Testing & Benchmarking the HP Reverb G2 vs. the HP G1 and HTC Vive Pro
BTR has been reviewing and benchmarking VR games and hardware since 2016 when we started out with a Rift CV1 and then upgraded to a Vive Pro two years later. Three weeks ago, we received a Reverb G2 on loan from Hewlett Packard (HP). Coincidentally, we received a Reverb G1 from Sean, BTR’s VR sim specialist, that same day. Although the Reverb G2’s specifications are similar to the G1’s – 2160 x 2160 resolution per eye – HP claims that the new G2 is a major upgrade. Since the Reverb G2 and the Vive Pro each represent competing VR platforms, we will evaluate and compare them with a strong emphasis on benchmarking their performance in VR games.
A lot has changed since our original review when we wrote that the main reason we picked the Rift over the Vive is because we are mobility-limited. Six years ago, the Oculus Rift offered great “seated” experiences while Vive featured more precise-tracking for large standing “room-sized” experiences. Since then, most SteamVR games allow for awesome seated experiences, and we said good-bye to the Rift for the much more immersive gaming of the higher resolution Vive Pro and its untethered wireless experience.
The Vive Pro at 1440×1600 per eye resolution, although it is a noticeable upgrade over the Rift CV1’s 1080×1200 per eye resolution, the “screendoor” effect (the unlighted space between pixels) is still visible, and we were intrigued by the claims that the Reverb has eliminated it by using improved lenses and and and an LCD display at 2160×2160 resolution per eye. Also, Sean told us that the Reverb is the perfect headset for flight and racing sims, and we just had to try it. We now have three headsets that we are comparing for this review – the Pro, the G1, and the G2.
The Reverb G2 at $599 and the Vive Pro are still competitors, but the Vive Pro is only available from Vive in Europe. The Pro headset by itself, it costs around $799. Vive has replaced the Pro with the Pro Eye and it is aimed mostly at developers and for professional use, but it still requires two base stations ($199 each) and two controllers ($199 each) making the full kit considerably more expensive than the complete Reverb G2 kit. The Vive Cosmo is Vive’s current consumer platform.
The State of VR Today
Since 2016, BTR has continued to focus on VR, and not only do we review selected VR games, we benchmark and chart their frametimes and unconstrained framerates (the performance headroom) with multiple video cards from AMD and NVIDIA using FCAT-VR.
From the very beginning, we realized that VR is the future, but also that mass adoption is still years off, unlike the ridiculous predictions the tech press were making as they endlessly hyped VR as the next big thing after the 3DTV fad faded. When it didn’t happen immediately, disappointment that it didn’t meet their own overblown unrealistic expectations caused many of them to bitterly state that VR will never be more than niche, while others are even saying it is dead. Well, this is nonsense as the latest VR reports show.
Valve’s exclusively VR game, Half Life: Alyx, has sold over 2 million copies, and recently Facebook’s CEO said VR will become mainstream as his company pours unlimited resources into VR. He did not specify what mainstream means, but the understanding is that if 10 million users are on one platform, it becomes very profitable to develop for. And we have seen a very steady progression of improving VR games and HMD development. VR is still in its infancy and we have not yet seen the true Next Gen of HMD 2.0 which are probably being developed this year.
However, with the advent of NVIDIA’s ray tracing and AI DLSS upscaling for the desktop and the industry-wide adoption of ray tracing, a whole new world of photorealistic video gaming opens up to PC gamers, and we have confirmation from NVIDIA that this same technology is being applied to VR. AMD has also confirmed that they will continue to support what they call ‘VR Premium’.
VR and AR are growing incredibly fast in the professional world as a multi-billion dollar industry – air and space travel, automotive, healthcare, training and education, as well as designers have adopted VR as essential to their growth, besides entertainment. VR will not stop growing even though VR is still somewhat niche in the gaming world. Weak arguments against VR include that it is difficult to set up; that VR is not physically comfortable, it is isolating, and expensive – or even that it makes the player feel too “small” in a big game world. Perhaps some of this was true 5 years ago, but no longer.
Most VR games can be played seated, and safeguards are in place to insure users’ comfort. That VR is more isolating than PC gaming is a ridiculous idea as it also offers the same kind of online interaction for gamers, and several HMDs allow VR enthusiasts to monitor what is going on in the real world while inside VR. It is also much less expensive to get into PC VR now than ever before.
The VR experience is different compared with regular video gaming, and the intense feeling of “being there” in an immersive and realistic world simply cannot be conveyed by words or by video. It actually takes entering and interacting within a well-done VR game to make believers out of skeptics. Until recently, few enthusiasts could afford to recreate an arcade-like VR experience at home which is necessary for truly immersive racing and/or flying sims.
In 2016, after the first time this editor stepped into a VR world and crawled under a desk to examine its underside, met a huge dragon face-to-face, stared down into an abyss, and felt the wind while racing in the Indy 500, we became certain that VR will become a significant part of the future of gaming. Watching a full-size Skyrim dragon blasting out fire, or launching fireballs and spells from your own fingertips, or actually feeling the handheld controller thunk as an arrow partially penetrates the shield you are holding for defense, imparts an impressive and immersive realism that conveys the feeling of being “inside” the game. In contrast, pancake games cannot provide more than a window into a game world no matter how large the screen.
