HP VR Headset
I got my HP Windows Mixed Reality Headset.. now I'm returning it. Eevnos
I got my HP Windows Mixed Reality Headset.. now I'm returning it.
HP Mixed Reality Headset (unboxing and testing) b00bytrap
HP Mixed Reality Headset (unboxing and testing)
Microsoft / HP Mixed Reality Headset tracking example outdoors All Things 3D
Microsoft / HP Mixed Reality Headset tracking example outdoors

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HP VR Headset - Specification

UsageFor PCFor SmartphonesFor quadcopter
Operating systemMinimum system requirements
TypeAvailabilityAR - See-throughLCD
Size2.89inchesSmartphone screenN/AField of view horizontal95°
Front cameraNumber2
SupportSteamVROculus HomeWindows Mixed RealityViveportPiHome
USBUSBUSB 3.0USB 2.0USB type-cCharger connectorDisplay port supportHDMI support
SoundHeadphone input 3.5mmMicrophone
Battery lifeN/A
Conrol3DoF Turning head
Tracking3DoF Rotation tracking6DoF Positional trackingTracking area
ContentsManualsUSB cableHDMI cableHDMI repeaterHeadphonesTouch control panelMotion controllerSteamVR TrackingGamepadLighthouse

HP Headset overview

HP Headset is a virtual reality headset from the Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) range. Despite its name, it does not support mixed reality and works only with VR. To be launched it requires a connection to the computer or laptop, but all other parts, including controllers, are already in the box. Unlike other gadgets, WMR has a special design, a removable cable and a mini-jack built into the case, for the rest, it is almost identical to Acer Headset and other equivalents.
In October 2016, Microsoft released a mixed-reality headset called HoloLens — it was only for developers and employees of large companies. A year later, five VR headsets based on the Windows Mixed Reality platform appeared: from HP, Dell, Acer, Lenovo and Samsung. Later, Asus presented its development. The model from HP is not radically different from its competitors, unlike, for example, Samsung Odyssey. A higher price compared to Acer Headset is caused by the popularity of the brand.

Pros of HP Headset

It is easy to install and configure. It is a standard for WMR systems. To start virtual reality, you only need to connect two wires and controllers via Bluetooth.
Good picture quality. The resolution of 1440x1440 allows not to pay attention to a pixel grid. You can even distinguish between large and medium font in the browser, but not a small one yet.
An opportunity to play outside. If you connect HP Headset to the laptop, take a backpack and a spare battery, then the system will work everywhere.
Removable wires. The base cable which is connected to the headset itself can be removed and replaced if it is necessary. It is convenient because wires can be easily damaged. For replacement, contact the HP support website.
There is no need to buy any accessories. The headset works right out of the box if there is a computer / laptop that meets the requirements. Without headphones, the effect is not the same, but they are not obligatory for launching.

Cons of HP Headset

A heavy headset. 834 grams is a record among Windows Mixed Reality devices. During the second hour, it becomes difficult to play. A weak fastening of a visor can break if you often lift a heavy front panel.
A narrow viewing angle. According to the experts, it is less than 80 degrees, although according to the developers, it is 90-100 degrees. The parameter depends not only on the headset, but also on the distance between the eyes and lenses, as well as on the features of each person's vision. When you play wearing glasses, the viewing angle will be even smaller.
Non-ergonomic controllers. Standard handles of Windows Motion Controller dig into the hand, and the buttons are put not in the best combination — if you put your fingers as suggested by the developers, they quickly get tired.
Few games. 182 applications in Microsoft Store compared to thousands in Oculus look plainly. Even access to the Steam VR library does not save because there are many unoptimized projects there.
There are no built-in headphones. To communicate with Cortana and just for a more complete immersion, you'll have to connect your headset. What’s more, there is only one connector, so headphones should go immediately with a microphone.

Competitors of HP Headset

Since HP Headset is a typical representative of the WMR range, it makes sense to compare it with other gadgets from the series. We will review the headset of Samsung Odyssey separately, which is better and more expensive.
The devices are very similar. All have the same resolution of 1440x1440 for each eye, LCD matrix, a maximum level of 90 fps, hands and head tracking with the help of built-in cameras and sensors, identical controllers. There are differences in the viewing angles: for Dell and Lenovo it is 110 degrees, for other devices — 90-100 degrees depending on the computer. The headset from HP is the heaviest (834 grams!) and the largest, and only Dell models are more expensive, gadgets cost 260 USD and 290 USD, respectively. At the same time the WMR headset from Samsung is both more advanced and more expensive. It is distinguished by a built-in audio system, a high resolution of 1600x1440 for each eye, AMOLED matrix instead of LCD and more ergonomic controllers. The price is from 400 USD on Amazon, that is almost 150 USD more expensive than HP Headset. But it is worth overpaying for quality.
But all Windows Mixed Reality VR headsets, including Odyssey, are inferior in quality of tracking, effect of immersion and the number of applications to the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive flagships. If there is a powerful gaming computer, then it's better to buy them for games, if a membership of the Microsoft family is not so important and essential for you.

