We might only be halfway through 2016 but that doesn’t mean we haven’t already seen some of the best VR headset releases. Big name companies like HTC and Oculus have firmly established their products as some of the best VR headsets of 2016. But that doesn’t mean they’re the only companies raising the bar on this hot wearable tech trend.
If you aren’t too sure what a VR headset does, well let me explain. VR = Virtual Reality. Basically, a VR headset can make you think you’re on an extraterrestrial planet when you’re really about to bump into the trashcan. To use a virtual reality headset you need three things:
- A gaming console, a computer or smartphone to run a game or an app.
- An input device. Tech companies are coming out with more and more unique types of input devices (they basically input movement). They can come in the form of a steering wheel, a gun, hand controllers, locomotion devices (i.e., treadmills) and so on.
- Last but not least, you’ll need one of the best VR headsets on the market (some VR headsets will require the use of your smartphone screen—others offer a built-in display)
The VR market is hot right now and finding the best VR headset can be a difficult task with so many to choose from. And if you’re in that boat then you’ve come to the right place because in this article I’m going to discuss the best VR headsets so you can find one that best suits your budget AND your needs.
1. Google Cardboard Kit V2 Black
[Score 10/10] If you’re on a really, really tight budget then you might want to check out this Google Cardboard Kit by Minkanak. It fits most smartphones with a screen up to 6 inches and works with both iOS and Android devices. The Biconvex lens is 37mm in diameter with a focal length of 45mm, which adds up to a wider view and a more immersive experience with your smartphone device. This kit is also an ease to assemble, taking most people only about 30 seconds from start to finish. It’s also a pretty tough piece of cardboard and holds up to normal wear and tear better than its competitors.
2. Pop-Tech 3D VR
[Score 9.7/10] This is the best of the best when it comes to entry-level VR headsets. It has an easy-removing magnetic absorbed front cover for heat ventilation. You can charge your phone and still use the headset at the same time. The lenses use vacuum ion plating, which can block out electromagnetic radiation. The optical resin lenses also reduce glare and prevent eye fatigue, which can become real problems if you’re using your VR headset for long periods or in sunny areas.
3. 007plus VR headset
[Score 9.5/10] One interesting feature of this entry-level VR headset is that it provides real-time heart rate monitoring with an AMS heart rate sensor, 5 types of heart rate zone reminders, and 24-hour sleep tracking. You can sync all of this information to your smartphone. You can also record all your sports like basketball, table tennis, running and it eve comes with notifications for phone calls, text messages, and Facebook. This is the best VR headset for being able to perform a wide variety of tasks at a low cost.
4. Habor 3D VR headset
[Score 9.4/10] This is a nice plastic version of Google Cardboard. One reviewer reported that the device felt like a plastic version of cardboard, literally. The device allows you to adjust the object distance as well as the pupil distance so you can optimize your cinema experience. If you’re like me and you like to watch movies on your phone then this is the best VR headset for you. It provides a comfortable fit while also maintaining the sturdiness that you can’t get with Google Cardboard.
5. Motoraux 3D Glasses VR headset
[Score 9/10] For those of you just wanting to experiment with a VR headset without going out of your budget, the Motoraux is one of the best VR headsets you can at the moment. It comes with the Focal 3D VR box for the best video game experience you can get on a budget. It also supports an IMAX cinema experience. Of course, no entry-level VR headset is going to blow your mind like others we’ll talk about later in this article, but like I said, if you’re wanting something on a tight budget then this is the VR headset for you.
1. Samsung Gear VR headset
[Score 10/10] This is the latest and the best version of Samsung’s VR headset line—a super super version of the Samsung headsets up to this point. It’s lightweight with an amazing touchpad that’ll blow your socks off and has a wide field of view with precise head tracking. The headsets low latency really adds a sense of reality to your virtual experience and panoramic photos look stunning in this VR headset! It also comes equipped with Samsung’s MILK VR, increased phone compatibility (Note5; Galaxy S6, S6 edge, S6 edge+; Galaxy S7, S7 edge).
2. Samsung Gear VR Innovator
[Score 9.9/10] This version of Samsung’s VR Innovator headset is made specifically for the Galaxy S6 and the S6 Edge. Samsung worked with one of the best VR companies in the game to create one of the best VR headsets on the market. That company is Oculus and what does it mean for you? Well as a Samsung VR headset owner it pretty much means you have access to the Oculus store where you can download or purchase VR games, experiences, videos, and apps like Oculus Cinema as well as Oculus 360 Videos and Photos. One of my favorite features of this VR headset is the Samsung Milk VR service, which delivers immersive 360 Degree music, sports, action, and story telling videos. People who’ve tested the Samsung Innovator VR for the Galaxy S6 are saying it’s one of the most immersive VR headsets on the market.
