Best VR Headsets 2017 – Complete Guide & Reviews
Published by: Zack Fuller | Last Updated: March 20, 2017
With all the new hype about VR, and specifically virtual reality headsets, it’s no surprise how quickly they have become popular.
Whether you’re looking for a fun and immersive gaming experience, or just to get a feel for the way of the future, we’ve put together a helpful list of the best VR headsets 2017.
After a lot of research, here are some of the best VR headsets you can buy.
Best VR Headsets 2017
Now, we haven’t listed every headset here. In fact, some of the most expensive options may be reviewed below. Regardless, take a look through our top 10 best VR headsets of 2017.
|Headset Name||Resolution||Field of View Range|
|Samsung Gear VR
|2,560 x 1,440||96°|
|Sony PlayStation VR||960 x 1,080 (per eye)||100°|
|Google Daydream View||Depends on Phone||Unspecified|
|Oculus Rift||1,080 x 1,200 (per eye)||110°|
|HTC Vive||1,080 x 1,200 (per eye)||110°|
|Topmaxions 3D VR Glasses||Depends on Phone||Unspecified|
|HooToo 3D VR Headset||Depends on Phone||75°|
|VR Shinecon||Depends on Phone||85°|
|Leelbox 3D VR Glasses||Depends on Phone||115°|
|FANNEGO 3D VR Glasses||Depends on Phone||Unspecified|
1. Samsung Gear VR – Best VR Headset To Buy In 2017
Ready to immerse yourself in live action and real 3D? One of the best VR headsets you can buy to get a one-of-a-kind experience is the Samsung Gear VR!
Powered by Oculus, the Samsung Gear VR boasts of high speed and superior performance.
It’s one of the best VR headsets in the market today, and to know why, here’s a glimpse of its awesome features.
- Light weight so you can watch your favorite movies and play video games in comfort.
- Features a wide facial interface that improves fitting. Made from high-quality materials, the Samsung Gear VR is durable and can last long.
- Compatible with almost all Samsung smartphones.
- Touch pad is easy to use with back and home buttons.
- Has wide field of view and accurate head tracking that brings the virtual world right before your very eyes.
- Can be set in many different languages other than English.
- Browse through movies, videos, and games in the Oculus store.
- The Samsung Internet, which is a built-in app, enables you to browse the web with ease. Navigation is so easy because videos and images are prioritized.
- Switching from your Gear VR and Samsung smartphone is also simple.
- Viewing content is hassle-free because the Samsung Gallery supports a wide-range of formats and features.
This breakout technology will turn your Galaxy smartphone into a virtual reality headset. It’s also completely wireless and portable. The Gear VR proves that technology doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s easy to set-up and definitely easier to use.
- Soft, comfortable padding
- 100% wireless and portable
- Easy to setup and use
- Requires Samsung phone
- USB connector can be a tight fit
2. Sony PlayStation VR – Best Premium VR Headset
One of its most noticeable differences is its design. Unlike other VR headsets which have goggle-like structures with elastic straps, the Playstation VR has a unique but functional design.
The headset is kept in place on your head because of a halo structure which places the weight of the device on your crown rather than on your face.
It’s easy to put on the headset as it has a button at the back of the halo structure. You just have to push the button so the structure expands and you can wear it around your head – simple as that. The edges of the PlayStation VR are surrounded by rubbery material preventing light from coming in when you’re playing a video game or watching a movie. The headset also has perfect fitting – it’s not tight or too loose, preventing the sweaty socket syndrome.
- Display Method: OLED
- Panel Size: 5.7 inches
- Panel Resolution: 1920×1080
- Field of View: Approximately 100 degrees
- Connection Interface: VR headset: HDMI, AUX, Stereo Headphone Jack
The Sony Playstation VR has an advanced VR display that gives you the feeling of “being there”. Its seamless visuals makes it a great headset for gaming. This VR headset does not only offer 3D visuals, it also has 3D audio that provides you with sharp and pinpoint sounds. The PlayStation VR’s LEDs as well as its PlayStation move motion controller is tracked by the gear’s camera which captures crisp visuals of natural movement.
- Features and functionality
- Comfortable headset
- Wireless controller
3. Google Daydream View – Best Budget VR Headset (Under $75)
If you plan on buying a new VR headset, it is best for you to start with something inexpensive, but you want to make sure you get a headset that matches your needs.
Google Daydream View is just that. It allows you to experience virtual reality without putting a dent on your wallet. Plus you get to use your mobile phone anywhere, anytime.
