so I just wanted to make a big comparison of all the headsets that we own.This article is for you if you are looking to buy your first VR headset or are looking to upgrade. Before we get started, let’s take a look a quick look at all the headsets we will be comparing today.
Here we have the Oculus Go – The first standalone headset released by Oculus Next to it is the second standalone VR headset released by Oculus. The Oculus Quest.And here we have the original Oculus Rift consumer version 1.And of, back then when we bought this one it was still 900 dollars. Can you imagine? This is the original HTC VIVE Here we have the Oculus Rift S, this is the newest Oculus headset and it features inside-out tracking. Here we have the Pimax 5K Plus, this is a special headset because this is a wide FOV headset.Here we have the Valve Index, this is the first VR headset released by Valve, the creators of Steam. Here we have the HTC VIVE Cosmos.HTC’s newest inside-out tracking headset and it’s a beautiful one. Here we have another good oldie.
This is the PlayStation VR. Also one of three original headsets – at least in my mind! This is the HTC VIVE PRO, this is the 2nd headset released by HTC at least if I remember correctly. And on top of it, you can use VIVE wireless adapter, which makes it look like a little alien. I think this is a good selection of various VR headsets so let’s get started!
So in this comparison, I will also summarize the pros and cons of each headset because There’s a ‘glossary’ at the end of this blog where I explain some terms that you might not have heard of if you are new to VR, but is important to know if you are looking to buy a VR headset. Stay tuned because I will let you know which headset is my favourite headset. That’s also the one I think is the best headset to buy in 2020.
Now let’s move on to the first headset.
The Oculus Go.
The Oculus Go is the first standalone VR headset released by Oculus.
This means that you don’t need a PC to use this headset and that it is wireless.
Many people might compare this headset with the other standalone headset, the Oculus Quest,
however, there is one huge difference, and that is its tracking.
The Oculus Go only has 3-degrees-of-freedom tracking, in short 3DOF.
It also only has one 3DOF controller.
For comparison, all other headsets in this list have 6DOF tracking and two 6DOF controllers.
So this headset is in my opinion better for those that only use VR as a media viewer.
For example, people who only watch VR videos.
Someone who wants to play immersive games or watch interactive VR experiences should
not get an Oculus Go.
I also find that you can get motion sick faster with 3DOF tracking.
Motion sickness is very personal though so it might not be for everyone, that is
the reason that I think that you should at least try out both 3DOF and 6DOF tracking
in the same app to see what the difference is.
Keep in mind though that most VR videos are usually recorded in 3DOF, so even if you watch
using a 6DOF headset, it won’t be different.
But having 6DOF tracking could still be useful in apps like Netflix VR because even sitting
in the menus, sitting on that big couch in VR will feel more natural and thus more comfortable.
If you really only watch videos, and on a budget, then the Oculus Go is a great, affordable
If you are considering the Samsung Gear VR because it’s cheaper, then I can tell you;
you should get the Oculus Go instead.
This the Oculus Quest.
The second standalone VR headset released in 2019 by Oculus and this headset has 6-degrees-of-freedom
tracking, in short 6DoF.
It’s wireless, so you don’t need an expensive PC to play room-scale, natural feeling games
You do have the option to play PC VR games if you own a gaming PC.
And this is why I think this headset is just brilliant.
It is the most versatile headset on the market at the moment at the best price-quality ratio.
It has a good content library.
Even on a Snapdragon 835 mobile chip, developers are still able to port some PC VR games onto
it that plays well.
The downside here is that the graphics will be downgraded and they will look a bit cartoonish
when compared to PC VR games, but that’s not strange since those games are powered
by an expensive PC.
I personally do not mind the graphics downgrade at all because I like being able to use this
to play games wherever I want.
The biggest complaint here is that the headset is not very comfortable.
Because all the hardware is all housed in the front here, it can get very front-heavy.
There are cheap and numerous ways to make it more comfortable, like this top strap I
have right here.
