Buyers Guide: The best augmented reality headsets in 2023

Buyers Guide: The best augmented reality headsets in 2023

Published: 14-02-2023
Updated: 30-05-2023

Here are the seven best augmented reality headsets and smart glasses available in 2023.

But before we delve into the list, augmented and assisted reality is a technology superimposing computer-generated 3D objects on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view, increasing productivity and efficiency.

However, there are several augmented reality headsets and smart glasses on the market, so which one is the best?

Best augmented reality headset 2023 specifications

Microsoft HoloLens 2

Magic Leap 2

Resolution

1440x936 per eye

1440x1760 per eye

Display Engine

Laser Beam Scanning

Liquid Crystal on Silicon

Dynamic Dimming

No

Yes

Positional (3D) Audio

Yes

Yes

Diagonal FoV

52°

70°

Type

Binocular

Binocular

Optics

Waveguide

Waveguide

Weight

556 grams

260 grams

Eye Tracking

Yes

Yes

Hand Tracking

Yes

Yes

Battery life

3 hours

3.5 hours

Processing

Qualcomm Snapdragon 850

AMD Quad-core Zen2 x86 CPU

GPU

Adreno 630

AMD GFX10.2

RAM

4 GB

16 GB

Storage

64 GB

256 GB 

Price

€3.588

Magic Leap 2 Base: €4.120
Magic Leap 2 Developer Pro: €5,065
Magic Leap 2 Enterprise: €5,735

Best smart glasses 2023 specifications

RealWear Navigator 500

Vuzix M4000

Vuzix M400

Vuzix Shield

Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2

Resolution

854x480 per eye

854x480 per eye

-

-

640x360 per eye

Display Engine

LCD

DLP

OLED

2xMicroLED

LCoS

Noise cancelation

Up to 100db

Triple noise-cancelling microphones

Triple noise-cancelling microphones

Multiple noise-cancelling microphones

Yes

Control

Voice, Gaze

Touchpad, headmotion, Voice

Touchpad, headmotion, Voice

Touchpad, headmotion, Voice

Touchpad, Voice

FoV

20° horizontal

28° diagonal

16° diagonal

30° Diagonal

13° horizontal

Type

Monocular

Monocular

Monocular

Binocular

Monocular

Optics

-

Waveguide

-

Waveguide

Prism

Weight

270 grams

222 grams

182 grams

-

51 grams

Battery life

8 hours

2 hours

2 hours

-

8 hours

Processing

Qualcomm Snapdragon 662

Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1

Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1

Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1

Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1

RAM

4 GB

6 GB

6 GB

-

3 GB

Storage

64 GB

64 GB

64 GB

-

32 GB

Price

€1.999

€2.299

€1.699

Estimated around $1,999

€1.049

HoloLens 2

What it is

One of the two best augmented reality headsets 2023 on this list is Microsoft Hololens 2. A binocular premium AR headset priced at €3.588 and frequently used by enterprises and the military. Its unique cloud-saving spatial mapping enables the headset to be used in multiple places seamlessly. While the headset also enjoys extensive support from Microsoft with Remote Assist 365 and Teams platforms. Further, HoloLens 2 has built-in eye tracking and hand tracking and is still the headset with the widest FoV and high resolution. However, once Magic Leap 2 arrives, this will change.

Where it is used

Cloud-saving spatial mapping supported by the Microsoft business platforms means the Hololens 2 is ideal for training and simulation as 3D objects can be placed in a set location upon every use. This is even exacerbated by the integration of eye tracking, as biometric information can be used to better training and onboarding.

Furthermore, Microsoft HoloLens 2 is ideal for hand-based interactions, like design and R&D, and hands-free (voice control) in repair and maintenance. Recently, Microsoft released the Hololens 2 Industrial Edition certified for cleanrooms and a two-year warranty scheme, widening its use.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Supported by Microsoft cloud and productivity platforms
  • Great spatial mapping
  • Integrated eye tracking

Cons

  • A bit outdated for the price

If you need a premium AR headset for training, simulation, design, or R&D, Microsoft HoloLens 2 is hard to beat. You can get HoloLens 2 here.

Magic Leap 2

Magic Leap 2 Promo - Best Augmned Reality Headset 2023 - VRX

What it is

The second of the two best augmented reality 2023 is Magic Leap 2 is a premium binocular AR headset that was released on September 30th 2022, with impressive specifications and features. A few features to point out are crisp resolution with innovative Dynamic Dimming, widest FoV, positional audio, and comfortable form factor.

Dynamic Dimming allows the headset to control how much real-world light enters the glass down to 0.3%. In other words, small 3D objects will have a black outline around making them stand out.

Where it is used

Magic Leap 2’s raw power and superior specifications will enable it to excel in R&D, design and modeling, medical training, and complex manufacturing. This is truly the best augmented reality headset for 2023.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Widest FoV, and highest resolution headset in AR.
  • Dynamic Dimming improves the visual clarity of 3D objects and enables intricate 3D objects to be viewed.
  • Lightweight with only 260 grams.

Cons

  • The three price packages limit the use cases and are a bit pricey.

Soon to be the industry-leading augmented reality headset on the market with ground-breaking features. Read more about Magic Leap 2 here.

