Buyers guide: best gaming VR headsets

Buyers guide: best gaming VR headsets

Published: 23-05-2023
Updated: 25-05-2023

In this article we will provide an overview of the best gaming VR headsets. We divided the headsets into three categories: PC VR, standalone VR and console VR. Headsets from all price ranges will be included in this buyers guide. 

With this buyers guide we hope to guide you in the right direction to make the best buying decision. 

Top 4 PC VR headsets

PC VR headsets are specifically designed to be used with powerful gaming PCs or laptops. Unlike standalone VR headsets, PC VR headsets require a constant connection to the PC or laptop to display the games. The benefit of PC VR lies in its customization options and the ability to play games at high resolutions without limitations. 

With PC VR, you can experience stunning graphics, immersive gameplay, and access a wide range of VR experiences and games available on the PC platform. So, if you’re looking for a truly customizable and high-performance virtual reality gaming experience, PC VR headsets are the way to go.

Valve index – The best overall PC VR headset

best gaming VR headsets

The Valve Index is a high-end VR headset that offers immersive gaming with its high-resolution displays, precise tracking, and advanced controllers with finger tracking. It provides stunning visuals and smooth gameplay. With its adjustable fit and excellent audio quality, the Valve Index ensures a comfortable and enjoyable gaming experience. Compatible with SteamVR, it offers access to a wide range of VR games and experiences. While it comes at a higher price, the Valve Index is a top choice for VR enthusiasts seeking premium quality.

Technical specifications:

  • Display: Dual LCD
  • Resolution: 1440 x 1600 pixels per eye
  • Lens: Double-canted fresnel
  • Field of View: 130 degrees
  • Refresh rate: 80-144Hz
  • Price for kit: €1.079

Pros

Cons

+ Direct SteamVR access

- Needs Base Stations

+ Sub-mm precise tracking

- Fresnel lenses

+ Great-sounding over-the-ear speaker

- Front heavy

+ Wide field of view

+ Great controllers with finger tracking

+ Possibility for 144Hz refresh rate

HP Reverb G2 – Cheap 4K PC VR

The HP Reverb G2 is a highly regarded PC VR headset that offers an immersive and visually stunning virtual reality experience. With its high-resolution display, boasting 2160 x 2160 pixels per eye, and a 90Hz refresh rate, the Reverb G2 delivers sharp visuals and smooth gameplay. 

The headset features a comfortable and adjustable design, allowing for extended gaming sessions without discomfort. Its integrated spatial audio and dual microphones further enhance the immersion by providing realistic and immersive sound. The Reverb G2 also comes with convenient inside-out tracking, eliminating the need for external sensors. Overall, the HP Reverb G2 is a top choice for PC gamers seeking a high-quality VR headset with exceptional visual fidelity and immersive audio.

Technical specifications:

  • Display: Dual LCD
  • Resolution: 2160 x 2160  pixels per eye
  • Lens: Fresnel
  • Field of View: 114 degrees
  • Refresh rate: 90Hz
  • Price for kit: €577

Pros

Cons

+ Affordable

- Fresnel lenses

+ A great resolution for the price

- LCD panel

+ Low weight

+ No base stations needed, 6DoF tracking

HTC Vive Pro 2 – Affordable high resolution VR headset

The HTC Vive Pro 2 is a cutting-edge PC VR headset that delivers an incredibly immersive and high-fidelity virtual reality experience for the price. With its stunning 5K resolution display, offering 2448 x 2448 pixels per eye, and a 120Hz refresh rate, the Vive Pro 2 delivers crystal-clear visuals and smooth gameplay. The headset features precise sub-mm tracking with SteamVR 2.0 base stations, ensuring accurate and responsive motion tracking. 

The headset is comfortable and has an ergonomic design, with adjustable head straps and a well-balanced weight distribution for extended gaming sessions. The Vive Pro 2 supports a wide range of VR games and applications. With its advanced features and exceptional visual quality, the HTC Vive Pro 2 is a top-tier PC VR headset for gamers seeking the best virtual reality gaming experience.

