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Best VR Headset for Elite Dangerous (2020): Reviews & Buyers Guide

In this article, I’ve selected and reviewed the 5 best VR headset for Elite Dangerous in 2020. You can also find a helpful Buyers Guide / FAQ at the end of the article.

If you want to be fully immersed in this amazing game, you’ll need a Virtual Reality headset that has the right specs for your budget.

Elite Dangerous is one of the most immersive and massive open world MMOs to date.

With 400,000,000,000 solar systems to explore in this realistic virtual Milky Way, you can explore the galaxy with friends (or enemies) from the comfort of your home.

We’ll make sure to help anyone reading this article pick out their own best Elite Dangerous compatible VR headsets.

So, let’s see our Editor’s Picks first, which is followed by a useful Comparison Table before going to the Reviews and Buyers Guide/FAQ!

Best VR Headset for Elite Dangerous | Best on a Budget

 

Oculus Rift S

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As one of the first VR companies, Oculus Rift is a safe pick.

The Oculus Rift S has incredible specs and comes at a great price, a rare find in this market.

See the review section for in-depth tech details and pros & cons!

Best VR Headset for Elite Dangerous | Best Sound Quality

 

HTC Vive Cosmos Elite

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Elite Dangerous has an incredible sound design, so if you want to experience it fully, the HTC Vive Cosmos Elite is for you.

With rich spatial stereo audio and on-ear form-fitting headphones, this headset sounds superb.

Read the review section for in-depth tech details and pros & cons!

Best VR Headset for Elite Dangerous | Best for Refresh Rate & FPS

 

Valve Index

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If you’re looking for the smoothest experience on the market, the Valve Index surely delivers.

With an impressive refresh rate up to 144Hz, you can expect a flawless framerate during the most intense and chaotic moments when playing Elite Dangerous.

See the review section for in-depth tech details and pros & cons!

Best VR Headset for Elite Dangerous | Best for Comfort & Resolution

 

HP Reverb

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Long VR sessions can become quite uncomfortable. With the HP Reverb, comfort is king.

Featuring adjustable straps, removable leather faceplate, and built-in ventilation, you can comfortably patrol the galaxy for hours.

Read the review section for in-depth tech details and pros & cons!

Best VR Headset for Elite Dangerous | Best for Field-of-View (FOV)  &  Resolution

 

PiMax 5K XR

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When it comes to visuals, no one beats the PiMax 5K XR.

With a 200-degree field of view, (2560 x 1440) per-eye resolution, and OLED display coloring, this headset will bring out the stunning beauty of the galaxy.

Refer to the review section for in-depth tech details and pros & cons!

Elite Dangerous is probably the most immersive cockpit-based game on the market.

With a 200,000-light-year galaxy to explore, other players to interact with, and a realistic spaceship to upgrade and maintain, you’ll find yourself exploring the stars for hours at a time.

Since you’re here, I’ll assume you want to gain the FULL experience.

With a virtual reality headset, Elite Dangerous becomes infinitely more immersive.


It makes you feel like you’re really inside of the cockpit.

Virtual reality in its modern form has been around for a decade, so the technology is truly amazing.

However, if you wish to use VR with your gaming setup, you need to make sure you have the required specs to support the hardware.

The basics are a computer running Windows 10, at least 1 USB 3.0 port, a quad core CPU, and a minimum of 8GB of RAM.

You’ll also need an advanced graphics card, such as an NVIDIA GTX 1070 equivalent or greater.

Once your PC is ready, the choice of VR headset is up to you.

What do you want out of your VR experience?

How about your budget?

To make your buying decision even easier, take a look at the comparison table followed by unbiased reviews and finally the Buyers Guide / FAQ section.

What is the Best VR Headset for Elite Dangerous in 2020?

