Every site on the web is talking about VR and AR these days. We get it. They all want to cash in on the popularity we’ve known about a lot longer than them. But while they’re still dazzled by every little thing we’ve already tried months ago, we want to equip you with the info you need to really understand the VR/AR landscape today. We’ve come a long way from the starting spark of the Oculus Rift virtual reality head-mounted display that first appeared on Kickstarter. Today the VR headset market is flooded from both small startups and huge giants. To help you out with that choice, we’ve gathered a special list for you with the top best virtual and augmented reality headsets that are available on the market today, or will soon be available on the market. Enjoy reading through the list—we sure did compiling it!

PC/Console VR Headsets

Oculus Rift

The headset that sparked the Virtual Reality hysteria, the Oculus Rift, is a basic VR headset that delivers head-tracking capabilities alongside with 3D imagery on stereo screens. Working at 233 million pixels per second and with a 90 Hz refresh rate, the device uses a 2160 by 1200 resolution, making the visual experience it provides quite immersive. However, lacking proper haptic input controllers, the headset can’t provide much more than a visual virtual experience. Even though the Oculus Rift is quite comfortable to wear and fits nice and tight, it lacks VR fitness capabilities, because of the cables required for it to work properly.

Pros:

  • Visual Immersion
  • High-End Refresh Rate

Cons:

  • Lacks Input Devices
  • Too Much Wires

Price: $599.00 – From Oculus.com

HTC Vive

The HTC Vive headset is deemed to be the best VR headset on the market, and with good reason. Despite its high price point, the device offers extreme immersion with the help of its 70 sensors that offer 360-degree head-tracking. In combination with its visual capabilities and a 90Hz refresh rate, the HTC Vive is truly unique. One of the best features that will entice any virtual reality fitness enthusiast is the fact that the headset is able to better track one’s movements in a space. However, due to its bulkiness and cables, the immersion can be broken and the device can’t truly be used with more exertive fitness movements and exercise.

Pros:

  • Extreme Immersion
  • 360-degree tracking
  • Room movement detection

Cons:

  • Too Much Cables
  • Too Bulky

Price: $799.00 – From htcvive.com

Sony PlayStation VR

Expected to be released on the thirteen of October of 2016, the Sony PlayStation VR may not be up to par to its PC rivals, but it is nonetheless a stable virtual reality headset that might get a huge market share. Featuring a 5.7-inch OLED low persistence screen and 120Hz refresh rate, the device would be perfect for quick action-packed games. However, the fitness enthusiasts would be limited by the virtual reality content released only on the PlayStation console.

Pros:

  • Quick Refresh Rate
  • Less Motion Blur, due to OLED Screen Technology

Cons:

  • Limited to PlayStation Console Content

Release Date: 13 October 2016; Expected Price: Around $500.00

The Razer OSVR HDK 2

Integrating an open source approach to virtual reality, the Razer OSVR is currently available through a so-called OSVR Hacker Developer Kit 2. Featuring great hardware specs and integrating a 2160 x 1200 duel OLED displays, the devices offers an immersive experience. Nonetheless, the device doesn’t sit confidently on the head and is not as comfortable, making it a worse choice for more action-packed movement.

Pros:

  • Open Source
  • Relatively Affordable Price

Cons:

  • Not a Comfortable or Confident Fit

Price: HDK 2 $399.99 – From RazerZone.com

FOVE VR

Differentiating from its competitors, the FOVE VR is not your typical virtual reality headset, as it includes interactive eye-tracking. Giving developers and customers a new way to experience virtual reality, the FOVE knows exactly what you’re looking at, making the VR experience that more real. Nonetheless, the hardware it requires makes it more bulky and hard to wear. Even though the company has tried to make the device more comfortable via its design, the device is just not made for quick, action-packed movements from the wearer.

Pros:

  • Interactive Eye-Tracking
  • Unique Design

Cons:

  • Bulky and Not as comfortable to Wear for Long Periods of Time

Price: Expected Price – $349

Waiting List – getfove.com

Smartphone VR Headsets

Google Cardboard

Those looking to experience virtual reality, without having to spend too much should look no further than the Google Cardboard. Using one’s smartphone as the visualization device and being a simple cardboard with two lenses and a magnetic switch for input control, the Google Cardboard is extremely cheap. However, it is obvious that the device can’t be used for anything other than virtual reality demonstration.

Pros:

  • Extremely Cheap
  • Introduces People to Virtual Reality

Cons:

  • Basic Design that Doesn’t Allow It to be a truly immersive or functional headset device

Price: $11.99 – From Amazon.com

Fiit VR Headset

One of the most affordable smartphone headsets on the market, the Fiit VR is perfect for both virtual and augmented reality apps. With a field of view of 102-degrees, the headset offers a pretty decent visual experience. It fits quite comfortable on the head, but it is not recommended for extortive movements.

Pros:

  • Affordable Price
  • Decent Visual Experience

Cons:

  • Lacks Button Control

Price: $26.99 – From Amazon.com

Merge VR Goggles

Those who are looking for a virtual reality headset that can sustain some wear and tear should look no further than the Merge VR Goggles. Fitting comfortably on your head, the Merge VR Goggles are made for the more active users, who’d also like to take their virtual or augmented reality experiences on the go.

