What are the Best VR Headsets for Sim Racing – Buyer’s Guide

Pimax Crystal VR Headset

Featured image: Pimax Crystal VR Headset

Virtual reality (VR) is a big part of modern gaming, and possibly no other genre lends itself to VR as well as sim racing. With the arrival of some of the most powerful GPUs we’ve ever seen, particularly with NVIDIA’s new 40 series GPUs, never has there been a better time to enjoy the seamless immersion from racing in VR. In this newly updated guide, I’m going to share some tips on how to pick the best VR headsets for sim racing, to help you take your sim experience to the next level.


Take a look at the headsets we recommend for sim racing or read on for more information:

What are the Best VR Headsets for Sim Racing?
  • Pimax Crystal
  • HP Reverb G2
  • Quest 3
  • Varjo Aero
  • Apple Vision Pro
  • Samsung HMD Odyssey+
  • Pico 4
  • Meta Quest 2
  • HTC Vive Pro 2
  • Oculus Rift S
  • Pimax 8KX
  • Pimax 12k QLED (coming soon)

Currently, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to headsets, but some are far better than others, especially concerning how they handle racing games and how they’re powered.

Each VR headset comes with its advantages and disadvantages, so I’ve gone into some depth below on the features and functions you should pay special attention to when browsing for a new one.

My Reverb G2 VR headset
My Reverb G2: a good all-rounder for sim racing although there are rumours Windows 11 Mixed Reality will cease to support it. Buyer beware!

When you’re considering a VR headset for your simulator

There are a lot of things to consider before you buy.

Every VR headset comes with its pros and cons. Don’t fall for the old “which is better” trick when it comes to resolution and maximum refresh rate as there are many more things to take into account before you buy. Throughout this article, I’ll do my best to point out the best and in some cases, worst features of each VR headset.

If you want more from your sim racing experience, A VR setup is, in my opinion, absolutely the way to go.

Virtual reality is a steadily growing market with some very late generation 3 headsets about to drop in the market before Christmas. In the early days, the Valve Index was, in my opinion among the easiest to set up (check out our graphics settings here) and among the best-performing headsets to use. Things change of course; I sold mine on eBay.

IS the HP Reverb G2 the best VR Headset?
HP’s Reverb G2

Firstly, let’s address the elephant in the room. Is VR better for sim racing, or should you just stick to monitors? Today, I’ll be looking at the pros and cons of VR headset use with your sim-racing gaming PC.

How Do VR Headsets Actually Work?

Virtual reality (VR) headsets are devices that you wear over your eyes. They create an immersive experience by displaying an image for each eye. This visual, stereo effect allows the brain’s depth perception to work, fooling us into feeling like we’re actually inside the gaming environment. It makes some people motion sick – although in my experience this is very temporary.

I’m going to take a look at the main features and components that do all the “heavy lifting”, using my Pimax Crystal as an example.

Display: In the Pimax Crystal, a combination of Mini-LED and QLED panels run at 2880×2880 pixels per eye. This is a particularly high resolution and while there are now higher, commercial-grade VR headsets available in today’s market – the Crystal operating at full refresh at this resolution, will stretch the limits of most home gaming PCs.

Lenses: VR headsets use specially designed lenses to focus and magnify the display for each eye. The Pimax Crystal features aspheric glass lenses, which provide a wide field of view (FOV) of up to 125°.

Tracking: To create an interactive experience, VR headsets must track the user’s head movements. The Pimax Crystal employs 4 degrees of freedom (DoF) inside-out tracking, which means it uses built-in sensors to monitor the user’s position and orientation without the need for external base stations.

Pimax Crystal (side view) - note the over ear headphones.
Pimax Crystal (side view) – note the over ear headphones.

Audio: Immersive audio helps produce a convincing, deep VR experience. The Pimax Crystal has triple microphones and off-ear speakers (pictured). You can talk with other drivers (via Discord) while in VR – this is a game-changer for endurance racing and special events.

Processing: Powerful processing is essential for rendering complex VR environments. The Pimax Crystal is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR chip and Pimax’s customized PC VR engine (see Pimax Play), ensuring smooth performance and compatibility with a wide range of VR gaming content.