We do not suggest that VR is superior to pancake gaming or will replace it. Rather VR is an alternate way to game that is not inferior in any way. VR is not a replacement for gaming on a flat screen – it is a different way to enjoy it. We would much rather play a high-quality video game on a flat screen display rather than play a poorly-implemented VR game.
Since its beginning, VR enthusiasts have demonstrated it to their friends, posted enthusiastically on social media, and purchased all of the good games on Day 1 to “encourage” VR development. VR gaming has continued to grow at a slow and steady pace as the tech press continued to lambaste it because of their inability to comprehend what was happening after their ridiculous predictions of instant adoption failed.
Then the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic changed everything. VR has become a social media phenomenon and its growth has continued to spread by word of mouth and even the mainstream press has begun to acknowledge it. Gone are the early days of rushed and poorly thought-out VR games, and high-quality full length AAA games have been released and are continuing to be announced. At least 60 games available for the Oculus Quest platform have made over $1 million each in 2020 according to Facebook. Six of these games have raked in above $10 million, and the top Quest game earned above $29 million. And the latest Steam survey acknowledges that HMDs are now at 2% adoption.
So now let’s take a closer look at the Reverb G2 which launched in November 2020 and its evolution from the G1 which launched in March 2019.
We asked HP, ‘Why the G2 over the G1’
We asked HP about the differences between the G1 and the G2. They replied (and we quote):
G2 is a massive upgrade over G1, given how big of an improvement it is at the same price we no longer sell the G1 so ideally they focus on G2. I can guarantee they wont want to use the G1 after trying G2.
Improvements over G1:
- New Valve designed lenses
- Mechanical IPD
- Updated WMR optical calibration methods for new lenses
- New LCD panels (brighter, lower persistence, reduced mura, better contrast and colors)
- New controllers with better ergonomics and industry standard button layout
- Longer and thinner cable, now 6 meters long
- New HMD ergonomic design with magnetically removable facemask
- 4 camera WMR tracking, provides vastly superior controller tracking volume for natural inputs
- Off ear BMR driver headphones from the Valve Index
After spending weeks with the G2 and the G1, we absolutely have to agree. There is no comparison, especially with G2’s superior tracking and its greatly improved clarity over the G1. The Reverb G2 is a much better headset for gaming than the G1.
So let’s get started by unboxing the Reverb G2 on the following page and we will compare it with the G1.
Mark became a chess editor and then an investigative journalist in Dublin, Ireland in the 1970s. Back in the USA, he became an arcade gamer who transitioned to PC gaming. From California, he traveled to Brazil in search of waves, moved to Hawaii and became a regular Pipeline surfer as well as on-air surf reporter/forecaster and DJ. Mark founded AlienBabelTech in 2008, and then established BabelTechReviews in 2014 where he continues as EiC. He specializes in PC graphics and VR.
HP Reverb G2 vs Oculus Quest 2
38 facts in comparison
HP Reverb G2
Oculus Quest 2
Why is HP Reverb G2 better than Oculus Quest 2?
- 32.64% higher resolution?
2160 x 2160px & 2160 x 2160pxvs3664 x 1920px
- 14° wider field of view?
- 5.5mm narrower?
- 58.5mm thinner?
- 27mm shorter?
- 57.9% less body volume?
Why is Oculus Quest 2 better than HP Reverb G2?
- 33.33% higher refresh rate?
- Can be used wirelessly?
- Has position tracking?
- Has a socket for a 3.5 mm audio jack?
- Has gesture control?
- 0.2 newer USB version?
- 47g lighter?
- Has touch controllers?
Interpupillary distance (IPD) is the distance between the center of your eyes. Without adjustable IPD, the lenses of a VR headset may not line up with your pupils, which can result in eye strain and nausea.
We consider a lower weight better because lighter devices are more comfortable to carry. A lower weight is also an advantage for home appliances, as it makes transportation easier, and for many other types of products.
The width represents the horizontal dimension of the product. We consider a smaller width better because it assures easy maneuverability.
We consider a thinner chassis better because it makes the product more compact and portable. Thinness is a feature highlighted by many manufacturers of mobile devices, but it is essential for a wide range of products.
The height represents the vertical dimension of the product. We consider a smaller height better because it assures easy maneuverability.
Volume is the quantity of three-dimensional space enclosed by the product's chassis or, in simpler terms, the space the product occupies.
Display & Lenses
Resolution is an essential indicator of a screen's image quality, representing the maximum amount of pixels that can be shown on the screen. The resolution is given as a compound value, comprised of horizontal and vertical pixels.
A wider field of view assures an immersive and realistic experience.
The frequency at which the screen is refreshed. Higher frequency results in less flickering (less noise) and more natural movement representation in action-intense scenes.
