During the first quarter of this year, virtual reality made a big impact. On August 9, Facebook released the details of the new Oculus Rift S headset – an upgraded version of the original Oculus Rift – and shortly after Valve announced its high-end A round of premium VR news dominated the news cycle at the time, reshaping the VR landscape ever since. In my view, the only problem with all of these new options is that two brand-new headsets – plus the excellent (and already available) HTC Vive Pro – may put potential adopters of VR off. Why should you buy one over the other? You can play VR games even on a lower budget if you don’t have a high-end PC setup or don’t have a high-end PC set-up. All of these headsets are not worth the money. You may want to check out the Oculus Quest and As for anyone seeking a high-end VR experience and feeling confused by all of this valuable VR hardware, allow us to clarify the confusion, point out the differences, and generally show you which three of the best and most affordable virtual reality headsets you can get Here are our comparisons of the HTC Vive Pro, the Oculus Rift S, and the Vive Index.
There are some similarities between all three of these head-mounted VR devices, but in terms of their approaches, they differ a bit. A Halo-style headband shaped like a circle with a knob lets you tighten it to fit snug on your head is incorporated into the Oculus Rift S. You feel less pressure from the display housing against your face as a result. Additionally, the band goes over the top of your head and is adjustable. In both the HTC Vive Pro and the Valve Index, there is a tightening band that goes around the sides of your head and a strap around the top. The front of your face may feel a bit more pressure with this style. The tightness can be adjusted by turning a knob, and all three are very easy to put on and take off and fit to different head shapes.
With the Rift S, you have small speakers built into the headband that play stereo audio. You can also use the 3.5mm headphone jack to plug in You can wear the headphones that come with the Vive Pro over your ears according to your needs. The Valve Index uses small speakers that do not press directly against the ear, but it’s relatively similar to the Vive Pro’s audio system.
Setup, Cameras, and Connectivity
To operate all three headsets, a powerful PC must be connected to the headset. A cable connected to the Valve Index has three connectors at the end USB 3.0, DisplayPort 1.2, and 12V power. In order to connect the HTC Vive Pro to the breakout box, it has power, DisplayPort, and USB 3.0 connectors. This version of the Oculus Rift S keeps it simple, offering a cable that can provide connection to a USB 3.0 port and HDMI. In addition to cameras, all three headsets have microphones. Valve Index includes two cameras on the right and left of the controller that point downward, but at present they are inactive. There are two pointing at the front of HTC Vive that are capable of tracking hands and fingers in some programs, and they can enable native hand and finger tracking. Rift S includes 5 cameras two in the front, two at the sides, and one at the top, and these are used for tracking and maneuvering whatever is going on around you. For VR, the Rift S only needs the cameras that are built into it, as we will explore in the Tracking section of this comparison. Similarly, in order for the Vive Pro and Valve Index to also track headset and controller movements, external base station cameras are required.
As it turns out, displays are extremely important components of VR headsets, since they can make or break an In addition, there are considerable differences between the Rift S, the Vive Pro, and the Valve Index. In order from least to most expensive, the Oculus Rift S ranks at the bottom of this list. The screen has a single fast-switching LCD panel with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 and a refresh rate of 80Hz. This is an improvement on the resolution of the original Rift, but it lowered the rate of refresh. In addition, the LCD panel did not offer the same black depth as OLED panels did. lenses in the headset have already been improved to reduce the reflective aspects we saw on However, the only IPD adjustment that can be made by software (for setting the distance between your pupils) does not offer the same range or impact as a hardware slider that With the HTC Vive Pro, you get a more immersive display. For a smoother motion, two AMOLED screens are used, each with a resolution of 2880 x 1600, and both at a refresh rate of 90Hz. Although AMOLED displays have their limitations when it comes to the screen-door effect in VR, the bumped up resolution of the Vive Pro mostly eliminates that issue. With a 110-degree field of view and hardware adjustment for IPD, the Vive Pro offers a modern VR experience. By most measures, the Valve Index is the best in the field. Due to its dual displays canted at five degrees, the monitor provides a 130-degree field of view with hardware IPD adjustments. Currently, the combined resolution is 2880×1600, which is an impressive resolution for a single frame. Valve uses LCD panels with more subpixels than pentile OLED displays, which make for clearer imagery. Valve’s resolution is similar to that of the Vive Pro, but LCD panels have more subpixels. To cap all of that off, Valve also offers a 120Hz refresh rate that can bump up to 144Hz, offering incredibly smooth visuals that may boost immersion significantly. In spite of the fact that the LCDs in the Valve Index may not offer the same degree of contrast as OLEDs, the other features in its package make it seem like a model you shouldn’t ignore.