RealWear Navigator 500

RealWear Navigator 500 - VRX

What it is

The first smart glass on our list, RealWear Navigator 500 is a monocular smart glass headset that costs €1.999. It is tailor-made for heavy industry featuring impressive noise cancellation and voice control, allowing your hands to be free. Furthermore, Navigator 500 comes with an IP66 certification, which means it is protected from dust and water ingress.

Where it is used

Predominantly, RealWear Navigator 500 is for modern frontline workers at warehouses, manufacturing, or construction sites. Its capable hands-free voice controls in noise-heavy locations make it ideal for remote assistance through software such as Remote Eye and TeamViewer Assist AR, unlocking expertise from anywhere in the world. This also means RealWear Navigator 500 is excellent at inspections, maintenance, or repair use cases.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Stellar noise cancellation of up to 100db, noise equivalent to a construction site
  • High-quality, 48MP camera for video and images
  • Heavy industry certified

Cons

  • Voice control only

Heavy industry certified and with unparalleled noise cancellation, RealWear is an excellent choice for industrial use cases. You can get RealWear Navigator 500 here.

Vuzix M4000

Vuzix M4000 - VRX

What it is

Vuzix M4000 is Vuzix’s premium monocular smart glass priced at €2.299 and is positioned for field-service industries, manufacturing, and warehouse logistics. The premium price tag comes with numerous features such as IP67 certification, making it highly resistant to water, dust, and falls of up to 1 meter. M4000 has a clear resolution of 854×480 within 28-degree FoV, with a camera capable of taking 4K video for high-precision remote expertise.

Where it is used

With Vuzix M4000, you get a choice in how you control the device being able to be interacted with from hands-free voice control to on-frame touchpad and buttons. This means M4000 covers industry use cases from advanced manufacturing to remote fieldwork, warehouse logistics, and medical training.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • 4k camera for precision remote expertise shown in crisp resolution
  • Highly water, dust, and fall resistant
  • Multiple control options

Cons

  • More expensive than the Vuzix M400 alternative

Vuzix M4000 is the premium option that Vuzix offers. You can get Vuzix M4000 here.

Vuzix M400

What it is

Priced at €1.699, Vuzix M400 is the affordable alternative to the M4000 and is the best all-rounder smart glass for enterprises. Most of what you get on the M400 you get with the M4000. However, the differences are that M400 has a lower FoV at 16.8 degrees and resolution from the lack of waveguide optics technology. The control methods are touchpad and voice control for M400, whereas M4000 offers a button layout for additional controls. The M400 is lighter, with 180 grams compared to the M4000’s 222 grams.

You still get 4k video quality for precision remote expertise and an IP67 for comprehensive dust and water resistance, with a fall resistance of up to 2 meters.

Where it is used

Practically, the same use cases are covered for Vuzix M400 as for Vuzix M4000. So if your use cases don’t require a wider Field-of-View, a higher visual clarity, and the existence of buttons for navigation, Vuzix M400 is the best choice.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • IP67 for comprehensive dust and water resistance
  • Fall resistance of up to 2 meters
  • 4k video for precision remote expertise 

Cons

  • Limited FoV and resolution

The best all-around smart glass for industries and frontline workers is the Vuzix M400. You can get Vuzix M400 here.

Vuzix Shield

What it is

Still unreleased but is slated to start shipping soon. Vuzix Shield is a unique binocular smart glass with an expected price of $1.999. The smart glass will come with ANSI Z87.1 certification for eye and face protection covering impacts, dust, small particles, splashes, and radiation. Additionally, the microLED display will deliver 92% RGB accuracy and a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio in 30-degree diagonal FoV, together with the standard noise cancellation from Vuzix.

Where it is used

Uniquely, Vuzix Shield offers the same solutions and optimization of use cases within warehouse management and logistics, complex manufacturing, repair, and maintenance through remote expertise, but through a pair of binocular glasses. This means Vuzix Shield acts as safety goggles combined with an innovative productivity device, removing the need for the frontline worker to wear multiple devices.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • A novel binocular smart glass
  • ANSI Z87.1 eye and face protection
  • 30-degree Field-of-View

Cons

  • Only voice control

Combine complete safety with augmented reality with this binocular Vuzix Shield smart glass, alleviating the front-line worker to wear multiple devices. Read more about Vuzix Shield here.

Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2

Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 - VRX

What it is

Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 is a monocular smart glass targeting the business market for €1.049. This smart glass has a quality build with its titanium sturdiness and lightweight frame. Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 is meant to be worn at all times, as its enticing minimalistic design and comfort signals. Lastly, the glass is run by the capable Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 processor and developer platform. While it is tightly integrated with Google Workspaces for centralized and efficient productivity.

Where it is used

Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 offers a lighter and simpler productivity device than Vuzix and RealWear for the front-line worker in manufacturing, logistics, warehousing, and/or health care. Furthermore, because Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 is meant to be worn for extended hours, the smart glass connects with enhancing meetings and other office-related tasks.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Featherweight of 51 grams
  • Supported by Google Workspaces platform
  • Superior comfort for long-hour use

Cons

  • Only functional for the user’s right eye and while wearing glasses

Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 is to be used for long hours, integrating augmented reality holistically into use cases. You can get Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 here.