Quick Answer:

Comparison Table for the Best VR Headset for Elite Dangerous in 2020

VR Headset View on Amazon Per-Eye Resolution Refresh Rate Field of View (FOV) Audio Setup Async Reprojection?
Oculus Rift S q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07PTMKYS7&Format= SL110 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=vrchat 20&language=en USir?t=vrchat 20&language=en US&l=li1&o=1&a=B07PTMKYS7 2560 x 1440 80 Hz 115° Integrated Over-ear YES
HTC Vive Cosmos Elite q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B084ZRYVT7&Format= SL110 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=vrchat 20&language=en USir?t=vrchat 20&language=en US&l=li1&o=1&a=B084ZRYVT7 1440 x 1700 90 Hz 110° 3D Spatial Sound No
PiMax 5K XR q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07R8VMF3N&Format= SL110 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=vrchat 20&language=en USir?t=vrchat 20&language=en US&l=li1&o=1&a=B07R8VMF3N 2560 x 1440 88 Hz 200° Integrated Over-ear No
Valve Index q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07VPRVBFF&Format= SL110 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=vrchat 20&language=en USir?t=vrchat 20&language=en US&l=li1&o=1&a=B07VPRVBFF 1440 x 1600 80-144 Hz 120° External Adjustable No
HP Reverb q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07WCX76C7&Format= SL110 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=vrchat 20&language=en USir?t=vrchat 20&language=en US&l=li1&o=1&a=B07WCX76C7 2160 x 2160 90 Hz 114° Integrated Over-Ear No

Best VR Headset for Elite Dangerous in 2020

1. Oculus Rift S | Best on a Budget

If you need to stretch a thin budget for your VR headset, the Oculus Rift S is an ideal pick.

It’s an impressive piece of hardware for only about $399, an incredibly low price in the Virtual Reality market.

One of the features that really stands out is its improved optic design that minimizes the screen-door effect.

The screen-door effect (for those who aren’t familiar) is the illusion that you’re looking through an insect screen as you play or watch.

This effect can break immersion or be sickening if persistent enough. With the Oculus Rift S, this effect is vastly reduced to deliver more visual details as you play.

It’s also equipped with the Oculus Insight tracking system.

This system uses a total of five cameras placed inside and outside of the headset.

Using this information from the headset’s and controllers’ accelerometers, you will get accurate feedback on your controller and head position consistently.

Additionally, the Rift uses asynchronous reprojection to accurately map the player’s head motion even when the GPU can’t keep up.

This allows the game to maintain its detail even during the most chaotic battles or asteroid belt fly-bys. 

The Rift’s 2560 x 1440 per-eye resolution is very impressive considering the low price point.

Its inter-pupillary distance can be adjusted via the software to optimize comfort while minimizing the possibility of motion sickness.

The rift’s Halo headband provides the most comfortable experience possible while playing, allowing you to play game for hours without discomfort.

What’s unique about this Oculus headset is its integrated audio speakers. The speakers are placed two inches above the user’s ears, so there’s no headphone touching them.

This interesting design reduces ear discomfort while providing a surround-sound experience.

There have been complaints about this feature; however, claiming that the audio richness is lacking compared to traditional over-ear headphones.

With a field of view of 115 degrees, you can expect to feel decently immersed during your Elite Dangerous gameplay, however it will feel quite limited at times.

One problem you may encounter while using this headset is its limited 80 Hz refresh rate.

Any headset that runs at less than the optimal 90 Hz could be a bit problematic. If this framerate isn’t an issue for you, then don’t worry about it.

While it doesn’t have the best stats on the market, the Oculus Rift S is still a very impressive VR headset.

 

What’s really special about this product is its price. It’s the cheapest headset on the list, but that doesn’t mean it’s cheaply made.

If you need to make your budget stretch, the Oculus Rift S is the best VR headset for Elite Dangerous.

