Virtual Reality is here to stay even though we are still to get a proper glimpse of it, other than as CGI in movies.
Leading tech brands and other also-ran are vying for the top spots in this up-and-coming tech product niche.
For consumers and prosumers like us, we finally get our hands on entry-level VR tech barring the high-end devices which too are becoming more affordable by the day.
Post-COVID, a lot has changed perhaps forever in how we interact with each other and the world around us.
Beyond social media 2.0, interaction with reality is changing for all of us and VR is at the center of it.
Children can indeed be the major sales driver for most brands, and the easiest to convert as well.
However, this is not the case when it comes to VR headsets for kids. Instead, we are looking at perhaps a paradigm shift in how children interact with reality and learn from it.
How to Choose the Best VR Headset for Kids?
Choosing the best Virtual Reality glasses for kids comes down to a few simple pointers, viz. –
VR headsets, beyond the budget category, are on the heavier side. Check out this Oculus Rift S. It’s brilliant, among the best VR headsets in 2021, and definitely worth buying for around $299.
But it weighs 1.67 pounds. Imagine being a 7-year old with the Rift S caged on your head!
Just why you should opt for lighter and less feature-rich headsets. Although you’re losing out on the complete VR experience and build quality, at least your child can use it to get initiated with VR.
Bigger is not always better, especially when it comes to stuff for kids. The best Virtual Reality headsets for kids are a tad smaller and meant to fit the little heads comfortably enough to enjoy.
Size is really important when we are talking about VR headsets. That last thing you want is external light seeping into the headset, a big letdown when you’re just about trying to interact with the VR environment.
This may happen if the user’s cranial size does not naturally fit with the minimum span of the headset.
So, go for a comparatively cheaper headset that will get the job done instead of a big burly one that’s expensive and somewhat useless for a child.
Ease of Use
We recommend smartphone-based VR headsets for children.
The resolution of gaming and standalone VR headsets is too high for your kid’s eyes. Increased brightness can cause severe strain over long hours of use.
Smartphone VR headsets on the other hand can be optimized to reduce the damage. Moreover, they are a lot lighter and substantially smaller, if not in size, than in the total viewing dimensions of the VR lenses.
With the smartphone, your child is already used to the screen size and it will only be easier to best enjoy the VR experience on it!
Is it OK to get a VR Headset for Kids?
Think of it this way – a VR headset is a smart classroom available right at home.
You must know by now that audiovisuals offer a much more immersive experience and a steeper learning curve if executed properly.
With Virtual Reality, you get to interact with a virtual environment that essentially responds to you as well acting as a different physical dimension altogether.
For children, VR can provide an immense boost to their learning curve helping them interact with the outside world from the safety of their homes and without flouting the pandemic restrictions which are here to stay for some time longer.
COVID has created new normal for work, play and education, but VR can overcome the limitations imposed.
With a VR headset for kids, you can help your little one enjoy their childhood to the fullest.
Best VR Headsets for Kids: Ranked and Reviewed
5. Samsung Gear VR w/Controller
Best Smartphone VR headset
Can be used with a smartphone across varied screen sizes
Lightweight and suited for kids
Can accommodate both Type-C and micro-USB based devices
There is no feature to control the screen resolutions.
Lacks an inbuilt audio system
Samsung partnered with Oculus to develop a VR headset for its flagship models. This Samsung Gear VR w/Controller is one of the most premium smartphone-based VR headsets available and perfectly suited for kids.
The design of this device is simple yet premium, given the fact that there is absolutely no light leakage while watching movies or using VR applications.
You can use both Type-C and micro-USB-based smartphones by swapping the modular USB socket.
Download the Gear VR systems set up on your Samsung smartphone and start enjoying VR apps.
Once you have selected an application, adjust the focus to get the best image quality.
With this VR headset, you also get the Gear VR wireless motion-sensitive controller with a home, back, and volume buttons along with a big scroll touchpad with an index finger touch button to confirm your selection.
