- The Meta Quest 2 is the best overall alternative to the Meta Quest 3, offering excellent value for money and a wide range of immersive games and experiences.
- Another strong alternative to the Quest 2, the HTC Vive Pro 2 is the best quality VR headset available today with an impressive 5K screen.
- Choosing the Meta Quest Pro will get you a premium VR experience that combines virtual reality with real-world experiences, offering multitasking capabilities and outstanding color support.
- The Sony PlayStation VR2 is the best VR headset for consoles, providing a true gaming experience with 4K HDR visual quality, 3D audio technology, and popular game titles.
Unsurprisingly, Meta and its Oculus headsets have been the reigning champion of the VR world for a while now, although strong competition exists. With the release of the Meta Quest 3, Meta is looking to retain its title, but at a $499 starting price point, there is definitely reason to look elsewhere if you want to dip your toes into the VR world.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the best alternatives you can find to the Meta Quest 3 today.
- #1 Best Overall: Meta Quest 2
- Best Quality: HTC Vive Pro 2
- Best Premium: Meta Quest Pro
- Best for Consoles: Sony PlayStation VR2
- Best Design: HTC Vive Flow
- Best Dual Function: HTC Vive XR Elite
- Best for Gaming: Steam Valve Index
#1 Best Overall: Meta Quest 2
In the world of VR headsets, the Meta Quest 2 is unsurprisingly the absolute best alternative to its successor, the Meta Quest 3.
Available starting at $299, the Meta Quest 2 represents a great value and entry point into the immersive world that is virtual reality. All it takes is putting on the headset, setting up boundaries around you so you don’t bump into furniture, and then starting to explore what is a very deep list of immersive games, fitness, social opportunities, and a whole lot of entertainment experiences.
Best of all, the Meta Quest 2 doesn’t require any type of sync to a console or PC to run as everything happens directly on the headset itself. Of course, there is a requirement to have both Wi-Fi and a smartphone to download new apps, but the Meta Quest 2 enables a heightened level of freedom without a PC or console over some of its competitors.
Meta indicates there are more than 250 titles that help you feel completely immersed in a 3D environment, which includes multiplayer activities with other Quest 2 owners as well.
Be sure to pick up your Meta Quest 2 headset from Amazon today.
|Excellent value for money
|250 titles might not seem like a lot
|Good for ages 13 and up
Best Quality: HTC Vive Pro 2
- 5K resolution (4896 x 2448 resolution)
- 120-degree field of view (FOV)
- 120Hz refresh rate
- Comfortable fit for VR sessions
- IPD adjustment dial
As long as you are not concerned about the price, what you get with the HTC Vive Pro 2 is very impressive. Everything centers around a 5K screen (4896 x 2448p resolution) that offers a 120Hz refresh rate, making the Pro 2 the best quality VR headset available today.
More importantly, the HTC Vive Pro 2 is also one of the most comfortable options on the market with an ergonomic design that balances the weight of the headset just right on your head.
Of course, if you are not already impressed by the overall quality, the integration of 3D spatial sound paired with a powerful amplifier enables equally outstanding sound to match the already awesome screen.
The 120-degree field of view also helps with the VR experience which is better for your eyes and, in turn, helps reduce overall fatigue while wearing the HTC Vive Pro 2.
Grab the HTC Vive Pro 2 headset from Amazon right now.
|Excellent screen quality
|One of the most expensive options
|Terrific audio quality
|Glasses may be difficult to wear with the headset
Best Premium: Meta Quest Pro
Any VR fan looking for a true premium experience should definitely take a long look at the Meta Quest Pro.
Even though it offers a starting price of $999, the Meta Quest Pro is one of the most premium VR experiences around while offering one of the best-looking headsets around.
What helps differentiate the Meta Quest Pro from other VR headsets is the ability to combine both virtual reality and real-world experiences with the headset on your head. Better yet, the Meta Quest Pro helps redefine what you know is possible about VR experiences.
One of the highlights of the Quest Pro is just how much you can do, like building a new living room for yourself in virtual reality so you can see what it’s like before actually making purchases in real life. Multitasking during work is also a huge plus for the Quest Pro as you can see your workspace virtually and organize your tasks, stream a podcast, message friends, or just work on new ideas in your own little world without distractions.
The Meta Quest Pro can be yours from Amazon today.
|Fantastic multitasking capabilities
|Too expensive for just gaming
|Outstanding color support for a true-to-life experience
|Need additional accessories like earphones for the best experience
Best for Consoles: Sony PlayStation VR2
If you’re a PlayStation 5 owner and want to get into the VR space, the Sony PlayStation VR2 is the no-brainer choice.
Right away, PS5 owners will be impressed with the 4K HDR visual quality that comes out of the Sony PlayStation VR2 headset. Everything from the 3D audio technology, headset vibrations, and intelligent eye tracking combine to make for a true gaming experience.
Don’t forget finger touch detection, haptic feedback, and adaptive triggers from the controllers either as they only serve to further the argument the VR2 may be the best VR gaming headset available. This is true whether you are playing while seated, standing, or moving around a room.
