With big game launches and more VR headsets on that market than ever, 2020 is shaping up to be a huge year for VR, and an excellent time for first-timers to jump in. In this article we’ve pulled together a concise look at the best VR headsets currently available, and a few you might want to keep your eyes on.

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Best PC VR headsets | Best standalone VR headsets | Best console VR headsets

The Best PC VR Headsets in 2020

PC VR is where you’ll find the highest quality visuals and the most ambitious VR games like Half-Life: Alyx. Of course, you’ll need a reasonably powerful gaming PC to plug your headset into. See this article for the specs your PC needs to handle VR headsets.

The Best: Valve Index – $1,000

Image courtesy Valve

If you’re looking for the very best overall PC VR headset, Valve Index is our pick. It’s pricey compared to the rest, but has an excellent balance of quality, performance, and comfort. That’s why we called it “the enthusiast’s choice” in our full review of the headset.

Pros

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

Index is one of the only headsets that offers an eye-relief adjustment. This let’s you bring the lenses as close to your eyes as comfortable, allowing you to maximize your field of view; it also makes the headset easier to adjust for glasses. Index has a physical IPD adjustment which ranges from 58mm to 70mm, making it easy to align the lenses with the width of your eyes for the sharpest visuals.

Cons

But Index isn’t perfect. Compared to other headsets on the market, the external tracking system is more work to set up, typically requiring two tracking beacons mounted on opposite corners of a room, stuck on a tripod, or placed up high on a shelf. They also need to be plugged into their own power outlets. And while Index has cameras on the front for a pass-through view, it isn’t as quick or useful as we’ve seen on other headsets. And did we mention the price tag of $1,000? You can get it cheaper though if you already have SteamVR Tracking base stations from an old Vive headset.

Valve Index Specs
Resolution 1,440 × 1,600 (2.3MP) per-eye (LCD)
Refresh Rate 80Hz, 90Hz, 120Hz, 144Hz
Lenses Double element Fresnel
Field of View ~130° diagonal
Optical Adjustments IPD, eye-relief
IPD Range 58–70mm
Connectors USB 3.0, DisplayPort 1.2, 12V power
Cable Length 5m + 1m breakaway
Tracking SteamVR Tracking 1.0 or 2.0 (external beacons)
Controllers Valve Index controllers
Audio Off-ear headphones, 3.5mm aux output
Microphone Dual microphone
Pass-through Cameras Stereo 960 × 960
Content Compatibility

Valve Index is officially compatible with the SteamVR library where the vast majority of VR content is available. If you’re looking to play content that’s exclusive to the Oculus PC library (like Asgard’s Wrath) you can use the free but unofficial Revive mod to play Oculus PC content on Valve Index. It may take some tweaking for performance and controller inputs, but for the most part Oculus content will play reasonably well on Index.


Value Pick: Oculus Quest 2 with Oculus Link (and Elite Strap) – $350

Image courtesy Facebook

Although Quest 2 is a standalone headset (which means games run directly in the headset without plugging into something else) it also has a feature called Oculus Link which gives you the option to plug the headset into a PC and run PC VR games.

Pros

Along with the useful passthrough feature, high resolution display, and great controllers, Quest 2 is a pretty great all-around headset. Oculus says that Link on Quest 2 will see some updates to improve performance in the near future, but even at its current level of performance, the hard-to-beat price of Quest 2 makes it a great value, especially considering the fact that the headset also runs standalone VR games from the Oculus Quest store.

Cons

Unfortunately the cable that comes with Quest 2 isn’t long enough to work well for Oculus Link, and we can’t recommend the official cable because of its crazy $80 price tag. Thankfully you can get 26 feet worth of Oculus Link cable for $34.

And, as we found in our full review, we weren’t big fans of Quest 2’s soft headstrap, so we’d highly recommend dropping the extra $50 for the Elite Strap accessory [Amazon] if you’re serious about playing PC VR games. It’s also worth noting that you need a Facebook account (and be ok with Facebook’s strengthening grip on the VR industry) to use the headset.

Oculus Quest 2 Specs
Resolution 1,832 × 1,920 (3.5MP) per-eye [LCD]
Refresh Rate 60Hz, 72Hz, 90Hz
Lenses Single element Fresnel
Field of View ~90° diagonal
Optical Adjustments IPD, eye-relief (via included spacer)
IPD Range 58mm, 63mm, 68mm
Processor Snapdragon XR2
RAM 6GB
Storage 64GB / 256GB
Connectors USB-C
Battery Life 2-3 hours
Tracking Oculus Insight (no external beacons)
Controllers Oculus Touch v3
Audio In-headstrap speakers, 3.5mm aux output
Microphone Yes
Pass-through Cameras Yes
Content Compatibility

Without being plugged into a computer, Quest 2 can only play games from the Oculus Quest library. If you plug into a computer via Oculus Link, you’ll have access to everything in the Oculus PC and SteamVR libraries as well. That means that Quest 2 is compatible with the vast majority of top VR content out there, as long as you’ve got a powerful PC to plug the headset into.


Upcoming: HP Reverb G2 – $600

Image courtesy HP

Though HP’s Reverb G2 hasn’t launched quite yet, it’s worth keeping your eye on if you don’t want to drop the full $1,000 on Index but still want a dedicated PC VR headset. Reverb G2 should be on your radar especially if you’re thinking of picking up a VR headset for seated PC VR games like driving and flight simulators thanks to its high resolution.

When it comes right down to it, G2’s defining feature is its class-leading resolution of 2,160 × 2,160. Thanks to collaboration between Valve and HP, G2 also borrows the excellent headphones of Valve’s Index headset and will be the first headset to finally deliver improved controllers compared to prior WMR headsets.

