HTC Vive Cosmos Elite review: The best VR headset yet?

Quick verdict

If you’ve been putting off purchasing the Cosmos, the Elite version might sway you. It uses base stations for superior tracking in virtual reality – which is positive for functionality, but negative for setup reasons. Still, as VR headsets go, the Elite earns its name thanks to comfort and visual fidelity. It’s great.
Read full verdict

For

  • Superior tracking to the standard Cosmos
  • Fantastic design features
  • Comfortable fit and a convenient flip-up visor
Against

  • A bit expensive
  • Lacks inside-out tracking in this Elite format
  • Not all will want base station setup

The HTC Vive Cosmos VR headset has been around for quite a while. At the point when we explored it back in October 2019 we examined how the secluded faceplate design implied we’d see some fascinating overhauls with regards to what’s to come. Which is actually where the Elite model comes in.

The HTC Vive Cosmos Elite is a rendition of the standard Cosmos headset, which accompanies an External Tracking Faceplate. In any case, what precisely does that mean for existing Vive clients thinking to update, or newcomers hoping to get into computer generated reality?

We’ve been losing all sense of direction in virtual universes for a long time to examine.

Which Vive Cosmos Elite bundle would it be advisable for me to purchase?

There are a couple of procurement alternatives here: you can either purchase this faceplate as a discretionary move up to your current Vive Cosmos; as a total bundle that incorporates the headset, faceplate, following base stations and two standard Vive regulators; or the headset all alone.

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The third alternative is the thing that HTC recommends proprietors of the first HTC Vive ought to do. In the event that you’ve just got the base stations and the regulators, at that point you can supplant your maturing headset with the fresher, shinier and more element rich Vive Cosmos Elite without requiring all the additional pieces and pieces.

Basically, the Elite takes the Vive Cosmos and makes it perfect with the first Vive base stations. This doesn’t sound frightfully energizing on paper, notwithstanding, since our principle fuss with the Vive Cosmos is issues with following, it may be the better alternative and positively a fascinating decision for Vive fans.

Is the Vive Cosmos Elite the best VR headset?

Flip-up visor like WMR headsets

Double 3.4-inch LCD corner to corner screen

1440 x 1700 pixels for each eye

2880 x 1700 pixels in general

110-degree field of view

90Hz invigorate rate

Worked in sound system earphones

3D spatial sound

Incorporated mics

Physically customizable IPD wheel

Spec-wise, the Vive Cosmos Elite is a pleasant update from the first Vive and even a better than average advance up from the HTC Vive Pro too.

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First of all, the first HTC Vive sports visuals of 1080 x 1200 pixels for every eye (2160 x 1200 in general), while the Vive Cosmos Elite oversees 1440 x 1700 pixels for each eye (2880 x 1700 pixels by and large). That by itself is a significant visual update for VR fans.

Different upgrades come as comfort and accommodation. This headset has a design that is like the HTC Vive Pro however with a couple of openness and comfort upgrades.

The outcome is a headset that sports a durable headband with a simple size modification haggle ultra-helpful flip-up visor – which implies you don’t have to take it off when you have to see this present reality.

As standard, the Vive Cosmos brags a number cameras that are designed to help with the back to front following. These can likewise be utilized for a passthrough view to assist you with seeing your general surroundings as well.

Better than average cushioning and great adjusting additionally mean the Elite is anything but difficult to wear and comfortable to game with for a long while before you have to take it off.

Flip-up incorporated earphones additionally help keep things cool and expel the requirement for additional wires from a different pair of earphones or a gaming headset.

Does the Vive Cosmos Elite improve following?

Base station bolstered following

G-Sensor, whirligig, IPD sensor, Hall sensor

We had grievances with the standard adaptation identified with the back to front following just not proceeding as it ought to in specific conditions. On the off chance that the room is excessively brilliant or excessively dull or excessively plain and highlight free, the cameras would experience difficulty separating the regulators from the environmental factors and the outcome was frustratingly off base hand following. The Cosmos Elite disposes of this issue by utilizing the External Tracking Faceplate, making the headset good with Vive Base Stations.

