Virtual reality headsets have been around for a while now, starting out with the likes of the Oculus Rift and Google Cardboard, and maturing into a whole range of impressive peripherals. But the Oculus Quest has stood above the competition by solving some of VR's biggest problems, making it an easy pick for the first Tom’s Guide Award for the best VR headset.
Unlike the Oculus Rift S, the Oculus Quest doesn’t need to be connected to a powerful PC or use a smartphone at its heart. This makes it one of the easiest ways to get into high-quality virtual reality gaming and experiences. And thanks to integrated sensors and algorithms, you can easily set up a room-scale VR area without the worry about walking into a wall or running cables from a PC.
Not only does the Oculus Quest deliver crisp graphics with minimal motion blur thanks to a 2880 x 1600 OLED panel, but it also comes with a pair of neat motion-sensing controllers and impressive integrated speakers. And on the software side, there’s a growing roster of VR games and apps, which you can cast to TVs and smartphones so people can watch what you are getting up to in a VR world.
There are even a handful of multiplayer games such as Dead and Buried 2, Dance Central, and Creed: Rise to Glory. For people with a creative streak, there’s the option to capture video or photos from within the Oculus Quest’s Home zone as well as in selected games, all of which can be the shared on social media if you’re into showing off your exploits in a virtual world.
While the Oculus Quest might not deliver quite the same high-end VR experiences as the Oculus Rift S or the Valve Index, its impressive hardware, solid performance, and strong range of apps make it one of the best gateway devices into VR and a worthy winner of a Tom’s Guide Award.