 

 

Important Features

  • Improved optics reduce screen-door effect
  • 2560 x 1440 Per-eye resolution
  • 115-degree Field of View
  • Oculus Insight tracking system
  • Ergonomic design for comfort
  • Asynchronous Reprojection
  • Intuitive Oculus Touch Controllers
  • Inter-pupillary distance adjustment
  • Integrated audio speakers
  • Halo headband

Pros

  • Amazing low price
  • Integrated speakers
  • Ergonomic Halo headband
  • Intuitive controllers
  • Reduced screen-door effect

Cons

  • Reduced sound quality
  • Low refresh rate of 80 Hz
  • Average field of view (FOV)

2. HTC Vive Cosmos Elite | Best for Sound Quality

Elite Dangerous has some amazing sound design.

The sounds that emit from your ship’s engine, amazing atmospheric ambiance, alert pings on your ship’s dashboard, and the sounds of projectiles firing from your ship add to the immersion you experience.

If you want to make the most out of this game’s incredible sound design, I highly recommend the HTC Vive Cosmos Elite.

This VR headset without a doubt has the best sound design I’ve seen.

These headphones are made from a material that morphs around your ears. This increases the richness of audio you receive from the headphones.

Additionally, they’re compacted surround sound stereo headphones that provide 3D spatial sound.

Fully immerse yourself with the amazing sounds of Elite Dangerous with these amazing surround sound headphones.

Additionally, the Vive Cosmos Elite runs at a smooth 90 Hz refresh rate.

This smooth framerate is perfect for long playing sessions, and won’t cause eye fatigue, headaches, or motion sickness.

Adjusting the Inter-pupillary distance (IPD) is easy. There’s an IPD dial with which you can manually adjust the IPD until you find the right setting for you.

Although Elite Dangerous should be played with a gamepad or mouse and keyboard, this VR headset has an optional set of controllers that are very well designed with a tactile and ergonomic design.

Another unique feature of this product is its customizable flip-up visor.

You can easily remove the visors and add mods or custom visors. Additionally, the integrated microphones make team comms easy.

This headset is well-equipped when it comes to accurate tracing.

With a total of 6 cameras, a gyroscope, and a G-sensor, your head movement is tracked very accurately with this VR headset.


This is an overall great headset, but what makes it special is its amazing audio setup.

If you want to experience the full power of Elite Dangerous’ sound design, the HTC Vive Cosmos Elite is the best VR headset for you.

 

 

Important Features

  • 3D spatial sound
  • Rich stereo audio
  • 90 Hz refresh rate
  • Integrated microphones
  • Adjustable Inter-pupillary distance
  • Flip-up visor
  • Ergonomic controllers
  • Six camera sensors for improved tracking
  • Removable faceplate

 

 

There are also reviews for this headset here:

See also: Best Flight Sim VR Headsets

See alsoBest VR Headsets for X-Plane 11

See alsoBest VR Headsets for Skyrim VR

See alsoBest VR Headsets for Sim Racing

Pros

  • Great audio
  • 90 Hz refresh rate
  • Integrated microphones
  • Customizable visor

Cons

  • Rather poor resolution
  • Visor is fragile when removed

3. PiMax 5K XR | Best for Field-of-View (FOV) & Resolution

If you want to get the most out of Elite Dangerous’ amazing graphics, the PiMax 5K XR is for you.

With the best resolution on my list of 5 and an amazing field of view, this headset allows you to experience the beauty of the galaxy in full.

With an incredible 2560 x 1440 resolution, you can experience every detail that Elite Dangerous has to offer. This is truly an amazing resolution.

What’s truly special about this product is its amazing 200-degree field of view.

Human eyes combine to have a 180-degree of vision, so this headset allows us to see beyond our physical limits. This feature is especially useful for Elite Dangerous.

You could take advantage of this field of view because it minimizes how far you must turn your head when accessing menus in your cockpit.

It also allows you to scan your environment while patrolling the galaxy more efficiently.

With its OLED technology, the PiMax 5K XR can display stunning colors flawlessly.

What’s advantageous about this it provides even deeper black color palates. With this feature, the deep black of space looks more hauntingly realistic than ever.

