Hello everyone. Today, we are going to do the full review of the HTC Vive Pro. The topics that we are gonna cover are: First we will let you know what our testing equipment and PC specs are so that you can compare it. Then we will go over two aspects of the HTC Vive Pro. Its exterior, which is its look and feel. It’s design, but also it’s microphone, cameras, comfort, so all its hardware. And then we will go over its interior, which is more software based. Resolution, sweet spot, field of view etc. Then we will go over some of the other questions that you have asked us. And at the end of the video we will tell you our final say on the HTC Vive Pro.
And If you want to skip through, you can. Because we’ve added the table of contents with the timestamp in the description. And if you’d rather read, you can also turn on subtitles in this video too! But now, let’s get started, because we have a lot to discuss. Let’s start with the PC specifications that we did all the testing on, so you can compare it to your own system. Yes and the specifications are down below. I think the most important things are our GTX 1070 card, 32 GB ram memory and also the i7 CPU. And I’m going to link all our specifications down below in the description as well, so you can check it out later.
We will be comparing the Vive Pro with other headsets that we own. Primarily with the original Vive and the Deluxe Audio Strap. Let’s continue with the design of the Vive Pro. The Vive Pro has the same kind of material as the original Vive. The back side here also feels like the same material. It is kind of flexible here, but compared to the Deluxe Audio Strap, it does feel more sturdy and also less flexible. This could mean that it is also easier to break. The big difference with the original Vive is that you now get this adjustable headphones included with the headset. The headphones are detachable with a cross-shaped screwdriver (PH00), so if you are an audiophile or just dislike the over-ear headphones, you can just use your own 😉 This headset buckle here is also replacable.
The lens distance button is here, which you can use to move the headset forward or backwards to make room for glasses. This adjustable dial works like the Deluxe Audio Strap. Turn it to expand or shrink the strap. The nose rest here has a different cut. In my opinion it is better than the original Vive, because it allows noticeably less light in than the original Vive nose. It is also much more softer. Makes me kind of want to stroke it the whole time 😉 There is still a proximity sensor here that senses whether or not you are wearing the headset. And the knob to change the interpupillary distance (IPD) can be found here. The design of the Vive Pro definitely feels better ergonomically and we also think that the new color is pretty beautiful.
The headphones is different now too. The cushions are a bit thicker compared to the Deluxe Audio Strap. It is also a tiny bit softer, but that’s not very noticable. Overall, the Pro’s headphones are slightly more comfortable. Since we are no audiophiles, we can’t really hear any sound quality differences. The current sound quality suffices for us and both sound alike when listening to music or playing games. However, what we can tell you is that the Pro headphones now have buttons on them.
You can now change the volume of the headset by pressing the buttons on the left headphone. On the right headphone you have a button to mute the microphone. So if you like being in social VR, this definitely improves some ease of use. Definitely when you have to burp for example without frightening that poor VR friend. 😉 As for the microphones, they can be found here. There is actually a dual microphone setup in this headset. This allows for active noise cancellation as well as enabling Alert Mode and Conversation Mode – the last one is handy when you want to hear your wife or boyfriend speak to you while playing VR. Yes, very loving 😉 As for the quality for the microphone. We thought it might be easier to just show you what it sounds like. So we have recorded a sentence with the microphones of the HTC Vive and the Vive Pro.
At the end I’ll also breath in and out to check if this is picked up. And we left these voice sequences clean and unedited, so that you can compare it yourself. First sequence: Press the play button and turn on the best game for Virtual Reality. Pleasure guaranteed. Second sequence: Press the play button and turn on the best game for Virtual Reality. Pleasure guaranteed. To me the Pro sounds slightly better.
It sounds less muffled than the original Vive in my opinion. But I will let you decide yourself what you think. Now this is an interesting part of the Vive Pro too. The front facing cameras here, as you can see are now also two instead of one. They have been a mystery for quite some time though, but not long ago Engadget had confirmed that it’s actually a depth sensor.
