the criteria on which to compare them and find the helmet that  is right for you  . Stay seated, keep your arms inside the vehicle, reality-virtuelle.com takes care of everything.

Best Virtual Reality Headsets for Your Needs

Of course,  the choice of a virtual reality headset must be established according to different criteria . The price is obviously an important factor that will guide your choice, but it is also and above all necessary to  know your needs and the use you want to make of it . Some headsets are designed for gaming and other forms of entertainment, while others are designed for professional use.

There are three main categories of virtual reality headsets. Headsets connected to a PC or game console.  They are the most efficient but also the most expensive . Standalone headsets, more affordable and more practical,  they are a little more limited in the experience . Finally VR headsets that work with a smartphone. Much more accessible, they are however  quite limited but present a good gateway to discover the potential of virtual reality .

Features to consider when buying a VR headset

Screen resolution is an essential parameter. Indeed, the higher it is, the more the level of immersion increases. With a low resolution like that of a smartphone, the resulting grid and pixelation effect is significant. In fact, the screens are very close to the eyes.

The field of vision also plays an important role. The more this is reduced, the more the “tunnel vision” effect is accentuated. No VR headset yet offers a field of view that covers the entire field of vision of the human eye.

The fact that the helmet also offers a room scale represents a parameter to take into consideration to be able to take advantage of the movements in the experiments. Controllers and the possibilities they provide are also very important for interaction. A headset and controllers with 6 degrees of freedom of movement will allow movement in six different directions. They therefore guarantee a better immersion.

In terms of content, you should know that not all VR headsets are compatible with all applications on the market. For example, the Oculus Rift allows you to download games from the Oculus Store. As for the HTC Vive, it is limited to the Steam catalog. Depending on the games and software that interest the gamers, it is therefore necessary to check which headsets are compatible with this content.

It should also be noted that for VR headsets that connect to a PC, the power and characteristics of the latter must be taken into account. It happens that it is indeed necessary to boost your computer with a more powerful video card , for example, to be able to take advantage of the headphones.

On the contrary, by choosing an autonomous VR headset, it becomes essential to check its technical characteristics. The processor and RAM determine the power of the headset, while the battery determines its autonomy. Therefore, performance varies a lot from device to device.

Oculus Quest 2: the best VR headset of all categories

Facebook has succeeded in imposing its hegemony on the VR headset market with the Oculus Quest 2, available since October 13, 2020. While the first Quest was an excellent product, this new model is even more successful.

Much like the first Quest, it’s a standalone VR headset with no cables or external sensors. It has all the components necessary for its operation.

However, performance is greatly increased. Indeed, the device has a Snapdragon XR2 processor coupled with 6 GB of RAM and the screen offers a definition of 1832 x 1920 pixels per eye. This is a real leap forward from the first Quest.

The design has also been revised. The Oculus Quest 2 is adorned with a white color and completely abandons the dust-proof fabric for a completely plastic facade. Like its predecessor, it can be used as a VR headset for PC thanks to the Oculus Link cable which allows it to be connected to a computer. 

The device then uses all the resources of the machine to offer performance worthy of a Rift S. It provides access to the full catalog of the Oculus Store and the Steam platform.

The icing on the cake: this new model is available for €349, which is €100 less than the old Quest. The only real downside is that you have to connect to Facebook to use this headset.

Screen:  LCD
Resolution: 
 1832×1920 pixels per eye
Refresh rate  : 72Hz at launch, soon 90Hz
Tracking  : 6DoF
Content  : Oculus Store, Steam
Released:
  October 13, 2020 Price:  349 euros


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HTC Vive Focus 3: the standalone headset for business

The Taiwanese company offers a new version of its autonomous virtual reality headset. The Focus 3 is intended for professionals and the corporate world. This explains its price, without completely justifying it. Despite everything, this device is not devoid of assets that place it among the best helmets of the moment.

Its beautiful screen, with a wide field of vision, the widest on the market, gives it a significant advantage. This makes it possible to enjoy the 5K screen, sharp and precise. On the comfort side, HTC has managed to make a light and comfortable headset, in addition to being sufficiently robust. A few good finds also improve the general experience, such as being able to recharge the controllers directly on the headset.

The Focus 3 nevertheless suffers from a few minor annoyances, such as the noisy fan. Sometimes the headset is prone to sudden drops in performance. But overall, it’s still a very good product, for businesses.

Screen: 2.88-inch dual LCD screen
Resolution: 
 2448×2448 pixels per eye
Refresh rate : 90Hz
Processor : Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 custom
Field of view : 120°
Availability:
 available Price: 1416 euros (including tax)

Valve Index: the outsider of the creator of Steam

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With the Index, Valve has put a real foothold in the VR headset market. It should be remembered that the creator of Steam had already worked with HTC on the Vive. Moreover, he is the developer of the Lighthouse tracking system.

This experience allowed him to acquire real expertise, and it shows by putting on the Valve Index. The latter benefits from a quality construction , as does the integrated headset. Comfort is there , even if this device weighs heavier than average.

