10 Best Virtual Reality Headsets in 2019

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  • Large game library
  • Compatible for Playstation 4 users
  • High-quality 3D sound
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  • Chaperone system to encourage safe gaming
  • SteamVR tracking allows users to move around large rooms while they play
  • Over 1500 games available through SteamVR
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  • Affordable product for those wanting a smartphone-compatible VR headset
  • Sleek black design
  • Small touch controller is simple and intuitive to use

A few years ago, it seemed like virtual reality had come out of nowhere, but now it has taken the gaming world by storm. By donning their VR goggles, anybody can disappear into a whole other universe and experience their favorite games in a new way. Whether you want to play through your smartphone, PC or games console, there’s a virtual reality headset available to suit your needs, and now that they’ve hit the mainstream, there’s seemingly endless amounts of games to immerse yourself in.

From Sony to Google, there’s a whole host of tech companies that have developed their own VR systems for you buy. This article will go through the details to help you decide which is the best virtual reality headset for you. The following product reviews will break down the pros and cons of ten of the best virtual reality headsets on the market today.

View the Best Virtual Reality Headsets, Below

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1. Sony PlayStation VR

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For those gamers who want to experience virtual reality through their own games console, the Sony Playstation VR is an affordable way to achieve just that. Boasting a wide range of games already available, and a cinematic mode for movie lovers, this VR headset is an easy and affordable way to get started in the world of virtual reality.

Its affordable price and ease of use are just two reasons to consider this VR system. The sleek black design is in keeping with the Playstation 4 and the visual quality provided by its 5.7” OLED screen can compete with the best standalone virtual reality headsets. Not only this but Sony have built-in 3D sound to compliment the 360-degree vision for an excellent virtual reality system.

This is the ideal way for frequent gamers to make the move to virtual reality, with a wide range of games and apps available at a reasonable price.

Why We Like It
  • Large game library
  • Compatible for Playstation 4 users
  • High-quality 3D sound
  • Cinematic mode to enjoy films in 2D
  • Multiplayer and party games are perfect for socializing
Resolution
960 x 1080 Pixels per Eye
Screen Type
5.7” OLED
Sensors
360-degree Tracking, 9 LEDs
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2. HTC VIVE Virtual Reality System

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HTC’s contribution to the virtual reality market is the HTC VIVE . While more expensive than the Sony Playstation VR, the VIVE still has over 375 games available to play and can be a better option for those users who don't already have a games console. Its sensors allow for high-quality room tracking, and this virtual reality system can bring more of the real world into your gaming experience through the VIVE trackers, as well as letting you use your phone normally if you need to.

This virtual reality headset provides a high-resolution display for an immersive gaming experience, and the optional Deluxe Audio Strap upgrade can improve the audio too, although it does add to the cost. Furthermore, this headset puts safety first with 'chaperone' play area boundaries.

The well-designed headset makes this comfortable and easy to use option for those interested in a standalone virtual reality system.

Why We Like It
  • Chaperone system to encourage safe gaming
  • SteamVR tracking allows users to move around large rooms while they play
  • Over 1500 games available through SteamVR
  • Extra comfort in the headset through padding and nose rest
  • Front-facing camera allows you to see the real world with ease
Resolution
1080 x 1200 Pixels per Eye
Screen Type
Dual AMOLED 3.6" Diagonal
Sensors
SteamVR Tracking, G-sensor, Gyroscope, Proximity
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3. Samsung Gear VR

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When it comes to finding the best virtual reality headset to use with your smartphone, the Samsung Gear VR system offers strong performance at a reasonable price. The Samsung Gear VR is set to function with any Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+, S9, S9+ or Note 8 smartphone, which saves on the cost and makes it very easy to use.

As this headset relies on your smartphone screen, the visual experience depends on the quality of your phone. However, there is a maximum resolution which could limit this experience for those with newer versions. This is a more social VR system as it allows multiple users to cooperate while playing. Those users can also benefit from the use of voice commands, making for an easier virtual reality experience.

The Samsung Gear VR is an excellent way for Samsung phone owners to get involved with virtual reality at a more affordable price than its competitors.