With adjustable lenses, the device can assure a sharp and clear image for a wide range of users, including users who usually wear glasses.
The device has an electronic display to present information to the user.
As your head moves, the images move in real-time, assuring a realistic experience.
A gyroscope is a sensor that tracks the orientation of a device, more specifically by measuring the angular rotational velocity. Initially, they were built using a spinning rotor to detect changes in orientation, like twisting or rotation.
The headset has multiple sensors and cameras that assure low latency tracking for 360° movements.
The device can track your position in space and warn you if you are about to hit something.
An accelerometer is a sensor used to measure the linear acceleration of a device. A common application is detecting when a device changes between vertical and horizontal positions.
The gesture control function allows you to manipulate virtual objects.
With an infrared sensor the device can detect motion by measuring the infrared (IR) light radiating from objects in its field of view.
A compass is useful for gaming, maps, and navigation software.
Newer USB versions are faster and have better power management.
The USB Type-C features reversible plug orientation and cable direction.
It is compatible with a range of iOS devices such as iPhones, iPads and the iPod Touch.
Devices with integrated audio are more convenient to use, as you don't have worry about connecting headphones or microphones.
Devices with stereo speakers deliver sound from independent channels on both left and right sides, creating a richer sound and a better experience.
The device comes with handheld wireless controllers that are used for gesture control and/or movement tracking.
A remote control allows you to control the device remotely. The remote control can be included or optional.
You can use your voice to control key functions of the device and you can easily access your device without pushing any button.
This technology allows the users to use their smartphone as a remote control for the device.
3D audio provides a more immersive soundscape than traditional surround sound technologies, allowing you to pinpoint the exact direction that sounds are coming from.
Which are the best VR headsets?
HP Reverb G2 Omnicept Edition
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Yesterday saw HP make a definitive step towards entering the virtual reality (VR) gaming space by announcing the Reverb G2, a headset made in collaboration with Valve and Microsoft. Based on the Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) platform the specifications promise what could be one of the best pieces of consumer VR hardware so below you’ll find a side-by-side comparison with all the other contenders.
Unlike the previous HP Reverb, the 2020 edition won’t be purely aimed at the enterprise market – an area some companies have steered towards to remain viable. This time consumers will get a look in, with a headset priced at $599 USD, offering an easy setup thanks to inside-out tracking and possibly class leading visuals.
The HP Reverb G2 will offer 2160 x 2160 per eye resolution while the Valve Index’s 1600 x 1440 seems a little lacklustre by comparison. The lenses on HP’s headset have been designed by Valve as well as the off-ear speakers to provide the spatial audio.
At that price the HP Reverb G2 sits between the Oculus Rift S at $399 and Valve Index’s full kit at $999, making it a very tempting solution for those looking at Valve’s headset who would like to save $400 to spend on videogames and not have to worry about base station placement. Whether the extra $200 over the Oculus Rift S is worth it is another matter. Once VRFocus has got its hands on the HP Reverb G2 you’ll know.
From the looks of it the HP Reverb G2 shapes up very nicely and could well become a Windows Mixed Reality headset to own. The platform has struggled since its launch in 2017, the headsets were cheaper than rivals whilst providing early inside-out tracking. But they never took off, VR was still finding its feet and the sudden influx of six devices didn’t make things simple for consumers.
HP has persevered and now looks to be on the right track. Even the ugly WMR controllers have had a makeover and actually look like they could be comfortable.
A worldwide launch of the HP Reverb G2 is expected to take place in the Autumn, with pre-orders going live in the coming weeks/months. VRFocus will continue its coverage of HP’s new Reverb G2, reporting back with the latest updates.
HP Reverb G2HTC Vive CosmosHTC Vive ProOculus QuestOculus Rift SValve IndexSours: https://www.vrfocus.com/2020/05/hp-reverb-g2-rivals-specification-comparison/
The Ultimate Showdown: Valve Index vs Vive Pro vs Reverb G2: Do We Have A VR King?
It’s getting harder to choose your next VR headset. It's a good problem to have because it shows the maturity of the market. More headsets, more options, more distributed and adopted XR technology.
On one hand, you have to pick between different manufacturers that constantly try to upend each other with new hardware and software improvements to their products. On the other hand, these days there are so many things you can do in virtual reality that some headsets might be uniquely better at certain things than others.
So why don’t we take three flagship PC VR headsets from leading manufacturers - Valve Index, HTC Vive Pro, and the HP Reverb G2, and settle once and for all which headset should be your top choice this year?
We’ll also cover how the recently released Oculus Quest 2 compares to all of them and even speculate about which headset you might buy in 2021.
Let’s dive into the ultimate PC VR headset showdown.
