Oculus Quest vs Rift Best VR Headset in 2019

Virtual reality headsets are a device of the future. Even though adoption is only slowly picking up now, it goes without saying that this technology is here to stay. So which are some of the best VR headsets available right now? While there are multiple companies available today, it goes without saying that Oculus is the best-known manufacturer out there, thanks partly to its acquisition by Facebook a few years ago.

ProductBrandNamePrice
OculusOculus Quest All-in-one VR Gaming Headset - 64GBBuy on Amazon|$399(Price as of 09/19/2019 06:34 ET)
OculusOculus Rift S PC-Powered VR Gaming HeadsetBuy on Amazon|$399(Price as of 09/19/2019 06:34 ET)

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Two of Oculus’ best VR headsets right now are the Quest and the Rift S. While these two headsets are different in their own way, we decided to do a quick comparison between the two devices to better understand how they perform and who they’re suited for. So let’s have a look.

Oculus Quest vs Rift S Best VR Headset in 2019

Oculus Quest

Design

Given the fact that this is a wireless offering, all you will find on the headset are bands to avoid it from slipping along with the VR unit. The clever design also accommodates integrated speakers which are pretty much hidden from the eye. Overall, it’s sleek and portable, just as you would want it.

Features & Performance

So running underneath the headset is a self-contained Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC and dual OLED displays with a combined resolution of 2880 x 1600 (1440 x 1600 for each eye). It is also worth noting that since this is a wireless offering, you will miss out on some standard Oculus features, especially software based IPD (interpupillary distance). This basically means that users will have to manually adjust the distance between their pupils using a tool on the headset. However, it goes without saying that a large number of users prefer adjusting the IPD manually as software-based optimization cannot work accurately with all users.

The Quest also uses Oculus Insight which consists of 4 sensors to do a thorough scan of your surroundings for obstacles or walls. The sensors are located on each corner on the front, whereas the Rift S adds a fifth sensor on the top and offers a different arrangement. As far as sensors and tracking are concerned, the Oculus Quest is one of the best out there, especially among portable VR headsets.

The Quest supports Oculus’ updated Touch Controllers maximizing performance as well as the utility of the headset. The headset also comes with six degrees of freedom (6DoF) allowing you to move freely within 3D environments and allow the setting to adjust accordingly.

This headset is available in two storage variants – 64 and 128GB. Unfortunately, there’s no microSD storage expansion available on this device, which means that the storage mentioned is all you get. Although USB-C storage drives will soon receive support for the Oculus Quest, it is said that this will be limited to media, and will not allow games. The Quest is battery operated and can run for up to two hours at a time. Users can change this by buying approved third party battery packs for the headset.

This is a standalone headset that doesn’t require any other device to pair or connect. All you need is a Wi-Fi connection and you can start browsing games and other content from the Oculus Store. Fundamentally, the Oculus Quest is meant to be a portable version of the popular Rift headset, and it gets the job done comfortably.

Availability and Pricing

The Oculus Quest can be purchased right away from online retailers like Amazon. The 64GB version retails for $399 while the 128GB model is currently selling for $499. Considering the fact that most smartphones cost more than this today, we don’t think the Oculus Quest is overpriced. However, some of its limitations compared to the Rift S may hold some users back.

Oculus Rift S

Design

The Rift S is an updated version of the Rift CV1 and has effectively replaced it in the market. This will only work with a compatible PC, which also means you will have to make do with plenty of wires. This also limits your reach to a great extent, although VR games should never be played in a small room anyway. Given that the Quest houses a battery, the Rift S is slightly lighter than the portable Oculus headset. The Rift S also has an extra edge on the bottom, which adds to the overall size of the device while keeping the weight down.

Features & Performance

It goes without saying that the Rift S is definitely the more powerful of the two. For starters, this headset comes with five sensors, offering the best and accurate tracking for any VR content. It also comes with the ability to look for walls or obstacles on your path, just like on the Quest. The display here is an LCD panel and appears to be the same as the one used on the Oculus Go. It comes with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 which is effectively 1280 x 1440 for each eye. The Rift S only requires a Windows-running machine along with a compatible video card. It is compatible with GPUs like the NVIDIA GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon R9. Fortunately for users upgrading from the Rift CV-1, Oculus has not changed the recommended hardware specs on the Rift S.

Those who seek to further drive performance can do so by upgrading their PC video card to a newer model. While this won’t make a lot of difference for many of the games, newer content arriving on the Oculus Store may be able to benefit from a powerful new GPU. A product like the Rift S makes sense if you already have a gaming PC at your disposal. You also get the updated Oculus Touch Controller with the Rift S, so there are no differences between the two headsets in this regard.

The Rift S also brings 6DoF to the equation, allowing you to move and interact in any direction within a 3D maps and mazes. This headset lacks a manual IPD option, however, which means you will have to rely on software adjustments to determine the distance between your pupils. Furthermore, since the Rift S relies entirely on your PC to play content onto the headset, there are no storage variants here. This makes the Rift S an extremely versatile offering, especially for those who have already invested in a gaming desktop.

Availability and Pricing

The Rift S is available in a solitary Black model and is priced at $399. While you may be able to find attractive discounts on the product elsewhere, this appears to be the most common pricing for the device so far. You can get it through a variety of retail outlets, including Oculus’ own online store as well as Amazon.

Conclusion

The real reason behind creating the Oculus Quest was to provide a viable alternative to users without a gaming PC at home. Given that it’s portable, however, also meant sacrificing on some of the core Oculus features, and more importantly performance. Titles that you find for the Oculus Rift S are not all available for the Quest. However, the Oculus team is believed to be hard at work to port more games from the Rift to the portable platform.

So taking these factors into account, picking the best headset of the two should be fairly easy, right? Well, not really. Oculus has made the choice even more confusing for the customers by pricing both products similarly. While it’s clear that a lot of work has gone into the Oculus Quest, the hardware underneath is nothing short of a modern-day flagship smartphone.

So in terms of value alone, the Oculus Quest makes sense. However, users also have to consider limited storage and large game files that can quickly fill up the internal storage on the Quest. But on the other hand, the Rift S doesn’t have any of these problems as it only needs a gaming PC to work. To counter the limited storage concern from Quest owners, Oculus is expected to launch a new cloud save feature soon that could help free up large game save files from the internal storage. Most gaming devices today have some form of cloud save enabled, so it’s slightly surprising that Oculus hasn’t offered it already.

Who should get the Rift S?

If you’re an avid gamer and have a powerful gaming PC at home, the Rift S is really hard to beat in the industry today. While many may be tempted to go with the HTC Vive, there’s no doubt that Oculus is one of the biggest VR oriented companies in the market today. If you’ve already owned the Rift CV-1, it may not be a bad idea to upgrade to the Rift S, especially considering the new touch controllers that it comes included with.

Who should get the Quest?

If you’re new to the concept of virtual reality and want to try it out. This can also make an excellent gift to your family or loved ones, especially to those who are tech-savvy. It doesn’t take much getting used to and since it’s wireless, the setup process barely takes a few minutes once you unbox the product.

ProductBrandNamePrice
OculusOculus Quest All-in-one VR Gaming Headset - 64GBBuy on Amazon|$399(Price as of 09/19/2019 06:34 ET)
OculusOculus Rift S PC-Powered VR Gaming HeadsetBuy on Amazon|$399(Price as of 09/19/2019 06:34 ET)

* Links in this table contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through the link and make a purchase. Thank you for your support. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.