Virtual reality is taking the movies industry by storm. Watching movies is undoubtedly one of the most popular pastimes in the world. And in recent years, the prospect of watching these movies more realistically has become a reality courtesy of VR.
It’s become the ultimate experience for watching movies at home and feeling as though you’re in a cinema – without actually being there!
All of this is enabled by the great technology of virtual reality.
If you’re looking to dive into the world of VR movies, then you’re looking for the best VR headsets for watching movies. If that’s the case, we’ve got you covered – here are some best VR headsets for an immersive movie experience.
Oculus Quest 2
HTC Vive PRO
HP Reverb G2
Peiloh VR Headset
Pansonite VR Headset
Google Daydream View
Is VR Good for Watching Movies?
Yes, VR is great for watching movies from the comfort of your home and feeling as if you’re in a cinema.
Virtual reality has brought users the possibility to watch movies with other people while lying on their couches. It allows them to connect with other people and feel as though they’re watching the movie together.
This is enabled by the many apps and services that offer movies and various setups that make you feel as though you’re in a cinema. It’s a completely new way of watching movies that are taking the movie industry by storm.
The great thing about watching movies through VR is that you can simply kick back and enjoy the experience while also being able to connect with other people who are doing the same. You’ll be able to pick content from a great variety of categories, such as:
All you need to do is sit back, grab some popcorn and soda, and enjoy your favorite movies or content with other people (or alone, if that’s what you prefer) in a very immersive way.
So now that you’ve decided you want to grab a VR headset for watching movies, you’re probably wondering what makes a good headset for this purpose.
There are a few categories and factors that you should consider when choosing your VR, so you’ll want to analyze some of these and see if the headset you’re looking for is the right one for your case.
Here are some main things to watch out for when choosing a VR for watching movies.
1. Image and Sound Quality
First and foremost, the first two things you should be looking for in a good VR for watching movies are the sound and image quality.
If you want to feel fully immersed in the whole experience and you want to truly enjoy it, then you’ll want to have good sound and image quality. Now, some headsets do a better job at this than others.
- The first thing you need to look for is the resolution that a headset offers. A higher resolution is better – many headsets offer a resolution of 4K or even higher. However, a resolution of at least 1920×1080 should be good enough for most people, but it’s nice to have a higher resolution than that.
- Another thing to look for is the FOV (field of view). A good FOV for watching movies is at least 100 degrees. A higher FOV will give you a more immersive experience as you’ll feel as though you’re inside a cinema, which is why many people look for a higher FOV. It’s not a deal-breaker, though.
- Another thing you might want to consider is the refresh rate. The higher the refresh rate, the smoother your movie-watching experience will be. A refresh rate of 60Hz or higher should be enough.
- Audio quality is also important. Some headsets have built-in speakers that might do a decent job, while others don’t have them. The good thing about that is that you can use third-party speakers of higher quality, but you’ll also have the nagging trouble of having more cables to deal with.
- You should also look for a headset that has a minimal light bleed. This will enable you to view your movies more easily and in a more immersive way. This might be easier to judge if you tried all the headsets in question – but that’s what we’re here for to help you with!
2. Other Features
What other features does the VR headset have to offer? Does it offer you a chance to entertain yourself with other things such as games or other forms of entertainment? Or is the VR only geared towards watching videos or movies?
Higher-cost headsets will also be appropriate for gaming and other features, so you might need to spend a bit more to get them.
On the other hand, you’ll also find some decent headsets that give you a great viewing experience but won’t offer you much else in terms of other features.
It’s best to choose the features that you need or want depending on your budget and your other expectations from the headset.
3. Comfort and Ease of Use
Another important factor that you need to consider is how comfortable the headset is and how easy it is to set it up. Ideally, you’d want a headset that offers you a comfy experience while also being easy to use.
In terms of comfort, you need to look for headsets that have adjustable features and enough padding to make for comfortable viewing. Since you’ll be using a headset for hours at a time, this needs to be a priority for you. Also, you don’t want too many cables since they can hinder your viewing experience.
At the same time, you’ll want to have a headset that’s easy to set up and use. You don’t want to deal with excessive software and setups before watching a movie, so look for more simplistic options instead.
4. Your Budget
Lastly, another thing that will matter when choosing a headset for watching movies will be your budget.
The VR experience can vary wildly based on how much you’re willing to spend. High-end VRs can cost quite a lot, but will also offer you a much wider set of features.
You’ll also find some budget alternatives, but they won’t be nearly as fulfilling or immersive as the other VR headsets that cost more.
The key is to select your budget and then find the headset that fits your budget and your needs, as well as other key criteria we’ve just discussed here.
Best VR Headsets for Watching Movies – Reviews
Now that you know what you need to look for in a good VR headset for watching movies, let’s take a look at some of our top recommendations.
1. Oculus Quest 2 – Best Overall
- Resolution of 3664×1920
- 100-degree FOV
- 90Hz refresh rate
- 2.5 hour battery life
Without a doubt, Oculus Quest 2 provides the best quality and most comfortable movie-watching experience currently on the market. Its cable-free nature and standalone usability make it a great option for watching movies straight from your headset. It also offers some other great capabilities that you’ll love.
