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Vive Pro 2 Headset Review

This headset has excellent tracking and fits well for those with glasses
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Vive Pro 2 Headset Review (2488 X 2488 pixels per eye contributes to the Vive Pro 2's incredible visual immersiveness.)
2488 X 2488 pixels per eye contributes to the Vive Pro 2's incredible visual immersiveness.
Credit: Laura Casner
Price:  $799 List
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Manufacturer:   Vive
By Austin Palmer and Adam Stout  ⋅  Oct 16, 2023
74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 4
  • Tracking - 35% 9.7
  • Visuals - 15% 8.4
  • Comfort - 30% 5.2
  • Daily Use - 15% 6.0
  • Ease of Setup - 5% 6.5

Our Verdict

The HTC Vive Pro 2 offers excellent motion-tracking and better glasses compatibility than most other VR headsets, and we appreciate that it can run at lower resolution for less capable PCs and still maintain high performance for those with the hardware to accommodate it. However, we were disappointed with its low comfort, complicated setup, and high total cost, requiring two a la carte external sensors and two motion controllers in order to play.
REASONS TO BUY
Excellent tracking
Can run at lower resolution for less powerful PCs
More room for glasses
REASONS TO AVOID
Runs hot during use
Uncomfortable face mask
Sensors and controllers sold separately

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Vive Pro 2 Headset
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Price $799 List
$574.00 at Amazon
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$200 List
$199.99 at Amazon
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Bottom Line This headset will appeal to users with glasses or who require top-notch tracking precisionA solid and high-performing VR headset that doesn't require a top-shelf GPUThis great value headset should excite PS5 players looking for upgraded VR immersionThis standalone entry-level headset can access more VR content than any other, thanks to its cross-platform capability
Rating Categories Vive Pro 2 Headset Valve Index PlayStation VR2 Meta Quest 2
Tracking (35%)
9.7
9.8
8.8
6.5
Visuals (15%)
8.4
8.0
9.0
6.0
Comfort (30%)
5.2
7.4
7.7
5.7
Daily Use (15%)
6.0
9.8
8.6
7.4
Ease of Setup (5%)
6.5
6.5
9.0
9.5
Specs Vive Pro 2 Headset Valve Index PlayStation VR2 Meta Quest 2
Measured Weight 1 lb 15-1/4 oz 1 lb 13-1/2 oz 1 lb 5-1/8 oz 1 lb 1-3/4 oz
Tracking type External Sensors External Sensors 4 Internal Cameras 4 Internal Cameras
Manufacturer Resolution 2448 x 2448 per eye 1440 x 1600 per eye 2000 x 2040 per eye 1832 x 1920 per eye
Manufacturer Refresh Rate 90, 120 Hz
(only 90Hz supported via VIVE Wireless Adapter)
80, 90, 120, 144 Hz 90, 120 Hz 60, 72, 90 Hz Refresh Rate Supported
Manufacturer Field of View Up to 120º Optimized eye relief adjustment allows a typical user experience 20º more than the HTC Vive 110º 100º
IPD Adjustment Mechanical IPD: 57-70mm Mechanical IPD: 58 - 70mm Mechanical IPD: 57-73mm
*Rough measurement
3 Settings:
1) 58mm (61mm or smaller)
2) 63mm (61mm to 66mm)
3) 68mm (66mm or larger)
Sound Built-in, on or off-ear Built-in, 37.5mm off-ear 3.5 mm port, included earbuds
Bluetooth connected via the Console
Built-in headband
3.5 mm audio port optional
Connection Type to PC - DIsplayPort (DP to mini-DP adapter included)
  • USB 3.0
- DisplayPort 1.2
  • USB 3.0
- USB-C Stand alone
(Optional Link Cable: USB-C)
Room For Glasses? Above Average Below average Excellent Slightly Below Average
Manufacturer Minimum PC Specs OS: Windows 11 / Windows 10
Processor: Intel Core i5-4590 or AMD Ryzen 1500 equivalent or greater
Memory: 8 GB RAM or more
Video Out: DisplayPort 1.2 or higher. DisplayPort 1.4 or higher with DSC is required for Full Resolution mode.
OS: Windows 10
Processor: Dual Core with Hyper-Threading
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Network: Broadband Internet connection
Additional Notes: Available DisplayPort (Version 1.2) and USB (2.0+) Port Required
N/A Uses PS5 N/A
Manufacturer Minimum GPU NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon RX 480 equivalent or greater. (Not full resolution) NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970, AMD RX480 N/A Uses PS5 N/A
Manufacturer Recommended PC Specs Better than Minimum Specs Processor: Quad Core +
Additional Notes: Available USB (3.0+) Port Required for Headset Pass-Through Camera & USB Port Support
N/A Uses PS5 Optional Link Cable Setup
OS: Windows 10 / Windows 11
Processor: Intel i5-4590 / AMD Ryzen 5 1500X or greater
Memory: 8 GB+ RAM
Desktop App
Manufacturer Recommended GPU GeForce RTX 20 Series (Turing) or AMD Radeon 5000 (Navi) generations or newer required for Full Resolution mode. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 or better N/A Uses PS5 Optional Link Cable Setup Supported GPUs:
NVIDIA Titan X, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Desktop 6GB, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070(all), NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080(all), NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Super, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 TI, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20-series (all), NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30-series
Please Note: NVIDIA 3050 (laptop) and 3050ti GPUs are not recommended for use with Link.

