A girl wearing a virtual reality headset

Virtual Reality Headsets

The future of virtual-reality gaming is here.

November 2016

The future is virtually here—at least when it comes to VR, or virtual reality technology. VR headsets are the latest “it” item for tech-heads, gamers and cinephiles alike, and they are no longer necessarily outrageously priced. Our list of best bets includes a range of price points for everyone from beginners to avid VR users.

Oculus Rift

The premium VR headset on the market, the Oculus Rift retails at $599—and you’ll need a powerful computer to support the technology, too. (Their site offers a compatibility check to see if your computer is equipped for the Rift.) For users who want an unparalleled VR experience, the Oculus Rift is worth the investment. It combines a network of sensors, high screen resolution and integrated headphones for mind-bending virtual immersion in movies, games and more.

Sony PlayStation VR

An attractive gaming VR headset, the Sony PlayStation VR ($399) is essentially an accessory for the PlayStation gaming console (which you’ll need to use the headset). The sleek headset is known for its adjustable comfort fit and 360-degree head movement, allowing for increased stamina in video games as well as other media and entertainment experiences.

Samsung Gear VR

Unlike many other models, the Samsung Gear VR doesn’t need a high-performing PC or video game console to work. This headset simply snaps right into your Samsung Galaxy device. It is portable and wireless, and at just $99, an attractive Galaxy add-on. Fun fact about the Samsung Gear VR: its technology is used in a rollercoaster in Belgium that offers riders a thrilling virtual trip through a volcano.

Google Cardboard

Not sure if you’re ready to invest in VR? Look no further. Google Cardboard starts at just $14.99. True to its name, it is literally made of cardboard. (Or you can even follow their free instructions to make your own headset with 45mm focal length lenses, magnets, Velcro and rubber bands.) Google Cardboard is essentially a head mount for your smartphone that works with Google’s own VR platform. And with all the money you’re saving, you could buy Google’s Jump camera rig with multiple modules that allows you to take a VR video—that you can then (virtually) enter.