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Valve Index VR Full Kit Review

Applause for the new champion of VR headsets - Valve Index VR Full Kit. Though it's expensive, it's still nothing compared to the quality of graphics and visuals it offers. It has undeniably earned the title of the best royal-class immersive VR headset.
valve vr full kit review
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Overall Score
Interactiveness
Visual Immersiveness
Comfort
User Friendliness
Ease of Setup

Our Take

Supreme and premium VR headset for enthusiasts. Those of you who have a great powerful PC, the space for room-scale experience and setup Lighthouse base station sensors, and who want to experience the royal cutting-edge of finger-tracking input devices, this headset is for you.

Do you want to know how Valve Index justifies its more than $1000 price? With the help of its high-quality screen, which operates at 144Hz of refresh rate. Straps on controllers that grab your hands give you the freedom to act as you like and open your hands entirely and individually.

We can close the discussion right here by saying that Valve Index is the best supreme immersive virtual reality headset to date. But we will not because we are going to prove that what we just said.

What We Like

  • Immersive VR headset
  • Royal interactive
  • Very user-friendly
  • Easy to set up compared to its competitors
  • Fully customizable
  • Require less maintenance

What We Don't Like

  • Could be more-easy to set up
  • Could be more comfortable
  • Very heavy,  >800 grams

Overview

If you have the budget and space to fit in with it, The Valve Index is worth every single penny. It has a premium screen, a superb field of view, supreme controllers, and well-grounded tracking which makes it the best virtual reality headset available to-date.

There’s undoubtedly no getting around the fact that a full null to Index setup will cost you like more than $1000, which is 2.5x times much as compared to newly released Oculus Rift S. More powerful but somehow cheaper than the VIVE pro.

Becoming partners with HTC in-order-to product the Vive in 2016, Valve decided to go solo with its striving new premium virtual reality headset, the Valve Index.

Vive Index also requires a powerful PC to operate with. Speaking of which, the PC will also cost you like nearly $1000 if you don’t already own one.

Why Valve Index?

The Index has many features that will be most liked by enthusiast but also contain features which are not suitable for many peoples. Its a shame, though, but also it’s very odd to review the Valve Index.

Because of a virtual reality headset like this one, which uses a hands-off approach to its hardware, software, and most importantly Valve knows how to keep the clients satisfy. It does it by inserting up unique features and showing up unique royal-quality visuals deserves no competition and still can be announced as the best VR to-date.

Requirements

Valve Index, when purchased, comes with a full kit ready to go without a need to buy anything separately. Its box contains all the essential gadgets and equipment to run the headset.

Now there is only one need left, and that is, what kind of PC do you require actually?

There are minimum PC requirements that are not recommended by us but can run Valve Index, and there are recommended PC requirements that are necessary to fulfill to have a fully immersive VR experience.

PC Requirements

We can tell that you are curious about what goes inside your ValVe Index and powering this beast to give you an excellent experience.

This Valve Index is based upon three main components, your PCs processor, GPU, and RAM. They have the majority of impact on what you are going to see. Let us tell you what Valve Index requires. In this way, this virtual reality headset may earn your trust.

Valve Index Review: PC Requirements | Minimum

  • Processor | Dual-Core with Hyper-Threading
  • GPU | NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970, AMD RX480
  • RAM | 8 GB
  • Ports Required | Available DisplayPort (Version 1.2) and USB (2.0+) port required
  • OS | Windows 10

Valve Index Review: PC Requirements | Recommended

  • Processor | Quad Core +
  • GPU | NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 or better
  • RAM | 8 GB
  • Port Required| Available USB (3.0+) Port Required for Headset Pass-Through
  • OS | Windows 10

Detailed Specifications

We want your attention to this one. We are going to highlight what Valve Index is made of. Stay tuned, some elements of the Valve Index may earn a warmer welcome in this section of the review.

Valve Index Review is like Arthur Morgan on his horse and complaining about not getting paid. If you’re a real gamer, then you will understand what it means.