All of these make for a great viewing experience. It has one of the best resolutions currently on the market. With a 90Hz refresh rate and a 100-degree FOV, the viewing experience on the Quest 2 will be a joy.
Additionally, Quest 2 comes as a standalone package meaning that the headset is fully portable and you don’t need additional cables to use it. This will make your viewing experience more comfortable and certainly worth your time. In addition, it will offer you additional features such as games and other features.
Overall, the Quest 2 is probably the best package you can get at the moment for watching movies. It’s not as expensive as some other headsets but still offers a great resolution and viewing experience.
- Great value for money
- A decent set of features, including gaming
- Standalone and portable
- Good viewing quality and resolution
- Might get a bit uncomfortable after long viewing periods – but that’s to be expected with almost any headset
2. Google Cardboard – Best Budget Option
- Immersive experience
- Works with your smartphone
- Lots of content to explore
- Clever, user friendly design
Looking for a cheap and effective headset that’s geared towards watching movies? Then you can go for Google Cardboard, which is one of the most popular options when it comes to watching movies in VR.
Let’s face it: Google Cardboard won’t provide you with wonders when it comes to VR. It won’t offer you to play exclusive games such as Oculus devices or other headsets, and it won’t offer you the power that other headsets do. You’ll also be greatly dependent on the quality of the image on your phone.
But there’s certainly something fabulous about the Cardboard that makes it great for watching movies. Namely, the most notable feature that it has going for it is simplicity. Watching movies in VR has never been easier than with this little thing, albeit it’s not the most technically advanced headset.
It will work for practically any device and it will give you the possibility for a 360-degree view. On the downside, you won’t have the same experience as with other VRs and you might miss a few features, but it’s still a great starting option if you’re looking to try watching movies in VR.
- Good starting option for novices
- Simple and easy to use
- Provides a 360-degree view
- Not advanced
- Relies on the quality of your phone
- Might be a bit gimmicky
- Inconsistent viewing quality
- Complete Premium VR Package
- Steam VR Tracking V1.0
- Breathtaking Graphics
- Viveport Infinity
If you’re looking for a slightly more advanced option for watching movies that will offer you some other great capabilities, then you can’t go wrong with the HTC Vive PRO. It’s a slightly more advanced package that will go beyond just watching movies.
To start with, let’s mention that HTC Vive PRO will be slightly more expensive than some other headsets we’ve mentioned here, especially if you go for the full package. But this also means that it will provide you with a more well-rounded experience of VR – of course, it will also offer you the chance to watch movies.
There’s no doubt that this headset will provide you with one of the best viewing experiences. It offers features such as:
- 2880×1600 combined resolution with Dual AMOLED displays
- Hi-res sound
- Comfortable weight distribution
But perhaps most importantly, this headset provides you with a great list of other capabilities you won’t find in many other headsets on this list. It will enable you to play complex video games and perform other advanced tasks using the headset, which is what comes with the higher price tag.
The only disadvantage is the higher price of this headset compared to others.
- Superior features
- High-quality sound and resolution
- Advanced technology
- Slightly more expensive
4. HP Reverb G2 – Best Resolution
- The No Compromise VR Headset
- It’s All Inside
- Exceptional Visuals and Sound
- More Cameras, Better Tracking
If you’re looking for the best resolution possible, then you will probably like HP’s entry into the VR market – the Reverb G2.
It is one of the most technically-advanced headsets out there with a superior resolution and refreshes rate. The resolution of 2160×2160 will provide you with a balanced and impressive viewing experience. It has two LCD panels that will make you feel as though you’re really inside a cinema enjoying your favorite movie.
In addition, the Reverb G2 is also highly capable of providing you with a great experience when it comes to other tasks, such as playing games. It’s a well-rounded package and it might cost you a bit more. But if you’re willing to get the highest resolution out there, then you’ll want to spend a bit more.
If you’re willing to tap deeper into your budget to get the higher resolution of the Reverb G2, then you probably won’t be disappointed with the purchase.
- Great resolution of 2160×2160
- Two LCD panels for a realistic experience
- Good sound quality
- Technically advanced
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, of course! VR headsets offer you a wide variety of capabilities – one of the most popular ones is the ability to watch movies. You can watch movies using third-party applications, while some VR headsets have built-in apps and capabilities to allow you to watch movies.
With some headsets or apps, you’ll be able to connect with other people and watch movies with them. It’s a great way of spending your free time and socializing without even having to leave your home.
In our opinion, Oculus Quest 2 provides you with the best option for watching movies in VR. It comes with a fantastic resolution and a refresh rate of 90Hz, while also providing you a cable-free experience that not many other headsets offer.
This VR headset is also capable of performing many other tasks, such as playing video games or other tasks that come with VR. It’s certainly a wholesome experience that you should try yourself, and it also comes at a relatively affordable price for what you’re getting.
Myself Anderson, author and founder of this blog, being an Arts student I developed my interest in visiting various places in my 40’s and have come across various mind blowing places in the world. Luckily I got married with a software engineer and now I am the mother of a child with whom I share my experience of visiting different places. But unfortunately I was unable to express my journeys.