WMR headsets

Design and ergonomics of HP Headset

The headset case consists of a front block with lenses and a hoop for fixing on the head. The whole headset is made of black matte plastic, and only on the front panel you can notice a central glossy strip that resembles the Lenovo Explorer design. There are two cameras with a viewing angle of 180 degrees on their sides. Cameras scan the surrounding space and provide tracking of the system, it is thanks to them that you can move in VR.

In addition to cameras, there are not so many structural elements:

  • The fixation ring is at the center of the back of the hoop, it is necessary for fixing on the head.
  • A 3.5 mm headphone jack — it is on the bottom edge of the front panel on the left.
  • A basic removable cable — it is along the right side of the hoop, it is fixed on the plastic mount.
  • Ventilation grilles — on each side from the place where the hoop is attached to the front block and to the sides of the nose.
  • The proximity sensor is on the inside of the visor, between the lenses.
HP VR Headset The approach to ergonomics and convenience in HP is the same as in other Windows Mixed Reality partners. The ring at the back helps to fix the hoop, fitting it to the size of the head. The minimum diameter is 5.5 inches / 14 centimeters; the maximum diameter is 8.75 inches / 22.2 centimeters. The front part can be raised on the plastic hinge, it's convenient when you need to return to the real world without taking off the whole headset. But the hinge does not look very reliable and cannot stand sharp jerks.
As for the controversial points, let’s focus on the pads made of soft foam rubber. They are also at the back where they touch the occiput, and in front near the face. All covers are waterproof, but only the front cover is removable, the rear one cannot be replaced. What’s more, HP did not add a pad between foam and plastic, like Lenovo, so the durability of the headset is higher.

Another ambiguous solution — a mini-jack for headphones. Unlike other WMR headsets where the connector was put in a separate cable, HP built it directly into the case at the bottom. It seems to be convenient, but during the game it is possible not to notice and pull the headphones out of the socket. Therefore, we recommend connecting the headset with a short cable or with special fasteners.

But the main complaint to HP Headset is a weight. The construction weighs 834 grams, and even the weight distribution by hoop does not help. Already after 15 minutes you begin to feel heaviness, it's hard to play longer than one hour and a half.

HP Headset display and lenses

All WMR systems, except for Samsung Odyssey, have LCD screens with a resolution of 1440x1440 for each eye. HP Headset is no exception. The size of the display is 3x2 inches. The viewing angle depends on the settings and the power of the computer, at the minimum it is 90 degrees, at the maximum — 100. The same is with the update rate which can be 60 or 90 fps. The larger the angle and frequency, the more complete the immersion will be and the less likely will be nausea, fatigue and dizziness.

Although the claimed minimum viewing angle is 90 degrees, users and foreign experts note that the real figure is even less than 80 degrees. Here the effect of tunnel vision is created. The exact viewing angle depends not only on the headset, but also on the person's vision, so always test the device before purchasing. It is especially important because it is not possible to configure IPD in HP Headset.
IPD or interpupillary distance — a parameter of vision and lenses. Each person has a different distance, so the top headsets VR allow you to adjust it for the lenses. The more accurate the parameter is, the better the effect and the clearer the picture will be. In standard Fresnel lenses that are installed in the gadget from HP, IPD is fixed at 60 mm. This is the lower limit, so people with wide-set eyes will feel themselves uncomfortable.

Taking into account the screen resolution which is larger than in Rift and Vive the picture almost always remains to be clear and even a pixel grid can be seen with difficulty. Only with sudden movements of the head a blur appears. So the main disadvantages of HP Headset are the narrow viewing angle and fixed IPD which make the effect of immersion worse. The image quality does not cause any criticism.