Technical specifications:

  • Display: Dual LCD
  • Resolution: 2448 x 2448 pixels per eye
  • Lens: Double-canted fresnel
  • Field of View: 120 degrees
  • Refresh rate: 120Hz
  • Price for kit: €1.395

Pros

Cons

+ Comfortable

- Heavy

+ 5K display

- More expensive than Valve Index

Varjo Aero – Enthousiast VR headset

The Varjo Aero is a PC VR headset that offers an exceptional visual experience. With its high-resolution display, featuring 2880 x 2720 pixels per eye, and a 90 Hz refresh rate, the Aero delivers stunning clarity and smooth visuals. The headset’s unique display technology, inspired by how the human eye sees, provides a realistic and immersive virtual reality experience. The Varjo Aero incorporates eye-tracking technology for a more immersive and interactive VR experience. 

With precise eye movement detection, it enables features like foveated rendering and gaze-based interactions, enhancing visual quality and performance while providing intuitive control. The Varjo Aero is designed with comfort in mind, featuring an adjustable head strap and a lightweight design for extended wear. It is compatible with a range of PC VR games and applications, allowing users to explore a variety of virtual worlds. With its impressive visual delivery and competitive price point, the Varjo Aero is a great choice for VR enthusiasts looking for a high-end VR headset.

Technical specifications:

  • Display: Dual Mini LED LCD
  • Resolution: 2880 x 2720  pixels per eye
  • Lens: Aspherical
  • Field of View: 115 degrees
  • Refresh rate: 90Hz
  • Price headset only: €1.990

Pros

Cons

+ An ultra-high resolution

- Expensive

+ No need for Varjo Subscription

- Requires powerful gaming PC

+ SteamVR access

+ Eye tracking

Top 4 standalone VR headsets

Standalone VR headsets are all-in-one devices that don’t require a PC or console. They provide portable and user-friendly VR experiences with built-in displays, processors, and tracking systems. While they may have less processing power, they still offer immersive graphics and a wide selection of VR content.

These headsets are designed for convenience and simplicity. They have built-in displays, audio systems, and controllers, eliminating the need for external sensors or cables. With a standalone VR headset, you can simply put it on, power it up, and start exploring virtual worlds or playing games immediately.

Meta Quest 2 – Starter vr headset

The Meta Quest 2 is a popular standalone VR headset that offers a high-quality virtual reality experience. With its powerful processing capabilities and built-in sensors, the Quest 2 delivers immersive visuals and smooth gameplay without the need for a PC or console.

The Quest 2 features a crisp display with a resolution of 1832 x 1920 pixels per eye, providing sharp and detailed graphics. The fast-switch LCD panel ensures minimal latency and a smooth refresh rate for a comfortable and immersive experience. The headset also has integrated speakers that deliver spatial audio, enhancing the sense of presence and immersion in virtual environments.

Technical specifications:

  • Display: Single LCD
  • Resolution: 1832 x 1920 pixels per eye
  • Lens: Fresnel
  • Field of View: 90 degrees
  • Refresh rate: 90-120Hz
  • Tracking: Inside-Out 6DoF
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2
  • Price: €430 (256 GB)

Pros

Cons

+ Loads of accessories available

- Price raised by €100 worldwide

+ Continuous updates with new features

- Short battery life

+ better comfort

- No Bluetooth headphone support

+ Massive VR gaming library

- Fresnel lenses

Pico 4 – High quality starter vr headset

The Pico 4 is an all-in-one VR headset that delivers a powerful and immersive virtual reality experience. With its standalone capabilities, you don’t need to connect it to a PC or console, making it a convenient and portable option. The Pico 4 boasts impressive hardware specifications, including a high-resolution display and an industry standard refresh rate, ensuring sharp visuals and smooth gameplay. 

Its ergonomic design and comfortable fit allow for extended VR sessions without discomfort. With a growing library of games and experiences, the Pico 4 offers a diverse range of content to explore. Whether you’re a casual gamer or a VR enthusiast, the Pico 4 provides an accessible and enjoyable way to immerse yourself in virtual worlds.

Technical specifications:

  • Display: Dual LCD
  • Resolution:  2160 x 2160 pixels per eye
  • Lens: Pancake
  • Field of View: 105 degrees
  • Refresh rate: 72-90Hz
  • Tracking: Inside-Out 6DoF 
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2
  • Price: €499 (256 GB)

Pros

Cons

+ Small and lightweight from the new pancake lens

- Wired streaming is not plug and play

+ 4K+ resolution

- No headphones Jack

+ RGB passthrough for mixed reality

+ Superior comfort

Meta Quest Pro – High end standalone headset

The Meta Quest Pro is a highly anticipated VR headset that offers a premium virtual reality experience. With advanced features and powerful hardware, the Quest Pro aims to deliver immersive visuals, seamless performance, and enhanced comfort. It is designed to provide users with a wide range of gaming and entertainment options, allowing them to explore virtual worlds, engage in multiplayer experiences, and enjoy immersive media content. The Quest Pro is more powerful than the Quest 2 and a significant advancement in standalone VR technology, offering a new level of immersion and interactivity for VR gaming.