As mentioned, the Google Daydream View is big on price. It undercuts more expensive VR headsets like the Samsung Gear VR while still providing you with the best features. With the headset made from quality but lightweight materials and its housing being cloth-surrounded, the headset is easy to use and comfortable to wear.
The Google Daydream View is definitely worth buying. However, people have different preferences, so before you consider buying this VR headset, make sure you know what it has to offer. Check out its product features below:
- Comes with an intuitive Daydream controller which allows you to interact in virtual space. It also has smart sensors which can detect movements and gestures. The controller also has an adjustable volume button.
- You can freely explore the virtual world through the VR cinema. Choose from a wide array of films and games and get to experience live action.
- Features Pixel XL and topnotch hardware. The Pixel XL enables high-resolution viewing.
- Watch movies or play full-length games without worry because the Google Daydream View has long-lasting battery life.
All these are just some of the excellent features. It’s even washable – what more could you ask for?
- Easy to use
- Only compatible with Daydream-ready phones
- Lack of app compatibility
4. Oculus Rift – For Xbox One
The Oculus Rift is one of the first VR headsets to be launched in the market. Manufactured by Oculus, which is known for creating high-end and top-performing gadgets, the VR headset definitely lives up to its expectations.
If you want to experience virtual reality like never before, the Oculus Rift has all the right features. Whether it’s playing your favorite games, watching movies, going to destinations that you’ve never been to, or just having fun with friends, with the Oculus Rift you’ll surely feel that you’re there.
- Advanced display technology that enables accurate and low latency tracking system which detects the sensation of presence.
- Superior build and design providing you with comfortable and convenient use.
- Allows you to discover and explore games and films in many genres. From action, sci-fi, puzzle games and a lot more! You also get a Lucky Tale for every Rift purchase.
- Has an Oculus Remote that enables you to control and navigate your VR headset with ease.
- Feel a sense of depth and space with the Oculus Rift’s integrated VR audio system which makes you feel like you’re truly somewhere else.
- Features an Xbox One Controller to enhance gaming experience.
The Oculus Rift is known for its state-of-the-art displays and optics which provides an amazing visual experience and a wide view.
- Graphics and display
- Compatibility (requires Windows)
5. HTC Vive
HTC Vive is one of the most excellent VR headsets in the market today. While we’ve rated the Samsung Gear VR as the top headset in 2017, both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are serious options for most enthusiasts. The Vive headset promises you of a one-of-a-kind and immersive VR experience.
It’s difficult to describe the HTC Vive. To truly understand how fantastic the headset is, you have to experience it firsthand. Before you consider on buying the HTC Vive, check out its product features and see if it fits your preferences.
- Made for room-scale VR allowing you to move objects in the virtual space.
- Get to play and enjoy hundreds of video games for SteamVR.
- Features an adjustable head strap and numerous eye relief adjustments that makes the headset comfortable and convenient to use.
- Has wireless controllers that will enable you to control the Vive without hassle.
- SteamVR is a built-in tracking technology that detects headset and controllers location and movement allowing you to explore and interact in the virtual space freely.
- Easy to setup
- User friendly for beginners and enthusiasts
- Can be uncomfortable to wear for long periods
Topmaxions 3D VR Glasses let you experience real 3D with its top-notch performance. Made from high-quality materials, this headset can help to enhance your overall virtual reality experience. When it comes to build and design, some also classify the headset as one of the top tier VR builds in the market.
Certain headsets lack proper cushioning to protect the eye area, which in turn results in a less favorable experience. While most VR headsets use foam for cushioning, Topmaxions uses leather to fully protect the area around your eyes. If you wear this headset, you’ll likely notice a large difference.
To provide further comfort, a headband ensures that it’s held in place securely while watching films and videos. For better focus, pupil and focal distance are adjustable and can accommodate eyesight below 600 degrees.
- Material: High-quality ABS
- Dimensions: 158*90*110mm
- Simulating effects: Distance of 3 meters, 1050 inch IMAX Screen
- Weight: 200g
- Screen size: 1050 inch
- Lens: high definition aspheric surface
- Lens size: diameter 33.5mm; Thickness 5.2mm; focal length
- Easy to use
- Resolution lacking
- No magnetic control device (manual operation required)
You’ve probably heard of the Oculus Rift and how great it is. But here’s the catch – you need to have a gaming computer so you can use it.
If you want to experience virtual reality without hassle, HooToo may be a solid option for you. Insert your smartphone and enjoy your favorite video game non-stop.