Why We Like It
  • Affordable product for those wanting a smartphone-compatible VR headset
  • Sleek black design
  • Small touch controller is simple and intuitive to use
  • Lightweight headset ideal for long periods of gameplay
  • Over 1000 apps available
Resolution
1280 x 1440 Pixels per eye (maximum)
Screen Type
Super AMOLED
Sensors
Gyro Sensor / Proximity Sensor

4. Google Daydream View

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Another option for using virtual reality through a smartphone is the Google Daydream View. This Google virtual reality headset is compatible with a broader range of devices than the Gear VR, including phones by Motorola, Huawei, and LG, to mention a few. This headset lets you use some of the extra benefits Google can provide, such as allowing you to Chromecast what you’re seeing to another screen for your family and friends to watch with you.

The Daydream View is available at a low cost, and comes in an attractive and comfortable design, with three colors to choose from. Again, the visual quality depends on that of the smartphone involved, but with a wide range of compatible phones, this could be an affordable way to start enjoying virtual reality. Check out our Review on these TracFone phones.

The Google Daydream View is compatible with a wide range of smartphones and enjoys the benefits of other Google technology, such as chromecast and the google assistant.

Why We Like It
  • Attractive design with a range of color options
  • Durable fabric
  • Compatible with a wide range of smartphones
  • Chromecast
  • Simpler set up than its competitors
Resolution
Depends on Smartphone
Screen Type
Depends on Smartphone
Sensors
Depends on Smartphone

5. Lenovo Standalone VR Headset

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The Lenovo Mirage Solo is a standalone VR headset. Like the HTC VIVE, this virtual reality headset gives a high quality visual and audible experience without the need for a compatible smartphone or games console. This headset gives the user extra freedom as it is completely wireless, however, this does mean it is heavier than some of its competitors.

These VR goggles have the power to cast your viewing experience to a nearby screen and also take advantage of the Google Daydream library, providing a wide range of apps and games to use. Although this is a more expensive standalone system, its innovative WorldSense technology allows users more movement, making it still one of the best virtual reality headsets on the market.

This standalone headset uses Google’s Daydream View services, making it a large upgrade of the smartphone version, with massive memory for extra entertainment.

Why We Like It
  • Wireless
  • Standalone: no need for a phone or PC
  • Access to the Google Daydream library
  • 6 degrees of freedom so it can track your position as well as movement
  • 64GB Storage And Micro SD Slot For Extra Memory
Resolution
1280 x 1440 Pixels per Eye
Screen Type
5.5” QHD LCD Display
Sensors
Dual 6 DOF Tracking Cameras

6. Oculus Go Standalone Headset

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The Oculus Go virtual reality headset provides a standalone experience at a competitive price. This wireless technology gives more freedom to gamers and other users of VR, and with a large gaming library, this seems to be the priority. Unfortunately, the Oculus Go lacks the ability to track the body of a user as they move, making it less flexible for gameplay.

However, its 5.5-inch screen and impressive resolution are enough to compare with the best alternative virtual reality headsets available. Perhaps this isn’t the best system for those who like to move around a lot during gameplay, but the strong visuals and wide range of apps available make this a strong contender amongst the VR options. Plus, it's completely wireless, which is always positive.

The Oculus Go offers a cheaper route into the Oculus VR market and its large game library.

Why We Like It
  • Standalone - no need for a smartphone or PC
  • Wireless
  • Large game library
  • Lightweight and comfortable design
  • Affordable price
Resolution
1280 x 1440 Pixels per Eye
Screen Type
5.5” WQHD Fast-switch LCD Display
Sensors
Gyro Sensor / Proximity Sensor

7. HTC VIVE Pro

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The HTC VIVE Pro offers a high-end virtual reality experience for those gamers willing to spend a bit more to get the best quality available. An upgrade on the HTC VIVE, this VR headset comes with a wireless option to give a bit more freedom to those players who like to move around while enjoying the new world that virtual reality presents.

With a higher resolution than its predecessor and a more comfortable design, the VIVE Pro is ideal for those who wish to immerse themselves in their games for longer periods of time. While it comes at a bigger price, this is an advanced system offering some impressive visual and sonic displays for the avid Virtual Reality user.

This virtual reality headset has an impressive resolution of 1440 x 1660 pixels per eye, making it one of the best options for those willing to spend a bit more money.

Why We Like It
  • High resolution - 1440 x 1660 pixels per eye
  • Wireless
  • Comfortable headset with padded strap and optimal center of gravity
  • Up to 7m by 7m gameplay area
  • 3D spatial audio
Resolution
1440 x 1660 Pixels per Eye
Screen Type
Dual AMOLED 3.5" Diagonal
Sensors
SteamVR Tracking, G-sensor, Gyroscope, Proximity, IPD Sensor

8. Oculus Rift + Touch System

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For those who want to experience virtual reality through the use of their gaming PC, the Oculus Rift + Touch system is a good way to go. The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset comes with adjustable straps and padding in order to make it as comfortable as possible. Not only this, but the Rift’s infrared sensors gives it an edge over some competitors in terms of how it tracks your movement around the room, allowing for more interactive gameplay.

