The Best Virtual Reality Devices on the Market
2018 is shaping up to be the year of virtual reality. As the technology advances and becomes easier to commercially produce, we’re now seeing a rise in the number of companies promoting their versions of the latest and greatest devices.
While the idea of virtual reality isn’t new, the fact that everyday people now have access to affordable glasses and headsets is. So with this sudden influx of brands available, finding the best virtual reality devices can get a little complicated.
Thankfully, help is at hand. We’ve compiled a list of the best virtual reality devices including glasses, headphones, and premium systems to help you decide which one is right for you. With access to this amazing technology in the comfort of your own home, you’ll be able to take your gaming and entertainment to a whole new level.
Best VR System
This debate has been heated ever since the news of their respective releases in 2014. However, there seem to be two main contenders currently in the running for the best virtual reality system. The battle is between the Oculus Rift, developed by Oculus VR, and the HTC Vive.
While the Rift has been touted as the next big thing for home VR experiences, there are a few ways in which the Vive seems to have it beat. Although the cost is far greater with the Vive, it appears you’re paying for what you get.
Both systems have similar specifications and can each boast impressive displays. Their 2160 x 1200 displays offer a refresh rate of 90Hz, meaning they can help prevent possible motion sickness and make for an overall smooth viewing experience.
The main selling point of the Vive that justifies a few hundred extra dollars is the ability to move around with your system as you use it. Where the Rift has users confined to a small space and often in a seated position, the Vive allows for a fully immersive experience that relies on sensors and other fancy technology to create this effect.
If you’re looking to spend up big regardless and purchase a complete VR system, it makes sense to spring for a little extra and go with the HTC Vive. Overall, it offers a more immersive virtual experience that just can’t be beaten and it will be a favourite with both movie buffs and gamers alike.
Best VR Goggles
If you’re after something simple to enjoy basic VR games and videos with, you might want to only invest in VR goggles. The clear winner for the best VR glasses is Google Cardboard, constructed from a simple cardboard design as the name suggests.
Google Cardboard is the best 3D headset to enjoy VR with if you’re looking for a base model, and their price makes them affordable for everyone. This device simply plugs into your smartphone so you can enjoy virtual gaming and movies from anywhere on the go.
While you do miss out on some functionality with Cardboard, and they aren’t the best quality technical device, they’re amazing fun and a great way to get you involved in your first taste of virtual reality.
Best VR Headphones
While some VR systems will come with headphones installed, such as the Oculus Rift, you may want to purchase your own high-quality set of immersive headphones to truly appreciate the sound factor of this amazing experience.
For the world of VR, the best option is to purchase a set of headphones that are over-ear. This allows them to cover your ear completely to provide you with a more immersive sound and they also offer a comfort factor not found with other models.
Our top pick for over-ear headphones suited to VR gaming and movies would be either the Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro or Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7. Both offer clean and crisp sounds with a higher end price tag. However, if you’re looking for a completely virtual experience you need to be willing to spend a little extra to get it right.
Best VR Gaming Station
Again, this one will have to go to the HTC Vive. The only downfall with the Vive is its lack of games, so you’ll need to patient and happy to work with a small sample until further updates and downloads are available.
The Vive stands out for one major reason in terms of gaming, the ability to move around the room and utilise your space in synchronization with the virtual world. Many complaints surrounding the Rift have commented on it being more a sit-down console that doesn’t allow for much movement.
Another main area of concern for gamers is the ability to still connect with the real world as they play. The Vive has this covered, though, with a chaperone system that allows players to get a glimpse of objects in their real space so they can be avoided safely.
Overall, the specs are fairly similar with each machine but these small difference make the HTC Vive the winning system for gamers.
As with any new technology device, there are pros and cons to consider with each. For such a new technology, it’s clear that we will see many variations and updates to these models as they work with the user’s recommendations and try to fix the various issues.
You’ll need to decide what type of VR experience you’re interested in, as this will determine the budget you have and what type of equipment you need. To test the waters with VR and play a few basic games on your smartphone, start off with Google Cardboard to get a feel for it.
Once you’re ready to do some serious gaming, though, either the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive will not disappoint. As new games and videos are uploaded daily, there’s always some new material to test out in your virtual world.