Comparison of Oculus Quest 2, HP Reverb G2, and Valve Index. Which VR Headset to Buy?
Virtual Reality is an exciting medium to educate, play games, travel and provide entertainment using just the intensity and power of innovative technology. With a headset and movement tracking, VR lets you enter a virtual space like you are actually there or play a game like you are genuinely inside it.
It has been trending upwards in terms of popularity as of late, thanks to some convincing games and experiences. However, it appears to be mostly in a transition phase, with a large number of headsets being released in recent years which can make the choice of which VR headset to choose a difficult one.
We will review 3 of the mainstream headsets that have revolutionized the VR experience and make an editor’s pick at the end. These headsets are:
- Oculus Quest 2 (by Facebook)
- HP Reverb G2 (by Valve, Microsoft and HP)
- Valve Index (by Valve)
Oculus Quest 2 - Features
Gamers who have not had the opportunity of experiencing the Oculus Quest 2 mostly fall for the erroneous assumption that the Quest 2 is the same as the original Quest with only a little difference. The Oculus Quest 2 is lighter, a bit smaller, and certainly more powerful than the Oculus Quest.
The Oculus Quest 2 is a revolution in the virtual reality world for gamers. It brings you the latest and most incredible virtual reality experience available.
This new headset from Facebook allows you to submerge yourself into a wide range of VR titles. It features improvements across the board.
The Oculus Quest 2 comes equipped with a powerful Snapdragon XR2 processor, 6GB of RAM, and a screen with 50% more pixels than the original Oculus Quest. Additionally, you can use the Oculus Quest 2 headset for PC VR via the Oculus link, thereby making it the best VR device in the virtual reality world.
The Oculus Quest 2 is truly a surreal out of this world experience in every way. It is enhanced with a processor that is three whole ages more than the first Oculus Quest. It’s upgraded ergonomics with a much higher-resolution display, brand new lens designs, and redesigned Oculus Touch controllers, complete with state-of-the-art hand tracking and all the accessories you need for a fully immersive VR experience.
The Oculus mobile app (which is free to download from the Google Play Store or Apple Store) combined with Oculus pass-through and Guardian, makes setup super simple. Facebook additionally has ramped up its stock this time around and, in contrast to the PS5 or Xbox Series S/X, it is obtainable this year.
On top of this, Oculus Quest 2 is $100 cheaper than Oculus Quest, and the more costly model comes with double the storage. Is this the VR headset we've all been waiting for?
Important Points to Note About Oculus Quest 2
The Oculus Quest 2 is a massive improvement over Oculus Quest, and it vows to improve after some time. Compulsory Facebook integration will disturb a few people (and parents) in any case, for the vast majority, this will be the best VR experience they have ever had.
- IPD adjustment will not work for everyone
- Display black levels are noticeably worse than Quest 1
- Compulsory Facebook login required
- 2-3 hours battery life is a significant disappointment for gamers
Oculus Quest 2 Specs
Display Type: RGB-stripe fast-switching LCD
Display Resolution: 1832 x 1920 per eye
IPD Adjustments: Three distinct positions
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2
Storage: 64GB or 256GB
Wireless: Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0 LE
Port: USB Type-C, 3.5mm audio jack
Audio: Built-in speakers, support for headphones
Headset Battery: Built-in rechargeable Li-Ion
Headset Battery Life: 2-3 hours
Controllers: Improved Touch Controllers
Hand Tracking: Yes
Battery Controller: 1x AA per controller
Controller Battery Life: 4x the Original Oculus Quest
Dimensions: 191.5mm x 102mm x 142.5mm
Weight: 503g / 1.1lbs
HP Reverb G2 - Features
Valve, Microsoft, and HP have teamed up to produce the best Windows Mixed Reality headset ever. The HP Reverb G2 brings a new level of VR immersion not seen before.
Let us dig into some of the noticeable changes from the initial model.
Valve brought its expertise in VR lenses to the Reverb G2, delivering decreased murals, 2160 x 2160 LCD boards per eye at 90Hz. More precise text and textures with a 114-degree field of view (FOV).
Gamers would now be able to use a wheel to change the interpupillary distance (IPD). Also, two new cameras on the side aid in motion detection and the two front-facing ones. This change gives 1.4x more movement capture over Reverb G1.
The controllers now come with a new optimized button layout that more closely resembles a gaming controller. The design is more ergonomic and is a lot more natural.
Reverb G2 has built-in earphones like the first model. However, these are recently designed and sit 10mm off the ear for better comfort, making them "more spatial audio ready."
HP claims they use its new spatial audio format "anchored in artificial intelligence, new signal processing, and psychoacoustics." The earphones are yet removable in case you prefer to use yours. Microphones are still built-in and unchanged.
Important Points to Note About HP Reverb G2
Despite the fantastic features of the HP Reverb G2, some noticeable flaws prevent it from being the go-to headset for lovers of the virtual reality experience. Below are some reasons why users still prefer other headsets like the Oculus Quest 2
- Price: At $599, the HP Reverb G2 cost $300 more than the Oculus Quest 2. Most gamers would instead save that money or get an upgrade for their Quest 2
- Not Wireless: The HP Reverb G2 comes with a 6-meter long cable that limits the gamer's movement and adds a little weight to the headset during gameplay.
