5 Best VR Headsets of 2024

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With virtual reality gaining strong momentum, year after year new VR headsets promise more immersive experiences. 2024 is no exception as it has brought VR technology to impressive new heights. This roundup reviews the 5 best VR headsets which are leading innovation and setting new standards for virtual worlds in the areas of display quality, comfort, price and accessibility.

Apple Vision Pro
1
Apple Vision Pro

Meta Quest 3
2
Meta Quest 3

PlayStation VR2
3
PlayStation VR2

HP Reverb G2
4
HP Reverb G2

Meta Quest 2
5
Meta Quest 2

1. Apple Vision Pro

The first one on our list is Apple Vision Pro. With the Vision Pro, Apple brings its trademark polish to the world of virtual reality, crafting an impressive first-generation headset. From stellar displays to groundbreaking video passthrough, the Vision Pro shows Apple’s unique ability to solve tricky user problems through clever hardware and software design. 

True to Apple’s aesthetic, the Vision Pro features sleek brushed aluminum, glossy glass, and soft fabrics for a cohesive premium look. The quality echoes past iPhone models, with meticulous craftsmanship in complex elements like the front optical glass. Form and function blend seamlessly.

One standout feature is the remarkable 4K OLED display for each eye, with pixels an incredibly tiny 23 microns. Visuals prove extraordinarily crisp and clear, handling everything from text to movies with ease during testing. 

The real-time video passthrough also showcases Apple’s engineering prowess. With zero latency and sharp image quality, it allows natural viewing of physical surroundings – take notes, have conversations, and more while wearing the headset. Some minor compression and loss of detail were observed in dark settings, but overall, the seamless integration is a huge leap forward.

Apple tackles hardware interaction cleverly, combining cameras, sensors, and illuminators for precise hand tracking even in low light. The M2 and new R1 chips deliver powerful performance, venting heat efficiently. 

At 1.4 pounds, the Vision Pro weighs more than the lightweight Quest 2 and the new Quest 3. Apple says the external battery optimizes overall headset weight. Resembling a silver brick, the battery features USB-C charging and an LED showing charge status.

For a first-generation device, the Vision Pro is remarkably refined, showing Apple’s specialized strengths. With stunning displays, innovative engineering, and ecosystem integration, they’ve created an intuitive product that belies its unconventional battery setup.

Pros

  • Amazing micro-OLED display
  • Hand and eye tracking are a leap forward
  • Works seamlessly with Apple’s ecosystem
  • Fun to put windows all over space

Cons

  • Extremely expensive
  • Short battery life
  • Front-heavy design gets uncomfortable
  • Not good for exercise or other active uses

2. Meta Quest 3

The second one on our list is Meta Quest 3. The Meta Quest 3 stands out as a top-tier standalone VR headset, setting new standards for virtual reality with its swift processor and high-res display. Vibrant, crisp visuals coupled with innovative color pass-through cameras make for highly immersive experiences blurring real and virtual worlds.

The Quest 3 sports a sleek, lightweight design at just 18.2 ounces for comfortable extended wear. The curved front houses four built-in tracking cameras to enable precise spatial tracking and augmented reality use. An adjustable three-point headband provides a secure yet comfortable fit. The motion controllers keep the ergonomic design of the Quest 2 while shedding more weight.

Under the hood, a cutting-edge Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 processor delivers a 2.5x performance boost over its predecessor, while 128GB of storage provides ample space for apps and games. Visuals impress with a sharp 2,064 x 2,208 resolution per eye, surpassing previous models. 

The color pass-through cameras stand out by enhancing environmental awareness in a major upgrade over past versions. Combined with higher resolution, the Quest 3 provides exceptionally vibrant and sharp VR experiences optimal for enthusiasts.

Battery life clocks in at a decent two hours per charge—generally ample for the average user.  

Drawbacks like lack of eye-tracking and relatively short battery life aside, the Quest 3’s robust performance and innovative features position it as a leader in the VR arena. Its crisp visuals and augmented reality capabilities set new benchmarks for immersive virtual reality.

Pros

  • Better, more comfortable hardware
  • Accessibly priced
  • Great performance

Cons

  • Battery life could be better
  • Not enough mixed reality content
  • Lacks eye-tracking tech

3. PlayStation VR2

The third one on our list is PlayStation VR2. The PlayStation VR2 represents a major evolutionary leap for virtual reality, improving on its predecessor across the board. 