The Crystal and Varjo Areo also feature “auto IPD” (Interpupillary distance) adjustment. Put simply, the headset’s lenses automatically align with your pupils. This improves the clarity of the image and helps with minimising eye strain. As a feature, the automated nature of IPD adjustment is quite new. I had to manually adjust IPD with my Valve Index, just a few years ago.

The Pimax will project a screen with crossed, green bars. It instructs you to focus on them as it adjusts the IPD. You can hear the little servo motors moving the lenses, as the image goes in and out of focus. The end result is quite a time saver, as it’s a non-intuitive procedure to do this manually, especially as a new VR user.

So, why should you add VR to your sim racing setup?

Realism

Firstly, and probably most obviously, racing in VR feels real. The accidents, especially!

In iRacing when you leave the pits you often drive straight through another pitted car before you exit. Not a big deal, as it’s not an incident until you’re on the track. But with a VR headset on, the first time you drive through another car, you’ll jump out of your skin. When you’re gridding up for a race start and look around you by turning your head, your competitors are all there, you’re surrounded. The immersion level is off the scale, especially when the headset has built-in speakers.

Vision

The discipline of using vision to find the best racing line through a corner is exactly the same as driving a track car. As you approach the corner you’re setting a braking point in your peripheral vision because you’re focused on the apex. As you brake, all of your visual focus should be on the exit. In real racing, you’ll move your head which makes you physically align yourself with the corner’s apex to the exit line.

Scott explains vision so much better than I do, suffice it to say, it’s exactly the same approach in VR. You are then, practising the habits you need to drive on a real track successfully.

Your sensitivity to track detail

VR enables you to “see” details in the circuit you might have missed on monitors. I realized this at Lime Rock Park in the Global Mazda Cup. In VR you can see the camber on the inside of this corner very clearly:

Turn 2 at Lime Rock Park
Turn 2 at Lime Rock Park has camber on the tighter entry line (image source)

And of course, once you’re visually aware of a track detail, it’s probable that you can feel that detail, too. This brings me to the next benefit of VR.

Early warnings via extra sensory input

It’s easier to drive well with a VR headset because you get an earlier warning of what the car’s doing.

In sim racing, you rely on your ears to sense tyre slip and your eyes to sense rotation in the car. This is a little different to real-life motorsport, in circuit racing on a real track, you’ll sense rotation through your body. There’s a delay in getting messages like this if you’re looking at monitors which makes catching an accident much more difficult. You start to learn to drive the car from memory, not from feel. This isn’t the case with VR – it seems I’m much more sensitive to smaller movements in the car at corner entry, so I’m already able to predict what the car is going to do. It’s not magic, you’re just getting the information earlier as your eyes sense your entire environment rotating.

You also get a feel for undulations in the circuit. Using the camber example at Lime Rock Park above, in VR you’re just more aware that the car has climbed over a small hump. It’s a useful sensation once you become aware of it.

That early warning system makes the car easier to control, so you’re driving more consistently.

You drive more accurately

You are fully immersed in an environment and your eyes can feed your brain much more precise data about the way the car is moving. I think that the way you translate this back into driving inputs is critical. If you know your line and the information you received is accurate, then your steering inputs will be correct. Have you ever approached a corner only to find you’re making last-second adjustments to the line you’re taking? Monitors, especially triple setups are a nightmare for this.

Driving with a monitor is not immersive, so you’re adjusting to a way of seeing things that don’t happen on the track, especially as your line of sight switches from your outside monitor to the one in front of you. Bezel correction is a little annoyance that VR doesn’t suffer from.

But are there any cons to VR Headset use?

Screen door and clarity can be an issue. “Screen door” is a problem solved in the newer headsets, where the fine lines separating pixels (or subpixels) become visible in the displayed image. Clarity remains an issue – where everything can sometimes feel a little bit out of focus. The Valve Index, as good as it was, came from a generation of headsets where the resolution wasn’t quite high enough.

You can go a long way to improving the clarity of the image in your headset by making sure it’s adjusted properly for your face.

Because of issues like screen door and clarity, VR can make your eyes feel tired after prolonged use. Some days, it’s fine and I’ll do several races. But for others, I don’t fancy them as much. On that note, if you suffer from visually triggered migraines, I would advise you to steer clear of VR.

