Virtual reality is the future of gaming. While VR seemed futuristic a few years ago, now it’s possible (and easy) to immerse yourself into the virtual reality of your games with a VR headset.
The best VR headsets on the market today have great visuals and audio to put you in the world of your game. Not all VR goggles have the same compatibility, however, in terms of games and gaming systems.
If you’re ready to step up your gaming experience and dive into the game itself, check out the best VR headsets. We’ve reviewed the top VR goggles available today, so you can find the best pair for your gaming needs.
- 1 Best Virtual Reality Headsets
- 1.1 Oculus Rift S
- 1.2 Sony Playstation VR
- 1.3 Oculus Quest
- 1.4 HTC Vive Pro
- 1.5 Oculus Go
- 1.6 HTC Vive Cosmos
- 1.7 Lenovo Mirage Solo with Daydream
- 1.8 Merge VR/AR Goggles
- 2 Which VR Headset To Buy – Virtual Reality Goggle Buying Guide
- 3 FAQ
- 4 Final Thoughts
Best Virtual Reality Headsets
- Oculus Rift S
- Sony Playstation VR
- Oculus Quest
- HTC Vive Pro
- Oculus Go
- HTC Vive Cosmos
- Lenovo Mirage Solo with Daydream
- Merge VR/AR Goggles
Best VR Headset for PC
- Connects to PC
- Great visuals – 1280 x 1440 resolution, 80Hz refresh rate
- Lightweight and ergonomically designed headband
- Oculus Insight Tracking included
- Oculus Touch Controllers track hand motions
- Lots of games included
- High quality audio and visuals
- Comfortable to wear over long periods of gaming
- Insight tracking prevents bumping into obstacles and is included in the headset
- Touch Controllers track hand motions and include them in the game
- Easy set up
- Large selection of games and other media in software
- Wired connection to your PC
The Oculus Rift S is the most advanced set of VR goggles on the market today. This VR headset has Oculus Insight tracking, so it will map out the room you’re in without the need for extra sensors or cameras to track your location. These are the best PC VR goggles, as you can connect them to your favorite PC games.
- Top VR gaming library: Blast, slash and soar your way through the top library in VR gaming. Oculus Rift S lets you play hundreds of games and exclusives already available in the Oculus store, with so much more to come.
- Improved Optics: Stare down the competition with next-generation lenses and a sharper display. Improved optics deliver bright, vivid colors and reduced “screen-door” effect.
- Ergonomic Design: Keep your head in the game thanks to a halo headband redesigned with speed in mind. Rift S stays securely and comfortably in place with a quick twist of the fit wheel, so it can take-or double take-your fastest reactions.
- Oculus Touch Controllers: Arm yourself with our updated Oculus Touch controllers. Your slashes, throws and grabs appear in VR with intuitive, realistic precision, transporting your hands and gestures right into the game.
- Oculus Insight Tracking: Take a step forward with Oculus Insight. It translates your movements into VR no matter which way you're facing and provides room-scale tracking without external sensors.
Sony Playstation VR
Best Console VR Headset
- Connects to PlayStation 4
- Works with plenty of games
- 3D audio
- Advanced visuals (1080p display, 120fps)
- Playstation Camera tracks movements
- Less expensive than some other VR headsets
- Great audio and visuals
- Easy set up – just plug in and play
- Comfortable design
- Works with lots of popular games
- Must have PS4 and PlayStation Camera to operate
If you love PlayStation gaming, you’ll love the PlayStation VR headset. This is a great choice for anyone who wants to use their current gaming system, provided they have a PS4. You’ll have to buy a PlayStation camera as well to use this VR headset, as it tracks your movements in the game. For gamers who want to keep using their PlayStation, these are the best VR goggles for you.