Although the headset hasn’t launched yet, our hands-on with the Reverb G2 prototype earlier this year had us very impressed with its clarity, and at $600 we’re definitely intrigued.

Reverb G2 will begin shipping in November but pre-orders today aren’t expected to deliver until December. If you don’t mind waiting a few months to pick up a new headset it might be worth holding out for the verdict on the G2.

HP Reverb G2 Specs
Resolution 2,160 × 2,160 (4.7MP) per-eye (LCD)
Refresh Rate 90Hz
Lenses Single element Fresnel
Field of View 114° diagonal
Optical Adjustments IPD
IPD Range 60–68mm
Connectors USB-C, DisplayPort, Power
Cable Length 6m
Tracking Quad on-board camera (no external beacons)
Controllers Reverb G2 controllers
Audio Off-ear headphones
Microphone Yes
Pass-through Cameras Yes
Content Compatibility

HP Reverb G2 works natively with the Windows Mixed Reality store, but very few VR applications are available there. Fortunately a free and official plugin from Microsoft also makes it compatible with SteamVR content. If you’re looking to play content that’s exclusive to the Oculus PC library (like Asgard’s Wrath) you can use the free but unofficial Revive mod to play Oculus PC content on Reverb G2.

The Best Standalone VR Headsets in 2020

Standalone VR headsets are fully self-contained and don’t need to plug into anything. They generally offer high ease-of-use thanks to their all-in-one nature and lack of tether. With their low overall cost (thanks to not needing a high-end PC) standalone headsets are a great way to take your first step into VR.

The Best: Oculus Quest 2 with Elite Strap – $350

Image courtesy Facebook

Quest 2 is an upgrade over its predecessor in almost every way. It’s worth noting that you need a Facebook account (and need to be ok with Facebook’s strengthening grip on the VR industry) to use the headset.

Pros

With an impressive resolution, powerful Snapdragon XR2 processor, useful ‘passthrough’ view feature, and great controllers, there’s a lot to like about Quest 2. What’s more, if you ever decide to upgrade to PC-powered VR, Quest 2 can plug into your computer and be used like a PC VR headset. When it comes to overall value, no other standalone headset is in the same ballpark right now.

Cons

But there’s a few things we wish were better. As we found in our full Quest 2 review, the included soft headstrap just isn’t that comfortable, which is why we recommend the Elite Strap ($50 on Amazon) or Elite Battery Strap (bundled with a case for $130 on Amazon) accessories if you’re a serious VR user.

The hidden built-in speakers are convenient but we wish they were more powerful for better immersion (luckily there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack if you want to bring your own audio). And while Quest 2 has a pretty strong game library, since it’s a standalone headset you won’t be able to play any of the big PC VR games like Half-Life: Alyx or Asgard’s Wrath unless you have a powerful PC to plug into.

Oculus Quest 2 Specs
Resolution 1,832 × 1,920 (3.5MP) per-eye [LCD]
Refresh Rate 60Hz, 72Hz, 90Hz
Lenses Single element Fresnel
Field of View ~90° diagonal
Optical Adjustments IPD, eye-relief (via included spacer)
IPD Range 58mm, 63mm, 68mm
Processor Snapdragon XR2
RAM 6GB
Storage 64GB / 256GB
Connectors USB-C
Battery Life 2-3 hours
Tracking Oculus Insight (no external beacons)
Controllers Oculus Touch v3
Audio In-headstrap speakers, 3.5mm aux output
Microphone Yes
Pass-through Cameras Yes
Content Compatibility

Oculus Quest 2 is compatible with all content in the Oculus Quest library. If you have (or get in the future) a gaming PC, you can plug it into your PC to play content in the Oculus PC library and the SteamVR library.


Value Pick: Oculus Quest 2 – $300

Image courtesy Facebook

Yup, our value pick for standalone headset is the same as our ‘Best’ pick: Quest 2! But if you’re brand new to VR and are just looking for a taste, you can probably hold off on the Elite Strap accessory and save yourself $50 in the meantime. If you find yourself using the headset often you can always add the strap later.

See the section above for thoughts and details on Quest 2.

The Best Console VR Headsets in 2020

If you know anything about VR, you’ll already know what we’re going to say! PS4 is the only console that currently supports a VR headset (sorry Xbox fans), and PlayStation VR is the only console VR headset you can use. That makes PSVR ‘the best’ console VR headset by default, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we recommend it

Image courtesy Sony
Our Take

PSVR launched in late 2016 and was a great headset for its era, including a handful of excellent exclusive VR games that you won’t find anywhere else. However, the headset is officially past its prime in 2020 and feels ‘last generation’ in resolution, tracking, and controllers compared to what’s available elsewhere in the VR landscape.

It’s hard to recommend buying the four year old PSVR today as it’ll still cost you around $350 new [Amazon]. By all means, if you find it somewhere on sale or used for cheap it might be worth picking up to run through some of Sony’s great exclusive VR games, but otherwise you may want to wait and see what Sony has planned for VR on its next-gen PS5.

PSVR Specs
Resolution 960 x 1,080 (1.0MP) per-eye (RGB OLED)
Refresh Rate 90Hz, 120Hz
Lenses Single element non-Fresnel
Field of View 100° diagonal
Optical Adjustments Eye-relief
Connectors USB, HDMI
Cable Length 4.4m
Tracking Stereo camera (external camera)
Controllers DualShock 4, PS Move, PS Aim
Audio Earbuds, 3.5mm aux output
Microphone Yes
Pass-through Cameras No
Content Compatibility

PlayStation VR is only compatible with VR content in the PlayStation store which includes a handful of excellent exclusives not available on PC like Astro Bot Rescue Mission and Blood & Truth. You can also use the headset to play non-VR PS4 content in a ‘theater mode’ through the headset, but with relatively low resolution it’s not something you’re likely to do often.