In this article, we will start with the Oculus Rift S, as it is unique compared to other VR systems. A technology called inside-out tracking is used in the Rift S. The Rift S uses the five cameras on the headset to map the area around you and then changes your view in VR as you move. The movement of the robot is tracked without the need for cameras. You can get started in the shortest amount of time. As well as tracking controller movements, the cameras also work as motion detectors. The Rift S has no cameras on the back of the headset, so it cannot precisely track users behind their backs, as no cameras are mounted at the rear of the headset. In both HTC Vive Pro and Valve Index, tracking is done from the outside. For this to work, external cameras must be placed around a play space to monitor the movement of the headset and controller. In conjunction with two cameras, it is possible to set up a large area for users to play and to monitor controller movements even behind their It is more involved to set up than most people expect. Additionally, the SteamVR 2.0 base stations, as well as the 1.0 base stations, appear to be compatible with both headsets.
With the Vive Pro, the headset utilizes the same wand controllers as the original Vive, which have two thumb buttons, side grip buttons, triggers, and a top touch wheel. New controllers with side grips, triggers, two thumb buttons, a menu button, and an analog stick are included with the Rift S. Those buttons are also capacitive, so the Rift S can detect when your thumb is resting on them despite the fact that they are not being Controls for Valve Index go far beyond the valve index. You do not need to grasp them to keep them in your hands. One thing they use is straps that allow them to be held to your hands. In addition to triggers, two thumb buttons, a system button, a vertical touchpad for thumbs, an analog stick, and grip sensors, the controller also sports a trigger for the compass. As a result of the combination of buttons, sensors, and pressure sensitivity, the controller also tracks each finger individually to provide a more realistic recreation of each hand
Oculus Rift S is one of the cheapest on the market for $299 (£299, AU$499). That price includes the headset, controllers, and everything else you need to get started with the Rift S. As a bonus, the Rift S offers easy access to Oculus’s list of exclusive games (though other headsets can access many of these games by using This is the clear winner when it comes to ease of access to VR, especially since it does not require as much on the PC side.
You can purchase the headset separately for $499 (£459, approximately $710). To get a complete bundle which includes the Index controllers as well as the SteamVR 2.0 base stations with enhanced range and field of view, you’ll pay $999 (£919, approximately If you already own some VR hardware, then you can save a bit of money on either the HTC Vive Pro or the Valve Index. Neither headset has its own controller or tracking base station, but can make use of each other’s. Therefore, if you have Vive base stations and controllers, you simply need to purchase Index headsets and you will be able to use Vive. Yet both devices are more expensive, and both will also require a lot more power when they have high-resolution, high-refresh rate displays
Which is the Best Option?
As a result, we are unable to say with certainty which high-end headset will win the day until we hold the Valve Index in our hands and play some games with it. Its cheaper price and the fact that it can track your movements without external base stations make the Oculus Rift S an appealing option, but its specs aren’t as great as those of the HTC Vive. As a result, the Valve Index is an excellent Virtual Reality package if you wish to purchase the most premium one. A headset’s controllers add a whole new layer of immersion to VR, and it has a much wider field of view, an important characteristic in Last, but certainly not least, the HTC Vive Pro may be the best choice for creatives and VR arcades due to its high-resolution screen and compatibility with third-party hardware — however, it may become obsolete once the Valve Index launches later in the While it’s not a game-changing headset just yet, it’s a step up from the original Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. We hope the Valve Index will be everything the company promised years ago when it said it was working on virtual reality.