Graphics settings are initially difficult to come to terms with because what works on monitors might not be correct for your headset. I’ve written about settings for VR here, so take a look. Once you get a setup you like, this isn’t a problem.

Don’t spend a huge amount of money on your sim racing wheel, either a VR headset makes the display and RGB lights pretty useless.

Finally, some people feel motion sickness. But not for long! I found after 2 laps I’d become used to the sensation of moving without moving. These days I don’t notice it at all.

What makes a Great Sim Racing VR Headset?

There are plenty of options when it comes to picking a VR headset, but you can narrow it down quite substantially for sim racing in particular. Before I dive in and show you some of the best models available on the market, I’d like to address some of the issues and myths that are often brought up concerning VR and sim racing.

Will using VR in a racing simulator make you faster?

Decide for yourself, but as we’ve discussed above, you will have a better perception of depth and movement, which will improve your ability to judge the distance of cars and objects and make car control corrections far earlier. Plus, you’ll get a near 360° view of cars and the track in a 1:1 ratio which will enhance the realism of the game and help you feel like you’re actually in a real car.

VR headsets can make it nearly impossible to use button boxes, so if you use a button box regularly consider that before you decide to splash any cash on a new headset. Another thing is you will not be able to see your steering wheel or any of your rig setup for that matter, so if you’ve just invested in a fancy-looking piece of kit, you won’t be able to enjoy its aesthetically pleasing looks if you’re wearing a VR headset.

No matter how great or immersive VR is, current technology for headsets can’t match the graphic quality of a gaming monitor. But still, you’ll have the ability to turn your head and aim for the apex when cornering, so you’ll get more of a feel for driving.

So, what is the best VR headset for sim racing? While there’s no single answer, factors such as the items below really count. We’ll be looking at these in more detail:

  • Display and sound quality
  • Design and overall comfort
  • Field of View (FOV)
  • Position tracking and range of motion
  • Compatibility
  • Price

Our VR Headset Recommendations

Here are some of what I consider to be the best picks for sim racers, in no particular order. Well – the first 4 or 5 on the list are the best in my experience, leaving you to decide what so of budget to assign. It’s also important to point out that these units find themselves on eBay quickly – if it’s a reputable seller, you’re more likely to be able to trust the transaction.

Pimax Crystal

Technical Specifications:

  • Compatibility: Windows 10/11 with Steam VR / WMR compatibility
  • Display: QLED+MINI LED panel combination
  • Resolution Per Eye: 2880 x 2880
  • Refresh Rate: 120 HZ (even at native resolution)
  • Visit Pimax.com
  • Read my In-Depth Review

The Pimax Crystal VR Headset emerges as a significant player in the 2024 VR landscape. Marrying the traditional PCVR experience with the autonomy of a standalone mode, this headset sits firmly in the high-end / power-hungry space.

my Pimax Crystal
my Pimax Crystal (review here)

Upon unboxing, the Pimax Crystal exudes that all too familiar Pimax minimalist aesthetic, with its packaging devoid of excessive labelling, simply adorned with the “Pimax” logo. The headset showcases a signature angular design, which serves more than just aesthetic purposes: it distributes weight evenly, enhancing user comfort. The design aims to offer an ergonomic experience, simulating a natural extension of the user’s face.

battery powered VR headset the pimax crystal
Angular beauty: Pimax have always been cutting-edge in their design approach (use Coupon code: rd20 for a discount at Pimax)

The setup process for the Pimax Crystal is user-friendly, with the Pimax Play software guiding users step by step. From charging the controllers to connecting the headset and initiating Steam VR, the entire process is intuitive and hassle-free, taking mere minutes.1

The Pimax Crystal boasts an impressive 2880 x 2880 resolution per eye, ensuring crisp and highly realistic visuals. Combined with the advanced QLED+MINI LED panel, this headset delivers impressive clarity, with the graphics displaying detailed output. It’s this type of advantage that should appeal to sim racers as driving is fundamentally using your eyes to set brake points (amongst other things). The Crystal operates with a very wide field of view and overall, this has been a favourite of mine since the long-gone days of owning a Valve Index.

The Pimax Crystal further enhances the user experience with features like eye-tracking, auto IPD adjustment, and a choice between two lens options, offering varying degrees of FOV (the lens supplied with the Pimax offers 115° of FOV.

