July 2021

VR Headsets: Aggregated Ranking Report

This report contains an aggregate consensus of VR Headset rankings posted by key online experts, as of July 2021.

Methodology: combine opinions of key experts

Identify Experts

We identify key publishers and experts that consistently review and recommend VR Headsets.

Capture Rankings

For each publisher we find a currently recommended "top 10" list of VR Headsets, it must be updated in the last 9 months.

Aggregate Rankings

We put all those lists together and aggregate them. The more frequently a product is recommended, the higher it is in our ranking

Experts chosen for July 2021 ranking

At a glance - July 2021 Ranking

Scroll horizontally to browse this ranking table
Rank Price VR Headset
CNET
PC Gamer
PCMag
Tom's Guide
TechRadar
Forbes
WIRED
Tom's Hardware
BestReviews
Pocket-lint
1
Check price Oculus Quest 2
1
1
1
1
2
1
1
1
2
3
2
$700 Valve Index
3
2
3
5
1
2
-
2
-
-
3
$380 Sony PlayStation VR
4
-
2
3
3
5
-
-
3
5
4
$629 HP Reverb G2
2
5
-
-
-
3
-
4
5
2
5
$508 Oculus Rift S
-
3
-
2
4
-
3
-
-
4
6
$899 HTC Vive Cosmos Elite
-
4
-
-
-
-
2
-
1
-
7
$799 HTC Vive Pro 2
-
-
-
-
-
6
-
-
-
1

We ranked Oculus Quest 2 #1 in July 2021 because:

  • 10 independent experts mentioned it in their “best VR Headsets” rankings.
  • Out of those, 7 experts ranked Oculus Quest 2 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
CNET

The best standalone VR

Pros
Self-contained and wireless
great touch controllers
comfortable design for gaming
doubles as PC VR headset.

Cons
Requires Facebook account.

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PC Gamer

The best VR headset

Pros
Oculus Link tethering
Improved graphics
Great price

Cons
Mandatory Facebook login
Fiddly strap

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PCMag

Best for a Cable-Free Experience / Editors' Choice

Pros
No cables required
Sharp display
Powerful processor
Accurate motion tracking
Optional PC tethering with accessory cable

Cons
Short battery life

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Tom's Guide

Best VR headset overall

Pros
Seamless all-in-one VR system
Can connect to PCs
Capable of room-scale VR
Large library of apps

Cons
Controllers aren’t rechargeable
Requires Facebook account

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TechRadar

The best standalone VR headset

Pros
Incredibly immersive experiences
Comfortable weight
Easy to use

Cons
Requires Facebook account linking
Can still cause motion sickness

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Forbes

Best Cheap VR Headset

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WIRED

Best Overall

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Tom's Hardware

Best VR Headset

Pros
Amazing resolution
Much more powerful than original Quest

Cons
White picks up dirt and grime
Poor controller ergonomics

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BestReviews

Best bang for the buck

Pros
Affordable. Comfortable headset. Expansive library of games. Ergonomic controllers. Captivating 3D sound. Simple setup. Smooth visuals. PC-compatible.

Cons
Users are required to log in to a Facebook account to use this VR headset.

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Pocket-lint

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We ranked Valve Index #2 in July 2021 because:

  • 7 independent experts mentioned it in their “best VR Headsets” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Valve Index as #1.
Critic endorsements:
CNET

Best PC VR to explore the future of VR controllers

Pros
Amazing futuristic controllers
high-quality headset
works with Vive hardware.

Cons
Expensive
requires room setup and tethering cable

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PC Gamer

The best VR headset for a premium experience on a gaming PC

Pros
Best in class hardware
Comfortable to wear
Virtually no SDE

Cons
Setup is awkward
Limited support for finger-tracking

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PCMag

Best for Revolutionary Controllers / Editor's Choice

Pros
Immersive, finger-tracking controllers
High, 120Hz refresh rate delivers smooth motion
Lots of VR software available on PC via SteamVR

Cons
Expensive
Occasionally frustrating tethered design

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Tom's Guide

The best controls and tracking in VR

Pros
Great build quality
Smartly designed controllers
Future expansion options

Cons
No charging cable in the box
Heavy

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TechRadar

The best of the best VR headsets – but good luck getting one

Pros
Widest field of view
'Knuckle' controllers

Cons
Requires a high-end GPU
Still expensive

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Forbes

Best VR Headset for Gaming

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Tom's Hardware

Best VR Headset for PC

Pros
RGB subpixel array eliminates screen-door effect
Wider FOV than comparable headsets
Excellent audio quality

Cons
Very heavy
Less comfortable than the HTC Vive Pro
Cushions are glued on

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We ranked Sony PlayStation VR #3 in July 2021 because:

  • 7 independent experts mentioned it in their “best VR Headsets” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
CNET

Still worth it for the games

Pros
Plenty of games
lower price
works with many PS4 controllers like the DualShock and Move.

