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HP Reverb G2 VR Headset: A Complete Review
July 1, 2021
Reading time: 7 minutes
Virtual reality (VR) has changed the way we view and interact with the world. From entertainment like playing the latest VR games to envisioning the products of the future, VR allows users to experience a richer, more responsive digital realm.
The HP Reverb G2 VR headset is a groundbreaking piece of tech to hit the virtual reality market. It sets new standards for resolution, comfort, and integration with existing devices.
Here’s what makes this gear essential for gamers, designers, and VR enthusiasts, as well as how it compares to other products in its class.
What is the HP Reverb G2 VR headset?
HP’s latest addition to the VR market is the HP Reverb G2 VR headset. Built in partnership with Valve and Microsoft, it’s a significant upgrade to HP’s former Reverb model.
Featuring 4 cameras, 2160 x 2016 resolution, and a comfort fit for a variety of wearers. It's notable for its plug-and-play utility. VR enthusiasts can launch into Microsoft’s Flight Simulator, for example, within minutes of opening the box.
Immersive worlds don’t just happen, though. They’re driven by the latest in display, tracking, and audio advancements. Here’s what you can expect when trying on the HP Reverb and why it’s truly unique in the VR space.
Display and lenses
Seeing is believing and for a VR headset to really “wow” it must show the digital world in striking resolution.
The HP Reverb G2 offers ultra-sharp visuals with its mura-free, 2160 x 2160 resolution on 2.89-inch LCD panels, making it the highest available resolution. In fact, it offers 32% better resolution than most other VR headsets on the market.  The full RGB stripe and amazing 90 Hz refresh rate ensure the field of view is realistic and responsive, even among corrective lens wearers.
HP created the lenses in partnership with the team at optics design industry leader Valve Software. This means they’re made with intense, life-like design, learning, and gaming experiences in mind. Plus, it’s easy to adjust the space between the eyes (the pupillary distance or IPD) for the right lens spacing for you, so you can truly enjoy the 9.3 million pixels it gives you.
Fit and ergonomics
While VR has come a long way, not all headsets are enjoyable to wear for long periods of time. The HP Reverb G2 makes significant improvements over headsets of the past, including a smaller design that weighs less and feels more natural, even after hours of use. It’s also built to provide a more comfortable fit for gamers of all body types.
Many VR headsets cause irritation from friction, especially around the ears, which forces users to come up with creative hacks like wearing a beanie under the headset or shifting the fit often. HP heard you and answered with an innovative new design.
The HP Reverb G2 speakers sit 10 mm off the ear to avoid irritation from rubbing. And the flex material works in harmony with magnetic detachability functions so all face types and sizes experience similar comfort. With a bigger cushion size than previous models, you may even forget you’re wearing it.
The headset isn’t the only place the HP Reverb G2 levels up. Simple IPD adjustment controls help you change the distance of the lenses quickly. This ensures you get the clearest view of your game or project, while reducing motion confusion and blur.
The personalized fit extends to the hand controllers, too. These lightweight accessories weigh just 0.37 lbs and offer ergonomic button layouts to help you seamlessly navigate through virtual worlds.
With the HP Reverb G2 headset and its controllers, you’ll enjoy better tracking and motion detection than previous generations of VR. This even includes an integrated Bluetooth connection that keeps you in sync with your digital surroundings.
Plus, the additional tracking cameras equates to a better experience, with 2 front-facing cameras and 2 side-facing cameras for some of the greatest levels of immersion possible.
Let’s talk about sensors, too. This headset contains a gyroscope, accelerometer, and a magnetometer for continuous tracking and relaying of data to the unit. These sensitive trackers are capable of tracking more arm movement, allowing for a more realistic VR experience.
The speakers don’t actually sit on your ear. Rather, they sit off the ear by 10 mm to deliver better audio reception and comfort. The audio components are the result of a design collaboration with the team at Valve to make games and design projects more immersive than ever before.
