Extended Reality Headsets

Below these 4 introductory paragraphs you will find:

  • One balanced video review of each headset
  • Ratings averaged out over multiple networks.
  • 3 most often mentioned comments and concerns
  • Prices rounded up or down (shaved off 9’s)

A unique form of entertainment has emerged over the past several years – head mounted displays that can project moving holograms over top of your environment, or transport you to a completely different virtual world.

These “extended reality headsets” generally fall in to 3 different categories: Augmented, virtual and mixed reality. Augmented reality headsets project holographic images over-top of your environment, whereas virtual reality simulates an entirely different world around you.

Mixed reality is a strain of headsets that run off of the Microsoft Hololens operating system. Microsoft was the first company to depict their headset as a “Mixed Reality” hybrid – claiming to be somewhere in between AR and VR.

However, the Hololens is really just an augmented reality headset, because it doesn’t offer the ability to switch between projection of holograms and complete simulation. With that being said –  a bunch of other companies began to use the same Microsoft operating system to create their own virtual reality headsets and so that whole intersection, for some reason is called “Mixed Reality”.

 

A Ranked List of Mixed Reality Headsets

 

Acer AH101-D8EY:

Average Rating: 3.7/5

191-240$

Most popular comments/concerns

  • Headset is light and comfortable to wear
  • The cord is sufficiently long so can be connected to laptop
  • This mixed reality headset is great for the price
  • Controllers don’t have a smooth and polished feel
  • Requires an overly bright room
  • Pairing the controllers is an issue

 

Lenovo Explorer

Average Rating: 3.8/5

195-230$

Most popular comments/concerns

  • Good price, solid build quality
  • Comfortable and resolution, tracking and controllers works well
  • Controllers have a pretty good battery life
  • Lenovo customer support is not great
  • Can be difficult to install the software
  • Disconnects sometimes

 

Samsung Hmd Odyssey

Average Rating: 4

350-591$

Most popular comments/concerns

  • Setup is easy requiring just a few button presses
  • The headset is comfortable
  • The visuals are stunning
  • Hardware compatibility issues
  • Poor packaging
  • Controllers sometimes malfunction

36 options

 

HP

Average Rating: 3.6/5

150-220$

Most popular comments/concerns

  • Screen quality is nice
  • Quick setup & easy to use
  • Great headset for an affordable VR Experience
  • Some faulty cable issues
  • Shipping and Item packaging issues
  • Not built with the best material

 

A Ranked List of Virtual Reality Headsets

 

Lenovo Mirage Solo w/ Google Daydream

Average Rating: 4/5

400$

Most popular comments and concerns

  • Only headset on the market that uses WorldSense inside-out tracking
  • Standalone Headset that requires no computer or tracking devices
  • High Screen Resolution
  • Weak app ecosystem
  • Tiny tracking space
  • One Controller w/ 3 Degrees of Freedom

 

HTC Vive

Average Rating: 4/5

500$

Most popular comments and concerns

  • Best compatibility with Room-Scale experiences
  • SteamVR has an extensive library of content that is compatible with Vive
  • Growing variety of creative peripheral devices for haptic feedback, body tracking, wireless play, and augmented reality integration
  • Controller buttons are known to stop working at times
  • Headset chord can get in the way (unless you buy the wireless adapter that comes out in 2019)
  • Will set you back at least 1000$ for a high-end PC if you don’t already have one

 

HTC Vive Pro

Average Rating: 4/5

800$-1400$

Most popular comments and concerns

  • Transcends room-scale and can be used to track multiple rooms or a huge open space
  • Multiple headsets can connect to the same set of base stations
  • Great improvement on the original design
  • More expensive than the original Vive without controllers or base stations
  • 500$ more with the bundle just for the new controllers and base stations
  • Will require a really high-end computer to run at top quality

 

Oculus Rift

Average Rating: 4/5

400$

Most popular comments and concerns

  • Great exclusive titles
  • Headset is comfortable
  • Touch controllers feel light and intuitive
  • Requires an extra base station for true 6 degrees of freedom positional tracking
  • Touch controllers can be unreliable
  • Using an Xbox controller can be difficult unless you’ve memorized the button layout

 

Oculus Go 32GB(199$) or 64GB(249$)

Average Rating: 4/5

Most popular comments and concerns

  • Launched with a library of 1000 apps
  • Affordable price
  • Standalone mobile headset that requires no phone or wires
  • No Touch controllers, stuck with 1 3 degrees of freedom controller
  • Should not be used while charging
  • Graphics similar to Samsung Gear, not as good as Rift

 

Playstation VR 300$

Average Rating Across Websites: 4/5

 

Most popular comments and concerns

  • You don’t need a computer, only a PS4
  • Integrated Stereo Headphones
  • Higher refresh rate than any other headset
  • Not truly 6 Degrees of Freedom
  • No joystick on Move controllers
  • Camera only allows for limited tracking space

 

A Ranked List of Augmented Reality Headsets

 

What distinguishes AR from virtual reality is the ability to see place/move and adjust digital holograms over top of the real world. Some of these new AR technologies such as the Microsoft Hololens project 3 dimensional holograms, while others like the Google Glass stick with 2 dimensional holograms.

This technology is transforming many different fields at once including but not restricted to: education, architecture, manufacturing, construction, surgery and pretty much anything that benefits from either 1. having more convenient access to information or 2. quickly and accurately processing complex spatial conditions

Headset quality can vary widely depending on what they’re being used for and how much you’re willing to spend. The Microsoft Hololens more closely resembles a new kind of head-mounted computer while other headsets are meant to help pilot a drone or display information relevant to your current exercise.

Global augmented reality market to grow at a CAGR of 65.24% during the period 2017-2021.

Google Glass

Average Rating: 3.4/5


800-3895$

Most popular comments/concerns

  • Displays info at top right of field of vision, everything else is un-obscured
  • Allows user to multitask. answer texts, calls, take photo/video GPS, directions etc.
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Only displays notifications from Android phone
  • Unavailable overseas
  • Doesn’t fit over-top of prescription glasses

 

Vuzix M100 Smart Glasses

Average rating across websites: 2.8/5

750-1600$

Most popular comments and concerns

  • A lot in common with google glass
  • Scans barcodes, take pictures, records video etc
  • More popular in shipping/industry
  • Glitchy/outdated apps
  • No customer service
  • A “poorer quality alternative to google glass”

 

Epson Moverio BT-300 FPV For Drones 450-600$

Average rating: 2.8/5

AR/Developer Edition: 570-700$

Average rating across websites: 3.2/5

Most popular comments and concerns

  • Good image quality in bright sunlight, switchable shades.
  • Important telemetry data displayed alongside drone footage
  • Prescription version available through Rochester
  • Only compatible with Android OS
  • At times difficult to see drone in sky through projected video
  • Not a lot of apps available yet

Recon Jet Sports/Fitness Glasses

Average rating across websites: 3.2

450$

Most popular comments and concerns

  • Tracks all relevant fitness data heart rate speed, GPS, elevation.
  • Records video
  • Shows texts/who’s calling you
  • Buggy initial update process
  • Heavy frame
  • Small battery life 2.5-3 hours