The controllers are one of the highlights of this headset. They cling directly around the hand, which avoids having to hold them permanently. In addition, these accessories are customizable to adapt to the shape of your hand. The controls are pressure sensitive, which makes VR games even more immersive.

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As for the LCD screen, it offers a wide variety of refresh rates depending on the power of your computer. In the future, the two cameras and the USB expansion port should allow for a hardware update of the helmet, although nothing has been communicated about this at the moment.

Screen:  LCD
FOV:  130°
Resolution: 
 1440×1600 per eye
Refresh rate  : 80/90/120/144Hz
Tracking  : 6DoF
Content  : Steam
Released:
  June 2019 Price:  1079 euros


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HP Reverb G2: one of the best images on the market

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After a first contact with virtual reality through the Reverb G1 headset, HP is back with its latest product, the Reverb G2. This helmet, developed in collaboration with Windows and Valve, focuses on the image to give today one of the products with the most beautiful display. With a resolution of 2160 per eye, HP has taken particular care with its two LCD screens for a clear gain in quality. It’s simple, in this price range, it’s the best on the market. Like its predecessor, it uses the Windows Mixed Reality Platform (WMR) to operate. As for Valve, the manufacturer of the Index lent several of its technologies for the development of the device, including the speakers which are positioned a few centimeters from the ears for a good immersion.

As far as comfort is concerned, the main point comes from the mechanical adjustment of the interpupillary distance (or IPD in English) so that the image adapts to all morphologies. This is a big step that should sweep away the image blur problems encountered with the previous model. Also note that the cable to connect it to a computer is 6 meters long, enough to give some freedom to its users, without fear of taking their PC (or being disconnected).

Screen:  Dual LCD
FOV:  114°
Resolution: 
 2160×2160 per eye
Refresh rate  : 90Hz
Tracking  : 4 cameras, 6DoF room scale
Contents  : Headset and 6m cable, DisplayPort to mini-DisplayPort adapter, power adapter
Release:
  End of 2020 Price : 610 euros (710 euros with controllers)


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HTC Vive: one of the best PC VR headsets

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Produced by HTC and Valve , HTC Vive is undeniably at the top of this list. The  technical characteristics  are  substantially identical to those of the Oculus Rift . Its advantage lies in its  partnership with Valve , at the origin of the Steam video game download platform, a real heavyweight in the video game industry which can bring a lot of advantages to Vive users. Unlike the Rift, where the sensors  were already included in the helmet, these  are to be positioned outside.

Screen:  Dual AMOLED
FOV:  110°
Resolution: 
 1080×1200 per eye
Refresh rate  : 90Hz
Tracking  : 6DoF room scale
Content  : Steam  Viveport
Released:
  April 2016 Price:  599 euros


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Oculus Rift S: the worthy successor to the Rift

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Launched in 2016, the Oculus Rift was in dire need of a refresh This will be the case with the Oculus Rift S.  This headset concentrates various welcome improvements compared to its predecessor . In particular, there will be a single LCD screen offering  40% more pixels . New lenses will also fix one of the flaws of the Rift. The strap has also been redesigned to be more comfortable. It will be rigid and quite similar to that of the PlayStation VR.

Notable difference, the Oculus Rift S will not use Room Scale but will be equipped with 5 cameras for tracking . The controllers will be very similar and will offer 6 degrees of freedom. Other minor improvements are also on the way. Note that the Rift catalog will be fully compatible with the Rift S. Again, a powerful PC will be needed to operate the headset. The release date is scheduled for spring 2019 .

Screen:  LCD
FOV:  Not communicated for the moment
Resolution: 
 2,560 x 1,440 pixels
Refresh rate  : 80Hz
Tracking  : 6DoF
Content  : Oculus Store, Steam
Release:
  Expected in spring 2019
Price:
  399 dollars


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HTC Vive Cosmos: a headset with mixed reviews

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A problem that HTC has taken seriously and promised to fix through various updates. For many experts, the headset is considered an excellent competitor to the Oculus Rift S. A very good choice for gamers looking for an advanced visual experience and comfort of use provided they can pay the price.

The Vive Cosmos comes in several versions. This makes it possible to give HTC’s headset a more affordable entry price, even if it will probably cost a few additional tens of euros afterwards to buy controllers. The Taiwanese firm has also launched an interchangeable front panel system. This makes it possible to add new options to the helmet which then plays the role of a Swiss army knife.

The HTC Vive Cosmos does not seem to enjoy the expected success even though it has good technical characteristics and an interesting modularity. However, he deserves to be given a chance.

Screen:  LCD
FOV:  110 degrees
Resolution: 
 2,880 x 1,700 pixels
Refresh rate  : 90Hz
Tracking  : 6DoF
Content  : Steam
Released:
  October 3, 2019
Price:
  799 euros


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HTC VIVE Cosmos Elite: a VR headset that favors precision

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With this Elite version, HTC retains most of the features of the Cosmos while correcting its flaws. We therefore have a 4.3-inch 90 Hz dual screen with a resolution of  1440 x 1700 pixels/eye .

