After a long wait the time has finally come, the HP Reverb G2 is out! With its high screen resolution, high sound quality and the support of two content platforms, PC-VR headsets such as the Valve Index and the Oculus Rift S have gained a serious competitor. A great moment to put these 3 headsets next to each other. In this article we will compare the HP Reverb G2, Valve Index and the Oculus Rift S in terms of image quality, portability, controllers, tracking and sound.
Read more about the best vr headsets of 2020.
First of all, we compare the resolution of the headsets. The HP Reverb G2 has, with a resolution of 2160 px x 2160 px per eye, the highest image resolution compared to both the Valve Index and Oculus Rift S. The Valve Index comes second in the comparison in terms of resolution, with a resolution 1600px x 1440px per eye. With a resolution of 1280px x 1440px per eye, the Oculus Rift S comes in third.
Field Of View
Second, we look at the field of view of the headsets. The larger the field of view, the more the image feels like a natural view. With a field of view of 114 degrees, the HP Reverb G2 ends up in the middle class if we compare the headset with the Valve Index and the Oculus Rift S. With the Valve Index, a variation in the field of view is possible, because the distance from the eyes to the screen is customizable. When the screen is set as close to the eyes as possible, the field of view is a whopping 130 degrees. This is significantly greater compared to the G2 and Rift S. For more information on the Valve Index field of view. The Oculus Rift S’s field of view is approximately 110 degrees, placing it in third place compared to the G2 and Index.
Finally, we compare the refresh rate of the headsets. Refresh rate is about how quickly the image refreshes itself. Higher refresh rates make the picture run smoother, allowing for longer and more comfortable sessions. It is generally believed that 72Hz is required to have a good virtual reality experience. The Oculus Rift S has the lowest refresh rate of the 3 headsets at 80 Hz. With 90 Hz the HP Reverb G2 does slightly better. Finally, the Valve index works at a refresh rate of 120 Hz as standard. The headset is also compatible with 90 Hz, so that applications built for this specific refresh rate also run smoothly on the Index. In addition, there is a built-in experimental 144 Hz mode, with which the Valve Index clearly tops the list compared to the G2 and the Rift S.
The Valve Index and the HP Reverb G2 are both in the top segment in terms of display quality. Where Valve excels in terms of refresh rate and field of view, the HP reverb has the highest resolution, which means the user gets an excellent experience on both. The Rift S was released 2 years ago and that is reflected in the quality of the screen, which is slightly less than the HP Reverb and Valve Index.
Design and comfort
Although Valve Index is on the heavy side of headsets (809 grams), its weight distribution makes the headset one of the most comfortable headsets on the market. The headset has a mechanically adjustable headband that allows users to easily put the headset on and off without it every time having to adjust. Also the headband relieves the cheeks from the weight of the headset, while the face mask is made of soft, breathable foam material. The eye relief (IPD) can be adjusted between 58mm and 70mm using a slider on the bottom, allowing most users to use the headset without eye strain. There is also a dial that adjusts the distance between eyes and lenses, so users can easily find their favorite spot or adjust the headset while wearing glasses.
Reverb G2 and Rift S are both lighter
HP Reverb G2 is noticeably lighter (498 grams) compared to the Valve Index. HP has also redesigned the foam padding of the face mask and now the headset feels softer and lighter on your face. The Reverb G2 and Valve Index are similar in design with a similar oval headband. Finally, the headset also has a physical IPD adjustment that ranges from 60mm to 68mm.
With a weight of 563 grams, the Rift S is slightly heavier than that of the G2, but a lot lighter than the Index. The Rift S has a halo-shaped headband designed for comfort, weight distribution and improved light blocking. In addition, Oculus has added a single cable system for a more tidy experience. The pupil distance (IPD) of the Rift S is set at 63.5 mm by default and is not manually adjustable. This is because the Rift S uses a single LCD screen, instead of two screens like the Index and the G2. However, it is possible to adjust the IPD in the software, with a range from 58mm to 72mm.
All 3 headsets are designed with comfort in mind. Even though this is very person-dependent, we do notice that the Reverb G2 and the Index are in the top segment in terms of comfort, due to the use of the latest foam materials in their face masks. Although the Rift S is already 2 years old, it doesn’t do much in the comfort of the other two headsets. Finally, the Valve Index is the heaviest of the headsets, which is not a direct disadvantage due to the weight distribution, but can be felt.