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  • Kyokushin

    How you can call a 1st gen low-resolution headset the best? The image from it is like coloured stain in comparison even to Reverb G1.

    • bruv, which one are you talking about?

    • kontis

      Because visuals are not just dots per degree.

      Visuals are also:
      – pixel switching time
      – dynamic range, contrast, colors
      – mura
      – fill factor – affects screendoor effect
      – optical distortion, pupil swim
      – sweet spot
      – Field of View
      – refresh rate – affects latency and smoothness
      – IPD adjustment’s precision

      and other aspects.

      And it’s very subjective how they impact the overall experience.

      • Kyokushin

        In VR headset where its a device for looking resolution is most important factor

        Other factors you mentioned are not worse in other headsets.

  • Ad

    Okay, maybe change the format of this, it looks like it’s meant to be updated for years.

    Best headset is index, best value is G2, the only standalone is the Quest 2. Maybe throw out a good price for the others if you’re getting them used.

    Also the Rift S is currently still on sale.

    • LoneWuff326

      i would say the Quest 2 has a better value. When you compare them specs by specs, their almost the same.

      • Ad

        Which? The G2? Ben posted a graph of clarity of the displays and the G2 was like 50% more than the Q2

    • benz145

      This piece if for people who aren’t experts and just want to know what’s the best for their specific circumstance. Right now the Quest 2 happens to fill a lot of roles and is a good value given the price. These are the recommendations I’d make to most consumers given the current state of the market.

      • Ad

        I guess, but there is only one standalone headset so you could make infinite categories for the standalone part.

  • LoneWuff326

    Honestly i think the Reverb and quest is a better headset than the index, they have more value- the only place were the index shines against the reverb is field of view and refresh rate/ The fact that the the reverb has basically no screen door, no external sensors, 90hz and is 600 its just better, with the money of an index it would be better buying the oculus quest 2 + Reverb g2 and even after purchasing those you would still have 100 dollars left with that 100 you can buy several games i think the index is a great headset its premium but at the end of the day its not worth 1000(more than the quest 2 & reverb g2 combined). The fact that you can can take the quest 2 anywhere ,it has hand-tracking, you can play pcvr wireless and its 299, in my opinion makes it the best headset. For example you can buy like 3 oculues quest 2 for 1 index thats not worth it.

    • I agree with everything you’ve said here, although I do have to point out that in my experience the hand tracking on Quest 2 is so clunky and unreliable that I genuinely don’t believe it’s a USP feature to count in any meaningful way. The rest are all solid arguments though.

      • Zantetsu

        Huh, you must never have used the Leap Motion hand tracking. The G2 hand tracking is really not bad at all in my opinion.

        • Ad

          G2 has hand tracking?

          • Zantetsu

            Yes, the G1 does too, it’s more “experimental” on the G1 and a little harder to enable, a little easier on the G2 via a simple config setting.

            It only works in the Oculus “home” environment as far as I can tell – no games/experiences use it (yet). But the hand tracking is really pretty good.

          • Ad

            Why does G2 tracking only work in Oculus? Do you mean the Q2?

          • Zantetsu

            Yes, sorry for the confusion, everwhere were I typed “G1” and “G2” I meant “Q1” and “Q2” … still getting used to the abbreviations. I will fix them in my posts. Sorry again.

    • Ad

      The index has controllers and much better tracking and FOV that the others don’t, and it’s modular. The index has no screen door effect either, it’s past that point on the resolution scale. Streaming, especially over link, has a host of issues as well.

      • Gonzax

        Not to mention the sound quality which is a million times better than Quest’s.

        I have to say I love my Quest2, I am very surprised by it, the absence of cables is really great. If PCVR games via VD is as good as some people say (I still have to test it) I might not even use my Index again once I get a battery pack and decent audio.

        Right now I still think the Index is the best headset but Q2 is an amazing device and the price is certainly unbeatable. I am tempted by the G2 but being a WMR headset I will wait for reviews first.

      • kraeuterbutter

        wrong.. of course does the Index have a SDE
        also the Quest2

        i think to come at least another generation of Headsets, for real sde-free picturequality

    • benz145

      Yup, it very well may take the top spot once it launches and we have the final product to review.

  • John Conner

    Has the writer of this article watched any of the “through the lenses” videos comparing the Valve Index to the Quest 2 or Hp Reverb 2? You can hardly read the text with the Valve Index.

    • TechPassion

      The point of this article is sponsorship. They are sponsored.

      • Zantetsu

        You state that as if it were fact when in fact you are making it up. Pretty lame. If I were you I’d delete my comment out of embarrassment.

      • benz145

        We’re a completely independent publication and we don’t run sponsored content. Please don’t expect to keep slandering our work going forward.

    • Index with super resolution applied looks absolutely incredible, but you’ll need a very powerful PC.

      No issues viewing text in mine?

  • TechPassion

    Samsung Odyssey+ is the best VR headset of all time. I bought mine for peanuts price of 220 USD, including controllers during one of many discount times. Nothing comes close to Odyssey+ and for peanuts price especially. This bs portal is sponsored mainly by Oculus, so never mentions about Odyssey+. They would push crap Rift S on you, the worst WMR headset without headphones even. Terrible biased portal.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/28b23b4bdbf49c07ba62ca33e8248c6bd0b658acc10b0f623066f1ea073a3725.jpg

    • Michael Lupton

      You would have a point if the Odyssey Plus wasn’t discontinued.