The device comes with the bases and controllers of its predecessor, but can count on a  new external facade . Thus, we gain in precision, even if it will be necessary to have a play area large enough to move freely.

Despite everything, this VR headset remains very expensive. But for a premium device, this one can boast of having one of the highest resolutions. Plus, it comes with  a free 6-month subscription to the VivePort Infinity platform  and a copy of Half-Life: Alyx.

Screen:  LCD
FOV:  110 degrees
Resolution: 
 2,880 x 1,700 pixels
Refresh rate  : 90Hz
Tracking  : 6DoF
Content  : Steam
Released:
  March 18, 2020
Price:
 999 euros


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HTC Vive Pro: the 2nd generation for professionals and VR enthusiasts

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Still produced by HTC, this new generation of VR headset has a better OLED screen as well as an integrated audio headset. More comfortable and offering better resolution, the HTC Vive Pro is however geared towards professionals . The headset has been available since April 2018. It also comes with an official adapter for wireless use. At CES 2019, HTC revealed the Vive Pro Eye: an HTC Vive Pro offering an Eye Tracking system.

Screen:  OLED
FOV:  110°
Resolution: 
 1440×1600 per eye
Refresh rate  : 90Hz
Tracking  : 6DoF
Content  : Steam, Viveport
Released:
  April 2018 Price:  1399 euros


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Lynx: VR and AR in a high-performance autonomous headset

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Lynx is a French headset that offers both virtual reality and augmented reality. This autonomous mixed reality headset is the very first to feature the Snapdragon XR2 processor. This processor is simply twice as powerful as the one on board the Oculus Quest, which is to say the potential offered by the Lynx helmet. On the display side, performance is also part of it with its two 1,600 x 1,600 pixel LCD screens and a refresh rate of 90 Hz. Innovative lenses are also used.

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The Lynx is also the very first autonomous helmet to offer photo-realistic virtual elements that are superimposed on the environment thanks to these 6 cameras which are used both for tracking and for mixed reality. The helmet also uses Eye-Tracking technology and a 5G module for extremely fast connectivity. With an introductory price of $1,499, the headset is primarily aimed at professionals. It will be launched in the second quarter of 2020.

Screen:  LCD
FOV:  90 degrees
Resolution: 
 1,600 x 1,600 pixels
Refresh rate  : 90Hz
Tracking  : 6DoF
Content  : Professional
Release:
  Q2 2020
Price:
  $1,499

Pimax 5K Plus: beautiful screen, but mixed build quality

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The Chinese virtual reality headset manufacturer Pimax is all about image quality. Even if the designations 5K or 8K do not correspond to the true resolution of their screens, it must be recognized that it is still superior to other devices. With 2560×1440 pixels displayed per eye, both LCD screens display over 7 million pixels . Also, with a 200° diagonal field of view , it makes for a less cropped image. Add to that a reduced grid effect, and you have a very good headset for driving or flying simulations.

On the other hand, the Pimax 5K Plus fishes a little in its finish. The foams are not of a very good quality, nor of a particularly pleasant comfort. Fortunately, they can be changed. Also be aware that this is a resource-intensive headset . The manufacturer specifies that it needs at least the equivalent of a GTX1070 for it to work correctly. This graphics card is actually already limited and a 1080 will do a little more.

Screen:  LCD
FOV: 200 degrees
Resolution: 
 2560×1440 pixels
Refresh rate : 90 – 120 Hz
Availability:
 Pimax now offers 5K Super instead
Price:
 around 800 euros

Sony Playstation VR, the PS4 VR headset for gamers

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It’s not just the PC in life. There is also the Playstation. Console gamers might wince at the overabundance of VR headsets available for PCs. Let them stop, because  Sony’s Playstation VR has been specially designed for the PS4 , and has nothing to envy to its competitors. Very well made, it has the advantage  of being the only one compatible with the Playstation at the moment . Disadvantage: it is probably not compatible with anything else…

We also deplore an image quality lower than what PC headsets offer, a tracking system and controllers that leave something to be desired, or the impossibility of playing standing up. Despite everything, thanks to its PS4 compatibility and a very good catalog of games, the  PSVR is the best-selling “high-end” VR headset  to date, far ahead of the Rift and the Vive.

At the beginning of 2021, Sony confirmed that it was working on the successor to this headset. For the moment called PSVR2, it could democratize virtual reality even more, thanks to its companion the PS5.

Screen:  OLED
FOV:  100°
Resolution: 
 960×1080 per eye
Refresh rate  : 90Hz
Content  : PlayStation Store
Released:
  November 2017 Price:  159.90 euros


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Google Cardboard: the most economical iPhone / Android VR headset

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Normally, at the sight of the product, you must have understood why the Google Cardboard is the cheapest on the market. It is sold at 30€, but it can be found for  only 2€ . As a result, one should not expect a high quality product. The image quality offered by our smartphones is not there yet and  the immersion of the helmet leaves something to be desired , due in particular to the lack of settings which lets the light filter on the sides. Not really the most comfortable model either. In short, an economical headset that is  especially interesting for those who would like to test virtual reality without putting their hands on the wallet too much , or for developers who would like to create 3D applications and test them quickly.


