• Megan Miller | BirdsEye VR

Top VR Headsets for 3D Virtual Tours

With virtual reality becoming a part of our normal routine and everyday life you need to know what type of VR headset suits you best.

I remember, back when I was about 10 years old, color cell phones were the latest and greatest technological advancement. Just look at us now! Fast forward 20 years and we're using smart phones as Virtual Reality portals for fully immersive experiences that allow us to learn new languages, browse the web, take 3D tours, play games, watch 360 videos, and much more. We've only scratched the surface of VR capabilities. Are you ready? Do you have the right equipment to best suit your VR needs?

There are many different ways to experience Virtual Reality

I've listed and gathered reviews of different VR headsets currently on the market. Take a look and see which one is right for you!

Cardboard Viewer

Pros: Great for kids or one-time-use. Inexpensive (Some viewers are as low as $2 or $7). Portable. Great for on the fly presentations at trade shows or a dispensable marketing material. Custom branding opportunity if you decide to design your own.

Cons: Must use smartphone to stream VR experience. Not a long term solution. Not durable. No head strap. Most require assembly.

Oculus Go

*BirdsEye VR's choice to view and experience 3D Tours

Pros: Battery powered = no cords. Great "on the go" solution and the carrying case make it easy to transport. Can access many other apps and games, including a web browser when connected to WiFi. Sleek design and flat face make a great branding opportunity. Comes with remote control. Includes a spacer for people who wear glasses.

Cons: Needs WiFi connection. Battery life is about 2 hours. Must remove batteries from controller after each use (No OFF button on controller) and have replacement batteries handy just in case. Not a lot of internal storage.

Oculus Quest

Pros: Dual controllers. Wireless. Gaming ready. Features four cameras arranged on its front edges with built-in motion sensors to provide six-degrees-of-freedom (6DOF) head tracking. Only weighs 1.3 pounds. Includes a spacer for people who wear glasses.

Cons: Less powerful and lower refresh rate than tethered headsets.

From this point on the VR headsets listed are geared more towards gaming rather than viewing 3D Tours.

Oculus Rift S

Pros: Accurate motion tracking for both headset and controllers.

Full software library. Easy to set up. Access to more VR software than Oculus Quest.

Cons: Requires a computer to operate. Not wireless. Lower resolution screen compared to Oculus Quest. No HDMI.

Sony Playstation VR

Pros: Very immersive. A more comfortable headset compared to the commonly found 3-point strap. Works with non-VR apps and games. Guided set up and motion control support. Low cost of entry compared with PC-based headsets. Compatible with wireless headphones for stereo sound, but you can only get 3D audio directly through the jack.

Cons: Requires PlayStation and PlayStation Camera, which is not included. Slightly less powerful than its main competitors. Some motion-tracking hiccups when playing in brightly lit rooms.

HTC Vive Cosmos

Pros: Sharp & smooth display. Detachable headphones with great audio. Good button placements on controller. Wide selection of games and apps.

Cons: Not plug and play ready - Must set up. Subpar tracking. Uncomfortable design. Expensive. Controllers are bulky. No social features. Expensive for what you get.

Valve Index

Pros: Good resolution and field of view. Comfortable, user-friendly headset. Unique controllers. Contains a type-A USB port, which makes it compatible for experimenting with other devices. You can adjust the focus between your eyes and the lens with a simple dial adjustment for a more custom headset fit. Realistically ambient built in touch-less headphones.

Cons: Very expensive. Setup is inconvenient. Requires 2 separate cameras in your VR space for tracking. Still requires and is tethered to a PC. Anyone within earshot can hear your speakers.

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