Technical specifications:

  • Display: Dual LCD with Quantum Dot and Local Dimming
  • Resolution: 1800 x 1920 pixels per eye
  • Lens: Pancake
  • Field of View: 106 degrees
  • Refresh rate: 72-90Hz
  • Tracking: Inside-Out 6DoF
  • Body tracking: eye, hand, and face tracking
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2+
  • Price: €1199.99

Pros

Cons

+ Impressive tracking features

- Expensive

+ New Snapdragon XR2+ processor

- Only 1-2 hours of battery life

+ 12GB of the fastest RAM

- Same resolution per eye as the Quest 2

+ Dual-camera video color passthrough

- No depth sensor

+ Excellent build quality

- No automatic IPD

HTC Vive XR Elite – Built-in dioptre adjustment

The HTC Vive XR Elite is a cutting-edge VR headset that offers an exceptional immersive experience. Equipped with high-resolution displays, precise tracking, and comfortable ergonomics, this headset takes virtual reality to the next level. With its built-in dioptre adjustment and compatibility with the SteamVR ecosystem, the HTC Vive XR Elite allows users to explore a wide range of virtual worlds and engage in immersive MR gaming experiences. Whether you’re a casual gamer or a professional user, the HTC Vive XR Elite offers a premium VR experience that will leave you captivated.

The HTC Vive XR Elite features a built-in dioptre adjustment, allowing users to fine-tune the headset to their individual vision needs. This adjustable dioptre ensures that users with varying levels of visual acuity can enjoy a clear and sharp virtual reality experience. By simply rotating the lenses this adjusts the dioptre settings, users can enhance the clarity and focus of the VR visuals, resulting in a more comfortable and immersive experience. Whether you have nearsightedness or farsightedness, the built-in dioptre adjustment of the HTC Vive XR Elite ensures that your virtual reality adventures are tailored to your specific visual requirements.

Technical specifications:

  • Display: Dual LCD 
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1920 pixels per eye
  • Lens: Pancake
  • Field of View: 110 degrees
  • Refresh rate: 90Hz
  • Tracking: Inside-Out 6DoF
  • Body tracking: hand tracking
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2
  • Price: €1399.99

Pros

Cons

+ 15 hour controller battery life

- Controller built quality

+ Lightweight design

- More expensive than Meta Quest Pro

+ Hot-swappable battery

- Glasses version is more uncomfortable

+ Standalone or tethered

+ Built-in dioptre adjustment

Best console VR headset

PS VR2 – Best console VR headset

The PS VR2 is the highly anticipated next-generation virtual reality headset from Sony for the PlayStation 5. Building upon the success of its predecessor, the PS VR2 promises an even more immersive and realistic gaming experience. With improved visuals, enhanced tracking, and advanced features, the PS VR2 is set to take virtual reality gaming to new heights. The headset boasts a sleek and ergonomic design, providing comfort during extended gaming sessions. 

Equipped with cutting-edge technology and compatibility with the PlayStation 5, the PS VR2 opens the door to a whole new world of virtual reality adventures. Whether you’re exploring breathtaking virtual landscapes or engaging in intense gaming battles, the PS VR2 delivers an unparalleled level of immersion and excitement. Get ready to step into a world where gaming becomes truly extraordinary with the PS VR2.

Technical specifications:

  • Display: Dual OLED with HDR
  • Resolution: 2000 x 2040 per eye
  • Lens: Fresnel lenses
  • Field of View: 110 degrees
  • Refresh rate: 90, 120Hz
  • Tracking: Inside-Out 6DoF
  • Body tracking: eye tracking
  • Price: €599.99

Pros

Cons

+ Dynamic haptics in the headset and controllers

- Locked into the PlayStation ecosystem

+ Dual OLED displays with HDR

- Fresnel lenses

+ Eye tracking for dynamic foveated rendering

- PlayStation-exclusive VR games