Best VR Headsets - May 2017

It may not seem like there is an immense amount of choice when it comes to consumer VR headsets, but there are actually quite a few options out there. That being said, many of the options are still the same as what's been available to consumers for the past few months, and it's likely to stay that way until Google's new Daydream partner headsets from HTC and Lenovo hit the market, as well as Microsoft's Mixed Reality headsets from their partners which are due sometime this year as well. Although many of the headsets are still what were available last month though, these are still great options and there are one or two that weren't on previous lists, so let's take a look.

Google Cardboard

Kicking off this list is the official Google Cardboard, the VR headset for consumers that really started it all. While simplistic in what it offers feature wise, there are quite a few supported apps for it on the Play Store, and it's extremely inexpensive so it's easy for just about anyone to pick up. If you're looking for a good start with VR and just want to barely get your feet wet, this is a good place to look.

Xiaomi Mi VR Headset

Xiaomi's entry into the VR market starts with an entry-level headset, the Mi VR. It's designed to offer similar content to Cardboard and is mobile-based, and it even has a Xiaomi companion app to go with it. It also supports all Cardboard content that you can find in the Play Store, so if you want an option similar to Cardboard that isn't actually made of cardboard, this is one to consider.

Merge VR

The Merge VR headset may be one that you haven't heard of but it's available on Amazon and is quite a highly rated option. It works with both Android and iOS devices so either platform can enjoy the experience, with a fair amount of apps to explore including 360-degree videos. The headset is also made of a soft, flexible foam material that makes it easy to fit just about anyone and should make it feel more comfortable.

AUKEY Cortex 4K VR Headset

This is another new option which hasn't been on the list before, and is notable in that it's an alternative to things like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive at hundreds less. It's got built-in headphones for ease of use with the audio, and it's compatible with multiple game services like content from Oculus, Steam, and others.

OSVR HDK 2

This is Razer's VR headset and although it's still in a developmental stage, developers and consumers alike can get their hands on it. It's compatible with SteamVR and OSVR experiences and content, and features dual displays with a resolution of 2160 x 1200. It's also open source still which means there will be tons of new and likely early stage content.

Samsung Gear VR

Samsung's headset likely needs little introduction. This is the latest version of the Gear VR with compatibility with USB Type-C, though it has an adapter that will also allow it to work with micro USB as well. It already has plenty of available content since the platform has been out for a while and it's running off of Oculus software, and now has the official Gear VR Controller available to make the experience even better.

Google Daydream View

Also likely needing little introduction is the Daydream View headset from Google, which has a growing list of supported phones and a growing library of content. You won't find as much content as you will on the Gear VR platform but it has quite a bit of apps and games available now that it's been out since last Fall, and it comes with controller in the box so you won't have to buy it separately. It also comes in three different colors, and the face pads are easily removable so you can clean them up if needed, or just purchase replacements.

Oculus Rift

Now we're stepping into the territory of the more high-end offerings. The Oculus Rift is one of the best VR headsets available right now and it offers up a platform with some pretty excellent content including tons of high-quality games, loads of apps, and a set of pretty nifty controllers that make things easier to use. It's also got built-in headphones so you won't need to attach a pair which makes for less clutter and wires needing to be strewn about.

HTC Vive

If you want to kick things up a notch, then look no further than the HTC Vive. it's a bit more high-end than the Oculus Rift thanks to the included sensors and cameras on the front, but it's also a bit more expensive because of those things. That said, it also comes with the included controllers, whereas the Rift does not and only comes with an Xbox One controller, and adding those on equals things out as far as price. Thanks to the way the Vive was designed, you also get a more immersive experience as you can actually move around the room.

PlayStation VR

Rounding out this list is the PlayStation VR, Sony's offering, and one of the best options available if you have a PS4. For one it offers up plenty of high-quality games and experiences that are exclusive, and it costs hundreds less than the previous two headsets on this list. If you're a PlayStation fan then this is definitely the headset you want, though if you have the money to spend and the equipment to support PC-based and mobile versions as well, then going all out isn't a bad option.

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