The HTC Vive Cosmos and Valve Index are undeniably two of the best headsets in the market right now. They offer the best resolutions and experience to make virtual reality as immersive as possible.
These two headsets are pretty far from each other when it comes to price. The Vive Cosmos has a price of only $699 while the Valve Index has an expensive price of almost $1000.
The Valve Index is considered as one of the most expensive headsets in the market. The price goes up to this because of the set that comes with the headset.
The HTC Vive Cosmos and the Valve Index are both PC-powered. The Vive Cosmos has an up on this as it is compatible with HTC’s wireless adapter, while the Valve Index still uses wires to connect with a PC.
If you are wondering what is best for you, I can say that they are both. In this review, we will determine their similarities along with differences in order for you to decide which headset fits you best.
Design and Build Quality
HTC Vive Cosmos’ design is an improved headset compared to the HTC Vive. It has a halo headband and a strap that wraps around your head.
The headset is made out of lightweight plastic with an interesting color. Instead of the usual minimalistic black color, HTC opted for a deep blue color.
The headset has 6 designated cameras positioned perfectly around the headset. The strap on the head has a dial behind where you can adjust to fit your head in the most comfortable way possible.
It also has an updated pair of controllers. The previous HTC Vive was only compatible with the Vive remote and Index controllers, the Vive Cosmos, on the other hand, is now compatible with the more standardized Oculus Touch Controllers.
But do not get confused, it is still compatible with the older controllers. It had just adapted the Oculus Touch Control which is used more and more in the virtual reality world.
The Vive Cosmos is a PC-powered headset. This means that it still needs a computer to function properly.
But it does not need wires for you to connect it to the PC. The Vive Cosmos is compatible with HTC’s new wireless adapter.
The wireless adapter uses the new Intel WiGig Technology. This delivers audio and video with 60GHz and allows smooth transitions from the PC to the headset with speed and precision.
The Valve Index comes in with the headset, the new Valve Index controllers, and Base Station Version 2.0.
The headset also has a halo strap and a top-of-the-head strap as well. There are two dials in the Valve Index headset.
One for the distance of the screen display from your eyes which can be found on the left side of the headset. The other dial on the back of the head for you to adjust the strap in your comfort.
It is a black headset with a glossy plastic front. It has two mounted cameras at the bottom of the faceplate which is used as a passthrough feature.
The cameras are also said to have the potential of being used in augmented reality. This means that you can use your surroundings and mix it with your virtual reality games.
The Valve Index has a new controller and they have one of the coolest features in the market. But I will talk about that later.
The Valve Index is also compatible with HTC’s hardware. This means that you can use your HTC Vive controllers on the Valve Index or the other way around.
The main reason behind this is because both of their controllers are made on both SteamVR platforms. You can mix and match the hardware for the Vive Cosmos and Valve Index.
The Valve Index is a PC-powered headset and still needs a wire to connect it with a computer. The great thing about this is that the Valve Index delivers crisp resolution even with decade-old software.
Display and Resolution
The Vive Cosmos boasts 1440 by 1700 pixels per eye for the resolution. The Vive Cosmos is considered as one of the best headsets with high resolution out there.
As if that is not enough, the Vive Cosmos uses a 3.4- inch RGB LCD which makes the display more vibrant and immersive. The small screen also allows the pixel density to display better images.
The headset covers the entire top of your head. This avoids distraction from the outside surroundings.
Vive Cosmos has a flip screen that you can use if you want to be more aware of what is around you. You can flip the screen all the way up to your head without removing the entire headset.
This is perfect for multiplayer gamers as they can easily transition from virtual reality to the real world.
The Valve Index has a slightly lower resolution of 1440 by 1600 for each eye. Although this is a slightly lower resolution compared to the Vive Cosmos, this resolution is pretty average for the majority of headsets in the market and it would not make a major difference on the display.
The Valve Index also uses dual LCD and has hardly any screen-door effect. The screen does not flip over the head like the Vive Cosmos but it still has a passthrough feature.
The two cameras mounted at the bottom of the headset are used to see the outside world. It can display your surroundings without removing the headset or even the faceplate itself.
The Vive Cosmos has a slightly better resolution but it really does not make a large difference. The resolution of the Valve Index is better than some of the headsets out there so it does not have any issues when it comes to the display.
Refresh Rate and Field of View
Refresh rate determines how fast your headset can refresh itself in a second. The higher the refresh rate, the smoother the display will be.
If your headset has a high refresh rate, the faster and smoother the transitions will be. This is great to avoid motion sickness and nausea.
