With the Lawnmower Man and the proposed technology seemingly like a pipe-dream in the early 90s, who would have thought we’d come this far? In the past, virtual reality was a technology that was seen to be either too expensive or just wasn’t widely available enough for the general population to get their hands on and enjoy.
However, it is quite easy these days to get your hands on a virtual reality system for a decent price. Particularly VR headsets. That is, if you have an Android smartphone, like a Samsung Galaxy for example.
While Samsung makes its own VR Headsets for use with the company’s devices, Apple has yet to release their own headset that can be used with an iPhone. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t options out there for iPhone users looking to get in on some VR action. There are a wide variety of relatively inexpensive VR Headsets that are designed to work with iPhone handsets, and not just the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, as some will even work with the iPhone 5S.
No-one is going to pretend that VR Headsets for your mobile are going to offer the same experience as high spec devices like the PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. However, what these headsets do offer is people who can’t afford other systems to enjoy a bit of virtual reality.
Ever wanted to see that 3D movie you saw at the cinema from the comfort of your own home without having to splash out for a 3D TV television set? Even if you do have a 3D or even 4D TV, you may still want to experience the attack on the senses of diving into a world where you are not just watching from the sidelines but are in the thick of it. Or at least feel like you are.
3D and virtual reality gaming have come on leaps and bounds in recent years, with developers creating amazing worlds for you to drink in and enjoy quests and adventures or simply driving your favorite fancy sports car or formula one vehicle around hectic and exhilarating tracks.
So, rather than waiting for Apple to release a VR Headset for the iPhone, you could give one of these excellent alternatives a try. We have deliberately avoided mentioning any of the plethora of Google Cardboard-clones (though, if your budget is stretched, they make for an inexpensive, if fragile way to enjoy the delights of virtual reality) and opted for physical, mostly plastic products.
BNext VR Headset for iPhone and Android Phones
While a lot of VR headsets are known to be rather uncomfortable, as they are made from hard and unyielding plastic; the latest VR Headset from Bnext is a little different. The manufacturers have really considered the end user by ensuring that comfort is an important aspect of the headset. Along with the easily adjustable strap for the head, the face is made from a soft foam that provides breath-ability.
The headset is compatible with screen sizes between 4 and 6 inches and there are adjustable OD and FD settings to help reduce distortion. Compared to others on the list, this is a fairly basic virtual reality headset, well not compared to something like the Google Cardboard or its many clones. However, if your budget is tight and you are looking for a relaxing way to explore YouTube videos, movies and games in full virtual reality, this is a great introduction to that world.
EKIR VR 3D Glasses
Another reasonably priced and one made with the end user’s health, safety and comfort in mind is the VR headset from EKIR. As most people reading this probably and, let’s face it, hopefully know – the blue lights that flash out from smartphone screens can damage your eyes. With this in mind, Ekir have provided a blue film coating that forms a barrier between your smartphone and your eyes. The lenses are PMMA professional Japanese imports that not only help reduce the danger of the blue lights, provide a more crystal-clear viewing experience with a higher degree of scratch resistance than other types of lenses.
Comfort is not forgotten by Ekir either as they have designed a leather pad that can be removed and replaced when it gets dirty. this pad not only keeps the glasses clean but makes wearing the headset a more relaxing affair. As is standard with even the cheapest headsets, there are adjustable object distance and pupil distance settings, soy you can fine tune it to your own requirements. With the addition of a Bluetooth controller, a whole world of opportunity waits for you with this nifty bargain.
Pansonite 3D VR Glasses Virtual Reality Headset
You will notice as you look through this list that one of the most important aspects of these VR Headsets, as most are essentially the same basic piece of gear, is how comfortable or not they are. The latest VR Headset from Pansonite has actually been modified to improve upon the previous model released by the manufacturer. Focal distance and pupil distance can be altered, as you’d probably expect, to give a more tailored 3D experience.
It is much smaller and lighter. As a result of this, it is obviously a lot more comfortable to use. With the addition of T-shape strapping, it helps to lower the amount of pressure by around 30%, taking the weight off the eyelids and nose bridge to reduce the overall fatigue of short and long-term use. The Pansonite headset includes an aesthetically pleasing iron cover and there are two ventilation holes on either side to ensure that your smartphone or the headset itself does not overheat. All in all, this is a great entry headset for young people and older adults alike, particularly those on a tight and very modest budget.