AMD 400 Series, AMD 500 Series, AMD 5000 Series, AMD 6000 Series, AMD Vega Series
Please note: the Radeon RX 6500 is not recommended for use with Link.
Hardware Platform PC PC PS5 (PlayStation 5) Stand alone
(optional tether to VR ready PC)

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Vive Pro 2 stands out for its precise tracking and ability to accommodate a wide range of PC hardware configurations. It features some of the best glasses compatibility we've ever tested in a VR headset and has among the highest screen resolutions on the market. However, it's diminished by the high price of required components and low overall comfort.

Performance Comparison


vive pro 2 headset - vive pro 2 has excellent tracking, and we are fans of the...
Vive Pro 2 has excellent tracking, and we are fans of the motion-controller design.
Credit: Laura Casner

Tracking


This metric gauges the response and accuracy of headsets and motion controllers as they appear in virtual reality. The HTC Vive Pro 2 relies on two external sensors and two motion controllers with 24 built-in sensors each. Throughout our testing, we've observed superior tracking from the external sensor-based kits, and this one is no different. The Vive Pro 2 kept up with anything we could threw at it in our test applications, Beat Saber and Half-Life Alyx.

In Beat Saber, it flawlessly cut through the 360-degree songs that can trip up headset-integrated sensors, even when we went ham and flailed the controllers around trying to confuse it. It did about as well in Half-Life Alyx, where we noticed only minor blurring of in-game hands and weapons when we tried to upset the tracking with exaggerated motions. Tracking on the Vive Pro 2 is among the best available in any VR headset.

vive pro 2 headset - the sensors for the vive pro 2 can accommodate tripod mounting and...
The sensors for the Vive Pro 2 can accommodate tripod mounting and wall mounting.
Credit: Laura Casner

Comfort


We weighed the Vive Pro 2 at just over one pound and 15 ounces with a slight pull to the rear left side, where the cable runs down to the PC. The face mask padding is okay, if not a little on the squishy side, but the velvet fabric that covers it felt abrasive to the skin. We had to crank down the tightness to try to get this headset to stay in place during intense gaming sessions, and we suspect that's because the foam in the face mask compresses too much to support the heft of the visor properly. In an intense game like Beat Saber, where quick head-panning movements are required, the Vive Pro 2 tends to slide around on the face. This is uncomfortable because, as the headset slides around, it bashes the nose bridge and leads to loss of focus when the position of the lenses in front of your eyes changes. To make matters worse, the Vive Pro 2 heats up faster and hotter than other units, with noticeable heat radiating between the eyes after a short time in VR.

vive pro 2 headset - the vive pro 2's emphasis on glasses compatibility is a nice touch.
The Vive Pro 2's emphasis on glasses compatibility is a nice touch.
Credit: Laura Casner

We do have one comfort-related accolade to give it, though. The Vive Pro 2 is better than most at fitting glasses inside the visor, thanks to its interior room and some ergonomic cutouts on the side meant for glasses arms. Again, this metric is subjective and will depend on your face shape and glasses.

Visuals


At over 2,400 pixels per eye, the Vive Pro 2 has among the top screen resolutions of all headsets we've tested. It's capable of a 120hz refresh rate (90hz with Vive wireless adapter) and has a field of view (FOV) listed at 120 degrees, in addition to mechanical interpupillary distance (IPD) adjustment, from 57-70mm. When put to the test in the Realovirtual Workshop app, we could see 110 degrees horizontally and around 35 degrees vertically. Again, this can depend highly on personal IPD and eye socket depth, but the Vive Pro 2 should offer a decent FOV for most people.

