The best VR headset for 2021

With big game launches and more VR headsets on that market than ever, 2021 is shaping up to be a major year for VR, and an excellent time for first timers to go in.

Within this summary we have pulled together a concise look at the top VR headsets at present, in addition to a few you may wish to keep your eyes on.

The best Standalone VR Headsets in 2021

1.Oculus Quest 2

The Oculus Quest 2 both improves on the specs sheet of the first Quest and provides it for cheaper.

With a new LCD at 1832 x 1920 per eye, the Quest 2 offers excellent clarity for an entry level headset, through which you are able to enjoy a slew of games either purpose built for the standalone headset, and thus rendered by the onboard Snapdragon XR2 chip, or even beamed from your PC using Oculus Link and a suitable USB Type C cable.

Because of Oculus Link, the Quest 2 becomes much more than a standalone VR headset.

It turns into an all-in-one VR Swiss army knife, capable of great on-the-move VR and gaming across SteamVR and Oculus Rift compatible titles.

oculus quest 2
credit : oculus

It is also one of probably the quickest headsets to setup on this list.

With Inside Out tracking and hand tracking built in, you are able to go from unboxing to up-and-running in VR in only a few minutes.

There is only one hitch in the Oculus Quest 2‘s program for virtual world domination: compulsory Facebook account login. The Oculus Quest 2 requires a Facebook account login.

company says it is to better serve you, the buyer, with goods and services, but in case you are not a fan of Facebook’s practices then you would best scroll more down the list for a cheap VR headset worth investing in.

Oculus Quest 2 Specs
Resolution1,832 × 1,920 (3.5MP) per-eye [LCD]
Refresh Rate60Hz, 72Hz, 90Hz
LensesSingle element Fresnel
Field of View~90° diagonal
Optical AdjustmentsIPD, eye-relief (via included spacer)
IPD Range58mm, 63mm, 68mm
ProcessorSnapdragon XR2
RAM6GB
Storage64GB / 256GB
ConnectorsUSB-C
Battery Life2-3 hours
TrackingOculus Insight (no external beacons)
ControllersOculus Touch v3
AudioIn-headstrap speakers, 3.5mm aux output
MicrophoneYes
Pass-through CamerasYes

Read the full review: Oculus Quest 2

2.Oculus quest

The freedom of untethered VR is truly compelling – even after getting much more than somewhat jaded by investing tens of hours in Oculus‘ other headset offerings, the Quest still manages to wow with its portability and power.

 While it is not particularly at the same performance peak as the likes of the Rift S or perhaps Index, in practical terms, you are not likely ever to notice, and the magic of the passthrough cameras to find out what is happening in the real world and walk around your home is wholly unique.

Oculus quest design
credit : oculus

It is also completely portable – going on a trip? Toss the Quest in your bag and go. At 571g, it is still quite lightweight, mainly since it does not require cables or sensors or even any other constrictive accessories (other than the great, refined Touch Controllers), and it does not have to be plugged in to a massive, powerful gaming PC to run.

You are able to tether the Quest to your PC too. The operation is currently in beta, however, it does work well. You are able to use|make use of any “high quality” USB 3 cable for this, or perhaps you are able to purchase “a premium, custom optical fiber cable” straight from Oculus.

You will not get the Rift S experience exactly, but at least games that require a PC are not off limits in case you {own|have} a Quest.

The Quest is no longer available since the Oculus Quest two was released, which is exactly the reason it is lower down this list than it used to be, however, you might still have the ability to choose it up on other sites.

Read the full review: Oculus quest

Best PC VR headset

1. Valve Index

When you are searching for the best overall PC VR headset, Valve Index is the best. It is pricey in comparison to the rest, but has a great balance of quality, performance, and comfort. That is the reason we called it “the enthusiast’s choice” in our complete review of the headset.

credit : newscabal

PROS

Things to love about Index are its excellent tracking performance, wide field of view, quality controllers, and range of ergonomic modifications that make it easy to dial in a clear and comfortable fit.

Index is the only headsets which provides an eye relief adjustment.

This let us you bring the lenses as close to your eyes as comfortable, allowing you to optimize your field of view; additionally it makes the headset simpler to adjust for glasses.

Index has a physical IPD adjustment which ranges from 58mm to 70mm, making it so easy to align the lenses with the wideness of your eyes for probably the sharpest visuals.

Cons

But Index is not ideal. In comparison to other headsets on the market, the external tracking system is much more work to set up, usually requiring 2 tracking beacons mounted on opposite sides of a room, stuck on a tripod, or even placed up very high on a shelf. Additionally, they have to be plugged into their own power outlets. And while Index has cameras on the front for a pass through view, it is not as useful or quick as we have seen on other headsets. And did we mention the asking price of $1,000? You are able to get it cheaper though in case you currently have SteamVR Tracking base stations from an old Vive headset.

Valve Index Specs
Resolution1,440 × 1,600 (2.3MP) per-eye (LCD)
Refresh Rate80Hz, 90Hz, 120Hz, 144Hz
LensesDouble element Fresnel
Field of View~130° diagonal
Optical AdjustmentsIPD, eye-relief
IPD Range58–70mm
ConnectorsUSB 3.0, DisplayPort 1.2, 12V power
Cable Length5m + 1m breakaway
TrackingSteamVR Tracking 1.0 or 2.0 (external beacons)
ControllersValve Index controllers
AudioOff-ear headphones, 3.5mm aux output
MicrophoneDual microphone
Pass-through CamerasStereo 960 × 960

Read full review here: Valve index review

2. Oculus Rift S

The Rift S is actually an exciting proposition.

