Fit & Ergonomics

Photo by Road to VR

Although G2 shares roughly the same rear strap shape as Index, it uses velcro straps on the sides to tighten rather than a dial on the back. The fit and finish of the velcro leaves a bit to be desired; the velcro straps are elastic, but often when you pull them to tighten the headset they simply stretch in place rather than feed through the strut as they should. This usually works itself out eventually (as the headset shifts around, the pull from the velcro will inevitably help the strap into a tighter position), but in practice it feels difficult to dial in the tightness you want on the spot.

At least the elastic straps mean that G2’s headstrap can flex a bit when you put the headset on, which makes it easy to pull onto your head without adjusting the tightness of the straps every single time. Granted, headsets like the Rift and Index offer the same, but still manage to make sure the struts and straps move freely as the user adjusts them.

Photo by Road to VR

Once the headset is actually on, it’s a pretty comfortable experience. While the original G1 felt annoying tight around my nose, the G2 has a more spacious nose cavity while managing to prevent any outside light leak thanks to some soft flaps in the area.

G2 also has a hardware IPD adjustment which ranges from 60–68mm, allowing users to align the lenses with their eyes for optimal clarity and comfort. This was unfortunately difficult to set because of a long lag time between moving the slider and when the software would show the IPD measurement. This led to much trial and error of gently nudging the dial and waiting a few seconds to see if I got closer to my ideal setting.

Photo by Road to VR

While the off-ear headphones are great since they don’t even come in contact with your ear, I kept wishing they would extend down further so that I could correctly center them perfectly with my ear. Even at their furthest extension, it felt like they were just a bit short of the optimal position. Though this may not have had any major impact on the audio experience, I could see some users with lower ears being bugged by it more than I was.

Although they can rotate about their point of connection, I found that the headphones were tight enough that they didn’t move out of position during gameplay sessions (as Index’s headphones sometimes do during intense gameplay).

Windows Mixed Reality Software Experience

Captured by Road to VR

Because this is a Windows VR headset, it’s invariably tied into the Windows Mixed Reality environment. Since there’s almost no content of note available on the Microsoft Store, most users will likely be installing the official SteamVR plugin and jump right into its environment for most of their VR use.

But despite some occasional jank with the cursor, Windows Mixed Reality is actually an impressive fully featured VR dashboard, and the only one which allows seamless use with controllers or a keyboard and mouse. Lets ignore SteamVR for the time being and just look at Windows Mixed Reality.

The WMR Environment

When you first put on G2, you’ll appear in the WMR environment. More than just a dashboard, this is a navigable and persistent space which can be customized to your liking.

The video above is an older version of the WMR environment (captured on an original WMR headset) but demonstrates the essential features which are still the same

By pressing the Windows button on the G2 controllers you can open the WMR Start menu which lists apps both specially designed for WMR and all of your regular desktop apps. You can launch any existing desktop app into its own virtual window inside of the WMR environment. You can move the windows anywhere around the environment and even pin them to walls like hanging a painting or a TV.

A neat detail: audio from each app is spatialized within the environment. So if you have a YouTube video or music player open in your space, you’ll actually be able to hear it directionally (enable sound in the player below for a demo):

Since the space is persistent, you can arrange your space in a meaningful way. You could place a series of apps in one room that are all dedicated to web browsing, while another room could be dedicated to media viewing, and another for music listening. This ‘spatial organization’ feels like a natural extension of how we arrange parts of our own real-life homes into dedicated spaces.

Keyboard & Mouse Input

What’s especially cool about all of this is that you can do it with your VR controllers or while sitting in front of your keyboard and mouse. Essentially all of the same functionality, like opening apps into virtual windows and moving them around the 3D environment can be done intuitively with the mouse (quite a feat considering it’s a 3DOF input device operating in a 6DOF environment).

That makes the Windows Mixed Reality environment quite flexible. You could have your headset sitting on your desk and, without picking up your controllers, put on the headset and navigate to your ‘media room’ to watch a movie on your virtual big screen TV or browse the web and use any other desktop application with full keyboard and mouse input rather than fumbly laser pointer mouse emulation and floating VR keyboards.

