With more VR headsets on that market than ever and even more upcoming, 2021 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.

We’ve refreshed our list with the latest info. Here’s a quick summary of changes:

  • Added Vive Pro 2 to ‘Upcoming’
  • Updated specifications charts for all headsets with additional information
  • Added info on Air Link and 120Hz to Quest 2 sections
Jump to:

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

The Best PC VR Headsets in 2021

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, great audio, 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, placed up high on a shelf, or screwed into your wall. 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 x 1,600 (2.3MP) per-eye, LCD (2x)
Refresh Rate 80Hz, 90Hz, 120Hz, 144Hz
Lenses Double element Fresnel
Field-of-view ~130° diagonal
Optical Adjustments IPD, eye-relief
IPD Adjustment 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)
On-board cameras 2x RGB
Input Valve Index controllers (rechargable battery)
Audio Off-ear headphones, 3.5mm aux output
Microphone Dual microphone
Pass-through view Yes
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.


Also Consider: HP Reverb G2 – $600

While Valve’s Index has great all-around performance, HP’s new Reverb G2 is the headset you want if resolution is your most important consideration. 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—find out why in our full review.

Pros

When it comes right down to it, G2’s defining feature is its class-leading resolution of 2,160 × 2,160, which can look downright amazing with the right content. Thanks to a collaboration between Valve and HP, G2 also borrows the excellent headphones of Valve’s Index headset and brings improved controllers compared to previous WMR headsets. Not to mention the headset has inside-out tracking which makes it easier to use thanks to no external trackers. And who can argue with it being nearly half the price of the full Valve Index kit?

Cons

Although it boasts improved controller ergonomics compared to prior WMR headsets, Reverb G2’s controller tracking still has more latency and less reliability than its peers, along with less detailed (and somewhat noisy) haptics. The controllers will get you through most games just fine, but if you plan to primarily play competitive or fast-paced games, the controllers on other headsets tend to deliver better results. As for field of view, G2 is similar to most of its peers but loses out compared to Index. The pass-through view also isn’t as useful as some other headsets because of its odd ‘flashlight’ implementation.

HP Reverb G2 Specs
Resolution 2,160 x 2,160 (4.7MP) per-eye, LCD (2x)
Refresh Rate 90Hz
Lenses Single element Fresnel
Field-of-view 114° diagonal
Optical Adjustments IPD
IPD Adjustment Range 60–68mm
Connectors USB-C, DisplayPort, Power
Cable Length 6m
Tracking Inside-out (no external beacons)
On-board cameras 4x IR
Input Reverb G2 controllers (AA battery 2x), voice
Audio Off-ear headphones
Microphone Yes
Pass-through view 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.


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 a PC) it also has a feature called Oculus Link which gives you the option to run PC VR games by plugging into a PC. And if you have a modern router (Wi-Fi 5 or Wi-Fi 6), you can even do this wirelessly with the recently introduced Air Link feature.

Pros

Along with the useful passthrough feature, high resolution display, and great controllers, Quest 2 is a pretty great all-around headset. The hard-to-beat price makes it a great value, especially considering the fact that the headset also runs standalone VR games from the Oculus Quest store. Oculus has also consistently released softwares updates to improve the headset’s performance and features.

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. Or if you have a Wi-Fi 5 or Wi-Fi 6 router you can use Air Link to play PC VR games wirelessly.

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. The built in audio is convenient, but we wish it was higher quality. It’s also worth noting that you need a Facebook account to use the headset.

Oculus Quest 2 Specs
Resolution 1,832 x 1,920 (3.5MP) per-eye, LCD (1x)
Refresh Rate 60Hz, 72Hz, 90Hz, 120Hz
Lenses Single element Fresnel
Field-of-view ~90° diagonal
Optical Adjustments IPD, eye-relief (via included spacer)
IPD Adjustment Range 58mm, 63mm, 68mm
Processor Snapdragon XR2
RAM 6GB
Storage 64GB / 256GB
Connectors USB-C
Battery Life 2-3 hours
Tracking Inside-out (no external beacons)
On-board cameras 4x IR
Input
Oculus Touch v3 (AA battery 1x), hand-tracking, voice
Audio In-headstrap speakers, 3.5mm aux output
Microphone Yes
Pass-through view 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: HTC Vive Pro 2 – $1,400

Image courtesy HTC

Though it isn’t available just yet, HTC has announced the Vive Pro 2 which looks to up the ante on specs over Valve Index, while operating within the same excellent SteamVR Tracking ecosystem. Here’s the specs as we know them so far:

Vive Pro 2 Specs

Resolution 2,448 x 2,448 (6.0MP) per-eye, LCD (2x)
Refresh Rate 90Hz, 120Hz
Lenses Dual-element Fresnel
Field-of-view 120° horizontal
Optical Adjustments IPD, eye-relief
IPD Adjustment Range 57–72mm
Connectors USB 3.0, DisplayPort 1.2, power
Cable Length 5m (breakout box)
Tracking SteamVR Tracking 1.0 or 2.0 (external beacons)
On-board cameras 2x RGB
Input Vive wand controllers, rechargable battery
Audio On-ear headphones, USB-C audio output
Microphone Dual microphone
Pass-through view Yes

Our Take

On paper, the Vive Pro 2 is looking pretty impressive (but the price is a lot to swallow). The resolution is a huge leap compared to Valve Index, going from 2.3MP per-eye to 6.0MP per eye (this also beats out Reverb G2’s 4.7MP per-eye). HTC also claims the Vive Pro 2 field-of-view is 120° horizontal, which ought to be even larger than the 130° diagonal FOV of Index. Granted, the lenses in HTC’s headsets have historically had small sweet spots which could make that much FOV less useful than it seems on paper. Vive Pro 2 has a new lens design so we’ll have to wait to see if that changes.

Although the ‘full kit’ version of Vive Pro 2 is effectively outside of even the enthusiast VR price range, the headset alone will be sold for $800, and it can be used with any existing SteamVR Tracking base stations and controllers. That means if you’re upgrading from the original Vive, Vive Pro, or Valve Index, you can use the hardware you already have rather than buying the full kit.

We’ll be witholding judgment on the Vive Pro 2 until we have a chance to test it. The Vive Pro headset by itself launches June 3rd, while the full kit package will launch sometime in July.


The Best Standalone VR Headsets in 2021

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, though it’s worth noting that you need a Facebook account 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

There’s a few things we wish were better though. 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 use your own headphones). 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 x 1,920 (3.5MP) per-eye, LCD (1x)
Refresh Rate 60Hz, 72Hz, 90Hz, 120Hz
Lenses Single element Fresnel
Field-of-view ~90° diagonal
Optical Adjustments IPD, eye-relief (via included spacer)
IPD Adjustment Range 58mm, 63mm, 68mm
Processor Snapdragon XR2
RAM 6GB
Storage 64GB / 256GB
Connectors USB-C
Battery Life 2-3 hours
Tracking Inside-out (no external beacons)
On-board cameras 4x IR
Input
Oculus Touch v3 (AA battery 1x), hand-tracking, voice
Audio In-headstrap speakers, 3.5mm aux output
Microphone Yes
Pass-through view Yes
Content Compatibility

Oculus Quest 2 is compatible with all content in the Oculus Quest library. If you have a gaming PC (or get one in the future), 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 2021

If you know anything about VR, you’ll already know what we’re going to say! PlayStation is the only console maker 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 2021 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. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find at reasonable prices; it should cost around $350, but we’re seeing bundles priced around $500 on Amazon right now.

That’s probably because Sony has since announced that it’s working on a PSVR 2. While PS5 is backwards compatible with PSVR, it seems the company is counting on the upcoming version of the headset to take console VR into the next generation.

PSVR Specs
Resolution 960 x 1,080 (1.0MP) per-eye, RGB OLED (1x)
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 (breakout box)
Tracking Outside-in (external camera)
On-board cameras None
Input
DualShock 4 (rechargeable), PS Move (rechargeable), PS Aim (rechargeable), voice
Audio Earbuds, 3.5mm aux output
Microphone Yes
Pass-through view 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. The vast majority of PSVR titles are also backwards compatible with PS5.

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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?

    • Sinshi Uzumaki

      I don’t even think those videos are legit. I noticed that many are the same video with different labels. You can rewatch the previous ones. It seems they have the same settings, text, content, etc.
      I am sorry, but I don’t think they are correct.

  • 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.

          • Dmacell

            Yep and they worked great when i put them in my new G-2 as well as the O+. I get like two weeks between charges.

          • 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.

      • Dmacell

        Once i added a few extra velcro straps to the O+ it was a comfortable as my vive with the deluxe audio strap. They got it much better with the new G-2. And for seated not having that dial jam me in the back of my head is great!

  • 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!

      • polysix

        True. Cancelled my g2.. too janky, still got rift cv1, love oled but quest 2 is amazing fun, much higher res… ease of use and less god rays. Everyone who loves VR should have a quest 2. It looks waaaay better than index too.

