Last Updated On August 12th, 2021
Technology for gaming has rapidly improved in the last decade. One area that has seen huge growth is the VR industry. You can now buy fully-realized VR headsets that enable you to interact with games and apps like never before. Titles like Vader Immortal, No Man’s Sky, and Defector give gamers an immersive experience and allow them to play out their fantasies in glorious VR.
If this sounds like fun, or you know someone who would love this, you need the best VR headset. There is a wide range of VR headsets available and their design and functionality vary greatly. To help narrow your choices, we have provided a list of 10 of the best VR headsets available – enjoy!
Best VR Headset Reviews – Top 10 Picks
The Oculus Rift S is our pick for best VR headset. It is a versatile device that offers excellent quality, and access to a huge content library.
The Oculus Rift S LCD screen and lenses give a wide field of view, and you can adjust the lenses per eye. The screen resolution is also fantastic and you get a high-quality mixed reality experience.
The room-scale tracking of this device is also amazing and your own movements are fully tracked and recreated in the VR games and apps (if supported). These devices do not need base stations as all the content is accessible via the Oculus Store.
This product also has a low weight design and is relatively comfortable.
Although the Oculus Rift S is our choice for best virtual reality headset, you could find that the audio is not high-end. Also, after long gaming sessions, you could find the tracking needs recalibrating.
If you are looking for a high-end product, the Oculus Quest 2 is our choice for the best VR headset for movies. Its high-quality display and optics provide an excellent movie-watching experience.
The Oculus Quest 2 is also the best VR headset for PC gaming on this list. It can be used as a standalone headset without the need for base stations, or it can be plugged into a PC for PC VR.
The refresh rate is fantastic, and it also has a wide field of view for optimum viewing performance. We also like the stylish design of this mixed reality device and you can adjust each lens per eye for maximum comfort.
The hand controllers are also great for PC VR gaming and are some of the best available in the industry.
The Oculus Quest is a solid gaming PC headset, but you could find the head strap difficult to adjust. Also, the facial cushion is OK, but after long periods it could become uncomfortable.
The Bnext Universal is our choice for the best budget VR headset. If you want a simple device to experiment with VR and test out a few games, this is a good choice.
This Bnext headset is a simple device that offers good quality VR. It is compatible with a range of apps and games including products that you can use on the Google Cardboard device.
When wearing this device, it has both a top and rear strap that can be adjusted. There is also facial-padding.
This is a great value virtual reality item, but you may find that you only have access to limited VR games and apps. Also, some customers have reported that it could be difficult to set up.
The DESTEK V5 VR headset is a simple but effective virtual reality device and is great if you want to occasionally experience VR without spending too much.
The DESTEK V5 has a good viewing angle of 110 degrees and high-quality HD lenses. The lenses also have protective technologies like anti-distortion lens surfaces.
For usage, this device is compatible with a range of smartphones including Samsung, HTC, Google, and Apple models.
A minor drawback of this virtual reality product is that the controller button may be intermittent. Also, compared to devices like Playstation VR, it may not have the largest content library.
The Samsung SM Galaxy Gear Headset offers a good resolution, decent refresh rate, and an ergonomic design compatible with modern Samsung smartphones.
The Samsung SM Galaxy Gear has a premium feel and looks fantastic. It has a large head strap and also has padding to protect your eyes. There are no external sensors, but it is equipped with the Gear VR controller.
To use this device simply slot your Samsung smartphone into the front slot. It is quite easy to set up, and the controller is accurate. It can be used as a simple remote control, or as a game controller.
Although this is a good virtual reality product, some customers have reported open boxes on delivery. Also, after prolonged usage, the cushioning could make you sweat.
The OIVO VR HEadset is the best VR system specifically for the Nintendo Switch. If you want to see Zelda and Mario in immersive VR – this is the best choice.
Te OIVO VR Headset works fantastically with the Nintendo Switch. Whilst playing, you can detach the side controllers and use them to control the games in conjunction with the headset.
Current titles available that support VR include Super Smash Bros, Zelda, and Super Mario Odyssey to name a few. Hopefully, more titles will be released in the future, as well as backwards compatibility with older games.
This high-end VR headset is great but at the moment, there is only a limited number of compatible VR system games for the Switch. Also, after long periods, this headset may not be comfortable.
The Heromask Learning is a good educational tool and offers children the chance to learn maths in a fun and immersive way.
The Heromask is an interesting headset that is primarily used for education. Children can play a variety of Heromask math games which help them learn in an engaging way. The headset itself will fit various face sizes and should be comfortable.
To use the device, you must simply slot your smartphone in. It supports a decent range of iPhones and Android devices, but you should check with the manufacturer first to ensure your smartphone is compatible.
The Heromask gives a great educational VR experience, but that may be the limits of its usage. Also, some younger children could find maths games difficult to learn to start with.
The VR Shinecon VR Headset is a simple device and one of the few headsets in the industry to feature built-in headphones.
This headset is compatible with multiple smartphones including a range of Samsung, HTC, and iPhone models. You simply slot the smartphone into the tray and then close it securely.