It entirely displaces its predecessor, the original Oculus Rift.

It’s definitively an improvement, however, it is being made available at the very same price point the original retailed for. That said, it’s also an unusual step back in some baffling ways, with a minor decrease in refresh rate and in the it uses LCD lenses instead of OLED.

That said, the Rift S is easily the best mid level wired headset you are able to invest in for PC. Not only does it have a significant library of games – a library that is matured and expanded tremendously after the launch of the original Rift – its higher resolution plus more comfortable fit means the original Rift is now obsolete (unless, of course, you are able to get one at a significant discount).

While the original might have a minor advantage in some of the categories mentioned above, the experience of wearing Rift S is far superior, especially given that it entirely supports inside out tracking.

credit : amazon

 Which means you do not have to purchase, wire up, and also discover a location for outside sensors in {your play space.

If you have previously invested in a higher or mid-tier gaming PC, would like a powerful headset, but do not wish to invest a huge quantity of money for the privilege, the Rift S is actually a clear winner. It could be much more of an iterative improvement from the original than we in the beginning hoped. But, it is still a fantastic piece of hardware, and a great way for PC owners to dive into virtual reality for the very first time.

Read the full review: Oculus Rift S Review

3. HTC Vive Cosmos

HTC’s Vive Cosmos is actually the enhanced edition of the Vive headset, boasting a higher resolution and changing the external base stations with outward facing cameras for motion tracking.

it is a comprehensive bundle for whole room VR, but at $699, It is quite expensive compared with the Oculus Quest two.

credit : grover

For even more effective motion tracking, the Vive Cosmos Elite brings back external base stations to augment exactly how it follows your head and motion controllers, however,it is pricier at $899.

The Vive Cosmos works with SteamVR the same as the Oculus Quest two, and also has its own VR software store in the form of Viveport.

Viveport also provides the Viveport Infinity membership which offers unrestricted access to VR experiences by way of a a subscription service rather than a la carte software purchases.

Read the full review: HTC Vive Cosmos Review

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4. Samsung Odyssey+

The Odyssey+ is actually Samsung’s refresh of, you guessed it, the original Odyssey HMD. It is a substantial improvement as well as the very best of the current crop of Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) offerings. Do not permit that category name fool you; the Odyssey+ is mainly a dedicated VR headset – the “mixed” nomenclature comes primarily from Microsoft’s initial eagerness to bundle HoloLens into the same ecosystem as its VR initiative.

credit : amazon

The Odyssey+ boasts an impressively high-res display for a WMR device, at 2880×1600, and also takes advantage of a proprietary anti screen door feature Samsung deploys to decrease the fine grain you see in the majority of HMDs.

 As a result, the screen door effect in the Odyssey+ is practically undetectable, and mixed with the WMR standard of inside out tracking offers a remarkable degree of immersion.

Read the full review: Samsung Odyssey+

The best Console VR Headsets in 2021

Sony PlayStation VR

The PlayStation VR is actually powerful because of Sony backing improvement for it and the affordability and accessibility of the PlayStation 4 compared with gaming PCs. All you need is actually the headset, a PlayStation 4, and a PlayStation Camera (now provided with most PlayStation VR bundles).

credit : productreview

There are several exceptional games on PS VR like Moss, Rez Infinite, Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, and 5 Nights at Freddie’s: Help Wanted.

Many PlayStation VR games work with the DualShock 4, for this reason you do not actually need motion controls. But, those motion controls are exactly where the PlayStation VR lags behind;

the headset still uses the PlayStation Move wands from the PlayStation 3 era, and they are not nearly as comfortable or capable as the Oculus Touch controllers.

They are also expensive, and not always provided in PlayStation VR bundles.

It seems that the PlayStation VR can be used with the upcoming PlayStation 5.

Sony has not announced any new VR hardware, however, the PS5 is going to have a new camera accessory that will presumably enable PS VR.

Read full review here: Sony Playstation VR

The best mobile VR headset:

Samsung Gear VR

Samsung Gear VR has always been a pretty good smartphone powered VR headset, but now that it’s a motion controller, it may be the perfect VR headset option for mobile users.

On top of the new controller, the updated Gear VR is actually lighter and much more streamlined than before, and also comes with an USB C connector which links straight to a Samsung Galaxy phone.

Compatible phones, as expected, include the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, as well as the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus in case you’ve the latest Gear VR headset).

credit: Samsung

The included motion controller has hints of the HTC Vive controller design, with a touchpad and trigger button, which are not bad things.

It is with the controller that the Gear VR definitely comes into its own, enabling you to have interaction with the VR worlds in front of you in a way in the past not possible without it.

However, being powered by a smartphone, the headset’s performance is completel tied to the phone you have slotted in, however, in our experience this is not a problem thinking about the power within Samsung’s higher end handsets.

But, in case you are using an older Galaxy phone, your experience is the experience can be noticeably affected.

Since Oculus released the Oculus Go standalone headset, the question of where smartphone powered devices as Gear VR match in only becomes much more relevant.

But since the Oculus Go and Samsung Gear VR share an app and game library, you are able to expect to see support for the Gear VR to continue for a some time.

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