The Vive Professional is HTC’s upgraded VR headset, with the next decision, improved ergonomics, and built-in headphones. After spending time within the digital world, this is our overview.
Two years after the discharge of the HTC Vive, the second-generation HTC Vive Professional is now readily available for purchase within the UK and the US. The brand new headset affords a variety of design adjustments alongside a bump in decision, making the Vive Professional one of many highest decision VR headsets in the marketplace in the meanwhile. It definitely isn’t low cost although, at £799 simply for the headset.
Is the HTC Vive Professional well worth the cash, or do you have to stick to the common HTC Vive? We’ve spent a while with the high-end VR headset, and right here’s our HTC Vive Professional overview.
Pricing and availability
The HTC Vive Professional is now available for purchase for £599/$599, following an early 2020 value drop from the unique £799/$799 price ticket. These excited about choosing up the headset can accomplish that from the Vive web site, because it appears many UK and US retailers are but to replace pricing for the headset.
A £599/$599 price ticket doesn’t appear that unhealthy, particularly when you think about the upgrades of the Vive Professional headset, proper? Nevertheless, it’s price noting that the £599/$599 price ticket is solely for the headset, and never the bottom stations or controllers, additionally required to be used. For those who haven’t already acquired an HTC Vive headset, you’ll need to pay out £899/$899 for the Starter Package (with two controllers and two Base Station 1.0s) or £1119/$1119 for the Vive Professional Full Package (with two controllers and two Base Station 2.0s).
Is the excessive decision and design overhaul well worth the excessive value of the Vive Professional? Stick with it studying to seek out out.
Design and construct
Aside from the change in decision and a few different inner options, a lot of the evolution from Vive to Vive Professional is within the design division. Essentially the most noticeable change for a lot of would be the color of the headset – whereas the HTC Vive was black, the HTC Vive Professional is deep blue throughout a lot of the physique, with a single black strap throughout the highest of the headset for additional help.
Whereas purely a beauty change, the change of color helps the HTC Vive Professional stand out in a market the place most headsets are non-descript, black ski goggle-esque units that you just strap onto your face. Although with that being stated, a pleasant all-black Vive Professional would’ve been good too!
In fact, the color isn’t the one redesigned component of the Vive Professional. HTC has listened to suggestions from early adopters, and has mounted most of the complaints of the first-gen headset with the Professional. The primary focus for HTC was to enhance the general consolation of the headset, because the first-gen headset felt somewhat weighty and uncomfortable over longer stints in VR.
After spending somewhat underneath a month with the Vive Professional, we predict that HTC has succeeded. How? Initially, HTC has ditched the elastic straps for a PlayStation VR-esque crank system. It’s a wise transfer from the corporate; we’ve at all times remarked that PSVR’s headset design is amongst the most effective in the marketplace, as you merely slot the headset on and switch a crank on the again to tighten it to a cushty stage. That’s what you’ll additionally get with the HTC Vive Professional, that means much less time fidgeting with straps and extra time in VR. It’s additionally very best when sharing the headset with pals, making it an excellent choice for events and industrial use alike.
The redesigned strap system helps redistribute throughout the entire of your head, serving to to make the headset really feel considerably lighter than different headsets in the marketplace – even with the next decision.
Together with the brand new strap system, chances are you’ll discover lots of padding within the headset. There’s thicker padding across the facial encompass, in addition to on the arms of the headset and even on the rear the place it secures to the again of your head. This stops your pores and skin changing into irritated over lengthy classes in VR, particularly as you get sizzling and start to sweat in additional bodily demanding video games.
Any change that makes VR headsets extra comfy – and thus, simpler to overlook you’re carrying one – is welcome, and we suspect that for a lot of current VR customers, this will probably be as vital, if not extra vital than the technical upgrades of the headset.
The eagle-eyed amongst additionally, you will discover that, like with the Vive Deluxe Audio Strap, the Vive Professional additionally options built-in headphones. These are barely totally different to that obtainable for the first-gen headset, as they characteristic quantity controls on every earcup to permit fast adjustment of quantity. The headphones, normally, work rather well and due to the pivot joint, they will sit at virtually any angle too.
Options and spec
In fact, the headline characteristic of the Vive Professional (and the explanation many will improve) is the improved show. Whereas the HTC Vive affords a good decision of 1080 x 1200 per eye, the Vive Professional cranks to as much as 1440 x 1600 per eye for a mixed 2880 x 1600 general decision. That’s a rise of round 78 % in accordance with HTC, and it’s positively not one thing to be sniffed at.
The elevated decision makes the HTC Vive Professional one of many highest decision headsets obtainable in the marketplace in 2018 in comparison with 2160 x 1200 on provide from the Oculus Rift and 1920 x 1080 from PlayStation VR, although the Professional is virtually double the value of these headsets.
Admittedly, the distinction in high quality isn’t fairly as dramatic as we have been imagining, nevertheless it’s positively noticeable when switching from the Vive to the Vive Professional. Edges are crisper and, most significantly for VR customers, textual content is way simpler to learn. No have to lean in near learn blurry textual content anymore! It’s not going to fully remodel your general VR expertise, however on the similar time, a display screen packing extra pixels is never a nasty factor.
The built-in headphones provide high-res 3D spatial audio, offering impressively correct directional audio that’s so immersive you’ll quickly overlook you’re carrying a VR headset altogether. Regardless of not being over-ear headphones, twin microphones on the headset are used to offer lively noise cancellation that performs fairly properly. The microphones are additionally utilized in a brand-new Dialog Mode, permitting these in VR to converse with these within the room whereas nonetheless being conscious of digital audio.
In addition to the tech contained in the headset itself, the Vive Professional can be appropriate with Valve’s newly introduced SteamVR Monitoring 2.zero expertise. Monitoring 2.zero affords help for as much as 4 base stations, up from two with the Vive, and helps a lot bigger monitoring areas. It will possibly observe an space as giant as 10x10m and in addition helps multi-person VR, although if all customers are utilizing Vive Execs that’ll be an costly multiplayer session!
Sadly, we’ve solely examined the Vive Professional with two base stations, so we will’t touch upon the improved monitoring on provide with the second-gen headset. The usual 1:1 monitoring is as correct because it was with the first-gen headset, with no actual monitoring errors skilled.
The draw back, as talked about within the value and specs part, is that you just don’t get any base stations with the Vive Professional headset by default. You’ll have to purchase these individually from the Vive web site when you did not go for the Starter or Full Package, and not less than two are required for you to have the ability to use the headset. It’s an identical story with the controllers too; no controllers are supplied within the field, and should be bought individually for £120 every.
That is arguably the most important draw back for potential patrons; until you’re an current HTC Vive consumer trying to improve, the Vive Professional with all equipment will set you again not less than £899/$899.
The HTC Vive Professional is, primarily, an iterative improve. It doesn’t radically remodel the VR expertise, nevertheless it does provide a sequence of stable, vital enhancements that make the product really feel way more polished. The upper-resolution show offers crisper visuals and makes textual content a lot simpler to learn, however when you think about the value of the headset and the truth that equipment aren’t included, not even the excessive decision will probably be sufficient to tempt nearly all of customers.