Best VR Headset 2021 [Reviews + Buying Guide]

Only some years in the past, when the Oculus Rift first stepped on the scene, it appeared like VR was simply going to be passing by, a pastime exercise for tech fans with deep pockets that may fade away into obscurity as quickly because the novelty wore off. The reality, nevertheless, couldn’t be extra totally different!

The recognition of VR had exploded quickly after, with massive names like Sony, Google, HTC, and others investing in VR expertise, bringing it to PCs, consoles, smartphones, and even growing standalone VR headsets.

Listed here are a few of the most effective VR headsets (and WMR headsets) that you could get in 2021.

The Execs:

  • Stable QHD show
  • No exterior sensors required
  • High quality built-in audio system
  • Approachable worth

The Cons:

  • LCD show inferior to high-end OLED

About The Headset

To begin, we’ve the successor to the VR headset that began all of it – the Oculus Rift S

Visually, it is extremely just like its predecessor – the unique Oculus Rift – because it sports activities a comparatively easy matte black exterior, missing the bombast of different headsets such because the HTC Vive.

In fact, it options an improved show, in addition to another further options which might be sure to make it one of the crucial interesting VR headsets out there.

Our Ideas

So, how does the Rift S enhance upon the unique Rift? Properly, for one, there’s the upper show decision – whereas the unique Rift had a 2160×1200 OLED show, the Rift S has a 2560×1440 LCD one. 

The elevated decision results in improved picture readability. Whereas LCD can not produce deep blacks as OLED can, the Rift S makes up for this minor shortcoming with superior optics that improve immersion and decrease visible artifacts. 

The refresh price of the show is now 80 Hz, down from 90 Hz, however it’s hardly a noticeable distinction.

Moreover, a really handy new attribute of the Rift S is that it comes with inside-out monitoring, which means that it requires no exterior sensors to supply reasonable room-scale monitoring, because the 5 built-in cameras deal with that. 

Plus, these cameras additionally allow the consumer to see what’s occurring round them in the true world with out truly having to take off the headset.

Best VR Headset 2020

As for the audio, the headset options built-in audio system that supply immersive spatial sound with out blocking out exterior sound, so you’ll be able to nonetheless inform what’s occurring round you even whereas enjoying a recreation or watching a film. 

And within the case that you simply don’t wish to use these audio system, the headset has a 3.5mm jack, so you can even use any headphones, headset, or earbuds which have a 3.5mm connector.

All in all, the Oculus Rift S is a step ahead, although not as massive of a step ahead as some would have appreciated. It’s a tad heavier than the unique Rift, however it’s extra comfy to put on, and it’s a mid-range answer in terms of PC gaming, because the high-end stays dominated by HTC for now.

The Execs:

  • High quality OLED show
  • Immersive audio
  • No sensors or wires concerned

The Cons:

  • Quick battery life
  • Doubtful worth

About The Headset

The following headset on the listing additionally comes from Oculus, and it’s the Oculus Quest. This VR headset, which prices as a lot because the Rift S, is a little bit of a unique headset. 

Particularly, whereas the Rift S is a PC headset that additionally requires sufficiently highly effective {hardware} to run, the Oculus Quest operates independently from any exterior gadget.

As such, it’s a extra mainstream VR headset designed to satisfy the wants of those that want to expertise VR gaming however don’t have a PC highly effective sufficient to run video games in VR.

Our Ideas

Although it could be a standalone headset, the Oculus Quest is not any joke – it boasts a critical 2880×1600 OLED show that even has a better decision than that of the Rift S, although the refresh price is a extra modest 72 Hz. 

And very similar to the Rift S, it makes use of built-in cameras for monitoring and requires no exterior sensors, all of the whereas additionally utilizing the identical built-in spatial audio.

So, what’s totally different? Properly, there’s the truth that the Quest doesn’t should be linked to a PC, and is a totally standalone, wi-fi VR headset. What this additionally means is that it packs its personal {hardware}. 

To be exact, it makes use of a Snapdragon 835 CPU, has 4GB of RAM, and there are two inside storage choices: 64 GB and 128 GB, the latter being a bit pricier than the default 64 GB variant.

Now, this additionally comes with just a few downsides. Initially, there’s the meager battery life – the headset can take about two hours of use, and it wants almost as a lot time to recharge again to 100%. 

On prime of that, each the design and the construct can really feel a bit low cost, which is comprehensible contemplating the additional {hardware} that goes into this headset.

Best VR

General, the Oculus Quest is hardly an excellent instance of an precise gaming VR headset because it can not run PC video games. Nonetheless, for those who solely intend to play the video games which might be out there on the Oculus retailer, then this simply is likely to be the most effective VR headset for you.

The Execs:

  • Respectable QHD show
  • Reasonably priced

About The Headset

And now, we get to the ultimate and most inexpensive VR headset that Oculus has to supply – the Oculus Go! It’s simply differentiated from different Oculus VR headsets in that it sports activities a clear white exterior which contrasts the matte black of each different Oculus headset up to now. 