3. Noon VR NVRG-01
[Score 9.6/10] The Noon VR is another mid-range VR headset worth checking out if you want to use your smartphone as a screen but lack the Samsung Galaxy S6. This headset supports any smartphone larger than 4.7 inches and under 5.7 inches (pretty much all of the top smartphones—at least the ones with good enough displays to make for an impressive VR experience. The Noon VR utilizes an intuitive eyesight control and tap-responsive user interface, meaning that you can get to all your favorite apps and functions on the VR more easily than other VR headsets. This is the best VR headset in the mid-range for those of us looking for something with diverse phone compatibility.
4. Samsung Gear VR
[Score 9.1/10] Last but not least for our list of the best mid-range VR headsets is Samsung’s VR headset for the Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Plus and Note 5 (these are all equipped with the Super AMOLED display). This is basically a super version of the Samsung’s Innovator headset for the Galaxy S6. It comes with better comfort functions as well as an upgraded touchpad for better ease of use and functionality. This version is also 22% lighter than its predecessor and you can also enjoy Samsung’s frequently released 360-degree videos.
5. Morjava VR Shinecon 3D
[Score 8.9/10] The Morjava VR Shinecon has one of the most comfortable VR headset designs with what they call the FD and PD adjustment function. The headset comes with soft leather edges around the facemask and an adjustable leather strip that molds to your face as you fasten the headset on. A lot of consumers are overlooking the level of comfort VR headsets provide and complaining of sore bodies after periods of use but Morjava’s got your back (no pun intended). The headset works for smartphones with a screen between 3.5-6 inches, making it another great option for those of us looking for something that we can continue using even as we upgrade our phones.
1. Samsung Gear VR Innovator
[Score 10/10] Samsung discontinued this Innovator edition of their VR headsets, but I had to include it on this list because it really made some rumbles in the VR headset community. One of the biggest drawbacks of the Innovator is its limited compatibility. You won’t be using this VR headset if you don’t already own a Galaxy Note 4, which it uses for a display. Regardless—the Samsung VR Innovator is one of the best VR headsets on the market right now because of its stunning AMOLED display technology and oculus software fusion that make for the Innovator’s versatile functionality. Every kind of user from gamers to movie lovers will appreciate the stunning display of this headset.
2. DeePoon E2
[Score 9.9/10] DeePoon is a Chinese company and they’re putting out some of the best high-end VR headsets. The DeePoon E2 is basically the Chinese version of the Oculus Rift and while it may fall short to the Rift in some aspects, it still proves to be an amazing all-in-one headset.
The DeePoon E2 comes in a variety of colors with large Aspherical lenses, a Samsung AMOLED screen, 75HZ refresh Rate, Intel I5-4590 CPU processor, 8GB system ram, as well as HDMI 1.4B and Mini USB 2.0 Connection Ports. For those of you looking for motion tracking the E2 isn’t quite there yet, but it does have fantastic 360-degree head tracking that’ll rock your socks. The AMOLED screen also packs in a stunning HD 1080×1920 resolution making it a great choice for aspiring virtual reality gamers.
3. Omimo Immersive
[Score 9.4/10] The Omimo is a stylish all-in-one headset that comes equipped with an HD display (no need for headphones) and a 360-degree view of head tracking that is aimed towards providing an optimal IMAX viewing experience. Along with the 1080P resolution display, this bad boy has an amazing 3D effect with a field angle of 120-degrees. The 3D viewing experience is similar to watching a screen of 2000 inches from a distance of 20 miles. If you’re a movie lover then this is one of the best VR cinema headsets you can get your hands on today.
The Omimi isn’t just suited for movie lovers, but gamers as well. The Octa-Core Cortex-A7 CPU runs on Android 4.4 OS, which is embedded with the NIBIRU gaming platform. Oh, and that Octa-Core, is a new eight-core CPU made with the 28nm manufacturing technique. In other words, the CPU operates at a high speed of 2.0 GH. And if you wear glasses there’s no need to worry, because Omimo’s got you covered with an optical lens that recognizes nearsighted people with a degree of myopia fewer than 600.
4. PandaWalker Magicsee M1
[Score 9.2/10] PandaWalker specializes in creating the best VR headsets and the MagicSee M1 certainly proves to be one such headset. This all-in-one VR headset made packs in a Quad Core ARM Cortex A17 CPU with speeds up to 1.8GHz, 2GB of system ram and 16GB of flash memory. Designed for Education, Game player, and Adventurer modes, the MagicSee M1 uses the Nibiru operating system to deliver a top-quality experience for a wide assortment of applications and games.
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