Gaming

6 Best VR Headsets in 2023 Tested by Tech Experts

Get ready for some exciting news in the world of VR headsets! The highly anticipated Meta Quest 3 is about to be released, and it’s sure to give the best VR headsets a run for their money. In 2023, PSVR 2 and Meta Quest Pro are generating a lot of excitement for VR. Quest 3 could add to that excitement. To get a preview of the field before the new challenger arrives, we have compiled a list of the top VR headsets below.

You don’t have to spend a whopping $3.5 grand on Apple’s ski mask. The good news is that you can find some top-notch VR headsets for a more reasonable price range of $300 to $600. High-end devices from HTC, Meta, and Valve can still cost over $1,000 but less than $3,000. If you want the best PC VR technology, we believe it’s worth investing around a thousand dollars. You may only need to spend less if you already have one of the best gaming PCs. Remember, PC gaming is not your only option. The Meta Quest 2 is still a great choice, and the PSVR 2 is one of the top gaming VR headsets available.

We have gathered the top VR headsets to navigate the market quickly. Check them out below. We created this guide by combining our experience with comparing specifications and prices to find the most valuable platforms. Of course, VR isn’t the most affordable gaming platform to enter, particularly with the cost of living as high as it is.

1. PSVR 2

PSVR 2

The tech specs of PSVR 2 make it a great VR package. This headset offers excellent value for money, especially when considering the costs of VR gaming on a PC. A powerful PC with other VR devices on this list will cost over $1,000. Including the headset’s price, which can be in the thousands, becomes a significant investment. A PS5 costs about $500, while a PSVR 2 costs $549. You get a fantastic VR platform for that price, which is worth more than you pay.

You get a lot of cool features that make VR experiences better than ever before, all for a reasonable price. The haptic feedback in the VR2 Sense controllers and headset’s headband feels better here than on the DualSense. It also has some light trigger resistance. The OLED panel is fantastic, and the eye-tracking and foveted rendering makes the details stand out, leaving you in awe.

PSVR 2 is now limited to the PS5. This headset has the least number of games to play compared to the others on the list, especially when it first launches. It seems limited because it can’t work with PCs or play PSVR 1 games. PSVR 2 has a great Cinematic Mode that lets you enjoy your favorite PS5 games in a whole new way, thanks to its OLED panel.

PSVR 2 has quickly become a top contender in the VR gaming market. It offers excellent specs, features, and value for money, leaving competitors behind. Overall, it’s an impressive package.

Specifications

Resolution: 2,000 x 2,040 per-eye
Display: OLED HDR 102 Hz
FOV: 110 degrees
Connection: USB-C
Compatible hardware: PS5

Reasons to Buy

Premium VR feature set for the money
OLED 120Hz Panel
Excellent controllers
Accurate spatial tracking
Cinematic Mode

2. HTC Vive Cosmos Elite

HTC Vive Cosmos Elite

If the HTC Vive Pro 2 is too expensive, the Vive Cosmos Elite system is a good option for those who want a VR headset with room-scale tracking but don’t want to spend as much on fancy features. A few years ago, HTC released the Cosmos headset with little attention. The headset is a modular system that allows you to easily upgrade it with a different faceplate and SteamVR tracking bases. The final version of the VR headset is called the Vive Cosmos Elite, and it is considered the best one in its line.

The resolution of the Cosmos Elite system is better than the cheaper Oculus Quest 2. However, the display still has enough power to compete with the premium Valve Index system. The Cosmos Elite system costs over $800. HTC Vive Pro 2 means you won’t experience the screen door effect, and the display will be clear with a 90Hz refresh rate. It is currently the most affordable option for a complete tracking sensor set. It also does an excellent job of displaying everything with high-quality graphics.

Specifications

Resolution: 2880 x 1700
Display: LCD
Connection: DisplayPort, USB 3.0
Field of View: 110°
Recommended Hardware: Intel i5-4590 / AMD FX 8350+, Nvidia GTX 1060 / AMD Radeon RX 480+, DisplayPort 1.2, USB 3.0 port

Reasons to Buy

Bundles often include base stations
Solid tracking
Lower price than other high-end models

3. The HP Reverb G2

The HP Reverb G2

The HP Reverb G2 VR headset is not very popular, but it’s a hidden gem priced at $600. In the US, it’s easier to find this item. You’ll probably only find special editions priced at £600 or more in the UK. The focus is on resolution, but there are also convenient features like a flip-up display for better visibility of your surroundings. There are many things to love here, although this set doesn’t quite surpass some of the higher options on the list.

No external tracking sensors are required! The HP Reverb G2 has built-in cameras for tracking. Also, there is minimal setup required. This headset is designed for Windows, making it easy to connect to your PC. Just plug it in and let Windows 10 or 11 handle the installations and software adjustments.

