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Vive Pro 2 Headset Review

For the best VR experience available today, look no further than this premium model
Vive Pro 2 Headset
Credit: Vive
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:   $799 List | $799.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Incredible tracking, fantastic visual quality, Built-in headphones
Cons:  Pricey, multi-sensor set-up required
Manufacturer:   Vive
By Austin Palmer and Conrad Salonites  ⋅  Oct 21, 2021
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84
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 10
  • Interactiveness - 35% 10
  • Visual Immersiveness - 20% 9.6
  • Comfort - 20% 6.7
  • User Friendliness - 15% 7.9
  • Ease of Setup - 10% 5

Our Verdict

The Vive Pro 2 is the premium VR headset that offers an incredible experience. No other headset combines such exceptional interactiveness and visual immersion as this headset. There is no escaping the fact that this is an expensive piece of hardware, but it's not the most expensive out there, and you could not do better than the Vive Pro 2. With capabilities for massive play areas, everyone from professional entertainers, the VR curious, and those just looking for the absolute best in simulation will find a lot of excitement in this headset. However, those with smaller budgets will want to peruse elsewhere.

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Vive Pro 2 Headset
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Vive Pro 2 Headset
Awards Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $799 List
$799.00 at Amazon
$300 List
$299.00 at Amazon
$600 List
$624.98 at Amazon
$50 List
$49.99 at Amazon
$25 List
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Pros Incredible tracking, fantastic visual quality, Built-in headphonesVersatile, easy to use, very immersiveGreat visuals, easy to set up, fluid trackingSuper easy to set up, very user-friendlyInexpensive, easy to setup
Cons Pricey, multi-sensor set-up requiredCould be a little more comfortableIncompatible with glasses, a strong PC neededNot very interactiveUncomfortable, not as immersive or interactive
Bottom Line For the best VR experience available today, look no further than this premium modelIf you are searching for the best of the best when it comes to VR, we think this product is hard to beatA high-performing headset, with great immersion and tracking, designed for Windows integrationThis relatively inexpensive headset designed for kids is compatible with many different types of phonesThis bare-bones headset is the best way to experience VR on a budget
Rating Categories Vive Pro 2 Headset Oculus Quest 2 HP Reverb G2 Merge VR Google Cardboard
Interactiveness (35%)
10.0
8.0
8.0
1.6
1.6
Visual Immersiveness (20%)
9.6
8.2
9.4
4.8
5.3
Comfort (20%)
6.7
6.4
6.3
6.1
4.2
User Friendliness (15%)
7.9
9.1
9.1
6.9
7.2
Ease Of Setup (10%)
5.0
9.0
6.8
9.3
9.3
Specs Vive Pro 2 Headset Oculus Quest 2 HP Reverb G2 Merge VR Google Cardboard
Field of View 120º 92º 114º 95º 90º
Tracking type External sensors Onboard cameras Onboard cameras Phone Phone
Resolution 2488 x 2488 pixels per eye 1832 x 1920 pixels per eye 2160 x 2160 pixels per eye Phone dependant Phone dependant
Phones that fit N/A N/A N/A iPhone 6 and newer, Galaxy S5 and newer, HTC One M8 and newer, LG G4 and newer. Compatible with most iOS and Android devices from the last 2 years and fits iPhone 5 to iPhone 6 Plus in size. Most 4" to 6" phones
Adjustable Lenses IPD Slight IPD IPD Only side to side No, need to move the headset around
Sound Integrated Integrated Integrated Phone Phone
Available Controllers / Remotes Yes Yes Yes Yes, Merge Cube No
Refresh Rate 90Hz, 120Hz 72Hz, 80Hz, 90Hz 90 Hz N/A N/A
Room For Glasses? Yes Glasses get pressed against the face Very little Less snug than Bnext Less snug than the Merge VR

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Vive Pro 2 offers one of the best VR experiences currently available. Thanks to the multiple sensors placed around your play area, as well as great design, the Vive Pro 2 offers an unparalleled level of immersion. To determine this, we ran this headset, alongside its competition, through a battery of tests, analyzing the levels of interactivity and immersion, comfort, user-friendliness, and ease of setup. And what these metrics showed is that the Vive Pro 2 is truly a premium product.