        • George Moonman

          As someone who has both, the G2 is the much better headset, the quest 2 controllers are marginally better but marginally to the point that once you are “in” the game the visuals on the G2 completely sell it and you don’t actually notice the difference in controllers

          Both Q2 and G2 controllers have minor hiccups from time to time but nothing game breaking..

          The quest 2 is better for “excercise” VR like beat saber, but not for anything graphical like FPS or Sims.

    • 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

        • I’d agree, I’m never getting rid of my OG Rift even if I have to pay an exorbitant amount in the future for a third headset cable, it’s just such a nice headset. That said, the resolution pales in comparison to these newer headsets, even the Rift S, so I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a Q2

          • JT

            I hated all of those sensors around my room.

      • Jistuce

        “double tap on right side for pass through mode”
        Quest 1 has that, at least. I’ve set it off accidentally more times than I have on purpose.

    • 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.

          • Heliosurge

            However it seems Samsung has ditched VR.

          • polysix

            Samsung have just developed an oled display specifically FOR VR, so no they haven’t abandoned VR. Hope index 2 and quest 3 use it.

            Yes i have rift cv1 and quest 2, blacks are better on cv1 but everything else is better and more funon quest 2 esp resolution, ease of use and the fov is a more natural shape. Im playing alyx via link on quest 2 and it looks tons better than native on rift cv1 cos it also has much less god rays which are a Vr killer more than bad blacks!,

          • Cless

            Now that you mention that. I’m suspecting since VR depends so much on the tech that appears in phones… We might see some high resolution OLED VR panels soon, by the hand of Sony. Their latest flagship phone will have 4K 120fps HDR OLED display…(the first one of this kind!)
            So if we are lucky, we might see those same panels done to the size and shape for VR (since size wise, they are very close to the size VR uses)

          • Heliosurge

            We need micro/nano leds. But yes LCDs do have there limitations same with Oled. We need better display tech.

          • 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.

          • Heliosurge

            Oculus is likely in part with what the fellow was talking about with the oled. In Elite Dangerous for example has gas clouds which are omitted on the Og Rift and vive.

            Now sure modern mobile Oleds that are RGB likely have fixed this. However as others point out the variety is just not available.

            As for Game of Thrones example you gave. I had no issues seeing details. So likely an issue folks had with there screen settings. Granted I use a computer vs tv broadcasts.

          • d0x360

            If you had an LCD then it must be horribly calibrated if you could see anything in that episode at the start.

            As for your issues with OLED.. you’re insane. It’s just that simple.

            OLED has less (basically zero) ghosting while LCD has tons, OLED has true blacks and whites, proper contrast, better color accuracy.

            It’s superior in ever way for VR..and just about anything else.

            Move on.

          • Heliosurge

            Check out Elite Dangerous on a Monitor. The Haze is a gas cloud your flying through which is crushed on oled headsets. This is a known fact.

            Now as for you to say my lcd tv must be horribly calibrated for me to have decent blacks(not perfect) and see details in Game of Thrones episode you mentioned just shows your bias.

            Now while hit the end of the road if you want to see missing details to compare to oled try an old plasma. With vr only Sony has 120hz oled rgb display. All others have been only 90hz max on a mobile display and either Amoled or in StarVR One RGBW. And as you can swe StarVR One downgraded the RES. Microled/NanoLed will likely replace Oled.

            Contrast wise Oled is great but as others pointed out with LG it is RGBW which lg got blasted for “fake” 4k TVs.

          • Cless

            3D Game dev here. OLED is superior in any way like d0x360 is saying, fullstop.
            The thing is, calibration affects all displays, yes, but it does LCD displays too so its kind of irrelevant.
            One thing that affects a lot will be, that games that are not made with OLED in mind might use tricks to make dark scenes better looking on LCDs.
            Thank god that trend is stopping now that decent OLED tv’s and LCD with full local dimming array are a thing.

            For VR though, OLED is the superior technology, and the only reason its not in newer headsets is, PRICE.

          • mirak

            When light can be coded from 0 to 100, the Index can show levels only between 20 and 100, while OLED can emit light levels between say 3 and 20.

            To not have values between 0 and 20 that cannot be displayed, I guess the Index increase the overall light, so 0 becomes 20, 5 becomes 25 and 20 becomes 40.

            The OLED will show real 5 and 20 colors, the LCD will not, this is why you believe you see more details, but probably in the scene you watched, your eyes had to adapt to bright lights in the scene, that in turn makes you blind to light between 0 and 20.

