The Best VR headsets of 2022on November 17, 2022 at 12:21 Tech Advisor

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It’s a great time for VR with capable headsets including the Meta’s Quest 2 and high-end Quest Pro available to buy worldwide, offering a high-end experience without the need for a dedicated gaming PC. There’s also the Pico 4, a solid Quest 2 competitor with better hardware at a slightly cheaper price point, and let’s not forget the Vive Cosmos and Vive Pro 2 for PC available gamers. It’s safe to say there’s a VR headset for everyone.

The issue is, with so many capable VR headsets available to buy in 2022, which is the best for your needs? Should you go PC VR or standalone? Do you need to splash out on the capable Quest Pro or would the Quest 2 or Pico 4 suit you better?

Don’t fret; we at Tech Advisor have used all of the popular VR headsets, and here’s where we tell you what to look out for when buying a headset, along with our recommendation of the best VR headsets on the market right now.

Best VR headsets 2022

1. Meta Quest 2 – Best overall

Pros

Great standalone performance

Well priced

Can be used for PC VR

Cons

Facebook account required

No Bluetooth headphone support

Though the Oculus branding has been killed off in favour of Meta, the Quest 2 is still hands-down the best VR headset you can buy. Like the original, the Quest 2 boasts standalone functionality and inside-out tracking, albeit in a smaller form factor this time around. 

The star of the show is the display; at nearly 2K per eye, the Quest 2 has one of the most detailed displays of any VR headset in our chart right now, bested only by the Vive Pro 2, which is incredible when you think about the entry-level price. There’s also Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 Platform available, offering a serious improvement to performance that pushes the boundaries of the standalone apps and games available.

If that wasn’t enough, thanks to Oculus Link, you can hook up your Quest 2 to your PC and experience PC-exclusive VR titles like Half-Life: Alyx, and Air Link functionality allows you to do it cable-free if you’ve got good enough Wi-Fi. The hybrid functionality simply isn’t matched by any other VR headset available right now.

If you’re looking for a great all-round VR headset, the Meta Quest 2 is the one to go for. 

Read our full
Meta Quest 2 review

2. Pico 4 – Best Quest 2 competitor

Pros

Slim, compact design

Next-gen pancake optics

Great performance

Cons

No hand tracking

Lack of big-name VR titles in Pico Store

While the Meta Quest 2 has stood strong for the past couple of years, offering a great VR experience at an affordable price, the Pico 4 is here to challenge that.

On the surface, the Pico 4 looks like a next-gen Quest – it sports the same general design and colour scheme, though with Pico opting for a black glossy front to help differentiate itself, it’s impressively thin and it comes with something akin to Meta’s Elite Strap as standard.

Those slimline dimensions are mainly down to the inclusion of next-gen pancake lenses, tech previously exclusive to the extremely premium Meta Quest Pro. Pancake lenses provide a clearer viewing experience, particularly towards the edges of the lenses, and when combined with a higher resolution than both of Meta’s headsets, it’s safe to say that the VR experience on offer is crisp.

The only real issue is with content. With Meta funding many of the biggest and best VR titles on its headsets including Beat Saber, Resident Evil 4, Medal of Honor and Among Us VR, it’s unlikely that these will ever appear on a competitors platform. There are a few notable games on the Pico Store including Blade & Sorcery: Nomad and Into the Fall, but it’ll take some time for Pico to build up a library as large and varied as that from Meta.

The saving grace? The headset’s actually cheaper than the Quest 2 at just £379 in the UK. It’s not available in the US right now, but we’re hoping it’ll make an appearance somewhere down the line.

Read our full
Pico 4 review

3. HTC Vive Cosmos – Modular PC VR

Pros

Modular design

Accurate tracking

Comfortable fit

Cons

Expensive

Requires a high-end gaming PC

Not the highest resolution displays around

RRP:



£699

The Vive Cosmos isn’t the cheapest VR headset available to consumers. But, the modular nature makes the Cosmos range unique, which is why it costs a little more.

Rather than having to buy an entirely new headset when HTC reveals new tech, Cosmos owners can simply buy a new faceplate and attach it to their existing headset, offering huge savings down the line.

The Cosmos itself, with six-camera tracking, offers a decent VR experience for low- to mid-intensity VR games, but the camera tracking isn’t perfect and the loss of tracking in fast-paced VR titles can be frustrating at times.

But that’s where the Cosmos Elite comes in: for a little extra, you can grab a Cosmos with true 1:1 SteamVR tracking, but at the cost of long setup times and having to use the first-gen Vive wands. 

Read our full
HTC Vive Cosmos review

4. Meta Quest Pro – Most advanced standalone headset

Pros

Face- and eye-tracking

Full-colour passthrough for AR

Redesigned, more capable controllers

Cons

Incredibly expensive

No full light blocker in the box

Can become uncomfortable over longer periods of use

The Meta Quest Pro is Meta’s most advanced VR headset to date, and in fact, it’s the most capable of any standalone VR headset on the market right now – but it’s only really for a specific type of person.

