Which VR headset is best in 2020?

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Which VR headset is best in 2020?
---E--PHIA-Phia Master Assets Folder-Thumbnails-headsetguide.jpg
TVRS Episode 9's Thumbnail
Date April 27, 2020
Duration 7:20
Previous episode Is Your Online Avatar the Real You?
Next episode How VRChat can be Therapy for Social Anxiety
Link YouTube

Which VR headset is best in 2020? is the ninth episode of The Virtual Reality Show. It covers the topic of VR headsets and which one is best to choose in 2020. It talks about many of the different VR headsets you can buy, including the Oculus Rift S, Oculus Quest, Valve Index, Vive Cosmos, and Vive Pro.


Video Description

Episode 9 is a guide to buying VR headsets in 2020! “I don’t know anything about headsets, can you help me figure out which ones to look at?” is a question I get very often, so I made this guide for those who have been asking. Most headsets are sold out right now, but which ones should you be looking at for when they come back in stock? Make sure you decide which is best for you so you don’t miss your chance to get one when they do become available. I hope this helps answer any basic questions you have about “getting into” VR. Let me know what other kinds of guides you would like to see for future videos!


PHIA: Hey guys, and welcome back to The Virtual Reality Show, where we talk about any and all things related to virtual reality inside...virtual reality (laughs). I’m your host, PHIA. Since I’ve started my virtual escapade into the realm of YouTube content, my DMs have been filled with people asking me, “PHIA, how do I get into VR? I want to get into VR but I dunno anything about which headsets to be looking at.” Unfortunately, there’s just too many messages for me to keep up with, and I don’t have the time to go through each one to give personalized recommendations. But I do want to equip my viewers with the knowledge needed to start planning out the best pathway into VR, since it is kinda the future of entertainment. So if you’ve recently thought to yourself, “Hmmm I want to get into VR, but I don’t really know where to start!”, then this is the episode for you.

So I think most people know what VR is at this point- displaying two stereoscopic images through a magical little box that you strap to your head and BOOM! Your mind is tricked into thinking you’re someplace far, far away. But there’s quite a few options in how you choose to consume media via VR, so I’m gonna talk about the options there are from cheapest to most expensive.

So let's say you’re interested in VR, but you are on a budget. Or perhaps you just like watching videos or Netflix or...special videos...*cough* rather than a full gaming experience. There’s a fair amount of cheap headsets out there that require you to just plop your phone into the display, but what you really should be looking at is the Oculus Go. It’s an all-in-one HMD experience that retails about $150 for the 32 GB version. You won’t be playing Beatsaber here, but if you’re really just testing your toes in VR or just interested in the non gaming experience of it, it’s the most solid choice out there.

However, I won’t necessarily recommend the Go to people interested in VR, because more than likely, you’ll end up wanting one that can play games or do more stuff later down the line anyways. There’s a couple of good options that an average VR consumer has for the current generation of HMD models. I’d recommend the Oculus Quest to almost anyone without question. At $400, it is a standalone gaming system, not requiring the need for a high powered gaming PC.

It also has slightly better graphics than it’s companion, the Rift S which is also priced at $400, making it a really solid choice for anyone interested in VR. The Rift S, which is what I currently use, is directly tethered to your computer meaning you have a lot more variety over the games you can play, and you can even experience VR content that isn’t necessarily on standard gaming platforms like SteamVR or Oculus Store.

For someone interested in the extended aspects of VR and has a gaming computer already, I do consider the Rift S to be the better option. However, the great thing about the Quest is that you can purchase a link cable that connects from your computer to expand that gaming library in the same way a Rift S would. However, this cable does cost a solid $80, so that is something to be mindful of.

I personally am really glad I went with the Rift S over the Quest for myself last year, because it allows me to do things like playing the fan-made Studio Ghibli VR Demos I featured in a recent episode. A Quest may limit you, but for almost everyone generally interested in VR, it’s the perfect choice.

So obviously, I am a bit biased towards Oculus, but what about the HTC Vive headsets? Well, Vive discontinued their standard VR headset not so long ago, meaning their only current options are the Vive Pro and Vive Cosmos which are aimed at VR enthusiasts. If you’re just stepping your toes in the water with VR, then either of the Oculus headsets are probably your best bet at this point.

A Vive Cosmos is what I would call an “enhanced” version of the Rift S. It comes with extra comfort features, but not anything that I believe justifies the $700 price tag compared to the Oculus for $400. Just like the Rift S and Quest, it is inside out tracking system so it does not require external sensors. This is great except if you’re interested in full body tracking, which a lot of VR users at this price range are interested in. The tech for full body trackers at this time runs off of external sensors, so anyone interested in full body tracking should keep this in mind. You’ll need to end up purchasing both the trackers themselves and external sensors if your headset uses the inside out tracking feature.

The better option is the Vive Pro, which comes with those external sensors and a top of the line VR immersive experience. There is even a wireless adapter available for purchase to give you that same satisfaction of the Oculus Quest being completely wireless. But, the Vive Pro comes in at a whopping $1200 which is pretty insane and not friendly to anyone looking to get into VR. Even more expensive is the Vive Pro Eye which has the unique feature of eye tracking for your virtual avatar but is $200 more. And if you’re willing to drop a grand on a headset anyway, you’d best be looking at the Valve Index.

When I was first getting into VR last year, I heard the Index name thrown around constantly. And that’s for a really good reason. It's a super solid choice of a headset with great specs and great controllers that are arguably the best on the market with complete finger tracking. It’s pretty standard that most people who are really into VR will have a Valve Index. And because it comes with the external tracking sensors, full body tracking is not as big of an expense which is something to keep in mind when deciding whether or not it's worth starting with an Index or starting with an Oculus.

So my overall summary and personal recommendation for a VR set up right now is to either go with the Oculus Quest or a Rift S if you’re somewhat interested in VR. But if you’re really interested in it, then skip the crap and go straight for the Valve Index. You’ll lose a lot less money than getting sucked into VR on an Oculus level and realizing you love it so much that you need a better set up later. You can always buy body trackers too without it being another huge expense looming over you.

This of course is all my opinion and a pretty simplified guide that doesn’t include all the specs and nitty gritty details of each headset. But I know that a lot of people are considering buying a headset recently, and yes, it can be fairly overwhelming to learn about all the different specs and details on your own. So know your options, get your budget figured out, and make the best long-term decision for yourself by being well equipped with knowledge!

If you liked this video, go ahead and give it a big thumbs up and subscribe to The Virtual Reality Show channel. I’ve been your host PHIA, and I’ll see you on next week’s episode. Bye!~