Before we spot the best VR Headsets for VRChat, we shall first look at the history of VR Headsets. Virtual reality (VR) is a rapidly advancing technology, which will develop and improve in the decades to come. Being the first year that VR is becoming mainstream, 2019 is being called the ‘Year of Virtual Reality‘. We are on the cutting edge and you want to be one of the first to experience this amazing technology.
Although the concept of virtual reality has existed in science fiction since at least the 1960s, the technology was never ready for mainstream use until now. The first attempt at a commercial
- 1 Why Virtual Reality, and Why Now?
- 2 Top 6 Best VR Headsets For VRChat 2019 – Buying Guide
- 3 1. Homido Virtual Reality Headset
- 4 2. FreeFly Mobile Virtual Reality Headset
- 5 3. DESTEK® 3D VR Virtual Reality Headset
- 6 4. Virtual Reality Goggle 3D VR Glasses VR Z4 Mini Google Cardboard
- 7 5. Samsung Gear VR Explore
- 8 6. HTC Vive VR Headset With Controllers VR headset
Why Virtual Reality, and Why Now?
VR headset hit the shelves in 1995 with the Nintendo Virtual Boy. Although the idea was ahead of its time, 90’s technology just couldn’t support it. The product ended up a critical and commercial failure because users experienced headaches and disorientation.
Modern VR technology has finally caught up. Today’s VR headsets are leaps and bounds ahead of any earlier attempts due to technological advancements such as low-latency high definition screens, positional tracking technologies and accelerometers to measure player movement.
Now that virtual reality is going mainstream, you as a buyer are facing a complex set of decisions: The technology is still new. There are already dozens of options available this year. Where do you even start?
A lot of questions go into choosing your virtual reality experience, such as:
- What attributes are important?
- How different is the virtual reality experience between models?
- Do you need other equipment like a phone or computer to make your VR headset work?
Top 6 Best VR Headsets For VRChat 2019 – Buying Guide
The Homido virtual reality headset is coming to market with an exciting array of features at a very attractive price point.
The guys behind this entry level smartphone-based VR headset device will tell you Homido’s unique selling point is its full-featured adjustment system to handle not only multiple phones but multiple eye types as well. The easy slide in phone holder makes it easy to get access to the phone when you are adjusting settings in your VR app or sifting through multiple videos.
The Homido VR really shines when it comes to its focal adjustments. This HMD VR setup features focus adjustments on their specialized virtual reality lenses. The headset also has a slider to adjust to your perfect pupil distance. If that is not enough adjustment for you, you can also adjust the distance of the phone from the viewscreen, making it one of the most versatile VR headsets on the market.
Homido VR Headset Gives Unrivaled Adjustability
At less the amount of adjustability that comes with the Homido Virtual Reality headset is amazing. This France based company has put a lot of thought into designing a VR experience that will work for the masses. This is the Editor’s choice for the best VR Headsets for VRChat.
The Sub VR headset market is getting pretty competitive now with Samsung throwing down the gauntlet with the Gear VR option. Yet with a 120-degree field of view and some nice premium options, the FreeFly mobile virtual reality headset will look to take a bite out of the market share.
The Freefly VR system is produced by UK company Proteus VR Labs which was founded in 2013. The key to the early Freefly success has to do with the adjustable phone grip that allows it to firmly fit smartphones between 4.7 and 6.1 inches. Popping the phone out is easy with its push-button release clamp.
When looking at all their promotional material out there you can tell their mission statement is creating the most immersive VR experience that can at an affordable price. Proteus achieves this by utilizing large 42mm lenses. Pushing the lenses close tot he viewer they are able to get a comfortable 120-degree field of view, beating out higher priced competitor Zeiss VR One.
One thing you see a lot of Freefly customers complaining about is the lack of IPD adjustment for the large lenses and Proteus does a great job of explaining why it keeps the lenses fixed.
That’s the big step up when coming from a Google Cardboard type to a headset like Freefly is the feeling of becoming part of the scene you are experiencing, rather than spying on it.
Included with on the Freefly kit is the glide Bluetooth controller. This controller will connect to your iPhone or Android and allow you to move freely within the virtual world. This is a great added bonus that its competitors would normally charge extra for, or not have at all.
Like Homido or Zeiss VR One headsets, the Freefly HMD also offers a companion app for IOS and Android devices. Right now it is just a launch pad for curated VR experiences Proteuas thinks you will like. They keep it updated with fresh content but at the moment is not adding anything groundbreaking in this department.
A lot of the comments talk about the comfort and high-end feel of the device as well as the awesome 120-degree immersion.
Overall this smartphone VR system from Proteus Labs is a great option for users looking to upgrade their Google cardboard experience and get into true VR immersive content. Will it beat out Gear VR or Zeiss VR One, we will see, but it looks like this British product has found a solid footing in the virtual reality space.
Freefly’s large lenses and a 120-degree field of view make this VR headset an immersion machine. You truly feel part of the experience. Proteus feels confident on their setup so there are no lenses adjustments which may be an issue.
Where Google Cardboard lacks is the comfort and implementation of the VR technology. This particular headset adds that comfort with an adjustable 3-way head strap and on its newest release comfortable foam nose cushion padding. This allows you to experience longer VR content without distraction from plastic (or cardboard!) digging into the bridge of your nose.
