Best HMD for Elite

Seen quite a few posts lately from people who are looking to get a new HMD specifically for Elite so i figured it would be good to have a consolidated thread where we can put forward our experiences with the wide variety of headsets now available to help people make an informed choice.

I currently own a Rift, a Vive Pro and a 5k+ so will detail the relevant info here. Would be good to get input from people who own the WMR sets and also other Vive Pro/Pimax users.

Rift
===

Positive
  • Affordable complete out of the box VR solution
  • Lightweight, pretty comfy
  • Performance, enables even potato spec rigs to hit 90fps and Async Spacewarp is best in class.
Negative
  • God rays - plenty of light beams flying around although can be tuned out.
  • Color/contrast/brightness/saturation are not impressive. Showing her age.
Conclusion - Have well over a thousand hours in Elite using the Rift and she has been super reliable and a great experience.


OG Vive Pro (Fresnels)
==================

Positive
  • Complete out of the box VR solution
  • Excellent ergonomics, very comfy.
  • HUD text is very legible.
  • Excellent color/saturation/brightness/contrast.
  • OLED so zero backlight bleed. Black is black.
Negative
  • Performance is demanding. Need a 2080Ti to achieve a solid 90fps at 100% SteamVR Application resolution.
  • Expensive, i paid 1300 quid in the UK.
  • Very small sweet spot, off axis definition is heavily blurred.
  • God Rays. Insane, makes Elite hard to enjoy they are so obnoxious.
  • Occasionally visible mura correction pattern (grey haze).
  • Medium impact screen door effect.
Conclusion - God Rays really ruin the experience in Elite.


Modded Vive Pro (GearVR aspherics)
==============================

Positive
  • God rays - Zero, they are gone, completely.
  • Transparency - crystal clear optics because there is zero stray light.
  • Image is beautifully sharp from edge to edge. Sweet spot is the entire FOV.
Negative
  • Field of view is reduced to 100 degrees.
  • Distortion profile might need to be adjusted from the factory firmware profile. Scale can appear off.
  • Open heart surgery is required to replace lenses. Its actually quite trivial but prising out the fresnels with a knife is a bit daunting at first.
Conclusion - Elite looks amazing and runs smoothly. My #1 HMD for Elite.


Pimax 5k+
========

Positive
  • HUD text is perfectly legible.
  • Field of View - Its huge, like natural field of vision huge. Takes a while to sink in.
  • God Rays - big improvement on the OG Vive Pro/Rift/Vive. There is stray light on axis though with high contrast scenery.
  • Color/saturation/brightness/contrast are good.
  • LCD so no mura correction pattern visible.
  • Low impact screen door effect.
  • PiTools has a lot of panel/viewplane options including 64/72/90hz refresh rates, Small/Normal/Large FOV, Brainwarp/FFR, Low/Normal/High brightness.
Negative
  • Performance is terrible because you need to have parallel projection compatibility enabled in PiTool. This means a colossal render target. 2080Ti struggles even in Small FOV.
  • Not an out of the box VR solution, needs Vive lighthouses.
  • Needs a Vive DAS/3D printed adapters/new face gasket to get it positioned properly (and comfortably) so the distortion profile works. Out of the box it sucks.
  • LCD so you get a lot of backlight bleed. Black is not black.
  • Brainwarp is not as good as Async Spacewarp, not even close.
  • Defective units appear to be common and users have reported pretty poor after sales support.
Conclusion - has massive potential and is super immersive in Elite on the rare occasion you can hit 90fps but sadly is dramatically held back by the performance.


Like i said it would be good to get more data from the WMR guys and consensus from other Vive Pro/Pimax users. This is after all subjective in a lot of assessments so the more signal we get the better.
 
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Good idea HeavyGrooves, some more information about WMR headsets in a thread here including installation etc:
https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/462699-Windows-Mixed-Reality-VR-info-installation-and-troubleshooting

Here's my 2p.