With a 110-degree field of view, the 3D audio tech helps make sure you can hear if an on-screen character whispers something in your ear or you can locate your enemy’s footsteps in a virtual environment. These technologies will come in handy with popular titles like Horizon Call of the Mountain, Resident Evil Village VR Mode, and Star Wars: Tales from Galaxy’s Edge Enhanced Edition.
Get your gaming on with the Sony PlayStation VR2 from Amazon.
|Best gaming VR experience
|More expensive than the PS5 console
|Popular titles like Horizon Call of the Mountain
|Limited selection of titles so far
Best Design: HTC Vive Flow
- Adjust the diopter dials to optimize your view in each lens and get the best level of visual clarity
- Rests on the sides of your head like a real pair of glasses
- Minimize eye strain and relax before bed or whenever you'd like
- Get parental controls and other features with the VIVE Guardian app on Android
- Includes VIVE Flow headset and controller
With a design that feels like it is right out of Bruce Wayne’s Batcave, the HTC Vive Flow is convincingly one of the best-looking VR headsets available.
The HTC Vive Flow headset shines right out of the box weighing in at only 189 grams, which makes it among the lightest options available as well. This lightweight approach is partially thanks to the requirement of a 10,000mAh battery pack to charge it up and an Android smartphone.
Assuming you have both of these things available to you, what you will find with the HTC Vive Flow is a 4K resolution option that will wow you. Whether it’s games, videos (think movies), or other interactive content, the Vive Flow is an ergonomic dream for all of these activities.
One big highlight of the HTC Vive Flow is the inclusion of content out of the box that will help you relax and be more mindful. This is a great use case for virtual reality and can serve as a great distraction from everyday life allowing you to recharge and reset.
The HTC Vive Flow can be yours right now from Amazon.
|Requires a portable battery and an Android phone
|Comes with relaxing content out of the box
|The content catalog isn’t as big as its competitors.
Best Dual Function: HTC Vive XR Elite
- Adjustable IPD and diopter dials
- High-resolution XR passthrough
- 3840 x 1920 combined resolution
- 90Hz refresh rate
- Up to 110° field of view
HTC’s best-ever VR headset, the Vive XR Elite offers the benefit of having dual functionality of being a capable standalone VR headset or one that connects and uses the power of your PC.
Providing buyers with a 3840 x 1920p resolution display that offers a 110-degree field of view with a 90Hz refresh rate, the HTC Vive XR Elite immediately shows up ready to play.
Where the Vive XR Elite shines best is with its dual capabilities. First and foremost, the Elite can serve as a separate VR experience thanks to Wi-Fi 6E where it can download apps across a variety of categories like games, entertainment, and productivity. Separately, the opportunities for the Elite grow significantly when attached via a low-latency cable to your PC.
With Vive Streaming, when attached to your PC, the Vive XR Elite can unlock even more breathtaking VR experiences and improved graphics over standalone titles. Regardless of which functionality path you take, HTC has ensured a simple setup for both sides, which serves as yet another reason why this headset is so special.
Go big with VR by grabbing your own HTC Vive XR Elite headset from Amazon.
|Dual functionality as a standalone headset or connects to your PC
|Requires a PC for the best fidelity with gaming
|Beautiful display for gaming
How to Pick the Best Meta Quest 3 Alternative: Step-by-Step
When it comes to choosing your next (or first) VR headset, there are 4 factors you want to consider before handing over a credit card.
- Room size
Let’s break each one down.
There is no question that virtual reality headsets continue to be an expensive proposition, so price is a big factor before making a purchase. With pricing that can run anywhere between $299 and $1,500, there is a definite budget question. The good news is that more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a better experience for everyone, but it does mean better graphics and technology.
One of the biggest arguments against virtual reality headsets has been the lack of comfort after a few minutes of use. The good news is that VR headset manufacturers know this, and in the case of headsets like the HTC Vive Flow, they are working to make them more lightweight so they are more comfortable to wear for longer periods of time. The same can be said for improved technology to reduce eye fatigue across multiple VR headsets on the market.
The most important factor you can consider with any VR headset is the amount of content that will be available for you to enjoy. Do you want access to tons of games as would be the case with the Meta Quest 2 and HTC Vive Pro 2, or do you want more productivity options as you will find with the Meta Quest Pro? The answer to that question will help you decide which VR headset you should consider for purchase.
While many VR headset content options allow you to stand still, by now everyone has seen funny home videos of VR headset wearers crashing into furniture, televisions, and pretty much anything else close to them. The reality is that you need some space around you when using a VR headset, especially while gaming, which is the most likely occasion to move around. If you don’t have a room you can dedicate to VR, you might want to look at headsets that are not as gaming-focused.
Using a Meta Quest 3 Alternative: What It’s Like
Anyone who wants to look at Meta Quest 3 alternatives is going to have a great set of options available and no matter which choice you make, the door is going to open to a whole new (virtual) world. Every VR headset available today is ready to help you discover what gaming and productivity content can be like in a VR future.
While the promise of VR taking over entertainment has yet to materialize in a major way, that isn’t to say that playing games isn’t a truly unique experience that delivers fun in a way consoles cannot. The same goes for movies as watching in VR feels like you’re in a theater while sitting on your couch without the sticky popcorn floors.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Myriam B/Shutterstock.com.