      • mellott124

        And the fact that the tracking on the Odyssey is crap. The screens were really nice and ahead of their time. The rest, not so much. Sold mine after a few months.

        • TechPassion

          You have very outdated information. Tracking on Odyssey+ and other WMR headsets is near-perfect. It is super precise, simply amazing. I win most deathmatch games in Pavlov VR. Tracking was shit in the beginning, but not since 1 year or so. SteamVR added re-center button in pop up menu and this makes it all even greater.

          • Odyssey was never distributed in Europe. Many wanted to purchase, but no sale.

            Only option was using private import company/broker but buying electronic hardware with no warranty or support isn’t something I was more comfortable with.

            Finally got to try Odyssey earlier this year, at Samsung experience store in London, but the headset wasn’t available to purchase. The staff told me it wasn’t available as it was simply never part of European product range, and that’s it…

          • benz145
          • david vincent

            Only 2 cams for inside-out hands tracking is no good.

          • Dave

            A lot of people say the tracking is great in WMR. The problems start when moving controllers outside the tracking zones. Oculus software is just so much better at this sort of estimations and in WMR you get some strange immersion breaking results when moving controllers back into view like hands drifting off into the distance. Looks like the software hasn’t really improved for Reverb G2 either but at least the tracking coverage is much better.

        • Kevin White

          I was lucky enough to be able to use the original Odyssey for two months when Microsoft had an extended holiday return period. But return it I did, due to several issues including lack of comfort (actual headaches), short cord (and artifacts from my extension), cumbersome WMR / SteamVR coding, controller battery life, lack of haptics, lackluster controllers, fit issues with the build-in audio, but mostly controller tracking volume and the inelegant way it dropped and reacquired tracking. Controllers also had noticeably more latency vs. Vive wands — Longbow in The Lab and th whack-a-mole in the nVidia Funhouse were two easy comparisons to see this latency.

          The overall visual representation was by far the best part of the Odyssey, and it was really good.

          • TechPassion

            There are PkCell 1.6V (1.82V) batteries which last forever with Odyssey+ – like a week or so. They key is not to use the typical 1.2V -1.3V ones as these die within hours.

            Like I wrote. Everything was improved over years, dramatically.
            I sold my 2080 RTX and have no GPU. I intended to buy 3080 RTX but can’t get it. I started WMR with i7-6700k HD530 internal GPU. To my great surprise it works! WMR works with internal GPU from Skylake. In the beginning the WMR portal claimed I do not have lowest spec GPU. It seems they improved on this too.

          • Dave

            “But return it I did” – Yoda you listen to haha!

    • Another Opinion

      The Odyssey+ is the most uncomfortable one I’ve used (and I’ve used all the main ones extensively). I had to put a plaster over the bridge of my nose to continue using it at one point. So no, not the best of all time.

  • wowgivemeabreak

    Have owned the Q1 since it came out and received my Q2 3 days ago. It is not an upgrade in almost every way. Areas it is worse:

    -FOV is lower
    -IPD adjustment is worse
    -You can see the edge of the screen in at least the 2nd and 3rd lens position
    -The LCD’s black level and contrast ratio are very bad
    -Build quality is a bit worse

    All that said, I still like it and prefer playing games on it than on the Q1…at least the games I’ve checked out so far. I have not played any dark game like the Vader episodes on it, nor would I want to because of the crappy black level and contrast ratio.

    • Zantetsu

      Hm, I got my Quest 2 over the weekend and only played with it a bit. I did not notice the lower FOV, I am surprised to learn that it is lower. But I believe you. I also am a fan of OLED displays and think the Quest 1 display was overall better, but that’s certainly a matter of preference. Really all I wanted was a faster CPU and graphics processor so that the Q1 could play more games, and play them better.

      My son and I agreed that the audio in the Q2 seems worse than the Q1, a bit quieter and tinnier. But neither of us used it long enough to come to a definite opinion.

      Anyway, he mostly just sticks to our Index (and eschews the knuckles controllers in preference for the old Vive wands, I have to agree that the Index is not very comfortable or usable, but I don’t play VR much any more).

      • kraeuterbutter

        hmm..
        most reviews say that the sound is louder than on the Quest1
        this is also true for me, my Quest2 vs. my old Quest1
        some say it is also better and little more bass.. hmm..
        maybe
        but its for sure louder

    • The FOV is not lower, it has been confirmed by many reviews to be exactly the same as Q1.

      • nullptr

        FOV is an individual thing due to head shape, eye socket depth etc.

        • I agree, but reviewers comparing Q1 vs Q2 (with the same head, same conditions) have measured the exact same FOV.
          I also own both and I feel like it’s the same FOV (although I did not make measurements).

          • kraeuterbutter

            as i said aboth: i have definitly more FOV on the Quest2 than on the Quest1
            with thinner face-foam i can increase the FOV on the Quest1 also..
            but with the original facecover from oculus on the Quest 1 i have in comparison DEFINITLY very feelable more FOV on the quest2

            on the quest1 – as an index-user – FOV was always anoiing for me..
            on the Quest2 it has a level for me, where i don´t think about it

    • Zack71

      …and screen door effect is absent! Why don’t you say this!
      I don’t mind headset color, I don’t see it in VR!
      Q2 is the best headset I’ve tried!
      Graphic is excellent, and it costs only 350 dollars!

    • Yen

      At first I hated Q2, due to the black levels and less FOV, but after 2 days of use… I can’t go back to Q1. The overall experience without SDE and the sharpness makes me forget FOV and blacks

      • d0x360

        I’m on the Rift side and I had a CV1 then got the S and honestly I wish I hadn’t sold my CV1. I wish I had kept it for certain games, especially horror games or even stuff like HL Alyx. The difference is just so massive.

