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Old 08-30-2019, 05:37 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by Baldrick33 View Post
After some weeks with both devices here is my (rather lengthy) conclusion on the Index vs Reverb:

I have bought & sold a few VR headsets in my quest for the best VR experience. The list so far:

DK2, CV1, Pimax 4K, Odyssey+, Pimax 5K and my current Reverb & Index.

My plan was to return or sell whichever lost the head to head battle. My conclusion so far is rather unexpectedly that I want to keep both. Not really an ideal conclusion to a battle nor financially and most definitely not a viable recommendation!

imacken summed it pretty nicely a few posts above:

- build quality
- comfort
- audio quality
- dynamic range and contrast of image quality
- no WMR!
- larger sweet spot
- adjustable IPD

- image clarity due to higher res

Which would seem conclusive but it isn’t!

The Index feels very well built and oozes quality and makes the Reverb feel a bit cheap in comparison. That said it is about twice the weight yet is so well distributed it feels a tad more comfortable. That isn’t to say the Reverb is uncomfortable just the Index edges it.

I normally use speakers but the Index audio is good enough I would use it instead. The Reverb is ok, just not as good.

The colours are better on the Index but with some fiddling with in game gamma the Reverb looks ok. Good enough given the clarity boost I will come on to.

I don’t have an issue with WMR, it doesn’t get in the way of launching games and works well enough. However, it does add another layer of complexity to deal with and something else to get updates and not work as well! The controllers and tracking of controllers is frankly rubbish so if you plane to do some room space games with controllers the Index is a no brainer.

The FOV is noticeably bigger with the Index. Once in action in the Reverb I don’t specifically notice it but definitely a plus for the Index.

The difference in sweet spot is very noticeable in flight sims. Look at a gauge in the Reverb and the clarity is stunning. Move so the gauge is out of centre and it noticeably blurs. Do the same in the Index and gauge clarity is less impressive. Move you head and the change is far less noticeable. For me it isn’t a big deal as I tend to move my head but if you are looking through the gunsight and move your eyes to sweep gauges the Index gives a more consistent view.

My IPD is 65 which seems well in range for the Reverb. This could be an issue if you have a much higher or lower IPD. The Index has adjustable eye relief, so I would guess you could wear glasses with it, the Reverb would seem unlikely.

The Reverb clarity is amazing. In fact if I had to describe the key thing I would want from VR in the next generation from the CV1 it would be better visuals. FOV, audio, sweet spots are all nice to haves. Text is incredibly clear. Just loading up the Mixed Reality Portal is jaw dropping compared to my previous WMR device (Odyssey+)

Yes there is some mura if I look hard enough with solid colour background but in use in a flight or racing sim I simply don’t notice it. Because of its clarity I don’t need to over sample by any degree, it is that good. So I don’t need the monster PC the resolution figures might suggest. In comparison I need to push the SS up with the Index to try to get close to clarity of the Reverb such that in spite of all those extra pixels to drive the Reverb and Index are pretty much identical performance wise.

So in spite of having only one winning feature, it is the one feature that for me could be enough to win overall.

However, it depends...

I touched on the fact that you might want to use the headset for other things in which case the Index controllers and base stations are a clear (though costly) winner.

If, like me, you only want it for seated flight and race sims the Reverb tracking is fine yet it still depends on the games you play which is best from my experience.

For iRacing, which has a very sharp and crisp graphics engine, the Reverb just looks incredible. Jumping to the Index and despite the slightly larger FOV, the lack of resolution really shows up along with clear SDE. If I want to take advantage of the higher refresh in the Index I then have to drop down the graphics levels which just make it look even more inferior.

In contrast after some tweaking DCS just looks a little better in the Index. Pushing the SS up to 204% as per imacken’s suggestion (thanks) and the clarity of instruments is quite similar while maintaining a solid 45fps and the extra FOV just seems a more natural fit for the cockpit in the Index. Colour wise sightseeing just looks a tiny bit nicer. It isn’t as clear cut as iRacing though; I would take the Index at a pinch.

For IL2 I am even more on the fence. Putting on the Reverb and looking at the gauges is certainly clearer, with the caveat that as you move your head they blur a little. SDE is more apparent with the Index and the IL2 engine than DCS but only a little. The FOV is a bit nicer with the Index, maybe the colours a tiny bit more vivid but lowering the gamma helps the Reverb here. I put the Index on and it seems fine, put the Reverb on and it seems fine too!

I am still tweaking, there are a lot of variables and both devices are new and receiving various updates to SteamVR, WMR and firmware updates. Plus the developers are only just getting devices themselves to test. iRacing has a number of reports of users suffering with eye strain and nausea using the Index for example.

HP’s launch of the Reverb has been littered with QA issues. It seems new supplies of units with the original issues addressed should be hitting the supply channels now but it remains to be seen if the issues with cable connection, overheating and flickering have been resolved.

The Index too has had some issues with units having vertical lines although less prevalent.

The only upside is the reports of customer service dealing with the issues seem positive with both HP & Valve.

With the caveat of the v1.0 issues being fixed my final conclusion is that I highly rate both headsets. There are use cases which favour the Index (e.g. room space, IPD, glasses). The Reverb is rather bare bones but has image clarity that is for now class leading, while the Index is a more polished all-rounder. Both are great for DCS and a significant upgrade from a CV1 or Vive and visually a level above a Pimax 5K+ or Odyssey+ in my experience.
Thanks for the comprehensive and cunning review
New hotness: I7 9700k 4.8ghz, 32gb ddr4, 2080ti, TM Warthog. TrackIR, HP Reverb (formermly CV1)
Old-N-busted: i7 4720HQ ~3.5GHZ, +32GB DDR3 + Nvidia GTX980m (4GB VRAM) TM Warthog. TrackIR, Rift CV1 (yes really).
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