Performance Comparison


The Vive Pro 2 is the best VR headset we've tested to date.
The Vive Pro 2 is the best VR headset we've tested to date.
Credit: Laura Casner

Interactiveness


The Vive Pro 2 separates itself from most of the competition right off the bat, showing top marks in our interactiveness metric. With great tracking and the possibility for massive play spaces, this VR Headset offers a premium level of interactivity.


The Vive Pro 2 offers numerous options to accommodate different playstyles, with capabilities that allow control options via handheld VR controllers for active gaming, or Xbox and PlayStation controllers hooked up to your computer. Those who are wary about the VR controllers because of poor motion tracking experiences in the past need not be, as both general and controller tracking were excellent throughout our testing process. So long as the necessary sensors have been installed, we never had an issue with motion tracking.

The Vive Pro 2's controllers work seamlessly with the sensors for a...
The Vive Pro 2's controllers work seamlessly with the sensors for a realistic experience.
Credit: Laura Casner

Room limitations offer another shining depiction of the Vive Pro 2. Gamers looking for the full play area experience will require a minimum of 2m x 1.5m (6' 6" x 5'), but after that, only a warehouse is the limit. With four base stations, the maximum play area that can be generated is 10m x 10m (32' 10" x 32' 10") allowing for heavily immersive, large-scale experiences. However, if you are merely looking for a VR headset to immerse yourself in, the Vive Pro 2 does not require a play area for seated/standing usage.

With enough sensors, a 10m x 10m play area is possible with the Vive...
With enough sensors, a 10m x 10m play area is possible with the Vive Pro 2.
Credit: Laura Casner

Visual Immersiveness


The Vive Pro 2 continues to highlight its impressive capabilities in our metric gauging visual immersiveness. Great resolution, field of view, and more all speak to the incredibly immersive simulation which this VR headset provides.


Boasting a 2488 X 2488 pixels per eye, the Vive Pro 2 offers a gorgeous visual experience. However, our testers recommended a good rule of thumb: If your computer only meets the minimum requirements for a game's visual components, the Vive Pro 2 will noticeably suffer from lowered resolution. That being said, most gaming computers will have this issue very infrequently. Our field of view (FOV) tests on this VR headset showcases a 120-degree presentation that offers an immersion without a cramped feeling. Great resolution and an excellent FOV come together very nicely with impressive viewing quality, guaranteeing any Vive Pro 2 user a majestic experience.

2488 X 2488 pixels per eye contributes to the Vive Pro 2's...
2488 X 2488 pixels per eye contributes to the Vive Pro 2's incredible visual immersiveness.
Credit: Laura Casner

Outside of the visuals, the Vive Pro 2 does an impressive job filtering out external light. Our testers only found the light seal to be broken by those who had larger noses. Even then, however, the amount of light that came in was incredibly minimal. Positively, the light seal was not broken when our testers wore glasses inside of the Vive Pro 2.

Comfort


Coming down off its hot streak, the Vive Pro 2 suffers a little in our comfort metric. We must say, comfort is a common weakness among VR headsets. Although decidedly our most comfortable headset, our testers still found some aspects of this headset's comfort to be lacking when compared to others. But, the Vive Pro 2 does offer nice accommodations for glasses.


Although the Vive Pro 2 offers up a visual feast, it is not the most comfortable device. Extended wearing of this two-pound headset does start to feel like there is just dead weight on your face. Along with the weight, one tester found the fuzzy fabric on the Vive Pro 2 to be somewhat uncomfortable. The fuzziness against bare skin causes some discomfort, and the fabric very quickly becomes warm. Although this headset does keep cooler than others, the warm fabric is a downside. The foam on the headset, although keeping relatively cool, feels a little too squishy against the face. Our testers repeatedly felt like they needed to crank down the headset excessively to keep the foam staying in place.