Comfort sees a big boost despite the bulkier design, thanks to adjustable components like a sliding front visor and sturdy headband with a tightening dial. Integrated earbuds that plug into the back add immersion with localized audio. 

The new Sense controllers also excel, enabling precise tracking and more intuitive interaction within virtual environments.

Eye-tracking stands out as an innovative feature, facilitating smooth menu navigation while adding realistic depth to in-game interactions. 

Spec-wise, the resolution gets a major bump to 2,000 x 2,040 pixels per eye, plus support for HDR visuals. This results in one of the best VR displays available today.

A key drawback is the currently limited game library, with no backward compatibility for original PSVR titles. More games are needed to truly showcase the system’s capabilities.

But with its comfortable fit, improved controllers, and innovative eye tracking, the PSVR2 delivers a top-tier VR experience overall. The visual enhancements and intuitive controls signal an exciting new chapter for virtual reality on PlayStation.

Pros

  • Vivid, high-res OLED display
  • Realistic vibrations
  • Accurate spatial tracking

Cons

  • Cord easily gets underfoot
  • Included earbuds are just OK
  • Doesn’t work with old PSVR games

4. HP Reverb G2

The fourth one on our list is HP Reverb G2. The new HP Reverb G2 VR headset evolves the predecessor with a more comfortable fit and boosted reliability while retaining impressive high-resolution visuals. The redesigned headset sports upgraded ergonomics for extended wear, plus improved motion controllers for better immersion. Compatibility with SteamVR proves smooth and consistent overall.

Several physical design tweaks enhance comfort dramatically – a smoother plastic visor, additional tracking cameras, and memory foam face masking allow long, snug sessions. Adjustable pupillary distance and removing fabric from the front panel are welcome changes as well. 

Visuals shine with 2160 x 2160 pixels per eye at 90Hz for an extremely sharp picture putting it ahead of competitors. Integrated headband speakers provide clear, directional audio for immersive soundscapes.

The inside-out camera tracking is mostly solid but can hiccup occasionally, especially if controllers move out of view. Despite the tethered design, the setup stays straightforward when integrating with SteamVR.

Performance excels across VR applications, delivering natural, fluid experiences free of lag or distortion.  

For users seeking high-resolution VR with excellent comfort, the new Reverb G2 checks all the boxes. The redesigned ergonomics and SteamVR reliability make it a compelling high-end headset for immersive virtual worlds.

Pros

  • High resolution for the price
  • Easy to set up
  • Excellent near-field speakers

Cons

  • Only a 90 Hz frame rate
  • Cable management is messy
  • Controllers still need work

5. Meta Quest 2

The last one on our list is Meta Quest 2. Despite the arrival of the Meta Quest 3, the Quest 2 remains an appealing mainstream VR headset with a compelling mix of upgraded specs, refined design, and a huge library of apps and games. 

A standout is the snappy Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 chip, enabling smooth, lag-free menu navigation and gameplay. Visuals impress with 1832 x 1920 resolution per eye for immersive environments. 

The headset design sees notable improvements, with a lighter and more comfortable build compared to the original. Weighing just 1.1 pounds, the compact size and adjustable elastic bands facilitate extended VR sessions without fatigue. Sleek light gray aesthetics also make the Quest 2 handsome and appealing on a desk or worn.

The expansive game library offers diverse titles catering to all interests. Versatility expands further through a solid selection of entertainment and productivity apps. Built-in positional audio provides surprisingly crisp, directional sound sans headphones, boosting immersion. 

Drawbacks like reliance on AA batteries for controllers and the need for a Link cable on PC seem minor. The controllers themselves win praise for intuitive comfort and responsiveness across experiences.  

Battery life aligns with claims of 2-3 hours, and broad accessory compatibility enhances the overall package. 

With its refined design, capable performance, and rich content ecosystem, the Quest 2 retains its standing as one of the best mainstream gateways into virtual reality – even alongside its next-gen successor.

Pros

  • Sleek, comfortable design
  • Extensive app ecosystem
  • Relatively affordable price

Cons

  • Controllers aren’t rechargeable
  • Battery life is still pretty short
  • Link cable required for PC games

Conclusion

In short, whether you’re a VR novice or enthusiast, the VR headsets showcased here offer something for everyone. From highly accessible all-rounders to specialized high-end systems, 2024’s VR landscape has compelling options to transport you into expansive virtual worlds. The future promises even more exciting developments in VR, but these current headsets let you dive in with impressive immersion.