Virtual reality can only be experienced through specialized equipment at the moment. However, the evolution of virtual reality goggles and headsets has reached a level which offers a highly realistic experience, combined with the comfort and safety in using this gear.
Since this is a relatively new industry, many consumers do not have a benchmark for comparison when deciding to purchase one product over another. For many people, virtual reality is a novel experience and, like everything experienced for the first time, there is a period of trial and error before finding the best equipment to enjoy it.
Given the average price of virtual reality headsets– usually in the range of hundreds of dollars – picking the wrong headset can be a costly mistake. This is why we decided to prepare a round-up of the best virtual reality headsets to pick from.
1. HTC Vive
Priced at $599, HTC VIVE is a PC-tethered VR headset in the premium pricing range, but it delivers the quality you pay for. It offers one of the best immersive experiences in terms of precision of movement and realism of the simulated environment.
HTC Vive also includes a very useful safety feature: the headset displays a warning when players reach the game boundaries. Also, the frontal camera of the device can switch to the real world view whenever the user needs it. The headset can be used both while seated or standing up, in a maximum perimeter of 15 x 15 feet.
2. Oculus Rift
Oculus Rift is already a household name for virtual reality applications, so it is absolutely natural that it is also one of the top VR headsets on the market. It is a PC-tethered device, working with Microsoft operating systems starting with Windows 7 SP1 64-bit and newer.
These virtual reality goggles offer a smooth and immersive experience in terms of motion and 3D rendering. The crisp images and sounds create one of the most believable sensations of real-life experiences. The only con for this product is the fact that it needs three USB ports for full operation.
The Oculus Rift can be purchased at an average price of $399 depending on the vendor.
Sony PlayStation VR is an excellent choice for people who want to experience virtual reality games for the first time. The affordable price – around $285 – and the level of performance offered by this headset helped it outsell both the two products featured above, Oculus Rift and HTC VIVE, in 2016.
This headset offers one of the best 3D gaming experiences, from all the salient points of view: crisp images and sounds, smooth motion, level of interaction. However, you need to have a PlayStation 4 console in order to use this VR headset.
If you want to experience movies in a virtual reality environment, the 3D VR glasses from SIDARDOE are your best choice. Starting from $17.99, this headset works with your smartphone and delivers 360-degree field vision and 4K image resolution, turning the simplest movie into an exciting virtual reality experience.
It is a versatile device which supports smartphones between 3.5 inches and 6 inches. Also, it features eight layers of nano coating lenses which reduce the phone screen radiation by 90%, ensuring thus maximum protection for your eyes.
This headset works with Samsung smartphones (starting with the Galaxy S6 model and newer) and has a price of $124.90 on Amazon (though there’s also an older, 2016, edition, which is available at a lower price). While this device is not one of the top performers from the point of view of specifications (incompatible with older VR software, limited 101-degree field of view), it is still a top favorite among Samsung phone owners who want to experience 3D gaming.
The design of this headset will fit any facial structure comfortably, and is provided with foam cushioning which has a soft feel on the face and effectively blocks out natural light. It is a lightweight VR headset ideal for people who are trying to get used to this type of equipment.