This of course opens the door to potentially use Reverb G2—especially with its high resolution—as a ‘virtual desktop’ for regular desktop productivity…

Reverb G2 As a Virtual Monitor

Captured by Road to VR

With such high resolution displays, you might think that Reverb G2 would work great for a a ‘virtual desktop’. But don’t forget that while you’re looking at a 2,160 × 2,160 display, that’s the resolution across the entire field of view.

So actually, if you place a virtual monitor in front of you at an appropriate size and distance of a real monitor, the virtual monitor has a roughly equivalent resolution of around 1280 × 720. Even so, a virtual monitor of that size is pretty easy to read, if a bit of a downgrade compared to the 1080p or above monitors that most of us use in 2020.

You can, of course, make the virtual monitor much larger than in real life to compensate, but this means the monitor takes up a larger portion of your field of view, which ultimately means you need to move your head around much more (so that what you’re looking at falls into the sweet spot of the lenses) than you would with a real monitor, which winds up feeling like a significant compromise.

While I’d say that G2 has the resolution to allow for practical desktop productivity in a virtual desktop scenario, it’s actually the limited field of view (compared to your natural field of view) and the further reduction in text-readable screen real-estate due to the sweet spot that makes it still a novelty; not to mention the ergonomics of wearing a headset for extended periods.

Even with a hypothetical infinitely high resolution display, this will likely remain true until there’s a major revolution in the optical pipeline which allows for the image to be truly sharp all the way across the field of view.

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  • leseki9

    Few notes:

    The resolution is more similar to a 480p display rather than 720p, even though with less visible pixel gaps.

    The screendoor effect is still there, but of course it depends on the eyesight. The only way you won’t see the screendoor is your eyesight or if the lenses introduce aberrations.
    Also let’s not forget this isn’t the first headset with this resolution, there was G1 and before that there was Samsung Odyssey+ with an engineered diffuser film.

    While I don’t own a G2 yet I do own G1 and being a hardware dev I’ve had a chance to test out these 2160×2160 panels for my own projects, even had a chance to inspect them through an Oculus lens.

    It’s nice when the reviewer is enthusiastic about the subject but let’s not overhype this. This is just a friendly observation.

    Ben, message me if you’d like to hear more. I have many other panels, measurements and optics simulations. While some are corporate secrets or under NDA, there’s a lot of info I may be able to share about the current and upcoming tech.

    • Bob

      ” I’ve had a chance to test out these 2160×2160 panels for my own projects, even had a chance to inspect them through an Oculus lens.”

      Interesting. Was the experience similar to the G2?

      • leseki9

        I don’t own a G2 yet, only G1. Oculus lenses have a bit better field curvature. But at the same time at 2K x 2K resolution the blur away from center becomes more apparent. Before at lower resolutions it was less noticeable as less detail was there to be lost. This isn’t the fault of the WMR or Valve lenses only, it’s just a consequence of a single element lens and improving resolution.

        • Doon1

          Would a curved or hemispherical panel correct for this?

          • leseki9

            Yes, but flexible OLEDs only curve in one axis. The manufacturing process would need to completely change to allow manufacturing bowl-shaped OLEDs, nobody would probably invest in that.

    • wheeler

      What is the correct (or “close enough”) way of determining the desktop pixel density equivalent to a given VR display? Do you ultimately need to have standardized testing equipment that can measure the density directly?

      • leseki9

        You need to know the resolution, size and distance of your monitor and the resolution, FOV and lens distortion of your headset. Close enough lens distortion and FOV can be determined by displaying a grid pattern on the panel and capturing with a calibrated DSLR rig. If you design the lens yourself you don’t need to do this as you have the Zemax project files.
        Panel suppliers sell control boards that can be connected directly to PC via DisplayPort and the panel shows up as a single monitor, split between the two panels.

        • TechPassion

          What are these nice panels there? is it a 210″ OLED 2-panel setup of Samsung Odyssey 2 I am waiting for since 2 years? :)

          • Doon1

            I think they should call it the Odyssey ³. It works on multiple levels.

          • leseki9

            Just the same panels used in HP Reverb G1 (left) and Valve Index (right).

        • TechPassion

          Are there XR2 chip boards with 4 to 7 camera input slots? Desperated in waiting for Odyssey 2, I started to think about making it myself with 3d-printed heaadset, board with panels, gyro board, xr2 board, lenses and adapters and programming the tracking with room-features recognition by some OpenCV or whatever I need.