HP Reverb G2

Technical Specifications:

  • Compatibility: Windows 10/11 with Steam VR / WMR compatibility
  • Display: 2 x 2.89″ diagonal
  • Resolution Per Eye: 2160×2160 (9.3 million pixels)
  • Refresh Rate: 90 Hz
  • FOV: 114°

The Reverb G2 is HP’s flagship VR headset, and while it’s been around for a few years now, technically, it’s still very impressive. It features inside-out tracking, meaning it’s easier to set up and pick up because you don’t need any external sensors, like most other PC VR headsets.

The compromise is that you do need a pretty powerful gaming PC. One of the biggest pros is that the G2 has excellent audio, better than most because it uses the same off-ear style of audio speakers as the Valve Index.

(my) HP Reverb G2

There are now three versions of the G2. There’s the G2 Omnicept edition, the most expensive of the three at $1249 because it’s focused on the enterprise. The OMNIcept is aimed at the “prosumer” It has a few additional sensors that allow eye, face, and heart rate tracking. This is mainly aimed at businesses looking to take advantage of the extra data the headset can collect. The additional features aren’t really relevant to the sim racer.

Next, there’s a standard G2 which is a really solid gamer VR headset and is in use today by a lot of the sim racing community. At the time, despite the limitations, it might place on GPU power, it was (and still is) a great bit of kit. Later, a second version arrived with tweaks to improve on some of the earlier G2’s flaws. Those revisions include a new face pad that includes a spacer that you can remove. If you remove it, your face will be closer to the display, giving you a wider FOV. HP also made adjustments to the cameras to improve tracking coverage.

hp-reverb G2
HP Reverb G2

The compromise is that you do need a pretty powerful gaming PC, but one of the biggest pros is that the G2 has an excellent audio system, better than most because it uses the same off-ear style of audio speakers as the Valve Index. It’s also incredibly clear – that high resolution really sharpens things up.

Apple Vision Pro

Technical Specifications:

Display: 2 x micro-OLED 
Resolution Per Eye: 3660 x 3142 (Not official)
Refresh Rate: 100 Hz
FOV: 105° (Estimated)

From depth sensors, infrared illuminators, and built-in outwards facing OLED display, Apple has introduced us to the most luxurious VR headset to ever exist. Starting with the specifications, you’re getting Apple’s iconic M2 chip that boasts 8 cores and can take on workloads like a champ. This is an exceptionally high-end VR headset.

Apple Vision Pro
Apple Vision Pro (source: Apple)

Coupled with an R1 chip with 256GB/s memory bandwidth, Apple aims to offer the most flawless VR headset experience ever. And when you’re paying $3500, you shouldn’t expect anything less from Apple. 

As for the lenses, you’re getting micro-OLED with 3D spatial vision and support for up to 100Hz refresh rate. With an excellent passthrough, the Apple Vision Pro is undoubtedly the finest mixed-reality VR headset on the market.

Apple Vision Pro VR headset
Apple Vision Pro VR headset (source: CNET)

A very unique detail about the Apple Vision Pro is that it doesn’t come with any controllers. Instead, it will scan your hands and they will act as your controls you can simply pinch your fingers to control all the functions of the headset which is quite spectacular. 

The jury’s out on how good the Apple Vision Pro will be for fast-paced sim racing since the VR is about to roll out today (2nd February) but, we’ll have the results soon enough, and we’re hopeful that this VR headset will take the VR gaming experience to the next level. Be warned: it is incredibly expensive!

Quest 3

Transform your sim racing and virtual experiences with the cutting-edge Meta Quest 3 headset. Redesigned from the inside out, this headset is not just a device but a gateway to mixed realities, where dazzling graphics and immersive 3D sound redefine your digital interactions. The Meta Quest 3 is a powerhouse of technology and innovation, tailored to heighten your senses in virtual worlds.

Meta Quest 3

At the heart of the Meta Quest 3 lies its technical prowess: a high-resolution display delivering 2,064-by-2,208 pixels per eye, a rapid Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 processor, and 8GB of RAM. This combination ensures faster load times, crisper details, and smoother play, essential for the most demanding VR applications, including sim racing. The headset is available in two storage capacities: 128GB and 512GB, catering to varying user needs.