- Contains: PlayStation VR headset, Processor unit, PlayStation VR headset connection cable, HDMI cable, USB cable, Stereo headphones, AC power cord, AC adaptor, PlayStation VR Demo Disc
- Games Come First - With gamers in mind, PlayStation delivers a new world of unexpected gaming experiences through PlayStation VR
- Just Plug and Play - Getting into PlayStation VR couldn't be easier. Just plug the PlayStation VR headset and your PlayStation Camera into your PlayStation 4 system. Sold separately
- Advanced VR Display - Seamless visuals keep you connected to the virtual world through an expansive 5.7” OLED 1080p display running at up to 120 frames per second
- 3D Audio Technology - 3D Audio with PlayStation VR means that you'll be able to pinpoint sounds above, below, and all around you
Best Standalone VR Headset
- No PC or console required
- 2 Oculus Touch Controllers
- Oculus Insight Tracking
- Frame friendly spacer for comfort
- Obstacle avoidance technology
- Quick and easy set up
- Create audio and visual quality
- Insight tracking maps every room you play in, so you won’t walk into objects
- Free games on Oculus app
- Must have newer smartphone to operate (iPhone iOS 10 or higher, Android 6.0 Marshmallow or higher)
- You have to buy certain games in the app to play
The Oculus Quest is an impressive standalone VR headset – you don’t need any gaming console to experience virtual reality with these goggles. With an account on the Oculus app, you can play VR games with this headset and your smartphone, anywhere and anytime. The only real downside to this device is the fact that it can’t connect to games you already own on PC, so you may have to re-buy games on the Oculus app to play with the headset.
- All-in-one VR: Simply set up the device with your Oculus mobile app and Oculus Quest has everything you need to explore VR, right out of the box
- Insight tracking: Oculus Insight tracking system instantly reflects your movements in VR without the need for any external accessories
- Touch controllers: Oculus Touch controllers precisely recreate your hands, their gestures and interactions, so every game is real enough to reach out and touch
- Beyond room-scale: Oculus Quest works with your environment, so you can play standing or sitting, in spaces big or small
HTC Vive Pro
Runner up: VR Goggles for PC
- Great for PC gaming
- Includes two Steam VR Base Stations for precise movement tracking
- Includes two VIVE controllers to track movement
- Impressive 2880 x 1600 resolution display
- Hi-Res headphones included with 3D spatial sound
- Can accommodate different head sizes or glasses
- Comes with 6 months of VIVEPORT INFINITY with 700+ free VR games
- Adaptable size – can play seated or room-scale up to 15×15 feet
- Impressive graphics
- Great audio contained within headphones
- Comfortable, adjustable headset
- Lots of game options through Steam VR
- Wired, but can become wireless through an upgrade
The HTC Vive Pro is another great option for PC gamers. While we prefer the Oculus Rift S, this is still a highly rated and highly regarded set of VR goggles. They are a bit more expensive, however, and the wired set up isn’t ideal for a full room VR experience. There is an HTC wireless adapter you can buy to make this system wireless, however, for an added cost. Otherwise, this is still a great VR headset with top-tier graphics, audio, and plenty of games.
- COMPLETE PREMIUM VR PACKAGE - Includes VIVE Pro Headset, 2x SteamVR Base Stations (v1.0), and 2x VIVE Controllers (v1.0)
- STEAM VR TRACKING V1.0 - Precision movement tracking in a highly interactive space up to 11'5" x 11'5"; seated, standing, or room-scale
- BREATHTAKING GRAPHICS - Dual-AMOLED displays with a combined 2880 x 1600 resolution for unparalleled graphics, text, and textures
- HI-RES-CERTIFIED AUDIO - Hi-Res, high-impedance headphones and 3D spatial sound to hear everything in the highest fidelity possible
- ENGINEERED FOR LONG PLAY - Easy on and off, comfortable weight distribution, and accommodation for a wide range of head sizes, vision types, and even glasses
Runner up: Standalone VR
- Completely wireless and portable
- Clear optics and 3D graphics
- Standalone VR – no need for a PC, phone, or console
- Intuitive controller
- Built-in surround sound audio
- 1000+ apps for media, gaming, etc
- Can meet friends in a shared VR world
- Easy to use Oculus App
- Great resolution, less screen door effect
- Totally wireless and portable
- Plenty of gaming and media options
- Easy set up
- Smaller, comfortable headset
- Doesn’t work with PC games or consoles
- Relies on a smartphone to access app
- No room-tracking obstacle avoidance
The Oculus Go is another top pick if you’re looking for a standalone VR headset. This headset has seriously impressive graphics, updated for better clarity and less of the “screen door effect” that many VR goggles create. There are lots of games and other media to stream through the Oculus Go, and you can meet friends through these VR glasses. If you’re a PC gamer, however, this standalone VR headset won’t connect to your existing games and system, so this is not the best option for those who want to upgrade their PC gaming rig.
