Holiday Gift Guide 2016 - 2017: Top 10 Best VR Headsets

Virtual reality is the hottest new thing in the technology world right now, and although much of it is focused on gaming there are many instances which have nothing to do with gaming and everything to do with media that can be enjoyable with a large amount of people. Although VR is still taking off in terms of popularity, there are quite a few VR headsets that have already made their way to market and with the holidays coming up we've rounded up ten VR headsets to consider as gifts for whoever might be interested in the immersive experiences that VR can provide.

VR Box Virtual Reality Headset

Starting things off is the VR Box, a headset that is built on the Google Cardboard technology and is perhaps like quite a few of the headsets that will be on this list. It has as compartment holder for your phone where the display faces the lenses, essentially making the display of your smartphone the display of the headset itself. It supports apps that are Cardboard-compatible which can be found in the Play Store and then installed on your device.

ROKJAM 3D VR Headset

Next up is another VR headset that takes after the Google Cardboard viewer, called the ROKJAM 3D VR headset. Much like the first headset and essentially any other headset that is meant for mobile devices, the phone will slot into the front and use the phone display for viewing content through the headset lenses. The ROKJAM also comes with a remote control that is designed similar to the controller for Google's Daydream View headset.

VersionTech 2nd 360-Degree VR Headset

Following up the ROKJAM is yet another headset that utilizes Google's Cardboard technology for VR, but it certainly looks like a more advanced piece of hardware as it resembles the Gear VR a little bit. It has a cushioned head strap to keep the headset fitting snugly and securely, and it's actually labeled as Amazon's best seller right now. There are adjustment wheels on the top for fixing the focus, and the front panel is removable as this is where you slot the phone in.

Samsung Gear VR

Of course, this list wouldn't be complete without Samsung's Gear VR headset on it, as it's one of the better VR headsets on the market right now. Unlike the rest of the mobile headsets though, it only works with Samsung devices. It's powered by Oculus software and it has a set of controls on the right side of the headset for navigating content, and there are wheels on the top for adjusting the focus. It also has an adjustable head strap as well as cushioning around the eye area.

Top Maxions 3D VR

Google Cardboard may not be the most advanced or the nicest looking headset, but it is a fairly inexpensive one and there are plenty of apps that are compatible with it in the Play Store. This version of the headset from Topmaxions carries the same design as Google Cardboard but with an added head strap that helps to keep the headset in place.

View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack

If you grew up with a View-Master then you know how awesome they were. Google partnered up with Mattel to give the View-Master a comeback, although now it's powered up with virtual reality capabilities. Much like the other mobile-oriented headsets, you slot your phone into the viewer on the front. The headset even has the lever on the side that you can pull to launch content.

New Samsung Gear VR

While the old Gear VR works just fine, the new model is designed to be compatible with USB Type-C devices, and it even comes with an adapter that makes it compatible with those Samsung devices which still use the microUSB ports. It also has a brand-new color, a more cushioned and redesigned foam liner for the part that rests against your face, and the touchpad and buttons have been slightly tweaked to make them easier to use.

Oculus Rift

Now we're getting into the really good stuff, as the Oculus Rift marks the first truly powerful VR headset on this list. It hooks up to your PC and games can be purchased through the Oculus Store or through Steam. It also has paddle controllers for navigation and built-in on-ear headphones for audio.

Sony PlayStation VR

When it comes to a really powerful VR headset, Sony's PlayStation VR is perhaps the most economical, as it only costs $399 and works with the original PS4 which costs around $300 now. The headset plugs into your PS4 console along with a PlayStation camera, and the headset itself includes a 5.4-inch OLED display as well as 3D audio technology for an amazingly immersive experience.

HTC Vive

Last but certainly not least is the HTC Vive, which is likely to be the most powerful VR headset on the list, but also extremely enjoyable. Like the Oculus Rift, you'll need a PC that you can hook the Vive up to, and games are purchased through Steam as Valve (the makers of Steam) helped HTC with the headset software. The Vive is a VR experience unlike any other as the integrated sensors and cameras on the front help to allow the wearer to walk around the room instead of having to keep stationary, making the whole VR experience a little bit more immersive.

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About the Author
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Justin Diaz

Head Editor
Lover of food, craft beer, movies, travel, and all things tech. Video games have always been a passion of his due to their ability to tell incredible stories, and home automation tech is the next big interest, in large part because of the Philips Hue integration with Razer Chroma. Current Device: Google Pixel.