Canbor Virtual Reality Headset
The Canbor Virtual Reality headset is yet another that has been designed with ergonomics and the comfort of the user in mind. It features a soft leather design with a vented and cushioned section for your eyes and ears. There is a T-sharp headband to hold it safely and with as little strain as possible on your head. Canbor make use of the now commonly found PMMA Japanese-sourced aspheric lenses that are made to a professional optical grade and along with the aforementioned anti-blue technology they provide protection against radiation too.
Even the buttons on this headset have been designed for easier use. Both the focus distance and pupil distance can be adjusted to better suit your eyesight. Operating the on-board controls is simple and involves a single button press is all that’s required for adjusting the volume or answering the phone (when someone tries to interrupt your fun, as your phone is still a phone). The buttons negate the need for a separate handset or controller. It is suitable for smartphones with 4.7 inch and 6.2-inch screens.
Cobra Tech VR Headset
As with majority of the headsets listed on this page, the Cobra Tech VR Headset has been ergonomically designed with a special T strap from lightweight materials that make the experience easier on your head, face and eyes. With the flexible and fully adjustable headband, virtually anyone can use this amazing accessory to benefit from the full-on virtual reality experience.
In addition to the attention paid on the comfort, Cobra Tech have ensured that even your ears are fully immersed in a completely 3D world with around the ear headphones featuring active noise-canceling technology.
As you’d no doubt expect from a modern VR headset, both the focus distance and pupil distance are adjustable to make for a more enjoyable experience tailored to your own needs and requirements. One of the obvious flaws with these headsets is placing a smartphone and harmful blue light emissions so close to your eyes, which is why there is an optical lens made from high density aspheric resin to protect your eyes.
ETVR 3D VR Glasses
ETVR, like most self-respecting third-party VR Headset manufacturers use the Japan-built Optical Grade PMMA aspheric lenses in their headset. This is not only to protect your eyes from the damaging effects of the blue light emitted from smartphone screens, but to provide you with a more comfortable VR experience in general. Both the focal distance and pupil distance can be adjusted to fine tune your virtual reality gaming, videos and whatever else, to your own precise requirements.
Soft memory form has been used to fill the headphone ear-pads to help cancel out noise and reduce stress to your ears. The headphones have been designed to produce an audio experience that matches perfectly with the visual experience. The head straps have a t-shape design which is comfortable and can be altered to fit head styles and sizes of both children and adults of any age. What’s more, the breathable sponge can be removed for cleaning.
Pansonite VR Headset with Remote Controller
The second VR Headset on our list from Pansonite is a slightly more expensive version of the other model and features a headset with elasticated sponge and high-quality leather to provide a comfortable way to enjoy virtual reality for longer. It allows your face to breathe and prevents the screen from fogging up.
What’s more, the elasticated sponge takes the majority of the weight of the headset and with a deepened and widened nose groove, there is none of the discomfort associated with older models. The headset has a viewing angle that has been increased by 120 degrees to provide something closer to human eyesight.
As is standard these days, the Pansonite VR headset features Japanese specialist optical graded PMMA lenses made from aspheric resin. As well as preventing blue light from smartphones from damaging your eyes, it also stops dizziness occurring that may have happened with earlier, less developed headset models.
Exclead 3D VR Headset with Remote Controller
Although, like many of the third-party manufacturers on this list, you have probably not heard of Exclead – it doesn’t mean their product does not include some ingenious features. For starters, it is made from fabric materials that are soft, lightweight and kind to skin.
We are probably not alone in thinking that no-one wants to play VR games or watch VR videos and movies for half an hour or so, having to stop soon after because of fatigue. When you have VR you want to play with it as long as possible each time. This is why, you should give the 3D VR Headset from Exclead special attention.
The design and construction of this headset has been carried out with the comfort of the end user fully in mind. They understand that the weakest part of the eyes is the lower eyelid, which is why they have made their headband so it relieves the pressure from the bridge of the nose and eyelids to help you enjoy more Virtual Reality for longer.
Unlike a lot of earlier and other models, the Exclead VR Headset also differs in the viewing angle it offers you – 120 degrees compared to 80 to 110 degrees. All in all, for such a small price to pay, you have to ask yourself is it really worth the risk opting into this headset to get a taster for virtual reality using your smartphone?
It is fair to say there is not a lot between the virtual reality headsets listed above, which is why it is such an interesting time to be getting into this new wave of the 3D technology. Rather than it being just for a special section of society who have enough money to spend on expensive setups, people of all salary brackets and age groups can get immerse themselves in a completely 3D world.
So take your pick from the fine selection listed above and strap yourself in for the ride of your life with movies, games, roller-coaster rides, sky diving and a whole host of other things you have always want to from the comfort of your own home.