Best VR Goggles for Mobile Gameplay: 2018 Guide 

April 18, 2018
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Best VR Goggles

Virtual reality goggles have become the mobile VR headset of choice, mainly because they’re said to be more comfortable to wear and often feature a lightweight design. They’re suited for outdoor use, often feature lens protectant coatings that allow them to work well in a wider range of lighting conditions compared to computer-based headsets, and they still can provide many of the same perks including video, audio, and head tracking.

As virtual reality becomes more affordable and popular in the gaming world we’re now seeing innovative new models of gaming goggles that allow you to head out and enjoy virtual reality movies and video games wherever you go. Coupled with audio, decent graphics, and in many cases, remote controls, you’ll have a mobile virtual reality gaming system that’s a more affordable option compared to the best VR headsets that are computer-based and go for around five hundred dollars or more.

We’ve searched the market and found the top three models of virtual reality goggles. These easy to use, audio equipped headsets are a great buy for both the serious and casual gamer, as long as you have realistic expectation in terms of graphics quality.

Additionally, with these goggles, you won’t enjoy a large video game library like you will with computer-based headsets, but major gaming manufacturers are quickly catching onto the mobile VR gaming craze and coming out with fun, challenging games for these goggles every month.

How We Chose Our Top Three Pairs of Virtual Reality Goggles

Because so many companies are now competing to produce the best virtual reality goggles on the market, it seems like a few new pairs pop up on the market on a weekly basis. Even seasoned gamers will struggle to choose the best quality goggles for mobile gameplay.

When we decided to take on reviewing the top three, we weren’t prepared to review so many goggles with a high gamer rating, but we did it.

And the result?

We found three pairs of the leading models that offer the best mobile gaming experience around. And the best part is, they’re all reasonably priced.

On our search, we paid close attention to gamer feedback. Who would know better about virtual reality goggles than gamers who are passionate about virtual reality gameplay?

We took their top choices into consideration as we reviewed each pair.

Here is what we found:

•    We found that most gamers want goggles with built-in audio, for the total virtual reality gaming experience.

•    Goggles have to be lightweight and breathable. Low-quality goggles that lack any vents equals shorter gameplay time.

•    Comfort is another major issue that you’ll come across when you’re shopping around. While this can be more a matter of personal preference, we chose models that have a reputation for quality and comfort.

•    Pricing is always an issue. But fortunately, the models we ran into were all priced affordably.

•    Goggles have to be compatible with the type of smartphone you use. This is usually a no-brainer, but when you’re shopping around online, and you finally find the perfect pair, sometimes you fail to check out the more important specs.

•    Gaming options should be decent. Both the Google Play Store and the Apple market offer a great selection of virtual reality games you can play using your smartphone and VR goggles.

•    The model of your smartphone matters. Make sure you check out the specs for screen size. Some pairs of goggles can only accommodate larger smartphone screens. This information should be clearly listed on the spec sheet.

Based on this feedback we found the perfect goggles ever virtual reality gamer will love. While it was no easy process, we feel that our three top picks are very versatile, highly adjustable, and designed for longer game use.

With the addition of audio, you can enjoy the total virtual reality experience. Considering most of these top of the line VR goggles are popular for their lightweight design, immersive qualities, and high-quality audio, you may find yourself using your VR goggles and smartphone, more often than your PC-based virtual reality system.

Now, let’s begin by taking a looking at our top-rated model, the VR Shinecon virtual reality goggles. Versatile, easy to use, and loaded with all the right features, these highly rated goggles scored well in pretty much every category.

Comparison Chart

ProductPupil AdjustmentRemoteCostRating
VR Shinecon Virtual
Reality Goggles

VR Shinecon Virtual Reality Goggles
Check Price
YesYes$5
Canbor Mobile Virtual
Reality Goggles

Canbor Mobile Virtual Reality Goggles
Check Price
YesNo$4.5
VR Empire Virtual
Reality Headset

VR Empire Virtual Reality Headset
Check Price
YesYes$4

Best VR Goggles-VR Shinecon Virtual Reality Goggles

VR Shinecon Virtual Reality Goggles

Our Rating: (5/5)

These VR Shinecon virtual reality goggles are our top pick. They feature built-in headphones, a highly adjustable design, and simple, easy to use controls that provide a more immersive mobile virtual gaming experience. The goggles are also equipped with a breathable design that keeps the wearer cool and prevents the smartphone from running hot. The included Bluetooth remote adds to the immersive gaming experience, allowing users to control movies, games, or decline an incoming call. If you’re looking for a great pair of virtual reality goggles that are available at an affordable price, then you can’t do better than these goggles by VR Shinecon.

Budget-Friendly VR Goggles-Canbor Mobile Virtual Reality Goggles

Canbor Mobile Virtual Reality Goggles

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

These virtual reality goggles by Canbor are priced affordably, designed with mobile gaming in mind, and feature impressive audio, a highly adjustable head strap, and top of the line HD aspheric optical resin lenses. They can handle a wide range of lighting conditions reasonably well, however, they do tend to struggle in bright sunlight. Overall, we felt that these goggles were a great buy for the gamer on a budget.