You see, the Quest Pro is arguably more focused on AR than VR in its basic form, with an AR-focused open periphery design that makes it easier to see your environment, colour passthrough and improved hand tracking capabilities. Unsurprisingly, the AR experience is strong and depending on the app, you can bring real-world elements like walls and tables into your augmented space, allowing you to, say, place a virutal paintbrush on your real-world table.

You can also play all the same games as the Quest 2, but for full immersion, you’ll have to fork out for the full light blocker as it’s not included in the box.

The face- and eye-tracking capabilities are a real boon for social VR too, providing a much more natural experience when chatting to friends than staring at an expression-less avatar.

It’s also the first standalone VR headset to make use of Qualcomm’s next-gen Snapdragon XR2+ chipset with improved performance and tracking capabilities.

It’s a stellar headset then, but the real catch is the price: at $/£1500, it’s almost four times the price of the standard Meta Quest 2. Unless you’re really invested in AR or the idea of face- and eye-tracking really appeals, we’d recommend opting for a cheaper standalone.

Read our full
Meta Quest Pro review

5. HTC Vive Pro 2 – Most detailed VR display

Pros

5K display

No screen-door effect

SteamVR compatibility

Cons

Weirdly shaped FOV

Chunky, outdated controllers

Very expensive

RRP:



Headset: £719 | Full Kit: £1,299

Best Prices Today:



£719 at HTC£722.47 at Amazon

The HTC Vive Pro 2 might seem like the perfect VR headset on paper, boasting the highest resolution of any headset right now alongside an expansive 120-degree FOV and smooth 120Hz refresh rate, but the execution isn’t quite as impressive.

The pixel-packed display does a phenomenal job at breathing new life into much-loved VR games with added detail, and it all but eliminates screen-door effect too – seriously, it’s an impressive panel.

The issue is the oddly rectangular FOV, with the 120-degree FOV referring to the horizontal FOV only. It makes some VR experiences feel a little more claustrophobic when compared to the likes of the Valve Index. 

The Vive Pro 2 hasn’t changed in terms of general design either, which means it’s just as heavy and uncomfortable to use over longer sessions as its predecessor, and it’s a similar story with the Vive Pro 2 wands, which remain practically the same as they were in 2016. 

It’s also incredibly expensive compared to most headsets in our chart, meaning it’s only for the most dedicated VR fan that can overlook some of the older design choices employed by the Vive Pro 2. 

Read our full
HTC Vive Pro 2 review

6. HP Reverb G2 – High resolution at a good price

Pros

4K display

Great sound

Inside-out tracking

Cons

Small visual sweet spot

Performance bugs

RRP:



£622.80

Though it can’t quite match the 5K display of the HTC Vive Pro 2, the 4K display of the HP Reverb G2 will still be a huge jump forward for those still on first-gen VR headsets, offering improved textures, better visual clarity and a wider 114-degree FOV without the premium price of HTC’s option.

There’s also inside-out tracking, meaning there’s no need for external base stations like with SteamVR-powered options, although unlike options from Oculus, the Reverb G2 doesn’t perform that well in smaller spaces. 

That problematic nature extends beyond tracking too; the Reverb G2 doesn’t play well with AMD-powered PCs, and the Windows Mixed Reality platform it uses is far from the quality offered by the likes of SteamVR and Oculus, with glitches and the occasional complete crash.

If you really want the high resolution then the Reverb G2 is still a great option, but we’d steer clear if you’ve got an AMD PC. 

Read our full
HP Reverb G2 review

7. PlayStation VR – Best for PS4 gamers

Pros

PS4-powered VR

Exclusive library of games

Cheap

Cons

Basic tracking

Motion controllers are badly designed

Low-res display

RRP:



£349.99

Best Prices Today:



£89.99 at Amazon

Interestingly, the PlayStation VR headset is the only VR headset for console gamers – Microsoft offers a way for gamers to play Xbox games through the Oculus Rift S, but it isn’t VR-enabled. Sony’s virtual reality offering features a 5.7in OLED display that’ll provide gamers with low persistence and, consequently, less motion blur when being used.

It also boasts ultra-low latency (18ms) and a 120Hz refresh rate, which is better than the Oculus Rift S and the HTC Vive’s 90Hz offering. It means that, theoretically, beautiful 120fps gameplay is possible, although we’re not sure the PS4 (or even the PS4 Pro) can handle that.

It seems that Sony had the same thought, and provides an additional box (smaller than the PS4) that handles the brunt of the graphics processing. It’ll track the position of your head, and can also be used with Sony’s (failed) Move controllers, giving the old controllers a new lease of life.

The tracking is basic though; it uses a PlayStation Camera, and the area that you can move around in is very small. It’s designed for sit-down VR experiences, and it does it well. 

8. HTC Vive Flow – Best for lightweight VR

Pros

Sunglasses-like form factor

Lightweight, portable design

Can view phone apps on a 100in display

Cons

Needs an external battery source

Only compatible with a small number of Android phones

VR experiences are closer to first-gen VR headsets

RRP:



£499

With Meta successfully cornering the standalone VR headset market, HTC has turned its sights to the lightweight VR market with what it describes as its first pair of “immersive glasses”.

