What Do VR Headsets Connect To? (Explained)

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Connects to a PC
Valve Index VR Full Kit
Connects to iPhone
Merge AR/VR Headset - Go Anywhere - Virtual Reality Field...
Connects to Android
Samsung Gear VR (2016) - GS7s, Note 5, GS6s (US Version w/...
Valve Index VR Full Kit
Merge AR/VR Headset - Go Anywhere - Virtual Reality Field...
Samsung Gear VR (2016) - GS7s, Note 5, GS6s (US Version w/...
$1,439.99
$49.99
$17.99
-
-
167 Reviews
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1,197 Reviews
-
Connects to a PC
Valve Index VR Full Kit
Valve Index VR Full Kit
$1,439.99
-
167 Reviews
-
Connects to iPhone
Merge AR/VR Headset - Go Anywhere - Virtual Reality Field...
Merge AR/VR Headset - Go Anywhere - Virtual Reality Field...
$49.99
-
-
Connects to Android
Samsung Gear VR (2016) - GS7s, Note 5, GS6s (US Version w/...
Samsung Gear VR (2016) - GS7s, Note 5, GS6s (US Version w/...
$17.99
-
1,197 Reviews

Last update on 2021-10-27 / As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more about us.

Since VR headsets have become widespread, there has been so much improvement in the field. Manufacturers are now more dedicated to making their devices more convenient, more realistic, and even cheaper. Check 3 Cheap VR Headsets with Controllers.

Keep reading to learn more about the types of VR headsets and what they work with. You’ll also find out about the best VR headsets available in each category.

What Do VR Headsets Work With?

In General, VR headsets are divided into four categories based on their means of operation. Some VR headsets need additional equipment such as a phone, PC, or console to operate. The latest generation of VR headsets is standalone. The four types of VR headsets can have some features in common, depending on the brand and model.

Let’s get to know each a little better:

Phone VR

Phone VRs use your smartphone as their processor and display. They have a compartment on the front of the headset where you should put your phone facing towards your eyes.

The first phone VRs were made out of cardboard, also known as the Google Cardboard VR. As time went by, they evolved with more sophisticated designs and technology.

PC VR

These are the most powerful VR headsets with the best graphic and image quality. You need to connect the headset to a computer via a wire. However, normal computers used for everyday tasks aren’t great with high-end VR headsets. 

Your PC needs to meet the minimum requirements if you want the ultimate VR experience. To learn more, read our other guide: “Do VR Headsets Need A Computer?” 

Console VR

Console VR headsets are specifically suitable for gamers. They can connect it to their gaming console with a wire and play some of the games through the headset. 

Two Console VR models are currently more popular: PlayStation VR (PSVR), which is compatible with PS4, and PS5 and the Nintendo Labo VR for the Nintendo Switch, which is a buildable headset. You can also connect a VR headset to an Xbox One or an Xbox Series X console.

Standalone VR

The Standalone or wireless VR comes with an internal battery, processor, and the essential component to let the device work on its own. You won’t need other gear such as a computer, phone, or console. Just put it on your head and start gaming, watching a movie, and so on.

Read: 3 Popular VR Headsets With Sound & Mic

With standalone headsets, your graphic quality won’t be as good as PC headsets, but the freedom that comes with eliminating extra wires and cables makes up for it.

What Do You Need to Use a VR Headset?

To get your VR headset working, you’ll need some of the items on this list, depending on the model: 

  • Internet: An internet connection is essential for setting up all VR headsets. Updating the software to the latest version, logging in to the VR brand’s app stores, downloading and installing apps and games, and playing multiplayer games also require a connection. Read this guide to learn more: Do VR headsets require the internet?
  • Headphones: Some older VR headsets need you to wear headphones to hear the sounds, but the latest models have audio built directly into the headsets.
  • Hand Controllers: Hand controllers are devices you hold in your hand so that the headset can track your motions and gestures and transfer them into the VR world. Unfortunately, every brand has different hand controllers for its products. 
  • Sensors: Base Stations or Lighthouse Boxes are sensors that connect to the hand controllers to determine the position of your body through the signals they receive. PC VRs and console VRs need these sensors, but standalone headsets use built-in trackers.
  • Free Space: You need some free space to play games using VR headsets, or else you may break some furniture and hurt yourself.

Do All VR Headsets Need a Phone?

As mentioned before, only Phone VR headsets require a phone to operate, and these headsets seem to be abandoned by their manufacturers. Nowadays, the focus is mostly on PC headsets, console headsets, and Standalone VR.

However, some high-end brands like Oculus need you to have a phone to log in to their App Store.

How Does Virtual Reality Work with Phones?

Firstly, you need to download the special software on your phone. Note that some headsets automatically do that for you. Then, you can transform your phone into a VR screen by putting it in the front compartment of the headset.

Now, the special lenses integrated into the VR headsets take the flat screen of your phone and turn it into an immersive view, with 120, 140, or even 360–degree panoramic view.

Is a VR Headset Worth It?

VR headsets have come a long way since they were first introduced. Manufacturers have enhanced their product performance, field of view, display resolution, and ease of use. The experience with the newest high-end models isn’t even comparable to the first cardboard headsets.

The technology will indeed keep improving and introducing new features into the world of VR, but the existing headsets are pretty satisfying and worth trying out!

How Much Does a Phone VR Cost?

The first generation of Google cardboard headsets was made of cheap cardboard, so you wouldn’t expect to pay more than $10 for them. The models made out of plastic or aluminum cost from $10 to $30.