- Personal Viewing: The littlest, big screen. Crystal clear optics and state-of-the-art 3D graphics make your headset feel more like a personal theater
- Viewing with Friends: Watch with friends. Meet up in VR with friends and fans from around the world to catch live sports, concerts, or just your favorite TV show
- Portable & Easy to use: Ready when you are. Experience portable, all-in-one VR. That means no PC, phone, wires or hassles
- Controller: Effortless control. Whether it's navigating to your favorite shows or to a far-off land, the intuitive controller makes getting there a cinch
- Built-In Audio: Surrounded by sound. Spatial audio drivers are built right into the headset, providing dramatic, immersive sound without the need for bulky or tangled headphones. Oculus Go also features a 3.5 mm audio jack
HTC Vive Cosmos
- Connects to most PC gaming set ups
- Great visuals: 2880 x 1700 resolution and 90Hz refresh rate
- 6 tracking cameras for movement coverage and a wide field of view
- Flip-up design allows you to check in on reality without taking off the headset
- 2 wireless controllers
- Access to plenty of games through Steam and Viveport libraries
- 6 months of VIVEPORT INFINITY for free access to games
- Sound-isolating headphones included
- Ventilated faceplate for better airflow
- Lightweight, ergonomic design
- Impressive graphics and audio
- Internal tracking – no tracking beacons that need to be set up
- Flip up visor makes it easy to check your surroundings
- Works with most modern PC gaming systems
- Plenty of gaming options
- Not wireless, so movement is limited by the cord
- Must connect via Display Port 1.2 port
- Some complaints of difficult set up
The HTC Vive Cosmos is not our first choice, but it’s still one of the best VR headsets out there today. Cheaper than the HTC Vive Pro, the Cosmos has equally great visuals and audio, as well as other great features like internal tracking and a flip up design to check in on the real world. It isn’t wireless, however, so your range of motion is limited, and some customers complained about the set up process. All in all, this is still a solid purchase for PC gamers.
- 6 TRACKING CAMERAS - Get expansive movement coverage with a wide tracking field-of-view
- SUPERIOR VISUAL FIDELITY - 2880 x 1700 combined-resolution, 90Hz refresh rate & adjustable interpupillary distance (IPD) dial for visual comfort and quality
- CONVENIENT FLIP-UP DESIGN - Snap back to reality with a simple push of your display and headphones
- STEAM & VIVEPORT LIBRARY ACCESS - Play your favorite VR games & apps straight from VR's top content stores
- VIVE REALITY SYSTEM (VRS) - Be more immersed, beginning to end, with a reimagined user interface for VR
Lenovo Mirage Solo with Daydream
- Standalone VR headset
- High quality 4K visuals
- 3D immersive audio, plus optional headphone jack
- WorldSense VR library with plenty of gaming and streaming options
- Longer 3 hour battery life
- Ergonomic, comfortable design
- 110 degree field of view
- Create your own VR content with VR180 camera
- Great visuals
- Plenty of gaming and other media options
- Longer battery life than many other systems
- Only VR connected to Google Daydream
- Affordable price
- Doesn’t work with PC games
- No room tracking/obstacle avoidance technology
If you’re on a budget and looking for a standalone VR system, the Lenovo Mirage Solo with Daydream is a good option. At just over $300, this VR headset is on the cheaper end of the scale, but still has great features. It has a longer battery life than most, and good specs across the board. If you’re looking to connect a VR headset to your PC gaming system, however, this is not the right pick for you.