Lenovo Explorer
===========

+ Good image quality with clear text, 1440x1440 per eye and 105 degrees FOV
+ Good color/saturation/brightness/contrast for LCD. Blacks are black, just not OLED black.
+ Minimal Godrays
+ Cheap, has been as little as £150/$199
+ Plug and play with excellent seated tracking
+ V.light and ergonomically comfortable
+ Windows reprojection (equivalent of spacewarp/ASW) is good
+ considered the best of the 1st gen WMR headset (excluding Samsung Odyssey)
+ Doesn't need external hardware eg.lighthouses

- some SDE (although I don't notice it anymore)
- small sweet spot, text v.blurry towards edge
- no manual IPD adjustment, you'll have mixed results if you're outside of the range (~59-67mm)
- tracking can be inconsistent when looking behind but is excellent when seated and looking around
- config file change to enable reprojection

and not relevant for Elite
- need bluetooth adapter for controllers
- controllers are reference Microsoft design and I don't like using them

Conclusion - This is my main headset for Elite and is an absolute joy for the price. Can play for several hours with no discomfort and with a 1080ti the visuals look great. For newcomers to VR, and having used a rift in the past, bang for buck this is where to dip your VR toe in.


Samsung Odyssey+
==============

+ Excellent image clarity, quality, contrast and colour depth. Beautifully black blacks
+ Almost no SDE
+ Comfortable ergonomic controllers (for WMR) and bluetooth built into headset so no adapter needed
+ Good quality headphones built in
+ manual IPD adjustment, much greater range than other WMR headsets

- Subjectively incredibly uncomfortable. It has weird ergonomics and very little adjustment possible. Some find it fine but I'd had to spend time and money to get make something I can wear for more than short spells without pain.
- Text in Elite is blurry because of the anti-SDE layer, my eyes are constantly straining to focus This was a fit issue
- Worse godrays in Elite complared to Lenovo - (I wish there was a lense mod similar to GearVR mod for Vive)
- Not available in UK/Europe (I imported from US and therefore no warranty)
- config file change to enable reprojection

Conclusion - If you fit it this headset is excellent, including for Elite if you don't mind the godrays. If you don't fit it be prepared to mod to get the best out of it.



However, if money was no issue I'd be going down the GearVR modded Vive Pro route, but it is so I'm not ;)
 
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Under cons for the Rift I would add Field of View, in fact I would put it way above the cons you have listed (I hardly notice the god rays for example). But I don't have any experience of any other HMDs so maybe it's not that much worse. And isn't the pixel count the lowest of all HMDs (affecting sharpness)?
 
These reviews are very subjective. I really liked my Rift for a long time. But after trying elite in Samsung O+ with 200% SteamVR SS i wouldn't even consider Rift.
 
My rift is back in its box...

I’m on vacation next week so I’ll have time to really get to grips with the pimax. If I can mod it so that it sits further away from my face then it will almost certainly be my go to headset for ED. As it stands I love the Odyssey +
 
These reviews are very subjective. I really liked my Rift for a long time. But after trying elite in Samsung O+ with 200% SteamVR SS i wouldn't even consider Rift.
That’s definitely a fair point. I personally find the Odyssey very comfortable and not at all blurry. The pimax is proving more of a challenge. The rift is old tech now but still so solid.
 
These reviews are very subjective. I really liked my Rift for a long time. But after trying elite in Samsung O+ with 200% SteamVR SS i wouldn't even consider Rift.
Yes they are.
That is one of, imo, the major sticking points of VR. The same setup for 2 different people can be amazing or dreadful.

That’s definitely a fair point. I personally find the Odyssey very comfortable and not at all blurry. The pimax is proving more of a challenge. The rift is old tech now but still so solid.
Exactly, comfort is inherently subjective. My out-of-the-box odyssey+ actually causes me pain and I can't get the display properly close to my eyes without tape/velcro.


