Is The HP Reverb A Good Headset For VR Gaming? Let's Find Out!

Is The HP Reverb A Good Headset For VR Gaming? Let's Find Out!
0

Today I am testing out the HP Reverb Windows Mixed Reality VR headset. I want to thank HP for providing me with the hardware for this review. Since this is a long video I have broken it into sections for those who wish to skip through certain parts:

0:47 - Unboxing
5:57 - First impressions
13:49 - Testing in Elite Dangerous
18:16 - Musical Interlude because I’m nerdy and couldn’t resist! [;]-)
21:16 - Final thoughts and Reverb G2 speculation.

Overall the Reverb is billed as an enterprise facing VR headset that is intended mostly for simulation and training scenarios. It was designed as a headset for use cases where having a higher resolution but less precise tracking is OK. However with a price tag of $649 that puts it somewhere between an Oculus Rift S at $399 and an Index at $999 so with its impressive specs and decent price the Reverb has caught the attention of gamer’s as well.

The biggest question I had going into this review was, “Can the Reverb be a good headset for VR gaming?” and after using the Reverb for a few weeks I can say the answer is both yes and no. So why yes and no? Well… first the pro’s of this headset. The visuals on the Reverb are great and only rivaled IMHO by the upcoming Pimax 8KX! The 2160 x 2160 per eye displays blend nicely to form an image that is both crisp and colorful with decent black levels and minimal SDE. The next thing I loved about the Reverb is its form factor. The design of this headset is almost identical to the Oculus Rift CV1 and I found it very comfortable and familiar because of this! I will also say that this is the lightest weight headset I currently have out of 10 others to compare it to. When adjusted properly it almost feels as if I am wearing a slightly heavy baseball cap and for me that was very comfortable.

Now on to the con’s of the Reverb… Well as I eluded to earlier in this review the Reverb’s biggest drawback is that fact that it is a 2 camera inside out tracked Windows Mixed Reality headset. I found that for most FPS and action games that the tracking of the controllers and shortness of the cable made it difficult to get immersed in the VR worlds. Because of these two issues with the Reverb I just don’t feel it is a viable headset for stand-up and room-scale gaming. Another slightly annoying aspect of the headset was a small amount of warping in the direct center of my vision. I really don’t know how to describe it other than being a very slight bubble or fish-eye distortion. Overall it was easily overlooked after a while and TBH I rarely noticed it in games where the action had me moving my head quickly.

So overall I would say that for the price the HP Reverb would be a great headset for Sim gamer’s to look into if visual clarity is the most important thing. This is a great headset to ingest your favorite flight or driving sim and other sit-down games as well as movie and TV watching. If you are looking for a headset for shooter games and hack n slash dungeon crawlers and FPS then the decision on this headset would really come down to how tolerant you are with tracking glitches.

I guess the big question is would I buy the HP Reverb as a VR gaming headset right now? well that really depends but personally I would wait to see what HP is cooking up with the recently teased HP Reverb G2. From the teaser it looks to be a new reverb that was co designed with both Microsoft and Valve! Could this be the first WMR/SteamVR hybrid headset to hit the market? Even if HP managed to just get Steam VR external tracking added to the original Reverb that would be an amazing headset and one that I would reach for time after time!

I will be keeping an eye out for more news on this new headset from HP and hopefully we can get one here on the channel to review once more details become available so stay tuned! []-)

If you want more information about or would like to purchase an HP Reverb for yourself then please click the link below:

5 Likes

Thanks for the video. How would you say the 8K X in upscaler mode compares to the visuals of the Reverb? I know the 120hz isn’t enabled yet, but when it is (and if I ever get my 8K X), I’m wondering how big the downgrade in visual quality will be to run at the higher refresh rate. Right now, I have the Reverb running with my index controllers, so that negative aspect is mitigated, but I’m still finding overall more presence in some games using the Index because of the higher refresh rate and lack of the distortion you mentioned. It really would be amazing to have a headset that approaches the clarity of the Reverb but with the refresh of the Index. As far as distortions are concerned, does the 8K X have less or more distortion compared to Reverb?

1 Like

Thank you for sharing I think the reverb is pity underrated.

2 Likes

Yeah the Reverb G2 should be interesting. It would be good if they actually increase the overall real FoV aa tge Index increase if FoV is perceived not Actual as the Hmdq revealed.

120 to 140° Wide would be a good fit. Who knows maybe Index Optics with Mechanical ipd & Eye Relief adjustment.

1 Like

Glad to man and yeah I really like the Reverb… If the G2 is what I think it will be then it’s gonna be a really solid contender! []-)

2 Likes

Its actually not even close… the Reverb wins this one hands down! The screen of the Reverb is perceivably almost as sharp as the 8KX in native mode for me… the big difference of course is the FOV and the fact that in the 8KX I see absolutely no SDE but with the Reverb it is minimal but it is there! Don’t get me wrong, when tuned properly the scaler mode looks great but after seeing the 8KX in native 4K mode it’s hard to go back… everything else just looks slightly blurry to me now.

2 Likes

Yeah… I would be happy with anything in the 140+ range. I normally run my 5K+ and 8KX at normal FOV anyway so if it could be as sharp as the Reverb with a slightly larger sweet spot and full Steam VR tracking then I think the Reverb G2 will be a true contender in the high end HMD category! Bonus points if they added a mechanical IPD adjustment so people could truly dial it in for themselves.

2 Likes

Thanks for posting your video. The Reverb is the only headset I would really like to compare further with the 8kX at this point.

2 Likes

I believe that IPD adjustment is necessary to fine regulate the individual sweetspot

of everyone.

So Pimax 8K X has a strong win against HP Reverb

on this point.

4 Likes