Thanks to the actions of a technology giant like Meta (formerly Facebook) in the form of developing virtual reality for users, called “Metaverse”, VR glasses seem to be enjoying their third youth – we advise you which of them deserve to be recommended.
After a few years, we were treated to the delicious Half-Life: Alyx, while many predicted the rapid domination of the entertainment market by VR sets, unfortunately the subject of virtual reality died out. It got loud again when Mark Zuckerberg announced his vision for the Metaverse in late 2021, in which VR glasses work best (although they aren’t mandatory). If it was an impulse for you to buy a set, we have prepared a refresh of the best virtual reality glasses for you to help you choose the best one that suits your needs and the depth of your wallet.
The best VR headsets – which ones are worth buying?
Before moving on to the discussion of each of the sets, we would like to highlight what to consider when choosing VR glasses. In the end, even the best glasses may not meet our needs at all.
What to look for when choosing VR glasses?
High resolution requires a powerful graphics card…
While everyone would like the image in the glasses to be as realistic as possible, keep in mind that generally the glasses are not responsible for rendering the image (except for the Oculus Quest series). This burden falls on our graphics card, which in the case of games may simply not be able to display the double 4K image, which can be found in such sets. So, if you’re looking for goggles for gaming, you need to match them with your gear. It’s different if you need the glasses to operate the network, like “Facebook’s” Metaverse – here, the higher the resolution, the better, because it determines the readability of the text.
No external sensors mean more freedom, but worse tracking
Some sets (such as Meta Oculus Quest 2 and HP Reverb G2) work purely on the basis of a system of cameras built into the glasses (and sensors in the pads themselves). This means that the glasses can be used virtually anywhere, without having to place multiple sensors in the corners of the room. The price here is the accuracy of tracking your movements. If you’re interested in casual gaming, watching movies, or browsing online content, such freedom is a definite plus, but if you want to break records in arcade games or simulators, it’s definitely better to pay an extra charge for a set with external and fixed sensors. .
On the other hand, it should be borne in mind that such autonomous sensors require a much more complicated configuration (instead of “drawing with a pad on the ground” the limits of the game in glasses acting independently) and, as they operate on infrared, they will not work in a situation where the sun will shine directly on them (eg at sunset). Such a price for many users may turn out to be too high to get rid of dead zones in tracking our hands.
If you are looking for glasses for movies, the only good choice will be those with OLED
There’s nothing to cheat, even though today’s LCD panels are capable of delivering as colorful an image as OLED, but when immersion is everything, the perfect black in organic panels is a key benefit. These panels offer a slightly lower refresh rate, but make up for it with the ultra-fast pixel response time, so they’re also great for gaming. On the other hand, it’s much more difficult to get OLED glasses with high resolution, so they unfortunately fall for playing Metaverse.
Zoom on selected VR sets
As you have already concluded from the discussion above, there are no high-end glasses, so our list is not organized in any particular order – these are 5 sets that we found worth recommending and we’ll show you exactly why it’s worth investing in them.
Meta Oculus Quest 2 – probably the most universal set to start with
With Oculus rebranding to Meta Quest, it’s safe to say that their previous two lines of VR headsets have been merged into one, the Oculus Quest 2 (although the older Rift S is still available for purchase) . It can be used completely autonomously, giving you incredible freedom in less demanding titles, such as Beat Saber or SuperHot (because we can move around the virtual world on foot, without risking looking at the wires), and when we want to play seriously, you can use a cable to switch display mode for our graphics card. Their second huge advantage is the price, especially since it does not involve drastic cuts in the parameters – the resolution (3664×1920) and the refresh (120 Hz) are very high here and only the viewing angles (100° ) are somewhat lacking. It is an excellent choice for the first set, but also as an additional set “for travel”. Naturally, Meta Glasses will work just fine in the Metaverse. At a price of less than 2000 PLN, it is currently the most profitable choice.
Valve Index – a dream come true for all gamers
The set from Valve is the only one that offers a mapping of each of our fingers, although it requires a compatible game (which is not conducive to the adaptation of this standard…). In addition, we have AMOLED screens with a viewing angle of 130°, providing perfect immersion (also thanks to the refreshing support up to 144 Hz). Their only problem is the relatively low resolution of 2880×1600 px, which makes them average for text management, and hence – the Metaverse. They also require the placement of two sensors in the place where we use them, for which they reimburse a large mapping of our movements. Built-in speakers that work like headphones, although they don’t touch the ears, also deliver excellent sound quality. Unfortunately, the price can be prohibitive – the full set is currently more than 3x more expensive than the Oculus Quest 2.
HTC Vive Pro 2 – almost perfect picture and good sound – the best glasses for the Metaverse?
The second version of HTC’s Vive Pro glasses turned out to bring some profound design changes – the biggest one is the change from AMOLED arrays to…LCD! It turned out, however, that the only thing that suffered from it was the reproduction of black. At the color level, it is at least worse, and the resolution has increased significantly (up to 4896×2448). The viewing (120°) and refresh (120 Hz) angles have also been raised. This set can also work wirelessly (at 90 Hz) if we buy the appropriate connectivity set (which unfortunately adds slight delays). Interestingly, when it comes to tracking our movements, the HTC set can work autonomously, but it can also be equipped with a set of fixed sensors to significantly improve the precision of our movements in the virtual world. Due to the high resolution, nice audio and the ability to work wirelessly, in our opinion this is the best set to use the Metaverse, although it’s basically 2x the price of the Oculus Quest 2 (and with sensors it exceeds the Valve Clearance value!)
HP Reverb G2 – optimal glasses
HP’s set offers quite an interesting mix of settings – slightly lower resolution (4320×2160 px) and viewing angles (114°) than the Vive Pro2 are here combined with a 90Hz refresh rate, which allows to exploit their full potential also on weaker equipment. The speakers here are Valve Index mil, which greatly increases the value of the set in the eyes (ears?) of people targeting media content consumption. The set uses the same motion tracking technique as the Oculus Quest 2 (integrated cameras), although it does it significantly less well, which is why we do not recommend it for very arcade games. Due to its price, however, it can be a good proposition for beginners.
Pimax Vision 8K Plus – a dark horse from a kickstarter project
Finally, a very specific product (or actually two products) – glasses that started with a kickstarter collection, and are now a real alternative to the above proposals. Pimax Vision 8K Plus, which we recommend here as a set with an incredibly wide viewing angle of 200°, supported by a sufficiently high resolution of 7680×2160 px (4K for each eye). Despite such a high resolution, we managed to maintain the 90Hz refresh rate, although keep in mind that even this will be a challenge for today’s computers and probably only the cards faster like the GeForce RTX 3090 or the Radeon RX 6900 XT will be able to handle native resolution games.
However, if you have weaker hardware, nothing is lost as the hardware supports upscaling from 5120x1440p which significantly lowers the requirements. There’s also a 5K XR variant with an OLED array, which natively delivers that resolution and is much better for movies and games. Interestingly, the OLED version is also cheaper than the 8K Plus model, which with a price of PLN 5,000 is currently one of the most expensive glasses on the consumer market. It should also be added that all Pimax glasses are compatible with accessories from other selected manufacturers, such as HTC motion sensors.
Is it time to get your own VR glasses?
We ourselves are curious to know if the popularization of Metaverse will really revive the development of the VR market a little – not necessarily the hardware, because it is already mature, but rather the games and applications. Recently we learned more details about Sony’s new PlayStation VR 2 bundle, which is shaping up to be very attractive – if you believe the new rumours, it’s supposed to use OLED panels. Ultimately, if you get the glasses, be sure to check out our many best VR games! Some titles definitely get less attention than they deserve.