          • leseki9

            We don’t really work with XR2 at this point but SteamVR.

            I wouldn’t bother going with DIY, 3d printers are not precise enough for good lens alignment and it’s not really easy to make everything work together and there aren’t true plug and play code libraries either and you need programmers as well.
            OLED panels are made by only few companies which aren’t currently too invested in VR. LCD has room to improve though and it’s way more suppliers. Full array local dimming is not hard to do and will just add few mm thickness to the panels. I think suppliers will adpot that in the future.
            OpenCV and stereo SLAM is hard, there aren’t plug and play libraries, mostly just github repos accompanying research papers. Maybe Qualcomm can provide the code to partners but it doesn’t seem that they work with startups.
            Electromagnetic tracking is just expensive and also sensitive to external noise.
            Wide FOV is not hard but comes at cost of size of the headset.

      • Graham J ⭐️

        – Determine the vertical FOV of the screen you’re comparing against from a typical viewing distance in degrees
        – Multiply it by the rough vertical PPD of the headset
        – Put a “p” after it

      • TimmyP

        Lens quality and distance.

    • benz145

      I don’t think the headset has perfect clarity, but I think SDE (unlit space between pixels) is effectively gone. As I noted, there’s still aliasing and mura, but the classic screen-door grid is essentially not visible.

      Thanks for your offer to chat, I’m interested to hear what you’re working on. Where can I contact you?

      • leseki9

        Looks like there’s no DMs in Disqus. I’ll put this here for now: ghazaryan@radianttech.org

      • leseki9

        I don’t question how you perceive it, but it should be still visible for someone with good eyesight. Maybe it felt different though, like a fine sieving mesh rather than nearly pitch black gaps. Mura and aliasing is different to that. That’s what I see with G1.

    • Lulu Vi Britannia

      Resolution is definitely NOT at 480p level, it’s much more than that. Movies are 100% watchable in a VR headset even on a giant virtual screen. Ever tried watching something on a 480p giant screen? It’s a blurry mess. It’s not the case in the most recent VR headsets, where tiny detail is clearly visible.

      Because of the very thin SDE, it’s not 1080p clarity, but it’s definitely more than 720p.

      And before you come with pixel density: numbers aren’t everything. Perception is what matters. In VR, the SDE feels like a grid in front of your view. The image behind it is interpreted by your brain, rectified. It’s much clearer than a flat screen, because on a flat screen, the brain doesn’t interprete the SDE as a grid in front of an image, it sees it for what it is (a fragmentation of the picture).

      • leseki9

        Sorry but you don’t understand what you’re talking about. We are talking about pixel densities here, so your analogy of a giant 480p screen is irrelevant. A correct analogy would be a small 480p monitor, which would cover 18-20 dergees vertical FOV max of your vision from an average viewing distance.

        SDE has little to do with preceived resolution and pixel gap to pixel emitter or color filter ratio is different from tiny ~3.5″ panels to ~25″ monitors. I’ve worked in the VR industry on hardware the last 3+ years.

        • Lulu Vi Britannia

          You clearly didn’t read my comment, because I clearly started a paragraph with “don’t start with Pixel Density”.

          • leseki9

            This is not a logical discussion. You don’t get to decide how I respond. Your point is moot and I explained why. The bottom line is I work in the industry and I back up my claims while you have made a claim with nothing to back it up but your opinion.

            Have a nice day.

          • Sinshi Uzumaki

            You working in the industry doesn’t mean you are correct.

            It is all relative after all and you may both be correct depending on the angle you are viewing it.

            And as I tested it, it definetely is higher than 720p. That’s my experience though.

          • leseki9

            “You working in the industry doesn’t mean you are correct”

            This is what I said: “The bottom line is I work in the industry and I back up my claims”. Again, you guys don’t understand what you are talking about, this is simple math as I explained. I’m done here.

          • Sinshi Uzumaki

            Apparently you don’t understand. Simple math is not always that simple.

          • leseki9

            You just throw empty statements around. You need arguments to have a discussion here. Have a nice day.

          • Sinshi Uzumaki

            I told you my arguement.

            Technology can be seen from different angles. It is not a one way thing.
            Or else different approaches to a given problem won’t be a thing.
            And that is a fact.