        • 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.

          • MasterElwood

            LG OLED TVs are NOT RGB – they are RGBW.

          • Cless

            You are right in most things you said and I’m pretty sure most people downvoting you don’t know shit about how this things work at all.

            The only reason OLED panels aren’t made at this size, people, is PRICE, let me say it again so they understand P-R-I-C-E.
            We have the technology, and we’ve had it for more than half a DECADE. It just isn’t feasible because of the insanely high cost of production.
            OLED IS SUPERIOR to LCD in ALL specs. The reason it isn’t its because again, doing so bumps up the price to ridiculous prices.

            The day LCD is phased out completely can’t come soon enough to shut up half this people, jeez.

          • d0x360

            It is feasible because the first generation of pc HMD’s used 90hz OLED. Yes they are a little more expensive but not so much that switching to LCD was a good idea. Plus it was the users who paid not the companies.

          • Cless

            Well, until recently we weren’t talking about “a bit” more expensive… More on the line of 15k per headset apparently… (For a 2K per eye we are talking here…) But Sony apparently figured out a way to fix that!

          • d0x360

            What? They haven’t been that expensive for over 20 years. The Rift and the original Vive (along with others) used OLED panels. They weren’t expensive. Sure they cost more than an LCD but only a few bucks more per display and for that few bucks you got significant better image quality, less ghosting, better colors, better blacks & whites… Hell you could actually play dark games without everything looking gray.

            There’s no reason to be using inferior LCD panels in any HMD. OLED panels are cheap enough that even the Quest could use them without Facebook needing to raise the price.

            It’s a myth that they are expensive. It’s a fact that they are better… Much much better.

            I love my Rift S but I think if I could tell past me to keep my original Rift (and 3 sensors) I’d do it. Yeah I love not needing to have sensors but there are so many games that just look awful on LCD.

          • Cless

            Nono, I’m talking literally here. Its not a problem of OLED in itself, but about making panels that will be used exclusively for VR.
            There are no other products in the world at the moment that need that ridiculously dense displays, so the factories need to make a whole new process and new factory production lines that makes OLED displays more dense just to make only a few million of them (if lucky).

            The day phones get displays denser than 4K displays, which might not happen at all, those kind of displays might get cheaper. The displays most OLED VR headsets use at the moment, are the same tech that phones with 4K screens use (I know it sounds weird, but the PPI of 4K displays from phones is the same as the one used for the vive pro for example)
            If you want higher than 1.6K resolution OLED displays of that size, that is what that is the asking price from the factories.

          • Andross

            even with LCD that specific kind of production it’s like an exclusive i think. at the same time they already came out (and with not so much high price) hight density OLED, like the 4k display on LG G5 in the past (and today a 4K pentile is probably still better than an lcd, for a medium range vr headset).
            of course my hope is in microled, meanwhile i keep my CV1, i still prefer it than lcd solutions i tested.

          • Cless

            No, I don’t think so. Until now it hasn’t been the case at all.
            Most LCD displays have been pretty much based on phone technology with some small changes here and there. Most of the stuff is phone tech repurposed for VR.

            And the same applies for OLED displays for VR. The high density 4K OLED panels you are talking about, have a resolution around 1600p. Don’t you think that is an interesting coincidence? No OLED panel up to this point has passed 1600p, in fact, most if not all of them have maxed out at 1600p, which happens to be the maximum density the OLED phone displays have gotten up to.

            Also, no, if I remember properly the LG G5 had a 1440p LCD display, so I don’t know what phone you are talking about exactly, in any case, your point would continue being moot.

          • Andross

            you’re right, i hd a LG G5 but i remember wrong, was not 4k, but 1440p.
            what i meant before about “exclusive” is only about the final product, of course the base can start from something else (i mean, they can’t recycle literally smartphone display, right?).
            is not possibile to have a vertical 1440 or 1600p (not pentile) resolution on an oled display today? that could be enough imho, for much people.

          • d0x360

            That’s also not true because the manufacturing process by it’s very nature means any size display can easily be made.

            It’s significantly easier to make a small high ppi OLED display than it is to make the same LCD display.

            That’s not even considering new manufacturing processes like the ability to print an OLED panel in a similar manner as an ink jet printer.

            LG owns most of these patents especially since they bought a significant number of them from BASF but that’s also not an issue since LG makes most OLED panels on the market and sells them to other companies like (for example) Sony. These companies use them to make TV’s, computer monitors, medical displays… Everything.