Table of Contents:
- Overview: Valve Index vs Vive Pro vs HP Reverb G2
- Tech Specs Comparison: Valve Index vs Vive Pro vs G2
- Visual Comparison
- Valve Index Display
- HTC Vive Pro Display
- HP Reverb G2 Display
- Visual Comparison Summary:
- Design And Comfort Comparison
- Valve Index Design And Comfort
- HP Reverb G2 Design And Comfort
- Vive Pro
- Design And Comfort Summary:
- Audio Comparison
- Valve Index Audio
- HP Reverb G2 Audio
- HTC Vive Pro Audio
- Audio Comparison Summary:
- Controllers And Tracking Comparison
- Valve Index Controllers and Tracking
- HP Reverb G2 Controllers and Tracking
- HTC Vive Pro Controllers and Tracking
- Controllers and Tracking Summary:
- Unique Selling Points For Every Headset
- Pricing and Value: So What Does It Cost Me?
- What About Oculus Quest 2?
- Which Headset To Buy In 2021?
Overview: Valve Index vs Vive Pro vs HP Reverb G2
Valve Index headset was manufactured by Valve and released on June 28, 2019. Since then this second-generation PC VR headset quickly amassed many fans due to its impeccable tracking precision, high-quality built-in audio, and innovative strapped on controllers. High refresh rate and precise finger tracking make the model a viable choice for both professional users and hardcore gamers.
HTC Vive Pro is a veteran among headsets. This PC VR model was developed by HTC in collaboration with Valve and released in January 2018. The headset is an upgraded version of the original Vive model. Although Vive Pro is several years old, it is still comparable to more modern headsets due to the high-resolution display and available modifications such as an eye-tracking version and a wireless adapter. Yet the steep price diminishes these benefits.
HP Reverb G2 is an upcoming virtual reality headset developed by HP and Microsoft. The model is set to release in the Fall of 2020 (soon!) and is an upgraded version of the original Reverb headset. The headset sports an ultra-high-quality display, redesigned controllers, and the same high-quality built-in speakers as Valve Index. Although G2 is a tethered device that requires a PC to operate, unlike with Valve Index and Vive Pro, HP’s new headset doesn’t require any external base stations to operate due to the inside tracking technology.
Although we didn’t include Oculus Quest 2 in this showdown, we’ll add a summary at the end so that you could make a full impression about the current VR headset market.
Tech Specs Comparison: Valve Index vs Vive Pro vs G2
Of all the headsets, Valve Index features the highest field of view and refresh rate up to 144 Hz, which facilitates the most smooth VR experience to date.
At the same, time G2 has the highest resolution display with the quality of the image so far unmatched by its competitors. We’ll compare the visual characteristics of all three headsets in a separate section.
Although Vive Pro screen resolution is on par with that of Valve Index, the lack of subpixels and lower refresh rate hints at a somewhat outdated visual experience.
All three headsets are PC VR and require a computer to process and render VR applications.
Feel free to learn about VR requirements for different headsets and check whether your gaming PC can handle VR applications using our “Is your PC VR ready?” guide.
Let’s compare all three headsets in detail and start with visuals.
Valve Index Display
Valve Index sports two LCDs each with 1440 x 1600 pixels per eye. Even though the resolution is the same as Vive Pro has, the ultra-low persistence displays of Index provide up to 50% more subpixels which contribute to sharper image, better fill-factor, and almost non-existent screen door effect.
Compared to other headsets on the market, Valve Index currently has the highest field of view (FOV) of 130 degrees (perceived as 120) and a refresh rate of up to 144 Hz. Using SteamVR software you can set Index’s refresh rate manually to 80 Hz, 80 Hz, 120 Hz, and 144 Hz, but the higher the rate the more powerful the PC you’ll need to run VR simulations. The highest refresh rate allows for smoother, more fluid, and more immersive VR interactions.
Looking to start building your own AR/VR applications? Get our XR development with Unity course syllabus
Perhaps the only downside of the Valve Index is the rare glare effect that occurs due to Index using dual-element lenses. The glare effect can be noticeable when large, high-contrast elements are placed against a darker background. There's no such an issue in scenes with lower contrast.
HTC Vive Pro Display
HTC Vive Pro uses a single 2880 x 1600 px 615 PPI OLED display which is great on its own but yet is a downgrade in almost every aspect compared to Valve Index and G2 displays. Having fewer pixels than both mentioned, Vive Pro suffers from a more prominent screen door effect and overall lower image quality.
The headset operates at a 90 Hz refresh rate and features a 110 degrees field of view. One of the few advantages of the Vive Pro is that the OLED display, compared to LCD, allows for better handling of black levels and high-contrast environments, although the difference is not that dramatic given the increased resolution of competitive models.
Below you can see how Valve Index outperforms Vive Pro in term of sharpness and picture quality:
(Source) Left image: HTC Vive Pro, Right image: Valve Index
HP Reverb G2 Display
G2 delivers a stunning quality of the image as it boasts the highest number of pixels compared to both Index and Vive Pro. The headset features two full RGB stripe 2160 x 2160 p LCD panels and operates at a 90 Hz refresh rate.
Although the original G1 also surpassed the competition in terms of resolution, the G2 is even a further step up with updated Valve lenses. The G2 fresnel lenses were developed by Valve, but the headset doesn't suffer from the same glare effect. The G2 model handles black levels better and has less mura effect due to enhanced resolution.
