Oculus VR Comparisons and Reviews: Rift-S, Quest, & Quest 2

In the quest for the perfect virtual reality experience, the importance of selecting the right VR headset cannot be overstated. It’s not just about picking the most advanced technology; it’s about finding a device that aligns with your specific desires, whether that’s immersive gaming, educational applications, or cinematic experiences. The ideal headset balances performance, comfort, and accessibility to match your lifestyle and preferences. This article delves deeper into the nuances of Oculus’s VR offerings, guiding you through a thoughtful consideration of features such as display quality, tracking accuracy, and ecosystem compatibility. Understanding these elements is crucial in making an informed decision that enhances your virtual reality journey, ensuring a seamless blend of reality and digital exploration.

Whichever VR system you choose could determine how enjoyable the experience. Therefore, it is critical to do the research and find the best VR that fits you. However, you are in luck as we have done most of the work for you. Now, we will describe and compare some of the most popular Virtual Reality Systems. These will include the new Oculus Quest 2. Make sure to read on if you are considering trading in your Rift-S or Quest for the new Quest 2.

Oculus Rift-S

The Rift-S is a PC VR with the minimum requirements of an i5 processor accompanied by a GTX 970-1060 graphics card and at least 5 gigabytes (GB) of RAM. The system requires the user to use a display port rather than an HDMI. So, plenty of space is required on the computer. The Rift-S has a 1x2560x1440 LCD panel at 80 Hertz (Hz). These specifications create a better resolution than most all-in-ones, but it is not great compared to other PC VR systems. The built-in speakers are also reportedly not great, but this can be resolved with an external set of headphones. Despite the resolution and sound not being fantastic, the tracking is decently advanced. It uses three forms of inside-out tracking.

  1. Accelerometer and Gyroscope data from the controllers and headset.
  2. Five cameras built to anchor the drifting accelerometer and gyroscope by creating landmarks in the room. This keeps tracking from becoming desynchronized.
  3. Infrared emitters on the rings of the controllers which are tracked 30 times per second.
Personal Computer (PC) Virtual Reality (VR) System, Oculus Rift-S with controllers
Photo Credit: Oculus

The Oculus Rift-S leverages advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technology to enhance its tracking capabilities, a pivotal feature in VR systems that directly influences user experience and gameplay fluidity. This AI component is designed to intelligently predict the position of controllers when they move out of direct line of sight or become obscured, such as by clothing or other objects. By employing sophisticated algorithms to estimate the controller’s last known trajectory and position, the system ensures that the virtual representation of the user’s movements remains smooth and uninterrupted. This technological advancement significantly mitigates tracking issues, allowing for a more immersive and responsive VR experience. The aim is to minimize external factors that could detract from gameplay, ensuring that the player’s skill is the primary determinant of success within the virtual environment.

Oculus Quest

The original Oculus Quest is much different than its brother, the Rift-S. It is an all-in-one system that simply requires a smartphone and nothing else. Rather than the Rift-S’s single LCD panel at 80Hz, the 1.3 lb Quest uses a 2x1600x1440 OLED panel at 72Hz. The dual OLED panels allow for better black color levels than the LCD panel.

All-in-one Virtual Reality (VR) System, Oculus Quest; Front
Photo Credit: Oculus


The Oculus Quest enhances the user experience by incorporating the Rift-S’s infrared tracking system with additional features for a more immersive VR experience. One notable functionality allows users to switch to a view of the real world from within the headset, offering convenience at the slight trade-off of experiencing a minor delay. This feature is particularly useful for maintaining awareness of one’s surroundings without removing the headset. Furthermore, the Quest’s ability to remember guardian spaces significantly streamlines the setup process for repeated use in the same environment, eliminating the need to remap the play area each time. This capability not only saves time but also enriches the user experience by facilitating a quicker transition into virtual reality.

Oculus Quest 2

Now, for the moment we have all been waiting for, the Quest 2 review. Starting at the same price of $299 as the Quest 1, the Quest 2’s goal is to completely replace the Quest and Rift-S as both are entering retirement, but is the upgrade really worth it for those still using the Rift-S and Quest?

All-in-one Virtual Reality (VR) System, Oculus Quest 2; Back
Photo Credit: Oculus

With prices at $299 for 64 GB and $400 for 256 GB, the Quest 2 is certainly an upgrade. However, most have described it as more of a Quest + or Quest Pro rather than a completely new system. The new wireless all-in-one is predominantly the same as the Quest except for its large 50% increase in resolution at 90 Hz, its access to AAA games, its lighter 1.12 lb frame, and its new line of accessories, sold separately of course.

These new accessories include better head straps to replace the Quest 2’s new, cheaper, and mobile, cloth strap; like the $50 Elite Strap or the $130 Elite Strap which doubles the battery life from 2-3 hours to 4-6. Other accessories include Fit Packs which offer swappable facial interfaces.

All-in-one Virtual Reality (VR) System, Quest 2 with controllers in use
Photo Credit: Oculus

The Quest 2 also has some subtle differences which came from trial and error with the first Quest. For instance, the Quest has two headphone jacks to cater to Oculus’ duel-headphones, but the Quest 2 only has one due to this previous accessory’s failure. The interpupillary distance (IPD) adjuster is also different.

All-in-one Virtual Reality (VR) System, Oculus Quest compared to the Personal Computer (PC) Virtual Reality (VR) System, Oculus Rift-S with controllers
Photo Credit: Oculus

It combines hardware and software to allow the user to push the eye width into one of three settings. These settings can presumably be changed through the software as opposed to the Quest’s simple slider bar. The controller itself is also slightly different with some extra thumb room and a more secure battery cover.

The most controversial feature of the Oculus Quest 2 is their decision to require the user to link their Facebook account to the system.

In Conclusion: Should you Upgrade your VR Headset?

If these features sound like an upgrade worthwhile, go ahead and splurge on the new Oculus Quest 2. Otherwise, as we here at AVT Simulation like to say, save your money for something with a little more bang for your buck. In our next post, we will cover other popular VR systems as well as MR and AR systems.

We hope the comprehensive reviews of Oculus VR headsets, including Rift-S, Quest, and Quest 2, provided some essential insights for consumers navigating the VR landscape. With detailed comparisons of specifications, usability, and unique features, this analysis serves as a valuable resource for anyone asking “which VR headset is best?” Whether you’re upgrading or purchasing your first VR system, understanding the differences in resolution, tracking capabilities, and accessory options among these models can guide your decision towards the best VR experience tailored to your needs and budget. Embrace the future of immersive technology by considering these key factors to make an informed choice in the evolving VR market.

Key Points:

  • Comparison of Oculus Rift-S, Quest, and Quest 2 in terms of resolution, tracking, and system requirements.
  • Rift-S offers advanced tracking and high resolution, but requires a PC connection.
  • Quest operates as an all-in-one system with the convenience of no PC requirement, featuring dual OLED panels.
  • Quest 2 presents a significant upgrade with higher resolution, lighter frame, and access to AAA games, aiming to replace both Rift-S and Quest.
  • Discussion on the importance of accessories and the controversial requirement of a Facebook account for Quest 2.

Keywords List:

  • Oculus VR headset
  • Rift-S
  • Quest
  • Quest 2
  • VR system comparison
  • Best VR headset
  • Immersive technology
  • VR tracking technology
  • VR accessories
  • All-in-one VR system

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