Published on June 3rd, 2021 | by Sunit Nandi0
Best VR Headsets For 2021: The Ideal VR Headset for Virtual Reality
Finding the best VR headset for your needs today can be tricky. This is because the competition to be the best VR headset in the market has become fierce. Every headset manufacturer wants to be better than its competitors in every aspect making it daunting for users to pick one.
If you are looking to experience the fascinating world of virtual reality, the equipment you use matters. It helps to keep things like design, available space, your budget, etc., in mind when buying a headset. Your needs and preferences plus the audio quality it delivers matters too.
Image Source: Pixabay
The good thing about VR headsets is that each excels in one way or another. Besides, your search is about to be more accessible as this article reviews the best 5 VR headsets of 2021 for you. Read on to figure out which is best for you and your needs.
Let’s dive into it.
Oculus Quest 2
The Oculus Quest 2 is one of the best standalone VR headsets you can buy today. It is an upgrade of the Oculus Rift, especially with the addition of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865. But there are still many significant changes across the board, making this VR headset deliver a better overall performance.
The design is more intuitive and slicker than its predecessor. You only need the charging cable and no other wires that could make it look cluttered. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use cables, though. You can buy the Oculus USB-C Link cable and tether the VR headset to your PC to enjoy gaming,
One reason to consider the Oculus Quest 2 is its friendly pricing. It may not be the cheapest out there, but it is a great pick when considering value for money. It is an all-in-one device with a simple-looking design, but the excellent audio quality it delivers and other features make it worth the $299 price tag.
The only downside with the Oculus Quest 2 is that it requires a Facebook account. According to Facebook, this requirement is to protect the privacy and safety of its community. But then, this may not go well with you if you are not on Facebook or don’t want to sign up for an account.
Sony PlayStation VR
Image Source: https://www.playstation.com/en-us/ps-vr/
Another great VR headset you can consider for your needs is the Sony PlayStation VR. It is a compelling device that comes with a host of features since Sony backed its development. You only need to add a PlayStation VR if you already have a PS4 or PS5 console for the best gaming experience.
The Sony PlayStation VR enhances gaming with its excellent refresh rate, which makes it highly responsive. You also get to enjoy excellent positional tracking if using the Sony PlayStation VR. The overall playing experience is seamless, making this device a significant investment.
There also is a massive collection of games that comes with the PlayStation VR. The main downside with this device was that users had to buy most of its accessories separately. But then, Sony introduced PlayStation VR bundles to solve this issue and make accessories cheaper.
But then, you may still not find some accessories in all bundles. That means you have to prepare to incur some separate costs after buying your PlayStation VR headset. Sony has also announced that it will launch an upgraded version of the PlayStation VR, the PSVR 2, in 2021.
The Valve Index VR headset comes with great potential. A glance at it makes you believe it will be our default headset in the future. Valve, the manufacturer, isn’t new to this business. It collaborated with HTC to make the Vive headset, but the Valve Index is its first headset.
This headset is one of the best because of its structure. The best tips for buying a virtual reality headset include checking the construction and comfortability. Experts in VR know the importance of a well-fitting and sturdy headset. That’s why these tips should be top of your list when buying a VR headset.
The Valve Index has a sturdy construction and is comfortable. It’s made with high-quality material and good cushioning for the ears. It also comes with intelligent built-in speakers, delivering clear audio. It has a fantastic refresh rate, making it deliver a great user experience.
Oculus Rift S
The Oculus Rift delivers among the best virtual reality experiences. You can easily connect it with your PC over a USB 3.0 port with a cable long enough to reach every corner of a room. Users enjoy more dynamic and detailed VR experiences with this headset, thanks to its compatibility with PCs.
Oculus has also made the Rift S forward and backward compatible. This means you can enjoy most of the games released earlier for the Oculus Rift on your Oculus Rift S headset. You can also play many of the games released for the most recent headset, the Oculus Quest 2.
This is one of the best picks for you if you’d like to experience virtual reality on a PC. The headset is comfortable to wear, and the overall setup is relatively easy. Its games library is also great, and you’ll enjoy playing all of them, thanks to the excellent resolution this headset provides.
HTC Vive Cosmos
Image Source: https://www.vive.com/eu/product/vive-cosmos/features/
Valve partnered with HTC to make the HTC Vive, but there have been upgrades since then. The HTC Vive Cosmos headset is one of the advanced systems produced. It is one of the best because of the immersive virtual reality experience it delivers for its users.
Valve’s Lightroom technology and Chaperone make it easier for users to map out spaces and avoid collisions when using them. These are features that were not available in the HTC Vive. With more technological features, the Vive Cosmos is undoubtedly an excellent option to consider.
The HTC Vive Cosmos has a lot to offer when it comes to user experiences. It has a good resolution making it deliver excellent image quality for its users. The sound quality is also perfect, making the users’ virtual experiences complete.
The HVC Vive Cosmos is a solid option to consider for anyone looking to experience virtual reality. If starting, you can check out the original HTC Vive because it is only a few years older but still good.
The Ultimate VR Headset Buyer’s Guide
There is a suite of things to consider when buying a VR headset. Here are some vital ones;
- Resolution per eye – The resolution per eye needs to be sufficiently high for the best viewing experience. A low resolution means that there will be massive gaps between pixels. This makes the display less sharp and the VR headset not good enough.
- PPD (pixels per degree) – Another factor that dictates the quality of the image a VR headset produces is PPD. For a more realistic impression, a headset needs a high pixel density. This makes images more refined and a better user experience.
- Field of view – The field of view is the observable extent by a VR headset user at one time. This factor, too, can determine how impressive a headset will be. An ideal VR headset should come with a field of view of between 100° and 110°.
- Refresh rate – The refresh rate means how fast a VR headset shows images in frames per second. For a more fluid experience, you need a headset with a fast refresh rate. The best refresh rate you can find in a VR headset today is between 120 and 144 frames per second.
- Display – There are different displays that you can find in VR headsets; LCD, OLED, AMOLED. Most VR headsets come with LCDs because they are more advanced, especially when it comes to speed.
- Positional tracking – This factor needs to be precise to get the best from a VR headset. Good positional tracking makes the virtual reality experience more immersive. You can also consider whether a headset uses outside-in or inside-out positional tracking.
Selecting the best VR headset requires some effort and time. You need to ensure that the headset you pick feels comfortable to wear and is compatible with the VR software you’ll use. Besides, it would be best if you were sure the interface would be friendly to interact with, and this will require testing.
This article makes it easy for you to find the best VR headset for a great virtual reality experience. It has reviewed 5 of the best VR headsets you can buy in 2021. We also included a comprehensive buying guide that explores what you need to look for in a VR headset.
As mentioned earlier, every headset mentioned in this article is excellent in one aspect or another. Your choice will primarily depend on your needs and preferences. The headset market has become competitive. This has spurred innovations, improved the quality of headsets, and driven the costs down due to many competing brands.