  • Adrian Meredith

    If you don’t mind a bit of FFR You can run quest 2 perfectly fine at its native resolution. I play population 1 at the full 1,832 × 1,920 @ 72hz and it runs perfectly (ffrr set to high top) and looks fantastic.

    • kontis

      Quest’s native-like resolution is higher than 5K total and no, you are not gonna run any real game on it with this kind of res.

  • Lhorkan

    So basically, what we really want is an Index with these panels? >_>

    • Hobbes

      Or a G2 with Index controllers.

    • Kevin White

      Yep.

    • Bob

      Not exactly.

      G2 (form factor + weight + display) + Valve index (FOV + materials) = Fully satisfied VR enthusiast. Stick in an RGB OLED and you’ll have a VR enthusiast in eternal climax.

      Index controllers are already a possibility with the G2.

      • Kevin White

        “…Stick in an RGB OLED…”

        Yep, that’s kind of the holy grail, at least for these early years. I mean, the PSVR did it, and I think it was the only one, and despite the low resolution (G2 has 2x as many pixels in one dimension and 1.8x as many in the other dimension), it did great as far as presenting a solid image — big patches of red when watching a film through the PSVR, for example, looked far better than in the Vive or Vive Pro. PSVR also I believe had fewer god rays due to not using Fresnel lenses.

        Full sub-pixels, arranged in a stripe pattern, plus good contrast and true(ish) blacks would do it. One good test for this is a driving game in daylight — does a bright sunny day appear bright and sunny (it does in the Vive Pro I think) or does it appear kind of overcast (as I’ve experienced with LCD)?

        • Bob

          “plus good contrast and true(ish) blacks would do it.”

          One thing left to mention is HDR and VR is the absolute perfect place to demonstrate the capabilities of true 10 bit color depth and dynamic contrast with pixel level or at the very least some level of localized dimming control.

          Only an OLED or micoLED display will achieve pixel level HDR but unfortunately they’re either very expensive to produce or still in prototyping phase. HDR is sorely sorely needed in VR…

        • TechPassion

          You forgot about the Odyssey+ , the best headset in history.

          • Kevin White

            Um no I didn’t. Odyssey and Vive Pro had essentially the same display panels, and Odyssey+ just sandwiched a thin layer of vaseline in there to soften the Pentile effects a little. Not the same.

            Good contrast and blacks on all three of these though.

          • Doon1

            I believe it was a pyramidal reflective grid.

          • From their press release:

            “Samsung Anti-SDE AMOLED Display solves SDE by applying a grid that diffuses light coming from each pixel and replicating the picture to areas around each pixel. This makes the spaces between pixels near impossible to see. In result, your eyes perceive the diffused light as part of the visual content, with a perceived PPI of 1,233PPI, double that of the already high 616PPI of the previous generation Samsung HMD Odyssey+”

          • TimmyP

            And the tech was created by Samsung and is going to remain in their headsets. Which sucks for everyone because most sets have Samsung LCDs in them.

            That being said O+ still reigns supreme.

          • Doon1

            Like I said; a pyramidal reflective grid. ;D

      • kontis

        “Stick in an RGB OLED” == reduce the amount of pixels and thus degrade resolution.

        Some people here think they can eat a cake and have it too.
        OLED is not available at these sizes with densities as good as best LCDs.

        • Bob

          “Some people here think they can eat a cake and have it too.
          OLED is not available at these sizes with densities as good as best LCDs.”

          Has it ever occurred to you that this is all hypothetical? It’s a dream combination and nothing more. And no don’t start spouting out that this isn’t possible at all because it is but the market isn’t there so high density RGB OLED panels are still tied to labs.

        • TechPassion

          Man, what reduce? Resolution is a resolution. Color consists of pixels. You can have LCD with more pixels, but what kind of pixels? Single color pixels. Put there an OLED with 2160×2160 resolution and that would be it.

        • Doon1

          Samsung has been working on increased pixel density. I’m hoping they will have something for us soon. I wonder if they can meet the PPI of the G2…

    • wheeler

      Here is what I’d want:

      G2’s resolution, colors, and weight

      Index’s edge to edge clarity, geometric stability, stereo overlap, field of view, refresh rate, weight balance, tracking accuracy, build quality, and controllers

      The Vive’s wireless (except with 802.11ay)

      Quest’s inside out tracking as an option (for convenience and cost reduction)

      • Bob

        Could you clarify on geometric stability? I’m very curious here.