HP Headset test via the ROV Test FOV & Resolution application, a blue part — the viewing angle

HP Headset controllers

Power2 AA batteries for one controller
Working time without recharging 3-10 hours depending on the batteries’ manufacturer
Connecting and updatingBluetooth 4.0
Elements of control6((Touchpad, joystick, trigger, 3 buttons)
Weight with batteries171 g
  • Gyroscope
  • Compass
  • Magnetometer
  • Accelerometer
  • LED
The price of two controllers100 USD (an analogue from Dell)
HP changed nothing in the native design of Windows Mixed Reality controllers. It means that there are two plastic handles with plastic rims at the top and short straps for attaching to hands. The buttons are integrated in the handles, and the LEDs which send signals to the cameras are installed on the rims. If the joysticks go beyond the camera view, then the built-in gyroscope and magnetometer will not save the tracking for long, but eventually the system will lose controllers anyway. What’s more, bright bulbs can also interfere with tracking, for example, in garlands. The gaming space itself should be lit sufficiently, it is better that lamps do not shine directly into the cameras.

The buttons are arranged in the following way:
  • The touchpad is on the front side closer to the outside ..
  • The joystick is next to the touchpad, but closer to the inside.
  • The menu button is between the touchpad and the joystick, at the bottom.
  • The Windows button is on the handle, even below the menu button.
  • The grip button is on the side, between the middle and ring fingers.
  • The trigger is on the back side, under the forefinger.
Also at the back at the bottom you can find a compartment for two AA batteries covered with a flimsy cover. There is a Bluetooth button below it for pairing with the headset. It is not very convenient to connect the controllers because you have to hold the batteries and press the button at the same time. The fastenings of the rims, by the way, also look unreliable.
This is not the end of the problem. Ergonomics of WMR controllers is far from the best. The edges are rounded, but still dig into the hand, it is inconvenient to hold such a handle for a long time. You can get used to the buttons, but be ready to have access to your home screen because of accidental clicks on the Windows button.

Reviews about the controllers are different, some people like them even more than the Vive joysticks. If you choose from the Windows Mixed Reality range, then Samsung made the best devices — with comfortable handles and a more ergonomic arrangement of buttons.

The diagram of the controller

Gaming space in HP Headset

Microsoft has developed two modes for the Windows Mixed Reality headset: a stationary and a mobile one. If you select the former in the setup, the system will track your hands and head, but you will not be able to move in VR. In the second case it will be necessary to mark off the space in the room where the headset will track the body. There should be nothing strange in the gaming area itself and near it, it is also desirable to lay wires outside. The standard dimensions of the area for WMR are 1.5x2 meters, the wire length is 4 meters.

In addition, HP Headset can work outdoors. To configure it this way you need to choose a mobile mode, connect the system to the laptop and put the laptop in the backpack. Then you are ready to go outside and turn VR on! Do not forget about possible overheating and spare batteries.

Software and games for HP Headset

ServiceThe number of applications (games)Including free of charge (games)
Microsoft Store184 (73)72 (13)
Steam VR592 (473)47
Headsets on WMR support two virtual spaces. A standard house is available on any system, consists of several rooms with views of the ocean and Mount Rainier. In this space hang windows — built-in applications such as Skype, the browser and the system of holograms. From "Home" you can watch videos on YouTube or read texts through Edge. There is a virtual keyboard and Cortana — a voice assistant which is still limited in functions. The second home space added in the April update still looks empty.

HP Headset supports the software from the Microsoft and Steam stores. Native applications are better optimized, while there are many more games in the Steam library. Often there are bugs, in many programs the headset is simply not recognized, there are failures in control. As for the software, Windows Mixed Reality gadgets are still inferior to their competitors from Oculus and HTC. Even the main feature — mixed reality — is not here. Holograms are available only in virtual spaces, they cannot be combined with the real world, unlike HoloLens.
Second Space — Mission Control

Packaging and arrangement of HP Headset

HP sells the headset in a large and bright package on the sides and at the bottom of which you can find device images, specifications and model information. Inside the main box you can find two smaller ones, for the headset itself and controllers. Gadgets are packed in tight opaque bags. The complete set looks like this:
  • HP Headset with the base cable.
  • An adapter cable for USB and HDMI.
  • Two WMR controllers.
  • Four AA batteries.
  • A user guide.
Since only a computer or a laptop is needed to launch, it can be considered to be a complete and ready working set. You do not have to buy anything in addition. At the price of HP Headset the following accessories would be desirable: spare cables and faceplates. But you will have to order them separately if the native ones are damaged.