The handsets are made for the long haul with durable components that can withstand hours and hours of intense movement and sensing. They aren’t the only accessories built with longevity in mind, either.
Even the cable, which connects directly to the headset and offers 6 meters of free movement, is thinner and lighter than previously used materials. This will help you make the most of any space in which you use the HP Reverb G2 to explore and entertain.
HP Reverb G2 VR benefits
You’ve read the specs, but what does it all mean for your VR platform experience? Let’s take a look at the notable perks of the HP Reverb G2.
1. Built in collaboration with Valve
In addition to owning the Steam gaming platform, Valve is the beloved developer of the Half-Life and Portal series, among other games. And by working with Valve, HP made sure to consider every detail when designing a VR headset built for enhanced gaming action, visuals, and audio. In fact, Valve’s involvement in crafting the lenses and speakers is one of the primary reasons why this headset is an industry leader.
2. Designed as a Windows Mixed Reality headset
As a Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) headset, you can use the HP Reverb G2 with all of the games and programs that run on Windows and SteamVR. Plus, this is the first WMR VR headset with 4 sensors.
3. Resolution outranks the other VR options
With a stunning 9.3 million pixels per eye and a higher resolution, the HP Reverb G2 is unmatched in the industry. The 2160 x 2160 resolution creates a truly impressive experience, whether you’re using a flight simulator, designing a prototype, or scoping out new worlds in a science fiction fantasy. The 144-degree field of view also provides a more realistic backdrop for games such as racing sims.
4. Designed for users ages 13 and up
There is a wide range in the size and shape of the person who can use the HP Reverb G2. You can easily adjust the fit, too, which makes it easy to share the headset with others. The IPD adjustment settings are seamless as well, even if you wear glasses or contact lenses.
5. Get started right out of the box
With even more features and functions than the original HP Reverb, this headset is as compatible as it gets. The necessary cords and adapters come with the headset, so you can play your favorite Steam VR game within minutes of opening up the box.
6. Simplified cable management
Are you tired of wires, cables, and chargers? The HP Reverb G2 system streamlines everything with a single, 6-meter cable that provides more range of motion. The cable stays out of the way during gameplay and design projects, too, so you can steer, swipe, and everything else without worry about tangles.
7. Sleek design
Looks may not be everything, but when you’re buying a high-end VR headset, it’s nice to know that HP didn’t cut corners in the aesthetics department. The sleek look matches its power with a smooth black finish that blends in with the rest of your gear.
Even though VR has a reputation as a bit of a luxury hobby, value is a vital consideration when shopping for a VR headset. Compared to other VR headsets with similar tech specs, the HP Reverb G2 is competitively priced. For the price, it offers more in the way of resolution, customizable fit, and audio than comparably priced models.
You also can’t overlook the fact it was made on two very notable platform innovations: Microsoft Virtual Reality vision and Valve’s Steam empire. Considering that it gives you the best of tech while staying accessible from a compatibility standpoint, both VR newbies and tech aficionados can share the love for this newest addition to the HP Reverb VR headset family.
With a resolution that outshines the competition and integration with tools you already know and love like Steam, the choice to upgrade to the HP Reverb G2 VR headset is an easy one. And if you have any questions when using it for the first time, the HP team is standing by to give you all the tips and tricks you need. Plus, online setup help is available to help you get immersed in no time.
There are many options for VR, but there’s really only one that’s taken the tech to the next level. If you’re looking to spend a lot of time gaming, creating, or enjoying immersive media, the HP Reverb G2 is in a league all its own.
About the Author: Linsey Knerl is a contributing writer for HP Tech Takes. Linsey is a Midwest-based author, public speaker, and member of the ASJA. She has a passion for helping consumers and small business owners do more with their resources via the latest tech solutions.
 Based on HP's internal analysis of companies that have shipped greater than 50,000 VR tethered headsets. Resolution based on panel pixel count as of May 2020.
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