        Since oculus seems to be chasing primarily the mass market now I’m really hoping valve goes back to OLED for the index 2. It can do 120hz just fine, it has less ghosting and image persistence issues were fixed in 2017 by LG. OMG I’d (almost) kill for a 2k OLED Index 2 or Rift S…2

    • jasonmartino

      I have proof that the Q2 is better than the Q1. I actually use the Q2 while my Q1 has been a paperweight for the past year. The snappier processor combined with the premium UI, instant-on, double tap on right side for pass through mode, comfort of elite strap, size and weight reduction, and clarity actually make it useable and even enjoyable. I’m a busy family guy so going down to the basement and booting up the PC and the Index is less and less appealing now that I can jump in instantly with the Q2. That being said, still looking forward to the HP Reverb and Flight Simulator. One huge downside of Quest is the cost of the games. They’re expensive and never on sale. With PCVR, you can get Steam Sales or a Viveport subscription. With Oculus, you’re stuck on their infrequent sales unless you go down the Virtual Desktop/Link route.

      • d0x360

        That’s not proof that’s opinion. Don’t get me wrong I’m not disagreeing with you but nothing you said was factual except that it has a better SOC and is more comfortable.

        Personally I wouldn’t trade my Rift S for a quest 2. Honestly I wish I kept my CV1. I love the rift s tracking system and not needing 3 sensors and the higher resolution is great…but…LCD sucks compared to OLED. The OLED’s used in the original Rift aren’t nearly as good as modern ones but when it comes to dark games I find anything that uses LCD to be inferior.. significantly. Some of my favorite VR horror games are unplayable on LCD unless you like turning up the brightness and seeing gray everywhere when it should be black but because of the way OLED’S work you can still see detail in a mostly dark scene.

        Vadar immortal is the perfect example. For the quest version they had to redo most of the scenes and add light sources because it was designed for OLED

    • d0x360

      LCD is such a mistake for VR and the only reason everyone’s doing it is cost. Modern OLED’S have less ghosting, obviously better blacks and color in general which makes anything dark better but things like horror games are basically unplayable on LCD when compared to OLED. Image persistence is better on an LCD but not by much anymore and it’s really only something that effects loading screens. It’s never an issue when playing.

      I really hope the index 2 goes back to OLED…

      • kraeuterbutter

        they will not i believe
        i like LCD more than OLED
        it depends.. but oled is often too black for my eyes.. details are lost in the dark…

        i compared that for example with my Odyssey+ (Oled) vs. Index with the Game Moss –> in dark areas the odyssey+ was only black….
        on the index i could see, that it was not only black, but there was a wood-texture as well

        • d0x360

          Details are lost in the black? No no..you have it wrong bud. If it’s completely black then it’s supposed to be. That’s the benefit of OLED. They can make how dark it is exactly as they want but LCD can’t without tons of local dimming zones…which don’t really work for VR and even with them it doesn’t match LCD.

          OLED ALWAYS shows more details in darker areas.

          Here’s a perfect example… The episode of game of thrones where the whites attack the north. Everyone complained they couldn’t see ANYTHING but I was watching on an LG OLED and I could see literally everything. It made the episode intense…

          Then I watched the same episode on a 4k quantum dot LCD with best in class local dimming and I couldn’t see a damn thing.

          Watch the latest video on Linus tech tips about the LG Cx.

          OLED is king and it’s going to be along time until something replaces it.
          I game on a 2016 LG c9. I have zero burn in and despite being limited to 60fps I have no ghosting, I can see better in dark areas and in a few weeks I’m buying the CX so I’ll have 120fps support with VRR at 65 inches. It’s going to be incredible and that tech could be in an HMD and it would be the hands down best display in an HMD PERIOD END OF STORY.

          • Rosko

            I must say i miss OLED of my Rift i really hope this LCD trend stops.

          • d0x360

            Absolutely. LCD had it’s time but that time is OVER. Even Samsung has stopped making LCD panels and started making only OLED.

            There’s a very good reason for that. They are simply better and they keep improving year after year.

          • kraeuterbutter

            ok, played yesterday VAder Immortal for first time..
            and yes: looks much better on the Quest1 than on the Quest2 in dark areas (so most of the time in the game)
            have to say that..

            nevertheless: as i said at beginning: in the Game MOss i tested one year ago side by side my index with my then Odyssey+ (OLED), and there was lot of detail lost by the odyssey+ in the dark..
            a door which was by 50% only blackblack on the odyssey+ showed wooden textures on the index

            maybe its Black-Crush, a known problem than still in 2020 many OLED tvs and also some smartphones suffer

          • d0x360

            That’s probably not an issue with the OLED panels they use it’s probably bad calibration.

            Every screen needs calibration…you buy a TV and you either hire a pro to calibrate or do it yourself.

            VR HMD’s are calibrated by whoever makes them. If they don’t do a good job you have problems.

            Oculus calibrated their OLED’s fantastically. That’s the difference.

            You also have the lenses which can also make a huge difference. The materials used, how they are made… there are different quality levels there too.

            Oculus, Valve and HTC have the best handle on those aspects. They have been working on it the longest and devoted massive resources to get everything right. Hell oculus released 2 dev units to help hone everything to perfection. If CV1 was 2k it would still be the best HMD on the market. Yeah yeah 4k exists but they are bs.