Although the material and foam may not be to everyone's taste, the...
Although the material and foam may not be to everyone's taste, the Vive Pro 2 is really inclusive for those who wear glasses.
Credit: Laura Casner

Where the Vive Pro 2 does deserve some credit, however, is the comfort level it provides to users wearing glasses. There are divots over the temples on the headset to accommodate glasses, and our testers found them to be very effective in ensuring that the spectacled user did not have unnecessary pressure on the skull. Onboard the Vive Pro 2 there is a button to readjust the lens distance, allowing more space to be produced. All this being said, user experience is still very much reliant on the size of the glasses. Although our testers didn't have any issues, glasses with larger frames could very likely offer less comfortable experiences than smaller or thinner glasses.

User Friendliness


The Vive Pro 2 does better in terms of user-friendliness, falling roughly in the middle of its competitors. It really shines with integrated headphones and not-in-the-way button locations, but our testers periodically found some issues with the focusing sensor.


With integrated headphones, the Vive Pro 2 provides an all-in-one immersion experience. Offering decent padding, 30 degrees of rotation, and a comfortable movement both popping out and sliding up/down, these headphones avail themselves to a variety of scenarios and playstyles. Another aspect our testers liked about the Vive Pro 2 was the convenient, but not in the way, placement of onboard controls. The knob to regulate the interpupillary distance (IPD), the distance between your pupils, and a lens depth button are conveniently tucked away, ensuring that you won't accidentally hit them and interfere with a gaming session.

The Vive Pro 2's integrated headphones help produce a truly...
The Vive Pro 2's integrated headphones help produce a truly otherworldly experience.
Credit: Laura Casner

While the Vive Pro 2 is mostly a pick-up-and-play VR headset, our testers were sometimes slowed by the system's focusing. With a few instances of random IPD changes upon starting up, it took some time to be able to hop into the virtual world. However, once everything was primed and in focus, our testers didn't have further issues.

Although frequently adjusting the interpupillary distance may be...
Although frequently adjusting the interpupillary distance may be necessary, it is tucked away to avoid accidental interference.
Credit: Laura Casner

Ease of Setup


The Vive Pro 2 suffers the most in our Ease of Setup metric, in no small part that premium devices such as this one require a little bit more out of the user. Multi-sensor installation is a must to ensure the high-quality experience which this headset offers. Before anything else, any prospective purchaser of the Vive Pro 2 needs to know that a high-performance PC is a necessity. Our VR Headset Buying Advice can help determine if your current computer is up to the task.


Once you have the hardware sorted out, there is an extended installation process for the Vive Pro 2, involving sensor hookups around your gaming area. There are three available options: tri-pods, wall mounts, and the new clamps. Once you've plugged in all the required items for the link box, including the headset, and linked the controllers, the hardware should be set up and good to go.

The sensors for the Vive Pro 2 are available as tri-pods, wall...
The sensors for the Vive Pro 2 are available as tri-pods, wall mounts, and clamp variants.
Credit: Laura Casner

The Vive Pro 2's software setup is relatively straightforward. An included instructions sheet helps lead you through the process. As with most VR headsets, there is a required quick calibration of the floor, as well as a process to draw your room's play area. Our testers really liked that the headset did not need to be worn during this calibration process, saving them from blindly walking into furniture or walls.

Value


The Vive Pro 2 is indisputably a premium product. Outperforming every other VR headset we tested, this one really distinguishes itself with fantastic tracking and high-quality visuals. If top performance is what you're looking for, then look no further than the Vive Pro 2. But, those shopping on a budget can find a very satisfying headset for half the price (or less).

Conclusion


Blowing us away with gorgeous visuals and deep immersion, the Vive Pro 2 is easily our recommendation for those seeking the best VR experience available today. Although burdened by a hefty price, this incredible experience should be seriously considered by those looking for a top-of-the-line entry into the world of VR headsets.

If you can afford it, the Vive Pro 2 offers an unbeatable virtual...
If you can afford it, the Vive Pro 2 offers an unbeatable virtual experience.
Credit: Laura Casner

Austin Palmer and Conrad Salonites

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GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

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