Hidden purchasing costs of HP Headset

All Windows Mixed Reality headsets work on the same software, so they have the same requirements. To connect them even a laptop will be suitable if it meets the minimum parameters. The Windows Mixed Reality PC level allows you to play at 60 fps with a viewing angle of 90 degrees. The advanced requirements of Windows Mixed Reality Ultra PC correspond to 90 fps and 100 degrees of the viewing angle. If the computer is not available yet, then it is necessary to spend at least 500 USD for the purchase. The maximum is not limited. For example, HP offers a workstation together with a proprietary backpack for using the headset while you are moving. The price is 3,300 USD.
.Windows Mixed Reality PCWindows Mixed Reality Ultra PC
CPUIntel Core i5-7200UIntel Core i5-4590 or AMD Ryzen 5 1400 3.4GHz
GPUIntel HD Graphics 620Nvidia GTX 960/965M/1050 or AMD RX 460/560
CablesHDMI 1.4HDMI 2.0
Embedded memory10 GB10 GB
MonitorVGA (800x600) and betterVGA (800x600) and better
ConnectionBluetooth 4.0, USB 3.0 Type-A or Type-CBluetooth 4.0, USB 3.0 Type-A or Type-C
OSWindows 10 Fall Creators UpdateWindows 10 Fall Creators Update

HP Headset accessories

You can buy accessories for HP Headset for a full immersion or just more convenience. The official website offers keyboards, monitors and OMEN mouse, but you can use any computer with the headset, not only from HP. Therefore, let’s pay attention to more useful things:
  • Headphones, from 15 USD. Taken into account the lack of a built-in headset, this is an indispensable accessory for fans to play with sound. Look for headphones with a microphone and, preferably, a short wire.
  • A faceplate, 20 USD. If one from the kit is worn out or torn, it is better to buy a spare one. With the faceplate the headset fits the face much better.
  • Retractable cable and hooks, 23 USD. Once there is no wireless system, the cables can be fixed to the ceiling. So they will not get in the way under your feet.
  • A backpack or bag, from 30 USD. There are proprietary options from HP, but the headset gets into any backpack of the right size. If you want to play outdoors, then take a mesh one.
  • An external battery, 70 USD. It is also useful for offline games outdoors — the headset discharges a built-in laptop battery quickly.
  • The Xbox controller, from 15 USD. WMR headsets work not only with native joysticks, but also with analogues for Xbox. Only wireless, plug-in Bluetooth options are suitable.
  • A rack for controllers, 32 USD. It is a plastic construction with bolts made of steel, a special accessory for WMR joysticks. It is not very practical because controllers can be put anywhere.
If a native controller breaks, then it will not be possible to replace it with a similar one from HP, they are simply not on sale. But Dell sells its joysticks at 100 USD apiece. Since all Windows Mixed Reality controllers are the same (only in Samsung they differ in construction, but not in programmas), the replacement from Dell will work with HP Headset as well.

Installation and configuration of HP Headset

The main idea of Microsoft when creating the Windows Mixed Reality system is the ease of connection. WMR headsets stand out from Rift and Vive which are complicated in setting up because they do not require external sensors. To install it it is just enough to update at least to Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, connect the wires and start the calibration.

HP Headset has two cables: a base one with the length of 30 centimeters is already connected to the headset in the box, and the 4-meter adapter must be attached independently. The base cable has one port, the second wire is connected to it which further splits into USB and HDMI. These plugs must be plugged into the appropriate ports of the computer or laptop. All wires are removable, for replacement it is better to contact HP technical support.

After being connected the system must open the Windows Mixed Reality website and download the driver. The website is also available through the Start menu of the headset. A final step is to configure VR by selecting the gaming space and connecting the controllers. HP Headset advises users what and how to do all the time, it's hard to get confused. The whole setup takes 10 minutes for the first time and even less if you are already familiar with WMR.

Problems with the device and tips for owners of HP Headset

The most vulnerable part of the headset is the hardware. When using it, be careful and attentive, especially to fragile details:
  • The rim hinge. It connects the mount to the front panel and is used when you need to raise the front part without taking off the whole headset. Try to lift it smoothly, otherwise the hinge will break.
  • Contacts of wires. Since there are two cables, the likelihood of failure increases twofold. Connect the ports smoothly, and the wires themselves lay outside the gaming space.
  • Controllers. The battery compartment cover and the junction of the upper rim with the handle cause most of the concerns. Dropping or hitting the controllers is not advisable.
Some buyers complain of a very blurry image. Taken into account the resolution of 1440x1440, it is technically impossible, the picture should be clear. If you also have this problem, then check the lenses. They can be covered with a blue film — this is a factory packaging to protect against scratches, it needs to be removed. It is the film that can blur the image.