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That is extraordinary. In any case, the drawback of this is you need space to arrangement these trackers. The base stations should be situated in inverse corners of a room or more head tallness. Mounts are incorporated, so you can introduce in the room, pop them on a tripod, or cautiously balance them on a shelf. They plug into the mains (a fitting for each) and need a decent perspective on the headset/playspace to work appropriately.

At that point you have to plug the headset into your PC or gaming PC utilizing the Display Port association and USB link that plug into the connection box – which likewise needs a force gracefully. You get the image: you need various fitting attachments accessible.

The entirety of this will be natural to current VR clients, yet it’s important that the Vive Cosmos doesn’t bolster HDMI, so you have to guarantee you have a Display Port yield on your gaming machine. The full unit incorporates a Display Port to Mini Display Port connector in the container, with the goal that’s a choice as well.

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The Vive Cosmos Elite jettison the LED ringed regulators for the great wireless Vive regulators. That is no awful thing in our book as they offer better battery life, more precise following, and a comfortable fit in the hand.

One drawback we saw was everything required as connected by means of Micro-USB to permit firmware refreshes. That is a huge complain – however not one you’ll have normally. It is odd however, considering the comfort of the standard Vive Cosmos where the regulators could be refreshed over the air.

HTC Vive Cosmos Elite: What are the spec necessities?

The suggested specs for the HTC Vive Cosmos Elite headset are:

PC/PC running Windows 10 or more prominent

Illustrations Card: Nvidia GTX 1060/AMD Radeon RX 480 or more prominent

CPU: Intel i5-4590/AMD FX 8350 or more prominent

Memory: 8GB of RAM

Video Output: DisplayPort 1.2

USB Port: 1x USB 3.0 Port

In case you’re not very secure with whether your machine can deal with these necessities, you can run a test here.

Gaming goodness

Wireless connector accessible as additional buy

As you would have assembled, we’re somewhat intrigued with the Vive Cosmos Elite. The following upgrades it offers over the standard rendition make it a delight when gaming. Enhancements have been made to lessen screen entryway impacts and other visual issues as well. It’s a perfect piece of pack to play something like Half-Life: Alyx.

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We replayed a number ofΒ our favourite HTC Vive gamesΒ to see how it stood up and are happy to report that the Cosmos Elite did them all justice. Great sound and stunning visuals abound, but most importantly – and we keep coming back to it – the tracking worked seamlessly and didn’t leave us wanting.

Does the Vive Cosmos Elite make sense?

Despite all these positive things, we are still left bemused by the setup of the Vive Cosmos Elite.

The non-Elite Cosmos was originally appealing for the same reasons as theΒ Oculus Rift S: an inside-out tracking design means far less fuss setting up faff; you can plug into a laptop and use it in any room without worrying about tracking base stations. But the tracking just wasn’t 100 per cent on point.

While the Comos Elite certainly fixes those tracking issues, it does so by almost taking a step backward – because it requires use of the base stations again.

Yes, the Cosmos Elite is technically superior to the Rift S – a slightly higher pixel count and higher refresh rate make it a better device – but we have a lot of good things to say about the Rift S, which is also substantially cheaper too.

Verdict

The HTC Vive Cosmos Elite eliminates the tracking quibbles we had about the standard version of this headset. That makes for a cracking bit of VR kit, with great design features, impressive spec and comfort.

So far, so good. But to harness this greater tracking you’ll need to setup base stations – which the non-Elite version doesn’t need. Furthermore this headset isn’t cheap – indeed, it’ll set you back more cash than the original Vive did when that first launched. Which is a bit nuts.

For owners of the original Vive headset, a standalone Elite headset is a sensible option you can integrate into your current setup for improved comfort, visuals and more. That in itself makes it well worth it. But if you were hoping to be free of base stations and wires then this model doesn’t eliminate those foibles.

As virtual reality headsets go, the Elite earns its name for visual fidelity and comfort. It’s great for in-depth VR sessions.