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Samsung Gear VR, the high-end mobile VR headset (for smartphones)

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Here we enter the part of mobile VR headsets, which means that  it is actually your smartphone that gives the illusion of 3D . While most of these models offer perfect image quality, Samsung’s Gear VR plays on quality. Available for a hundred euros, it offers good immersion and good responsiveness but is only compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S6, S7, Note 5 and 7. It also has the advantage of offering access to the Oculus Store.

In March 2017, Samsung introduced a  new iteration of its Gear VR  to accompany the release of its new flagship,  the Galaxy S8 . The helmet does not change drastically but will now  come with a bluetooth controller.


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Lenovo Mirage Solo: a standalone QHD VR headset

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In fact, this Lenovo VR headset is  far from perfect . Thus, it suffers from a particularly poor application ecosystem. In addition, the surface of the tracking area is limited to only 1 m2.

Despite everything, the device offers in return more than interesting characteristics for a stand-alone model. Thus, we benefit from a system with  6 degrees of freedom , 3D sound, a field of vision of 110 degrees as well as a QHD display (2560 x 1440).

It also includes  Google Daydream  which allows access to a lot of VR content, including videos on YouTube. However, few of these support position tracking. Thus, the beautiful technical sheet of this model remains quite untapped in practice.

Finally, there is an  autonomy of 3 hours .

Screen:  LCD
FOV:  110°
Resolution:  2560 x 1440
Released:  May 5, 2018
Price:  From €399


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Dell Visor: the most stylish Windows Mixed Reality headset

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Without a doubt,  the Dell Visor will be the most aesthetically polished  headset   in the Windows Mixed Reality lineup. It is equipped with a  sweatband  that supports the front and back of the head. More hygienic than a classic headband, the inside of the helmet can be easily cleaned after each use.

Dell has found the solution to  the recurring problem with VR headsets , namely  cables  that get tangled in users’ legs. Thanks to the simple press of a button, you can decide to pass the cable to the front or to the back so that you never trip over it. Available at the end of the year for  510 euros . Let’s hope for Dell that the delay will not be too hard to catch up with other brands that have already released their own WMR headphones, such as  Acer  for example.

Screen:  LCD
Cable:  4 meters
FOV:  105°
Resolution:  2880 x 1440
Released:  October 17, 2017
Price:  From €510

ASUS HC102: The Truly Different Windows Mixed Reality Headset

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Thanks to its futuristic design and  its visor made up of triangles intertwined  with each other, Asus manages to pull out of the game. All those who have already had this experience know it, sharing the same virtual reality headset with friends, poses  some hygienic problems.  Indeed, you really sweat a lot in a VR headset. Asus had the good idea of ​​covering the internal headband, the one that is in contact with your face, with a  quick-drying anti-bacterial surface. This avoids getting too hot, but also leaving traces of body moisture after several tens of minutes of play. That was for the aesthetic side and the choice of materials. Hardware level, Asus does nothing like the others once again and chooses to equip its  ASUS HC102  with a single  3K  2880×1440 screen  rather than two 1440×1440 screens.

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Screen:  LCD
Cable:  4 meters
FOV:  105°
Resolution:  2880 x 1440
Released:  Spring 2018
Price: From €449


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Acer Windows Mixed Reality AH101: mixed reality according to Microsoft

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With the  new  Windows 10  operating system sound update ,  Microsoft is betting on virtual reality and augmented reality . To support developers, the Redmond company, in partnership with the manufacturer  Acer, offers a developer edition of a mixed reality headset . The device has  two liquid crystal displays with a resolution of 1440×1440 pixels  each, a  refresh rate of 90 Hz (native). 

Screen:  LCD
Cable:  4 meters
FOV:  105°
Resolution:  2880 x 1440

HP VR1000: the cheapest and strongest WMR headset

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If  the WMR headsets  are more alike than each other, HP still managed to stand out thanks to a shocking argument: a lower price than the competition. Indeed,  the helmets of Asus, Acer, and Lenovo  are at  449 euros  against only  349 euros for this WMR helmet . HP also scores points thanks to the quality of the materials used to manufacture the product. Much like the Dell Visor, the headband of the headset is fully covered in sweat-wicking fleece. Also, for convenience,  the HDMI cable can be detached for storage . A solid helmet, of good quality and cheaper than the competition, released at the end of 2018

Screen:  LCD
Cable:
 4 meters
FOV:
 105°
Resolution:
 2880 x 1440
Output: 
 Available
Price:
 From €349


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Lenovo Explorer: the most comfortable Windows Mixed Reality headset

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Once again, WMR helmets all look alike, difficult to tell them apart, especially with identical data sheets. However, this virtual reality headset offers a fully padded headband for more user comfort. Always with the idea of ​​improving the gaming experience, the brand has decided to integrate more fans into its helmet to better circulate the air and therefore sweat less during gaming sessions.