Let’s be honest, the Vive Flow look more like a pair of fashion-focused sunglasses than a VR headset, complete with relfective lenses and traditional arms. It’s a cool look, but it’d likely draw attention if you were to use them on public transport or long flights – which is exactly what HTC envisions.

Aside from basic VR experiences akin to those from Google Daydream and Samsung Gear VR, the main draw of the Vive Flow is the ability to mirror your smartphone display. That allows you to run apps like Disney+ and Netflix, enjoying your digital content on a virtual 100in display.

But while the idea behind it is solid, the execution is flawed to say the least.

Aside from the fact that the system is only compatible with a small number of smartphones in the wider market (and no iPhone support at all), the decision to use Miracast instead of standard USB-C connectivity means there’s input lag. That means you can’t play your favourite games via the cloud on the headset, nor can you hook it up to a laptop for work purposes.

Throw in basic controller support via a connected smartphone, the fact it gets uncomfortable to wear after around 30 minutes of use and its relatively high price point for what’s on offer, and it’s not looking good for the Flow. Oh, and we haven’t even mentioned that it requires an external battery source connected via USB-C as there’s no built-in battery. Yeah…

If you’re a very specific type of person that travels a lot and wants a better way to watch movies, the Flow is a solid option, but for everyone else, there are more capable options available at a cheaper price point.

Read our full
HTC Vive Flow review

It’s worth noting that there’s also the high-end Valve Index to choose from, but as we’re yet to use it in person, we can’t recommend it in our chart. We’ve also removed the original Oculus Quest as it was discontinued around the release of the updated Oculus Quest 2. 

VR headset buying advice

1.

Mobile, PC or standalone?

The biggest factor to consider when on the market for a VR headset is how you’re planning on powering it. There are three types of VR headset on the market at the moment; smartphone-powered, PC-powered or standalone.

Mobile VR headsets are shaped like a VR headset, but they require a smartphone for the display, internals, tracking and everything else needed to provide a mobile VR experience. This is generally thought of as a beginner’s VR headset; it gives you access to a budget range of experiences, 360-degree videos and basic games, but doesn’t provide much in the way of actual interaction with virtual environments.

The next step up is standalone VR. These are, as the name suggests, standalone VR headsets that don’t require a smartphone or PC for use. They started off a little basic, but the likes of the Oculus Quest 2 and Pico 4 are on par with PC-powered headsets, and they can also be used as PC VR headsets. 

PC-powered VR headsets are generally the most capable on the market, providing high-end games and VR experiences with accurate location-based tracking for full immersion. The catch? The headsets are usually the most expensive available and require a powerful PC to be able to power the experiences.

2.

Controllers

Though it may not sound like it, controllers are a very important area when it comes to picking a VR headset. That’s because the controllers vary depending on the system, with some offering true 1:1 positional tracking while others don’t. Controllers are your gateway into the virtual world, allowing you to reach out and interact with the environment, so you want them to be as accurate and comfortable as possible.

Generally speaking, high-end VR headsets like the Vive Cosmos Elite offer great controllers with true 1:1 positional tracking, while inside-out tracking like that offered by the Quest 2 and HP Reverb G2 can be a little more unreliable at certain angles or when playing fast-paced titles. PlayStation’s VR headset offers basic positional tracking, but it’s not quite as accurate as Meta and HTC’s options.

3.

Tracking

Speaking of controller tracking, tracking, in general, is another important area to consider in the world of virtual reality.

Mobile VR headsets only offer 3DoF, compared to 6DoF on offer by more premium headsets. 3DoF means that you’ll be able to stand in place, look around, up and down, but any movement forwards, backwards, up or down won’t be tracked.

6DoF, on the other hand, has the ability to track your location within the physical space. This really improves immersion as you’re able to physically walk around virtual worlds, bend down and retrieve items from the floor.

4.

Resolution, refresh rate and FOV

It’s a good idea to check out the resolution and refresh rate of any VR headset before buying, as both are integral to a decent VR experience. The resolution is fairly self-explanatory: the higher the resolution, the better quality the images produced by the display will be. It’ll mean crisper edges and easy-to-read text, and a generally more premium VR experience.

But, the resolution doesn’t matter if the refresh rate is terrible. There were a lot of tests undertaken in the early days of VR to work out the ideal refresh rate to combat motion sickness experienced by early VR users. The general consensus is that 90Hz is the minimum requirement for fast-paced VR, although you can get away with 70Hz if the app or game isn’t particularly intense.

Anything lower than 60Hz, though, and you’ll start to notice motion sickness when using VR as the display takes a little too long to refresh when you move, causing lag. Thankfully, most mainstream VR headsets offer at least 90Hz, so you shouldn’t have to worry, but it’s something to consider if you’re looking at non-branded VR headsets.

Lastly, field of view – or FOV as its commonly referred to – essentially gives you an idea of how immersive the VR headset is. Generally speaking, you should aim for a VR headset that provides a FOV of between 100- and 120-degrees, which seems to be the market cap (for the moment anyway!). For reference, human eyes have a FOV of around 220 degrees.  

Gaming, Virtual Reality, Wearables

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