This, and I also tie up my hair and put it through the black hole right here to balance
And you have done a short battery life of about 2 to 3 hours, but I personally don’t mind
As I said before, you can also use the Oculus Quest to play PC VR games on a gaming PC if
you connect it with a high-quality USB 3 cable.
Those games will look beautiful, it will be slightly downgraded because the video is sent
through the cable.
But it’s pretty great.
And the controllers are great too, they are comfortable, lightweight, and ergonomic — easily
one of my favourite controllers of all the controllers that we own.
I think Oculus Quest is the best headset for those that don’t own a gaming PC.
For those that do have a PC, you should only get the Quest if you want to take advantage
of its portability, like people who travel a lot or want to bring their headset with
them to friends.
If you never bring your headset with you though, then you should think about getting a PC VR
headset instead of the best quality.
The Oculus Rift S. Is the newest PC VR headset by Oculus.
It features inside-out tracking with 5 cameras, which makes the initial setup easier than
headsets with external tracking systems.
It also makes it more portable, and just easier to get into VR.
Especially people who have a VR ready laptop would enjoy this extra portability option.
The Rift S also uses a beautiful, crispy clear LCD.
So you get greyer blacks when compared to OLED screens, and some people might see this
as a disadvantage, but the LCD does offer better fill factors and increased sharpness.
The increase in clarity is a big difference when compared with the first-generation VR
Even though external tracking systems usually track better than inside-out tracking.
The Rift S performs well in even the most difficult hand positions and room light.
The cons are its speakers and microphone.
It isn’t very good, but it’s playable.
And you can always plug in your own headphones if you would like.
But one of the biggest disadvantages of the Rift S is that it does not have a manual IPD
So if your IPD is far from the average range of 58 to 72mm, your image may never be sharp,
and thus not comfortable.
Anything within this range should be fine.
My IPD is around 59 mm, and I can play comfortably.
The controllers are the same ones as the Oculus Quest ones.
Comfortable and lightweight.
I love them.
And for 399 US dollars, the Oculus Rift S is the most affordable, good quality PC VR
headset on the market for those within the IPD range.
It’s also paired with a good Oculus content library, so if you are on a budget, this headset
is very much worth looking at if you want a PC VR headset.
of, too many cables.
here we have the HTC VIVE Cosmos.
HTC’s newest headset released in 2019.
HTC also decided to move away from the external tracking system and went with inside-out tracking
too, just like Oculus.
The Cosmos has a beautiful display, which is on par with the Oculus Rift S. And the
Cosmos has a couple of advantages over the Rift S, which is its manual IPD adjustment
and integrated headphones.
The rest of the specs are pretty similar.
And it does have this flip-up design that none of the other headsets have
but while this is handy, you won’t really miss it.
At launch, the Cosmos had very bad tracking but since recent updates, it is actually pretty
Although, I still don’t think it is as good as the Rift S. I do believe that HTC can fix
this, which will make the Cosmos a decent headset.
But there is one thing I still don’t like about the headset is the controllers.
They are big, heavy, bulky and that makes them not comfortable for long play sessions.
And the headset is priced at 700 dollars.
compared to the Oculus Rift S which is priced at 400 US dollars.
To us, the only slight improvements of the Cosmos do not justify paying 300 or even 200
But one reason to buy this one might be if your IPD is not in the average range.
There is another reason you might want to buy HTC VIVE headsets, and that is because
they are the only PC VR headsets with a reliable wireless mod.
They all work with the VIVE Wireless Adapter that I showed before.
But this comes with a steep price tag, it will cost you 350 dollars more.
So only if you really, really want a wireless PC VR experience, and you don’t mind paying
the price, then I would get the VIVE Cosmos with the VIVE Wireless Adapter.
I would not get the other HTC VIVE headsets for it, because I think the Cosmos is the
most upgradable one, and also has the best price-quality ratio amongst HTC headsets.
But if you have the budget for this, then I would consider looking at the Valve Index
or Pimax VR headsets too which are coming up.
The Valve Index.
This is Valve’s own VR headset released this year.
This one is an all-in-one package, improved in most areas over other headsets.
It uses reliable SteamVR external tracking as I’ve talked about before.