Reverb G2 features an increased 114-degree field of view, which is lower than that of the Valve Index but an upgrade compared to other headsets on the market.
Overall the sharpness and richness of visuals that G2 provides are awesome as you might see in this comparison from Tyriel Wood from VR Tech:
Visual Comparison Summary:
Between all three headsets, Valve Index with its highest FoV and refresh rate offers the most immersive visual feedback in virtual reality, whereas G2 offers the highest image quality.
If you plan to use VR applications that require high degrees of accuracy and reaction, such as business simulations or fast-paced games, Valve Index should be your top priority.
In case you need stunning visual experience and immersion through high-detailed graphics, G2 is a clear winner.
HTC Vive Pro compares to other headsets neither in quality of graphics nor in the fluidity of simulation.
Design And Comfort Comparison
Valve Index Design And Comfort
Although Valve Index is on the heavy side of headsets (~809g), its impeccable ergonomics and weight distribution make Index one of the most comfortable headsets on the market.
The headset features a mechanically adjustable head strap with string struts that allow users to easily put the headset on and off without adjusting it every time. The overhead strap relieves cheeks of the headset’s weight while its cushions are made out of a soft breathable foam material.
The interpupillary distance (IPD) can be mechanically adjusted between 58 mm and 70 mm using a slider on the bottom, which allows the majority of users to use the headset without straining their eyes. There’s also a mechanical dial that controls the distance between eyes and lenses, which allows users to easily find their sweet spot or adjust the headset with glasses on.
Off-ear headphones and strapped on controllers contribute to Index comfort even further, and we’ll cover those in detail later.
HP Reverb G2 Design And Comfort
HP Reverb G2 is noticeably lighter (498g) compared to Valve Index and in terms of comfort is an overall improvement compared to its ergonomic predecessor G1. HP also redesigned the foam padding and now the headset feels softer and lighter on your face. Reverb G2 and Valve Index share similar overall designs with oval shape head-mount and even similar headband styles.
G2 also uses a single-barrel cable that is a major improvement to the original’s weighty double-barrel.
Finally, the headset also features a physical IPD adjustment that ranges from 60 mm to 68 mm.
Vive Pro is a comfortable headset on its own, but compared with Valve Index it feels a bit stiff and unbalanced. The headset weighs around 770 grams without a cable.
Vive Pro allows for manual IPD adjustment between 60 mm and 73 mm to cover a wide range of users. As with the Valve Index, you can adjust how close the lenses are positioned to the eyes, but you can’t bring lenses as close as with Valve Index, which results in a lower field of view and a less desirable sweet spot for some users.
One of the advantages for HTC Vive pro though is that you can buy a wireless adapter separately and turn Vive Pro into a tetherless device.
Design And Comfort Summary:
Of all the heavy headsets, Valve Index is by far superior in terms of comfort and ergonomics. The best part comes from not having to buy any extra accessories as this level of comfort comes out-of-box.
G2 is largely inspired by Valve Index in terms of ergonomics and overall feels like a well-built medium-range headset. In a way, G2 beats Index in comfort due to being lightweight and not requiring any external base stations to operate.
Although in terms of comfort HTC Vive Pro is a huge improvement compared to the original Vive, the Pro headset feels like a cheaper version of the Valve Index.
Valve Index Audio
The quality of sound that the Valve Index built-in audio system delivers is simply off the charts. Optimized specifically to provide a fully accurate virtual reality experience, Valve headphones create superior immersion using the combination of hardware and software engineering.
Valve Index features off-ear headphones that float over your ears rather than being plugged-in or pressed against them. This ensures both comfort and positional accuracy with users being able to experience hyper-realistic sound rather than mimicking it through traditional tonal-less headphones or less immersive loudspeakers.
The quality of the Valve Index dual-directional microphone is on par with its speakers at the sampling rate of 48 Hz.
HP Reverb G2 Audio
G2 pretty much uses the Valve audio system for its speakers, ensuring the same level of comfort and accuracy as Index does. The headphones float over your ears by 10 mm with an adjustable fit.
The G2 microphone is different from Index though. Although it is of a bit lower quality, the mic is still great given the headset’s lower price. Unlike Valve Index, G2 doesn’t have a3.5mm audio jack so you can’t plug in your own audio solution.
HTC Vive Pro Audio
HTC Vive Pro features balanced headphones with active noise cancellation and a volume controller on the left earcup. Compared to cheaper headsets Vive Pro is a clear winner, but the quality doesn’t compare with Index and G2.
There are known issues with bass levels that can be solved using custom 3D-printed clips or rubber bands.
Audio Comparison Summary:
When it comes to built-in audio, Valve Index is a clear winner with its impeccable sound and microphone quality. G2 comes close second with the same audio solution as Valve Index, but a slightly cheaper microphone.
HTC Vive Pro is once again tailing behind and while the headset has good built-in audio on its own, the quality doesn’t compare to other flagship models.
3D Audio constitutes to up to 50% of XR immersive experience. If you are a developer, don't neglect the aspect of sound design in your applications!