Additionally, this VR headset offers both manual hardware and software-based IPD adjustment. This makes it a lot easier to tailor 3D depth to your eyes specifically and reduce eye strain.

The ergonomic face pad and head strap make this headset very comfortable to wear. Ideal for long-term expeditions on your way to the next asteroid to mine, or bounty to claim.

The convenient PiTool makes it very easy to map controls to your joystick, gamepad, or other VR controllers.

Action mapping this easy is hard to come by, so it’s a very unique feature to take into account.

If you value stunning detail and an amazing field of view, the PiMax 5K XR is your best VR headset for Elite Dangerous.

 

 

Important Features

  • Amazing 200-degree field of view
  • OLED colors
  • 2560 x 1440 per-eye resolution
  • Ergonomic face pad and strap
  • Easy IPD adjustment software/hardware
  • Convenient PiTool UI

 

 

There are also reviews for this headset here:

See also: Best Flight Sim VR Headsets

See alsoBest VR Headsets for X-Plane 11

Pros

  • Amazing resolution
  • Impressive field of view
  • Stunning OLED colors
  • Ergonomic face pad and straps

Cons

  • Screen is rather close to the eyes
  • Many bulky cables
  • May be problematic for those wearing glasses

4. Valve Index | Best for Refresh Rate & FPS

When it comes to amazing framerates, nothing beats the Valve Index.

With an adjustable refresh rate ranging from 80 to 144 Hz, you can be fully immersed while minimizing optical discomfort.


This experimental framerate has truly never been seen before.

With this headset, you can expect to enjoy a smooth framerate whether your idling through an empty expanse, maneuvering through an asteroid belt, or engaging an opponent in battle.

With an extremely low persistence, the Valve Index features a reduced illumination period ranging between 0.330ms to 0.530ms.

This allows images to remain sharp even while the user’s head is in motion.

This is a very useful feature during the most intense moments of gameplay.

Navigating through menus during chaotic moments can be difficult and nauseating in VR. With the Valve Index, you won’t have to worry about getting disoriented.

The inter-pupillary distance is manually adjustable. This very convenient mechanic makes it easy for you to comfortably experience VR without depth issues.

Additionally, this VR headset features canted optics.

Instead of being perpendicular to the user’s eyes, the display screens are canted out by five degrees. This makes the FOV feel more natural and balances the inner FOV.

An interesting feature of this headset are its off-ear audio speakers.

These unique honeycomb-panel speakers are designed to make audio feel more natural, as if it’s coming from your surroundings rather than from headphones.

There’s no physical contact between you and the speakers.

This is great because we all know how uncomfortable over-ear headphones can get when worn for long periods of time. With these contactless speakers, this isn’t an issue.

The speakers allow users with all different ear and head shapes to be comfortable during gameplay without sacrificing sound quality.

These speakers are also fully adjustable, making it impossible to be uncomfortable while experiencing incredible audio.

Another great feature you get with this headset is how comfortable it is to wear. You can adjust any aspect of the headset from the face pad to the straps and the speakers to maximize comfort.

The padding is ergonomically designed and made with a woven antimicrobial fabric that’s very soft and easy to clean.

You can even replace the face pad with ease because it’s fitted with a magnetic interface.

Furthermore, this headset boasts 7 hours of battery life, which is amazing.

If you want to experience seamless gameplay, the Valve Index is your best VR headset for Elite Dangerous. With an amazing variable refresh rate reaching up to 144 Hz, you’ll never experience gameplay issues.

 

 

Important Features

  • Incredible variable framerate (80-144 Hz)
  • Sharp 1440 x 1600 resolution
  • Impressive low persistence
  • Manually adjustable IPD
  • 120-degree FOV
  • Canted Optics improves FOV balancing
  • Off-ear audio with adjustable speakers
  • Fully adjustable face pad and straps
  • Soft, antimicrobial fabric for comfort

Pros

  • Impressive framerate cap
  • High-quality material for comfort
  • Quality off-ear audio
  • Manually adjustable IPD
  • Canted optics for realism
  • Fully adjustable

Cons

  • Sound quality can be reduced in some situations
  • Lower-end FOV

5. HP Reverb | Best for Comfort & Resolution

If you find yourself exploring the immense galaxy for hours at a time, you need a headset that’s as comfortable as possible.