The Merge VR headset and Samsung Gear VR are mid-range VR headsets with more qualities. They cost about $50 or $60 currently.

Oculus Quest 2—Best Standalone VR Headset

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Oculus Quest 2 — Advanced All-in-One Virtual Reality...
  • Next-level Hardware - Make every move count with a blazing-fast processor and our highest-resolution display.
  • All-In-One Gaming - With backward compatibility, you can explore new titles and old favourites in the expansive Quest content...
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Last update on 2021-10-18 / As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more about us.

Oculus Quest 2 is an upgrade to Oculus Quest. The improvements, additional features, and the decreased price have made this VR headset very popular.

Its most noticeable quality is that the headset is cable-free which gives you plenty of freedom. You don’t need a PC to run the Quest 2, but if you want to play more games made for PC VRs, you can connect the headset to a strong PC via a wire.

Compared to the Quest, Oculus Ouest 2 is lighter and more comfortable to wear, with 50% more RAM and 50% more pixels.

In addition to built-in sensors that can track your movements, this headset has inside-out tracking technology that works with outward-facing cameras.

These cameras not only track the position of your head and hands, but they also map out the room and warn you whenever you get close to the edge.

This headset carries integrated speakers and a microphone. The battery goes for up to three hours and charges 2.5.

Pros

  • Standalone and Wireless.
  • Doesn’t need any pre-existing equipment.
  • Doesn’t need external trackers.
  • 360° video.
  • Comfortable and light.
  • More RAM and better Quality than Quest 1.
  • Warning alarm protection.
  • Built-in speakers and mic.
  • Good battery life.
  • Affordable.

Cons

  • May cause motion sickness.
  • Can’t run PC VR games without a cable connection.

Valve Index—Best VR Headset for PC

Last update on 2021-10-27 / As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more about us.

The Valve Index is a high-end PC VR with top specs. The excellent build quality and comfortable cushioning make it comfortable to wear.  

It has two LCDs for display that provide 1440×1600 resolution per eye. The LCD panel lets you customize the refresh rate up to 140 HZ to suit your PC. The more capable your computer, the higher the image quality.

The controllers are pretty smart, with the ability to track your fingers individually, customize your hand shape, and identify the pressure of your grip.

The Valve Index uses lighthouse base stations for tracking your movements. The integrated speakers provide crystal clear audio.

Pros

  • The best image quality and resolution.
  • Adjustable refresh rate.
  • High Quality materials and build.
  • Comfortable.
  • Smart controllers.
  • Strong speakers and mic.

Cons

  • Theteard.
  • Expensive. 
  • Heavy. 

Merge VR—Best VR Headset for iPhone

Merge AR/VR Headset - Go Anywhere - Virtual Reality Field...
  • The Merge AR/VR Headset provides 100’s of virtual field trips and experience learning firsthand, find 360-degree videos and...
  • Named as best Virtual Reality headset for kids and tweens and winner of the Academic's Choice Award
  • Made out of a comfortable and rugged foam, fits any face, withstands everyday bumps and drops, and is easy to clean

Last update on 2021-10-27 / As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more about us.

The Merge VR goggles have a generous compartment that can fit all iPhones and even most Android phones. The headset is light, made of soft and squishy foam, with a customizable strap.

Merge VR has two buttons on the top to interact with the VR world and adjust the lens-eye distance.

The Merge Miniverse website introduces the VR-compatible apps that are available on the App Store. You can find games, education apps, and even 360-degree movies to watch.

Pros

  • 360° video.
  • Fits all iphones and most Android phones.
  • Light and comfortable.
  • Adjustable strap.
  • Adjustable lens-eye distance.
  • Suitable for Kids.
  • Very affordable. 

Cons

  • A phone is necessary for operation.
  • Not compatible with PC games.
  • Image quality not comparable to high-end headsets.
  • Doesn’t include controllers.

Samsung Gear VR—Best VR Headset for Android

Sale
Samsung Gear VR (2016) - GS7s, Note 5, GS6s (US Version w/...
1,197 Reviews
Samsung Gear VR (2016) - GS7s, Note 5, GS6s (US Version w/...
  • Turn your compatible Samsung Galaxy smartphone into a completely portable and wireless virtual reality machine.
  • Easy to use touch pad with dedicated Back and Home buttons
  • Wide field of view, precise head-tracking and low latency brings reality to the virtual, Be transported to amazing new worlds, in...

Last update on 2021-10-08 / As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more about us.

Oculus powers Samsung Gear’s VR. It works with almost all Samsung phones but doesn’t support other brands. The design of the headset can compete with the best available.

You can enjoy over 600 games and experiences from Oculus in 2D or 3D. Watching 360-degree movies is very easy.

It comes with an intuitive controller that allows you to point, select, and drag content by waving your wrist and pushing the buttons.

The volume controls, touchpad, home, and back buttons sit on the side. You can adjust the distance between the display lenses and the phone with a turning wheel.

Pros

  • Fits almost all Samsung smartphones.
  • Can play content in 2D and 3D with 360° video.
  • Includes controllers.
  • Adjustable phone-lens distance. 
  • Comfortable. 

Cons

  • Doesn’t support many phone brands.
  • A phone is necessary for operation.
  • Not compatible with PC games.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, VR headsets have many different models and qualities. To choose which VR headset to go with, consider your existing sources. For instance, if you own a PS4, buying the console VR can add a lot to your gaming experience.

If you’re a gamer with a powerful computer, you’re ready for the high-end PC VR. Have a Samsung phone? Go with the Samsung Gear. If you don’t want to be tied up to other devices, try out the standalone VR.