Pros:

  • Exceptional Build Quality
  • Extremely Durable
  • Perfect for Active Users

Cons:

  • Not Much Input Control

Price: $79.00 – From MergeVr.com

Bobo VR Z4 Virtual Reality Headset with Headphones

If you are looking for a great and immersive virtual reality experience both audio and visual from your smartphone, the Bobo VR Z4 Virtual Reality Headset with Headphones should be the choice for you. Even though the device holds your smartphone pretty tightly and the overall fit on the head is quite comfortable, the device is not recommended for extortive movements.

Pros:

  • Integrated Headphones
  • Immersive Visual and Audio Experience

Cons:

  • Not Recommended for Extortive Movements

Price: $37.99 – From Amazon.com

Pasonomi VR Glasses

Coming with their own little VR Bluetooth remote control, the Pasonomi VR Glasses are a great upgrade from the google cardboard. They offer a decent virtual reality experience. One of the great things about the device is that it is lightweight at only 297 grams. Combine that with the fact that it fits quite nicely on the head, the device is great for extortive movements.

Pros:

  • On the Affordable VR Headset Price Spectrum
  • Bluetooth Controller
  • Lightweight
  • Fits Comfortably

Cons:

  • The Overall Design Feels Cheap and like Plastic, thus Doesn’t Feel That Much Durable

Price: $23.99 – From Amazon.com

Homido VR Headset

If you are looking for a great fitness Virtual Reality headset, you should look no further than the Homido VR Headset. Compatible with almost any smartphone and thus needing no wires to run, the Homido fits extremely comfortably on your head and the amazing head-strap in combination with the comfortable foam outline make the device difficult to move and thus perfect for fitness VR movements.

Pros:

  • Extremely Comfortable Fit
  • Affordable Price
  • A Decent 100-degree Field of View

Cons:

  • Visuals Depend on the Quality of the Screen of the Smartphone

Price: $64.75 – From Amazon.com

The Freefly VR Headset

A definitive upgrade from the Google Cardboard and compatible with almost any application of Android VR, the Freefly VR Headset offers an immersive visual experience with a 42mm lenses and a 120-degree field of view. What’s great about the device is that it comes with a Bluetooth controller named Glide. Nevertheless, due to the strange design of the device, if you are looking to make more extortive movements, this device won’t be the perfect choice for you.

Pros:

  • Immersive Visual Experience
  • Comes with its own controller

Cons:

  • Not as Confident or Comfortable Fit

Price: 93.60$ – From freeflyvr.com

The Zeiss VR One Plus

Compatible with any iOS or Android headset, the Zeiss VR One Plus is the premium smartphone headset that is able to turn any smartphone into a true virtual reality device. Supporting almost every Android VR application on the market, the device offers a wide range of experiences. Furthermore, as the wearer is not tied to any wires and with a comfortable fit, the Zeiss VR One Plus is perfect for more extortive movements and fitness VR experiences.

Pros:

  • Immersive Visual Experience
  • Doesn’t Need Wires
  • Compatible with almost Any Smartphone

Cons:

  • Visuals Depend on the Quality of the Screen of the Smartphone
  • Relatively Steep Price for a Smartphone VR Headset

Price: $129.00 – From Amazon.com

Samsung Gear VR

A lite version of the Oculus Rift that uses your Samsung smartphone as the virtual reality content provider and screen, the Samsung Gear VR is able to offer an extremely immersive experience. The fit of the headset is quite confident, but it is not truly recommended for extortive movements.

Pros:

  • Easy to Set Up
  • Nice Confident Fit

Cons:

  • Requires a Samsung Device to Run

Price: $99.50 – From Samsung.com

AR Headsets

Microsoft HoloLens

Even though still in development phase and offered only through expensive developer kits, the Microsoft HoloLens is a true look into the future of augmented reality. A full featured computer, without the need of an external device to run, the HoloLens also features a number of sensors and an especially designed chip that maps out your environment, creating a truly unique augmented reality experience. However, when it comes to AR fitness experiences, the device just won’t truly stay fit enough on your head.

Pros:

  • A Futuristic Hardware and Software Design
  • Unique Mapping Sensors and Chipset
  • Doesn’t Require an External Device To Run

Cons:

  • Extremely Expensive
  • Not a Durable and Comfortable Fit

Price: $3,000.00 for Development Edition – From microsoft.com

Meta 2

The only true competitor of the Microsoft HoloLens, when it comes to Augmented Reality is the Meta 2 headset. Available through a developer kit edition and not being officially released yet, the Meta 2 offers an extremely large field of view. Furthermore, with a 2560 x 1440 pixels display, and positional tracking, the Meta 2 provides you with an interactive AR experience. Nonetheless, it requires to be connected to a powerful computer and doesn’t really stand out as a great innovative fitness experience piece.

Pros:

  • Relatively Affordable Compared to Competitors
  • Large Field of View
  • Immersive Display

Cons:

  • Requires an External Device to Run

Price: $949.00 for Development Edition – metavision.com

-Ivan Ivanoff

Is there a new gadget that you think we should cover? Leave a comment below and we’ll get right on it!

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