I’m gonna hit you with a truth bomb right away: The Samsung HMD Odyssey is a better VR headset for the every-man and I recommend it for 99% of users over the HTC Vive Pro.
When you think of a VR headset, you may think of the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.
Heck, I don’t blame you, those are top-of-mind to me as well!
Still, there are other headsets coming out, with the Samsung HMD Odyssey and higher-end HTC Vive Pro coming to mind.
I wanted to take a look at which one of these headsets is better for users looking for something different, letting you know which is better.
In this Samsung HMD Odyssey vs HTC Vive Pro matchup, I’ll take a deep dive and let you know my honest thoughts.
Things to Consider Before Buying a PC VR Headset
PC VR is the cream-of-the-crop. The experience you get is much better than you can get with a mobile headset or even something like the Oculus Quest. But there are some things that you’d be wise to consider before you pry open that wallet to shell out for a headset.
Things to consider include:
Your Gaming Rig
Not just any PC will do when it comes to VR. You’re going to need a Gaming PC with a capable video card, as VR needs double the processing for images.
These gaming rigs aren’t exactly cheap, but they do tend to run the games well. You need to make sure that your PC can handle the load before you commit to a headset.
What are your expectations?
Are you looking for an experience that’s more apt to watching movies or streaming television, or do you want to go balls-to-the-walls with blasting demons and such in games?
If you chose the former, you may want to stick to something like an Oculus Go, but if you want to game heavily, then PC VR may be the technology for you.
What Can You Afford?
When you’re looking at PC VR headsets, there are no “cheap” options.
You’re going to be looking at headsets running into the hundreds of dollars on the low end, up to the price of a nice computer for high-end sets.
I always say to buy the best you can afford, and that’s definitely the case with VR. You’ll find the higher-end headsets tend to do well with keeping up with technological shifts.
Presenting the Samsung HMD Odyssey and HTC Vive Pro
Both the Samsung HMD Odyssey and HTC Vive Pro are PC VR headsets, although they are strikingly different. Samsung’s HMD Device serves as a Windows Mixed Reality headset that brings VR to brands outside of the likes of HTC or Oculus. The Odyssey has cameras on the headset, built-in audio, and built-in Cortana support.
HMD Oddysey Specs:
HTC Vive Pro Specs:
HTC’s Vive Pro is an update on the original Vive, which is one of the OGs when it comes to the VR industry.
The Vive Pro is a pro-level tool, bringing 20 x 20-foot room-scale movement, high resolution, and re-designed balance for comfort and longer play-time.
Without a doubt, the Vive Pro isn’t for everyone, but it’s the type of thing high-end users are clamoring for.
Comparing the HTC Vive Pro and Samsung HMD Odyssey
I ended up going getting down and dirty with both the HTC Vive Pro and Samsung HMD Odyssey, seeing how they stand up to each other in key categories. Here’s how they compare:
When we line up the visual experience, the Samsung HMD Odyssey and HTC Vive Pro are pretty close.
They both identical displays, with an AMOLED display giving you a 1440 x 1600 per-eye resolution.
Both devices have 110-degree FoV, and there’s a 90Hz refresh rate.
I will say that the Vive Pro’s refresh rate is a bit more stable, but it’s so close that I have to consider these about identical.
The audio for these devices both include 3D spatial audio, with the headphones being both built-in and removable. You’d look at these and say that this is destined to be another draw, but I prefer the Vive Pro’s headphones.
I think the quality is the best I’ve used for a VR headset, and it really helps put you into the experience. I say that audio is just as important as video, and the Vive Pro delivers in spades.
Edge: Vive Pro
Both headsets ship with controllers. The Vive Pro ships with Vive Controllers, which are the best in the industry if you ask me. The tracking is second-to-none, and they end up really delivering an experience that makes you think your hands are in the app.
The controllers that ship with the Odyssey are good too, with great tracking and reasonable comfort.
The Odyssey’s aren’t as accurate as the Vive Pro’s, but they’re pretty good.
Edge: Vive Pro
The tracking for both headsets is as wildly different as you can think. The Odyssey uses inside-out tracking, which uses the cameras on the headset to see little diodes on the controllers. This works pretty well but isn’t quite as accurate as base stations, which is what the Vive Pro uses.
Speaking of the Vive Pro, the system uses Steam VR 2.0 Tracking to provide more accuracy. The system uses room-scale to allow you to move around the room to get a more immersive experience. Roomscale is dope and it’s my favorite way to experience VR, giving the Vive the win here.
Edge: Vive Pro
HTC’s Vive Pro uses the Viveport software to provide an ecosystem for purchasing and loading software.
I really like the software, even if it’s not quite as nice as what you get from Oculus. There’s also Viveport Infinity, which is a Netflix style subscription service that lets you access a bunch of games and apps. If you want, you can also buy and launch games through Steam VR, which is tied to the hugely popular game service.
The Odyssey has access to apps through the Windows Store as well as Steam VR. The interface for the Odyssey’s software platform isn’t nearly as nice as Viveport, but Steam is identical. Still, the edge here goes to the Vive Pro.
Edge: Vive Pro
This is a huge caveat section. The Samsung HMD Odyssey is much more cost-efficient than the HTC Vive Pro.
I can’t say that the discrepancy in price is reflected in the discrepancy in quality between the two headsets.
The value is much, much better with the Odyssey than the Vive… unless you’re using the headset for professional purposes.
This is a clear winner for the Odyssey, and it goes a long way in being the most vital category in this comparison.
The Bottom Line: Who Wins?
If we’re looking at the bottom line by adding up all of the sections, the HTC Vive Pro wins hands-down.
The tracking, audio, and software are all superior and you’re sure to get a top-notch experience by using it.
Despite tallying up in favor of the Vive Pro, I actually recommend the Samsung HMD Odyssey. I know this makes me a hypocrite, but the value proposition is so much better for the Odyssey that the other factors cannot overcome it. You can get about 85% of the experience of the Vive Pro by using the Odyssey while keeping a grand in your pocket.
If you’re thinking about picking up the Odyssey, you can do so by clicking here. If you want to check out the Vive Pro, you can find it here.