        • wheeler

          Things like distortion and pupil swim, especially noticeable when turning one’s head. The Index’s dual element lenses have reduced it to a point where I barely notice it anymore, but in everything else I see the image warp when I turn my head. Big deal for immersion and comfort, though sensitivity varies between people quite a bit.

          • Playing Aircar yesterday, 90hz 1.3 SS on Index (2080Ti)

            Crystal clear image, geometric stability is excellent across entire field of view.

            Absolutely breathtaking to make a turn high above the city, looking down using eyes (not head) through the sidewindow and seeing all that rich detail below with no noticeable distortion.

      • dk

        if u also want 120hz ….u will also need hdmi 2.1 and at least 3080

      • TimmyP

        I suggest you try an O+ for some real benefits. G2 isnt that great. Only set that is better than the O+ is the Index(only set with a higher FoV, and it has a lower vert fov)). People need to face the facts honestly.

        • Dmacell

          O+ is now collecting dust since the G-2 arrived

          • TimmyP

            Lol the G2 is FAR worse. Sorry buddy. Next time dont buy HP shit and read reviews.

          • Dmacell

            Sour grapes for you. Its exactly what i wanted. My O+ on steroids.

          • TimmyP

            What? I do not believe you have an O+. A PLUS, not a regular Odyssey. The G2 isn’t oled and it doesn’t even look comparable. I immediately noticed the gray on the LCDs when I put the set on. With OLED its being blinded until an image appears.

            IDK what you are smoking but the overall IQ of the O+ is not only drastically different looking, its just a regular low fov set with a regular looking LCD on it. And its HP typically produces sh*t products…

            Oh and who invented OLED again? Supplies the majority of headset displays? Go figure this company makes the best overall looking headset too. Only one that compares is Index, and that is because its the only one with that kind of FoV that isnt a stretchy Pimax.

          • Dmacell

            I have an O+ , a vive and a G-2. I also had a cosmos, so i do know what crappy tracking is and what good tracking is. lol ;) Enjoy your headset, i did for over a year. Its just time to move on. I had shutter glasses with CRT years ago, so its come a long way.

          • TimmyP

            Oh you have them all like everyone who wants to argue? WHAT A SURPRISE! Wow so original. First NO YOU DONT HAHA LIAR. GEE HOW DO I KNOW THAT? UH OHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

            Second off, liar, son… Close you eyes. Put a blindfold over it or something. Make it BLIND; ZERO LIGHT. Now imagine, that an image appears out of nowhere. Do you know the OLED black is the same black you see when you have your eyes blindfolded or closed?

            Do you know how many fools havent realized that in VR (virtual REALity) a natural black, a REAL black, is THE single killer feature outside of FOV? Oh, and it so happens the O+ has a 105 degree FOV with a vrcover… PLEASE TELL ME… DOES THE G2 or the FBQ2 even break 90? Nope.

            Goodbye. You got ripped off, and you are a liar with an Odyssey one. HA.

    • TechPassion

      Index is waaay wayy to heavy with its 809 grams of weight. It is like having a brick on your face.

  • Also the title… Screen door has been gone since the O+ which I currently use and I use vr 10 to 12 hours a day as my primary work area with no irl monitors at all. I run 3 monitors in vr at 1080p @90hz. Works perfect and flawless even on normal games.

    • Cooljellow

      Screen door is still there with O+. I have the original Odessey and tried the O+. I actually preferred the original Odessey because the O+ method of “upscaling” blurred the image and I didn’t like its effect (I purchased O+ and returned it because of that). I just received my pre-order G2 and can say that it’s definitely an improvement over O and O+. Screen door is almost unnoticeable – you have to look real hard to see it. It’s very good clarity.

      • Doon1

        I have both. I had to mod them both (differently) to fit my fat head and maximize FOV. I prefer them both to any of the LCD offerings (I’ve tried them all but the G2). I also prefer the O+ over the O. I feel like the reduction of SDE outweighs the slight fuzziness. I also use blue blocking prescription lenses in both which seems to help negate the fuzzy.
        I will probably try the G2 but I do a lot of night flying and darker gaming. Plus every screen in my house is OLED so I’m used to that level of contrast and deep blacks.