This controller is charged using two AAA batteries.
This second-generation Samsung Gear VR now gets custom padding for a better fit, suitable for long hours of usage.
Samsung now offers a flat touchpad to toggle your controls along with a Home and Return option. Gear VR mentioned not to be used for children under 13 years of age.
Price : Around $125
Weight: 345 grams | Dimensions: 8 inches x 5 inches x 3.5 inches | Platform: Android | Components: VR controller, USB-C Adapter, Gear VR headset, Head straps, Micro-USB adapter, and Quick Start Guide.
Easy to use, the Samsung Gear VR is perfectly suited for kids with apps and games aplenty via Gear VR to easily get the job done.
Lenovo Mirage Solo is a standalone VR headset based on the Android platform and it does pack a considerable punch with its features and excellent VR outputs.
You get a 5.5-inch LCD on a headset weighing just about 640 grams. The design is very refined with superior internal cushioning.
Mirage Solo features a cordless design with a halo-style headband to counterbalance the weight of this device.
You get a fit adjustment setting at the rear in a flip-to-view structure that allows you to lift the headset to get back into Reality. It offers a complete 110-degree field of view with no strings attached.
You can consider this powerful VR device for your kid since there are no cables.
Its 3-hour battery life is enough for more than one VR session a day, it can double up as a parental control tool. Works with PC, smartphone, and all Bluetooth-connected devices.
This VR headset is powered by a Snapdragon 835 Mobile VR platform processor to deliver a wireless VR experience with 6 degrees of freedom.
Users can even enjoy 3D audio and 4K visuals on the Lenovo Daydream. With this device, you get a free copy of Blade Runner: Revelations from Google Play.
Price: Around $300
Weight: 640 grams | Dimensions: 10.61 inches x 8.03 inches x 7.08 inches | Platform: Android | Components: VR controller, USB-C Cable, Travel Adapter, 3.5mm earphones, and VR headset.
Lenovo Mirage offers an immersive picture quality as compared to smartphone VR headsets. The even weight distribution of this device will ensure comfortable usage for your kids. Moreover, they could use this device for both smartphones and PCs.
No need for cabling and tethering except for charging
High refresh rate display unit
Shorter battery life
Too heavy to be used by smaller kids
Oculus Rift S is one of the best VR headsets in the standalone section. Unlike Budget smartphone VR headsets, this device is self-powered and built for PC-based VR apps and games.
Along with the powerful headset, there are two controllers for optimized VR interaction.
This device features a powerful display unit delivering 1280 x 1440-pixel resolution per eye at 80Hzrefresh rates. It comes with stronger adjustable solid straps which do add to the overall weight other than the display unit.
The halo headband design counterweights the importance of the display unit and offers a much more comfortable experience even with its 6 pounds overall weight.
VR Oculus touch controllers are rated among the best at capturing gestures with precision.
With the improved optics, you have a lesser screen door effect, enabling this device to provide you with vibrant colors. The 2 controllers are tracked using the motion sensors mounted upfront.
Rift S is one of the best VR headsets for kids although it does tip the scales quite handsomely.
Price: Around $299
Weight: 561 grams | Dimensions: 10.94 inches x 8.27 inches x 6.3 inches | Platform: PC | Components: Two touch controllers, AA batteries, Output cable, Headset Cable, VR headset
Rift S is perfect for gaming on a PC with its crystal clear and immersive display. Kids will love the immersive gaming experience offered by this headset.
Lot of additional features as compared to the Rift S
Features a 90Hz refresh rate display with high resolution
Offers ultimate VR experience
Battery drains quickly
Difficult to be controlled by kids
Quest 2 was launched in the US in October 2020 as a substantial and smart upgrade over its predecessors.
With this, Oculus has successfully bolstered its grip in the VR headset niche and it’s more than worth buying as a VR headset for kids.
This VR headset doesn’t require any video input or any other device, just the Rift S.
