Netflix and VR? – Best VR headset for Movies [2020 Update]

By combining VR technology and a cinema-class movie, you can bring the cinema experience onto your own couch. Since VR headsets were released, watching movies has been one of its main uses, and it has only grown in popularity since its early years.

If you are eager to dive head-first into this craze, you need to get yourself a VR headset of unmatched quality. Great news! Read our review of the best VR headset for movies.

Product Roundup

Product

Weight

Type

Resolution

SONY PSVR

822ounces (624g)

Console Based

1080x960

Samsung Gear VR

12.2ounces (345g)

Smartphone Powered

1280x1440

HTC Vive

16.6ounces (470g)

PC tethered

2160x1200

Oculus Go

16.5ounces (468g)

Standalone

2560x1440

Samsung HMD Odyssey+

22.8ounces (645)

PC tethered

2880x1600

This state-of-the-art headset looks and feels like a pricey piece of tech you would be more than lucky to have at home. With its sleek, cutting-edge design, cool ambient lights that enable motion tracking features and the black and white accents make it one of the better-looking VR headsets to enter the global market.

The device is extremely comfortable to wear, and it does not have many wires protruding from it. Due to the nature of its sleek design, the controls are easily located and do not interfere with the VR experience.   

Sleek design does not make up for the performance, as the display of the PS-VR is the least of the 3 big names in VR headsets, as it uses a solo 5.7” OLED screen with a resolution of 1080p, while its competitors provide the user with 2160x1200 resolution for one eye.

One of the greatest advantages of the PSVR is that due to the “cinematic” feature created by Sony, all PS4 games are compatible with the VR headset making it one of the most versatile, yet fairly priced headsets out there.

PROS

  • Comfy
  • Looks good
  • Easily accommodate prescription glasses
  • Affordable

CONS

  • Requires PS4 console
  • Content is expensive

It is on the smaller, lighter side of the spectrum when it comes to VR headsets, as it is foam-padded, with a couple of Velcro straps. Most of the Samsung smartphones fit right into it and can be connected either by micro or USB-C port.

This headset is quite easy to use as the controls are quite minimalistic yet straightforward, and you are also able to adjust the focal distance which would help you view the content more clearly.

However, there is a downside to this headset, which changes the entire experience for the user.


This downside comes into play when you are trying to make a selection on the screen which requires you to either stare at the same spot for some time or try using the control panel on the headset which makes the content slightly shaky as you’re trying to make your selection.

Nonetheless, this headset is on the cheaper end of the spectrum and is an extremely affordable way into the world of VR.

PROS

  • Voice Command
  • Amazing motion tracking
  • Lightweight

CONS

  • Only support Samsung phones

This headset is one of the biggest and bulkiest ones out there, but the quality of the content you can view on it is unparalleled.

Though it’s one of the biggest and heaviest out there it is not the most comfortable headset you could purchase. But after you have connected it to the correct software and have set it up for your comfort, you will experience some of the best, high-quality VR content you have ever seen.

The device offers a 110 viewing angle which provides a much more immersive VR experience. However, all this comes at a cost, as this headset is the highest-priced item on our list. If you have the means and are interested in experiencing the full world of VR, this is the headset for you.

PROS

  • 6DoF controllers
  • Unparallel comfort
  • Smart interface

CONS

  • Pricey
  • Bulky
  • Many wires popping out

This specific VR headset is one of the comfiest headsets to penetrate the market. These press into your face very easily for a snug fit, and it is also one of our portable VR headsets, so you can take it wherever you go.

Being a budget VR headset, the quality of video and audio are almost unmatched, and can sometimes feel better than the higher-end products.

Being one of the newer products released, Oculus had time to refine their software and make the colors look crisper and clearer to the user, resulting in much sharper images.

Using its 5.5”, 2560x1440p LCD screen, it can produce these clear images, however, because it is not an OLED screen, the display is not as black compared to other VR headsets.

PROS

  • Standalone
  • Portable
  • Easy setup
  • Comfortable fit

CONS

  • Motion tracking is limited
  • Poor battery life

If you are looking to buy a headset based on pure aesthetics, this is not for you. It’s a solid black headset with no hues or accents making it almost boring to look at. It also has a budget feel to it, weighing in at just under 700g, but this should not bother you.

If you are willing to spend around $500, you would want it to be durable, comfortable, and above all produce high-quality content. If this is what gets you interested, then you have stumbled on the perfect headset for you.

The device offers a twin AMOLED display paired with a refresh rate between 90 – 160Hz. Samsung also boasts about the AKG powered headphones.

PROS

CONS

  • Pricey
Samsung HMD Odyssey+ Windows Mixed Reality Headset with 2 Wireless Controllers 3.5" Black (XE800ZBA-HC1US)
3K anti-sde AMOLED display (2880x1600) with wide 110O field of view; Access to Windows mr store and steamer libraries for thousands of games & experiences

Buying Guide & FAQ

What is VR? How does it differ from a PC or Television experience?

Virtual reality brings the big screen right to your doorstep. Virtual reality brings all images, videos, or games that offer either a 180 or 360 viewing angle.

Most people think of VR in terms of 3D technology. Although VR is quite similar in a certain way, it allows you to immerse yourself further into the virtual world.

Also, the virtual world does not stop at the screen, but it allows you to engage and interact with your virtual surroundings.

Most people enjoy this experience because it is extremely immersive, and it allows you to possibly live in a virtual world and recreate amazing experiences.