HooToo is compatible with almost all smartphones (iOS and Android). Plus, it fits most smartphone sizes too.
While most VR headsets today are quite expensive, HooToo offers an affordable way of experiencing virtual reality. The well-balanced and durable design relieves the weight, tension, and pressure on your face, helping to provide maximum comfort. The HooToo 3D VR headset fits snugly on your head while giving your face a space to breathe.
Most people can use the headset as it is designed for nearly everyone regardless of level of vision. It has an adjustable focal distance between 2.1” to 2.9”.
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 4.5 x 5 inches
- Weight: 20.5oz
- Holder: Spring Tray
- Requirements: smartphones between 4.85 – 6.25 inches wide, 2.3 – 3.8 inches long, and 0.29 – 0.37 inches thick
- Easy to use
- Weight (heavy)
- Phone compartment mount has a slightly weak grip
8. VR Shinecon
The VR Shinecon is one of the most affordable VR headsets in the market. With its decent features, the gear will give you the same immersive VR experience like its expensive counterparts. Weighing 1.1 pounds, the VR Shinecon is compatible with both Android and iOS. It’s best used for phones measuring 3.5” to 6” to ensure proper fit.
Unlike many headsets in its price range, the VR Shinecon does not use a do-it-yourself folding viewer which is usually made of cardboard. Instead, it has a plastic headset with soft padding and adjustable head strap which secures the headset on your head.
On the front portion of the Shinecon is a detachable magnetic cover where the phone compartment can be found. You can remove this cover if you feel like the 3D app needs your smartphone’s camera. Setting up the VR headset is pretty simple. You just have to remove the plastic films on its lenses, insert your smartphone into the compartment, and adjust the pupil and object distance.
One of the best things about Shinecon is its radiation protection. It features settings for people who are farsighted and nearsighted preventing side effects to your eyesight.
The VR Shinecon’s high-definition optical resin lens makes it perfect for videos, movies, and games. While playing all these in your VR headset, you don’t have to worry about overheating because its ventilation thermal design can alleviate heat. The VR headgear is designed for all types of people. It has an elastic and flexible headband which can fit in a variety of head types.
- Radiation protection
- No built-in speakers
- No action and screen tap buttons
The Leelbox headset is actually built on the VR Shinecon hardware. The technology released in 2016 is compatible with Android and iOS operating systems. The VR headset is good for smartphones with sizes between 3.5” to 6” – just like the VR Shinecon.
One of the primary reasons we decided to separate them is because they do have an individual customer support team. Plus, it is one of the best-selling VR headsets on Amazon as well.
- Size: 200*100*140mm
- Weight: 380g
- Lens: HD Optical Resin Augmented Lens
- Lens Diameter: 38mm
- AR Function: Support, Built-in Space for Camera
If you’re not a tech-geek, no problem. The Leelbox headset is fairly easy to use. You just have to use it in combination with a Google Cardboard app which you can download in Google Play if you’re using Android. On the other hand, if you’re using an iPhone, download the Cardboard app or its alternative (Durovis) in the App Store. You also need to download the left-right 3D videos into your smartphone so you can enjoy 3D videos.
- Lack of innovation
- Almost identical to the VR Shinecon
With the FANNEGO 3D VR Glasses, you can watch your favorite movie or video game comfortably while sitting or lying down. You can use this headset anytime, anywhere! Whether you’re just chilling at home or having fun traveling, this headset can be a great selection for you if you’re not interested in one of the top-tier options.
Because this headset is adjustable and customizable, both children and adults can use it effectively. Made from high-quality materials, the FANNEGO 3D VR Glasses have adjustable straps and a soft foam for cushioning which makes it easy to wear.
The FANNEGO 3D VR Headset also comes with high-grade optical resin lens along with special treatment which enhances overall virtual reality experience. Even if you use them for long periods of time, you will not feel visual fatigue or dizziness. It will protect your eyes while you enjoy yourself.
- Smartphone Compatibility – Supports almost all 4.0 to 6.5 inch smartphones. Before you can use the device, you have to download a virtual reality app.
- Design and Structure – With an ergonomic design that enables you to adjust pupil distance, this headset will surely leave you satisfied. It also features an adjustable headband and eyepatch made of leather.
- Stereo Headphone Use – Convenient when used together with a stereo headphone. Features quality memory sponge; soft and comfortable reducing pressure in the ears.
In addition to the features above, it also provides a sound isolation feature that reduces surrounding noise.
