The best VR headsets: What to buy

Editorial / Gaming / Tech

Now VR headsets are becoming one of the world’s most sought-after gadgets, with prices that are affordable to most enthusiasts.

It wasn’t so long ago that it Virtual Reality (VR) headsets could be categorized somewhat as a passing fad – something that wasn’t made for the masses with restrictive prices one of the most serious hurdles to the technology’s widespread popularity. How things have changed. Now VR headsets are becoming one of the world’s most sought-after gadgets, with prices that are affordable to most enthusiasts. If you are serious about jumping on the bandwagon and seeing for yourself what fun can be had with VR sets currently available on the market, here is our guide to some of the best that are out there.

Samsung Gear VR

First up, it’s important to mention that the type of VR set you buy will be dependent on exactly how you what to go about using it: that is in combination with your smartphone or PC or as a standalone set. As you can ascertain from the brand, the Samsung Gear works in collaboration with the Galaxy handset to deliver a wide scope of VR activities and does so very very well. In fact, its new motion controller has perhaps elevated to one of the finest mobile-operated headsets.

The Gear works in conjunction with Samsung’s array of modern high-end smartphones and tablets such as the Galaxy S8 and S9 (and Plus models) and has a smooth operation thanks to the new motion controller which is a touchpad/trigger combination. The Samsung Gear VR delivers everything you’d expect from a large industry player such as Samsung but is only really an option to those who already possess high-end Samsung products.

Google Daydream View

If you have another type of Android device, or have a Galaxy and don’t want to go down the road of the Samsung Gear, then the Google Daydream View is a more than ample substitute. In fact, its price makes it one of the most attractive propositions out there, although this doesn’t mean that the equipment is cheap in any other way, as you would hope from a brand such as Google. It works by installing an app on your phone (easy to do) and then exploring the VR worlds available through Google’s simple control system. So far there is no a whole lot of compatible content which restricts the Daydream’s popularity, and of course, it is not as high-powered as many other options on the market, but what you do have is an affordable entry point to the world of VR with this Android-compatible piece of equipment.

HTC Vive Pro

Moving to PC-compatible sets, the HTC Vive Pro (and its predecessor, the Vive) is one of the best that money can buy – unfortunately you need a fair amount of it to get your hands on it too as it is one of the most expensive sets out there, but that price tag brings quality. It has a high-resolution display (2880 x 1600, a 78% increase on its previous model) which sets it apart from most rivals, and its built-in headphones provide unrivaled sound quality – this is a fine piece of equipment. The cons come with the fact that is it pricey, and perhaps aimed at the techy market, as configuration can be complex. Yet the positives far outweigh the negatives, as Todd Charvis, a gadgets reviewer at WriteMyX and BritStudent confirms.

VR headset
The HTC Vive

“This is a fabulous piece of kit which fits tightly and snugly on the face and succeeds in blocking out light perhaps better than any other VR set. This one is the choice of professionals.”

Oculus Rift

Also for PC, the Oculus Rift is a real crowd pleaser and with backing from Facebook, has real tech might behind its development. Founder Palmer Luckey is perhaps the name in VR development, and Oculus has built an impressive reputation as a deliverer of state-of-the-art yet affordable VR equipment, and the Rift is just the latest product to step up. It’s touch controllers are arguably the best anywhere on the market, although the sensors do not allow for the maneuverability of, say, the Vive. The Rift is a lot cheaper, though, and in the mid-range market, this is perhaps the best piece of PC-compatible kit that money can buy.

Oculus Go

As far as standalone devices are concerned, it’s hard to better another Oculus design: the Go. No smartphones, tablets or PCs are required for this machinery, which rivals Oculus’ more expensive Rift in so many ways despite its more affordable price. “This is a great entry point into the VR arena for those who don’t want to be tethered to another device,” states Cassandra Madden, a tech analyst at 1day2write and NextCoursework.

PlayStation VR

As far as gaming goes, it’s hard to beat the PlayStation VR headset which is compatible with Sony’s PlayStation 4 and has an ever-increasing library of games to access. At a fraction of the cost of PC-compatible VR, Sony’s PlayStation VR headset is a compelling step in the right direction for console-driven VR development and one that is bound to prove popular with gaming enthusiasts everywhere.

Tech enthusiast Joel Syder can be found writing about his passions at Essay Help and PHDKingdom. His website-building tips, tech world insights, and other electronic gadget-focused observations can also be unearthed at Academicbrits.

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