The HP Reverb G2 has headphones that float over your ears, making external audio equipment unnecessary. This is the same audio system used for the Valve Index. Integrated headphones provide both comfort and positional accuracy, allowing users to hear sound up to 180 degrees around them. The headphones float 10 mm over the ears and have an adjustable fit, allowing the headphones to be placed in an ideal position for almost any user. The Reverb G2 does not have an audio jack input, so no external headphones (with noise canceling, for example) can be used. On the Valve Index is the same audio system installed as the G2, giving it the same level of comfort and accuracy as the Reverb G2. The Rift S has the same integrated audio system as Oculus Quest and Oculus Go.
While the speakers deliver decent sound, how loud they are is very disappointing. As a result, the speakers can sometimes be difficult to understand in rooms with a lot of ambient noise. However, unlike the G2 and the Index, there is a 3.5 mm audio jack input on the headset. This allows external headphones to be connected. However, this means that an extra wire comes out of the headset, which is to the detriment of comfort.
Find out more about Index and G2 headphones.
Both the HP Reverb G2 and the Valve Index both use built-in headphones that float over the ear. The sound is currently in the top segment of current headsets. The big disadvantage is that both headsets do not have an audio jack input, so that an upgrade of the audio is not possible. The Rift S’s audio system delivers decent sound, but it’s disappointing how loud they can be. However, the Rift S has built-in an audio jack input, so that the sound quality can be increased by external audio products.
Controllers and Tracking
Valve Index uses controllers that are tied around the hands, instead of having to be held constantly, as with the G2 and the Rift S. The controllers detect individual finger and pressure movements with sensors that also sense how close your hands are at the knots, allowing you to follow even the smallest movements. To use Valve Index, you need to set up at least two base stations for tracking, unlike the G2 and the Rift S (both of which use inside-out tracking). In addition, the Index uses a Lighthouse 2.0 tracking system.
Find out more about the Lighthouse 2.0 tracking system.
The HP Reverb G2 controllers are very similar to the original design of Oculus Touch controllers, which have been highly acclaimed by the VR community for their ergonomics and style. The touchpad of an original Oculus has been replaced by a series of four buttons. In terms of tracking, the G2 is more user-friendly compared to the Valve Index, but less accurate. The G2 does not require base stations and instead tracks movements using four cameras in the headset. While convenient, internal tracking is prone to loss of tracking when the controllers get too close to the headset. In addition, the new Reverb controllers are backward compatible with other Windows mixed reality headsets.
Ouculus Rift S controller uses batteries
The Oculus Rift S comes with a pair of Touch controllers, which are slightly different from their predecessors. You won’t notice any difference from their older predecessors while playing – they are comfortable with buttons for your thumbs to use, thumbsticks to push (with highly sensitive touch areas to mimic your thumbs resting against your fingers), a trigger button for your index finger and a button in the handle to mimic fist movement.
They are lightweight and each use a single AA battery rather than being rechargeable. The Rift S uses inside-out tracking, which uses cameras on the headset itself to understand the movement and position of the controllers in 3D space (similar to the HP Reverb G2). Benefits of inside-out tracking are hard to ignore; Easier initial setup without the need for sensors on your desk, less prep time to play and pass-through capabilities that make it even easier to dive into VR.
The controllers of the HP Reverb G2 and the Oculus Rift are both inspired by the popular Oculus touch controllers. Valve Index has broken new ground with their controllers, they are tied to the hands instead of having to be held continuously. Although the continuous holding of the controllers is not seen as a problem, there is an increase in comfort with the controllers of the Index. While the Rift S and G2 both use a built-in inside-out tracking, the Valve Index requires at least 2 base stations for tracking. Inside-out tracking is simple to set up and more user-friendly, but less accurate than when using base stations. When accuracy plays an important role in the use of the headset, the Index will be a better solution.
|HP Reverb G2||Oculus Rift S||Valve Index|
|Display||2 x 2.89 ”LCD||1 x LCD||2 x 3.5” LCD|
|Resolution||2160×2160 per eye||1280×1440 per eye||1600×1440 per eye|
|Field of view||114 degrees||110 degrees||Up to 120 degrees|
|Frequency||90 Hz||80 HZ||To 144 Hz|
|Weight||500 grams||563 grams||809 grams|
|Tracking||Camera: 4 for 6DoF tracking
Tracking area: infinite
|Camera: 5 for 6DoF Insight tracking
Tracking area: infinite
|The Tracking area: up to 33 ‘x 33’
with SteamVR Base Station 2.0
SteamVR Base Stationspads
|Facepad||Replaceable magnetic fabric
mask, velcro adjustable
|Rotary knob adjustable
|Replaceable magnetic fabric
face, button adjustable
|Cable||Cables included: 6 M
|Cables included: 5 M
|6 meter cable|
|Price||577, – €||429, – €||539, – €|