However, this can be quite computationally expensive if you’re after the best quality possible, so maybe this is only suited to those who already own a top of the range gaming PC. Regardless of this, the wide range of titles to view and play make this a good option for the price.

The Oculus Rift has an impressive room tracking system through its use of infrared sensors, making it a high-quality headset for those using a gaming PC.

Why We Like It
  • Comfortable design with adjustable straps and padding
  • Infrared sensors for strong tracking
  • Wide range of exclusive games
  • Ergonomic controller
  • Simple setup process
Resolution
1080 x 1200 Pixels per Eye
Screen Type
Pentile AMOLED
Sensors
Infra-red 'Constellation' Tracking

9. Pansonite Vr Headset

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The Panosite VR Headset is a great way to introduce yourself to the world of virtual reality. This headset is compatible with a wide range of smartphones, and comes at a very low price, making it the most affordable and accessible virtual reality headset in this article.

The reason this is described as an introductory headset is that, like the Google Daydream and Samsung Gear, it relies on the quality of your smartphone and, although it is very comfortable to wear, it does allow some light to get in which could make your visual experience slightly less than perfect. Nonetheless, this is a minor problem and it is still fantastic value.

The Panosite VR Headset comes at an affordable price which is fantastic value considering the wider range of smartphones it is compatible with.

Why We Like It
  • Low cost
  • Built-in headphones
  • 360 degree sound
  • Compatible with a range of smartphones
  • Easy setup
Resolution
Depends on Smartphone
Screen Type
Depends on Smartphone
Sensors
Depends on Smartphone

10. HP Mixed Reality Headset

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The HP Mixed Reality Headset is Windows’ offering to the virtual reality community. As created by Windows, this is made to function with more basic PCs, making it all the more accessible for those who want to run their virtual reality headset through a PC without the need for an upgrade.

Another main selling point is how easy to use it is, with a conveniently placed headphone jack and cords which can be swapped out when necessary. This VR system is a rather large and heavy bit of kit, making it perhaps less attractive to new users, but it can be used even through a laptop while maintaining reasonable visual quality, so it should not be dismissed.

For those VR enthusiasts using a PC, this headset is one of the easiest to use as it is conveniently designed and compatible with a range of computers.

Why We Like It
  • 1440 X 1440 resolution
  • Convenient headphone jack
  • Compatible with a range of computers
  • Moisture-proof ear cushions for comfort during longer sessions
  • Removable and interchangeable cables
Resolution
1440 x 1440 Pixels per Eye
Screen Type
Dual LCD
Sensors
No Sensors - Tracking Camera on Headset

Virtual Reality Headset Buyer’s Guide

Once you’ve seen what’s available, the task of choosing the best virtual reality headset to suit your entertainment needs can be quite daunting. What once seemed like a gaming fairytale is now a staple part of the entertainment industry, and things are developing at pace. With plenty of options from a wide range of tech companies, it is important to understand what you really want from your virtual reality headset before you rush into buying.

Virtual reality can be used on a range of devices for a range of purposes. Whether you want to play video games in three dimensions or just have a new way to watch your favorite films and TV shows with your friends, you need to understand how these systems work, as there are a lot of factors to take into account. Some systems might rely on what you already own, such as games consoles and PCs, and, as always, you should know how much you’re willing to spend, as these virtual reality headsets can vary in price quite substantially. Therefore, before you go ahead and start on your virtual reality adventure, you should probably look at these few things to consider.

How much do you want to Spend?

When making any tech purchase, the price of the product can make a big difference as to which model you want to buy. Virtual reality headsets are no different. In fact, the price difference between the headset models on offer can be pretty drastic. Some smartphone-compatible models such as the Panosite VR Headset may cost approximately$50, whereas a top of the range, standalone system like the HTC VIVE Pro would set you back over $1400.

When such a large amount of money is at stake, it is vital that you know what you really need in order to get what you want out of virtual reality. Everybody wants to get the best virtual reality headset they can, but there is no need to spend an arm and a leg on the latest innovations if you aren’t going to use it to its full capability. Following the same logic, if you want to play the latest games in 3D, with the best visual and sonic experience available, you probably need to be willing to part with a bit more cash.