Controllers And Tracking Comparison
Valve Index Controllers and Tracking
Valve Index uses “floating” controllers that are strapped around your hands rather than you don’t have to constantly hold them. The controllers detect individual finger motion and pressure with sensors that also spot how close your hands are to controls, which allows you to track even slight non-gripping movements.
Controllers feel very natural. Paired with high-frequency refresh rates of the headset, Index allows for very precise finger tracking, making the headset one of the leaders for business and manufacturing simulations where high degrees of precision are required.
To operate Valve Index requires you to set up at least two tracking base stations that allow the headset to know its location in your environment. Valve Index uses a Lighthouse 2.0 tracking system that is an improvement in terms of FoV and range compared to the previous version that HTC Vive Pro utilizes out of the box.
You can expand your play area up to 10x10 meters by purchasing two more base stations separately.
HP Reverb G2 Controllers and Tracking
G2 controllers look and feel very similar to the original design of Oculus Touch controllers that were highly praised by the VR community for ergonomics and style. Although compared to Oculus Touch they lack texture and premium material which sometimes makes them feel slippery. The touchpad of an original Oculus was replaced with an array of four buttons.
Reverb G2 controllers run on AA batteries which is a downgrade compared to Valve Index rechargeable knuckles controllers. Make sure you invest in rechargeable batteries of at least 1.5 voltage, otherwise you might run into issues when your headset perceives your controllers low battery and turns them off.
In terms of tracking G2 is more comfortable compared to Valve, yet less accurate. G2 does not require any base stations to be set up and instead tracks your movements using four cameras placed within a headset. Although convenient, inside tracking is prone to rare controller occlusion or tracking loss when controllers are too close to the headset.
It’s worth noting that new Reverb controllers are backward compatible with other Windows mixed reality headsets.
HTC Vive Pro Controllers and Tracking
HTC Vive Pro greets you with pretty much the same original HTC Vive Wand controllers used with the original Vive but with an additional sensor to support Base Station 2.0 tracking.
As with Valve Index, Vive Pro controllers are rechargeable, yet they don’t achieve the same level of comfort and ergonomics that Index brings with its floating knuckles. Vive Pro controllers support finger tracking, yet the accuracy depends on whether you are using out-of-box tracking base stations or purchase Lighthouse 2.0 separately.
You can also use Valve Index controllers with the Vive Pro headset.
Controllers and Tracking Summary:
The comfort and precision of Valve Index controllers are unmatched by both G2 and HTC Vive. Although Valve controllers can be used with Vive Pro, it requires a series of extra purchases to make them work with G2.
In terms of tracking, Valve Index is once again superior, yet G2 doesn’t require any external base stations and tracks your movements perfectly on its own which contributes to both its convenience and ease of use.
Unique Selling Points For Every Headset
Here’s a quick summary of every headset that will help you decide which one is the best pick for your needs. We’ll include some key points for Quest 2 as well so you could get the full picture of the VR market right now.
Valve Index Summary:
- Impeccable comfort of use and superior tracking accuracy
- Smoothest VR experience with the highest FoV and refresh rate on the market
- Requires high-end PC to operate at maximum performance
- High quality of the built-in audio system
- Possibly a wireless version in the development
HP Reverb G2 Summary:
- Currently, the most detailed and realistic visual experience VR market offers
- High-quality built-in Valve audio system
- Easy set up with no external tracking stations required
- Great value for the price
Note: for professional developers and business users there’s also HP Reverb G2 Omnicept version in the works with built-in eye-tracking, face cam, pupillometry, and heart rate tracking.
HTC Vive Pro Summary:
- Wireless adapter purchased separately
- Vive Pro Eye model with eye-tracking capabilities
- Compatible with Valve Index controllers and Lighthouse 2.0 base stations
- Overall outdated and overpriced headset
Oculus Quest 2 Summary:
- Best quality for the cheapest price [$299]
- Facebook privacy concerns [the headset requires a real Facebook account to operate]
- Wireless, easiest out-of-box setup
- Doesn’t require a PC to operate
Pricing and Value: So What Does It Cost Me?
Of all the reviewed headsets Valve Index is the most expensive one. The Valve Index $999 full kit contains a headset, two controllers, and two base stations. The kit, controllers, and base stations can be purchased through the Steam platform.
There are several regions/countries that Valve doesn’t ship to including China, Australia, South America, and Russia, so you might end up spending more money at resellers.
Reverb G2 is set for release in the Fall of 2020 at $600. Given its many advantages, G2 offers great value for the money you pay.
HTC Vive Pro starter kit contains the headset, two Wand controllers, two SteamVR 1.0 base stations and is priced at $899. In our HTC vs Oculus guide, we compared all the Vive headsets (including Vive Cosmos Elite and Oculus Rift) in terms of price and value and still believe that at the current price HTC Vive Pro is not worth the money it asks for.
Oculus Quest 2 currently offers the best casual VR experience out-of-box. The model costs $299 but it’s preferable to purchase a separate elite strap at $49 for improved comfort. Although Oculus Quest 2lacks in both image quality and audio compared to more expensive G2 and Index, it still delivers a great VR experience for the money at the cost of a mandatory Facebook account.