- Avoids fogging pretty well
- Easy to focus with adjustable lenses
- No remote control
- No magnetic button (some apps may be inoperable)
Complete VR Headset Buying Guide
Virtual reality is finally going mainstream thanks to VR headsets. This newest technology lets you experience a different kind of computer-generated storytelling with live action right before your very eyes. Through VR headsets, you’ll be able to virtually go to places that you’ve never been to, feel as if you’re part of a movie, and play video games non-stop.
In early 2016, we saw giant tech companies Samsung, Oculus, Sony, HTC, and more launch high-end VR headsets. With solid features, these VR headsets changed virtual reality forever. Since then, the VR landscape has been busier with new ones being launched in the later parts of 2016 until now.
VR headsets come in different forms and varied features. We’ve put this comprehensive review together so you won’t be scratching your head if you plan on buying one. So what are some factors that you need to consider when buying a VR headset?
Devices/Gadgets Currently Owned
It’s best to find out what VR you really need based on the devices/gadgets you currently own. Whether it’s a smartphone, PlayStation or PC, you have to make sure that your VR headset is compatible with your gadget.
It is also important to note that there are certain hardware requirements that you must meet to be able to use specific VR headsets. From graphics card to your processor, you need to check out minimum requirements. As a rule of thumb, the newer the gadget/device the better.
VR headsets usually range from $10 to as much as a $1,000. Identifying your budget is one of the best places to start when choosing a VR. First generation VR headsets will cost you more or less $100, second generation headsets are priced $400 or more and the latest ones are sold above $400.
It’s best to create a price range which you can afford. But of course, you have to understand that pricing differences will mainly affect the headset’s performance and features and your overall VR experience. Watch out for sales and discounts, who knows you might be able to buy a VR headset you thought you couldn’t afford!
Are you a gamer or a creative who loves to spend hours and hours using your VR headset? Hardcore or high-end VR headsets may just be right for you. However, if you’re a regular user who just wants to watch videos and movies, slide your phone into your VR, casual headsets are great for you. Match a product’s features according to your needs.
Types of VR Headsets
- Handheld – Handheld VR headsets are the most affordable in the market. These are entry level headsets good for beginners or those who just want a taste of virtual reality. Unlike common VRs which have head mounting features, this type of headset is purely hand held. It has two or buttons for simple and basic functions. Handheld VRs are best suited for shorter experiences such as watching movies or playing video games as holding it for long periods can be quite tiring.
- Smartphone-Operated – Smartphone-operated headsets provide one of the best virtual reality experiences. They offer comfort and convenience and a lot of other key advantages compared to handheld VR Headsets. With this category of headset, all you have to do is sit back and relax. For one, they have straps that will hold the VR securely on your head so you can enjoy watching videos and movies without interruption. To use this type of headset, you simply have to insert your mobile device inside a secure compartment in your VR. When buying a smartphone-powered VR make sure that the compartment supports the size of your mobile device.
- Computer-Operated – While smartphone-powered VR headsets give you one of the best experiences, PC-connected headsets offer you the most immersive or ultimate virtual reality experience. With excellent graphics and input devices, computer operated VR headsets will surely give you a robust experience. This type of headset can be used for full-length and high memory video games or creative activities that require heavy duty support. VR headsets run by computers will only serve as controller and virtual monitor while full control will be through your PC.
- Standalone – Standalone VR headsets are not controlled by any device, they function independently, and are designed to fit on your head without any straps. This category of VR headset is relatively new in the market and has not been launched in a number of countries. Alcatel is the first company to manufacture this kind of headset; they called the product model, Vision.
Virtual reality is definitely the future. It’s one of the most innovative technology to be ever developed since the smartphone. As VR headsets continuously change, the world’s fascination with the device will only grow and demand will skyrocket.
Where To Buy Your VR Headset
Many stores online and offline are selling VR headsets in different brands and varying prices. If you want the new ones that are not yet sold in the market, you can buy them online pre-ordered. Check out online selling platforms like Amazon, eBay, Best Buy and many others. Just make sure that you read shop reviews first for reliability.
Although online marketplaces can be pretty helpful, it’s best to buy a VR headset in a local store or mall where you can try and test out the gadget. In addition, there are shops who provide free demos to customers. Always try to check if the store allows free returns.
With plenty of VR headsets sold today, I’m sure that you’ll find it hard to choose. Try to follow this simple guide and you’ll surely be able to pick the one that best works.