        • sfmike

          I have to heartily agree with d0x360 that the LCD screen in the Oculus 2, which I really like, ruins it for watching movies or playing games that take place in dark locations. The improvement of the screen door effect is great but the grey haze in large black areas and the lack of color “pop” due to the lousy black level ruins a lot of games and video enjoyment for me. Even with the screen door effect on the Oculus 1 I’m keeping it for watching movies and viewing my own video and photographic content because it look 50% better to me. Sad to say the black level on the 2 is way worse than I imagined from reviews. There has to be a way of improving the awful LCD black levels. Engineers get to it!

        • Mythos88

          You don’t lose any detail whatsoever because of better black levels. It is the opposite of that.

      • Kingopinno

        I think that OLED are better for VR only if they use a RGB matrix ( like the psvr one), pentile OLED are worse than RGB LCD thanks to the less subpixel count, which means less definition and more sde.

        RGB OLED >>> RGB LCD
        pentile OLED < RGB LCD

        • d0x360

          You are overthinking the issue here. Even if they used a pentile OLED (because they last longer) you still end up with a better image overall than you would with an LCD.

          Plus LG is the largest manufacturer of OLED panels and they make RGB panels. Samsung makes Pentile generally speaking.

          LG would likely come in with the best bid due to their size and the fact that they own almost all patents related to OLED means they can make and sell them for less money.

          The only reason we probably got LCD in current HMD’s is because they were cheaper and everyone was trying to cut costs.

          Hopefully the “next gen” of main HMD’s won’t be as concerned with shaving $5 off the price except for Oculus and the Quest Line. Chances are that will remain LCD because it’s supposed to be THE mass market HMD.

    • kraeuterbutter

      hmm.. why do i have definitly MORE Fov on the Quest2 than on my quest1 (with original facecover)
      i use IPD-SEtting Nr. 2 on the quest2
      it is definitly more FOV

      on the Quest1 the FOV is worse than on the Index with eye-distance set to 11 (maximum)
      the Quest 2 is comparible on the index with the eye-distance set to 7

      • Skippy76

        You are on crack buddy..
        The Index has 130FOV and the Q2 has 90..

  • Michael Lupton

    The comments are weird on this one, everyone is claiming it is sponsotred but the article recommends 4 headsets based on what is currently release from 4 different companies, 2 of which are at odds with each other and if it was a sponsored article they would need to disclose that somewhere in the articcle, most places do it at the beginning or very end. Also it would be filled with affiliate links so the site could make some comission of the click through sales.

    • Ad

      I just hate the format, where they list the Q2 three times. When there are just 4 headsets, just compare the three rather than acting like this is the Oscars with pre determined categories.

  • Ad

    But I have a badly calibrated DSLR I shoved up to the lenses out of focus, you have to use that to make all your purchasing decisions.

  • Well, giving two slots to the Quest 2 is a bit redundant. You could have given a prize to the Pico Neo 2 Eye that is a very good headset for enterprise

    • benz145

      This is focused on consumers and people who are new to VR.

  • TechPassion

    OK guys, fine, but please do not lock yourself mainly on Facebook/Oculus/Rift S train.

    • Gonzax

      Come on, man, no device with those controllers can even begin to be considered the best headset overall, absolutely not. Cheap? yes but almost any other headset is better.

      • TechPassion

        The controllers are great. Not only joystick but also a clickable touchpad other brands don’t have. Odyssey+ controllers are very good. Could have been more compact, but not a problem.

  • Zack71

    Q2 is great!
    This is the first headset without screen door effect!
    You can play with pc untethered with VD: Alyx is wonferful without wires!
    But you can play without pc too! I am playing with The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners and what I can say is that the experience is very near to the experience with pc.

    • Rudl Za Vedno

      HP Reverb was actually the first one, maybe Samsung’s Odyssey+ if you count light dispersion cheat as viable.

    • kraeuterbutter

      the Q2 has still SDE
      also the Reverb G1 (But less than the Quest2)

      the DPVR 4k had less SDE than the Quest2
      (but the Headset was for so many other reasons crap -only headset I sold 2 weeks later)

      • Zack71

        Did you try it?

        I own the Q2 (and Q1 and PS VR…) and I can swear that the SDO is imperceptible. And, remember, 90 hz option is still disable.

  • Jeff

    I had gearvr,dk2,psvr,cv1,mirage,quest,odyssey,reverb,Pimax 5k plus and quest 2. The best is quest 2 but 5k plus has extremely wide fov and high hz.High dollar too and to much accessories like light houses and additional gear not included…wands and base stations required.Next gen guest should go higher hz and wider fov.

    • Jeff

      Jesus loves you !

  • VR5

    You can also use the headset to play non-VR PS4 content in a ‘theater mode’ through the headset, but with relatively low resolution it’s not something you’re likely to do often.

    If you play in the maximum size cinema mode the advantage in size outweighs the lower resolution. What use is higher resolution if you have to play on a small screen?

    If your TV is crazy huge (like three digit inches) the slightly larger cinema screen might not be worth the resolution hit. But for people like me, with a 40 inch screen (sitting one meter away from) cinema mode is just so much better.

    Drift is the bigger distractor for cinema mode, though it varies by hardware and might not be a problem for everyone.

    Though now that I have tasted the delicous Full HD 200 inch virtual screen of the Quest 2, I kinda hope Sony hurries up and just releases a higher resolution PSVR successor. I don’t absolutely need the higher resolution but when you have it, it is sweet.

  • Ad

    I think you and I are the only ones who care about passthrough, but with color and higher resolution the index will win that fight out of all of these headsets when Valve actually tweaks the software. Also I would reach out to HP since they seem to have a couple of new review units.

  • MosBen

    Man, if only the Reverb G2 could be paired with the Index controllers. Well, here’s hoping that we see something cool announced at whatever non-event stands in for CES in a few months.