Most Versatile VR Goggles-VR Empire Virtual Reality Headset with VR Remote

VR Empire Virtual Reality Headset with VR Remote

Our Rating: (/5)

If you’re searching for a unique mobile virtual gaming experience, then these VR Empire virtual reality goggles are a perfect choice. Incredibly versatile, these goggles work well for both iPhone and Android smartphones.

In terms of comfort, these goggles really shine. The flexible design combined with the excellent audio quality and included remote make these VR goggles the total package.

Virtual Reality Goggles Buying Guide

Our buying guide will walk you through the features and specs you need to pay attention to before you order your new pair of VR goggles. We will also discuss smartphone use and how the type and quality of your phone can have a major impact on your gaming experience as well.

Without the right audio, your virtual reality experience isn’t quite complete. In fact, it can totally ruin your immersive experience. But why?

A lack of audio used to cue visuals causes the brain to reject the illusion of an alternate reality, which is the whole point of virtual reality. People use virtual reality for therapeutic reasons. Without both audio and visual the experience just isn’t complete. With immersive graphics, you really need audio that’s equally immersive in order to get the whole picture. The audio must replicate the natural listening experience in your new virtual reality environment.

Virtual reality goggles can take you there. In fact, mobile goggles designed for smartphones can take you anywhere you want to go.

These goggles are the total package and in the virtual reality world, they’re everything you need.

Mobile Virtual Reality

Mobile virtual reality goggles allow you to watch short movies and play games on the go. These mobile goggles are more affordable compared to PC-based VR headsets like the Oculus Rift.

Many top of the line goggles are sold for a fraction of the price that computer-based headsets are going for these days. And many are compatible with both Android and iPhones, however, there are currently no dedicated Apple virtual reality goggles, which is pretty surprising.

Word in the industry is that Apple is designing their own patented virtual reality goggles, which should be released sometime in the near future, but for now, this is nothing more than a rumor.

Ease of Use

As we’ve mentioned, mobile VR goggles that are designed for smartphone use are more affordable, but that doesn’t mean they skimp on quality. While the visuals won’t be able to compete with the type of graphics you’ll enjoy with a headset you use on your gaming PC at home, they do offer a fun and entertaining virtual reality experience that you can enjoy when you’re on the road, on a break, or away from home.

Most goggles in this category are priced at around one hundred dollars.

These devices are much easier to use, set up and troubleshoot because they use a mobile phone as their viewing screen.

While a serious VR gamer is more than willing to spend a few hundred dollars or more on a top of the line VR headset, these mobile audio headsets are perfect for beginners, kids, or adults who want to enjoy gaming when they’re away from home.

Versatile and Convenient

One of the biggest benefits of buying VR goggles aside from their lower price is their true mobility. You can take them to a friend’s house or wear them in a cab or on the train. Just keep in mind, these goggles can really suck the battery life out of your smartphone

Audio Quality

Not all major VR headsets are equipped with audio, in fact, with some models you’ll have to fork over more cash for headphones.

But these goggles come equipped with built-in headphones, just like the popular Playstation VR headset.

The audio quality will be reflected in the price. So, if you’re paying around twenty or thirty dollars for your goggles, the audio quality will be comparable to that of basic headphones.

Higher priced goggles can offer great sound and visuals, but casual gamers will be satisfied with the audio quality in affordably priced models.

Ask any gamer and they’ll tell you if you want to enjoy a higher-end mobile gaming experience, make sure the goggles you buy have built-in headphones. While the price may be a little higher in some cases, the addition of audio will really enhance your experience.

The key here is really a matter of picking goggles that offer the type of quality you need, at a price you can afford.

Comfort

Comfort is a major issue with virtual reality goggles, whether they’re designed for PC gaming, gaming consoles, or smartphones.

Add audio into the mix and you’ll not only need to worry about whether or not the head strap is adjustable, but if the ear cups are cushioned as well.

For around fifty dollars you can find a great pair of VR goggles that hit all the marks you’re looking for in terms of comfort and style. Just make sure the goggles you choose are highly adjustable.

Remote Control Use

You’ll love goggles that come equipped with their own dedicated remote. You’ll be able to control gameplay, pause or rewind a movie and control the audio. These devices add a nice extra touch of convenience when you’re traveling, and they will allow you to closely control your gaming or movie viewing experience.

Models that don’t come with a remote will have one or two buttons located on the sides of the headset that will allow you to control some of the headset functions.

Some apps you download won’t even require a remote, and many will assume gamers don’t have one, so it’s still possible to partake in the fun. Usually, the use of gaze settings and head movement will allow users to focus a cursor over a specific area in order to trigger a reaction.