What About Oculus Quest 2?
We already explored why the second Quest deserves your special interest in our in-depth Quest 2 review, but let’s quickly cover what the latest Facebook headset brings to the table:
- Wireless headset — Quest 2 is a self-sufficient tetherless device that doesn’t require any PC and tracking stations to operate. The headset is easy to set up and facilitates a great wireless VR experience.
- Excellent price/value ratio — Quest 2 ships at just $299. Even though the picture quality doesn’t compare to G2 or Valve Index, it’s still surprisingly great for such a cheap price. There’s also a 256 Gb version available for $399.
- High-end processor — Oculus Quest 2 ships with the latest Snapdragon XR2 processor and we're yet to discover the full potential of this headset after a series of updates.
- Mandatory Facebook account — Probably the most controversial feature of the latest Quest is that you have to use a real Facebook account to utilize the headset which raises a few eyebrows in terms of how Facebook handles and exploits user privacy.
With all that said Oculus Quest 2 is still a great wireless headset for the money and will undoubtedly popularize virtual reality among a more casual audience and will likely boost the VR market growth even further.
Which Headset To Buy In 2021?
As easy as it would be to say “it depends” as to which headset should you buy next, we strongly believe that there’s a perfect headset for every task.
Best performance, best business headset, comfortable fit, smoothest VR experience, and tracking accuracy: Valve Index
Best casual VR experience for the lowest price: Oculus Quest 2
Best option for a stunning visual experience: HP Reverb G2. (learn more in our thorough HP Reverb G2 review)
We hope our guide will help you to make an informed choice about the current state of VR headset market. Our advice is to thoroughly analyze how you are going to use the headset before you are going to buy it.
Looking to upgrade your AR/VR development skills? Get our advanced XR development course syllabus
Reverb g2 hp reverb vs
The HP Reverb G1 is a very good headset with a few major display flaws which turned customers off. The new announcement for the G2 promises to fix those and bring even more improvements. In this guide, we will explain each headset and show you the differences in the HP Reverb G1 vs G2.
This will help you decide whether to buy the HP Reverb over other popular headsets from Oculus or HTC.
Let’s get started.
Other VR headset comparisons to check out (links will open in a new window):
- Pimax 5K vs 8K vs Artisan
- Oculus Rift S vs Quest
- HTC Vive vs Vive Pro vs Vive Eye vs Vive Cosmos
What is the HP Reverb?
The HP Reverb is a VR Headset built on the Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) platform. WMR is an ecosystem from Microsoft designed for head-mounted displays. Other devices on the WMR platform include the Microsoft HoloLens AR glasses and the Samsung Odyssey+ and Acer OJO 500 VR headsets.
WMR devices integrate well with the Windows 10 platform, promising low latency and high performance with a connected PC. You can also stream and use Windows 10 on your WMR VR headset.
All WMR devices also support the Steam platform for a wider selection of games.
Check out our VR Headset Comparison Tool for a table of of specs for all headsets.
Where to Buy
HP Reverb G2
When HP announced the Reverb G2 VR headset, they immediately placed a preorder link for the hardware on their website. The G2 is expected to launch in the fall of 2020.
Click here to buy the HP Reverb G2 from the officlal website.
HP Reverb G1
Buy the Reverb G1 from Amazon or the official website below.
Click here to buy the HP Reverb G1 from the official website.
HP Reverb G1 vs G2 Price
Both the HP Reverb G1 and G2 both retail for $599 USD. This is more than Oculus’ VR headsets which retail for $399, but less than the average price of an HTC Vive headset.
We would expect to see discounts on the G1 as soon as the new model is officially released. However, it appears that HP has low stock on the G1 anyways, so you might only be able to buy the G1 second-hand soon.
Since the Reverb G2 has better specs, it is worth it to find the newer model. We’ll explain more below in our Specs area for each VR headset.
HP Reverb G1 vs G2 Release Dates
The original HP Reverb G1 was released on April 26, 2019.
The new HP Reverb G2 was announced in a May 28, 2020, announcement. On the same day, HP announced that the device was available for preorder. The official release date was originally set for September 15th, 2020, but an email was released to suppliers on September 2nd that stated:
We would like to inform you about the status of your HP Reverb G2 pre-order.
HP has informed us that the Reverb G2 is currently being equipped with new, improved lenses in the production process. This upgrade will further increase the quality of the product, but according to HP it is accompanied by a slight delay in the initial delivery to all dealers. Based on the new availability date communicated to us by HP, we expect your order to be shipped by the end of October.
You can preorder the G2 today from the official HP website. A leaked report from the online European retailer Schenker indicates that the price might increase from $599 up to $699 in the near future. If this rumor is true, then you’ll want to get your headset now.
The G1 vs G2 has some specific similarities and differences, which we will discuss below!