            So cost is not the issue. Not insofar that it would be prohibitively costly to use them over LCD.

          • Cless

            Its not about how easy it is or not. Its about if they are going to be used. Nobody except us VR people want 8K 3 and a half inch displays, so they won’t make them? Why? Because economy of scale prohibits it. Easy as that. You don’t need to go in so deep to talk about patents. Also, the 15k price I gave you, comes from someone that works in de industry of manufacturing OLED panels, so there is literally no reason why doubt that.

          • d0x360

            Making custom sized OLED panels cost no extra than making any sized OLED panels. If you order 20k small panels you would pay for the size of the panel and that’s it. You don’t pay extra because it’s smaller.

            That’s not how OLED manufacturing works so I suggest you talk to your insider again because they are grossly misinformed..

            Hell a Google search into production would tell you that.

          • Cless

            I’m curious to know where are you getting your information from. But that now is besides the point.

            Again, my point is, a custom order is the problem. If you don’t want what they are already making, you have a big problem.
            Until now it was pretty much a “Hey, you know the 4K panels you are already making for phones? We want the same, but make them them square instead !(where smaller DOES mean easier) Same PPI and Hz, no need for changes there either!”
            But now you are asking for them to do a whole new smaller process they are not currently making. That will require time, R&D and will take space in the factories away from making other OLED displays that actually ARE in demand. In other sectors there isn’t a demand for those, since we don’t really have need or mobile CPUS capable of driving 6-8K phones.
            On top of that, a modest increase in HZ is also in order, to 120hz, which also means they need to increase the brightness of the panel too. All of that stuff comes at a premium.

            And even on top of that again, that will bring some new problems to the table. Like more defects per batch, and OLED are already quite sensitive to that, making packing them tighter will exacerbate the problem making them again, more expensive.

            Our saviors would be if some of the companies that are already making OLED and putting R&D into it make them. That would also skip the “custom order” deal, and make it more feasible. I think the only ones with the interest in that would be Sony (with JDI), Samsung, since they already did, and maybe LG? They do seem more interested in microdisplays though… and with our current lens technology/budgets we really can’t make those tiny displays occupy a decent amount of our FOV without massive distortion.

            (Also jeez, is it just me, or my PC starts to slowdown when I try to write when all the comments are loaded…? lol)

          • d0x360

            All orders are custom orders. The only difference is size and OLED doesn’t get more expensive due to size except at LARGER sizes.

            The smaller the panel the easier and cheaper it is to manufacture.

            I get my information from many places but a great place for you to start would be patents.

          • Cless

            What? No, not all orders are custom orders, that’s insane. If you ask for the panels they are already doing from for example, any random phone, it will be cheaper since they have all the lines set up and working already, they just need to do more of them.

            Yes the smaller the easier, but that doesn’t track with density. If you want pixels closer together AND a smaller panel, you are going to pay more than making that panel bigger, and that is how it goes.

            Patents sound like a very weird place to look at, but I will give it a try since you mentioned it.

          • d0x360

            Yes all orders are custom orders. They don’t need different tooling to make different sizes of panels because depending on how it’s made it can be be “cut” to size needs or printed to size needs.

            OLED panels aren’t like LCD panels. LCD’s require special tooling for each different kind of panel. OLED’s don’t. That’s one of the things that make them special..

            That being said it doesn’t mean they are cheap but the cost doesn’t come from manufacturing it comes from materials. The material cost for just the OLED panel is more than the cost of the LCD panel, the backlight and basically all the other layers that go into an LCD.

            Also now that they are using enhanced cooling systems to increase brightness and lower the chance of burn in… Or more accurate pixel death, costs are going up… But not all panels will need the extra brightness (VR HMD’s) being one of them.

            Basically OLED can be as bright as LCD it just needs higher voltage pumped through it but that generates heat and OLED pixels are organic and that heat kills pixels quicker. So they are adding heatsinks behind upcoming panels (Sonys already doing it) to make them brighter.

      • I really agree. The low contrast and terrible black levels just don’t do VR justice at all, and to me it often makes it seem like the screen is a bit more foggy and blurry than it actually is, which is just really disappointing. I can’t wait for VR to get past LCD. It’s like what they’ve been doing for years with these modern TVs, which are actually a step down from the vastly superior CRTs in almost every way other than resolution and weight. Such a shame for both standalone VR and traditional gaming that we don’t have the screens to do these experiences true full justice.

      • kontis

        the only reason everyone’s doing it is cost.