Screen:  LCD
Cable:
 4 meters
FOV:
 105°
Resolution:
 2880 x 1440
Output: 
 Available
Price:
 From €349


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Pico Neo CV: the autonomous and independent headset

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A newcomer to the VR headset market, the Chinese Pico has chosen to strike a blow by offering a  completely autonomous headset . Forget the PC and its string of cables or the smartphone and its average autonomy. Pico relies on a helmet whose  major part of the hardware has been relocated to a wired controller connected to the helmet . Running under a  fork of Android , the Pico Neo CV should be able to benefit from VR applications available on the PlayStore as well as dedicated software. Note that, not content with being independent, the Pico Neo can  also be connected to a PC to take advantage of the tracking kit developed by the brand. 

Screen:  AMOLED
FOV:  102°
Resolution: 
 1500×1500 per eye
Refresh rate  : 90Hz
Processor  : Snapdragon 820 + 4GB RAM
Storage space  : MicroSD up to 128GB
Autonomy  : 2.5 hours
Tracking  : 6DoF
Content  : Google Play
Output:
  January 2017 Price:  $295

Oculus Go: Facebook’s standalone headset that democratizes VR

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The Oculus Go is a standalone VR headset, which works without needing to be connected to a PC or a smartphone. All the components necessary for its operation are on board. In addition, unlike  the Rift helmet , the Go bindings are entirely made of fabric, which is very comfortable to wear.

The Oculus Go is a very good  standalone VR headset , maybe even  the best . Perfect for small budgets who want to venture into virtual reality at a lower price. Facebook has won the bet of a virtual reality headset hands down. Be warned though, standalone virtual reality headsets aren’t yet as good in terms of graphics and immersion as  high-end headsets  such as  HTC Vive  and  Oculus Rift . No doubt, the release of this helmet marked the year 2018 with regard to the  democratization of VR .

Screen:  LCD
Cable:
 without cable
FOV: 110°
Resolution: 
 1440 p
Output: 
 Available Oculus Go Price: 32GB  version   at  €219 64GB  version   at  €269
Autonomy  : two hours for video games, two and a half hours for video 360°


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Oculus Quest: A wireless and PC-free Oculus Rift

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The Oculus Quest  presented by  Facebook  will be released in the  spring of 2019 . It will have the same game catalog as the Rift. A real revolution in the world of VR, we will finally have a high-end virtual reality headset that will work wirelessly and without a PC. A  standalone Oculus Rift . It will come with two controllers that provide 6 degrees of freedom of movement.

Screen:  OLED
Cable:
  USB-C
FOV: ?
Resolution: 
 1600×1400 per eye
Released: 
 Spring 2019 Oculus Quest Price:  $399
Battery life  : ?

HTC Vive Focus: the high-end autonomous VR headset HTC

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Available since early 2018 in China, the HTC Vive Focus was finally  launched globally in November 2018 . However, for now, it is only offered as a developer’s edition.

It is a standalone VR headset with a 3K definition AMOLED screen. It draws its power from a Snapdragon 835 mobile processor. Its main strength is an  inside-out tracking system (without external sensors) 6DoF  (six degree freedom of movement). In fact, this device is more like a competitor to the Oculus Quest than a rival to the Oculus Go. Applications can be purchased on Viveport, the content store created by HTC.

Screen:  AMOLED
FOV:  110°
Resolution: 
 2880×1600
Refresh rate  : 75Hz
Processor  : Snapdragon 835
Storage space  : MicroSD up to 2TB
Autonomy  : 3 hours
Tracking  : 6DoF Inside-Out
Content  : Viveport
Cable:  USB-C
Output:
  November 2018 Price:  649 euros


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Vuzix Blade: the successor to the Google Glass AR glasses?

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Since the appearance of  Google Glass , the tech world has begun to dream of a chimera that bears the name of “augmented reality glasses”. Presented at CES 2018,  the Vuzix Blades  could well be  the long-awaited Grall  of the AR world. In partnership with Amazon, the glasses integrate the intelligent assistant Alexa. They are able to display different information on the lenses such as the GPS track and certain phone notifications such  as SMS and calls .

Screen:  LCD
Camera:  8 megapixel
FOV:  ?
Resolution:  ?
Weight:  85 grams
Released:  Current 2018
Price:  From 1000 dollars


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Microsoft HoloLens: the augmented reality headset

We had to talk about it. Even if this comparison is mainly dedicated to virtual reality headsets,  augmented reality devices  exist and are talked about in the same fields (video games, you guessed it). In this sector, it is difficult to miss the HoloLens, the helmet created by Microsoft . Here, the virtual image is added to reality, giving the impression of evolving in the middle of particularly realistic holograms. Difficult to know all the possibilities in terms of video games, even if an advertising sport had already let us see a version of Minecraft in augmented reality.