There is so much going on from comfort with your headshape to subseptability to godrays/reprojection to how your eyes focus for a given headset and IPD. Personally I think non-fresnel lenses should be standard and each headset have 2 or 3 different fits.


Edit: BTW just in case it's confusing I've just changed my username.
 
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I would imagine the best would be the Varjo VR1, judging by the price.

https://varjo.com

Are any of you rich commanders thinking about getting one?
I'd be curious if someone ends up getting one...for 7k including license fee it's obviously not really for gaming (gaming isn't even mentioned as a use). Photo realism but smallest fov out of any of the competition, doesn't seem worth it.

Honestly I'm chomping at the bit for what the oculus 1.5 hmd is going to be. I want asw, and if they can make the display sharper/remove god rays I'm probably sold
 
I'd be curious if someone ends up getting one...for 7k including license fee it's obviously not really for gaming (gaming isn't even mentioned as a use). Photo realism but smallest fov out of any of the competition, doesn't seem worth it.

Honestly I'm chomping at the bit for what the oculus 1.5 hmd is going to be. I want asw, and if they can make the display sharper/remove god rays I'm probably sold
Games will have to provide a brand new implementation for it because at this point the OpenVR interface does not have any virtual methods that support the submission of dual resolution stereo eye buffer textures. It will in the future when the Vive Pro Eye becomes available as foveated rendering demands such interfaces to be supported and SteamVR will have to provide the implementation code. Until such time games will need to talk directly to the Varjo Api - meaning no re-use of legacy OpenVR code.
 
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Games will have to provide a brand new implementation for it because at this point the OpenVR interface does not have any virtual methods that support the submission of dual resolution stereo eye buffer textures. It will in the future when the Vive Pro Eye becomes available as foveated rendering demands such interfaces to be supported and SteamVR will have to provide the implementation code. Until such time games will need to talk directly to the Varjo Api - meaning no re-use of legacy OpenVR code.
gotcha...well even more reason not to buy one for elite ;) at any rate I'm pretty sure oculus ~1.5 will be announced at gdc, less than a month away!
 
Seen quite a few posts lately from people who are looking to get a new HMD specifically for Elite so i figured it would be good to have a consolidated thread where we can put forward our experiences with the wide variety of headsets now available to help people make an informed choice.

I currently own a Rift, a Vive Pro and a 5k+ so will detail the relevant info here. Would be good to get input from people who own the WMR sets and also other Vive Pro/Pimax users.

Rift
===

+ Affordable complete out of the box VR solution
+ Lightweight, pretty comfy
+ Performance, enables even potato spec rigs to hit 90fps and Async Spacewarp is best in class.

- God rays - plenty of light beams flying around although can be tuned out.
- Color/contrast/brightness/saturation are not impressive. Showing her age.

Conclusion - Have well over a thousand hours in Elite using the Rift and she has been super reliable and a great experience.


OG Vive Pro (Fresnels)
==================

+ Complete out of the box VR solution
+ Excellent ergonomics, very comfy.
+ HUD text is very legible.
+ Excellent color/saturation/brightness/contrast.
+ OLED so zero backlight bleed. Black is black.

- Performance is demanding. Need a 2080Ti to achieve a solid 90fps at 100% SteamVR Application resolution.
- Expensive, i paid 1300 quid in the UK.
- Very small sweet spot, off axis definition is heavily blurred.
- God Rays. Insane, makes Elite hard to enjoy they are so obnoxious.
- Occasionally visible mura correction pattern (grey haze).
- Medium impact screen door effect.

Conclusion - God Rays really ruin the experience in Elite.


Modded Vive Pro (GearVR aspherics)
==============================

+ God rays - Zero, they are gone, completely.
+ Transparency - crystal clear optics because there is zero stray light.
+ Image is beautifully sharp from edge to edge. Sweet spot is the entire FOV.