        False. Another big reason is LCDs at this size are available in significantly higher resolutions and there are many manufacturers, not just Samsung.
        Being able to source the parts only from a monopoly is a HUGE disadvantage. There are rumours that Valve has this problem with patented high quality motors for lighthouse base stations.

    • 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..

        • Blaexe

          While the Index definitely has a bigger FoV, you’re comparing apples (diagonal FoV) to oranges (horizontal FoV).

          The Index does not have a horizontal FoV of 130°, more like 110°.

    • The contrast ratio and black level is by far the worst issue I have with it. And, while I think the FOV is probably about the same as my Rift CV1, it’s actually the lack of true black that makes it much easier to notice the edges of the lenses half the time, which is really dumb. With a slightly bigger FOV and much better contrast and blacks it would have been a really next-gen upgrade for me, but as it is I feel like it’s just a side step and doesn’t feel like an advancement in any truly meaningful way since I got my Rift CV1 a few years ago. The resolution doesn’t really matter much because most games aren’t pushing visuals that show off the resolution, with low res textures and blurry visuals and foviated rendering and so on, and even if I’m playing games from my PC via Link, it looks worse than just playing them on my original Rift CV1 most of the time. I imagine the Quest 2 would blow away most newcomers, even with it’s dated looking graphics for the most part, but I just find it disappointing overall really.

    • Dave

      Funny that, it reminds me of when the Oculus Rift S came out. I didn’t buy it. I’ve moved to the Reverb G2, yes folks I’d rather battle with the gremlins in the Microsoft WMR platform than cope with the demons of Facebook.

    • JT

      I hated the quest 1! It was so uncomfortable and the image was very blurry for me. I returned it in less than 2 weeks. I have owned most of the headsets and quest 1 was my least favorite except for the google stand alone headset (I forget the name).

    • Przemo-c

      As much as I love OLED i will disagree. Audio is bit better. Controllers are far more durable and haptics are stronger, resolution improved significantly especially with text given RGB not pentile and way improved SDE. Overall performance is much better both in apps and just launching apps booting up etc. Refresh rate is noticeably higher with 90Hz and 120 in apps like Eleven table tennis is a big improvement. Build quality and feel is not the same thing. I had no issues with Q2 yet (not with its elite battery strap) and with Q1 i had the small panels covering the straps popping out a bit but still functions well. However i had to glue Q1 controllers rings after couple of weeks. And Q2 controllers take the beating quite well.

      FOV that’s the tricky thing it depends on your IPD but with custom facial interface and sticking IPD between 2 and 3 i get approximately same FOV or as near as it makes no difference and I don’t see the edge (the tricky bit of actual IPD and eye relief)

      It’s not all sunshine and rainbows as the default strap sucks and spotty quality on elite straps given failure rate.

      So in few aspects q2 is a downgrade (mainly contrast for me) in some it’s a sidegrade but mostly it’s an upgrade. I use it far more than Q1 and i have them both dialed in for max comfort.

  • 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.

        • Cless

          Yeah… no, they are BAD, like all WMR from that time. The only good Odyssey+ is the one that is paired up with base stations and uses index controllers instead.

          EDIT: If not, its just a headset with great panels, but flawed controllers.

  • 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).

      • Pulstar44

        Agree 100%

  • 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

    • TechPassion

      It is not bad actually. Comfortable to wear

  • 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.

    • TechPassion

      Don’t buy the elite strap. It is not needed in reality. MRTV tested it too.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        Except everybody says the elite strap is way WAY better then the crap strap that comes with the Q2..

  • Gregor Rooks

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

    • TechPassion

      It is the best choice next to HP Reverb G2 or Quest 2. Super OLED panel with great color and blacks, built-in high quality audio. Very good tracking despide 2-cameras. Can play adventure games, mass multiplayer shooters like Pavlov. If you have a chance to get the Odyssey+ for say up to 200 USD, do it. For more money I think I would get the G2 or Quest 2.

  • 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?

    • Scipi

      The main issue here is that there are three competing ecosystems for VR. You have SteamVR, Oculus, and Windows Mixed Reality. Of the three SteamVR is the most open since you can run Oculus and WMR hardware on it. It’s really Facebook wanting to keep their own exclusive store and platform for money they don’t need.

      • Sad, I hope the open source community deal with this and create compatibility tools to those hardwares

  • So, really, it’s the Index for the home and Quest 2 for standalone.

  • TechPassion

    Total disagree about “G2 controller tracking issues”. It is a total bs. It works great. It is very accurate and fast.