    • kraeuterbutter

      you CAN pair the index-controllers with the Reverb G2
      watch out for MRTV-youtube-video, he as explained it…

      you need: 2 seperate Valve Bluetooth-dongles… can buy them for 50bugs each or: can use the ones which were included at the discontinued Steam-Controller
      need 2 of them
      than you can bind the Index-Controllers with that bluetooth-Dongles and use them together with the G2
      he has tested it with his G2 test-sample
      once you have set it up, it work flawlessly

      the downside: you have to buy 2 Stations and 2 controllers = 600Euro additional to the Reverb G2
      but: in sum not that much more expensive, than a complete Index-Set as well..

      • MosBen

        That’s pretty interesting, man, especially since I already have a Steam controller knocking around in my desk. Still, that’s not the elegant, easy solution that I’d hope for. Knowing that it’s an option is still getting me thinking though.

        Truthfully, I just finished my PC upgrade, but didn’t upgrade my graphics card since my 1070 is mostly able to keep up with what I need it to do for now and that kept the cost of the build down. I figure that I’ll upgrade the graphics card some time next year, so I may as well wait until then to see if some new VR gear gets released.

    • ArtemiyNeko

      You can do that to some degree with the Space Calibrator, but yeah, I wish there was a proper first party Lighthouse faceplate like on the Cosmos.

  • DickDastardly

    It seems like a bit of a stretch to call the Index the best PCVR headset when the Quest 2 can play PCVR both wired and wireless (something the article neglects to even mention), has 50% better resolution, better lenses, better software, better compatibility, better portability, better controllers (and controller free hand tracking), requires no external devices for tracking, is lighter, and is a third of the price.

    Sure, the Index beats it in FOV (although the difference is more than 20 degrees smaller than the incorrect diagonal FOV figures given in the article claim), and also in sound, but you can buy some pretty great headphones for $650.

    If you really wanted to have the Index win something, perhaps you could create a new category for “Best PCVR headset with no wireless capability which uses Lighthouses”.

    • wheeler

      This is quite the biased comparison. Having tried both, the Index still comes out on top IMO.

      better resolution

      That is offset by compression artifacts, reprojection artifacts, and higher latency. I’m reading many reports that many people even prefer the Rift S to Q2 Link or VD (and I’d have to agree with them).

      better lenses

      Only if glare is your concern. Otherwise Index has better edge to edge clarity and geometric stability. And you can actually align them to your eyes properly with continuous IPD adjustment and lens depth adjustment (vs making compromises in geometric stability with a larger “adjustment sweetspot”)

      better software

      Fixed by Revive. Also FB is done with PCVR exclusives and in any case it appears MOH:AA and others will be coming to Steam if downloading revive is too much of a pain.

      better controllers

      The knuckles controllers are widely regarded as the best VR controllers. Yes, preferences do vary

      better portability

      True but I don’t think people are using their PCVR headsets outside of the same space in 99% of situations so it really doesn’t matter.

      is a third of the price

      True but looking at the steam numbers a large percentage of PC gamers are willing to pay for premium–as usual. The split between Index and Rift S on Steam is almost 40:60 at this point, despite the former being over twice as much.

      wireless

      True–but only for the time being. A 60GHz wireless adapter will likely allow them to transmit the signal without compression, without any noticeable latency, and without reprojection artifacts.

      requires no external tracking

      True, but if you want the most accurate and low latency tracking, there is nothing better than lighthouse. And the high end is willing to pay for it.

      is lighter and a third of the price

      True.

      • kraeuterbutter

        i agree with wheeler
        i have also all 3 headsets (quest1 with oled, quest2 and index)

        the quest1 is now out of the game… it was not used very often before, but now the Quest2 blows it – for me – out of the water..
        don´t care about Blacks when so much other things are way better

        but the Index is still king..
        everytime when i put the index on the head, same games: yes it is on paper only “a little more” FOV..
        but it feels much more immersive because of that

        the quest2 came a long way… came much much closer to the index than the quest1
        and because of the easy, fast game-starting.. its possible that i will use it now much more often
        dont have to boot the pc, can pause a game and continoue within seconds 2 days later,… great

        but for visuals, quality, immersion (as long as you not too much bothered by the cable), comfort (that includes: eyes, brain, motionsickness, hz, geometric stability of the shown picture, very low pixelanzeigezeiten, ….) the index is still king for me

        • Foreign Devil

          YOu can pause a game on Quest 2 and continue it 2 days later? Does it have a sleep mode? I just assumed I need to power off my QUest 2 whenever I did not use it for awhile.

      • DickDastardly

        Only if glare is your concern.

        It’s a pretty big concern, as is the Index’s relatively small sweet spot.

        Fixed by Revive.

        I was actually referring to Oculus’s SDK vs Steam VR i.e. ASW 2.0, Timewarp layers, Passthrough+ etc.

        The knuckles controllers are widely regarded as the best VR controllers.

        For those who can get past the ergonomics which IMO were ruined by Valve’s touchpad fetish and the bizarre decision to cram the analogue stick way off to the side instead of where the touchpad is; or who don’t mind randomly dropping items when their grip relaxes slightly or accidentally picking stuff up when their fingers brush against the controller; or who don’t mind having to frequently manually configure their controllers (as the majority of games are designed around Touch).

        I don’t think people are using their PCVR headsets outside of the same space in 99% of situations

        Well Index users certainly aren’t ;).

        looking at the steam numbers a large percentage of PC gamers are willing to pay for premium–as usual. The split between Index and Rift S on Steam is almost 40:60 at this point

        When Rift and Rift S reached the number 1 & 2 positions on Steam, Valve changed the counting methodology to primarily favour Steam VR logs rather than their notoriously unreliable headset detection algorithm. This had the “coincidental” effect of dropping the proportion of Rift users reported by ~40% (as most decent games on Steam offer optional Oculus API support and playing these doesn’t show up in the Steam VR logs). Headsets which exclusively rely on Steam VR (like the Index) saw a corresponding rise in their reported proportions (all in the same month in which Valve changed their counting method).