This means that it can see what objects are close to you, so that it can warn you when you are in danger of bumping into your precious television for example 😉 Another interesting unveiling was that the camera’s will also enable basic hand tracking without additional hardware. Right now, this isn’t working yet as these features will depend on what developers can make of it, so right now we cannot test it. The Pro cameras also don’t have a very high resolution, but instead a low VGA resolution.
I have tested this using SteamVR’s tron mode, where you can see your room through the camera of the headset while wearing it. It looks like this. I compared this with both headsets and one of the questions we got was if the quality is better with this camera. I can tell you. No, it isn’t. The original Vive actually looks brighter in tron mode and a bit clearer. However if I look at the normal camera view on the controller, the one of the Vive Pro looks better, but that could also be because of the higher resolution on the Pro. It seems like that the purpose of the cameras is to just enhance the Chaperone safeguard feature of SteamVR.
HTC is actually currently working with Valve to figure out how to do this. HTC is also actually handing out dev kits for the cameras to developers. So I guess it is just a matter of time until we know what developers will come up for the cameras. So yes, definitely an interesting one. All right, on to the comfort of the Vive Pro. We can tell you that the comfort of the Pro has drastically improved. When I put on the Deluxe Audio Strap there is much more pressure. I have to make it very tight if I want to make my image as sharp as possible and Chary actually sometimes gets a headache from it.
The Pro is designed much more comfortable. There is more weight on the back, making it more balanced. Comparing it with the PSVR, I think the PSVR is still slightly more comfortable, but the Vive Pro comes very close to it. Both headsets are less front heavy, which takes the pressure off – making it more comfortable. If I had to rank the headsets in terms of comfort, I would say that the PSVR is on top. The Vive Pro comes directly after it, but it’s almost on the same spot. However it’s not number one, because it still feels a bit more front heavy than the PSVR. After the Pro comes the Rift, and then for me personally… comes the Vive plus Deluxe Audio Strap. The original Vive straps are in the same spot for me, because of the front heaviness. The face pads here on the Pro are also thicker than the original Vive foams.
And there is really thick foam on the backside of the headset too and also on the sides here. Giving it more comfort. So one of the interesting questions was: How far can you expand the straps? I measured this for you. The dial on the back of the buckle can expand and shrink the headset from about 7 to inch (18 cm to 25 cm). I measured it from the top of the headset, where the top strap goes in the headset, to the front of the back foam cushion. Another interesting question was: Can you use the current VRCovers on the Pro? You can, since the headset is about the same size. Here we put in the thicker leather pad of VRCover that we have been using on the original Vive. However, because of the new nose pads here, it feels a lot less comfortable. I hope that VRCover will design some new fitting VRCovers for the Pro. For the weight we have weighted both the original Vive with the Deluxe Audio Strap and the Vive Pro.
It looks like the weight makes almost no difference. Original Vive + DAS = pound (850 gram). Vive Pro = pound (820 gram). Of course, we also have to talk about the cables. The cable that goes from the headset to the linkbox is the same length as the original Vive. About 5 meters. The displayport, usb and power cable are also about the same length as the original Vive. We also promised to check where the USB-C compartment is in our first impressions video. We found it, here. There is also a handy guide that explains how to open this compartment, which we will link below. As for the lenses, they are reported to be the same Fresnel lenses as the original Vive and well, I have noticed no differences here. You can still rotate the interpupilary distance freely from about to 74.6.
You can try and go a bit lower or higher, but this will take effort. We do recommend really measuring your IPD for the most sharp image for all headsets by the way. If you don’t know what this is, your IPD is the distance between the centers of the pupils of the eyes. It is measured in millimeters. So the question that most of you have asked is whether there is a significant difference between the Vive Pro and the original Vive in terms of resolution. I have tested this on Sprint Vector, because this is a racing kind of game with objects far in the distance. I have also tried playing some shooters and turned on Skyrim to compare on both headsets. What I have noticed here is that you can definitely see objects in the distance more clear, but it is not a huge, significant difference that will change your gaming experience or give you a better advantage while playing competitive games. On the original Vive, it does take me a couple of milliseconds to seconds more to focus on an object that is far away though.