    • Dmacell

      I upgraded from the O+ to this and the G-2 is waaaay clearer

      • kontis

        Clarity and details are not related to screen door effect. Avegant Glyph was 720p with zero screen door effect.

        • Dmacell

          Im sure the bump in resolution had something to do with it too

        • Robert Waida

          I had one of those too. Clear as could be but hurt my old ears. take this from an old man 66yrs who has had all of these HMD’s this one has the best clarity also i have a very bad arthritic neck and its super light so this one is a win for me.

      • TimmyP

        Not really. The G2 is MUCH foggier.

    • benz145

      Simply blurring the image to remove the SDE is something of a hack and comes at the expense of sharpness; you could accomplish the same on the Rift DK1 if you wanted.

      • TechPassion

        Stop writing bs if you didn’t even have Odyssey+ in your hands. The image is razor, razor sharp. Totaly insane quality in Odyssey+.

        • benz145

          I’ve used Odyssey and Odyssey+ and could see the difference in sharpness between them. “Razor sharp” is a purely relative and subjective description.

          • Used Odyssey plus after using Index for months. First thought was noticeable screen door effect in Project Cars 2, and slight blurring of display. Really appreciated the richer colours and higher contrast of Odyssey plus but not that screen door…

          • TimmyP

            The O+ had scaling issues until Windows 10 2004, and they just introduced Chromatic Aberration removal. TP might be overstating a little, but it is a totally new headset vs this time last year.

        • Chris Blackburn

          Dont say baseless things especially if you most of you havent used higher res headsets, pretty sure a person covering vr news for YEARS would have experienced a vast majority of the tech by now

      • TimmyP

        Only by licensing Samsung tech. With the diffuser they use for anti-sde (Yes they invented it, as well as OLED) it looks like they are keeping for their headsets only.

        So Facebook would have to come up with their own Anti-SDE tech.

    • Graham J ⭐️

      They’re a lot less than 1080p equivalent when viewed with an O+.

      • Patti Erenberger

        I’m actually using Headless Ghosts that are all 4k that I tone down to 1080p and in Virtual Desktop, not the cliffhouse or other WMR environments. As benz145 said, it is a bit of hack and does come with the expense of sharpness, that I am sure the G2 corrects (and I hope it does). And I realize that my Headless Ghosts/Virtual Desktop setup are emulating a 1080p screen vs a physical one. The technology still has a way to come, but so far, this is almost as good as it gets. I plan on emulating the same setup with my G2 when I get it and then again on any newer higher resolution setup in the future. Like samsung’s rumored MICRO LED headsets that I hope become a reality.

        • Graham J ⭐️

          Sure that works well. I use my 3440×1400 monitor in VD on the Index sometimes. Looking forward to being able to read it better with the G2.

        • Bob

          “Like samsung’s rumored MICRO LED headsets”

          Do you have the source of this rumor?

    • Dave

      No the O+ just used smudging technology LOL! I think the idea is to get a better image not an inferior one!

  • silvaring

    Has anyone done a teardown of one of these to find out if microsoft put one of their HPUs in there for tracking?

    • benz145

      There’s no reason to. My understanding of the HPU is that it was a co-processor for offloading HoloLens sensor data processing from the main CPU. G2 isn’t a standalone headset so the sensor processing happens on the host PC instead of on the headset.

      • silvaring

        From what I’ve read the HPU in Hololens 2 was used with the forehead infrared camera to do SLAM and hand tracking. Thats why I was asking, as it seems like infrared and some kind of HPU like chip is essential for high quality hand tracking.

  • Kevin White

    Good comprehensive review. I’m seriously considering jumping back in with this.

    Would like to know about the contrast and black scene fidelity of these LCD panels, especially relative to others like the Index, Quest 2, Rift S, and OLEDs like Vive Pro / Odyssey and Quest 1.

    I found Odyssey’s controllers to have latency that you often wouldn’t exactly notice until you did something fast and compared it to Lighthouse — two easy examples are Longbow in The Lab and the “whack-a-mole” game in the nVidia VR Funhouse. Vive / Vive Pro had a noticeably more solid, connected, “REAL” feeling in both of those than did the Odyssey. Somebody a couple of years ago blamed fact that the Bluetooth was accomplished by buying a third-party dongle rather than within the headset like with the Vive. I dunno.