Valve Index Review: Specifications | In detail

Property Valve Index

  • Screen Dual canted LCD lenses
  • Resolution 1440 x 1600 per eye (2880 x 1600 combined)
  • Subpixel Rendering RGB
  • Refresh Rate Approx. 144 Hz of refresh rate
  • Field of View 130 degrees
  • Tracking SteamVR 2.0 sensors, also compatible with SteamVR 1.0
  • Eye Adjustments 58-70mm IPD mechanical eye relief
  • Connections 5m tether, 1m trident connector, USB 3.0, DisplayPort 1.2, 12V
  • Cables Display 1.2 cable, USB 3, 2x Controller charging, 2x 4.5m base station cables
  • Face Cushion Removable facial interface, foam covered in anti-microbial microfiber cloth
  • Cameras 960 x 960 pixel, global shutter, RGB (Bayer)
  • Weight (without cables) 1.78 pounds (809g)
  • Price Approx. $500 only for the headset and approx. $1000 for the whole set
Valve VR Index Unbundle Unpackaging

Values to focus

Valve Index Review means a lot to us because we know the unique values it holds, and we respect this headset. We believe that six features the Valve Index is all about.

  1. Its unparalleled resolution
  2. Gigantic Field-of-View
  3. Exceptionally Ergonomics
  4. Intuitive Controllers
  5. Quality of built-in headphone
  6. Comfortable & unique Index controllers

There are two types of key changes the Valve holds against the Vive Pro. The first one is that Valve Index is equipped with the RGB LCD panels instead of top-quality high-end AMOLED displays because LCD panels offer more subpixels and which can make a difference, and they did.

If you still don’t understand, then let us explain it to you. Like a very smaller object also can be divided into atoms, and the same goes for pixels, which can e divided into subpixels and works as actual color bands of light, which means sharper and clear quality objects on display. And there is nothing best then LCD panels in regards to activating correctly the above information.

Performance

Valve Index is a low-maintenance VR headset that means once you buy it, it will be at your service for a long time. Index Valve feels like an excellent investment, one step further into the technology. Overall, graphics performance is unmatched as compared to its predecessors.

Some people still need to understand that to achieve maximum performance and quality; you must have a high-end PC at your side. Mostly performance of a virtual reality headset is nothing to do with this VR; instead, it depends upon the fact that how much powerful-PC you are using it with.

As you know that we described the requirements for a PC before, follow the instructions, and see if your PC worth buying the Index headset. At most parts of the time, performance depends upon the games/applications.

Most games don’t support these new Index controllers; the words “don’t support” means these controllers work just fine on every title but don’t provide full functionality, but these controllers are also must-have peripherals eventually.

The performance also depends upon the technical capabilities, and we already wrote a lot on it. Index replaces the HTC Vive Pro from the top-heat performance chart and doing just fine.

Before Buying

Valve Index is an incredibly bad bargain buy because of having the highest price tag and performance. Still, proportional between these two doesn’t work accordingly, meaning its performance is not satisfying against its price. It still performs the best, but all we’re saying is the price tag is a bit much for everyone.

A price to pay in-order-to achieve the best. Whenever we look at Valve, we see its long-history with virtual headsets. Still, Valve didn’t release its own VR headset until 2019 and then came the first and the best virtual headset the Valve ever manufactured, and that’s when the Valve Index was born.

At the start, Valve partnered with Oculus and HTC to build its system, but as you can see now, that wasn’t enough, and it needed to be in the game.

The best audience

Open the box, and then you’ll see why: Why we called Valve Index the Full Kit because it comes with a headset, dual controllers, two Lighthouse 2.0 base stations, cables for power, base station, headset, and charging cables for controllers.

All you left to need is just a powerful PC if you have none already. Its a jumbo pack with all the accessories required and considered the best.

If you are enthusiastic, want a next-level high-tech virtual device and owner of a powerful PC, then this headset is for you if you need an easy plug-and-play than don’t buy Index because of its complexity of setup.

Valve Index VR Review: Features & Benefits

Design

The Head strap with rigid-side pieces which are tightened and loosened by a knob on the back and a Comfortable, perfect Valko head strap in regards to holding it on the top of your head is similar to the Vive Pro.

