HTC Vive Pro 2 Review – “Pro” Price with Not Quite Pro Performance

Three years after the unique Vive Professional, HTC’s Vive Professional 2 is right here. With a class-leading value, the “Professional” branded headset is clearly positioned to one-up its contemporaries. Sadly the headset’s efficiency doesn’t fairly justify the Professional value.

Earlier than we dive into the total evaluate, right here’s a recap of the headset’s specs:

Vive Professional 2 Specs Decision 2,448 x 2,448 (6.0MP) per-eye, LCD (2x) Refresh Charge 90Hz, 120Hz Lenses Twin-element Fresnel Discipline-of-view 120° horizontal Optical Changes IPD, eye-relief IPD Adjustment Vary 57–72mm Connectors USB three.zero, DisplayPort 1.2, energy Cable Size 5m (breakout field) Monitoring SteamVR Monitoring 1.zero or 2.zero (exterior beacons) On-board cameras 2x RGB Enter Vive wand controllers, rechargable battery Audio On-ear headphones, USB-C audio output Microphone Twin microphone Move-through view Sure

HTC Vive Professional 2 Abstract

HTC Vive Professional 2 Overview – "Professional" Value with Not Fairly Professional Efficiency 18Picture by Street to VR

As is custom, our full evaluate goes into vital depth, so we’ll begin with a abstract.

HTC’s Vive Professional 2 brings some severe specs that, on paper, make it appear like the headset will ship an unbeatable expertise in comparison with its rivals. And that should be the purpose to justify the steep asking value of $800 for the headset by itself or $1,400 full package value. Right here’s a fast take a look at how this stacks as much as the headset’s two nearest rivals:

Vive Professional 2 Valve Index Reverb G2 Headset Solely $800 $500 – Full Package $1,400 $1,000 $600

With reference to becoming in with the competitors and justifying its value, the important thing purpose for Vive Professional 2 could be to supply clients the huge subject of view of Valve Index with the readability of Reverb G2—or not less than one or the opposite. Sadly it doesn’t fairly get there, and likewise has just a few different oversights that belie the “Professional” branding.

Whereas the decision and field-of-view are good on paper, in the end the headset doesn’t obtain both of these targets—it doesn’t have a field-of-view that’s as massive or bigger than Index, nor does it have as nice or better readability than Reverb G2.

HTC Vive Professional 2 Overview – "Professional" Value with Not Fairly Professional Efficiency 19Picture by Street to VR

A part of the problem appears to be that the lenses can’t escape the traditionally tight candy spot we discover on HTC headsets. Although the field-of-view is wider than the unique Vive Professional, a lot of that added field-of-view will get blurry rapidly. Rotate your eyes only a bit and textual content turns into troublesome to learn. Mixed with the same old god-rays plus extra outer glare from the brand new dual-element lenses, and the headset’s tight candy spot makes the view really feel oddly cramped at occasions. That is furthered by a surprisingly small vertical field-of-view which makes really feel like the highest and backside of the view has been cropped down.

Private Measurements Vive Professional 2 Vive Professional Valve Index Reverb G2 Horizontal FOV 102° 94° 106° 82° Vertical FOV 78° 102° 106° 78°

The shows in any other case are pretty good, even when the lenses appear to restrict their sharpness considerably. The headset has no seen screen-door impact, and different artifacts like mura, chromatic aberration, and ghosting are very minimal.

Even when Vive Professional 2 doesn’t beat out Index and Reverb G2 in key areas like field-of-view and readability, it might nonetheless be a terrific headset worthy of the “Professional” title (and value). Sadly it falls wanting that in different areas too.

For one, the pass-through cameras on Vive Professional 2 are very low high quality, as is the microphone. Whereas the headphones themselves are fairly good in audio high quality, the off-ear strategy is more and more the extra handy and most popular method to do audio on a VR headset. When you might choose to take away the headset’s on-ear audio system in favor of your personal audio answer, the cumbersome strap would make it laborious to work with something however earbuds.

HTC Vive Professional 2 Overview – "Professional" Value with Not Fairly Professional Efficiency 20Picture by Street to VR

With SteamVR Monitoring in-built, you’ll be able to count on the identical gold commonplace monitoring  accuracy, latency, and protection that you simply’d discover with different headsets with SteamVR Monitoring, although you’ll must put up with exterior beacons mounted someplace in your room. Fortunately SteamVR Monitoring additionally opens the door to some choices, reminiscent of selecting if you wish to use the old fashioned Vive wand controllers or choosing one thing else just like the Valve Index controllers. You too can use the headset with monitoring pucks that are used to trace different equipment or for including extra monitoring factors to your self for full physique monitoring.