        All Steam survey results since then have this under-reporting of Oculus HMDs baked in (and of course also don’t capture any of the Oculus users who just use the Oculus store, a proportion which is likely to rise even higher with the Quest 2 thanks to the majority of titles supporting cross-buy).

        A 60GHz wireless adapter will likely allow them to transmit the signal without compression

        And will itself likely cost more than the entire Quest 2 package, if it ever appears.

        if you want the most accurate and low latency tracking, there is nothing better than lighthouse. And the high end is willing to pay for it.

        Lighthouse tracking is indeed excellent, but Insight is indistinguishable in 99.9% of circumstances in normal use (and lacks all the drawbacks of Lighthouses like the need to need to mount stuff, deterioration in tracking quality as the distance from a Lighthouse increases, being tied to a single room, increased costs, the teeth grating whining noise they put out etc).

        At the end of the day, sales speak for themselves and all indications are that insight-out CV based headsets like the Rift S and Quest(s) are significantly outselling anything which uses Lighthouses. It’s therefore not too surprising that HP again opted for CV tracking with the G2.

        • Pulstar44

          “For those who can get past the ergonomics which IMO were ruined by Valve’s touchpad fetish and the bizarre decision to cram the analogue stick way off to the side instead of where the touchpad is; or who don’t mind randomly dropping items when their grip relaxes slightly or accidentally picking stuff up when their fingers brush against the controller; or who don’t mind having to frequently manually configure their controllers (as the majority of games are designed around Touch).”

          I absolutely positively could not agree more. I seriously dislike the index controllers for all the reasons you listed. I would kill for someone to release alternate controllers for steam like the touch controllers. Finger tracking is way overrated and completely unused IMHO

          • ArtemiyNeko

            Finger tracking is very useful for VRchat, which is super popular.

            Admittedly normal games are designed for the lowest common denominator so they don’t get much benefit from finger tracking, true.

        • Tabp

          You try to use sales as the great decision maker, but the Index is perpetually sold out with long waiting times. The original Vive sold well until it was phased out, and the cosmos with internal cameras was a disaster.

          Tracking? Lighthouses are on a completely different level of quality. You can’t even do full body without them. HP’s first priority is business use, which doesn’t require good tracking like gaming and content creation do.

          Now for the big elephant in the room: Facebook’s account linkage requirement makes the quest incompatible with everyone their algorithm doesn’t like. They require real names, ban alt accounts, and have been suspending some accounts incorrectly, especially ones that revived after being inactive for a while or were newly created. All kinds of horror stories about this are filling the internet. That alone should be enough to disqualify the quest 2 from a best headset competition.

          • DickDastardly

            the Index is perpetually sold out with long waiting times

            When the Quest 2 launched, the long waiting times for the Index disappeared overnight. I suspect there just might be a connection there.

            Tracking? Lighthouses are on a completely different level of quality. You can’t even do full body without them

            Lol, you can’t “even” do full body tracking with them in 99.99% of games. If virtually dressing up as a 12 year old anime girl is your idea of gameplay then I guess there’s VR Chat, and I vaguely remember some very indie game which lets you kick dinosaurs, but that’s about it.

            As for being on a completely different level of quality, I doubt one person in a hundred could tell if they were using Insight tracking or Lighthouses in a blind test of normal play in a random game.

    • Dick Massive

      Not having a Facebook account as a REQUIREMENT, is the biggest win of all the PCVR headsets. No other argument is necessary. But one other thing to add, a USB port is NOT a comparison to a display port, don’t even go there.

  • Man From JPN

    My best is Quest.Because My IPD is 71mm. So Perfect setting headset are vive ce, quest,psvr. Quest 2 is max ajust IPD 68mm.I feel headache with Quest2 ,playing game over 1 hour. IPD matching is very important!!

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Yeah, it’s the biggest flaw of the Quest 2, why they didn’t just add a few more positions to cater for even more people is beyond me, I cannot imagine the extra spots would increase the price, as it’s all plastic (and with the current way of having to adjust the lenses, I doubt you will be able to adjust it many times before the plastic spots will wear out).

  • Jokin

    Yes yes Im computing from 1982, and VR from 2013. And Im happy to your perfect comparison without my 8KX 4K native per eye and vive roomscale the best with different.

    Thx for your intelligence!

  • Marcus

    What I hated most about the PSVR was the missing IPD slider. Please add at least an IPD row to the specs table as for the other headsets.

  • Dave

    The specs for the Quest 2 are incorrect. This is a single LCD screen
    1,832 × 1,920 and is not per-eye.This is why if you use the outter most IPD adjustment then it’s possible to see the outter edges of the display.

    • Sven Viking

      No, that’s correct — it’s a 3664 x 1920 panel.

  • TrumpSupporter

    I consider NReal idea as the best

  • Sven Viking

    Narrow win for PSVR in the console VR category.

  • Nilok

    You may need to reconsider your review of the Quest 2 with the elite strap. There may be a material issue with the strap causing it to break.

    • Liam Downes

      They’ve even confirmed that they’re looking into a quality issue.

  • Gregor Rooks

    What do you think about Samsung HMD (third one https://www.bestadvisor.com/virtual-reality-headsets )?

  • I never search about VRs but looks like some games will works only with the correct oculus? just what the fuck? the market of VR is a pure chaos without any pattern rules to make their shit compatible?