However extra importantly, what actually makes it stand out is the worth, as it’s the most inexpensive standalone VR headset at the moment.

Our Ideas

Very similar to the Oculus Quest, the Go is a totally standalone wi-fi VR headset. Nonetheless, because it comes at half the previous’s worth, it understandably lacks a number of the extra premium options. 

Particularly, it lacks the built-in cameras, the built-in audio system, and it makes use of a 2560×1440 LCD as an alternative of an OLED.

The {hardware} can also be extra restricted, because the headset comes with a weaker Snapdragon 821 CPU and fewer inside storage – both 32 GB or 64 GB.

As for the battery life, it’s just about the identical deal as with the Quest – about 2-3 hours of use, based mostly on the exercise in query, as gaming inevitably burns by the battery quicker than gaming does.

Best Virtual Reality Headset

Ultimately, the Oculus Go is a cell VR headset; solely there aren’t any telephones concerned, so that you don’t want a flagship or any explicit telephone mannequin. 

The graphics and the content material that you simply’d expertise with it, nevertheless, are exactly what you’d get with a telephone. However as we’ve talked about within the introduction, the Go’s key benefit is its affordability.

So, for those who’re trying to have some informal VR leisure every now and then, it may show to be funding. Nonetheless, for those who’re searching for a extra premium VR expertise, you would need to spend extra.

The Execs:

  • Good AMOLED show
  • Probably good worth
  • Correct monitoring

The Cons:

  • Dated
  • Dear equipment
  • No built-in audio

About The Headset

Subsequent, we get to HTC and their extremely well-liked HTC Vive, which was one of many prime VR headsets on the scene following its 2016 debut. 

And although it could look modern, futuristic, and high-end, how does it fare compared with all of the newer fashions which might be out there in 2021?

Our Ideas

It could have been the king of the fortress earlier than, however the Vive is growing older, and it exhibits. Its 90 Hz 2160×1200 AMOLED show nonetheless seems nice, although the newer higher-resolution shows with extra refined optics in the end really feel extra immersive. 

It has a microphone however no built-in sound, and it depends on exterior sensors for movement monitoring, which is way much less interesting now that there are such a lot of headsets that function hassle-free inside-out monitoring.

VR Handset

In the end, the Vive could not be the highest of the VR meals chain in 2021. 

Nonetheless, contemplating the worth cuts and the truth that you will get one even cheaper for those who’re prepared to get a used one, the Vive continues to be a viable headset as we speak. Nonetheless, aside from that, it seems like a really dated product at this level.

As talked about above, the trade is shifting ahead, so the cumbersome HTC Vive with its exterior sensors and equipment shouldn’t precisely be your best choice except you will get one low cost otherwise you’re actually after that AMOLED show.

The Execs:

  • Very good AMOLED show
  • High quality construct
  • Correct monitoring

The Cons:

  • Extraordinarily costly
  • Dear equipment
  • On the heavy facet

About The Headset

Shifting on, we get to what’s presumably the greatest VR headset for PC gaming in the meanwhile – the HTC Vive Pro. Not solely does it look nice, with a modern futuristic design extremely just like that of the common Vive, however it additionally provides among the best shows that yow will discover in a VR headset in the meanwhile.

Our Ideas

So, what makes the Vive Professional stand out, and does it justify its appreciable price ticket? Properly, for one, there’s the gorgeous 2880×1600 AMOLED show that few headsets shall be able to matching.

Moreover, it comes with a superb headset and an built-in microphone. On prime of all that, it’s ergonomic and comfy, regardless of the obvious bulk.

The Vive Professional nonetheless depends on exterior sensors for movement monitoring, which could be each and a nasty factor. On the one hand, it makes for extra exact movement monitoring, however establishing the sensors could be a little bit of a trouble. As for audio, it comes with an excellent, highly-adjustable built-in headset.

Virtual Reality Headset

Now, one of many principal points with the Vive Professional is its price ticket, which is $800 for the headset alone. In order for you the complete bundle, full with the controllers and the sensors, the worth goes as much as a whopping $1100. 

There are a number of different equipment out there, together with a $300 wireless adapter, however identical to this adapter, most of them are on the dear facet.

The HTC Vive Professional is a premium-quality product. Nonetheless, it’s unlikely to attraction to many individuals, not solely due to the discouraging worth but in addition as a result of there are different VR headsets out there that may provide a comparable expertise for lower than half the cash.

The Execs:

  • High quality show
  • Very inexpensive with out equipment

The Cons:

  • PC help solely by way of third-party software program
  • Equipment value further

About The Headset

Up subsequent, we’ve the primary – and for now, the one – console VR headset – PlayStation VR. It boasts a recognizable black and white design with signature blue lights, it’s fairly inexpensive, and it’s nonetheless not prepared for retirement. You may think about using it even for those who don’t personal a PlayStation 4.

Our Ideas

The PSVR is hardly a correct instance of a cutting-edge VR headset, seeing because it was launched in 2016 and designed to work with a console. 