Cons
Resolution isn't cutting-edge
Sony hasn't yet made great VR controllers that match the competition, but a new version may be coming next year.

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PCMag

Best for PlayStation Gamers / Editor's Choice

Pros
Immersive VR experience.
Works with non-VR apps and games.
Motion control support.
Low cost of entry compared with PC-based headsets.

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

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Tom's Guide

The best VR headset for consoles

Pros
Good gaming library
Fairly easy setup
Relatively affordable

Cons
Camera can be very exacting
Could be visually sharper

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TechRadar

Best VR for console gamers

Pros
Affordable
Near PC-quality performance
Good selection of games

Cons
Lacking required accessories in box
Poor job sealing out light
Spotty motion controller tracking

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Forbes

Best PlayStation VR Headset

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BestReviews

Pros
Large library of critically acclaimed games and experiences. Works with PS5 and PS4 consoles. Wide field of view. Integrated microphone. Immersive 3D audio. Pretty OLED display.

Cons
PSVR doesn't work with a PC.

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Pocket-lint

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We ranked HP Reverb G2 #4 in July 2021 because:

  • 6 independent experts mentioned it in their “best VR Headsets” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
CNET

The highest-resolution PC VR headset

Pros
Really sharp high-res display
great audio
comfortable design

Cons
Mediocre controllers

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PC Gamer

The best VR headset from the Windows Mixed Reality group

Pros
Easy setup and long cable
Accessible physical IPD Toggle
No screen door effect

Cons
FOV below average
Limited tracking volume

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Forbes

Best Windows Mixed reality Headset

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Tom's Hardware

Best VR Headset Image Clarity

Pros
Lightweight
Incredible display resolution

Cons
Tracking is a huge letdown
Narrow field of view

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BestReviews

Pros
Screen resolutions of 2160 x 2160 pixels per eye afford exceptional picture quality. The lenses can be adjusted to different eye distances. Near-field speakers create more realistic audio than headphones.

Cons
Tracking cameras require appropriate lighting for best accuracy. Expensive.

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Pocket-lint

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We ranked Oculus Rift S #5 in July 2021 because:

  • 5 independent experts mentioned it in their “best VR Headsets” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
PC Gamer

The best VR headset for a massive library of games

Pros
Excellent resolution and refresh rate
Great, deep library of games
Inside out tracking

Cons
Lower fidelity image quality
80Hz is a little low

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Tom's Guide

Best VR headset for PC

Pros
Built-in room tracking
Great game library
Included touch controllers

Cons
Not a huge upgrade over original Oculus Rift
PC required

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TechRadar

PC runner up

Pros
No external tracking stations
Improved visuals

Cons
Reduced refresh rate
Prone to crashing

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WIRED

Bargain Hunting

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Pocket-lint

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We ranked HTC Vive Cosmos Elite #6 in July 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best VR Headsets” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked HTC Vive Cosmos Elite as #1.
Critic endorsements:
PC Gamer

HTC goes back to base stations for improved accuracy

Pros
High resolutions displays
Accurate tracking
Includes Half-Life: Alyx and Viveport Infinity

Cons
First-gen controllers and base stations
Not massively innovative

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WIRED

Best for Stationary VR

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BestReviews

Best of the Best

Pros
Immersive graphics. Accurate motion controls. Optimized for premium VR PC gaming. Detailed 2880 x 1700 resolution. Crystal-clear stereo audio. Comfortable fit.

Cons
Expensive

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We ranked HTC Vive Pro 2 #7 in July 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best VR Headsets” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked HTC Vive Pro 2 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Forbes

Best VR Headset For PC

Go to ranking

Pocket-lint

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