When it comes to comfort, the HP Reverb is the best VR headset for Elite Dangerous.

With fully adjustable and weightless-feeling head straps, you’ll feel like you’re not wearing anything at all.

Your head will never feel uncomfortable or unnatural while using this headset, as no matter the shape, you can find the perfect adjustment for you.

The HP Reverb also comes equipped with a removable leather faceplate that’s very easy to clean. This convenient feature makes keeping sweat and residue from building up simple.

But you won’t often need to worry about sweat, because internal ventilation maintains a cool air flow through the headset. Your head and face will stay cool during the heat of battle.

Next, there’s dual microphones embedded within the headset.

This nifty feature makes communications convenient, as you won’t need to worry about setting up an external microphone.

The integrated Bluetooth controller tracking makes input from controllers immediate and reliable.

This is especially useful if you intend to use the immersive joystick that makes you feel like you’re really piloting a spacecraft.

The resolution of the HP Reverb is truly something to behold, as it offers an amazing 2160 x 2160 pixels.

These pixels are extra detailed as they’re LCD pixels with RBG subpixel striping. Colors will be sharp and vivid through this headset.

Lastly, the canted display boosts the FOV by 5 degrees. It’s a nice bonus that complements one of the stats that are lacking in this headset.

Overall, the HP reverb is a fairly impressive headset with many amazing comfort features.

If you want to explore the galaxy comfortably, the HP reverb is your best VR headset for Elite Dangerous.

 

 

Important Features

  • Soft, weightless, and adjustable head straps
  • Removable leather faceplate
  • Built-in ventilation to reduce heat
  • Dual microphones that make comms easy
  • Bluetooth integrated controller tracking
  • Impressive 2160 x 2160 resolution
  • Compressed LCD display allows compact design
  • Asymmetrical canted lenses boost FOV

 

 

There are also reviews for this headset here:

See also: Best Flight Sim VR Headsets

See alsoBest VR Headsets for X-Plane 11

Pros

  • Amazing comfort
  • Great resolution
  • Dual integrated microphones
  • Bluetooth controller tracking

Cons

  • Limited FOV
  • Bulky and numerous cables

Best VR Headset for Elite Dangerous — Buyers Guide

So far, I’ve covered a lot of information in the form of reviews and comparison table about these amazing VR headsets.

Now, let’s answer some of your most frequently asked questions about Elite Dangerous VR headsets, so you can finally make a well-informed buying decision.

Let’s see what the community wants to know.

How to know if my PC can handle a VR headset to play Elite Dangerous in Virtual Reality?

VR headsets are fairly complex devices, and you need a pretty powerful PC to support them.

On top of that, Elite Dangerous is a highly-detailed game, so you need a very powerful PC to play this game in conjunction with a VR headset.

The recommended specs for running a VR headset include:

  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GTX 1060 / AMD Radeon RX 480 or greater

  • CPU: Quad Core Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater

  • Memory: Minimum 8GB RAM

  • Port: At least one USB 3.0 port

  • OS: Windows 10

 

If your PC matches or surpasses these specifications, you should have no problem running Elite Dangerous and experiencing it in Virtual reality for the best immersion.

What’s the best budget VR headset for Elite Dangerous?

If you’re on a tight budget and need a good deal for your VR headset, I recommend the Oculus Rift S.

At the surprisingly low price of about $399, you can enjoy an incredible VR headset that’s well equipped to enhance your Elite Dangerous experience.

Finding a VR headset that’s this high quality at such a low price is certainly a rare opportunity.

If you need to save some money on your setup, this is a no-brainer.

Beware of VR headsets that are priced too low. Remember that you pay for quality when shopping for VR headsets.