As the world of VR is ever-evolving, not all media is compatible in the VR format –not for now at least. However, virtual reality headsets perform best when the selected media has been specifically produced to be viewed using a VR headset.

Is VR healthy?

Yes, it is! It is harmless for adults with good eyesight, who don’t suffer from motion sickness and epilepsy, as the images portrayed are being viewed in a closed line of sight.

However, if you are someone who is just getting into the VR experience, it is wise to take regular breaks, and only use the headsets for a short period with regular intervals, as your eyes need time to get used to viewing an extremely close screen.

One of the most common side effects of long exposure to VR is eye fatigue. Using a VR headset for more than 1 hour or so could cause headaches, and motion sickness if the movies or games being watched or played move in an unnatural way to the motion of your body.

Simply put:

By taking regular breaks and staying hydrated, you will easily overcome these symptoms and go back to normal once you have removed the headset.

Another contributing factor to the VR experience is your environment. You are likely to trip if you are not aware of your surroundings. Most PC headsets generally want you to frame some borders before you immerse yourself. However the emptier the room, the securer you will be. This is generally more of an issue with more interacting VR experiences like gaming.

What is the range of VR devices out there?

VR headsets fall into 3 main types: Tethered headsets such as the infamous Oculus Rift, mobile headsets such as the Tzumi Dream Vision Pro, and standalone devices such as the Quest by Oculus which is a VR headset with built-in screen. In addition to these, Sony released a VR headset for the PlayStation console called PS-VR (PlayStation VR).

Tethered headsets offer a wide variety of experiences and are the most immersive of all types. However, these do come at a higher price.

To get started you just go right ahead and plug it into the USB port and Display/HDMI port on your pc and run it with system-specific software such as SteamVR or by downloading the Oculus application for your platform.

Mobile headsets gained their recognition when Samsung first released its Samsung Gear VR in 2015 with the release of its then flagship smartphone the Samsung Galaxy s6.

These devices are straightforward when it comes to using them, you have to slot your mobile into the device and strap it onto your face.

These experiences are not as immersive as the wired headsets, but they are an excellent start out point if you are new to VR and are quite affordable as well.

Finally, we draw your attention to standalone headsets, which build everything necessary into the device itself, hence you can use it immediately without any prior setups.

These headsets offer a pleasant compromise between cost and VR experience, and they also offer similar experiences as the tethered headsets. A few of them come with the option to be compatible with your PC as well, therefore, being the most adaptable option out of the three.

netflix and VR

Features to Consider

1. Resolution

You must understand that there are two different kinds of headsets: those that have a fixed screen and those that require you to use your mobile device as the screen. Naturally, VR headsets that are sold with fitted screens are more costly. However, they do have much better displays and resolutions than your average smartphone screen.

As everyone owns a smartphone these days, choosing a mobile-powered headset could save you a significant amount of cash, but the resolution will not be any different to when you watch a movie on your mobile. Just the added VR effect.

2. Mobility

Most of the high-end VR headsets do not have integrated GPUs, instead, they mainly depend on the processing power of a PC. Which inadvertently requires them to be connected to a PC for them to work.

This proves to be quite inefficient in terms of mobility. This could seem like bad news to you, especially if you prefer using the headset from the comfort of your bed or sofa.

The biggest advantage a PC-tethered headset has over its counterparts is the sheer volume of apps offered for them. They take into consideration how amazingly powerful PCs can be, and how well-prepared they are to manage the high requirements of different content made for VR.

Moreover, the standalone headsets tend to have an incorporated GPU which do not require you to connect them to a PC.

While these headsets are not as powered as PC-tethered headsets, they also don’t have the variety of content made for PCs. They can be taken anywhere, and you can use them wherever you please. Best of all, you can even take them with you on holiday or have a quick VR chat with your friend in the park while enjoying the breeze.

Check out our review of the best VR headset for chat.

3. Focal distance and IPD adjustment

Simply put, everyone’s eyesight is different, and you should purchase your VR device from a company that understands this and has taken measures to make sure everybody can use their product with ease and comfort.

Preferably, a VR device with a variable IPD (interpupillary distance) will assure that you have the maximum VR experience.

Having a variable focal distance is not an issue when it comes to VR devices with fitted displays, as the distance between the display and the lens is fixed.

On the other hand, the focal distance is vital for headsets that use a mobile phone as a screen. Screen sizes vary from smartphone to smartphone, and being able to adjust the focal distance will give you an unprecedented VR experience.

4. Versatility

You might want to purchase a VR device for the sole purpose of watching movies at home, but what about using it for gaming and other experiences it has to offer?

There are countless VR headsets in the market, and if you purchase one which can’t play all VR games, or allow you to experience anything else, you would regret not splurging a little more on a better, more compatible headset.

If you are unsure about paying a few more dollars on that better VR headset, I recommend you check out the different types of VR applications available. Use that knowledge to make an informed decision on the type of VR headset you would like to purchase.

5. Cost

Virtual reality goggles are among the most unevenly priced items in today’s market. Multiple factors contribute to the final price and performance of the headset. A basic mobile-powered headset could cost as little as $10, or you could purchase a high-end headset that could break the bank at roughly $1000.

Movies like those from the Marvel Universe have hidden Easter eggs, so without a clear image how are you going to identify them? So, to enjoy a movie you need a clear and crisp resolution.

You will only get a reliable resolution if you purchase from a well-known manufacture.

My choice is the Oculus Go, which is portable and can be used to watch movies from the comfort of your bed.

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