December 8th, 2021

The ultimate guide to VR headsets

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Guide to VR headsets and how they work

Virtual Reality (VR) headsets immerse you in an artificial 3D world, allowing you to enjoy concerts, travel, and much more from the comfort of your home. But not all VR headsets are created equally. If you're thinking of getting one but aren't sure what to look for, don't worry, we did the homework for you.

Here at Asurion, we help millions of customers learn more about technology every day—from keeping your phone safe from hackers to how much memory your laptop actually needs. Here's our guide to VR headsets and how to pick one that's right for you.

What is Virtual Reality?

VR pulls you into an experience like no other media can, immersing you in a 360-degree, interactive world. As technology has improved, VR has become more popular among gamers. It's also beginning to enhance the ways we live and learn, providing training for pilots, teachers, and even surgeons.

How do VR headsets work?

VR headsets cover your eyes to replace your view of the outside world with that of an artificial 3D environment. Some have built-in tools (known as self-contained VR headsets) that detect your activity, while others need to be connected to a computer.

Pros and cons of different VR headsets

Whether you're new to VR and want to start with a user-friendly model or are looking to improve your experience with something high end, here's a breakdown of how much VR headsets cost, some of the most popular models, and what features you can expect.

Oculus Quest 2

Asurion imageThe Oculus Quest® 2 is a great option for casual VR buyers. Its self-contained, wireless system makes it easy to use, and it's affordable. On the other hand, the headset has a relatively short battery life, and you need a Facebook® account to use it.

  • Price: $299 (128 GB)/$399 (256 GB)
  • Field of View (FOV): 89 degrees
  • Resolution: 1832 x 1920 per eye
  • Refresh rate: 90 Hz max
  • Sound: Integrated stereo speakers, 3.5mm headphone jack, Bluetooth® available
  • Connections: USB-C, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
  • Hardware platform: Standalone (doesn't require a PC)
  • Software platform: Oculus
  • Required accessories: Standalone headset

HTC Vive Pro

Asurion imageIf picture quality is your priority, the HTC Vive® Pro may be for you. With its eye-popping display and high refresh rate, videophiles will love the clarity of this virtual world. The Vive Pro also supports features such as whole-room and smooth-motion tracking, which enhance the realism of your VR experience. Its price tag is hefty, however, and you'll need to purchase the $349 wireless adapter pack if you don't want to be wired to your PC.

  • Price: $599
  • FOV: 110 degrees
  • Resolution: 1440 x 1600 per eye
  • Refresh rate: 90 Hz
  • Sound: Integrated stereo speakers, 3.5mm headphone jack, Bluetooth available
  • Connections: Bluetooth, USB-C port for peripherals
  • Hardware platform: PC
  • Software platform: SteamVR™
  • Required accessories: Compatible Windows® PC, controllers ($129.99 each), base station ($134.99)

Valve Index

Asurion imageThis system is great for hardcore PC gamers. Its controllers can track what you do with your fingers, and the headset features full-room tracking. It also has a high refresh rate and low latency, which reduce lag time and improve your gaming experience. The Valve Index® is on the higher end of the price spectrum (once you add in the required accessories), so it's best suited for those who already have a high-performance gaming PC.

  • Price: $499
  • FOV: 130 degrees
  • Resolution: 1600 x 1440 per eye
  • Refresh rate: 144 Hz max
  • Sound: Off-ear stereo speakers, 3.5mm headphone jack, available microphone input
  • Connections: DisplayPort 1.2, USB 3.0 expansion port
  • Hardware platform: PC
  • Software platform: SteamVR
  • Required accessories: Compatible Windows PC, controllers ($279 for two), base station ($149)

Sony PlayStation VR (PSVR)

Asurion imageThough it's less powerful than our other recommendations and requires a PlayStation® 4, this bestselling console is already in a lot of homes. That helps lower the price and provides a familiar platform for gamers. The Sony® PlayStation VR® also offers a fully immersive VR experience, works with PlayStation controllers, and features full-room tracking and motion control, which allow you to interact with the virtual world accurately and effortlessly.

  • Price: $349.99
  • FOV: 100 degrees
  • Resolution: 960 x 1080 per eye
  • Refresh rate: 90/120 Hz
  • Sound: Integrated stereo speakers, 3.5mm headphone jack, Bluetooth available
  • Connections: 3D audio through the headphone jack, available microphone input
  • Hardware platform: PlayStation 4
  • Software platform: PlayStation 4
  • Required accessories: PlayStation 4 ($299.99), PlayStation Camera ($59.99)

Virtual reality doesn't have to glitch

Protect your VR headset—plus all your other favorite home tech—for less than $1/day with Asurion Home+, and get fast repairs from trusted experts when you need them. Learn more about Asurion Home+ VR headset coverage and how you can get peace-of-mind device protection.

*The Asurion® trademarks and logos are the property of Asurion, LLC. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Asurion is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by any of the respective owners of the other trademarks appearing herein.*

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