How much is a VR headset?

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How much is a VR headset?

Recently, more and more people have been getting into Virtual Reality (VR), and also many newcomers are planning to get their first VR headset to enter the VR world. Many questions about VR headsets come up, such as, "Which VR device should I buy?" and "How much does it cost to get a VR device?" Therefore, we're running through different kinds of VR headsets: low-end, entry-level, mid-range, high-end, and top-notch devices, to find out exactly how much a VR headset should cost you, depending on the features and specs you're looking for. 

For computer specs, check out our guide on Is my PC ready for VR?. We also have a list of recommendations for cheap VR headsets.

VR becoming more popular

Virtual Reality (VR) technology has rapidly grown in popularity over the last few years, allowing users to immerse themselves in a simulated environment that mimics reality. One of the essential components of VR is a headset that enables users to experience the simulated environment through a visual and auditory interface. While VR headsets were once considered expensive luxury items, they have now become more affordable, making them accessible to a more extensive range of consumers.

In total, the global virtual reality headset market size was valued at USD 7.77 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30.6% from 2023 to 2030. The extensive application of virtual reality technology in the retail and manufacturing sectors is driving the market growth.

Source From: Grand View Research

Looking back at VR headsets a decade ago, most virtual reality devices had to be connected to personal computers or cell phones, which were not only expensive to purchase, but their performance was not satisfactory. However, nowadays, VR headsets have evolved considerably. So far, Meta's "Quest 2", launched in 2020, was leading the VR market, and it has become a phenomenal consumer product. What’s more, Apple will also launch the first generation of Apple's AR/VR product later this year.

Classification of VR devices

The VR devices are basically divided into three product lines as the technology continues to evolve: Screenless viewers, VR all-in-one machines, and PC VR.

- Screenless viewers/Smartphone VR headsets/handheld VR viewers

These are affordable devices that turn smartphones into a simple VR experience.

- Standalone HMD/All-in-one HMD

These are devices that are not connected to a computer and can independently run content themselves. Generally speaking, for most consumer VR headsets, all-in-one virtual reality headsets are much less powerful than PC headsets. They offer lower-quality graphics and lower refresh rates than PC ones.

- PC VR/Tethered HMD

These are devices that are connected to a desktop computer in order to run content. They are currently much more immersive than other types of VR due to the high-quality experience they can deliver, which can connect to a powerful gaming PC.

So how much does a VR headset cost?

The cost of VR headsets varies depending on the brand, model, and features. Generally, the price here is only the price of the headset. For a PC headset, you also need to find out if you need additional accessories for base stations and controllers. For more, there are eye tracking, hand tracking, body tracking, and other modules or additional accessories to be chosen. Now, here are five tiers of VR headsets based on their price range:

- Top-notch VR headsets: $1000+

These VR headsets offer the best performance of a top professional VR headset than any other consumer VR headsets. Here we introduce you to Pimax Crystal and Varjo Aero. They have an almost similar high pixel amount, and high image clarity(35PPD). Both of them support eye tracking (Auto IPD), hand tracking, and body tracking. Of course, they are compatible with popular gaming software and platforms. They are loved by simulator game (sim & flight)  players and other professional VR players who pursue a high standard of VR headsets.

- High-End VR Headsets: $600 and $1000

These are the second advanced VR headsets on the market and offer the highest quality displays, advanced tracking technology, and a wide range of features. They are designed for professional use or hardcore gamers who demand the best VR experience. Examples include HTC Vive Cosmos, Valve Index, and Pimax 8KP, and Pimax 5k.

- Mid-Range VR Headsets: $250 - $600

These VR headsets offer better quality displays, advanced tracking technology, and a range of features such as hand controllers and higher refresh rates. They may require a powerful computer or game console to function properly. Examples include Oculus Quest 2, PlayStation VR, and Oculus Rift S.

- Entry-Level VR Headsets: $50 - $250

These VR headsets offer better-quality displays, basic tracking technology, and limited features. They may require a more powerful smartphone or computer to function properly. Examples include Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream View, and Oculus Go.

- Basic VR Headsets: $10 - $50

These are the most basic VR headsets on the market and are often made of cardboard or plastic materials. They do not include any tracking technology and rely on the user's phone for display. Examples include Google Cardboard and Xiaomi Mi VR. This kind of VR headset consists of the most basic folding cardboard, a glass lens, and a cell phone interface. These VR glasses do not need to be set to the head, just put them in front of the eyes, and you can use them to watch VR videos. However, at present, it basically only supports watching VR videos, and cannot be used to play VR games. These are suitable for the crowd who want to feel what is called "virtual reality" and do not want to spend too much money on people, very suitable for a taste.

VR Shopping Tips

How to evaluate VR equipment when you are going to buy one? You’d better consider starting from three aspects as follows.

Visual Experience

  • - Resolution, refresh rate, and PPD

Resolution refers to the number of pixels contained in the unit inch, which is also used to describe the clarity of cell phones, TV, and computer displays. If you want a good viewing experience, you need to buy 4K resolution and above.

Refresh rate determines the smoothness of the screen, the current common refresh rate is from 80 Hz to 144Hz. If your main purpose is to play games, then you need to try to buy higher refresh rate VR equipment as you can.

Pixels-Per-Degree (PPD) is the number of horizontal pixels per degree of viewing angle, which shows the degree of the resolution of headsets. The larger the PPD number, the finer the display of details, and the clearer the user’s experience of the display screen. 

  • - FOV

FOV, as the name suggests, is the angle of the field of view that a person can see, normal human eye viewing angle is 220 degrees, so if you want to achieve the best immersion effect, it must be as close to this number as possible. Currently on the market common VR equipment viewing angle of about 100 degrees. There are some bigger FOV headsets for sure, such as the Pimax series.

Sensory Experience

At present, there are two things that can impact the tracking accuracy of VR headsets. The first is the performance of the positioning system (VR all-in-one machine mainly relies on camera positioning, while PC VR relies on base station positioning), and the second is the controllers, high tracking accuracy, and low latency is easier to produce a sense of immersion, but also less likely to appear dizzy situation.

VR headsets are head-worn digital products, therefore, wearing comfort is also very important. If the equipment is poorly comfortable, it is difficult to use for hours, leading to a poor VR experience. The following are the factors that determine the comfort of VR.

  • - IPD adjustment & wearing glasses

The first one is whether to support the pupil distance adjustment or wear glasses, which determines whether people with different vision levels can have a good experience. There are many products that do not support myopic adjustment but can wear glasses to use. For this, you need to try it on and find out if there is enough space for you to wear a pair of glasses when you play the VR headset.

  • - Weight & design & material

The second is the weight of the device and distribution. The lighter the weight is, the less pressure on the face is. The weight distribution is also very important. The effective and balanced weight of the VR for front and back distribution can be very good to enhance comfort. You also need to check the material of the device, mainly the mask, focusing on whether the material of the mask is breathable, which is to ensure that you will not easily sweat when worn in the summer.

Additional Needs

In this part, we are going to mention the most important three points, which are film and television resources, game resources, and after-sales service(Return and Warranty Policy). The reason why we mention them here is that these are not about VR hardware, but are also very important for VR freshmen. 


We hope this blog can help you to start your new journey in the VR world. And if you have more questions, feel free to join us on our Discord channel. See you next time!

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