On the Pro I can focus on distant objects without any trouble. Now, for text I noticed a significant difference. To compare text I used Big Screen and Virtual Desktop to try and read what was on my computer. The advantage of using these apps was that I could adjust the distance of the text so that I could compare it better. In Big Screen I could read the text significantly sharper when put in the distance. This was especially easy to notice when I put on the cinema environment and I was sitting in the back of the cinema, looking at the big screen in front of me.
On the original Vive, I could NOT read the text in my file explorer on Windows 10. On the Pro, I could easily read the text there. So this also means that watching a movie from the same position is clearer on the Pro. To me movies looked a bit more blurry from that distance on the original Vive. So I do think the Pro could enhance your movie or video watching experience in VR. I also compared just text on Big Screen. Which I will show you now. So all right guys. To test the readable text and to see what the difference is between this Vive, the Pro one and also the original Vive. I’m going to test this in Bigscreen. Ok, so big screen beta is a free app that you can download as well so you can compare it yourself. And I have a notepad open over there as you can see. Let me point at it. I wrote “Is this still readable?” and it’s a 11 pt Calibri regular font. And right now I can really read this very well. I can actually read everything on the screen super well, super sharp.
I actually never seen text this sharp before in my headset. So that’s very, very cool. I can also read this very easily. So now lets move the screen back a little bit. Let me show you guys I have the size in about the middle here. The curvator is over here. I have the brightness all the way up. Let’s put the monitor a little back now. Everything is still very readable to me. Put it a little back. Now it’s getting a little bit more sharp. Like this text, the big ones, the titles here I can still read perfectly. But not my 11 pt Calibri regular font. I can still read it, but it’s not super comfortable anymore. So I guess this is about the max of how far I can put my monitor to make it readable. So this is also a little bit unsharp now. Let me put it a little bit back. Ok. So now I can read a lot better now. But the perfect distance is just somehwere… I think… this is the perfect distance. But to make it super clear to me…
This is just the best. This is certainly the best. So using the original Vive now and this looks readable, but you can see it’s a little bit blurry as well. As you can see here. The size is in the middle. This is all the way to my face. So let me move it a little bit back. A little bit more. Maybe to the middle. Ok, totally not readable anymore. Really not readable, even the bigger text is blurry. Go back a little bit. Yeah. I can sort of read it. But it’s really not comfortable. It is kinda blurry.
As you can see, here as well. A significant difference. Using the original Vive, I could never really focus enough on text for a long time without becoming tired. On the Pro it is much better. And as a software developer, I was looking for a headset that I could use to code in. It was kind of a dream of mine to do it in VR as I would be able to spawn really big screens in front of me and also just be very focused. I did that in Virtual Desktop and I could work for 2 hours straight without my eyes getting tired. So I really think that is amazing. We have also been asked many times whether the sweet spot is better than the original Vive.
To be frank, we haven’t noticed much difference here. It looks like it is in about the same area as the original Vive. However, it is easier for me to find the sweet spot with the new strap and easier for me to stay in it. On the Deluxe Audio Strap, I sometimes just could not find the sweet spot. GenTVDinner asked a good question about this. He asks: Hey guys – My question, how is the ‘sweet spot’ for image quality? I noticed my vive vs the rift, if I look to the sides of the headset, the image quality degrades MUCH less than my vive. The vive appears extremely blurry in the corners, however if im in the sweet spot my vive seems a bit sharper than the rift. Is there more usable image in the vive pro? Well, I tried this out on the two Vives and I have to say, unfortunately there is not much difference. The sides are still very blurry, but that is only when you don’t look from the sweet spot.
As for the screen door effect, it is noticable less on the Vive Pro. It is not completely gone, you can still see the screen door effect in the distance. But noticably less and much better now. I have also compared the glare on the lenses and to me, the glare is the same on both headsets. You kind of forget about it after playing for a while, but it is definitely always visible. Especially on darker backgrounds. I have never really had much trouble with godrays, and the Vive Pro is the same there too. The Field of View of the Vive Pro is still 110 degrees. This is the same as the original Vive. And that is definitely noticable. I can still see the rings of the lenses when I’m in VR and I think this is definitely one thing I am disappointed about.