It’s biggest pros are the low persistence displays and higher refresh rates.
The Valve Index is the only one that goes up to 144Hz, and turning it up to that rate
is just beautiful.
At that refresh rate, I see more detail and just a big difference in how smooth the visuals
It has top-notch audio, these are off-ear speakers that sound amazing.
It even has a good microphone.
Plus, it is one of the most comfortable headsets for us.
The Valve Index is also optimized for FOV by allowing you to move the lenses closer
to your eyes and Valve made some other hardware design choices to make the FOV a little bit
The Pimax 5K+ that we just talked about still has the widest FOV though.
The controllers are great, intuitive, and just fun to play with when used in games that
are compatible with it.
Not a lot of games make full use of these controllers, though, unfortunately, but that
doesn’t spoil the fun for me as it does work with other games as well.
The downsides with the Valve Index is just as with the Pimax 5K+ and that is you need
a powerful PC to be able to handle the higher refresh rate in most games.
And a con is that the headset itself is also one of the expensive ones.
A full kit costs 999 US dollars; you can buy equipment separately for lower prices.
But because the Valve Index has almost no other disadvantages, and the biggest thing
for me is that it doesn’t compromise in comfort or other things to get better specifications.
So if you buy this headset, you’re good to go out of the box.
You don’t need to mod it or do anything to get started.
And that is why I feel like this is the best buy for this price range at least.
So if you have the budget for it, this is, in our opinion the best consumer headset on
the market right now that just ticks all the right boxes.
It’s the only headset that is truly an upgrade over the first generations.
And I think if you buy this one now, it will be an investment because you will be good
for a couple of years.
All right.. so…
That was the last headset but I also promised to explain some of the important terms that
So here we go:
Let’s talk about IPD first.
IPD stands for interpupillary distance which is the distance between the centers of the
pupils of your eyes.
It is important to know your IPD because by setting your headset’s lenses at the right
The same distance, you get the best clarity and sharpness.
If it isn’t set correctly, your image may be blurry and motion sick inducing.
IPD is measured in millimetres; you can measure it yourself using a metric ruler or you can
download phone apps for that too.
Now let’s talk about the difference between 3DOF & 6DOF
Basically, 3DOF stands for 3-degrees-of-freedom, while 6DOF stands for 6-degrees of freedom.
This image explains it very well.
3DoF allows you to look around you from a fixed point like this in the virtual world.
The same goes for a 3DOF controller; you will only be able to use that on a fixed spot,
You won’t be able to actually able to reach out your hands, move forward and then grab
something or something.
You can’t do that with 3DoF.
However, whereas, 6DoF does allow you to do that.
With 6DoF tracking, you can move in the virtual world as you move in real life.
So any direction you want, lean forward, extend your arms, reach out for something.
Move around… just it’s all very natural.
The only headset in this list was the Oculus Go that had 3DoF tracking, and all other headsets
listed were all 6DoF.
Now let’s talk about inside-out tracking & outside-in tracking.
To put simply, inside-out tracking is a way to track the position of a headset without
any external cameras or sensors.
The first consumer VR headsets, like the original Oculus Rift & the original HTC VIVE all used
external tracking systems or you can also call them outside-in tracking systems.
The biggest pro of outside-in tracking is that it is the most accurate.
Inside-out tracking, however, gets you a lot more freedom and portability.
Most second-generation VR headsets use inside-out tracking now, like the Oculus Quest, Oculus
Rift S and the HTC VIVE Cosmos.
Headsets that still use outside-in tracking are the Pimax 5K+ and the Valve Index.
You can probably tell which is my favourite go-to headset.
It is the Valve Index.
So here we are, I hope you enjoyed this comparison and I hope it helps out because that is all
that I have.
Please do let me know if it does or if you have any other questions in the comments below.
For those who already own a VR headset, I have a different question for you, what headset
would you recommend to buy in 2020, and why?
Put it below in the comments; maybe it’ll help to get someone into VR and well let’s
So definitely take a look around now if you are looking to buy a headset.
And as always, VR on!