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 in place.

vive pro 2 headset - vive pro 2 is built with two high-resolution low persistence lcd...
Vive Pro 2 is built with two high-resolution low persistence LCD screens.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

In our testing with Beat Saber, we found the Vive Pro 2's visuals to be above average, with very little of the haze effect we've seen in some other headsets in this game. Likewise, the screen door effect (SDE), where the human eye detects the spaces between pixels, as if looking through a mesh screen, is minimal. The story is the same in the Half-Life Alyx tests. The visuals were great overall. The SDE is only noticeable if you're looking for it, but we noticed a few wavelike color shifts when we got close to light-colored objects in-game.

At GearLab, we put VR headsets through Realovirtual Workshop testing to measure FOV and other crucial visual parameters.
Credit: Austin Palmer

The Vive Pro 2 didn't perform quite as well in the Realovirtual Workshop text tests. The text was more challenging to read in this headset than much of the competition, and there was a pronounced “god ray” effect where blurry light emanated around words.

Daily Use


Setting up the Vive Pro 2 for the first time is pretty straightforward. You just put it on and hold the visor up as you tighten the ratcheting tension knob on the back until it feels snug on the face and around the sides of your head. Next, you pull the top strap to snug up the vertical fit. To get in and out of the headset, from there on out, you need to ratchet the rear dial to loosen and tighten the side strap, but you never have to mess with the top strap again. The face mask can be abrasive and too tacky to slide around your face, so dialing in a comfortable fit there is more challenging than with other VR headsets, but it will work out with some trial and error.

The mechanical IPD adjustment is dialed in from a knob on the bottom right side of the visor, which works well, but the IPD menu interface lingers a little too long on the screen and becomes annoying if you have to adjust it. The headphones on the Vive Pro 2 are the over-ear pop-out variety, which are great but must be moved up out of the way before putting the headset on. We appreciate that the physical volume and mute controls are located on the headphones rather than the visor, like other headsets. The integrated dual microphones could be better, however. We noted poor sound quality and even some crackling.

vive pro 2 headset - turn the dial to loosen or tighten the head strap.
Turn the dial to loosen or tighten the head strap.
Credit: Laura Casner

If you're sharing a headset with friends or family, the Vive Pro 2 is one of the better options. Thanks to the rear tension dial and mechanical IPD dial, ratcheting in a quick fit is simple. If needed, the top strap can be reset quickly.

Ease of Setup


The Vive Pro 2 has one of the most involved initial setups we've experienced. You'll start by downloading and signing into Steam, then ensure that your play area is free of obstructions. Next, you'll need to place and connect your external sensors and follow on-screen instructions to find and connect to your motion controllers. After all of the hardware is ready, you'll be guided through the VR boundary settings, where you set floor height and establish a safe perimeter for VR. It's all fairly straightforward but a lengthy process in all.

Minimum computer specs are average for VR, requiring an Intel i5 equivalent and a Geforce 1060 or better graphics card. However, the Vive Pro 2 VR experience will be much better with a higher-spec PC.

vive pro 2 headset - the intial setup process for this headset is quite a bit more...
The intial setup process for this headset is quite a bit more involved than simple plug and play.
Credit: Laura Casner

Should You Buy the HTC Vive Pro 2?


The HTC Vive Pro 2 has impressive tracking, nice visuals, and supports a wide range of PC configurations. It also offers a better fit for glasses than most other VR headsets. This could be a great option if you're someone with a PC that can currently meet the minimum specs for the Vive Pro 2 and who wants a headset to grow into with future PC upgrades. And, if you're concerned about fitting your glasses into VR, this headset does it better than most, but remember that the bang-for-buck could be better with Vive Pro 2, and there are more comfortable VR headsets around.

vive pro 2 headset - the vive pro 2 has excellent tracking, above-average glasses...
The Vive Pro 2 has excellent tracking, above-average glasses compatibility, and high-resolution screens.
Credit: Laura Casner

What Other VR Headset Should You Consider?


If you want to test your VR legs but don't have a VR-capable PC, check out the Meta Quest 2 or the PlayStation VR2. If you've got the PC for the job, check out the award-winning Valve Index for the best all-around VR experience.

Austin Palmer and Adam Stout