Best VR Headsets - August 2017

VR is still a growing space and yet, there is no shortage of options out there for hardware. From extremely cheap to a bit costly, yet with top-tier content and the best possible visuals, there is a range of options for what you want. Whether you're just jumping into VR or if you've been upgrading from unit to unit over time, there are tons of great options out there, but these are the best worth considering.

Google Cardboard

Google's Cardboard headset is the best entry-point into VR if you want something extremely inexpensive but also something that offers a lot of content. There aren't any controllers that come with the headset and there's no controls on the headset itself, short of a small magnetic button that lets you cycle through stuff. Still, for less than $20 this is a decent little offering and there are loads of apps.

Xiaomi Mi VR Headset

Xiaomi's Mi VR headset is a great option for those wanting to jump into virtual reality content at a nice low cost but with a piece of hardware that's a bit more sturdy than the Google Cardboard. It still works with the same content, but the headset itself is made with more durable materials which makes it easier to tote around without worrying it'll get damaged.

 

AUKEY Cortex 4K VR Headset

AUKEY's Cortex 4K VR headset is meant to be used with the PC and aims to offer up a similar experience to the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, but with the added benefit of offering 4K visuals for certain content. It's compatible with both Oculus and Vive content which makes it an interesting choice, but it's also worth remembering that the Oculus Rift is now the same cost, so you'll want to weigh that option out.

Pico Goblin

The Pico Goblin is an option you'll want to consider if you want something that doesn't require the use of your smartphone to power the headset, as everything with the Pico Goblin is self-contained thanks to all the hardware being worked into the headset itself. Since it's a standalone headset it is a bit more costly than the other mobile headsets, but the experience should be worth it as you won't be draining your smartphone battery.

Zeiss VR One Plus

The ZEISS VR One Plus is a fairly new headset on the VR market and for around $99 as well as compatibility with both Android and iOS devices, it's not a bad option as it is compatible with the same content you'll find on the Play Store that works with Cardboard, so there's a pretty big list of apps and games to interact with.

Google Daydream View

Daydream View sits in the same spot as last month as the Gear VR still offers up more content, and content is king. That said, Daydream is growing as a platform and has been around for a lot less time than Samsung's offering, yet it still has some pretty excellent apps and games to check out if you have one of the Daydream compatible phones, which now includes the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. Not to mention, you can pick up this headset for around $70, which is less than the Gear VR by $30 and it still comes with a controller.

Samsung Gear VR With Controller

Samsung's Gear VR has been a constant in the top quality offerings for mobile-based VR, and that's only going to continue with the Galaxy Note 8 having just been released. The new Gear VR with controller allows you to more easily immerse yourself in content that's created with the help from Oculus software and thanks to the controller playing games and wading through other types of content is at its simplest, especially when compared to the older offerings which either required you to use the touchpad on the side of the headset or connect a Bluetooth gamepad. At just under $99 now, this is your best option if you have a compatible Galaxy smartphone.

Oculus Rift

The Oculus Rift was the first VR headset on the market for PCs, and since that time it's come down in price quite a bit and seems to currently be at its absolute lowest point yet, coming in at $399 for a headset that comes with an Xbox One controller for navigating and controlling content, as well as built-in audio so you don't need to attach a separate pair of headphones. Rift remains one of the best VR experiences on the market and continues to grow its library of content, but even at $399 it still falls below the PSVR as they both offer similar experiences and quality, but the PSVR is still $50 cheaper. Still, the Rift is a stellar offering if you're looking to get into VR as it's still in the top-tier.

 

PlayStation VR

Sony's PlayStation VR has fallen a bit this month, but only moving down one spot on the list as it's still an incredible VR offering and the price is hard to beat for the quality of content that it brings to consumers. If you have a PS4 and you're looking to get into virtual reality content, this may still be the best option for you.

HTC Vive

Rounding out this list and moving up a spot this month is the HTC Vive, taking the place of the Sony PlayStation VR headset that's been sitting in this spot for a while due to its better price point and arguably still impressive visuals with a growing list of excellent games. This month though, the HTC Vive has dropped in price $200, bringing it down from $799 to $599, and that puts it a little closer to the PSVR. Even though it's still a couple hundred more than Sony's offering, the scope of what you can do with the Vive is no doubt more expansive than any other VR headset on the market for consumers right now, and that paired with the price drop really makes this a tempting piece of hardware that's hard to pass up if you have the PC to run it.

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