We would love to have a next generation headset with a better field of view. So here is another question from Chris Tran. One of my biggest disappointment with all VR headsets is that the colors are really washed out and less saturated than monitors. If you ever have mirror mode on and look at the colors on your monitor and your HMD you can really see the difference. Are the colors just as badly washed out on the Vive Pro? To answer you, the colors look the same to us. I have compared this on both headsets in Tiltbrush, since you can create many different colors and contrasts there. There isn’t much difference between the headsets, the monitor screen is definitely still better looking although this of course depends on your monitor. But I also think this is personal preference, because I don’t mind really the colors in the headset when I’m playing a game. However I can imagine that this could be a bigger problem for creatives or artists that need more realistic colors. Now, let’s move on to supersampling. We got many questions from you asking about this.
This is why we tried supersampling the original Vive to and also to 200% to see if we could get the same quality as the Pro. And we could see that texts on the supersampled Vive is definitely more readable, but still it takes more time for our eyes to get focused on this text on this headset. To be frank, the Vive Pro is still a huge difference here for us. As for frame drops differences… this is interesting. Since we used Skyrim to compare frame drops, we noticed that the Vive Pro has frame drops. It isn’t really noticable while playing though, but when we open SteamVR advanced settings we could see frame drops on the Vive Pro while playing Skyrim. And on the original Vive there were zero frame drops. This was tested with no supersampling by the way. So it seems like the Vive Pro definitely needs a more buffy machine.
One last thing before we move on to the final say. One of the interesting parts of the Vive Pro is that it is going to be compatible to the 2nd generation of lighthouses, controllers and also compatibility with the new wireless unit that HTC is bringing out. This means that you will be able to play wireless VR, just like with the TPCast. What I really disliked while using the TPCast is that you had to use an external router that limited your internet speed for it to work.
And some other, let’s say… annoyances… 😉 With the HTC solution, there is no external router, but instead HTC will provide an external PCI-e card. To me this sounds like a better solution, however we will have to wait and see if it is. I have recently watched a video on this HTC wireless upgrade from TESTED on YouTube and they were very positive. So we are excited to see this released too. As for the lighthouses and controllers, we don’t expect much difference. Except that it seems like you will be able to track a bigger playspace with these. So here we are. Our final say on the Vive Pro, the question that a lot you were wondering.
Do we think that the Vive Pro is worth the upgrade? I’ll say. Kevin Smith has asked us to answer the following: If resolution was the primary reason for purchasing this headset ($1000 here in Canada), does that factor alone justify the cost? That’s is the resolution bump substantial enough to justify this upgrade as I really don’t care enough for an additional mic or improved audio or comfort to go out and spend another $1000 on VR? Yes, very good questoin. We will try answering you. However it is hard to give you a clear yes or no answer here, because it really depends on your situation and also, what you are gonna to do with it. But if we would recommend this headset purely based on its price versus its upgrades.
Then we have to say no for someone who plays VR games only occasionally. We think it is not worth it to pay $800 dollars for the headset alone, just for the current improvements. Since I don’t think that the resolution is that big of a difference while playing games. It is not going to significantly give you an advantage while playing competitive games for example. And we also tend to forget about the blurriness anyway while playing a game. Don’t get us wrong though, because the Vive Pro is a clear overall improvement. The audio, microphone, resolution and comfort are all a noticable improvement straight away as you put on the headset. It is amazing to be able to read text sharper and to be able to see things sharper. So we feel like this headset is a recommendation only if you play a lot of VR, like we do for instance, and not only use it for playing, but also to work or create in VR for example. Then this upgrade is definitely beneficial.
Of course, only if you don’t mind spending that money. We also think you will get better worth for your money on the Vive Pro if you have a GTX 1080 video card, since you can use better graphical settings and get the most out of the Pro. However, if you don’t own a VR headset yet and are looking to buy one.
