Valve Index is the headset released by Valve which had a role to play in the making of the amazing HTC Vive headset.
Needless to say that the quality of the Valve Index VR headset is amazing but it is going to be interesting to compare the headset with the Oculus Rift S especially after all the recent updates.
The Oculus Rift S was a new release in 2019 and it replaced the previous Oculus Rift with a few updates.
I did not feel like the updates were huge in comparison to the previous headset but there are definitely some updates that one cannot ignore.
The VR experience on the Valve Index has been one of the best so far to me and it would be interesting to see how this headset compares with the good old Oculus Rift S.
Design and Build Quality
The design and build quality of both the headsets are pretty amazing but let’s get into a few details in order to find out which one is better than the other.
The Oculus Rift S comes with a Halo style band and so does the Valve Index. The Halo style band is pretty much these days with the VR headsets and one can tell that they are going to stay.
The headsets give you an equal weight distribution on the face and the Valve Index is probably the most comfortable headset for my face.
Valve Index comes with a lot of padding and the lens adjuster and everything just makes VR experience with this headset so much more convenient.
The Rift S depends on the software for adjusting the distance of the lens from your eyes making it a real pain in the behind.
The Rift S is comfortable as well and the design of the headset is different from its Predecessor, the Oculus Rift. The audio on the Oculus Rift S is not as great as that on the Valve Index.
Something that really stands out is that you are going to not have a lot of wires when it comes to the Oculus Rift S. The Oculus Rift S comes with inside out tracking which reduces a lot of wires.
The Valve Index on the other hand still uses lighthouses which means that you are going to have some pretty clever wire management in order to not trip over a wire while you are playing a game in VR.
Display and Resolution
The Display on the Valve headset is pretty amazing and I have said that so many times on this blog. The Valve Index comes with a resolution of about 1440×1600 per eye giving you so much clarity in VR.
The Oculus Rift comes with a resolution of 1280×1440 per eye which is clearly less than the resolution of the Valve Index. Both of them have LCD displays which do make the colors look sharper in VR.
The Oculus Rift S comes with the Passthrough feature and so does the Valve Index which means if you want to take a break from VR and look around your surroundings then you can do so with the cameras on the headset.
This feature is pretty cool but if you want to remove the headset and see around you, then you might have to change the adjustments of the headband on the Oculus Rift S. This is not needed on the Valve Index as you can easily take off the headset.
Refresh Rate and FOV
Unlike other companies, the Oculus Rift S has a decreased refresh rate in comparison to its predecessor. For some reason, Facebook thought that it was okay to decrease the refresh rate to 80Hz and I do not agree with them.
In a few games, you can see some pixelated images because of the lag in the game. This is because of the decrease in the refresh rate and you will not have this problem with the Valve Index.
The Valve Index has a refresh rate of about 120 Hz- 144 Hz making the gaming experience smooth. Coming to the FOV, the Oculus Rift S has an FOV of about 110 degrees which is pretty similar to the previous headset.
The Valve Index has a wider FOV which is about 130 degrees and you clearly feel the difference between the two during gaming.
The VR games feel so much more immersive with the Valve Index because of these two factors. When it comes to features like refresh rate and FOV, the Valve Index is the better VR Headset.
Tracking and Controllers
This is probably the best part of the entire comparison post because the tracking and the controllers are quite different from both the headsets.
The Valve Index comes with two sensors that you need to place in your gaming room so that it would track the movements of the controllers. Both the headsets come with 6 DoF tracking so let’s get that out of the way.
But the controllers on the Oculus Quest are battery operated and since the headset has an inside out tracking you do not need any sensors to be placed in your room.
This means all you have is one wire that connects the Oculus Quest to your PC and that is it. You do not have a lot of wires that need to be connected to your PC like the Valve Index.
This makes Rift S portable in comparison to the Valve Index. The tracking on both the headsets is pretty good and when it comes to overall tracking and portability, I have to say that the Rift S controllers are so much better and easy to use than the Valve Index.
Gaming on the two headsets
The headsets are pretty amazing when it comes to playing games but the Valve Index wins in this case because you are going to love the amazing VR quality that comes with the headset.
You get an amazing refresh rate, a wider FOV and the visuals are better than the Rift S. The Rift S is pretty good but in comparison to the Valve index it is not going to feel that great.
Both the headsets have so many VR games that you can play as both of them are compatible with SteamVR. You have around thousands of VR games on this platform and if you think that there is not enough content then you should definitely check out the website.
There are never-ending gaming possibilities with both the headsets and you are not going to be disappointed with both of them when it comes to gaming.
Both the headsets are pretty amazing and you are going to love everything about them but there are a few things that you might want to consider before you make a purchase.
The Valve Index does give you an amazing VR experience but if you are looking for a standalone headset or just don’t have a PC with the desired specs on your side, then you can go for the Quest.
The VR experience on the Valve is one of the best and if you really want the high-quality VR experience and are ready to do anything like spending some serious cash, then the Valve Index should be your choice.
The Quest does have some glitches but for the price point, it does seem like a good deal and a headset that you can invest in.
I personally liked the Valve Index but there are a lot of things that you need to take care of with this headset and a few of them are a PC with the required specs, some wire management, and gaming space.
The Oculus Quest does not require any of these making it more like the headset on the go. So, if you want a portable headset then without a doubt you should be investing in the Oculus Quest.
Do let us know which one will you choose?
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