Therefore, before you look to find the best virtual reality headset for you, you really need to know what device you want to use it through, what features are important, and how much you can afford to spend. Perhaps you want to share a gaming experience with friends, in which case you may want the option to cast to a TV screen, or maybe you want a particular controller or a more comfortable headset. All of these things should be taken into account when setting your budget.

How do you want to use it?

Once you’ve given yourself a budget, it’s important to establish what you are going to want to use your new virtual reality headset for. Deciding this can be important because different VR systems have been created with different functions in mind. For example, if you want to use your virtual reality goggles to watch your favorite films and TV shows up close, you probably want to invest a little more in making sure you get the highest resolution for the best visual effects.

Alternatively, if you’re a bit of a video game obsessive, maybe you want to look into the Sony Playstation VR to play your favorite games, or a wireless VR headset to ensure you can move around while you’re racing cars or fighting the enemy. Most likely, your main purpose for using virtual reality systems will affect what type of device you want to use it with.

For example, if you want a wide range of games, then you probably want to use virtual reality on your games console or PC, whereas if you just want to watch videos, you might be happier with a smartphone-compatible device. If you really want to delve into the virtual reality universe, maybe you’ll want to choose the standalone VR headset with the most games, or the apps best suited to your needs. Whichever VR system you’re going to buy, you will want to make sure that it’s going to function well in your home for whatever you want to do with it.

Hidden costs

This leads us on to the more troublesome aspect of purchasing a virtual reality headset, the hidden costs. Some virtual reality headsets may seem to be perfectly suited to you, and you might have settled on the model by a specific company that you already like, but there can always be an extra cost you haven’t noticed. For example, there may be some products which require specific controllers, which do not necessarily come as a package deal.

Many VR systems require headphones if they do not have speakers built in. If that is the case, it is likely that you would want some good quality headphones so that you can fully appreciate the sound quality. Some other issues may seem obvious, but it is important to take them into account. Firstly, if you think you have found the perfect smartphone-compatible VR headset for your needs, you should make sure it is compatible with your current mobile device, and that your phone is good enough to enjoy high-quality video through, without the perils of a cracked screen.

Similarly, if you want to use a Sony Playstation VR, you will also need the Sony Playstation 4 and the potential cost of games should not be ignored. If you’re going to buy a new device to use with your headset, then it would be wise to compare this to the cost of a comparable standalone VR system. Also, some VR systems work better with an additional sensor, or a more powerful PC, which may require an upgrade later on. Therefore, it is useful to consider what you already own, as it could save you some extra money further down the line.

Design

The physical design of a virtual reality headset should not be ignored. It is true that when it comes to high-quality graphics and motion sensor technology, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. However, there is no harm in wanting your VR goggles to look good. After all, this is an item that you wear on your head, and you will often find yourself moving around strangely while wearing it. If you think you might look foolish playing your favorite action game in your living room, you may as well try to look good while you do it.

Some virtual reality headsets come with a sleek design and different color options, such as the Google Daydream View, which can help solve this minor issue. Design is also important In terms of product quality, design. For people who spend long periods of time playing video games, or watching films and TV shows, it is important to choose a VR headset which is comfortable and well padded so that it does not take away from your viewing experience.

Also, those who like to be a bit more active while playing may want to choose a headset which is not too heavy and has sensors which can pick up their movements in a larger play area. It is also important to check that the headset design allows for as little light to enter as possible through the device holder, as this could impair the visual quality. Some extra design features such as handy positioning of a headphone jack or microphone could make the difference when choosing the best VR headset.

Sharing with Friends?

Finally, when considering how you want to use your new virtual reality headset, another thing to take into consideration is whether you’ll be sharing the experience with friends and family, or going it alone. Many virtual reality systems offer an option to cast what you are watching in your VR goggles to another screen so that others can enjoy the same video or game.

For families or groups of friends who want to share the fun, this could be an important feature to look out for. If you are playing games by yourself, or just enjoying your favorite TV show, a simple smartphone-compatible model might do the trick. However, if you want to compete with friends online, maybe a VR system which uses a games console or PC with will be better suited to your needs.

Expert Tip

When choosing the best virtual reality headset, it’s easy to forget about comfort. This is something you will have to wear, so make sure it’s padded and not too heavy.

Did you know?

The Sony Playstation VR alone has over 200 different games available. With more constantly being developed across all brands, virtual reality has a lot to offer.