HTC Vive Professional 2 Overview – "Professional" Value with Not Fairly Professional Efficiency 21Vive Professional (left), Vive Professional 2 (proper) | Picture by Street to VR

From an ergonomic standpoint, Vive Professional 2 is strictly the identical as the unique Vive Professional, which suggests it’s a reasonably comfy headset with a reasonably good set of ergonomic changes. Notably, the headset has a bodily IPD adjustment which ranges from 57–72mm and an eye-relief adjustment, each of which permit the headset to adapt to a wider vary of customers. Two issues I additionally would have most popular however aren’t included: springs within the headstrap which make it simpler to placed on and take off with out adjusting the tightness every time, and a wider vary of rotation for the show housing.

HTC Vive Professional 2 In-depth Overview

HTC Vive Professional 2 Overview – "Professional" Value with Not Fairly Professional Efficiency 22Picture by Street to VR

Let’s first speak in regards to the bread and butter of any VR headset: the visuals. With a whopping 2,448 x 2,448 per-eye decision and a purported 120° horizontal field-of-view, Vive Professional 2 would appear to be completely positioned to carry the most effective of Valve Index and Reverb G2 into one headset. Sadly the fact is a bit more blurry.

Readability

Though the paper specs would recommend that Vive Professional 2 and Reverb G2 might have fairly comparable resolving energy, a fast side-by-side with the headsets reveals Reverb G2 to have an clearly sharper picture, even earlier than operating any goal exams. To some extent, this could be anticipated on condition that Reverb G2 packs its pixels a bit extra densely into its smaller field-of-view; even so, whereas Vive Professional 2 is clearly sharper than Index or the unique Vive Professional, it nonetheless appears much less sharp than it should subsequent to Reverb G2.

That is very seemingly a results of the optics, which is among the largest modifications on Vive Professional 2 in comparison with the unique Vive Professional. Whereas each headsets use Fresnel lenses, Vive Professional 2 adopts the Valve Index strategy of shifting to a dual-element lens, apparently in an effort to develop the field-of-view. Customers of Valve Index will know that the dual-element strategy dangers introducing extra glare across the outer edges of the lenses (on high of the same old Fresnel god-rays), and we see the identical factor taking place on Vive Professional 2, roughly to the identical extent as Index.

This extra glare, mixed with the classically weak edge-to-edge readability of HTC lenses, creates a candy spot that at occasions feels oppressively small. Rotate your eyes just a bit bit and the world is blurry till you progress your head to recenter your eyes.

This small candy spot sadly detracts from Vive Professional 2’s improved field-of-view. Whereas it’s certainly wider than the unique Vive Professional by a superb margin, the sides change into blurry which can provide a way of tunnel imaginative and prescient even when in your periphery.

Discipline-of-View

Talking of field-of-view, Vive Professional 2’s theoretical 120° horizontal appears to be simply that: theoretical. At the least for my private measurements, I discovered the Vive Professional 2 to have a notably smaller subject of view than Valve Index:

Private Measurements Vive Professional 2 Vive Professional Valve Index Reverb G2 Horizontal FOV 102° 94° 106° 82° Vertical FOV 78° 102° 106° 78°

Vive Professional 2 may certainly have a 120° horizontal field-of-view, however provided that you would get your eyes shut sufficient to the lenses. Though the headset has an eye-relief adjustment, it doesn’t appear to have the vary of movement obligatory to maximise the field-of-view, not less than for my head. The attention-relief adjustment on Valve Index, alternatively, makes it simpler to squeeze probably the most out of the headset’s shows.

HTC Vive Professional 2 Overview – "Professional" Value with Not Fairly Professional Efficiency 19Picture by Street to VR

You’ll discover a surprisingly small vertical field-of-view on Vive Professional 2. From the form of the lenses alone you may count on this to be the case; quite than being round, the highest and backside of the lens are flat. When trying by way of the headset, it seems to be like your vertical view has been cropped down, which furthers that feeling of tunnel-vision that in the end works in opposition to the headset’s field-of-view.

Shows

The Vive Professional 2 shows themselves appear fairly good, even when their decision is hampered by the optics. The headset makes use of an LCD show per-eye, which run as much as 120Hz. Sadly the swap to LCD on Vive Professional 2 means shedding out on the wealthy colours and deep distinction from the Vive Professional’s OLED show, however in return you’re getting a lot increased decision, higher pixel fill, and fewer ghosting.

Like Reverb G2, Vive Professional 2 primarily has no screen-door impact (the visibility of unlit areas between pixels). The show density is just too nice to make out particular person pixels.

Basically use, the shows have virtually no seen artifacts. I needed to search fastidiously to seek out some minor ghosting in opposition to sure colours. Mura (the consistency of brightness and colour from one pixel to the following) is equally laborious to identify and can most likely go solely unnoticed throughout regular use. Trying fastidiously in opposition to flat colours I might spot some faint splotchy mura, nevertheless it’s influence on the general readability could be very minimal.

On the subject of visible efficiency, Vive Professional 2 is nice, nevertheless it doesn’t really feel “Professional”, on condition that it’s bested by Index in field-of-view and candy spot, and by Reverb G2 in readability, each of that are cheaper headsets.

Proceed on Web page 2: Move-through, Microphone, and Audio »

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