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Magic Leap One: the long-awaited augmented reality glasses

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Since 2011 , the company  has been developing  a secret augmented reality glasses project. After several fundraisers, each more incredible than the next, the company promised mountains and wonders regarding these new augmented glasses. Since August 2018, the Magic Leap One is finally available in the United States. In the end, the device is not as convincing as expected. It fishes in particular by a disappointing field of vision. However, it is mostly the applications and content that the developers will create for this headset that will determine its commercial success when launched on a global scale.

What is a virtual reality headset?

What if we started off on a good footing? A VR headset for example, what is it? In the jargon,  VR  (sometimes referred to as RV, because English speakers always do everything backwards) refers to  Virtual Reality technology .

Stop right now if you start thinking about The Matrix. Do you remember the helmets offering an immersive and three-dimensional virtual reality vision from when you were little? Well that’s it. The concept is not new, since the most geeks among you may have already tried the Virtual Boy, one of the first VR headsets offered by Nintendo… in 1995. We are no longer there today . The technology makes it possible to  create a realistic and (almost) latency-free virtual environment , which explains the glut of supply.

How it works ?

Unsurprisingly , the 3D impression is simulated by slightly shifting certain elements of the image on each of the two eyes . This is enough to give the user the impression of being in another place, a fake reality. By adding  motion detectors  in the process, it even becomes possible to  visit this virtual universe  and explore every corner of it. For a long time, the main problem with this kind of device was the latency between the movement of the head and the reaction of the image. Today, this delay has been reduced so much that it is imperceptible, creating the illusion of a real reality.

That being said,  not all VR headsets work the same . Some even differ radically from others. In general,  we can divide them into three large families  :

VR headsets for PC and console

– VR headsets for PC are the devices best known by the general public. By way of example, we can cite the Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive, or the PlayStation VR. These headsets  connect to a computer or a console  in order to exploit its resources: processor, graphics card, storage space… in fact, this category of device is the one that delivers the most performance. Unfortunately, it is also the most expensive. Not only are these high-end headsets expensive, but they also require a powerful PC to operate.

Cardboards or VR headsets for smartphones

– On the other hand, we find  the so-called “cardboard” systems . These helmets are  much more affordable  than those of other categories, since they  do not embed any technology . The principle is  to use the user’s smartphone as a VR headset screen . The structure of the cardboard makes it possible to place the telephone in front of the viewer’s eyes and to separate the image received in two . With the help of a special application, which will broadcast two slightly offset images, we find the illusion of 3D of classic VR headsets.  The motion detectors and the gyroscope of the phone complete the immersion to immerse the user in his virtual reality. If these devices are much more accessible and easy to use than the first category, it is not surprising to realize that  their performances are less impressive and less geared towards gaming . Either way, with the emergence of standalone VR headsets, IDC predicts the near demise of this category of devices.

“Autonomous” VR headsets

– Standalone VR headsets are the newest category of VR headsets. These are ‘all-in-one’ devices that  work without needing to be connected to a computer or smartphone. The screen, the processor, the graphics card, the battery, the storage space and even the tracking system are directly on board. This type of device is therefore much simpler and more comfortable to use. Just put the headset on your head to immerse yourself in VR. It is also a more affordable solution, since there is no need to invest in a smartphone or a PC. At the moment, the quality of the graphics is lower than that of PC headsets. However, technology is advancing rapidly. Within a few years, standalone headsets are likely to rival the best PC headsets available today.

What’s the point ?

What is a video game console used for? To simply have fun. In the same vein, the virtual reality headset has  been every gamer’s fantasy for decades . It’s not difficult to understand all the potential they offer to the cinema or video game industry in terms of immersion. These devices allow you to “dive” into a video game, and offer new gameplay possibilities that developers are just beginning to explore.

However,  it is not only the world of entertainment that this technology is of interest to . Training  is one of the areas most affected by these devices. There are already several training applications  in heavy industry or hazardous operations today . Firefighters already use it, as do all those working in the field of nuclear sites, refineries or oil platforms.

In  the school education sector , VR is also increasingly used. It allows for example to relive scenes from history, to carry out physics / chemistry experiments in a virtual laboratory, or to explore the different geographical regions without leaving the classroom.

Virtual reality is also widely used  in the health sector . It has been discovered that VR can replace anesthesia by allowing the patient to be distracted during an operation. It can also allow doctors and surgeons to train under realistic conditions.

Another professional sector to be interested in VR headsets is that of  distribution . Real estate agencies, for example, have already started offering tours of apartments without moving from your chair, all via VR headsets. In the same vein, architects could present their project to their clients even before starting the first works. It is also rumored that travel agencies could offer 3D tours of hotels or tourist sites to interested parties.

In  the real estate industry , more and more agencies are using VR to show properties to their clients. In journalism, virtual reality is used to  create immersive documentaries and reports  that are more likely to generate viewer empathy than traditional media.

As you will have understood, VR headsets are making their way into all industries. This technology is about to change the world. Despite everything for the time being, the two main sectors of application are  video games and pornography . Indeed, in the field of X films, VR allows the viewer to immerse themselves in a scene to experience it in the first person. This type of content has met with astounding success, so much so that the industry is now investing colossal sums in it.