For greater comfort, you can also change the IPD per eye and also the FD. This means it will be comfortable for various face shapes and sizes. It is also capable of displaying content at 720p, 1080p, and 2k HD.
This is a good VR headset but for best usage, you may need a smartphone that has a gyroscope. Also, some customers have reported this headset may be difficult to set up.
The TechRise 3D VR headset offers a decent VR experience with a simple setup and access to a decent range of immersive content.
This headset has a large resolution screen and a decent field of view. Also, to access apps and VR games, you just need to connect your smartphone and download content directly from it.
The lenses also feature 8-layer nanocoatings and have been polished multiple times to improve viewing quality and reduce strain on your eyes. It has both rear and top head straps to provide decent support, and facial padding.
This headset provides a good VR experience, but after long periods you could find it heavy. Also, there is no button on the top for interacting or controlling games.
The Merge AR/VR headset is our pick for best VR set for education. This could be a great headset to use in classrooms to provide kids with an interactive learning experience.
The Merge Headset has some good features such as a decent field of view, solid refresh rate, and an ergonomic design.
For educational purposes, this is a fantastic product and kids can enjoy a variety of VR games that are compatible with the exciting Merge Cube (sold separately). For short bursts of usage, the facial padding is comfortable, and the rear strap can be adjusted. This mixed-reality device is also compatible with a good range of iOS and Android phones.
Although the Merge AR is a good virtual headset, it may only be suitable for educational purposes. Also, you could find it uncomfortable to use after prolonged periods.
How to Choose the Best VR Headset?
Now that you have read our VR headset reviews, you should now have a clear idea of the different virtual reality headsets available. But which one could be the best choice for you? Firstly, look at who you are buying the headset for and how it will be used.
Is the user a hardcore gamer or PC gamer and will they want to play the best VR games like Half-Life and? Maybe they are a casual user and do not need the most advanced virtual reality headset? Once you have thought about this, you can also consider the factors we have listed below:
Firstly, look at connectivity. Some of the best VR headsets work as standalone VR products – the games and apps are all accessible through the headset.
Other headsets, however, like the HTC Vive Cosmos require pairing with a computer through which you would access the games and apps. Finally, some reality headset models also require the use of a smartphone to act as the LCD screen and content provider.
Available Games and Apps
You must remember that not all headsets provide access to the same games and apps. Some headsets such as the Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift have access to huge online game libraries. Alternatively, other headsets may only have limited available content.
If you intend to use the standalone headset for prolonged periods, it must be comfortable. Ideally, the headset should have a comfortable head strap and padding.
The padding should be around the lenses so that the headset sits comfortably on your face and doesn’t exert too much pressure. If you are buying a standalone VR headset for children, you should also consider if the device is safe for them as some of the best VR headsets do have age restrictions.
You must also look at the screen quality of the headset. Different VR headsets have different resolution settings for their LCD displays. We must make a distinction however between the lenses and the display.
Some VR headsets have both lenses and an LCD display. A standalone headset like this doesn’t need any additional display to work. Alternatively, some headsets require a smartphone to act as the LCD display but still have lenses to focus the image.
When looking at screen quality, it is important to consider both the lens and screen. Models like the Oculus have a high refresh rate but also a high-resolution screen and lenses for a better viewing experience.
Most headset makers include some form of motion tracking in their headsets. The level of motion tracking available dictates your interaction with the games and apps. The best VR headset for gaming will have full motion tracking – external sensors will detect your movements and translate them into your in-game experience.
Alternatively, some basic reality headsets will not have motion sensors, but instead, use buttons or controllers to control your interactions.
Some reality headsets have motion controllers. These usually come in pairs and are small handheld devices that work like a console controller. Playstation VR and Windows Mixed Reality both have hand controllers, for example.
The quality and functionality of these devices can vary greatly. Also, they can greatly affect your gaming experience and dictate how much interaction you can enjoy.
How Does a VR Headset Work?
To give a little background info, we will also take the time to explain how this technology works. VR headsets or products like Google Cardboard and Playstation VR aim to create a life-size 3D environment that is not constrained by typical boundaries like on a TV or monitor.
The best headsets on the market send video to an LCD display – usually one for each eye. The lenses of the LCD display focus the pictures and create a stereoscopic 3D image. This is achieved by angling the video feeds in such a way that mimics how our eyes work. The result is that devices like Google Cardboard and Playstation VR can project realistic VR worlds that we can interact with.
Concepts like the six degrees of freedom (6DOF) are also used and inside out tracking so the headsets can track your body movements so you can effectively interact with the 3D world you are viewing.
We hope you have found this guide useful. A VR headset is a fantastic product to have – it also makes a great gift. Using the best VR headset you can explore immersive CGI worlds, interact with objects using your body, and have a gaming experience like nothing else.
Any one of the 10 best VR goggles we have listed will make a fantastic choice. However, our top choice is the Oculus Rift S. Oculus are a renowned maker of VR headsets and the Rift S remains one of the most advanced and complete VR headsets available. The optics and screen quality are superb, and the tracking also improves your VR experience.