That mentioned, it’s stunning that it has a high-quality OLED show with a refresh price of 120 Hz. Nonetheless, because it’s a 1080p show, it doesn’t look almost nearly as good as a number of the newer headsets, and that’s not even contemplating the restricted {hardware} energy of a PS4.

Nonetheless, the PSVR shouldn’t be fully with out advantage – primarily, it’s fairly inexpensive now. On prime of that, whereas it solely has native compatibility with the PS4 – be it an everyday, slim, or Professional mannequin – it can be used with a PC with the assistance of third-party software

That is hardly an excellent answer, however it will probably work if you wish to strive VR out in your PC however can’t afford one of many higher headsets.

Virtual Reality Headsets

Moreover, it must also be famous that movement controllers don’t come bundled with the headset, and neither does the PS Digital camera, which is required for movement monitoring. Nonetheless, there are bundles out there, which embody not solely these equipment, but in addition some VR video games.

General, we really feel that the PSVR holds up comparatively effectively in 2021. Nonetheless, though it may be made to work with a PC, we wouldn’t advocate it as the first alternative for anybody who doesn’t personal a PS4.

The Execs:

  • Excessive-resolution show
  • Ergonomic and light-weight
  • Pretty inexpensive

The Cons:

  • Some noticeable movement blur
  • Plastic-y construct

About The Headset

Subsequent up, we come to yet one more thrilling product, and it’s a Windows Mixed Reality headset manufactured by Acer

Because the identify suggests, the platform itself was developed by Microsoft for Home windows 10, however the precise {hardware} is usually left to companions reminiscent of Acer, HP, and others.

As for Acer’s tackle a WMR headset, it’s fairly recognizable as a result of placing blue exterior, and it comes with many options that make it a extremely interesting mid-range VR headset for PC gaming.

Our Ideas

The Acer Home windows Blended Actuality Headset is an attention-grabbing product. It sports activities a 2880×1440 LCD display with a typical refresh price of 90 Hz, and it seems fairly good. 

On prime of that, it additionally has inside-out monitoring that depends on the 2 sensors on the entrance. One thing that makes this Acer headset stand out is the truth that it’s extremely light-weight, weighing in at solely 6oz (about 170g). 

That is tremendous light-weight in comparison with most different VR headsets, which are inclined to hover at round 16-18oz (about 450-500g). This makes it comfy to make use of, and it’s comparatively inexpensive as well.

Best WMR Headset

This headset is a stable choose for those who’re searching for a extra inexpensive VR headset for PC gaming. The one actual drawback is the noticeable movement blur throughout fast head actions, however the decision makes up for it. 

Aside from that, the plastic construct can really feel a bit low cost at instances. However, for the reason that headset itself can also be fairly inexpensive – though nonetheless packing all of the important options – it’s arduous to carry this towards Acer.

The Execs:

  • Excessive-resolution AMOLED show
  • High quality construct
  • Immersive audio
  • Stable inside-out monitoring

The Cons:

  • A bit dear
  • Not the most effective ergonomics

About The Headset

Subsequent up, we introduce a headset designed for the Home windows Blended Actuality platform, and it’s the Samsung HMD Odyssey+.

Not like the above Acer mannequin, it’s not precisely a budget-friendly product, although it’s a extra premium-feeling answer similar to the Rift S.

Our Ideas

There may be not a lot to say in regards to the capabilities of the HMD Odyssey+ that hasn’t already been mentioned for different headsets on this worth vary. It options dependable inside-out monitoring and immersive, built-in headphones, although its crowning function is its lovely 2880×1600 AMOLED display.

Top Virtual Reality Headset

All of this makes it a extremely interesting answer so far as the spec sheet is anxious, particularly in terms of the show. Nonetheless, it’s not nearly as good within the ergonomics division, as it’s front-heavy and might get uncomfortable to make use of for extended durations.

In the end, the HMD Odyssey+ can be buy for those who’re prepared to spend somewhat bit of additional cash on that AMOLED show.

Nonetheless, if not, then the Rift S would undoubtedly show to be a greater funding – except you’ll be able to catch the Odyssey+ at a reduction, in fact.

Conclusion – The Greatest VR Headset For 2021

Best Mixed Reality Headset 2019

All in all, it’s difficult to select the single greatest VR headset for 2021, for the reason that market is getting fairly various, with extra contenders than ever earlier than.

Relating to which headset we discovered to be the most effective total, we’d should go along with the Oculus Rift S, because it undoubtedly provides the most effective worth on your cash, so far as the mainstream is anxious.

When the high-end is anxious, the HTC Vive Professional is the apparent alternative, although we wouldn’t advocate splurging on it simply but, because it does lack a number of the handy options that at the moment are being launched, to not point out the exorbitant worth.

And at last, in terms of VR gaming on a finances, the Oculus Go casts a large internet. It’s comparatively cheap and provides clients good worth for his or her cash, although the restricted battery life is an issue.

However these are solely our picks. Each VR headset listed right here has its personal deserves and shortcomings in comparison with different fashions, so so long as you retain your private preferences and the headset’s capabilities in thoughts, any of them may fit your wants!


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