HP Reverb G1 vs G2 Summary
The overall summary of the HP Reverb G1 and G2 are the same. It is a PC VR headset that must be tethered to a connected gaming PC. The PC requirements for the Reverb G1 and G2 headsets are the same:
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 (or Nvidia Quadro P5200 / AMD Radeon Pro WX 8200) or better. Consider the new Nvidia GeForce RTX 30-series since the 3070 provide excellent value!
- Intel Core i7
- 16 GB of RAM.
The Reverb features a series of outward-facing cameras that allow six-degrees-of-freedom (6DOF) movement tracking. This tracking is done without using external sensors called base stations that need to be placed around you. The Reverb connects to PCs over a mini DisplayPort connection and not HDMI, so some gaming laptops are incompatible.
Below, we dig into more of the specific HP Reverb specifications and differences in the G1 vs G2.
G1 vs G2 Specifications
The table below explains the similarities and differences between each HP Reverb VR headset. Underneath the table we point out some important facts!
|HP Reverb G1||HP Reverb G2|
|Display||LCD RGB||LCD RGB|
|Resolution Per Eye||2160×2160||2160×2160|
|IPD Range||63mm fixed (software adjustable)||60 – 68 mm adjustable|
|# of Tracking Cameras||2||4|
|Controllers||1st Generation Motion Controllers||2nd Generation Motion Controllers|
|Buy Link||Amazon||Official Website|
Resolution and Display
On paper, both Reverb headsets contains dual 2,160 × 2,160 LCD lenses. However, HP promises that a number of deficiencies with the Reverb G1 display have been fixed.
For starters, the contrast and brightness on the G2 is better. This will make each game look sharper and brighter.
HP has also fixed a number of issues and complaints that users had with the G1 headset:
- Decreased mura effect, which is a cloudiness in the display that happens when you move your head.
- Got rid of red smearing, which is a drag of red colors when you move your head.
- Reduced chromatic aberration, which is color separation on the edges of the lenses which create a cloudy effect.
The Reverb G1 already had one of the highest number of pixels per degree of view before. These resolution and display improvements on the Reverb G2 should be awesome.
The Reverb G1 already had one of the highest number of pixels per degree of view before. These resolution and display improvements on the Reverb G2 should be awesome.
Interpupillary Distance (IPD)
Interpupillary Distane is an important factor for virtual reality players. IPD is the distance between your eyes and the mean average for the world is 63.5 mm.
However, different races and genders can have different IPD distances. Therefore, users like to have an adjustable IPD in their VR headset.
The initial G1 had a fixed IPD of 63 mm, with no ability to adjust it to your head shape. The new G2 has a mechanically adjustable IPD between 60 and 68 mm. If you are looking at the HP Reverb G1 vs G2, this adjustable IPD might be the feature you need.
The initial G1 had a fixed IPD of 63 mm, with no ability to adjust it to your head shape. The new G2 has a mechanically adjustable IPD between 60 and 68 mm. If you are looking at the HP Reverb G1 vs G2, this adjustable IPD might be the feature you need.
The original HP Reverb G1 had two cameras which face outward from your head. They are in charge of keeping track of your location in space and watching for movement in your hands and body.
The new G2 adds two more cameras, so that there are four tracking you. This puts the G2 in line with Oculus VR headsets, which also use 4 for tracking.
There weren’t many complaints about the original Reverb G1 audio. However, the HP Reverb G2 has off-ear headphones that sit 10 mm off your ear. HP claims they provide spatial audio thanks to artificial intelligence and new signal processing features.
HP worked with Valve to bring over headphones very similar to what the Valve Index has. You can remove the stock headphones and use your own if you want, but the new stock audio solution is really nice. They should be clearer than any Oculus headset.
The Reverb G2 contains a single-barrel cable that is smaller than the G1. A special single cable plugs into your headset and a USB C 3.0 and DisplayPort plug into your computer at the other end.
The G2 includes a 6 meter (18 feet) cable, which is longer than any other VR headset.
The HP Reverb G2 contains brand new motion controllers with the device. These controllers make a number improvements over the G1:
- Improved button layout
- Halo design with sensors for tracking position and motion
- Analog grip button
Neither the G1 or the G2 controllers contain capacitive touch buttons, which allow for improved tracking of finger placement on the controllers. This is a disadvantage over others like the Oculus Touch controllers. However, G1 vs G2 there has still been some nice improvement here.
The G2 also comes with a few other improvements:
Hopefully this gives you a give you a good idea of the Reverb G1 vs G2 specifications.
Final Words: HP Reverb G1 vs G2
Despite only being a year old, improvements in the Reverb G2 headset are enough to put your focus to it and forget the original. The display and resolution upgrades get rid of the mura effects and work better with motion. Upgraded spatial audio headphones are top of the line. The G2 headset still has one of the highest pixel densities out of all VR headsets.
Even better, the HP Reverb G2 has the same price tag as the old model, which is a free upgrade.
So overall, G1 vs G2 it’s not really a comparison. The G2 is the best Windows VR headset and one that is easily worth checking out.
Once again, here is where you can buy the HP Reverb G1 and G2:
What’s your experience the HP Windows VR headsets? Use the comment box below to share your thoughts with us!
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