Virtual reality (VR) headsets are devices worn on the head that provide a fully immersive digital experience. They typically consist of a head-mounted display (HMD) with a screen or screens in front of the eyes, and may include built-in headphones and motion tracking sensors. VR headsets can be powered by a computer or console (tethered VR) or have all the necessary hardware and software built-in (standalone VR). The user can look around and interact with the virtual environment, creating the illusion of being present in the digital world. VR technology is used for gaming, simulation, training, and other applications.
“What VR headset do I need?” is a frequently asked question in VR land. However, answering this question is not as easy as you might think. Do you use the VR headsets to play VR games or do you want to use the glasses with groups to watch 360 videos for example? But also the fact whether you have a PC or not, and whether cables are desirable or not, is important to include in your judgment of the right VR glasses.
In general, there are two types of VR:
- Standalone VR: Headsets such as Quest 2, HTC VIVE Focus or Pico 4
- PC VR: Headsets such as HTC VIVE, Oculus Rift S., HP Reverb G2, Valve Index
Standalone VR refers to virtual reality headsets that do not require a connection to a computer or a console to function. These headsets have all the necessary hardware and software built-in, allowing for a more self-contained and portable VR experience. Examples of standalone VR headsets include the Pico® 4, Meta® Quest 2 and the HTC Vive Focus.
PC-powered VR, also known as tethered VR, refers to virtual reality headsets that require a connection to a computer or a console in order to function. These headsets typically have more advanced hardware and software than standalone VR devices, allowing for a more powerful and immersive VR experience. However, the user must be tethered to the computer or console via a cable, limiting their mobility. Examples of PC-powered VR headsets include the Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive, and the Valve Index.