In today’s day and age, it’s very easy for the average consumer to jump into the world of VR without spending too much.
That being said, you have to be careful when you go for a cheap VR option because you don’t want something that’s low-quality and poorly constructed.
In today’s post, we will provide our top 3 picks for the best virtual reality headsets that you can buy for under $50.
Now that you know a little bit about our top 3 picks, let’s have a closer look so you can find the most suitable one for your needs.
Best VR Headsets Under $50 - Top 3 Reviews
#1: Best All-Around VR Headset Under $50 - Merge VR Headset Review
This is the perfect headset to get for kids or families, in general. They’re made of flexible foam which allows them to comfortably fit on most head sizes.
Not only that but the strap is adjustable as well.
While it is highly ergonomic, it’s also highly durable. It’s aimed toward kids so the manufacturers had the forethought of ensuring that this VR headset can handle some hits and drops.
Factors to Consider Before You Decide to Buy Merge VR Headset
Build quality: As mentioned, the build quality is great and ensures that the virtual reality headset won’t break down on you. The Merge VR Goggles are resistant to drops and highly sturdy.
Compatibility: The Merge VR Goggles can be paired with most Android devices and iOS devices as well. However, you can only use them to explore the titles within the Merge Miniverse Portal.
To be fair, their library is quite vast and there is a lot of high-quality content to explore. That being said, it should be noted that those are the only VR titles that you can experience on it.
Design and comfort: As mentioned earlier, while they’re highly sturdy, they are still extremely comfortable thanks to the flexible foam and adjustable head strap.
Best All-Around VR Headset Under $50
The best all-around VR headset under $50 is the Merge VR headset thanks to its vast library of titles, compatibility with iOS and Android phones as well as its user-friendliness.
#2: Best Affordable VR Headset Under $50 - BNEXT VR Headset Review
The BNEXT is another one of those virtual reality headsets that come at a very affordable price.
It boasts an adjustable head strap with Velcro to ensure quick and easy adjustment as well as fitting. Not only that but the headset phone holder section ensures you can put any phones ranging from 4 inches to 6.2 inches in size.
It’s a comfortable headset with high-quality lenses to ensure the best video quality on most 3D VR apps.
Factors to Consider Before You Decide to Buy BNEXT VR Headset
Build quality: The build quality on the BNEXT is great for playing games for an extended period of time. It has a flexible and adjustable headband that is also sturdy to ensure it doesn’t break down easily.
Compatibility: The BNEXT VR Headset is compatible with Android and iOS devices. Hence, it’s able to support most 3D VR apps that are available on the Play Store and App Store respectively.
Design and comfort: As mentioned above, the adjustable headband ensures that no matter what your head size, you can be comfortable with it.
Best Affordable VR Headset Under $50
The best affordable VR headset under $50 is the BNEXT VR Headset thanks to its extremely cheap price and high-quality construction.
#3: Best VR Headset Under $50 with Remote Controller - Altasonix VR Headset Review
The Altasonix VR headset comes in a variety of color options including Black, Blue, and Red.
When it comes to cheap virtual reality headsets, these are one of the best that we have tried. Not only is the image quality stunning but it even comes with a remote controller to easily control 3D VR apps as you experience them.
It comes with an adjustable headband as well as an adjustable lens to ensure that the focal distance is ideal for you specifically.
Factors to Consider Before You Decide to Buy Altasonix VR Headset
Build quality: You will notice the Altasonix VR Headset’s high-quality materials as soon as you hold it in your hand. It has a weight to it that lets you know it’s high-quality but at the same time, it’s not too heavy to be overbearing.
Compatibility: The Altasonix VR Headset works with most iOS and Android devices currently available in the market. Its remote control can be used to control many of the more mainstream 3D VR apps.
Design and comfort: The adjustable headband and lens ensure that the user can have as comfortable of an experience as possible. Not only can you adjust the focal distance but you can also easily adjust the head strap according to the 3D VR experience you want to have.
Best VR Headset Under $50 with Remote Controller
The best VR headset under $50 with a remote controller is the Altasonix VR Headset. You can use the remote control to easily adjust settings within VR apps with ease.
Best VR Headsets Under $50 - Buyers’ Guide
The VR industry has made great strides over the last few years which is why VR has now become very affordable to the average consumer.
That being said, it can be confusing to shop for cheap virtual reality headsets because of a few reasons.
The important thing to realize is that you have to first assess what your own needs are. Once you know your needs, you will realize what factors you must assess in a VR headset.
These factors are:
This is almost always important with any electronics you buy but with cheap VR headsets, it’s doubly important. This is because there are a lot of shady manufacturers for cheap virtual reality headsets in the market right now.
These manufacturers pump out cheaply-made virtual reality headsets that are made from low-quality materials. You don’t want to buy a virtual reality headset like that because, even if you get it for cheap, it will break down within a few weeks or months.
If that happens, you’d have to dig into your wallet again to buy another cheap virtual reality headset. In the long run, it won’t be so cheap after all.
Hence, it’s very important that you assess the build quality of the cheap virtual reality headset that you intend to buy. If you can do it in person, that’s obviously most preferable. Try it on, see how it feels; Maybe give it a test run with a few virtual reality games.
If you can’t buy it in person and have to order it online, make sure that you conduct thorough research on the product to ensure it’s from a reputable company. It’s a good idea to go through user reviews for the product and see what they have to say.