Ergonomically designed for comfort, the Meta Quest 3 weighs just 18.2 ounces and features a sleek, compact build, ensuring ease of use during extended gaming or training sessions. The Touch Plus controllers, included with the headset, offer intuitive control and enhance the tactile experience in virtual environments.

Meta Quest 3

The package includes the Meta Quest 3 headset, two Touch Plus controllers with wrist straps and AA batteries, a charging cable, and a power adapter. To ensure peace of mind, it comes with a 1-year limited warranty covering defects and malfunctions.

Adding to the allure, purchasers of the 128 GB and 512 GB models receive the highly anticipated VR Action-RPG “Asgard’s Wrath 2,” slated for release on 15 December. Additionally, the 512 GB model comes with a 6-month trial of the Meta Quest+ subscription, offering two handpicked titles every month.

Meta Quest 3

The Meta Quest 3 is more than just a VR headset; it’s an all-encompassing platform offering over 500 immersive experiences across gaming, fitness, and entertainment, with backwards compatibility for existing titles. It stands as a testament to the seamless blend of virtual and physical worlds, offering a reliable and secure platform with enhanced privacy features, making it suitable for the whole family.

Experience everything you love in virtual reality like never before with the Meta Quest 3, where next-level features lead to next-level experiences. This headset is built not only for spectacular visual and audio immersion but also for comfort and ease of use, making it an ideal choice for anyone looking to explore the vast potential of VR, especially in sim racing.

Varjo Aero

  • Compatibility: Windows 10 / 11 and Steam VR
  • Display: 2 x 3.5″ diagonal
  • Resolution Per Eye: 2880 x 2720 px
  • Refresh Rate: 90 Hz
  • FOV: 115° (134° at 12 mm eye relief)

The Varjo Aero is what I refer to as “Gen 3” VR. It’s a leap forward in every single way in comparison to the other headsets on this list. The only reason that might put most people off is the price. It’s expensive!

Varjo Aero VR Headset
Varjo Aero VR Headset

Aside from the seriously good optics (Dual Mini LED LCD; 2880 x 2720 px per eye) with “edge-to-edge” clarity and no reflections with no ghost rays. It has a 200hz eye tracking system, built-in fans to keep your face cool (active cooling) and built-in audio.

It comes supplied with a 5m cable and weighs just 487g plus the headband at 230g. It feels lightweight and offers very high detail indeed. It runs on SteamVR (my preferred choice).

It’s priced at €1,990.00 / $1,990.00 – so might be just out of reach for now. I recommend you upgrade your PC to get the most out of it, too.

Samsung HMD Odyssey+

Technical Specifications:

  • Compatibility: Windows 10 / 11
  • Display: Dual 3.5″ AMOLED Displays
  • Resolution Per Eye: 1440×1600
  • Refresh Rate: 90 Hz
  • FOV: 110°

The Samsung Odyssey+, while now discontinued, offers a 90hz refresh rate in comparison to its predecessor, the Quest, at 72hz.

Samsung HMD Odyssey+
Samsung HMD Odyssey+

Despite its age and the fact it is no longer available, there are always opportunities to pick up a bargain on eBay, usually for around $200.

The Odyssey+, according to these Redditors, “is the best OLED HMD on the market, period.” So, if you’re tight on budget and you can find a good one of these on the second-hand market, grab yourself a bargain (just make sure it comes in good condition, boxed with controllers and working!)

Pico 4

Technical Specifications:

  • Minimum GPU requirement: GTX 970
  • Compatibility: Windows 10/11 with Steaming Assistant & Virtual Desktop
  • Display: 2 x 2.56″ pancake 
  • Resolution Per Eye: 2160×2160 
  • Refresh Rate: 90 Hz

FOV: 105°

Don’t want to bother spending a great chunk of your money? The Pico 4 VR headset offers the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the sim racing experience without making a dent in your bank statement. Costing you just around $450, this is one of the cheapest VR headsets that we’d recommend for sim racers. 

PICO 4 VR headset
Pico 4 VR headset

Starting off, you’re getting pancake lenses here that offer a nice vivid display. Unfortunately, edge-to-edge clarity is not something that you’ll get here but once you’ve found your sweet spot on the headset, you won’t be complaining too much about the blanked-out or blurred corner visions. 