- STANDALONE VR HEADSET: Stow away the phones, expensive PCs and cumbersome cables and just experience awesome VR--without the extra hassle. With Worldsense technology, you can move naturally and truly explore your virtual world, free from external sensors
- COMFORTABLE DESIGN: Lenovo Mirage Solo's engineered to be so comfortable, you’ll forget you were wearing it. Artfully weight-balanced and coated with breathable, thick padding, it's adjustable to your precise measurements. Mirage Solo sports a stand-out look that begs to be worn, while gesturing to the future. VR has never been so appealing
- POWERFUL VR HARDWARE: Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Mobile VR Platform, the Lenovo Mirage Solo delivers untethered high-quality, immersive VR experiences with the ability to feature 6 degrees of freedom movement, 3D audio and 4K visuals with natural interactions
- HIGH QUALITY, CURATED VR EXPERIENCES: Lenovo Mirage Solo puts Daydream VR’s hundreds of incredible experiences at your fingertips–including YouTube, Netflix and much more. Access a whole new library of WorldSense-powered experiences, such as Blade Runner: Revelations, which lets you move about and interact with your environment as you search for clues to unravel a Replicant conspiracy
- RECEIVE A FREE COPY OF BLADE RUNNER: REVELATIONS: When you purchase the Lenovo Mirage Solo standalone VR headset.* Valid for 1 copy of the Blade Runner game from Google Play. Open to participants who have purchased and activated a Lenovo Mirage Solo with Daydream VR headset on or before December 31, 2018. Offer ends December 31, 2018 or until supplies last. Limit 1 per customer. Valid in the United States only. Offer not valid on previous purchases. Age restrictions apply. See Google Content Promotion Terms and Google Play Terms for more information. Promoter: Google LLC, 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA
Merge VR/AR Goggles
Best Smartphone VR Headset
- Smartphone VR headset – smartphone goes into goggles
- Works with VR and AR (augmented reality) games and experiences
- Durable – great for kids and classroom use
- Award winning STEM tool
- Lots of Miniverse brain games and apps
- Fits most smartphones (any within 6.2” x 4.84”)
- Inexpensive – under $100
- Great for kids or classrooms, with lots of brain games and lessons
- Not comparable to other VR goggles in terms of visuals, tracking, etc
- Doesn’t connect to PC gaming rigs or consoles
If you or your child wants to experience virtual reality without shelling out hundreds of dollars, the Merge VR/AR Goggles are a great purchase. At only $40, you can experience VR with these goggles and your smartphone. While these are not a great option for serious gamers, they are great for kids and classrooms, and the Miniverse app has plenty of brain games and learning experiences.
- VR HEADSET FOR KIDS AND CLASSROOMS: Made of durable and flexible foam material that’s comfortable, easy to wipe clean, and has adjustable lenses
- EDUCATIONAL GAMES AND VR EXPERIENCES: Visit MERGE Miniverse online for hand-picked STEM games and videos - explore the solar system, walk with dinosaurs, take virtual field trips and more - also works with Google Expeditions
- AWARD-WINNING STEM TOOL: Featured in Consumer Reports, named by CNN as Best VR Headset for Big Kids and Tweens, Winner of the Academic's Choice Award
- WORKS WITH AUGMENTED REALITY: Compatible with Augmented Reality experiences and works with the MERGE Cube
- EASY TO USE: Compatible with both iOS and Android smartphones
Which VR Headset To Buy – Virtual Reality Goggle Buying Guide
Virtual reality is a new frontier in tech, so it can be difficult to figure out how to buy a VR headset. Choosing VR goggles will depend on a few factors, including your preferred form of gaming, budget, and more. Consider the following factors before purchasing a virtual reality headset.
If you’re already a serious gamer, you’ll probably want a VR headset that is compatible with your preferred gaming rigs. Our list of the best VR headsets features standalone VR goggles, PC virtual reality headsets, console VR headsets, and smartphone VR goggles.
Standalone virtual reality means that the VR device doesn’t have to connect to anything, although they sometimes access apps through your smartphone. Generally speaking, however, these create a virtual world on their own, each with different gaming and streaming options. Standalone VR headsets are very popular and work great for anyone who just wants to see what virtual reality is all about. If you’re a PC gamer, however, you won’t be able to connect your existing library of games.
