A few years ago, virtual reality, or VR for short, was supposed to be the biggest revolution in tech. It hasn’t quite fulfilled that promise, but it’s definitely a lot of fun. With a strong catalog of games and prices rapidly dropping on headsets, this is the perfect time to dive headfirst into the land of VR. This list of VR headsets will help you get started, all while keeping some extra money in your pocket.
1. PlayStation VR
This headset needs little introduction given its namesake. Available on the market for a few years already, the PlayStation VR is the best option if you are a dedicated console gamer. The price tag straddles the line of affordability and premium, but it is often found on sale.
No matter what you price you pay, you get a 5.7-inch OLED panel limited to 1080p resolution. That is not as high quality as some more expensive units, but it is more than good enough to play the deep library of games available. There are plenty of big-name titles available on the PlayStation 4 to keep you entertained for hours on end. It also pairs with arguably the best gaming controller in the DualShock, so that is all the more reason to give this VR headset strong consideration.
2. Samsung Gear VR
Samsung smartphone owners looking to give virtual reality a try will not do any better than the Samsung Gear VR. Compatible with a variety of devices including the Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy S9, it is another great introduction to the world of VR. Powered by Oculus, you are free to enjoy 2D, 3D and 360-degree content, all powered through your smartphone.
Want to view web pages in virtual reality? The Gear VR can do exactly that. Want to play games? You can enjoy that option as well and hook up a Bluetooth compatible controller for an even better gaming experience. The included VR controller is also powerful and makes for a truly enjoyable VR experience without paying a fortune.
3. Pansonite 3D VR Glasses
With a price tag that absolutely cannot be beaten, Pansonite’s 3D VR glasses is the best entry-level VR headset option around. Helping keep costs down is a cloth design that feels less expensive than the hardened materials of more expensive options.
However, the cloth design feels ultra-comfortable for long periods of wear. The front of the headset adds a flap for adding a smartphone and any 4.7- to 6-inch smartphone will fit just fine. The manufacturers have gone to great lengths to make the headset feel as comfortable as possible. Air vents help with heat dissipation, so you can comfortably play for long stretches.
4. Nintendo Labo VR Headset Kit
In the case you want to enjoy some virtual reality time with your children, look no further than Nintendo’s Labo VR Headset Kit. There are a handful of family-friendly games, activities and experiences to keep kids occupied for hours at a time. Built out of cardboard along with the rest of Nintendo’s Labo lineup, it is not the most comfortable VR unit to wear, but for an hour or two at a time, it is perfect. The pre-cut cardboard pieces are easy to put together without any glue, tape or scissors required.
Add in the Toy-Con Garage and Toy-Con Garage VR, and there are nearly endless possibilities for what this kit can do. Games include a blaster mini-game and elephant trunk 3D painter, and some of Nintendo’s premium Mario titles are VR-enabled right out of the box.
5. Homido V2 Virtual Reality Headset
The Oculus Quest it is not, but with an incredibly low price tag, the Homido V2 virtual reality headset is a great entry-level option. Compatible with any 4- to 5.7-inch smartphone on both Android and iOS, there are dozens of support smartphones.
The ergonomic design is ideal for wearing during long gaming sessions with plenty of spongy foam to rest against your head. Perfect for movies as well, the adjustable straps ensure that head shapes of all sizes will find the right fit. For less than the price of a family meal, the Homido headset is a standout budget option.
Virtual Reality still has a way to go before it is truly considered mainstream. The good news is that prices keep dropping on even the most expensive headsets. That almost guarantees that anyone who wants to venture into this space can do so without spending a fortune. What is your favorite VR game? Sound off below.