When looking for a way to dive into the always expanding world of VR, purchasing your first VR headset can be intimidating, as can trying to make the most sensible upgrade. This list details the five most outstanding VR headsets available in 2022. From the affordable and effective to the advanced and expensive, there’s an option here for everyone.
- 1 – Meta Quest 2
- 2 – Valve Index
- 3 – HTC Vive Pro 2
- 4 – HP Reverb G2
- 5 – Playstation VR
1. Meta Quest 2
The clear leader among this year’s main contenders is also the biggest selling VR headset currently on offer. In fact, it’s the biggest selling VR device of all time. Meta Quest 2 gives users an untethered entry point into virtual reality and runs a very reasonable $299. Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset and boasting 1920×1832 per-eye resolution, twin Touch controllers, hand tracking, and the ability to be tethered via Link cable for full PC VR use, Quest 2 is a significant upgrade over the first Quest and Meta’s Rift line.
- Large app library.
- Also functions as a PC VR device.
- Requires Facebook account.
- Non-rechargeable controllers.
- White shell can easily become dirty.
2. Valve Index
With an emphasis on stunning visuals, Valve Index brings users a high-end VR experience for just under $1000. A strong PC VR contender requiring two PC connections and access to a power outlet, Valve Index uses an advanced controller design to track individual finger movements. Index’s futuristic controller design earned much praise while its modular components can be used with HTC Vive thanks to Steam-based cross-compatibility.
- No screen-door effect.
- Wide FOV of 130°
- High quality audio.
- Often cited as uncomfortable.
- External room-tracking units required.
3. HTC Vive Pro 2
Often called a “holodeck for your home,” HTC Vive Pro 2 not only offers a significant upgrade over the earlier Vive and Vive Pro models but brings users who can afford its high list price of $1400 (for the full system) a truly awesome VR experience. Requiring a high-end PC to fully utilize its advanced specs, Vive Pro 2 has a clear, crisp, lifelike display with a 2448×2448 pixels per-eye resolution, a 120Hz refresh rate, and 120° field-of-view. Although Vive Pro 2 doesn’t offer the freedom of cable-less VR, the trade-off is well worthwhile if top quality is a priority.
- Excellent 5K resolution.
- Strong 120° FOV.
- Great range of games available.
- Comparably expensive.
- Cables can cause obstructions.
- Generates significant heat.
4. HP Reverb G2
A Windows Mixed Reality headset, HP’s Reverb G2 sports a comfortable design, strong 2160×2160 pixel per-eye resolution, a physical IPD adjuster, no screen-door effect, a 90Hz refresh rate, and inside-out tracking. At an entirely reasonable price of $585, HP Reverb G2 also offers excellent Valve-designed drop-down speakers (but lacks a headphone jack) and can be bridged to use the Steam VR ecosystem.
- High-res display.
- Excellent near-field speakers and audio.
- Windows based system provides easy setup.
- Awkward controller design.
- Inconsistent head-tracking.
- Below-average FOV.
5. Playstation VR
For those with a console bias, Playstation VR makes an easy pathway to VR satisfaction. When connected to either a PS4 or PS5, PSVR provides users with immediate access to an excellent game catalog. Though its visuals are hardly cutting edge and its controllers can’t compete with those of other devices in this list, PSVR will be a familiar and unchallenging way for a huge gaming audience to move into virtual reality. Sony has announced a successor to this, the original Playstation VR, that is due to arrive late in 2022 but for anyone wanting to dip their toe into VR gaming now, especially PS4 and PS5 owners, this unit is an obvious choice.
- Great game catalog.
- Can utilize standard PS4 controllers.
- Familiar brand and ecosystem to many.
- Playstation VR 2 is expected this year.
- Requires Playstation 4 or 5, PS4 controller, and PS4 camera.
- Graphics are hardly industry leading.
Virtual reality hardware is always advancing and accelerating but, in its current state, the devices detailed here are easily the best options available to average consumers. Priced to enter people’s homes, these are the best and most accessible ways to jump into VR today.