The Pico 4 is quite comfortable to wear and since it only weighs around 550g, you won’t feel any discomfort with the headset on. Moreover, the Pico 4 can be used wirelessly and it features the battery on the head strap which ensures proper weight distribution. A major reason behind the success of the Pico 4 is that it allows you to roam the virtual world freely without any tether that is blocking your movement. 

PICO 4 VR headset
Side view: PICO 4 (see on Amazon here)

Similarly, powered by a Qualcomm XR2 CPU and comes with 8GB of RAM, you won’t be complaining about stuttering or image tearing here. Similarly, if you have a beefy setup, you can enjoy up to 90Hz gameplay on the headset which ensures a smooth experience.

The colour fidelity here isn’t as good as some other VR headsets and you will have to get used to lens glare but these are a few things that you’ll need to get comfortable with at this price tag (£339.00). Overall, it can offer a pretty good VR racing experience without breaking the bank. 

Meta Quest 2

Technical Specifications:

  • Compatibility: Windows 10 / 11 / Steam VR
  • Display: 1 x 5.46” diagonal
  • Resolution Per Eye: 1832×1920
  • Refresh Rate: 90 Hz
  • FOV: 115°

The first thing that people fuss about with the Oculus (Meta) headsets is knowing whether you need a Facebook account to run one. You don’t need a Facebook account, after the V28 update. However, you do need to sign up for a Meta account (which is free of any social media tethers. Oculus Quest and Oculus Quest 2 users can no longer use a Facebook account to log into their VR headsets. Instead, users will need to make a new Meta account that is separate from any social media presence. Thanks, Android Central!

Meta Quest 2
Meta Quest 2

The V29 update brought updates to all sorts of areas but critically, stability improvements to Air Link and also gives us 120 hz refresh rate support for Air Link.

Check you’re running V29 by heading to the settings > about tab and make sure you’re running the latest version. 120hz refresh is available in “experimental features”

The Oculus Quest 2 is very easy to set up and get racing, and feels light and very smooth during use.

HTC Vive Pro 2

Technical Specifications:

  • Compatibility: Windows 10/11 – Steam VR
  • Display: 2 x 3.5” diagonal
  • Resolution Per Eye: 2448 × 2448
  • Refresh Rate: 90 – 120 Hz
  • FOV: 120°

VIVE Pro 2 from HTC is the successor to the hugely popular HTC VIVE Pro, also an excellent VR headset. It’s a powerful, immersive headset with access to SteamVR base stations for content, and a high-end pair of AMOLED screens running at a combined 4896 x 2448px resolution..

HTC Vive Pro 2
HTC Vive Pro 2

The Pro 2 also comes with spatial audio and a comfortable ergonomic design to make sure you won’t start feeling it during an endurance race.

Some of the VIVE Pro 2 from HTC features include an ergonomic design with IPD adjustment and an optimised centre of gravity for headset weight management.

It features high-resolution spatial audio and a pair of 448 × 2448 pixels per eye AMOLED screens running at a 120 Hz refresh rate. Like the Meta Quest 2 it’s a wireless design, although it runs at a slightly lower resolution and refresh rate in wireless mode.

A standout feature is the 120-degree FOV. There’s no need for cables (provided the battery is charged it’ll run for around 4 hours), though you will need the SteamVR 2.0 base stations to access Steam and SteamVR content through VIVE. To access the full potential of this headset, however, you will need to use the supplied cable.

Oculus Rift S

Technical Specifications:

  • Compatibility: Windows 10 and 11
  • Display: Fast-switch LCD
  • Resolution Per Eye: 1280×1440
  • Refresh Rate: 80 Hz
  • FOV: 115°

The Oculus Rift S is a great budget VR headset for sim racers, priced at $300.

The Rift S is Oculus’s second iteration in the Rift Series with the Rift S taking the place of the original Rift the Rift S has an advantage over other VR headsets in that it doesn’t require any separate sensors. So, the only sensors you’ll use are the ones that are already located on the headset, no extra cables or power supplied!

Oculus Rift S
Oculus Rift S

There’s an array of five cameras on the headset: two on the front, one on either side and one on the top. These five cameras do an amazing job at tracking where you are in the room and where the controllers are which use a separate infrared array to keep their position up to date. Not that I use controllers for sim racing, but for gaming generally that’s a useful thing to know.

