HL Tech: A Guide Through The VR Craze And The 25 Headsets On The Market Now

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vr headsets

Smartphone dependence is a major variable separating different classes of virtual reality headsets. Some fun, functional VR units can be purchased for under $50, but require outside hardware for processing and audio. Other units cost more, but are completely — or mostly — self-contained.

The team at SpecOut compiled a list of the best VR units on the market. Although some entries have the secondary ability to create augmented reality, they are all capable of producing full VR, which is a more immersive experience. All headsets listed are available to the public, at least for preorder, with a known retail price.

Field of view was also a factor in our analysis. Human beings have a near-180-degree field of view, so the closer a VR set comes to that width, the more realistic the user experience. Every unit on this list has a field of view of at least 60 degrees. The headsets are in order from oldest to most recent release.

Horus Lite VR

The Horus Lite VR has a 96-degree field of view, which is 4 percent narrower than the average headset in its class. Although it requires external headphones, it is smartphone compatible and features optics correction.

Google Cardboard

Cheaper than the average smartphone-dependent set, Google Cardboard is a simple, fun entry point into the world of VR. The DIY kit can be put together in minutes.

AntVR Kit

To run programs and games, this headset must be synched with both a smartphone and a computer or game console. It has a below-average horizontal resolution, but it is compatible with glasses, and features both head and position tracking.

Carl Zeiss VR One

Pricier than the average VR set, the Carl Zeiss VR One uses a smartphone as a processing source. With a field of view of 100 degrees, it does not offer position tracking.

Leap Motion VR

With a 135-degree field of view, the user will enjoy a far more immersive experience than the industry average of 100 degrees. Connectivity options include USB 3.0 and HDMI, and the unit is leap-motion controller compatible.

Homido VR

Slightly more expensive than the average set, the Homido VR has a 100-degree field of view. It requires a smartphone for processing, and is compatible with both iOS and Android.

Freefly VR

The Freefly has a better-than-average field of view of 120 degrees. Slightly more expensive than the average set, it does not require the user to provide external headphones.

I AM Cardboard XG VR

With both virtual-reality and augmented-reality capabilities, this headset costs slightly more than the industry average. It relies on a smartphone to function and is Bluetooth compatible.

Razer OSVR

More expensive than the average VR headset, the Razer OSVR requires a game console, computer and smartphone. It has a 100-degree field of view and offers a refresh rate of 60 Hz — which are both average for its class.

Evomade Viewbox

Although the Viewbox is inexpensive, its 90-degree field of view comes up 10 percent short of the industry average. External headphones are required, and the set works with smartphones with 4.5- to 6-inch screens.

Pinc VR

With a 100-degree field of vision, the Pinc VR features pincher gesture control and a plastic body. It requires either an Android or iOS smartphone to run games and programs.

Samsung Gear VR (2015)

Although its 96-degree field of view is slightly below average, the Gear VR works well with all major Samsung phones. The headset is comfortable, but it does let some light bleed through.

Omimo Uranus One

Compared to headsets that don't require a smartphone to operate, the Omimo Uranus One has a wide, 124-degree field of vision. It comes with a built-in processing source, which means it doesn't require an outside system to function.

Nuvika VR Headset

With a lower-than-average 96-degree field of view, this headset can produce both virtual-reality and augmented-reality experiences. It requires both a smartphone and external headphones to function.

BOBOVR Z3

This headset, which requires a smartphone, is among the least expensive on the market. It has a field of view of 100 degrees, and features optics correction and three degrees of freedom movement tracking.

Sensofinity VR

With a better-than-average field of view of 100 degrees, this headset is cheap for its class. The sturdy body is made of foam, leather and plastic.

Durovis Dive 5

Cheaper than the average headset that requires a smartphone, the Durovis Dive 5 comes up 10 percent short of the industry average with a 90-degree field of view.

Compatible with both iOS and Android, it works with a maximum phone screen size of five inches.

VRKiX VR 3D Glasses

Although this set is cheap for its class, its field of view is limited to just 85 degrees, which is 15 percent narrower than the average. It requires external headphones and features proprietary controller compatibility.

LeTV LeVR COOL1

Although it is more expensive than the average headset in its class, this unit has a limited field of view of 90 degrees. It features LCD display technology and a 38mm lens size.

Ling VR

The Ling VR weighs just 0.7 pounds, but is limited by a relatively narrow 90-degree field of view. It features optics correction and three degrees of freedom movement tracking.

Oculus Rift

Although it is pricey for a headset that doesn't require a smartphone, this unit has a wide 110-degree field of view and a fast refresh rate of 90 Hz. It comes with built-in 3D audio.

HTC Vive

The HTC Vive has a built-in processing source, which means it doesn't have to be connected to an outside computer to function. It features full 1080p resolution and OLED display technology.

Compare the Newest VR Technology on SpecOut

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