The Vive Cosmos has a refresh rate of 90Hz. This means that it can refresh its display 90 times a second, this is pretty standard for most VR headsets in the market.
The Valve Index has a higher refresh rate of 120Hz and an experimental 144Hz on SteamVR. I personally think that the 120Hz is more than enough for smooth transitions, but if you feel the need, you may try the 144Hz refresh rate with Steam.
What’s amazing about the 120Hz Refresh Rate is that it can be achieved with older software. This means that you do not have to update or buy a high-functioning PC to attain the smooth transitions of the Valve Index.
The 144Hz refresh rate, however, requires a high-powered PC to attain this refresh rate. But it is still experimental so this means that you still do not need it right now and it may still have problems, so I say stick to the 120Hz for now.
Field of View is determined by how wide you can see in the headset. It is the display that the headset allows you to have in all points or angles possible.
The Vive Cosmos has a 110-degrees Field of View. This is slightly higher to the 90 degrees FoV of most headsets right now.
The Valve Index has a wide 130 degrees Field of View. This wide field of view removes the goggle-feel of the headset.
The Valve Index is better in this category because it allows you to see a wider display but it does not have a hard time with transitions because of the high refresh rate.
Tracking and Controllers
This category determines how accurate the tracking of the headsets is. We will also talk about the features of their controllers to give you an idea of how they feel on your hands.
The Vive Cosmos has 6 degrees of freedom that uses the new inside-out tracking technology. The Vive Cosmos does not need external tracking because of the six mounted cameras on the headset itself.
The handheld controllers of the Vive Cosmos can be tracked well by these cameras. The inside-out tracking of the headset has been improved already and it has widened the range of motion allowed by the headset.
There is a slight difference between the accuracy of tracking between inside-out and external trackers. The external trackers still have a more accurate tracking system but the new and improved inside-out tracking of the Vive Cosmos makes it almost identical to that of external trackers.
The Vive Cosmos controllers use light for the trackers to detect it even in dark rooms. Because of this, it uses more energy and requires two AA batteries for each controller.
The Valve Index controllers are arguably the best in the game right now. It includes touchpads and an analog joystick.
With the Valve Index’ pressure and touch tracking system, you experience a natural input in the game with every move of your every finger.
The Valve Index uses external tracking which is more accurate than that of the Vive Cosmos’ inside-out tracking. It allows a room-scale VR experience.
Gaming on the two Headsets
Viveport allows all its headset to experience games that are not with other headsets. Viveport is HTC’s own software stores and it contains a lot of games that can be played with the Vive Cosmos
Connecting the Vive Cosmos with your Steam account will also allow you to play games from SteamVR. It was initially unavailable with the Vive Cosmos but Valve has made the adjustments and allowed most of the headsets in the market to access their games through SteamVR.
The Valve Index, of course, is compatible with SteamVR. There are issues that other headsets have the difficulty of connecting with Steam.
The Valve Index works relatively well with steam with occasional alerts where it says that something is disconnected by telling you that some hardware cannot be found or detected.
This problem occurs to most headsets, especially on the first try. However, Valve has made solutions about this and the process has been better over the years.
I say that gaming on the Valve Index is better as it has a more accurate tracking with its new 2.0 base station external tracking system. The Vive Cosmos is more comfortable for moving as it does not have any wires.
There is a little delay on the Vive Cosmos controllers but it is hardly noticeable and you can still play your games with smooth transitions.
When it comes to comfort, I did not see any contest as both headsets have a comfortable halo and a head strap on top of your head. You can really move your head in any direction and the headsets would perform its job with stability.
What I liked about both headsets are their passthrough features. They have very different ways of making you aware of your surroundings but they both perform at best.
The Valve Index has cameras in front of the headset that lets you see the outside while the Vive Cosmos’ faceplate can be lifted up to see the outside world without removing the headset itself.
The thing that separates the two is their price. They have a price difference of $300 with the Vive Cosmos priced at $699, this can be expensive to others but the Valve Cosmos at $999 is way more expensive.
However, the Valve Index makes up for its price as it has a better and a faster refresh rate. Along with these, it also has a wider field of view that allows you to see the game with a wider display.
If you have the Vive controllers and other Vive hardware, you can buy the Valve Index controllers as they are compatible with both. This could be an upgrade as well.
It is up to you to decide which headset is better for you. Both headsets have amazing features that you can not find in other headsets.
You might want to consider looking at these modernistic headsets when you are about to buy one. They can both be pricey but they make up with their amazing displays and other out-of-this-world features.
Let us know which one would you choose among these two headsets?
If you have any experiences you want to share with these headsets then leave them in the comments below!
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