The HP Reverb G2 is a good choice for PC enthusiasts who want to experience virtual reality without needing to set up a lot of equipment. It may not be as advanced as the Oculus, but it’s still worthwhile.

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Specifications

Resolution: 4320 x 2160
Display: LCD
Connection: DisplayPort, USB 3.0
Field of View: 114°
Recommended Hardware: Intel Core i5, i7, Intel Xeon E3-1240 v5, AMD Ryzen 5+, DX12 capable graphics, DisplayPort 1.3, USB-C 3.0

Reasons to Buy

Great resolution
Not as expensive as other premium headsets
90Hz refresh rate

4. HTC Vive Pro 2

HTC Vive Pro 2

If you want the best VR headset, choose the HTC Vive Pro 2. This toy is definitely for older kids and costs $800 just for the headset. You’ll also need to buy extra accessories and a high-end PC. The HTC Vive Pro 2 is an excellent choice for experts and those willing to spend more money. It has a high resolution of 4896 x 2448, precise motion tracking, and works well with Steam VR. It’s worth checking out.

The resolution of this headset is the best in the market, providing incredibly clear visuals that cheaper headsets can’t match. You are connected to a PC here using a Link Box. Be careful not to trip if you’re moving around.

During our testing, the setup process was somewhat tedious. It took a significant amount of time to plot out the base stations, and we highly recommend wall-mounting them for optimal results, although this will add even more time to the setup. To have the complete experience, you should get two Steam VR base stations and motion controllers. It will cost you approximately an additional $600. But once you do, you’ll have access to a new level of tracking and motion that other VR headsets may struggle to match without sacrificing other features.

The best thing about this is the fantastic resolution, wide field of view (120°), and fast refresh rate (up to 120Hz). If you want a setup that will last a long time and enjoy your games to look their best, this is where you should invest your money.

All the technology is also very high-quality and luxurious. We liked the futuristic look on the outside but the lightweight design even more. Despite being connected to a PC, this experience was surprisingly flexible.

The quality of the HTC Vive Pro 2 becomes more apparent as time goes on. It took us a few days to adjust the settings for our eyes. Remember that you may need some extra time to get the best result. But once you arrive, the investment you’ve made is worth it.

Specifications

Resolution: 4896 x 2448
Display: LCD
Connection: DisplayPort 1.2, USB 3.0
Field of View: 120°
Recommended Hardware: Intel Core i5-4590 / AMD Ryzen 1500+, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 / AMD Radeon RX 5700+, 8GB RAM+, DisplayPort 1.4, USB 3.0

Reasons to Buy

Excellent performance
Best resolution on the market
Large library of games

5. Meta Quest 2

Meta Quest 2

The Meta Quest 2 is the top VR headset for most players. It used to cost $299 / £299, but in August 2022, the price went up to $399 / £399 for the 128GB model. The price of the 256GB version has also increased to $499 / £499. It’s a big setback, especially since the Quest 2 was the best VR headset for the affordable sub-$300 / £300 market. However, this is still one of the most affordable mid-range choices available. So, even if you missed the previous price, it’s still worth looking into.

Although we were slightly disappointed by the Oculus Quest 2 feeling less premium than its predecessor, we discovered that it was more comfortable during our testing. The new controller is lighter (503g) and has a wider thumb rest for better grip. We suggest choosing this headset instead of the newer Meta Quest Pro, especially if you only want a VR headset for gaming.

The battery life and AR features of the Meta Quest 2 make it a more viable option than the other device. Despite minor technical improvements, the Meta Quest Pro has privacy concerns and isn’t worth the higher price compared to the Quest 2.

The Quest 2 allows you to move around freely without restrictions on tracking area. It also has a very flexible setup. This device has everything you need in one package – a fast processor and ample RAM to handle modern games. You don’t have to buy an expensive gaming PC to play smoothly here. Everything is ready to go right out of the box. It’s essential to understand how valuable that is for Meta Quest 2.

It’s impressive that some VR headsets offer great features like tracking, high-resolution display, smooth framerate, and comfort for under $300 / £300. It is especially notable considering that many top VR headsets cost over $500 / £500 and need a separate PC. Lately, there have been increasing deals and accessories for Meta Quest 2 in the marketplace.

Specifications

Resolution: 3664 x 1920
Display: LCD
Connection: USB-C, 3.5mm
Field of View: 100°
Recommended: None (PC optional for tethering)

Reasons to Buy

Wireless
No need for an expensive PC
Oculus Link tethering enabled
Expansive library of games

6. Valve Index

Valve Index

Let’s start by discussing a few features of the Valve Index. Let’s start with the finger-tracking system. The Valve Index is different from other VR headsets because it has sensors for each finger on a touch-sensitive panel instead of relying on controller tracking. The second feature is a 120Hz refresh rate. It helps compensate for a slightly lower resolution by ensuring smooth movement of games on the screen without any flickering.