Those with a comprehensive gaming computer and set up will likely want PC VR goggles that can connect to your gaming rig and any VR compatible games you already own. On our list, the Oculus Rift S, HTC Vive Pro, and HTC Vive Cosmos are all VR headsets that work with PC gaming. Before you buy one, however, check the product specifications and see if it can work with your gaming rig. Most of these require a certain CPU and graphics card threshold. Modern gaming rigs should be advanced enough to work with these, but be sure to double check.
Console VR headsets like the Sony PlayStation VR connect to your gaming console. Be sure to search for one that fits your specific console, and research the best one for your console before making a purchase.
Smartphone VR headsets like the Merge VR/AR Goggles connect to your smartphone to create a virtual reality. These require less other technology than others, and are often a cheaper option.
What games can you play with your VR glasses? Not all VR headsets are compatible with all games, so once you know that your type of VR headst fits with your preferred form of gaming, make sure the games you want are compatible too.
Most VR headsets come with apps or connected software that offers their own games as well. The virtual reality headsets on this list feature their own libraries of games, apps, and streaming options. These are usually either included free, or can be purchased as an add-on within your headset.
Design and Comfort
The design of the headset should be comfortable to wear while you’re gaming. It should be lightweight so that your neck doesn’t get tired of holding it up. Most of the best VR headsets are adjustable to fit your head size and shape comfortably, and many also come with inserts that make it comfortable to wear your glasses underneath the goggles themselves. Check out customer reviews to see if the design really is comfortable, even if the manufacturer claims they are ergonomically designed.
Controls and Connection
When considering the design of your VR headset, you should look at both the design as it fits on your head and how it works in general.
The design of your VR goggles can also mean how they work and how they are set up. This includes wired vs. wireless, how it tracks motion, and other parts included.
Wired vs. wireless is an important consideration, as a wired set up will limit your movement. If you plan on sitting at your desktop and watching through your VR goggles, it may not matter that you have a wide range of motion. Some people want VR headsets to be fully immersive and need the ability to move with the game. If you want a wide range of motion, look for a wireless VR headset.
Most advanced virtual reality headsets come with one or two controllers that track your arm movements, so that they can be mimicked in the game. Check out whether or not there are controllers that go in your hands or on your wrists, how they connect, and how well customers say they work.
Some virtual reality goggles have internal tracking, while others have motion tracking beacons or cameras that come included or must be purchased separately. Be sure to check in on how tracking works. If there is no tracking, then the quality of your experience in the VR world may be diminished. Some have no tracking capabilities, while others have room-scale tracking and obstacle avoidance that lets you move around your space in the real world and mimics it in virtual reality.
Price is always an important consideration. The VR headsets on our list range from $40 to over $1000, but there are big differences in different headsets. If you’re a serious gamer who wants to experience VR, it’s worth spending more for a higher quality VR experience. If you’re just looking to see what virtual reality is like, there are cheaper options on this list.
The best VR headsets will be more expensive than cheap recreations, but it’s worth it for the quality.
What is VR?
VR stands for virtual reality. Virtual reality is a way to experience a world or surroundings that don’t actually exist. For gamers, this means immersing yourself in the world of your game, with visuals that make you feel like you are really inside of the game.
How does virtual reality work?
Current VR technology is pretty impressive, and VR headsets place you into a virtual world. To experience virtual reality, you’ll need a headset as well as some processor, like a computer or smartphone, that can create and transmit a virtual setting. Some VR goggles are standalone devices that don’t need to connect to a computer.
VR headsets contain a display, usually split between both eyes, that creates a 3D virtual world for you to see and experience. Most VR contains some kind of tracking technology to understand when your head or hands move, so that it appears in the game as well.
How much is a VR headset?
A quality VR headset is relatively expensive. If you’re serious about VR gaming, plan to spend around $200 – $500 on a good VR headset.
There are lots of cheaper versions out there, but their performance leaves much to be desired. Lower quality VR goggles are not always compatible with certain systems and games, and will provide lower quality visuals.
Virtual reality is one of the latest, exciting advancements in the world of gaming. While it used to be less accessible, today anyone can buy a VR headset and play in a virtual world. Choose from our list of the best VR headsets to get the most out of your virtual reality experience!
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