Guide to Picking the Right VR Headset

Please note that this is an overview and does not represent all devices that fall into a certain category.

Virtual Reality Landscape

Mobile Phone VR on Android or iPhone eg. GenBasic Folding VR Headset


  • Inexpensive Addon
  • Augmented/Mixed Reality for Certain Headsets
  • Cardboard/Daydream Content Ecosystem for Android
  • Portability


  • Low Resolution Screens for Non-Flagship Devices
  • Ghosting on Slow LCD Screens
  • Poor Quality or Mismatched Optics for Device Size
  • Audio Quality Issues
  • Inadequate Cooling
  • Slow Performance for Non-Flagship Devices

All-in-One VR eg. GenBasic Quad HD Android Virtual Reality System with HDMI In


  • Best Bang for Buck
  • Android Content Ecosystem
  • Fast LCD Screens Available
  • Integrated Audio Available
  • Optics Designed for Screens
  • Good Performance
  • Seemless Connectivity


  • Daydream Not Available unless Device has Android 7.1
  • Cheap Low End Headset Result in Poor Experience
  • Currently Lack Augmented/Mixed Reality

PC VR eg. 3Glasses S1 Burbur


  • PC Content Ecosystem
  • Great Screens Available
  • Integrated Audio Available
  • Optics Designed for Screens
  • Capable of Incredible Visuals and Performance


  • Expensive
  • Tethered
  • Lack of Portability
  • Requires High Performance GPU

Factors to Consider for VR

  • Refresh Rate - We suggest a minimum refresh rate of 75Hz. We recommend a refresh rate of 90Hz. The faster the refresh rate, the more frames are displayed and the more immersive the experience. There is diminished returns on refresh rates that exceed 120Hz as very few people can sense higher refresh rates.
  • Pixel Density - Pixel density goes hand-in-hand with resolution and optics. The higher the pixel density, the smaller the screen door effect. Because of the optical design of modern headsets, the pixel density at the eye centers play a very critical role in the visibility of the screen door effect. However, it is not singularly dependent on pixel density. The optic lenses plays an very important role as well.
  • Resolution - High resolution headsets with Quad-HD and 4K screens are ideal but keep in mind the refresh rate and connectivity. We do not recommend 1080P headsets as they produce a poor overall experience. We also recommend a high refresh rate (75Hz+) Quad-HD headset over a 4K 60Hz headset.
  • Pixel Response - Two display technologies commonly used are OLED and LCD. OLEDs are superior to LCD technology for VR since they offer deeper blacks, higher contrast, and faster pixel response. However, they cost significantly more and are currently limited in resolution and availability. They are extremely difficult to manufacture compared to tradition LCD displays, hence the cost and lack of supply. We recommend LCD panels with grey-to-grey pixel response time of less than 15ms for best results. Diminishing returns start to occur at response time of less than 5ms.
  • Optics - Lenses vary dramatically and it is too large of a topic to cover completely. Some lenses reduce blue light from the LCD to reduce eye strain. Some lenses increase the pixel density at the expense of FOV.
  • Adjustments - There are three main adjustments necessary for optimal viewing experience in virtual reality. Interpupillary distance is by far the most important adjustment. It is the distance between the two eye centers and varies between person to person. If the pupil centers are not correct, you may experience unresolvable focus issues in one or both eyes, which leads to an extremely poor experience. Many headsets currently on the market are missing this very important feature. Second, adjustable screen distance can compensate for focus as well as slight nearsightedness/myopia for a more pleasant experience possibly without glasses or contacts. Nearly all headsets will not come with optics for people with farsightedness/hyperopia, but some headsets feature user replaceable optics which allows users to fabricate their own lenses to compensate for this issue.
  • Sensors
    • Inertial Motion: Headsets and phones usually include 6-axis or 9-axis inertial motion sensor. They differ in the addition of a 3-axis magnometer to detect drift the 3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis gyroscope. The difference is small but a 9-axis system will maintain forward position much better over a period of time where as a 6-axis system may require re-centering.
    • Presence: This sensor is exclusively found on dedicated headsets and VR systems designed for specific phones. It allows power saving and automatic shutoff if it detects that the user is no longer in front of the screen.
    • 3D Positioning: Headsets with this capability require external device (usually cameras) to monitor the position of the headset and allows the user's physical positional changes to be tracked virtually. The prime example of this is the HTV Vive. This category of systems currently have a very narrow scope but the potential for much different content is promising.
    • Gesture Recognition: This feature is available via external devices or they may be built directly into the headset. They allow users to interact in VR with their hands and without additional accessories. Currently, only prototypes are available and content is extremely limited.
  • Weight - Keeping the whole package under 1lb is very important. The distribution of weight on the head and the fitment of the straps are very important to prevent discomfort during prolonged use.
  • Connectivity - TBC
  • * Sound - TBC
  • All-in-One vs PC vs HDMI - TBC