At the 2021 Vivecon event, HTC announced two new generations of virtual reality (VR) headsets, one of them being a significant upgrade of the Vive Pro, the Vive Pro 2. At first glance, these models look quite similar, and we know that Vive there fans want to know all the details before deciding whether to upgrade or not. Let’s look at everything and – in our experience – what is the best headset for the money.
Note: HTC is also discontinuing the Vive Pro and no longer sells it directly. If you want to save money you can still find it at a third party vendor, but this piece is more capable for those who are thinking that it is worth it to upgrade from the currently owned Pro to Pro 2 Or not.
For the Pro 2, Vive left its headset’s design largely unchanged. Both models still feature the same ergonomics, adjustable straps, and cable management options when connecting the headset to your PC or laptop. While we were not convinced that the Pro model offered enough value for its price compared to the original Vive, there is no doubt that the robust, padded design and adjustable, built-in headphones were a remarkable quality of life-improvement. The Pro 2 benefits from all of that – and both models offer IPD (inter-pupillary distance) physical adjustments between 57 mm and 72 mm. Both also use USB-C connections.
The only notable difference here is the cosmetic change to the faceplate, which now comes in black by default instead of blue. There is absolutely no decision to influence any buyer in one way or another.
Display quality and field of view
Inside, the Vive Pro 2 receives a marked upgrade compared to the Vive Pro. The first Pro model comes with a 1400 x 1600 resolution per eye display for a combined resolution of 2800 x 1600, with a maximum refresh rate of 90Hz and a 110-degree field of view.
The Pro 2 improves upon it with a 24 x 24 resolution per eye (797 x 24 total), a 120-degree field and a 120 Hz refresh rate – all the better specs to experience everything VR games offer and Ability to improve problems with nausea due to greater overall clarity. The Vive Pro 2 also has some software improvements under the hood, including a second-generation version of SteamVR tracking and improved sensors.
The Vive Pro 2 is undoubtedly a more elaborate headset (its screen provides the largest headset resolution in the consumer space), and they use an LCD panel instead of the OLED ones in the original Vive Pro. This should mean that, although they are faster and more detailed, they cannot offer inked black and infinite contrast ratios similar to the original Pro screen.
Note that despite the surge in improvements, HTC did not change the PC-recommended specifications for the Vive Pro 2. This means that you do not need to upgrade your computer when purchasing the Pro 2. At least not immediately (more on this below).
Audio is another aspect in which HTC has made relatively few changes when designing the Pro 2. Both Vive Pro and Pro 2 come with:
- High-res certified headset with USB-C analog signal.
- Hi-Res certified headphones that are removable if necessary.
- Support for high impedance headphones, making it more likely that your gaming headphones will be supported (if you can fit them on the headset).
Using Vive Wireless Adapter
If you are using a wireless adapter on your Vive Pro or are interested in a wireless experience, you may be wondering how it works on the Vive Pro 2.
The current model of the Vive wireless adapter will work with the Vive Pro 2 but with limited capabilities, so you will not be able to enjoy the fully upgraded specifications of the new model. The adapter will limit you to a 1224 x 1224 resolution per eye on the Pro 2 and a refresh rate of 90 Hz, which is even less than the wired Vive Pro specs. Vive has reported that it is working on a wireless firmware upgrade to reach 1632 x 1632 resolution, but so far no timeline has been given for releasing a new adapter or firmware update.
If you are interested in Vive’s wireless adapters, it can handle performance quite well, but also requires significant processing power to avoid degradation problems. We suggest that your specs for wireless be compared to the basic requirements below, preferably with the more recent generation Intel Core i7 / i9 or AMD Ryzen 7/9 processors.
Performance and Requirements
As we mentioned, HTC has left the PC requirements for the Vive Pro 2 largely untouched, with a few minor changes. Here are the details behind what you need:
The processor: An Intel Core i5-4590 or AMD Ryzen 1500 equivalent or greater.
The graphics: The basic GPU recommendation is the Nvidia GeForce GTZ 1060 or AMD Radeon RX 480. However, here HTC makes a new difference: If you want to use full resolution mode to get as high a resolution as possible for games that support it, you’ll need at least one GeForce RTX 20 Series or an AMD Radeon 5000 Will be required, which includes this support.
Memory: 8 GB RAM or more
video out: Both models require at least DisplayPort 1.2. But this is another place where HTC advises those interested in full resolution mode to ensure that they are at least using DisplayPort 1.4.
USB port: USB-C 3.0 or newer
Operating System: Windows 10
The actual pricing question here relates to the Vive Pro 2: Primarily, the Pro 2 has an MSRP at $ 799 over $ 200 and is available for preorder right now. If you want to upgrade from your current Pro model, you will have to pay significantly more than the cost of your original headset to do it.
The original Vive Pro headset is currently being treated like a limited edition no longer being built, so instead of the $ 599 MSRP, it is now selling anywhere from $ 700 to $ 1,200 depending on the supplier – Not exactly a viable option for those looking for a brand new HTC headset.
Conclusion: The Vive Pro 2 is a better – but expensive – headset
The Pro 2 is an obvious upgrade when it comes to performance: resolution, refresh rate, and viewing area have all received significant upgrades that benefit the latest VR games, especially if you have the specs to match. If this is your first VR headset, or you are moving to HTC from a different brand, we recommend that you choose the Vive Pro 2.
If you have a previous Vive Pro and are thinking about upgrading, it is more difficult to choose. Paying around $ 700 for a headset, plus accessories, can be a lot to ask for an upgrade that has better display specs but doesn’t change design or audio quality. Ultimately, it is about what matters most to you and your budget.