While there are plenty of apps available that allow you to game without the use of a remote, having one can make your VR experience feel more interactive.

Compatibility

There are so many virtual reality goggles to choose from these days, and so many features and specs to check out before you buy. One thing you don’t want to forget to take a look at is phone compatibility. Most of these phones work well with Android operating systems, but not all of these headsets are compatible with iPhones, so pay close attention to the goggle’s operating requirements.

Field of View

Mobile Virtual Reality

Goggles with a wider field of view can allow for a more immersive experience. Cardboard headsets on the market designed for mobile gaming don’t have a very wide field of view, but obviously, this is the trade-off for a much lower price.

Higher priced mobile VR goggles really step up the virtual reality experience by offering a wider field of view and allowing users to play more graphically demanding games. However, even higher priced models can have a limited FOV. Shoot for a model that offers at least a one hundred and twenty-degree field of view. Top models will have a three hundred and sixty-degree field of view, but they will also come with a higher price tag.

Upgrading Your Smartphone for VR Gaming

If you want to enjoy the best virtual reality gaming possible, then you must use a newer model smartphone, one that’s packing more memory and features a faster operating time. As an example, if you’re using an older iPhone, such as an iPhone 4, and your phone doesn’t have enough memory available for updates, then you’re going to struggle with gaming, even if you have the best VR headset.

However, with some VR online games, space won’t be quite as important as internet speed.

But if you want to get the most out of your gaming experience, upgrading your smartphone is the best first step.

If you want to take advantage of mobile gaming, using one of these leading VR goggles, then you need to make sure you phone is up to the task. The main thing to look for here is screen resolution. Obviously, the higher the resolution the better. Typically, 720p is the lowest you’ll want to go. 1080p offers a less pixelated experience. For gaming, you’ll need a higher-end smartphone, especially if you want to watch movies using your goggles.

Phone Size Requirements

Your phone’s screen should be at least five inches, so you can fit the phone to the goggle’s frame. However, at five inches, the screen may not be as immersive compared to the six-inch screen. Six-inch screens will offer a wider periphery. Phone’s with a bigger screen are also more likely to have better resolution. Larger screens over six inches may not fit some models of goggles, so be sure to check out this spec before you buy.

Android Vs. iPhone

There are two types of people: iPhone users and Android users. When it comes to Apple products, these die-hard tech fans happen to be very loyal, so the odds are that they won’t switch to using an Android phone just for the sake of enjoying some mobile VR gaming. Android users aren’t quite as rigid, but many prefer to stay with Android because there seems to be more options in terms of apps, especially when it comes to virtual reality games.

And so far, Android users are right. You’ll find more VR friendly apps in the Google Play store than you will in the Apple store.

If you’re on the fence regarding which new smartphone to get for VR gaming, then obviously, an Android phone will offer more versatility. While there are some games out there that are compatible with both types of smartphones, you still won’t have the same type of selection with iPhone that Android offers.

The leading VR goggles are often compatible with both types of phones, so if the game selection isn’t that big of an issue, stick with what you have.

As far as quality goes, iPhone is king. Many gamers often complain about slow game times, screen freezes, or complete shutdowns with their Android phones, whereas iPhones don’t have many of these issues. While iPhones certainly aren’t infallible, they do have a reputation for faster speeds and fewer bugs to deal with.

Game Selection

Mobile VR gaming, is, for many, a more affordable option compared to PC gaming. You can pick up some great online games using the Google Play or Apple app store for only a few dollars per game or app.

Once you get your new virtual reality goggles, you’ll probably head straight to the app store to check out their game selection. Once you begin exploring your options, you’ll soon realize that most of the games available are entertainment based. Some of the best VR games for adults for mobile gameplay will allow you to customize your gaming experience to suit your needs. You won’t enjoy quite as many options as you can with computer-based headsets, but the game selection is growing every week. You’ll also have several movies to choose from as well.

VR Movies

Watching your favorite movie in virtual reality can make it feel like you’re sitting in your own private theater, using your phone combined with a pair of VR goggles. All you have to do is buy the right app and any video you currently own can be converted automatically. Even movies that aren’t 3D work just fine.

Final Thoughts

VR goggles are comfortable, light, breathable, and allow you to enjoy both impressive 3D graphics and 3D audio. No longer will you be stuck at home, glued to your PC, instead, you can take your virtual reality gaming abroad during your next vacation, bring it over to a friend’s house, enjoy some light gaming on your lunch break, or use it when you’re stuck on a train during your evening commute.

The addition of goggles combined with audio offers the total package. We’re confident that you’ll find the best pair of virtual reality goggles in our top three line-up, so you can experience virtual reality gaming like you never have before.

Just remember, before you buy, pay attention to important specs, such as screen size and power needs. If your phone is already sluggish, it’s not going to perform well with virtual reality gameplay. In the end, you may need to upgrade to a better smartphone in order to get the most out of VR mobile gaming.

 

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