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The Valve Index is a VR headset designed for PC gamers already dedicated to the gaming world. It’s perfect for those with a powerful PC who want to experience immersive virtual reality gaming. The headset alone costs £499 / £459, but the complete kit costs $999 / £919. It’s less expensive than the total price of the HTC Vive Pro 2 and its accessories, but you’re prioritizing tracking over resolution this time.

With Steam’s support, getting bored in this virtual world is difficult. It’s important to mention that only a few Steam games can fully utilize these special tracking features. If you buy this, you’ll mainly be protecting yourself rather than experiencing the latest technology.

Specifications

Resolution: 2880 x 1600
Display: LCD
Connection: DisplayPort, USB 3.0, USB 2.0
Field of View: 130°
Recommended Hardware: Quad-core processor+, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070+, USB 3.0, SteamVR tracking base stations, DisplayPort 1.2

Reasons to Buy

Dramatically reduces screen door effect
Wide field of view
Excellent controller tracking

FAQ – VR Headset

Which VR headset is currently considered the best?

The Meta Quest 2 is the top VR headset for most people. It’s a budget-friendly choice that provides many features and various services and games. PSVR 2 is impressive due to its overall excellence. The headset has high-quality specs and features typically found in pricier models. For the best PC experience, we suggest using a headset with full room tracking, such as the HTC Vive Pro 2 or the Valve Index.

Is the Meta Quest Pro worth buying?

The Meta Quest Pro, the latest release from Oculus, still carries the DNA of its Meta rebrand. The gaming VR headset has excellent specs, but it also has unnecessary features that raise privacy concerns. We can’t recommend it over the Meta Quest 2 because of its very short battery life, which falls short of the 10 hours promised by Meta. Which VR headset is currently considered the best?

The Meta Quest 2 is the top choice for most people looking for a VR headset. It’s a budget-friendly choice that provides many features and various services and games. PSVR 2 is impressive due to its overall excellence despite its small size. The headset has high-quality specs and features typically found in pricier models. For the best PC experience, we suggest using a headset with full room tracking, such as the HTC Vive Pro 2 or the Valve Index.

Is Apple Vision Pro suitable for gaming?

The Apple Vision Pro has impressive specs and hardware features. It has the potential to be a top VR headset for gaming. However, it is essential to note that it is not explicitly designed for gaming, so it could also have disadvantages. Apple Vision Pro does not have controllers, and the battery life is limited to two hours with a small battery pack. It may be better. We have yet to determine what video games will be in the library.

Should I get Meta Quest 2?

The Oculus, also known as Meta Quest 2, is one of the top VR headsets. It’s excellent for gaming and general VR experiences. One great feature is that it’s wireless and doesn’t require a PS5 or PC to play at full power. Yes, it can be connected to a PC, but its independence from expensive hardware makes it accessible for people who cannot afford everything. Oculus is a well-known name in VR gaming and has an extensive collection of games in its digital library.

Should I buy VR in 2023?

Not everyone will find the best VR headsets worth it. Only a few people will genuinely benefit from the top-of-the-line options. Developers are making more large-scale games with the release of bigger games like Resident Evil, Half-Life, and Star Wars franchises. As a result, the prices of VR headsets are dropping. If you want to try out a new gaming experience, it’s a good time to invest in a VR headset.

Which VR headset has the highest resolution?

The HTC Vive Pro 2 has the highest-resolution display on our list. Each eye receives 4896 x 2448 pixels. Regarding gaming, it only gets a little better than what’s available in that price range. PSVR 2 comes close to Vive Pro 2 in terms of resolution with 2000 x 2040 PPE. It also has an OLED panel, which makes its visuals stunning.

What do you need for VR?

To begin exploring virtual reality, you’ll need a VR headset. Finding a suitable model can be challenging, but if you’re new to virtual reality and want a reliable experience, we suggest going with the Oculus Quest 2. The headset is entirely standalone, so you don’t need a high-end gaming PC or cables.

If you want a more luxurious experience, you’ll need a PC with certain specifications. These include an Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics card, 8GB RAM, and an Intel i5 processor. Of course, better specs will give you even better results. Additionally, you might need to buy extra controllers and tracking stations to finish setting up.

Which VR headset feels the most real?

In general, VR headsets provide a unique and realistic gaming experience. The platform’s main appeal is that it allows you to immerse yourself in any virtual expertise you desire. When it comes to realistic visuals, there is one headset that stands out from the rest with its superior resolution. For the best experience, we recommend the HTC Vive Pro 2. It offers a wide 120-degree field view and a high-resolution 2448p LCD.

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