The part that will touch your face is a gasket, which is attached magnetically with the headset — making it extremely easy to replace and clean. You can have an extra two gaskets under $50, so you can exchange them when one becomes sweety and gross.

The Index looks well and weights approx. 800 grams. Its a lot of weight according to modern standards, but weight distribution over your head doesn’t let you fell much.

Valve Index Headset Design

Setup

Setting up everything is a one-hand job with the Valve Index headset. Everything’s automatically connected and working correctly on its first attempt. Similar for the plugging into PC. One thing Vive did awesomely is removed breakout box, which was nothing but another piece of equipment to deal with.

Now only a single cable cleanly splits throughout the end into Display, USB, and AC power port. It’s guaranteed up and running in less than 10 minutes if you didn’t make any mistake and follow up the instructions accurately.

If this headset is going to be your first one or you aren’t familiar with the base stations, then this is going to be a lot of effort for you. But sadly, setup frustrations don’t end on base stations. It can take >1 hour to set up all the software and hardware and >20 minutes for just to register controllers on SteamVR.

Home

Valve Index is a new champion of VR headsets. You can customize your home screen by applying different themes to it or can change the environment according to your taste.

The index home screen contains a screen and a menu bar, which is essentials for every virtual home. SteamVR is your virtual portal of the Index headset to get you anywhere. Connect with friends and explore hundreds of experiences. All you have to do is grab your controller and go on with it.

VR Games

It’s a shame that Valve doesn’t launch a full finger-tracking virtual game in-order-to make the Index controllers valuable enough. Valve finally announced a new half-life game (Half-Life: Alyx) that will be completely compatible with the Index system.

We’ve been testing, playing, and comparing the Valve Index with the other modern VR headsets. We decided that if in near future Valve decides to enhance its game library with more quality games, then there will be nothing stopping the Valve Index headset from becoming the Superman of virtual headsets.

SteamVR supports Valve Index, and all the titles available are playable on it. SteamVR is actually what Vive users been playing for years.

Controllers

Valve Index controllers are the most forward-looking part of the whole package. It also represents a massive upgrade over Vive wands. Its the most comfortable VR controllers and considers as perfect for an immersive and royal virtual experience.

The biggest deal is the accuracy and quality of their ability to sense the hand/finger movement. Oh, man! These controllers can even tell if you are squeezing your hands with some force. Because of it, let you go, and now you can see your in-game hands completely open.

What use of graphics when you can’t even get accuracy in finger tracking and controlling? Valve also did a great job with this headset and controllers’ finger tracking. Accuracy and perfection in finger tracking, have a unique value and preferred in most cases.

The grip on these controllers is so unique and comfortable, and that is what helps you keep open your hands fully without any discomfort and problem.

They recharged by the USB-C port, and the battery life it offers is approx. 7 hours constant. It’s so satisfying that it will never let you die in mid-session battery dead situation. You need to page that mark because these controllers are going to be your long-lasting partners.

Valve Index Controllers

Audio

The built-in headphones in Vive Index are the most comfortable and possible design. Also, its speakers deliver quality audio in reality. These headphones are of supreme quality and don’t touch your ears at all. That’s a great and innovative thing because it gives you the feeling that you are not even using the headphones, and the audio is environmental.

And to feel the audio as environmental, the audio must be of high quality high-res 3D audio. Which, of course, it is and delivers the best work on the quality-audio to-date. Our experts, each with reviews about audio output, includes zero negative reviews about audio.

Store

SteamVR is the official store for Valve Index. Find the right high-end virtual experience for yourself by making your way through a massive library of experiences with the help of SteamVR. The most overrated games and applications SteamVR has to offer are the following;

  • Half-Life: Alyx [Next chapter of Valve’s legendary shooter RPG.]
  • SuperHOT VR [The most rewarding game to play on the virtual headset. It gives you the realization of the physicality of VR.]
  • Skyrim VR [It reimagines a complete epic fantasy masterpiece with a royal sense of scale, depth, and immersion.]
  • Bone works [Best action-adventure virtual game allows you to select physical weapons and fight with them in a fully immersive virtual environment.]

