Looking for high quality VR headphones? The recently unveiled HTC Vive Pro 2 will soon take you into the world of super-hi-res virtual reality.
Original HTC Vive put virtual reality home on the map with local location tracking and high resolution display. However, competition has intensified since its 2016 debut Oculus Quest 2 and Valve index affected VR players. But with the HTC Vive Pro 2, HTC is ready to invest its demands as a premium VR headset maker to win.
And in terms of technical sheet, the HTC Vive Pro 2 is perhaps the most powerful, high-end VR headset – at least in terms of what’s easily accessible to home users.
The restrictions on the lock mean that we have not yet made progress with the device, and were instead treated in an online briefing with HTC, which disseminated all the details. However, we look forward to offering practical impressions in the coming weeks, so check back soon.
In the meantime, here’s everything you need to know about HTC Vive Pro 2.
Go for it
- What is it? HTC’s high-end, connected virtual reality headset
- When it’s out: Pre-orders are open now, and general sales will begin on June 4, 2021
- How much does it cost? The headset-only version starts at a discounted price of £ 659 / $ 749 / € 739. The complete set, which includes base station 2.0 and VIVE controllers, will be available from June 4 for £ 1299 / $ 1399 / € 1399
HTC Vive Pro 2 features
Instead of HTC Vive Pro 2 all in one wireless headset model, HTC focuses on the cutting-edge features of virtual reality that can only be accessed by connecting a well-configured computer.
And the numbers that HTC is targeting are very impressive. The Vive Pro 2 offers a 5K resolution display (2.5 kb for each eye) and strives to maintain a silky smooth refresh rate of 120 Hz. It has a much sharper display than the Oculus Quest 2, which can only target a refresh rate of 120 Hz to selected titles.
However, not the impressive resolution, but also the quality of the panels in use. The headset features a quick-connect LCD display with RGB sub-pixels and IPD-adjustable goggles that support a 120-degree field of view. It’s wide enough to take functions from the corner of the eye thanks to a double-stacked lens. It is a highly advanced optics system where the LCD screen has shrunk to previous models to improve thermal management.
Pushing this many pixels may legitimately make your device vibrate from what is expected of your computer, and while HTC hasn’t yet shared the recommended specs, it primarily focuses on open enthusiasts (and businesses). You need a powerful machine to get the most out of Vive Pro 2.
But HTC has done everything it can to reduce component strain in the best possible way by working alongside Nvidia and AMD to optimize Display Stream Compression for VR headsets. This allows for faster assembly and reassembly of visual data between a computer and a headset when the large resources needed to shine a 4K screen are crushed.
Display Port 1.2 support is also supported, even if Display Port Compression is active. HTC Wireless Vive Adapter is also supported – although users will not be able to achieve the native 4896 x 2448 / 120Hz resolution and frame rate target provided by the shared configuration.
Comfort and compatibility
HTC has made some changes to its headphones to also improve the ergonomics of the HTC Vive Pro 2. In addition to the finely adjustable IPD slider, it has been ensured that its main strap is quick to adjust and lock thanks to the selection system, while its facial interface is wide enough for glass wearers.
The weight is said to be evenly distributed to avoid straining your neck, while the 3D space speakers take over the user’s ears, which means they still have an idea of what’s going on in the real environment. There is also an audio connection Hi-Res certified, which means you can connect audiophile-quality headphones to your headphones and appreciate a more detailed sound experience.
If there’s one thing that may not be quite as comfortable for a novice VR gamer, it’s the constant confidence in base stations tracking on HTC Vive Pro 2. Combined with a connection to a computer, it’s also another hurdle with fast, effortless VR engagement, which means you need to find space to place two small tracking cubes around your game space so Vive Pro 2 knows where you are.
Along with the cable strap, this is a trade-off to get the best possible visual quality from a VR headset – even if the gap is narrowed with inward-facing tracking systems, as seen with the Oculus Quest 2.
Those looking for unpaired, all-in-one phones from HTC should look to the recently unveiled HTC Vive Focus 3 headset – even though it’s primarily aimed at business users.
Existing HTC Vive owners can take comfort in the fact that all current HTC VR accessories are compatible with the new HTC Vive Pro 2, so you don’t have to buy accessories other than headphones if you’re already waving VIVE Any generation of tracking devices, VIVE Facial Tracker , Vive ‘wand’ controllers or Steam VR accessories such as Valve Index ‘knuckle’ controllers. Oculus drivers are not compatible if you think about it.
While we haven’t tried HTC Vive Pro 2 yet, we’re excited about the direction the company wants to take its consumer headset. Vive Pro 2 is meant to be an uncompromising virtual reality experience aimed at the most active members of the virtual reality community.
It’s expensive, yes. And the range of accessories needed to get started isn’t harmful to the cables, especially when compared to the Oculus Quest 2. And before you consider that a high-end computer needs a display.
But HTC promises something that VR fans have been calling for – a real, next-generation, amateur PC VR. It’s not for everyone, but we have a good feeling that those who invest get something very special out of all the money.