    • Dmacell

      for seated play its great for me! Even my vive would lose my wands if i put them in my lap while seated

  • Dave

    Interesting the Reberb G2 doesn’t fit into any of these categories, it’s the same issue that Toms Hardware had – the headset just doesn’t come off well because of the tracking and eco system. However what it offers in return is priceless and the tracking and eco system can be overcome to a level which is absolutely fine for 90% of people. For me it wasn’t a case of the best headset, it was the ONLY headset I could choose.

  • Jimmy Arias

    The problem in this community is that most of the comments are just to throw sh1t at writters and other users just for the headsets they choose as the best, like everyone get paid for it. I mean, the experience of trying diferent HDM’s can change from every individual as humans rely heavily on feelings more than technical specs.

    For example I got a Cosmos for $300 (long story but in latin america this was the offer of the year) and I’m enjoying it far more than my old Oculus CV1 that died a year ago, thanks to the latest tracking updates wich where the holy grail for the cosmos users.

    Anyway I’m not recommending it because in beat saber I still get some control lag every 2-3 songs, but hell I’m enjoying this guy even if it’s the worst model out there, specially when playing full moded FO4 VR or HL Alyx.

  • Gerald Terveen

    I can’t help but feel that without mentioning wireless/Virtual Desktop this comparison is leaving out a big factor. I for one can’t imagine to even explore the Reverb until there is a wireless option.
    Even though I still hope it becomes official, for now VD is such an important factor in why I like my Quest 2 so much.

  • Jesusavesouls

    I had gearvr five years ago,dk2,cv1,Lenovo mirage,odyssey 1st gen,Pimax 5k plus and a quest 2.The current is better visually and no screen door effect.Standalone,pcvr and experimental standalone pcvr with virtual desktop.Jesus loves you !

  • MosBen

    One of the problems I’m facing is that new hardware is coming so quickly with really improvements that it can be hard to know when to jump in for an upgrade, especially if you didn’t get in on a device when it first came out. I’d love to get an Index, but at nearly 1.5 years old it’s hard not to think that it will be eclipsed soon. The Reverb G2 seems a worthy contender and $400 cheaper, but then, we’re only a few weeks from whatever form CES takes, and we may well learn about new headsets then.

  • mirak

    Vive Pro with wireless is the best.

  • Stratosphere Blues (Stratcash)

    i have the rift s in 2020 and it fucking sucks, barely works half the time and idk what to do

  • SempreMilan

    Personally, I am very happy with my 2nd hand (fairly used) Pimax Artisan

  • I would add amongst the cons of the Valve Index the terrible RMA and the faulty hardware. If you are lucky and it works, it is amazing. Otherwise, it is true hell, from what I’ve heard. Recently I’ve read on Reddit that they don’t even offer the possibility of buy replacement cables…

    • wheeler

      The hardware does have a higher chance of breaking and it really should be mentioned in the article, but I don’t think it’s so bad that you’re lucky if it doesn’t break. Rather, I’d say it’s more that if you’re one of the unlucky ones you’ll have a streak of hardware failures (e.g. these people that have 4 different RMAs). It’s difficult to gauge hardware failure rates from reddit posts but if it were really only the lucky ones that weren’t having problem then given the ~400k Index users I think you’d have a much higher frequency of issue reports.

      The exception would be if you’re a frequent VR user and you click in the joysticks often, then you’ll almost certainly get joystick drift probably around 6 to 8 months in. If you can avoid clicking in the joystick you can make them last longer, as I did (launch Index, only recently had to fix the left one). Valve sometimes replaces them out of warranty, but other than that you’ll have to fix them yourself with an ~$10 part (which, luckily, is quite easy). Still bullshit but at least you’re not SOL.

      Valve will replace the cable in warranty and sometimes out of it, but otherwise there are several other places you can buy replacements from.

  • MosBen

    Man, I love this site, but I really wish that when there are updated articles like this it was always clear what new information was added. I read this when it was originally posted, and unless I had both versions side by side I couldn’t tell you what new information was added.

    As for the content, I’m someone that had a Rift CV1 until a month or two ago, and I have a Quest 1. So I’d like to upgrade with both a tethered and unteathered HMD, but I’m wary of picking up an Index a year and a half into its lifespan, both because it feels like Valve itself might release an updated version, but more importantly because some other company might release something that truly eclipses it. It’d be nice if a buying guide like this gave some indication as to whether right now was actually a good time to buy anything at all, or if it would be smart to wait 6 months.

    • benz145

      Sorry about that. Many of our articles get an explicit note about what was updated if they are updated. In some cases, like this one, it doesn’t make as much sense. I appreciate the feedback though.