- Field of view is reduced to 100 degrees.
- Distortion profile might need to be adjusted from the factory firmware profile. Scale can appear off.
- Open heart surgery is required to replace lenses. Its actually quite trivial but prising out the fresnels with a knife is a bit daunting at first.

Conclusion - Elite looks amazing and runs smoothly. My #1 HMD for Elite.


Pimax 5k+
========

+ HUD text is perfectly legible.
+ Field of View - Its huge, like natural field of vision huge. Takes a while to sink in.
+ God Rays - big improvement on the OG Vive Pro/Rift/Vive. There is stray light on axis though with high contrast scenery.
+ Color/saturation/brightness/contrast are good.
+ LCD so no mura correction pattern visible.
+ Low impact screen door effect.
+ PiTools has a lot of panel/viewplane options including 60/72/90hz refresh rates, Small/Normal/Large FOV, Brainwarp/FFR, Low/Normal/High brightness.

- Performance is terrible because you need to have parallel projection compatibility enabled in PiTool. This means a colossal render target. 2080Ti struggles even in Small FOV.
- Not an out of the box VR solution, needs Vive lighthouses.
- Needs a Vive DAS/3D printed adapters/new face gasket to get it positioned properly (and comfortably) so the distortion profile works. Out of the box it sucks.
- LCD so you get a lot of backlight bleed. Black is not black.
- Brainwarp is not as good as Async Spacewarp, not even close.

Conclusion - has massive potential and is super immersive in Elite on the rare occasion you can hit 90fps but sadly is dramatically held back by the performance.


Like i said it would be good to get more data from the WMR guys and consensus from other Vive Pro/Pimax users. This is after all subjective in a lot of assessments so the more signal we get the better [up]

Great Write Up Cmdr, and has hit the spot dead on for me, as a Rift owner and wear nothing else for ED, and now considering a Vive Pro v Pimax 5K+ (Pimax are really peeing me off big style, by refusing to answer any of my Delivery dates questions & emails).

So may i humbly ask about the Pro Lens change? where did you source the new lenses for the Pro? Watch vids on the change, look easy, but also scary prying out lens with a knife on a £1300 bit of kit!!
 
Currently own...

Rift
Original vive
Samsung Odyssey
Samsung Odyssey +
Pimax 5k

After much deliberation, I’m going to say the Odyssey + is currently my first choice for ED :O
 
Great Write Up Cmdr, and has hit the spot dead on for me, as a Rift owner and wear nothing else for ED, and now considering a Vive Pro v Pimax 5K+ (Pimax are really peeing me off big style, by refusing to answer any of my Delivery dates questions & emails).

So may i humbly ask about the Pro Lens change? where did you source the new lenses for the Pro? Watch vids on the change, look easy, but also scary prying out lens with a knife on a £1300 bit of kit!!
Ebay have full kits - i.e. lenses and the printed adapters. I picked mine up for about £30 if I recall.
 
Currently own...

Rift
Original vive
Samsung Odyssey
Samsung Odyssey +
Pimax 5k

After much deliberation, I’m going to say the Odyssey + is currently my first choice for ED :O
Can us poor UK chaps buy a Odyssey+ yet?
 
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I got mine shipped from US via big Apple buddy. With the current discounts (half off) now would be the time to get one if that’s the direction you are going in :)
 
Can us poor UK chaps buy a Odyssey+ yet?
I used Big Apple Buddy to the UK Wasp0. The Odyssey+ is unlikely to be sold here by Samsung so it's between that and ebay where they also do the import for you.
You got any US family?

If you're anywhere near Sheffield you'd be welcome to try it before commiting.

Edit : quoting the right person
 
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I got mine shipped from US via big Apple buddy. With the current discounts (half off) now would be the time to get one if that’s the direction you are going in :)
Just checked this out, what a great service.

Very tempted to do this, but off to LA for a week soon, so will see if I can pick up there, if not, this looks like a good option.
 
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