The comfort factor is where the Destek VR unit really shines, however, its VR experience may not be a huge step up from the DIY pizza box kit. While it boasts that it is the only VR company to use Frensnel lenses which adds great clarity and focus the box itself has a fairly narrow frame of view. It is only slightly larger at 90 degrees.
While the plastic casing means your VR device won’t wither if left in the rain, it is a pretty light material and probably wouldn’t handle a very far fall or unknowing footstep. However, the lightweight design does make it a lot more comfortable to wear for long VR experiences.
Optional VR Bluetooth Remote
One great advantage the Destek has over the competition is the optional add-on of a Bluetooth remote that will allow you to control your virtual environment. This add-on is priced pretty well too on Amazon when you purchase it with the unit.
What Phones Will The Destek VR fit?
This VR system is built to fit phones from 4-6 inches, more specifically 159mm*85mm.
While if you are a beginner then this VR headset system, you might want to make it your first, at a great price point a comfortable design Destek has created a great entry level product to utilize the over 300 VR related apps and experiences on the mobile app marketplace or Apple and Google.
If you are looking for a comfortable step up and a good experience, the Desket 3D VR Headset may be the choice for you, at least in the beginning. We had to dock it a couple points for the lack of any lense or distance adjustments.
Ready to Start Your VR Experience?
Virtual Reality has to be experienced to be believed. No YouTube video or photo can capture the experience. You have to try it for yourself. Fortunately, there is an affordable option. If you’re not sure if the VR experience is right for you, Virtual Reality Goggle 3D VR Glasses give you the chance to experience virtual reality without breaking the bank.
These headsets work by holding your existing iOS or Android smartphone. They are simply cardboard (or plastic) cutouts that fit around your phone. They work by putting two plastic lenses in front of the phone screen, which allows the stereoscopic effect to produce virtual reality. As you hold the headset on your face and move your head around sensors in the phone translate the movement in the virtual reality space so you feel like you are really there.
Google pioneered this trend with the original Google Cardboard VR Headset. However, the design is open source, which allows anyone to make their own version. Right now there are over a dozen headsets that are certified as Google Cardboard compatible, and this number will only continue to grow.
The advantage to the cardboard headsets is that they are affordable and so are a great option to try out VR for the first time. If you find that you enjoy it, you’ll soon want to upgrade to a premium smartphone headset.
The good part about these VR headsets is that they are packed with a lot of the technology integrated into like the more premium VR headsets.
While the Google Cardboard designs are the most affordable, they do have several drawbacks. They can be uncomfortable since they need to be held up to the face to use. The weaker construction can also leave your smartphone more prone to damage from a drop or slip. Fortunately there are several options that allow you to still use your existing iPhone or Android smartphone while remaining comfortable and safe with a secure plastic housing and head strap. Click here to see our Smartphone VR Headset reviews.
Premium smartphone headset are still very affordable with most hovering around the $100 range. They work the same way as the Google Cardboard headsets in that they rely on your existing smartphone but they have much more comfortable and secure designs. They feature head straps and rubber or foam padding for comfort. These designs also generally plug in to your phone so that additional sensors or buttons in the headset can be put to work and allow a wider variety of game types. Controllers normally can be used as well. Google cardboard only has one button which limits developers in what kinds of games they can design, while with controller support a lot more interesting and fun games are possible.
These headsets naturally are a little pricier than the cardboard varieties given the superior design, features and materials used. Some of the best headsets in this range are only available for specific phones. Such as the Samsung Gear, which only works with newer Samsung phones. See our full Samsung Gear VR Headset review for more details.
6. HTC Vive VR Headset With Controllers VR headset
To have the best VR experience available, you will need to invest in a PC connected VR headset. These require a gaming computer with enough power to make them run, so it’s likely that you’ll have to upgrade your PC also. These headsets are the cream of the crop and will give you the best VR experience hands down. They are purpose built for virtual reality and provide much better graphics quality, comfort and immersion than smartphone or cardboard VR headsets can possibly hope to achieve.
PC-Connected VR headsets are powered by the PC that’s tethered to the headset so they can offer the best possible 3D graphics. Smartphone headsets, on the other hand, are significantly limited in the graphics quality they can display since they rely on the comparatively tiny computing horsepower of the smartphone.
A variety of control schemes are available from standard Xbox / PlayStation type controllers to motion controllers (much like the Nintendo Wii) that measure the position and movement of the players hand, and in the future ‘haptic’ force-feedback technology such as gloves that imitate the sensation of touch or vibration and detect the position of the players fingers.
Some VR headsets such as the HTC Vive actually measure the players body movement in a 15×15 foot space, tracked by lasers, so when the player moves around the room they are moving in virtual reality as well.
They are of course, much more expensive. Prices ranging from $600 to $800 for the headset, plus another $1,000 at least for a powerful gaming PC to connect the headset too. But they do provide the best virtual reality experience, with the widest range of games to choose from.
Each PC connected headset has different computing requirements to make it run. This can be confusing, but fortunately, a number of packages have been put together to make sure you get the right computer with your new top of the line VR headset. For example, the Oculus Rift is sold with computer packages so you can be sure you will have a computer that meets requirements and provides the best virtual reality experience.
Given a powerful gaming PC is required these are not portable like the smartphone headsets. The user is also wired in the entire time so your freedom of movement can be somewhat constructed when you are directly tethered by a cable.