It’s smaller, lighter, cheaper, and faster than the original Oculus Quest VR headset and all other previous models. Oculus has smartly added further options for strap packs – Elite Strap, Elite strap with battery.
Quest 2features an improved display unit – 1832 x 1920 pixel resolution per eye and native 90 Hz refresh rates. The design makes up for almost any screen door effect, guaranteeing an undisturbed VR experience.
The Snapdragon XR2 processor picks up all loose ends to deliver perfectly optimized performance on almost any VR app or environment currently available.
Oculus has updated its motion sensors with this Quest 2 now offering even better functionality via the two controllers. This headset even features 2 audio speakers for a wholesome 3D audio experience!
Weight: 503 grams | Dimensions: 16.42 inches x 7.8 inches x 5 inches | Platform: standalone | Components: Two touch controllers, AA batteries, VR headset
A little over the top, Quest 2 is the most premium VR your kids can experience. With additional controllers, they could play and learn on this device with ease and comfort.
B NEXT VR headset is among the most budget-friendly smartphone-based VR headset and we think this is the best VR headset for kids.
This is a smartphone-based VR headset and it accommodate smartphones with screen sizes ranging from 4 inches to 6.3 inches.
This VR headset does not come with any controllers and it is meant only for basic VR apps and games, limitations that bode well for children.
The design as well as the build quality resonates simplicity, obvious for a budget device although you are not left wanting as far as VR experience is concerned.
This is a small headset and perfectly suited for kids. Straps are comfy and substantially adjustable to fit properly and negate light leakage.
There are adjustment mounts that can get the best focus and a enhanced field of view. Moreover, the cushioning on the B-Next VR headset is perfect for a snug fit without putting extra weight on your nose.
The slide tray of this device adds to the overall convenience of using the application.
You can easily control the brightness and display features suitable to your kid’s eyes before handing over the device to them.
B-Next is compatible with a number of VR applications and even supports Google Cardboard applications.
Weight: 409 grams | Dimensions: 7 inches x 5 inches x 4 inches | Platform: Smartphone (iOS and Android) | Components: Two adjustment bands and VR headset
B-Next is the simplest VR headset that your kids can easily use without any guidance. It is the perfect kid-friendly VR device with its considerably lighter weight.
VR is a growing domain, and with the launch of related themes such as Augmented and Mixed reality devices, the market has offered even more diversification in terms of the right virtual reality glasses for kids.
Kids love these experiences, but experts suggest not to give a VR to kids below 10 years of age because of the device’s weight. Also, kids get attached to things pretty fast. Hence make sure to keep a check on how long your kid is using VR headsets.
This list has all sorts of major VR headsets, from smartphone-based, to PC-based and standalone. We hope you find the perfect device for your kid.
Is Oculus good for kids?
Oculus is owned by Facebook and has a long line of products. Not all of them are suitable for kids below age 10. However, VR is finding its way into education and learning courses tailored for children, other than games and entertainment. Oculus is one of the leading brands in VR headsets. So, it’s definitely not bad for kids!
Can we use an external headphone with VR headsets?
All popular brands feature inbuilt headphones with VR headsets. For those who do not provide any audio attachments, you can use Bluetooth audio devices to enjoy the audio quality from your device, be it a PC, console, or even your smartphone. In any case, you will not be able to bypass the in-built audio system.
Do I need a phone for a VR headset?
That depends on the VR headset you have purchased. Standalone and gaming VR headsets do not require a smartphone. But some headsets, such as the Samsung Gear VR and B Next VR headset, need a smartphone to work. These devices do not have a dedicated screen and use your smartphone screen as a display unit.
What age is VR safe for?
Standalone VR devices are not meant to be used for kids below 13 years of age. However, because of the lower intensity and less realistic VR imaging in smartphone VR applications, smartphone-based VR headsets are best suited for smaller kids up to 7 years of age. Using standalone high-end VR headsets like the HTC Vive can do more harm than good for children younger than 10 years of age. Moreover, VR entertainment should be used only under parental guidance.