Then we do think the original Vive with its reduced price would be better worth for your money. So, we also have a couple of other questions that we haven’t yet covered in this video. And we want to answer them now. So I’m going to read the first question from slayer768. Does watching movies in vr look alot better? Or 360 videos? Yes, it is better actually. I already mentioned it in the video before at the Bigscreen tests. If you watch from Big screen for example, there is this huge cinema screen in front of you and it’s more far away.
And because of the Vive’s resolution, you can see those movies a ltitle bit more clearer from a distance. But it really depends on your setup. If you look from a closer screen for example then it might not be that huge of a difference. So. Yeah. I agree with that. Second question is from SingleRacer: Hi Cas & Chary – my question comes about ironically because you are both sitting in racing seats for this video.
But is the PRO better for people like me, who buy VR only mainly for sim-racing. Meaning, can you tell if the image shown is any WIDER? or has more depth to the BACK of any image shown for showing distance down a racing track as an example. Or is it simply a higher quality of image – but the overall view both in width & depth is the same to the original Well I see that JJ Mark has replied on this, like that the image isn’t really any wider because the lenses are completely the same. The FOV is the same. So it’s definitely not wider. It could have a little bit more depth, because it is more clearer now from a distance.
But I don’t think it has a significant difference for you to have a benefit for winning a race for example. So, another question from a familiar face. Ztreak. He says: Anything? JK. Apart from the resolution upgrade. If you could take one of the new things on the pro and put it on an ordinary Vive, or Rift. What would that be? That’s a hard one. Next to the resolution, maybe the comfort actually. It’s really comfortable. It is really easy to adjust as well. I would definitely add that to the old headsets as well. Like all those cushions on your head. It’s also really comfortable to wear the headset for a longer time as well. That’s something I definitely like. What do you think Cas? Well I already think the Rift is pretty comfortable.
But yeah, I think that from the Pro. Definitely that. Yes. In comparison to the old Vive the most, I think that’s the most difference. Yes. Then another question from Demon Highwayman: If you don’t have the original vive, would you need to go on ebay looking for lighthouses and the vive wands etc ? I won’t be upgrading from my rift at this point but that was the first thing I thought of when I first heard it was just the headset included when you buy it. Wow, the iPad has just turned off because it has no more battery. All right just got Chary’s phone for the question. So it also says: I won’t be upgrading from my rift at this point but that was the first thing I thought of when I first heard it was just the headset included when you buy it. So yes. Yeah. You definitely need the lighthouses and the Vive wands if you only buy the Vive Pro standalone.
But I think there is already a kit out with the controllers and it also has the lighthouses included. Then another question from wilmonator: Do you think it will be popular enough for third party developers, like TPCAST, to make a wireless version? Anyway love your work plus that cat was sooooo cute XD Yes, yes yes yes. I know that it is not the most popular headset right now because of the pricing, but I also know that TPCAST is actually busy making an universal wireless VR module that is going to work on all headsets. So it is probably going to work on the Vive Pro as well. And then a bonus question from Sayo Manzini: Are you going to review the Samsung odyssey for comparison? Oof. If we are getting one, we definitely will. Are we? Yeah, we’re not sure yet. If we are we will let you know for sure of course. All right! I think these are all the questions for now. I think this is also the end of this review so I hope you found it helpful in any way at all.
If we have told you something that you feel like isn’t completely correct, please just let us know and we’ll research it and then we’ll update it in our comments or better yet. You can also tell us through our Discord. Come to our cozy chat on Discord. Ask your questions there and we can answer them live or something. That would be awesome to have you there. It’s full of VR enthusiasts like you and us and it’s just a lot of fun to chat over there. So just come over there. And also for the questions that we didn’t answer in here but we do have to answer, we’ll try to message those people as well. With a little answer, or just in the comments. Don’t think we forgot you because we haven’t. Just letting you know. And one special thanks to our Patrons and sponsors for always being there for us! Thank you so much! And this is the end of the video so, we are Cas and Chary.
And we say… VR on!!.
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