The above mentioned are just a few top-rated virtual games SteamVR has to offer, but still, there are hundreds of mind-blowing games/apps just waiting to be experienced.

Display

The wider field of view makes the “Scuba goggle” effect of Index to zero. It stands out against every virtual reality headset because of its impressive and supreme resolution of 1140 x 1600 per eye (2880 x 1600 combined).

This resolution is equal to the Vive Pro, but enhancing the comfortability, refresh rate, and complete control in the adjustment department, the quality of image Index produce is top-one that I’ve never seen in any other headset.

Naturally, there is an IPD slider on the top left corner of this virtual headset to adjust the lens width and the two built-in cameras.

Social

Media has been revolutionized, and the meaning of being connected is also got changed with it. Technology came, and VR headsets along with it and now virtual headsets have 3.5 billion users globally.

Our money is on VR headsets thanks to its social activities and virtual applications. Facebook Spaces and BeanVR play an essential role in the VR trend and giving it more heat day after day.

Valve Index also uses StreamVR, which offers multi-player games like Beat SaborVader ImmortalSuperHOTBoxVR, and Creed: Rise to Glory VR, which are best from the best and delivers the meaning of virtual-reality socializing.

Insight Tracking

Lighthouse 2.0 base stations inside-out tracking, which makes it extremely easy to set the sensors up in corners to get an immersive room-scale virtual experience. Front-sided dual cameras on the headset provide top-accuracy ever.

These new base stations functionally the same as Lighthouse 1.0 but just a change in design, and now you can connect up to four Lighthouse Version Two base stations in-order-to get a full 10×10 meters room-scale royal virtual experience.

But most of the home virtual-reality users won’t be able to get much out of it, and there comes the need for the two front-sided VR headset cameras. The greater use of these cameras is to calculate environmental distance and shows us the virtual world according to these measurements.

Lighthouse 2.0 also gives a wider field of view than any of its predecessors. Our experts tested these both new and old base stations and can’t identify much difference in detecting movement, and they both produce the same accuracy. Based on this test, if you have old (Lighthouse 1.0) base stations, so there is no need to get the new ones, but you can save nearly $250 and can use the old ones instead.

Our Analysis & Test Results

Valve paired with HTC for a long time and, at last in June 2019, decided to launch its own solo VR headset and named it The Valve Index. Its top-of-the-line jam-packed supreme virtual-reality headset with some of the fantastic features that VR enthusiasts can get to enjoy the most.

The resolution, FOV, and ergonomics Valve Index headset offers of no match and stands alone in the best headset category and its intuitive controllers that can be tracked even behind your back.

Valve Index is exceptionally expensive but also the most interactive and immersive PC-tethered VR headset. It’s expensive than HTC Vive Pro and still costly for the majority of people but also way better than Vive Pro.

Our experts individually tested The Valve Index, and it did amazingly-fabulous in each of our tests. Valve Index provides a royal-sharper and quality-wise supreme virtual experience.

Interactiveness

Top-notch and supreme VR headset, especially for enthusiasts but a VR like this, come on a premium price. We always prefer to get a headset, which is highly interactive because this is the most essential thing that defines virtual-reality.

The scoring consists of how good is its interaction with the users, accuracy in movement, amount of area covered by external sensors, accuracy in motion tracking, and what other VRs have to offer compared to Valve Index. After a complete comparison, we give it a value that defines it. Our experts gave it a 9 out of 10.

The new Index offered an incredibly interactive virtual experience and earned one of the top scores of the entire league. It can be used with the two motion Index controllers. Index headset and controllers design are our favorite of all time because its functionality and notations are interactive in its way, and we don’t get that much of a perfect job in any other set of Index controllers.

It offers fantastic motion tracking even with the use of Lighthouse base station motion sensors 1.0. Jumping around while having Index controllers on, we never have an issue, and we also see no difference in accuracy detecting even using Lighthouse base station sensors 2.0.

Valve Index VR kit can set up an expensive play area. With Lighthouse 1.0 base stations, you can cover an area of 16′(5 meters) diagonal. With Lighthouse Version Two base stations, you can limit the area to 33′ x 33′ only if you have all four of them set and running.