The most common problems with applications are related to bugs because of poor optimization. Many games and programs from the Microsoft and Steam libraries are simply not ready yet to work with Windows Mixed Reality and HP Headset.

For more information, please visit the support websites: HP Headset and Windows Mixed Reality.

HP Headset reviews

HP Headset in many ways is very similar to Acer Headset, another gadget from the Windows Mixed Reality family. But whereas Acer made the lightest and cheapest headset and even with the blue colour design, HP has produced a heavy, cumbersome and expensive device for its segment. Among the pleasant differences from other WMR headsets are removable cables and a built-in headphone jack. As for the picture quality and performance, HP Headset is no better than its cheaper counterparts on the Windows platform, and it is even inferior to them in the viewing angles, according to users’ reviews.

After paying 150 USD more, you can buy Samsung Odyssey with even more screen resolution, built-in audio system and variable lens distance. There are also acknowledged top models which are a little bit more expensive: Oculus Rift and HTC Vive with much better tracking and more games. For gamers it is what they need, even despite the long setup. Therefore, HP Headset is an ideal option only for ardent fans of the company. If the brand is not important, then pay attention to other WMR headsets, for example, from Acer, Lenovo, Dell or Asus.

HP VR Headset - Alternatives

Showing 1-10 of 10 items.
PhotoUSDTitle px.AngleHz.MPGr.
HTC Vive499HTC Vive    1200×1080110°901 pc.470
Oculus Rift CV1399Oculus Rift CV1    1200×1080110°90470
HTC Vive Pro799HTC Vive Pro    1440×1600110°90 2 pc.555
Lenovo Explorer487Lenovo Explorer    1440×1440110°90 2 pc.380
Samsung Odyssey399Samsung Odyssey    1440×1600110°90 2 pc.644
ASUS Headset583ASUS Headset    1440×144095°90 2 pc.400
Microsoft HoloLens4,412Microsoft HoloLens    1268×72030°602 pc.579
Oculus Rift DK2534Oculus Rift DK2    960×1080100°75 440
Acer Headset199Acer Headset    1440×1440105°90 2 pc.350
DELL Visor 449DELL Visor     1440×1440110°90 2 pc.590

HP VR Headset - Comparison

Brand HP HTC Oculus HTC
Model VR Headset Vive Rift CV1 Vive Pro
Min. price USD
Release 2017/10 2016/04/05 2016/04/28 2018/04/05
For PC
Total weight 834 gram 470 gram 470 gram 555 gram
Body weight 512 gram 450 gram
Size 2.89 inches 3.6 inches 3.54 inches 3.5 inches
Field of view horizontal 95 ° 110 ° 110 ° 110 °
Resolution 2880×1440 px. 1200×1080 px. 1200×1080 px. 1440×1600 px.
Latency 22 ms.
Refresh rate 60 Hz. 90 Hz. 90 Hz. 90 Hz.
Focal length
Lens spacing 58-72 mm.
Operating system
Minimum system requirements Windows 10 – Creators Update, Intel Desktop i7 или AMD Ryzen 7 1700, NVIDIA GTX 980/1060 - AMD Radeon RX 480 (8GB), RAM - 16 Гб GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 или AMD Radeon R9 290; CPU: Intel Core i5-4590 или AMD FX 8350; Оперативная память: 4 ГБ или больше; Видеовыход: HDMI 1.4 или DisplayPort 1.2 8 Гб оперативной памяти; ОС Windows 7 SP1; 3 порта USB 3.0; порт USB 2.0; разъем HDMI 1.3. GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 или AMD Radeon RX 480; CPU: Intel Core i5-4590 или AMD FX 8350; Оперативная память: 4 ГБ или больше; Видеовыход: DisplayPort 1.2, USB 3.0 порт или более скоростной, Windows 8.1 или выше
Oculus Home
Windows Mixed Reality
Front camera
Number 2 pc. 1 pc. 2 pc.
Headphone input 3.5mm
3DoF Turning head
3DoF Rotation tracking
6DoF Positional tracking
Tracking area 5x5 meters 2.5х2.5 meters 10x10 meters
Games 600 3500 2900 3500
HDMI 1.4
HDMI 2.0
USB 3.0
USB 2.0
USB type-c
Charger connector
Display port support
HDMI support
USB cable 2
HDMI cable 2
HDMI repeater 1
Headphones 1
Motion controller
SteamVR Tracking
Lighthouse 2 2
External position sensor in space
Proximity sensor
Immersion 9 8
Interaction 9 9
Comfort 6 8
Ecosystem 7 7
Setup 6 6