You don’t want to buy a low-quality headset only to find out that it’s not compatible with your PC or unable to support Elite Dangerous.

You might also encounter an outdated headset that doesn’t even work.

I would advise you to avoid third-party sellers you may find on eBay, Craigslist, or any other community marketplace.

It’s best to buy VR headsets new to ensure that they work properly.

What’s the most comfortable best VR headset for Elite Dangerous?

Comfort is key when it comes to prolonged gaming sessions.

If you’ve ever used over-ear headphones, you know how uncomfortable they can become when they’re worn for long time periods. Your ears become sore, and they inevitably get hot and uncomfortable.

With a comfortable VR headset, you can play for hours without any adverse effects to your head.

I find that there’s two layers to the comfort of a VR headset:

The first is physical comfort, or the amount of stress is put on your head as you wear it.

The best option for physical comfort is without a doubt the HP Reverb.

With a fully adjustable and weightless head strap, built-in ventilation, and a soft, removable leather faceplate, it ensures your comfort throughout prolonged play.

The second factor in comfort is eye comfort.

The most important spec regarding this is the inter-pupillary distance or IPD. The IPD must be set custom for your eyes, or you’ll experience motion sickness and generator discomfort.

The best VR headset for IPD customization is the PiMax 5K XR.

This VR headset allows easy adjustment of IPD. The PiMax 5K XR is especially convenient because it offers easy software that quickly calibrates and stores the data for your ideal IPD.

Another feature that helps with eye comfort is refresh rate, or framerate.

Framerates lower than 90 Hz could be nauseating or cause fatigue in your eyes over time. If this is an issue for you, I highly recommend the Valve Index.

This headset is equipped with an impressive variable framerate, ranging from 80 Hz to 144 Hz. With this headset, you’ll never need to worry about sickeningly low framerates.

When cruising the galaxy, you’ll find it important to be comfortable during long treks.

When it comes to comfort, the above three options are definitely the best VR headsets for Elite Dangerous.

Price isn’t an issue. What is the best VR headset for Elite Dangerous that offers the most immersion possible?

If you’re not worried about your budget, and you want to experience Elite Dangerous in its full glory, the PiMax 5K XR is the best VR headset for you.

Its 200-degree field of view makes navigating your ship’s menu and operating its controls very easy. This feature saves you precious seconds during the heat of battle.

Additionally, the PiMax 5K XR delivers an amazing 2560 x 1440 resolution.

This allows you to experience all of the intricate details that Elite Dangerous has to offer.

Planets, stars, asteroids, and the mods you add to your ship can be appreciated in their full glory.

When it comes to graphics, there’s no doubt that the PiMax 5K XR is the best VR headset for Elite Dangerous.

I’m new to Elite Dangerous. Should I get a VR headset for this game?

If you’re new to Elite Dangerous, I couldn’t recommend a better time to invest in a VR headset.

The best way to experience the game for the first time is through an extremely immersive VR headset.

This guarantees that the game gives you a lasting first impression. If there’s any game to buy a VR headset for, Elite Dangerous is probably the best one for it.

Hopefully, you have 5 great options to pick now for your Elite Dangerous VR adventure!

Best VR Headset for Elite Dangerous — Conclusions

Well, if you’ve read this far, you know a whole lot about the best VR headsets for Elite Dangerous.

If you’re a beginner to the game, or a seasoned veteran, there’s never a bad time to add a layer of immersion to the game through a VR headset.

We’ve gone through my top picks, compared the important stats between them, and responded to the buyer’s questions.

Now it’s up to you to choose which headset is the best for you.

Which of these 5 excellent headsets will improve your Elite Dangerous experience?

Whichever one you choose, thanks for reading, and good luck exploring the galaxy!

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Mike has a PhD in Engineering and is currently a Scientist in an international research institute. He is 39 and loves researching about interaction of light with solid materials. Application of his research includes but not limited to solid state lighting, white-light emitting diodes (LED)photodetectors and optoelectronic devices

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