Beyond a certain budget, we go up another grade concerning the quality of the immersion, comfort, but also the detection of movements.
HTC’s Vive range has proven its worth in the high-end market by offering two models for a different audience.
HTC Vive: the best in the top of the range
The HTC Vive is certainly the most advanced helmet on the market and probably provides the best RV experience. Two major brands worked together on its production: HTC and Valve. When it was released, it was considered a revolutionary model since it was the first to allow great freedom of movement and required a free space of at least 8 m².
Installation is simple. However, there are many wires that can interfere with the experience. There is a wireless adapter to replace them but the price is so high that it may be better to invest directly in the HTC Vive Pro if it is really embarrassing for you. You will find all this basic connectivity in the pack as well as two HTC controllers adapted to right and left handed users, with a touch pad and trigger.
The helmet itself offers a slightly better visual rendering than the Oculus Rift. While the refresh rate (90 Hz) and resolution per eye remain the same (1080 x 1200), the field of view is 110°.
As its performance is superior on a PC, it will require a more suitable graphics card and processor. To run the HTC Vive, you will need at least 4 GB of RAM, but 16 GB of RAM is strongly recommended.
This is one of the heaviest RV helmets, weighing 600 grams. The weight is mainly concentrated on the screens, unbalancing the whole thing a little. The HTC Vive is therefore not the most comfortable, especially since the foam around the eyes is permeable and keeps warm.
In short, the HTC Vive certainly offers the best virtual reality experience with higher performance than the models seen previously. But for its exorbitant price, a good ergonomics would not have been too much.
HTC Vive Pro: the high-end alternative
Recently released, the HTC Vive Pro is a more expensive and sophisticated version of the HTC Vive, and is intended for professionals. Its base price is a little excessive and the purchase of accessories generates an additional cost that requires an astronomical expense.
This headset works with Windows 8 or 10. As for the connectivity, this time it goes through a DisplayPort, so exit the HDMI. The RV accessory is used with the same joysticks. The cables are less cumbersome since they are totally absent.
This model inherits the image quality of the classic version since it remains unchanged with the same lenses. We also found the same display frequency and field of view.
A little lighter than its predecessor, the weight is better distributed but still room for improvement. Comfort has been reworked by the brand and is much better than on the “general public” model, even if it is still as warm as ever.
Finally, the criticism that can be made is that his headsets do not fit properly on the ears and can therefore harm the sound.
In short, compared to the HTC Vive, the “Pro” version keeps the same performance but has improved the ease of use and the size of the cables. It is mainly aimed at professionals and is not ideal for novices. Nevertheless, the amount requested for its acquisition is far too high, which is why we preferred the more classic model.