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How to choose your virtual reality headset?

It’s just VR headsets, there are plenty of them. In addition to the technology used, the compatibility of the devices, the content offered and the price often differ from one model to another. It’s not enough to have a comparative table in front of you, you still need to know the different selection criteria.

Screen

The screen is one of the most important elements of a VR headset , since it represents the door that will allow the user to enter virtual reality. Where a good screen will give you the illusion of being immersed in another reality, a bad screen is more likely to give you nausea or a migraine.

Several elements must be taken into account. First,  the definition of the screen . This is the number of pixels the screen is capable of displaying. The higher the definition, the more detailed the image.

We must also take into account the  FoV (Field of View) which is simply translated by field of vision . As you will have understood, the FoV determines the field of vision covered by the VR headset and therefore the quantity of elements that the user can see simultaneously. With a FoV that is too low, the user is very likely to see the real world on the sides of the screen. On the contrary, a wide FoV guarantees a more realistic display and maximum immersion.

Finally,  the refresh rate  of the screen is very important. This is the frequency at which the screen changes images. The display will therefore be smoother and more detailed if this rate is higher.

Tracking

The tracking system of a VR headset determines  how the movements and position of the user will be tracked . First-generation VR headsets (Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PSVR, etc.) relied on external sensors to be placed in the room.

However, newer headsets like the Oculus Quest rely on an  ‘inside-out’ tracking system . This means that tracking is provided by sensors and cameras directly integrated into the helmet. There is therefore no longer any need for external sensors.

 distinction is made between 3DoF tracking and 6DoF tracking . 3DoF tracking provides 3 degrees of freedom of movement, while 6DoF tracking extends that freedom to six degrees. The possibilities of interaction and the feeling of immersion are therefore much greater in the second case.

Be careful though: some headsets offer a 6DoF tracking system, but  their controllers are limited to 3DoF . The user can therefore move his head freely, but interactions with the controller are severely limited.

Finally, the best VR headsets like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift offer   360-degree “Room Scale” tracking . This means the user can move freely across a room, and even turn around. His movements will continue to be tracked and reflected in VR. In general, Room-Scale requires several sensors placed all around the room or Inside-Out type tracking.

Compatibility

This is  the priority point to look at . Gamers already know that before buying a game, there are a few checks to be carried out. Compatibility with his console or the minimum configuration required by his computer are the most telling examples. The same process should apply before buying a virtual reality headset.

Some models will only be compatible with certain machines . The Sony Morpheus is ideal for PS4 players, for example, while the Oculus will only work on bikes running Windows 7 at least. Similarly, depending on the size of some cardboards,  not all smartphones will be compatible with all models . For that, we cannot help you. It’s up to you to check with which helmets your equipment is compatible.

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Who says brand differences says service differences. Here, it is  the park of proposed applications  that will have to be monitored, because from one medium to another, it will not necessarily be the same.

You should know that  Oculus is currently the only manufacturer to offer a catalog of exclusive video games  for its various headsets. For its part, Valve allows access to the SteamVR catalog to all the different PC headsets. If you want to be able to access all the applications, it is better to opt for an Oculus Rift.

The choice is a little easier when it comes to mobile headsets, since the compatible applications depend on the smartphone  (which normally must already be in your possession). However, only Samsung smartphones can access the Gear VR’s Oculus Store catalog, and only “Daydream-Ready” smartphones can access the Google Daydream Platform app catalog.

Design

The design of a VR headset can vary enormously, not only from an aesthetic point of view, but also functionally.

Entry-level VR headset

Thus, the most affordable models come in the form of a  pair of lenses retained by a structure  sometimes made of cardboard. A smartphone will stick to the lenses.

In this category, there is of course the Google Cardboard. If these devices can be acquired for a few euros, it should be noted that they offer very limited functionalities, especially the  viewing of 360 ° video . In addition, they are not very comfortable and are not suitable for prolonged use.

Mid-range VR headset

Where the Google Cardboard simply acts as a VR cover for a smartphone, a mid-range headset will offer  more advanced features . Thus, some embed additional sensors or even integrated screens.

Here, we are talking about devices such as Samsung Galaxy Gear VR or Homido. Unlike cheap models or models of higher ranges,  the manufacturing quality varies enormously  from one product to another. It will therefore be necessary to try a device or at least see tests before buying one.

Premium VR Headset

Finally, there are the models sold at high prices which offer an experience far beyond the calculation capacities of a smartphone. Here we have the Oculus, HTC Vive and other PlayStation VR.

So far, only these headsets offer  position tracking , the best graphics and high resolution screens. In addition, they are more comfortable.

Price

Obviously, the price of VR headsets is a criterion to be taken into account. Little advice to give here: look at your budget and adapt your choice accordingly. If you just want to experience virtual reality, there’s no need to rush to the most high-end models. On the other hand, if you are sure you want to use your headset on a daily basis  for pure and hard gaming , a PC headset is preferable so as not to be disappointed by the performance.

