The 8 Best VR Headsets of 2022The 8 Best VR Headsets of 2022

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With the best VR headsets, you have an option to enter any virtual world, domain, or experience you can imagine. You are transported to entirely new dimensions. The concept of virtual reality has been around in some form or another for years, whether demoed in movies and TV shows or presented through immersive experiences at theme parks and beyond.

But over the past few years, and thanks to VR headset manufacturers like Oculus, Samsung, Valve, and Sony, we are now able to have those virtual reality experiences in the safety of our own homes, even in our living rooms.

The scene exploded with the revolutionary launch of the original Oculus Rift and has since expanded to include dozens of different devices and platforms, across a variety of potential channels. For example, the Oculus Quest 2 is a completely standalone platform, whereas the PlayStation VR requires a PS4, and the Valve Index is designed to work with PCs.

Each platform comes with a set of pros and cons, as well as a unique library of games and entertainment titles to experience. Some have more to offer than others, which begs the question, which VR headsets are the best in 2021?

Final Verdict

Right now, the best VR headset in terms of specs, raw power, and versatility is the Valve Index (view at Amazon). It is a little more expensive than some of the other options, but you also gain access to an incredible library of games, applications, and experiences. If you own a PS4, you’re better off springing for the PlayStation VR (view at eBay). If you want a standalone experience, go with the Oculus Quest 2 (view at Amazon), just know you’ll need a Facebook account to use it.

About Our Trusted Experts

Briley Kenney lives in the always-exciting state of Florida where he works as a freelance copywriter and technology enthusiast. He’s been around computers and electronics his entire life, which has earned him plenty of experience and knowledge in the field.

Emily Ramirez is a tech writer and narrative designer who’s extensively covered AR, VR, and XR trends, and specializes in wearable technology and audio and visual equipment.

Andrew Hayward has been covering the tech industry for more than 14 years now, and developed expertise in wearable technology, smartphones, and gaming. His work has appeared in a number of top tech publications.

Zach Sweat is a tech writer, photographer, and editor, who specializes in gaming, mobile tech, and consumer electronics. He earned a dual degree in multimedia journalism and photography from the University of North Florida.

Andy Zahn has been writing for Lifewire since 2019, covering consumer technology, gaming hardware, and more.

FAQs

How much does VR cost?

While it is a more ambiguous question, the cost of VR depends on the platform you choose, as well as the experiences you’d like to have. You will need to purchase the VR headset, whether in a bundle or not, and then the applications and games you’d like to play separately. With the PlayStation VR, for example, if you buy only the headset, you’ll still need to purchase games for your PS4 that are VR-compatible.

Is phone VR worth it?

Phone VR platforms—like Google Cardboard—are both hit and miss. You can find some interesting experiences and have fun, but you’ll be limited overall. It’s better to invest in a true VR experience with one of the headsets listed above. What’s more, they don’t require your phone to be connected or installed inside the headset, and something like the Oculus Quest 2 can be used as a standalone wireless system.

 Lifewire / Emily Ramirez

What to Look For in a Virtual Reality Headset

Display, Resolution, Refresh Rate

These three properties are linked together because they help determine the visual fidelity and smoothness of the virtual reality experience. The display type—such as OLED vs. LCD—and the resolution determine how bright, vibrant, and sharp the display appears. The refresh rate determines the overall response time of the display and the smoothness of the action, without jitters, artifacting, and beyond. You want, at minimum, an HD resolution with a 60Hz refresh rate. Ideally, you want to opt for something with much better specs.

Bundle vs. Headset

Nearly all VR headsets come in several packages or bundles. They’ll often come as a standalone option with just the headset, or in larger bundles with controllers and other accessories. When choosing a platform, consider what you’ll need to play, which almost always requires wireless controllers.

 Lifewire / Emily Ramirez

Motion Tracking

There are several forms of motion tracking that are also translated into the VR world and experiences. Some examples include head or general movement tracking, arm tracking, finger tracking, and so on. The more nuanced the tracking, the more precise the interactions and virtual reactions will be. A headset with arm tracking, for instance, will convert arm movements into the game world, which might help a sword swing be more accurate.

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