    Would like to know about haptics. The earlier WMR headsets used the ERM-type rumble haptics, unlike the original Touch, Vive wands, and Index controllers which used more expressive (but lower amplitude) LRAs. My understanding is that the Quest 2 and Rift S have reverted to using ERMs. I also heard the PS5 controller now uses an even more speaker-cone-like haptic gadget that one-ups LRAs. What are the controller haptics like on these G2 controllers?

    Tracking volume was a problem for me on the Odyssey, especially with how gangly my arms are and how clunky the loss / reaquisition of tracking was depicted visually. For example, in the old game Audioshield, every time I’d briefly lower my arms / shields to view incoming orbs, when I raised them again they’d “stick” for a third of a second before snapping upward. Glad to see the two side cameras on this, but I think a lower and upper camera (total of six) are probably also necessary for near-parity with Lighthouse. I’d like to try this though. Maybe one day the cameras for controller tracking will actually be inside the controllers…

    I also had issues with the WMR software layer and the SteamVR plugin. There was nothing I wanted to do in the WMR environment but I wouldn’t have minded if it provided equivalent SteamVR stability and performance vs. running directly in SteamVR on the Vive, but I had a variety of issues, restarts, etc. Curious whether things have improved in this area. I was also definitely not a fan of the boundary-creating system in WMR, which was a pain to use properly compared to the ease of Chaperone in the Vive.

    Interesting bit about the distortion vs. the Index; I wonder if the headphone amp (for lack of a better term) is less powerful than in the Index, so that equivalent volumes push the amp into clipping on the G2. Or it could be a software issue.

    It’s too bad that wireless doesn’t seem like it would ever be an option with WMR or with this G2 at least. But then we don’t have wireless for the Index either. My buddy’s Vive Pro wireless setup is excellent and losing that freedom seems tough. At least the 6M cord seems decent. I believe I measured my Odyssey’s cord bundle at just under 13 feet, and the extensions I bought for it introduced visual noise in the form of little red speckles.

    Decisions…

  • Kevin White

    My comment keeps getting removed by the comment system. I’m seriously considering jumping back in with thisG2 .

    Would like to know about the contrast and black scene fidelity of these LCD panels, especially relative to others like the Index, Quest 2, Rift S, and OLEDs like Vive Pro / Odyssey and Quest 1.

    I found Odyssey’s controllers to have latency that you often wouldn’t exactly notice until you did something fast and compared it to Lighthouse — two easy examples are Longbow in The Lab and the “whack-a-mole” game in the nVidia VR Funhouse. Vive / Vive Pro had a noticeably more solid, connected, “REAL” feeling in both of those than did the Odyssey. Somebody a couple of years ago blamed fact that the Bluetooth was accomplished by buying a third-party dongle rather than within the headset like with the Vive. I dunno.

    Would like to know about haptics. The earlier WMR headsets used the ERM-type rumble haptics, unlike the original Touch, Vive wands, and Index controllers which used more expressive (but lower amplitude) LRAs. My understanding is that the Quest 2 and Rift S have reverted to using ERMs. I also heard the PS5 controller now uses an even more speaker-cone-like haptic gadget that one-ups LRAs. What are the controller haptics like on these G2 controllers?

    Tracking volume was a problem for me on the Odyssey, especially with how gangly my arms are and how clunky and jarring the loss / reaquisition of tracking was depicted visually. For example, in the old game Audioshield, every time I’d briefly lower my arms / shields to view incoming orbs, when I raised them again they’d “stick” for a third of a second before snapping upward. Glad to see the two side cameras on this, but I think a lower and upper camera (total of six) are probably also necessary for near-parity with Lighthouse. I’d like to try this though. Maybe one day the cameras for controller tracking will actually be inside the controllers…

    I also had issues with the WMR software layer and the SteamVR plugin. There was nothing I wanted to do in the WMR environment but I wouldn’t have minded if it provided equivalent SteamVR stability and performance vs. running directly in SteamVR on the Vive, but I had a variety of issues, restarts, etc. Curious whether things have improved in this area. I was also definitely not a fan of the boundary-creating system in WMR, which was a pain to use properly compared to the ease of Chaperone in the Vive.