When you intend to buy a certain VR headset, it can also be a good idea to check its manufacturer’s website. If the manufacturer does not have a website or only has a poorly made one, that’s a major red flag.
With cheap virtual reality headsets, you really have to assess what VR titles they are compatible with. Not only that but you must also keep in mind what future VR titles they will be compatible with as well (if at all).
Again, this is where you have to assess what your own needs are.
If you want to jump into VR for cheap and just want to see what the technology has to offer, then a cheap VR headset that isn’t compatible with too many titles may not even be that bad for you.
That being said, if you want to play specific VR titles with your cheap virtual reality headset, then you may want to check what it’s compatible with first.
Naturally, since the VR headsets are cheap, they might not have great compatibility and might only work with certain setups.
Just ensure before you buy a VR headset that it’s compatible with all or most of the VR titles you intend to play.
Design and Comfort
VR can be extremely tiring and physically intense during longer sessions. Furthermore, some VR titles are quite more physically demanding than others.
If you want to perform well in such titles, it’s important that your VR headset is highly comfortable and not a hindrance in any way.
You don’t want your VR headset to have a restrictive or uncomfortable design. It makes the intense titles a pain to play. Not only that but it also turns pleasant and relaxing VR titles into frustrating experiences.
You want a VR headset that is preferably adjustable to different head sizes. Another thing to look for is constructed from high-quality materials that feel good on your head. You want comfortable cushions that rest nicely on your face.
It’s also important for the VR headset to be breathable and not highly restrictive or claustrophobic.
This is something that many consumers forget to think about when they look for a VR headset. It’s quite concerning because this is something that’s very important to ensure whether your VR headset works well for you or not.
The interpupillary distance or IPD is the distance between your pupils and the screen inside your VR headset of choice. Different people have different ideal IPDs. That being said, for most men, it is 63 mm, and for most women, it is 61 mm.
When you buy a VR headset, it’s important to know what your ideal IPD is and whether or not that particular VR headset supports that IPD or not.
Some VR headsets have adjustable IPDs while others cover a range of IPDs at one time. Whenever you browse the market for a cheap virtual reality headset, ensure that you keep its provided IPD in mind.
Tracking Technology and Accuracy
Lastly, you have to think about the tracking technology that the VR headset of your choice uses.
Some VR headsets use inside-out tracking. This means that these headsets use sensors inside them to map out their physical 3D environment. For headsets such as these, you don’t need to set up any external sensors. Hence, you don’t need as much space.
That being said, the VR headsets that have inside-out tracking as a feature are typically a lot more expensive. Not only that but inside-out tracking technology is still in its early phases. That’s why it’s also not as accurate as traditional tracking with external sensors.
Most of the cheap virtual reality headsets that you will come across will use the traditional tracking approach. This means that you will have to ensure you have enough space inside your home or apartment to properly set up these sensors.
As long as you have the appropriate amount of space, you will be able to use any cheap virtual reality headset that uses this type of tracking.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What do I Need for Virtual Reality Gaming?
In today’s day and age, there are a number of ways to play VR.
If you want to play VR on your mobile devices, you can do it on Android phones as well as iOS devices. All you need is a VR headset that is compatible with your type of smartphone.
If you want to play with a PC, you can get any VR headset that is compatible with your PC rig. It’s a good idea to go for a VR headset that supports SteamVR tracking as those headsets work with most VR titles on PC.
If you want a standalone virtual reality experience, you can go for any of the virtual reality headsets that are standalone. These virtual reality headsets do not require any other device to run virtual reality titles.
What’s the Difference Between VR Goggles and VR Headsets?
There’s no difference between the two. Ultimately, what you will always have is a virtual reality headset.
Some manufacturers just like to label their virtual reality headsets as VR goggles due to their particular aesthetic and design.
It has nothing to do with differences in functionality or compatibility. It’s simply an aesthetic and brand image-related choice.
Is it Worth it to Buy Cheap VR Headsets?
It can most certainly be worth it to buy a cheap virtual reality headset. That being said, it’s important that you conduct thorough research to ensure you buy it from a reputable manufacturer.
Avoid shady companies that you’ve never heard of as they could sell you a virtual reality headset that is poorly constructed and made from low-quality materials.
How Does Virtual Reality Work?
Virtual reality works by passing two images through the lens of the VR headset. These images are structured to ensure we see them in a way that human being naturally perceives their environment.
Images inside the VR headset move side-to-side to create the illusion of a 3D environment.
Lastly, the head positioning data is translated into a movement that you can see within your 3D environment as you move your head and body.
How Long Should I Play Virtual Reality Games in One Session?
You should never spend too much time inside a virtual reality at once.
We recommend that you take a 15-minute break after every 30 minutes.
If that’s too little game time for you, then you can maybe push it to a 15-minute break after every hour.
However, don’t push it more than that as you can develop eye strain, motion sickness, nausea, and other issues.
Those are our picks for the best virtual reality headsets under $50.
In our opinion, the Merge VR Goggles are the best purchase if you want to be introduced to the world of VR and the wonders it has to offer on a budget.
If you’d like to experience VR apps available on your smartphones, then you can opt for one of the other two options on our list.
Which budget-friendly virtual reality headsets do you think are worth using? Do you have one? Let us know in the comments section below.