Generally speaking,  PC and console headsets are the most expensive,  and smartphone headsets are the least expensive. Standalone headsets, on the other hand, don’t require you to buy a console, PC, or smartphone and are therefore ultimately more affordable if you don’t have the necessary equipment for other types of devices.

A bonus is to be added to all the accessories provided for the type of helmet . A controller, glove, or mask can dramatically increase the gaming experience but add a few numbers to the bill. Ideally, their purchase should be planned before purchasing the helmet.

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What are VR headset accessories?

Oculus Touch

Company name:  Oculus VR

Support : Oculus Rift

Description:  The Oculus Touch is a product compatible with the retail version of the Rift. It is a pair of controllers placed in each hand and acting as a motion sensor to improve user immersion.

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Price:  119 euro

Release date:  December 6, 2016

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Striker VR

Company Name:  Striker VR

Support:  Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, potentially other compatibility

Description:  The Striker VR Riffle, as the name suggests, is an assault rifle with haptic feedback technology that promises to deliver unparalleled immersion in shooting games.

Price:  still unknown, pre-orders should start in the second quarter of 2017

Release date:  still unknown

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Vive Tracker

Company name:  HTC

Support : HTC Vive

Description:  the Vive Tracker is an accessory to be installed on an object and which will allow you to track it so that it is converted into an object with which you can interact in VR.

Price:  119 euro

Release date:  March 27, 2017

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Samsung Gear VR controller

Company name:  Samsung

Support : Gear VR 2016 et 2017

Description:  Samsung’s bluetooth controller comes standard with the 2017 version of its Gear VR. Owners of older generations of the helmet can however acquire it alone. The controller proposes to deport the buttons located on the edge of the Gear VR headset: there is thus a directional touchpad, which hides four directional buttons, a back button and a home button, two volume adjustment buttons as well as a trigger, it is not present on the helmets. Finally, the controller houses a motion sensor in addition to those present in the helmet in order to improve the feeling of immersion.

Price:  the Samsung controller is available alone at a price of 39 euros.

Release date:  available

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Twerking Butt

Company name:  Pornhub

Support:  Cyberskin VR (and possibly other mobile headsets, to be confirmed)

Description:  Twerking Butt redefines the very essence of virtual porn. It is a pair of robotic buttocks simulating authentic posteriors. Skin texture, temperature, massager, vibrator, Twerking… everything is realistic

Price:  the Twerking Butt is available in two versions: €499 for the classic version and €799 for the deluxe version, the only one with the twerking function.

Release date:  available

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Omni

Company name:  Virtuix

Support:  Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and some mobile headsets via Omni Bluetooth

Description:  The Omni mat places the player in the heart of the action by allowing him to sit, walk, run, jump in real life so that the game realizes his movements

Price:  €640 for the mat set, pair of shoes, trackers to put on the shoes, seat belt

Release date:  December 2015

A virtual reality headset is a device that is worn like a mask and places a screen right in front of the eyes. This allows the user to be immersed in multimedia content that occupies all of their vision. Reality as perceived by the human eye is replaced by what is transmitted through the helmet screen. If today virtual reality is often associated with video games, it is nevertheless used by other sectors. Thus, different categories of professionals use it for training or therapy, among other things.

Over time, virtual reality headsets have evolved to differentiate themselves into two main categories. On the one hand, there are helmets connected to a computer or a game console. These embed a screen and sensors to position the helmet in space. It is the computer that takes care of all the calculation part. On the other side are the standalone headsets. They also integrate all the necessary components such as processors, memory and a battery. Their power is generally less efficient than that of a PC equipped for virtual reality. However, they offer more freedom. Before that, some helmets were just boxes with a lens made to accommodate smartphones.

Video games designed for virtual reality are by nature rather performance-intensive. They usually need a well-equipped machine with components like a powerful processor and graphics card. So, by having a computer with a gamer config and a virtual reality headset connected to the PC, all games can run on it. On the other hand, stand-alone headsets do not yet offer such a level of performance and are limited by their components which are equivalent to those found on high-end smartphones. Not all games will be offered on these models.

Virtual reality headsets come in varying prices. Also, it is important to define the use you want to make of it before going to the purchase box. Depending on whether you want the best image definition, be able to use it anywhere and anytime or simply play in your living room, the price can go from simple to double. In general, the price of the device goes up according to the quality of the screen. Large resolutions such as those offered by the headsets of the Chinese manufacturer Pimax will have a high price while Oculus manages to sell its autonomous headset at a very competitive price. Count from 250 to 300 euros for the first price and 1000 to 1500 euros for the top of the range.

Although virtual reality is a rapidly evolving field lately, it does not escape a few limitations that are holding back its mass adoption. The price may appear high in the first place, especially for headsets that require a computer with a powerful setup alongside. The other most frequently cited factor is motion sickness associated with motion sickness. Finally, the definition of the screens is not yet equal to that of the eye which perceives all the defects at such a close distance.

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