- Resolution: At that price, gamers expected a better resolution than others, but the Reverb G2 falls shots.
- No Wide Enough FOV
- No finger tracking
- Even the tracking is weak. Valve Index and Oculus Quest 2 offer better tracking
HP Reverb G2 - Specs
Display: 2 x 2.89" LCD
Resolution: 2160 x 2160 per eye
Mechanical IPD Adjustment: Yes
RGB Subpixel Stripe: Yes
Frequency: 90 Hz
Weight: Starting at 1.1 lbs. (w/o cable)
Tracking Camera: 4 for tracking area:
Infinite tracking architecture: 6DoF
Face Mask: Replacement magnetic fabric face cushions, Velcro adjust
Cable: Cable included: 6 M desktop cable
Valve Index - Features
The Valve Index is a ground-breaking high-end virtual reality headset like the HTC Vive (in that it works with Steam VR). However, packs updated tech and improved specs.
It seems to have a significantly gamer-focused design than the high-end Vive Pro and Vive Pro Eye, which are pointed more at business clients. Like those gadgets, however, this new headset comes at a high asking cost.
The headset's double 1440x1600 RGB LCDs give 50% more subpixels than OLED, bringing about higher sharpness for the same cost. Moreover, the filled factor is better than OLED, significantly reducing the "screen door" effect.
The Valve Index® Headset runs at 120Hz with full back-compatibility to 90Hz, just as a test 144Hz mode. Higher frame rates improve realism and visual comfort, giving way for longer and more comfortable game sessions.
Valve Index displays have a reduced illumination period of 0.330ms to 0.530ms (framerate dependent), allowing imagery to stay as sharp when your head is moving as when you're still. This is a 5x improvement over original PC VR HMDs.
The ideal approach to improve the field of view is to situate the optics as close as conceivable to the eyes. Customizable IPD and eye relief (distance from the lens to the eye) lets you advance the field of view for your face. With these features and the dual-element lens and canted optics, this headset gives 20° more FOV than the HTC Vive for typical users.
Important Points to Note About Valve Index
At $999, the Valve Index is one of the most expensive VR headsets in the market. Gamers and other users had high expectations. However, there have been some complaints, as listed below.
- Controller Issues: The Valve Index controllers, specifically, appear to have a design defect with the controller. Numerous clients have reported issues with the controller's clicking mechanism. You are supposed to click down on the controller as it is a button in and of itself.
- The Steam VR platform on which the headset depends is still inconsistent and painfully hard to troubleshoot
- At $999 for the full bundle, Valve's powerful headset is a costly portal to the future – but it is powered by decades-old software.
Valve Index - Specs
Displays: Dual 1440 x 1600 LCDs, full RGB per pixel, ultra-low persistence global backlight illumination (0.330ms at 144Hz)
Optics: Double element, canted lens design
Field of View (FOV): Optimized eye relief adjustment allows
a typical user experience 20º more than the HTC Vive
IPD: 58mm - 70mm range physical adjustment
Ergonomic Adjustments: Head size, eye relief (FOV), IPD, speaker positions.
Rear cradle adapter included
Connections: 5m tether, 1m breakaway trident connector. USB 3.0,
DisplayPort 1.2, 12V power
Tracking: Steam VR 2.0 sensors, compatible with Steam VR 1.0 and 2.0 base stations
Audio: Built-in: 37.5mm off-ear Balanced Mode
Radiators (BMR), Frequency Response:
40Hz - 24KHz, Impedance: 6 Ohm, SPL:
98.96 dBSPL at 1cm.
Aux Headphone Out 3.5mm
Microphone: Dual Microphone Array, Frequency response: 20Hz – 24kHz, Sensitivity: -25dBFS/Pa @ 1kHz
Cameras: Stereo 960 x 960-pixel, global shutter, RGB (Bayer)
Tabular Comparison Between Oculus Quest 2, HP Reverb G2, and Valve Index
Oculus Quest 2
HP Reverb G2
Pixel per eye
1832 x 1920
1440 x 1600
2160 x 2160
Screen refresh rate
72Hz at launch, 90Hz to come
80Hz to 144Hz
External Steam VR towers
2 - 3 hours
Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2
64GB or 256GB
AA batteries (2)
AA batteries (4)
The Oculus Quest 2 has experienced a massive acceptance in the virtual reality gaming world with commendations like substantial performance improvements, impressive display, clarity, simplicity in setting up, portability, and lots of developer support. Those are great attributes. However, what makes the Oculus Quest 2 stand out among its pairs in the VR world are:
- Price: Starting at $299, the Oculus Quest 2 is cheaper than the Oculus Quest, HP Reverb G2, and Valve Index. At this price, the Oculus Quest 2 standalone VR headset is a must-have for every gamer and newbies alike.
- Overall UX: The Oculus Quest 2 offers a broader experience for the VR enthusiast with a wide variety of games, apps and VR experiences to choose from. You can select from games or apps from within the Oculus store or connect to a huge rage of games and apps from Steam.
Oculus Quest 2 is the most recent standalone VR headset from Facebook. It offers an effective method to get into VR gaming and apps without all its previous problems and costs. The experience is much smoother and simpler than ever before. With better graphics, better ergonomics, faster loading, and various immersive games, the Oculus Quest 2 is the VR headset you have been waiting for.