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After we went through some basic, beginner stuff regarding the history and what VR technology is in the previous post, here we are now, discussing about the VR headsets themselves.
In this post, we will cover what a VR headset basically is, and we will also give some VR headset reviews regarding a few of the hottest items in the market right now.
Bear with me, cause it’s going to get interesting!
How Do These Headsets Really Work, Anyway?
Now that’s a good question! A virtual reality headset is a device that you wear on your head, and provides you with a simulated virtual reality experience.
You can use these devices to play video games, but their usage is not at all limited to that particular field.
One can take advantage of 3D environments to simulate just about anything. From surgical operations to how to fly an airplane, there are and potentially could be simulations for almost everything you can imagine.
The 3D image that you see when you wear such a headset is the product of something called stereoscopic display, which in other words means that it provides each eye with a separate image, in order to create the illusion of a 3D environment around you.
There are also some virtual reality headsets that come with eye tracking sensors and controllers, for a far more immersive experience.
Different Types of VR Headsets
There are so many types of headsets you can choose from nowadays, and here we will be discussing about some of the most popular out there.
They vary in terms of price, category and factors which we are going to see analytically here. But let us talk a bit about the three distinct headset categories currently existing.
The tethered VR headsets
The standalone VR headsets
The mobile VR headsets
First category: tethered VR headsets. Let’s go! These headsets provide you with one of the best simulated experiences, BUT, they need to be connected to a computer or game console, usually by an HDMI or USB cable. Famous such headsets include Oculus Rift S, Valve Index and Sony PlayStation VR.
Second category: standalone VR headsets. These are really interesting indeed. They do not require any external device in order to operate, since they are completely autonomous. In terms of experience, there has been a huge development and certain headset surpass even the wildest expectations. Typical examples of this category are Oculus Quest and Oculus Go.
Third category: mobile VR headsets. These devices are mobile-compatible, meaning you can fit your Apple or Android smartphone inside the headset and there you have it! A world full of simulated wonders unravels in front of you. Some examples of mobile headsets include Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream and Google Cardboard.
In the next couple of paragraphs, we are going to take a look at some of the best VR headsets that exist today.
Oculus Quest is by far, the best standalone VR headset there is right now. With a reasonable price of only $399, it gets you where you want, when you want, with only minor disadvantages to think about. First things first, the set up is fairly easy, since you only have to connect to the Oculus app, set up the headset, and you are ready to go!
The Oculus Quest headset comes with a variety of awesome optimizations. With high-tech, built-in sensors that translate each of your movements into VR, while at the same time providing you with room-scale tracking, so that you can move freely within every environment.
With no need for a PC or wires attached, it makes it comfortable to use almost anywhere. The touch controllers are out of this world, feeling your hands and gestures and transporting them inside the simulation.
A minor setback is the battery life, which only lasts for a couple of hours, but that’s OK if you don’t mind recharging it while having a small coffee break in the meantime, discussing all the cool stuff you did in-game with your friends and family!
You might also see some minor light leaking right where your nose fits when you wear the headset, but apart from that and the battery’s life expectancy, the overall experience is that of one of the best VR headsets in the market, providing a remarkable dive into the world of simulated reality.
The Valve Index
The Valve Index is considered to be the next-generation VR headset by many. Although still a bit expensive, with a price that reaches the amount of $999, it is nevertheless one of the best VR headsets available right now.
It is a second generation headset that utilizes a 1440×1600 LCD panel for each eye which, when combined, gives you a 2880×1600 resolution. With full RGB panels that offer refresh rates of up to 144Hz and a field of view that reaches 130°, it practically translates into greater graphics’ detail, improved realism, better optical comfort and more comfortable game sessions.
This headset also uses an improved tracking system while having full control over what you do with their superior Valve Index controllers or Knuckles Controllers, as they are called.
As for the audio, it uses a pair of off-ear headphones that generate immersive sound quality.
The most noticeable drawbacks here is the cost of both the headset itself and the need for a very good PC, since it requires a high-end GPU in order to run smoothly.
Apart from these, what more can I say other than “Next generation VR experience, here we come!”
Samsung Gear VR
Although VR experience in mobile devices is quite limited quality-speaking, there are some choices you can make that are worth the trouble AND money you invest in such an acquisition.
Taking the Samsung Gear VR here as an example of a decent mobile VR headset, I can start by saying that this particular piece of equipment is best suited for you, if you possess a Samsung smartphone.
Samsung Gear VR comes with a respectable controller and it is affordable (only $99). It is also light and comfortable to use and can support Samsung devices that already exist in the market for two years.
As for the cons, well, it is not the cheapest mobile VR headset out there, not to mention that the controller batteries are not rechargeable.
Still, it is a good choice, especially if you own a Samsung smartphone.
Let’s Sum Things Up…
There is much more that needs to be covered, both in terms of information regarding the headset examples we used above and other remarkable VR headsets like the Sony PlayStation VR and Oculus Go. In this post, we only examined one headset example out of each of the three respective categories we discussed above.
But hang in there! Everything will come in time.
Needless to say that Oculus Quest and Valve Index are two of the most powerful VR headsets you can own, and I will give further insight about them in a future post, as well as more options apart from Samsung Gear VR for mobile phones, not to mention a full description in the Sony PlayStation VR, Oculus Go and much, much more here, at vrealityworlds.com.
Thank you for reading through this informational guide and see you soon!