HP just lately introduced its newest VR headset, Reverb G2. It boasts a considerable variety of enhancements over the unique Reverb and clearly represents the next-gen of WMR headsets. We have been lucky sufficient to get an unique hands-on with the headset; in our first article we detailed G2’s standout characteristic—its excessive decision shows and spectacular readability. This time round we’ll be speaking about all the pieces else the headset brings to the desk.
Whereas the primary wave of Home windows VR headsets that launched again in 2017 felt comparatively homogenous, HP started blazing its personal path with its authentic Reverb headset (which I’ll name G1 for brief) in 2019, and only a yr later the corporate plans to push but additional with Reverb G2.
For a full breakdown on G2’s options and specs, take a look at the announcement article; this piece shall be specializing in the experiential facet after our hands-on with the headset, and a bunch of different particulars we’ve realized from HP—all the pieces besides the headset’s visuals, which we lined in Half One.
ErgonomicsPicture courtesy HP
One of many massive modifications from G1 to G2 that doesn’t match neatly right into a spec sheet is ergonomics.
For one, G2 now has a bodily IPD slider the place the unique had a set IPD. An IPD slider permits customers to regulate the spacing between the lenses to be optimally aligned with their eyes. Optimum IPD alignment is vital for consolation, readability, and immersion.
HP confirmed that the Reverb G2 IPD adjustment ranges from 60mm to 68mm. As you’d anticipate with different headsets, if you modify the slider on the headset, the WMR software program in your PC robotically updates the software program IPD setting to match.
One other ergonomic enchancment from G1 to G2 is a change to the head-mount. Whereas the unique—with its round rear design—was fairly snug, G2 makes use of an oval form (similar to that of Index), which appears prone to match a wider vary of customers.G2’s rear head-mount has modified significantly in form | Picture by Street to VR
The form is made to search out buy on the again of the top—proper on the occipital bone—which truly has a kind of horizontal mound beneath which the decrease a part of the oval could be tucked for a great match. I didn’t dislike the consolation of the unique Reverb, however looks like an enchancment nonetheless.
Whereas many of the remainder of G2 seems fairly comparable in form to G1, HP truly redesigned all the froth padding on the headset (the elements that cradle the again of your head and face), and it makes a notable distinction. G1’s foam was just a little extra agency and never as vast. G2’s softer and wider foam spreads the stress in your face over a wider space. Moreover, the face gasket is now magnetic, which makes it a breeze to take away to clear or substitute. Given HP’s collaboration with Valve, this characteristic appears impressed by Index, however sadly the face gaskets aren’t interchangeable.
We don’t normally discuss a headset’s tether in relation to ergonomics, however in comparison with G1, the brand new cable on G2 makes a distinction. The G1 tether was double-barrel—basically two cables side-by-side. This induced two points: the primary was weight, because the heavy cable may very well be felt tugging on the again of the headset, and the second was flexibility, because the double-barrel design reinforces the cable in opposition to bending in a sure route.
G2 fixes each points by shifting to a single-barrel cable which is just about the identical width that you simply’d anticipate from Index or every other main VR headset. It’s shocking what a distinction it makes simply to have much less tether weight flattening on the again of the headset.Picture by Street to VR
Shortly, whereas we’re on the subject of the cable, it’s price mentioning that G2 has a prolonged 19.5 foot (6m) tether, which is a couple of ft longer than what you get with Rift S. The additional size is sweet simply to have extra slack for cable administration, however there’s a further sudden profit: as a result of WMR headsets have a playspace setup course of which makes use of the headset itself to outline the boundary, the additional cable size means you may hint a barely bigger area. That’s good for anybody who has their PC tucked within the nook, or these with very massive playspaces.
Again to ergonomics. I’m not bothered by the accessible nose-space of most VR headsets. However G1 all the time felt cramped and would typically put stress on the bride of my nostril. Fortunately, G2 has a bigger nose-cavity than the unique, and it provides some rubber mild blockers there in addition.
And even the headphones have ergonomic advantages…
AudioPicture courtesy HP
HP just about grafted Index’s glorious headphones onto G2—utilizing the equivalent, novel BMR drivers—and I’m positively comfortable about that. The transfer from against-ear headphones to off-ear headphones has a number of benefits.
First is consolation. Having nothing touching your ears is simply plain-old higher than headphones that push in opposition to your ears. What’s extra, when you get them into the place you need—so long as you don’t bump them later—you gained’t even want to regulate them subsequent time you placed on the headset. Towards-ear headphones on VR headsets just about all the time get pushed round between makes use of and have to be adjusted each time.
The second benefit to off-ear is immersion. The distinctive form of your ear is definitely an vital a part of the way you expertise sound. Fastidiously designed off-ear headphones (like these on Index and G2) expose the sounds to a broader a part of your ear, making digital audio sound extra like sound that’s coming from the true world.Picture by Street to VR
In my hands-on time with G2, the headphones sounded good however gave the impression to be missing some bass in comparison with Index. Once I requested HP about it, they stated that the early prototype that I used to be testing doesn’t have its remaining EQ, and warranted me that—due to to using the exact same drivers and amp—they’ll be capable to carry out identically to Index as soon as calibrated. That’s excellent news, as a result of Index has, hands-down, the perfect audio resolution of any VR headset on the market. And if issues end up as HP says, G2 may have it too.
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