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Wearing a VR headset with glasses
Virtual reality can transport you to another world, letting you walk on the moon, work up a sweat at a rave or turn into a werewolf: You just need a virtual reality headset.
But what if you wear glasses? Virtual reality headsets aren’t cheap, so it pays to think about your options ahead of time and to make sure your new gear will be compatible with your prescription eyewear.
What is virtual reality?
Virtual reality (VR) allows a user to experience an alternate reality generated entirely by a computer. In VR, the user enters a 3D space, making movements to interact with objects and environments in the computer-created reality.
Virtual reality has been used for a variety of applications, such as:
In order to experience and participate in virtual reality, a user typically needs to wear a VR headset.
What is a VR headset?
A virtual reality headset (VR headset) is a device you wear on your head and over your eyes to provide a virtual reality experience. VR headsets may also be known as “VR glasses” or “VR goggles.”
VR headsets use a variety of technologies to sense what the wearer is doing and respond to their movements in the virtual world. When you’re wearing a VR headset, you can change what you see simply by turning your head.
VR headsets fall into two groups:
Tethered, meaning they must be connected to a computer other device
Standalone, meaning they are cable-free
Popular VR headsets in 2021 include:
HTC Vive Cosmos (tethered)
HTC Vive Pro 2 (tethered)
Oculus Quest 2 (standalone)
Sony PlayStation VR (tethered)
These headsets typically cost between $300 and $1,000 each.
Is there a VR headset for glasses wearers?
If you’re interested in virtual reality and you wear glasses, you probably want to know: Can I use a VR headset with glasses? The answer: It depends.
The glasses-wearing staff of the technology publication CNET tested two popular VR headsets to find out how well they worked with eyewear. Their verdict: “It’s not impossible, but it can be tricky” to use a VR headset with prescription glasses.
Glasses-wearing CNET staffers found:
Most standard-size glasses frames fit inside a VR headset
Oversized glasses may not work with a VR headset
One tip for making a VR headset work with prescription glasses: Measure before you buy. Check the length and width of your glasses and compare those measurements with the inside dimensions of the VR headset you’re considering. If you can try on a headset in a store before you buy, that’s even better.
SEE RELATED: Can VR headsets harm your eyes?
Best VR headset for glasses
What’s the best VR headset for someone with glasses? In 2021, GearLab bought nine of the top VR headsets to do side-by-side testing, including how easy or difficult it was to wear glasses under each one. Here’s what they found:
The best VR headset for glasses:
The Oculus Rift S – GearLab gave this headset high marks for comfort and roominess. They also noted that a sliding visor makes it easy to put on, making it a good choice for a VR headset if you wear glasses.
The PlayStation VR headset also left room for glasses.
The VR headsets that did not work well with glasses:
The HTC Vive Cosmos
The Merge VR
The Oculus Quest 2
Reviewers said all three of these headsets were “quite cramped when worn with glasses.”
Another option: Glasses for VR headsets
If you wear glasses and are a fan of virtual reality, you may consider glasses designed specifically for virtual reality headsets. VR Optician, a company in Germany, makes prescription inserts for VR headsets.
To get lenses for a VR headset, you need to provide your current, valid glasses prescription to the company. They then custom make the inserts in your prescription for the specific VR headset you own.
FAQ: VR headset with glasses
Can you wear a VR headset with glasses?
You can wear your glasses with a VR headset, but it can be a bit more challenging than using a VR headset without glasses. First, make sure your glasses fit under the type of VR headset you buy. Second, adjust the headset carefully before you put it on so it fits comfortably over your glasses.
Can you wear glasses with the PS4 VR headset?
Yes, you can wear glasses with the Sony PlayStation 4 VR headset. While some glasses-wearing customers who reviewed the PS4 VR headset online report that there’s plenty of room to fit glasses under the headset, others warned that it’s easy to make quick movements that can scratch your glasses lenses, glasses frames or the glass on the VR headset. For that reason, some users prefer to put in contact lenses when using the headset.
How do you wear glasses with a VR headset?
CNET staffers who tested VR headsets with prescription glasses offered this tip: Put on the headset from front to back, fitting it against your glasses first. Pull the straps so the headset fits well but doesn’t crush your glasses into your face. When you’re done, take off the headset from back to front.
Which VR headset is glasses-friendly?
The Oculus Rift S is an especially good choice, and many VR headsets are glasses-friendly if you wear prescription glasses with small or standard-sized lenses and frames. If you love the look of oversized glasses, you may want to purchase contact lenses or backup glasses with smaller frames to wear with your VR headset.
Can you wear a VR headset with reading glasses?
As with prescription glasses, check the size of your reading glasses to make sure they fit under your VR headset. If your everyday readers don’t fit, you can buy an inexpensive pair for VR use.
Page published on Monday, September 27, 2021