The Rift S has only one cable running from the headset to your PC which connects via DisplayPort and USB3. This cable can be detached and replaced if needed.

The Rift S doesn’t have any headphones and instead uses a small speaker located on the head strap. They still sound pretty well and might.

In terms of comfort, the Oculus has a crown head strap which can be tightened and loosened at the back with a rotary adjuster.

Pimax 8KX

Technical Specifications:

  • Compatibility: Windows 10 and 11 with SteamVR 1.0/2.0 tracking supported
  • Display: 4Kx2 UHD
  • Resolution Per Eye: 4K UHD
  • Refresh Rate: 75-114 Hz
  • FOV: 200° Fresnel lenses

This is the Pimax 8KX from Pimax and, if you know Pimax headsets you know that these things run at resolutions and a FOV that no other headset can deliver. This headset needs an ultra-powerful sim racing PC to deliver. But, it’s a high-end item of equipment; so it stands to reason if you’re contemplating buying this particular version, you already own a strong CPU/GPU pairing.

Build quality-wise, the Pimax 8KX is part of Pimax’s new vision lineup of headsets. These headsets have been upgraded with new material and special damage-resilient coating. You can feel an almost rubber-like coating covering it.

Pimax 8K X
Pimax 8KX

The lenses are so huge that they take up most of the inside of the headset, so you won’t see any borders like you do the smaller units. Ergonomically, despite its size it’s really easy to get used to and, with a good head strap, it balances on your head properly. The Pimax 8kx comes with Pimax’s new KDMAS head strap which is also known as their modular audio strap. It is very sturdy and KDMAS is also incredibly comfortable.

Despite first impressions of size, the 8KX is actually very comfortable and you could wear it for hours. There’s a removable rear pad that you can wash, and the face pad is really comfortable too and comes supplied in 3 different thicknesses for adjustability.

Pimax’s new comfort kit comes with a nose guard that completely blocks the light from coming into the headset which works really well.

The 8KX has a FOV of 200 degrees (compare that to the FOV of the Oculus Quest 2 which is 90 degrees or the index which is 130 degrees)

While the claimed default refresh rate is 90hz, if you launch Pi Tool you’ll notice that if you switch into upscaling mode you get up to 114 Hz refresh. Upscaling mode runs the headset at a resolution of 2560 by 1440 at a 114 Hz refresh rate while maintaining FOV, so a small drop in resolution for a higher refresh or the maximum resolution for a slower refresh (either way, you won’t notice!).

The headset itself has two type-C USB ports, one at the bottom and one hidden behind the faceplate up at the top. There are also three buttons, a button to power the headset on and off and the other two volume buttons to bring the volume up or bring the volume down.

The built-in microphone and excellent DMAS and KDMAS speakers are attached on each side with a small screw under the Velcro strip. The mic and speaker systems mean you can chat on Discord while playing, too.

Pimax 12k QLED

Technical Specifications:

  • Compatibility: Windows 10 / 11
  • Display: 12k at 5760 x 3240 (per eye)
  • Resolution Per Eye: 5760 x 3240
  • Refresh Rate: 75-200 Hz
  • FOV: 240°

Now officially released, the Pimax 12k QLED was announced back in October of 2021 when there were definitely fewer headset choices but in 2023, the Pimax 12k throws the kitchen sink at the VR headsets world.

This is 3rd generation VR technology and a taste of what the future has to offer.

Pimax Reality 12K QLED
Pimax Reality 12K QLED (available at Pimax here)

The Pimax display is 12k at 5760 x 3240 (per eye) with refresh rates ranging (depending on use) from the low end 75 hertz all the way to a high end of 200 hertz.

That’s even better than the Valve Index. The Field of View is a massive 240 degrees diagonal 200 degrees horizontal and 135 vertical making this a huge improvement over anything else available currently.

The headset includes tracking and it even has “full body tracking” with 11 onboard cameras. It’s on the Pimax store, and if you’re a power user (and I mean that in a very serious way) then this latest generation headset will blow your mind.


Related posts:

What are the Best VR Headsets for Sim Racing – Buyer’s Guide