We experience a phenomenal motion tracking while testing this new giant. No matter you jump or swing while playing high-quality games, it tracks your move smoothly.

You may experience some issues with the accuracy while playing low-quality VR games, but we are sure as heaven that the problem doesn’t lie with the Valve Index.

Valve Index VR Interface and Foam Replacement

Visual Impressiveness

Visual impressiveness is ranked second in regards to checking performance. This test based on Sharpness in visual quality, resolution, field of view, and quality of the image. Keeping the above in mind and comparing it to other new devices, the overall score this headset Visual impressiveness earned is 9 out of 10.

The phenomenal display of Index creates a never forgetting immersive VR experience. There is no chance left of light coming through the nose area of the headset because of its removable gasket and beats Pro and Oculus Rift. There you go, one from the few headsets, which did a great job in keeping out ambient light.

Its new extra-wide FOV (field of view) outputs fantastic results, which are hard to compare because they are champions of their league. Its LCD panels each with a 1440 x 1600 resolution, and the most amount of subpixels defines its quality.

Image credit of Index is like something that would change the gaming quality forever. Virtual images and text are sharp and clear to read with the help of its 130 degrees FOV. Now you can see more without even moving your head.

Comfort

This section of review based on how perfectly it fits on your head, also like the ventilation system for preventing you from sweating or fogging the glasses, and is there any room also to wear glasses. It did above average and earned 6 out of 10.

When buying a VR headset like this one, comfort is one of the main factors we’re paying for. Do you know what is also amazing? Valve Index delivered excellent quality work in that department too.

The comfort like this headset provides a significant step against the Oculus Rift and Original Vive. But the front is still heavier, which is also a drawback of the majority of headsets. It feels heavier on cheekbones, and it feels like its pulling your face down if it doesn’t adjust properly overhead.

It became a little bit uncomfortable when wearing glasses. Its head strap tends to push the pressure on the arms of glasses. On a hot day, wearing the Valve Index for a long-gaming session will bring a decent amount of sweating on your face.

User Friendliness

Similar to other sections, lots of factors affect this stage of the test. It determines how easy it is to set up and is its design is in a way that can feel friendly. It did fine and earned 8 out of 10.

Valve Index is interactive and relatively easy to use. It has integrated headphones and which we believe are the best headsets ever manufactured, but there is no convenient way to adjust the volume quickly.

Sometimes it also becomes complex to adjust Index over your head perfectly. Once you successfully clear this stage, the next is very easy. Just grab the Index headset and controllers, turn on your PC, and here we go.

The challenge Valve Index gives in adjusting lenses, glasses, gasket, and strips… It’s challenging to achieve 99% accuracy in the comfortability of the Valve Index.

The only buttons on this VR are on the underneath of the headsets, and this choice prevents you to accidentally press the buttons while having a good time in the virtual world.

Ease of Setup

This section of review determines the difficulty of preparing hardware, installing software, setting up base stations, and connectivity to set up a VR device. It did fine against other PC-tethered VR headsets and earned 6 out of 10.

Above-average software setup, which is good against its predecessors and previous models like Oculus Rift because they all were just 3 out of 10, and it did great and makes itself 2x better from previous ones. It’s a simple guide. Just install the Steam VR and set up the room. That’s it. Still, we think there is a need for a prompt or a guide to walk through this process.

It’s still very hard to set up the hardware of the Valve Index, and also we found it quite frustrating if we start to show you how or how the process goes, then there will be nothing but the boredom left in this article.

Playing with Valve Index VR Headset

Conclusion

The two most essential things Valve Index highlights are time and money. If you have hours to play games and you already did and have money to buy resources and Valve Index, then there will be no high-end quality best VR headset left that you can compare with Index in regards to performance.

The true enthusiasts will appreciate the quality and quantity of features Index offers. But if you are a standard user or a casual one, then it will be less productive for you, and you can have many headsets under its range, which can fill the requirements of yours entirely.

If you will decide to buy Index Valve at some point and will click on the link from this page, then we may earn an affiliate commission, and that’s the only way we will get paid for this work. It’ll be no loss to you, but don’t you think that we deserve it?

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