    Interesting bit about the distortion vs. the Index; I wonder if the headphone amp (for lack of a better term) is less powerful than in the Index, so that equivalent volumes push the amp into clipping on the G2. Or it could be a software issue.

    It’s too bad that wireless doesn’t seem like it would ever be an option with WMR or with this G2 at least. But then we don’t have wireless for the Index either. My buddy’s Vive Pro wireless setup is excellent and losing that freedom seems tough. At least the 6M cord seems decent. I believe I measured my Odyssey’s cord bundle at just under 13 feet, and the extensions I bought for it introduced visual noise in the form of little red speckles.

    • wheeler

      Regarding G2 wireless, I wouldn’t count out a generic wireless PCVR solution. 802.11ay, which is scheduled for Working Group approval this month, will give us a ton of throughput https://steamdb.info/app/669010/history/

      • Kevin White

        Thanks. My comment got marked as spam again but at least somebody saw it…

        Exciting times if that pans out.

  • TechPassion

    Good review, without Oculus fanboyism. Cheers

  • Dave

    though this seems to come at the cost of field of view

  • Dave

    “Reverb G2 doesn’t show any of the outer glare that’s plainly visible in
    Valve’s Index headset when looking at high contrast elements, though
    this seems to come at the cost of field of view”

    Yes that’s precisely the case. The Valve Index which uses the same lenses but has 2 per eye instead of 1 – the lenses are stacked which has the benefit of giving you higher FoV but at the cost of form factor, weight, price and of course god rays. Although I would say that’s a price worth paying and maybe HP should have considered it also?

    • Ad

      More FOV would have reduced pixel density. I think they made the right choice, especially if it lowered the cost.

      • CazCore

        yes. i don’t understand the FOV fetish that nearly everyone seems to have. getting us back to the pixel density that we lost (from using desktop monitors) is FAR more important than bumping up the FOV, which is ALREADY better than what we had.

        • Ad

          Both have their uses. I would love a super high res headset with modes to select like Pimax does, although they stretch the resolution so much by default.

    • The Index lens is dual element, Reverb G2 is single element

      Very different lenses, specific to each headset

  • Doon1

    I often wonder if Samsung pissed in RoadtoVR”s wheaties at some point. It seems like they make it a point to never mention the O or O+ in their comparisons.

  • Ad

    Two questions I would have reading the top bit.

    1) “G2 is comfortable enough, and better than G1, but doesn’t really move the bar overall for VR comfort.” Does this mean compared to the Index? Because it sounds like this comfort and even low weight puts it in a class with the index above all other headsets.

    2) Is there a reason a monitor would have to be realistically sized? Couldn’t you fit a 40 inch monitor in view? Plus a second or third? Seems worth comparing to Infinite Office soon at least.

    Maybe add a disclaimer on the chart of MP per headset about FOV and pixel arrangement not being considered.

  • Ad

    “I couldn’t stop looking at the absurd level of detail revealed in the *medal* of the shotgun.”

  • Ad

    MS, Valve, and HTC need to trade software tech for a few things, like that multi flatscreen app tech in cliffhouse.

    • dk

      and opening any desktop app inside any vr game or app should be a standard across all headsets….MS should just open wmr to all headsets

      • Ad

        It should be a standard windows function. You still have to have a dummy monitor to have multiple displays.

        • dk

          wmr can actually work without a monitor attached to the pc ….but I was talking about u can open any desktop apps in their own window and they can be arranged like having different monitors in front of u …..even if u have one physical monitor

          • Ad

            Any desktop app or any app from the windows store?

          • dk

            why do I have to repeat myself for a 3rd time instead of u googling it after the 1st time …..just saying

            yes u can open any desktop app

            also mouse support is excellent between the windows …u can even navigate and orient yourself with it if u have to move around the house while using it as a desktop with many windows

  • Amazing review, as always. Long and detailed. Thanks for writing it!

  • Mike549

    Would this be worth buying if you have a 1660 ti (that’s my upgraded card from an RX480)?

    • david vincent

      The minimum recommended graphics card for a HP Reverb G2 is the Nvidia GTX 1080. But on a demanding game like DCS, even a 2080Ti starts sweating like a pig.

      • Sinshi Uzumaki

        Does a pig sweat?