Try before you buy. Here are 6 of the top VR headsets out there to try for free and without obligation to purchase.
With varying quality of experience, VR headsets come tethered to mobile devices, PCs, game consoles, and even standalone versions. Some prices are staggering, and some others are more affordable.
Many are tempted by VR and plan on buying a headset, which can be a big investment for some, but they’re not sure in which brand to invest.
Of course, you can refine your choice by doing some research online. You can find descriptions of headsets, their specs, demos, prices and opinions of experts and customers who have tried them to inform your decision.
However, doubts will still remain. To be confident in a purchase, you should really hold the product in your hands before you buy.
Since it’s better to know what to expect from VR headset before buying one, there’s no better way than testing them yourself because some questions can only be answered by practice.
Allowing customers to test a product before buying is a trend that has grown in recent years, and VR headsets are no different.
Where you can try the top 6 VR Headsets for Free:
1. HTC Vive
The HTC Vive is arguably the most powerful VR headset available on the market today. With Vive you get fully immersive “room-scale” VR experience, thanks to advanced motion controllers and the possibility of creating a “play area”.
Even with $200 knocked off its price last August (now $599), the Vive is still the most expensive system and a big investment for some customers who, for such a price, definitely welcome a demo test.
This locator, according to your address and the distance you’re willing to travel, shows demo stations around the world where you can have a taste of the Vive experience.
2. Oculus Rift
Vive’s main competitor, the Oculus Rift ($400 for the headset + Touch controllers bundle) combines many of the expectations of professionals and customers alike.
To be fully enjoyed the Rift requires a quality PC with very good specs. Such systems are expensive, so it will be normal for consumers to want to test out the Rift and, luckily, Oculus offers such experiences, complete with Touch controllers.
Follow this link, enter your zip code and find the nearest demo station.
If you encounter the headset at a $500 USD MSRP, go here to find out how to get $100 USD back via rebate.
3. Windows MR Headsets
Microsoft’s entry-level Mixed Reality headsets with motion controllers are made by various partners including, HP, Lenovo, Acer, Dell and Samsung with prices starting at $399, that are the most affordable for PC VR headsets.
Microsoft is running demos of the four versions of its headsets (except Samsung’s which is available for pre-order) at different store locations across the U.S. However, it’s advisable that you call ahead to make sure the store near you is offering such demos.
4. PlayStation VR
As the first major gaming console maker to espouse VR technology, Sony wants gamers to discover the future of video games today with the PSVR headset.
With simple installation, comfort, and a precise movement capture thanks to Move controllers, PSVR, paired with the PS4 game console, has many offerings to seduce PS fans.
Go to PlayStation’s website type in your postal code and preferred travel distance to find where and when you can attend a PSVR demo.
5. Gear VR
Quickly installed using a compatible Samsung phone, the new version of this smartphone headset includes the presence of a Bluetooth controller for an enhanced immersive experience.
Oculus does offer test demos for the Gear VR across its stores in the U.S. and Europe.
Alternatively, you can also check with Verizon Wireless for demo stations.
6. Daydream View
Last but not least, the Daydream View is the name Google gave its mobile headset and its VR vision as a whole, in the hopes that you dream with your eyes wide open while using their device.
Check out how schools are using the Daydream View to take students on “field trips” here.
At $80 USD, the Daydream View head-mounted display is a great entry point for those who want to plunge into VR world.
Nevertheless, there are thousands of demo stations around the world; to find a demo you can use Google search feature.