      In this case, none of our picks have changed since the article was published in 2020, but we went through and updated everything to make sure it was accurate as of today. For instance, we removed some mentions that Oculus had yet to update Oculus Link for 90Hz performance (because by now they have), and that the Reverb G2 is hard to get (because now you can get it much sooner), and other details like PS5 having backwards compatible support for PSVR.

      • MosBen

        Much appreciated. Do you have any thoughts on the other part of my question: Would you say that now is a good time to buy a tethered HMD, or would we be expecting to see updated hardware in the reasonably near future? 1.5 years from release is an awkward time to buy a Vive. It seems like either we’d expect Valve to be talking about a replacement to come out some time in 2022, or we’d be seeing headsets from other manufacturers surpassing it. The G2 being close but not quite better actually makes it seem like it would be sooner rather than later, but then, what do I know? (not much)

        Thanks for your continued hard work.

        • Lhorkan

          I’m in the same boat. I have the OG Vive and bought the Knuckles last year (the HMD + Knuckles package was unavailable for a long time), but getting the Index now while there are far better screens on the market seems like a bad bet. Like you said, the G2 still has certain compromises which make it less appealing. But Valve is only now getting on top of their Index supply chain – I’m not sure if it’s likely that we’ll hear about a new HMD from them in the near future. I’d get the Quest 2 if it wasn’t for the whole mandatory Facebook thing.

          • MosBen

            Yes, exactly. All of that. I can actually buy a Vive now and get it in a reasonable time, but it also seems like it’s on the verge of falling behind on technology.

            One of the things that has consistently annoyed me in the VR space is how little information is available about upcoming products. Like, we know to a pretty reasonable degree when we can expect to hear about new console generations, and the big companies start talking about them far enough out that nobody is ever in this “if I buy something is it going to be immediately outdated” position. The best we’ve ever gotten in the VR industry is someone from Oculus (I think it might have been Abrash) saying that they thought of the VR refresh cycle as being longer than cell phones but shorter than consoles. That’s…incredibly vague. That said, I’m at least somewhat confident now that the Quest is on a two year refresh cycle, so I would expect a Quest 3 in 2022, which would allow me to plan my purchases if I wanted to stay in Facebook’s ecosystem. But like you I have problems with that, so I’m hoping for a competing product that doesn’t exist.

            And after some initial buzz a couple years ago, nobody seems to be talking about wireless tethered HMDs anymore.

      • MosBen

        Which headset are you using the most these days? Index? Quest 2? G2?

  • Mikael

    1. Remember to tell that your focus is on games.

    2. Please make for business use.

    3. Why did you not mention Pimax in this field?

    • Pulstar44

      Because Pimax is poop

    • TechPassion

      pimax is crap. nobody wants that and the problems.

  • sh4dow83

    Disagree on the G2 – it has horrible image quality. Forget about SDE, looking through lenses that blur the image is much, much worse. At least in my opinion.

    Both that and tracking is much better on the Rift S. In fact, while it of course has minor SDE, the lenses are razor-sharp.

    And so I’d recommend the Rift S to anyone who prefers inside out tracking and/or doesn’t want to spend the cash on an Index.

    • TechPassion

      WHAT are you f… talking about dude? You need a visit to optician. G2 has razor-sharp image quality, amazing colors and great audio. Stop spreading misinformation, you damn liar.

      • sh4dow83

        https://youtu.be/ny_OPsxHQmU?t=458

        If you can’t see it, I would recommend a trip to the optometrist.

        Also, if you want some friends and be able to have a better job than flipping burgers, I would strongly recommend working on your manners.

  • Cless

    I’ll save you the read;

    Get a Vive Pro second hand.

    -The end-

    • TechPassion

      Yep yep, buy shit brick headset, while you can buy Samsung Odyssey+ for the same money, 10x better.

      • Cless

        Oh damn! Your glorious Odyssey+ shares the same panel as the Vive Pro! SHAMEFUL! O:

  • TechPassion

    HP Reverb G2 (sometimes mods needed) or Quest 2. That’s it.

  • mappo

    Why post a “best headsets of 2021” list a week before the best headset of 2021 is released?

  • Sion12

    Is WMR dead? havent heard any news for like year or two

    • benz145

      HP Reverb G2 is the most recently launched WMR headset, it launched at the end of 2020. Other than HP, the original set of WMR headset makers don’t seem too interested in continuing development.

  • Gábor Horváth

    What about Pimax headsets?