Virtual reality (VR) headsets have made significant progress in recent years, and there are now a plethora of VR headsets on the market to choose from. But with so many options available, it can be tough to determine which one is the best for you. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best VR headsets on the market, broken down by category. Whether you’re looking for the best overall VR headset, the best console VR headset, or the best standalone VR headset, we’ve got you covered. Our comprehensive guide will help you find the perfect VR headset to suit your needs and budget.
This list will be kept updated and was last updated on the 2nd of January, 2023.
Best overall VR headset: Pico 4
Nominees: Meta Quest 2, Pico 4, Valve Index
The Pico 4 is a standout virtual reality headset in the market, offering a compact and lightweight design, powerful performance, and wide compatibility with VR content. Its high-resolution display and wide field of view provide a truly immersive experience, and the 6DoF motion controllers allow for natural hand movements in VR. The Pico 4 also has built-in speakers and the ability to wirelessly stream from a PC, expanding its capabilities beyond standalone use. While it may have a limited game library compared to some of its competitors and a shorter battery life, these drawbacks are outweighed by its strong performance and value for money. Overall, the Pico 4 is a strong contender for the title of best overall VR headset.
|Affordability, in comparison to previous headset||Software and game library somewhat lacking|
|Self contained and wireless||Short battery life (2-3 hours)|
|Ability to connect to PC via streaming assistant or virtual desktop to unlock PCVR titles|
|Extremely lightweight and comfortable|||
Best Standalone VR headset: Meta Quest 2
Nominees: Meta Quest 2, Pico 4, Vive Focus 3
Meta Quest 2 is a fantastic virtual reality headset that offers a wide range of immersive experiences. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 processor and has a high resolution display, providing stunning graphics and smooth gameplay. The headset is ok to wear, with adjustable straps and plenty of padding, although some users may find it becomes heavy and sweaty during extended play sessions.
One of the key factors contributing to this accolade of the best is the impressive game library available on the platform. With a wide range of high-quality titles to choose from, including popular franchises such as Beat Saber and Robo Recall, there’s something for everyone to enjoy on the Meta Quest 2. The Meta Quest 2 also has the option to be tethered to a PC for even more advanced VR experiences. Additionally, Meta (formerly Facebook) has placed a significant focus on developing and improving the software for the Quest headsets, consistently releasing updates and new features to enhance the user experience.
|Direct access to the Oculus store with Oculus Exclusives||Uncomfortable headstrap and face gets hot during prolonged use|
|Self contained and wireless||Short battery life (2-3 hours)|
|Ability to connect to PC via Link cable to unlock PCVR titles||Resolution not as good as newer headsets|
|Affordability, in comparison to previous headset|||
Best VR headset for Console: PS VR (for now)
Nominees: PSVR, PSVR 2 (Feb 2023)
The PlayStation VR (PSVR) is a virtual reality headset developed and produced by Sony Interactive Entertainment, a division of Sony Corporation, and released in October 2016. As the first virtual reality headset to be released for a gaming console, the PSVR has garnered a lot of attention and has become a popular choice for console gamers looking to get into VR. However, with the recent announcement of the next generation, it’s clear that the PSVR will soon be outperformed by newer, PSVR 2.
One of the main advantages of the PSVR is its compatibility with the PlayStation 4 (PS4) and PS4 Pro, which means that it is accessible to a large number of gamers without the need for a high-end gaming PC. The headset also has a relatively low price point compared to some of the more advanced PC-based VR systems, making it a more budget-friendly option for those interested in trying out VR.
However, the PSVR’s limitations are clear when compared to newer headsets on the market. The headset has a relatively low resolution display and a narrow field of view, which can lead to a less immersive VR experience. Additionally, the tracking system is not as precise as some of the more advanced VR headsets, which can lead to a less seamless VR experience.
|The VR Coach||PSVR||PSVR 2|
|Refresh Rate||90Hz 120Hz||90Hz 120Hz|
|Field of Few||100°||110°|
|Tracking||Outside-In (external Camera)||Inside-Out (Cameras on headset)|
|Console Compatibility||PS4, PS5||PS5|
|Release date||2016||22nd February 2023|
Best PCVR headset: Valve Index
Nominees: Valve Index, HP Reverb G2, Pico 4
The Valve Index is a high-end virtual reality headset that is known for its impressive display, comfort, and audio quality.
One of the standout features of the Valve Index is its display, which boasts a high resolution and a fast refresh rate. The Index uses dual 1440×1600 LCD panels, resulting in a per-eye resolution of 2880×1600. This is a significant improvement over many other VR headsets on the market, and it leads to a much more immersive and detailed VR experience. The Index also has a refresh rate of 120 Hz, which is higher than many other VR headsets and helps to reduce motion sickness and improve the overall smoothness of the VR experience.
The Valve Index also includes the “Knuckles” controllers, which are highly praised for their ergonomic design and intuitive controls. The Knuckles controllers allow for a wide range of hand and finger gestures to be recognized in VR, which helps to make the VR experience more immersive and natural.
The Index uses lighthouse sensors for tracking, which are known for their accuracy and reliability. The lighthouse sensors use lasers to track the position of the headset and controllers in 3D space, which allows for a wide range of movement and freedom in VR.
|Room Scale VR||Expensive – on of the most expensive headsets|
|Good resolution, FOV and Refresh rate||Need to setup base stations|
|Makes use of the cool Valve knuckles controllers||Durability issues after extended use and customer support is difficult if out of warranty|
Best upcoming VR headset: Meta Quest 3
Nominees: Meta Quest 3 (2023 – confirmed), Valve Deckard (unconfirmed), PSVR 2 (confirmed)
The Meta Quest 3 is an upcoming mixed reality headset from Meta, a company that was previously known as Oculus before dropping the Oculus brand name. According to various leaks and rumors, the Meta Quest 3 will be a more affordable headset than the Meta Quest Pro, which was recently announced by the company.
The release date for the Meta Quest 3 is not yet confirmed, but it is expected to arrive in 2023. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has stated that the headset will not be released in 2022. It is possible that the headset will be unveiled at the next Meta Connect event, which could be held in October 2023. However, it is also possible that the headset will be announced at the F8 conference, which is held in the spring and has historically been the event at which Meta has unveiled new VR products.
As for the price of the Meta Quest 3, Zuckerberg has stated that it will be in the range of $300 to $500. This puts it in line with the recent price increase for the Meta Quest 2, which now starts at $399 for the 128GB version and $499 for the 256GB version.
In terms of features, the Meta Quest 3 is expected to be a mixed reality headset, similar to the Meta Quest Pro and the rumored Apple AR/VR headset. It is also rumored to have a four-camera array with a depth sensor on the front of the headset for AR functionality, as well as pancake optics for a boost in resolution. It is also expected to have an IPD adjust wheel to accommodate different eye distances and support for the Meta Quest Pro dock and possibly the Meta Quest Pro controllers.
As for the specs of the Meta Quest 3, it is rumored to have uOLED displays with a resolution of 4,128 by 2,208 pixels or 2,064 by 2,208 pixels per eye, representing a 30% upgrade over the Meta Quest 2’s resolution. It is also expected to have a GPU that is twice as powerful as its predecessor and a 120Hz refresh rate by default.
Overall, the Meta Quest 3 is shaping up to be a promising mixed reality headset that offers a mix of features from both the Meta Quest Pro and the Meta Quest 2. While there is still much we do not know about the headset, it is clear that it will be a significant step forward from its predecessor and a strong competitor in the VR market.