Another HP Reverb Review (probably nothing you haven’t read before)

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I’ve had my Reverb for about 3 weeks now, and thought I’d list some bullet points to highlight my feelings about it. I have a new model with a 931 serial number.

My previous VR experience is that I had an Oculus Rift CV1 so briefly and so long ago that it’s probably not worth mentioning. Then, starting in early 2018, I’ve gone from Lenovo Explorer to Samsung Odyssey+ and now to the Reverb. Comparisons will be to the Odyssey+

Also worth noting is I have an i9-9900KF & 2080 Ti, and I don’t like reprojection, so my goal is a solid 90FPS at all times.

While I’ve tried the likes of Beat Sabre & SUPERHOT since purchasing it, the vast majority of my time in VR is with either Elite Dangerous or iRacing. Therefore, visual clarity is by far the most important to me, and then maybe comfort, and just about everything else is way down the list.

Pros

  • The image clarity is stunning. It’s the first headset I’ve owned where I’ve been satisfied to the point where I’m always immersed, and not having moments where I notice the lack of visual fidelity. It’s shocking how good it is. That’s not to say it’s perfect, and it can of course still get better in the future, but honestly, right now, I don’t think we have the hardware for that. In Elite for instance, I still can’t max the in game graphical settings that I care about while running the level of SteamVR SuperSampling that I’d like, without reprojection kicking in.

  • It is by far the most comfortable of all the VR headsets I’ve owned, unlike the Odyssey+ which was horrendous, and while a VRCover improved it a lot, the Odyssey+ still wasn’t great for extended periods. So far, I’ve probably had my HP Reverb on for 2-3 hours at a time with no issues.

  • There is zero light bleed. Again, the Odyssey+, even with the VRCover, was terrible in this regard, so huge upgrade there.

  • The headphones are removable in the event you want to use your own!

  • The headphones sound decent, but more on headphones in Cons though.

  • The headset is incredibly small and light. It looks so much more modern than the bulky Odyssey+

  • Though the headset is small, both my daughter and I have been able to wear our glasses inside it. I would say we both have fairly small frames, so I could see people with bigger glasses having issues. As a side note, I don’t typically wear my glasses in VR, but I wanted to try it out at least.

  • I’ve had no tracking issues to date. Might even lean toward saying it slightly better than the Odyssey+, but that might just be that I did a better scan of my space or something.

  • Cable length seems to be a couple of feet longer than the Odyssey+ one.

  • God Rays are so much less than the Odyssey+, and not distracting like they were with that headset.

  • Good sized sweet spot, better than the Odyssey+, and easy to positon the headset on my head to get my eyes in that sweet spot right away

  • The benefit of the higher resolution is that I don’t need such a high SuperSampling in SteamVR, so performance to the Odyssey+ is actually quite similar despite the massive bump in resolution.

Read:  accounting+ with oculus quest via virtual desktop

Cons

  • The vibrancy of the colors and the blackness of blacks is definitely a significant step down from the Odyssey+ OLED panel. I’d describe them as washed out. Strangely, I’m now noticing this more in iRacing than Elite. Every race in iRacing looks like a dull overcast day as a result of it, but for some reason, I’ve adjusted to it in Elite, and planets and nebula and so forth feel as stunning as always.

  • There is no manual IPD adjustment. My IPD is 66, so it works well for me, but my son is 72, and thinks the image is blurry. Side note here: my son wears glasses and has not tried the Reverb with his glasses yet. Will get him to test, and I’ll update this. I honestly don’t have a lot of faith in the software IPD adjustment anyway.

  • No on-headset volume adjustment. The Odyssey+ had this, and I miss it.

  • Headphones. I’m not an audiophile by any means, but before I got my Odyssey+, I used Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X headphones, and the benefit of the Lenovo Explorer having no headphones was I could still use these. Without an easy way to remove the Odyssey+ headphones, I reluctantly had to use the built in ones and they were a HUGE step down from my AD700X’s. It took me a long while before that no longer became a distraction. Having got used to them, moving from the Odyssey+ ones to the Reverb ones was a much easier transition, but even they may be a tiny step down in quality from the Odyssey+ ones. By now though, I’m used to the sound, and it’s fine, and never crosses my mind. Oh yeah, so even though they’re removable, I think I’ll just stick with these for now for the sake of convenience.

  • Mura. I think I’ve only noticed this in iRacing so far, and it’s subtle, but it’s there. Like a dirty film over the screen (no, it’s not my in game helmet visor getting dirty!)

  • Chromatic Abrasion. There’s a tiny bit of this toward the edges of the display, but I didn’t even know what it was until recently, and would never have noticed unless looking for it.

  • Though the sweet spot is good when looking straight ahead, things get slightly blurry toward the edges of the FOV

  • The cable weight. It’s heavy and it’s stiff.

  • The cable connector. There’s a latch to keep it in place, but it isn’t 100% locked solid, and though I haven’t disconnected it entirely (and maybe I can’t), I’ve apparently pulled it enough where I think it’s been the cause a SteamVR crash on 2 occasions so far.

  • The battery cover on the controllers moves ever so slightly which makes it feel like it’s about to come off. I don’t think it is, but it’s a little distracting.

  • Mixed Reality Portal. I still hate having to run this. It does nothing for me, other than use up a tiny bit of resources, while adding an unnecessary layer to my experience.

  • FOV is perhaps marginally smaller than the Odyssey+

Read:  Is there a consensus on the best consumer vr headset?

Here’s the thing with ALL of those cons though. They’re all fairly minor to me, and even combined, they don’t come close to cancelling out the incredible image clarity. This is one of the best purchases I ever made, and I think I’ll be sticking with it for quite a while, and probably longer than any VR headset I’ve owned to date. I will keep an eye on the Pimax 8KX, as that seems to be the only headset that can beat the Reverb in terms of visual clarity, but I worry about CPU’s & GPU’s not being able to do it justice, and I’m not a fan of it only being 75-80Hz. For me, frame rate above all else is what helps me avoid motion sickness.

Happy to answer all questions, and I will update the bullet points as I do so, or if I think of anything else.

Boost Your Social Clout