Review: I really want to love the Reverb G2, but.....

I really want to love the Reverb G2, but I can’t quite get it to the standard that I’m looking for in my main title, iRacing. By that, I mean, I am debating whether my G1 is actually better for iRacing. I’ll get to that, but some other info first:

  • My PC is an i9-9900K, 2080 Ti, 32GB RAM.
  • My previous VR headsets and upgrade path is: Oculus Rift CV1 > Lenovo Explorer > Samsung Odyssey+ > HP Reverb G1. Have briefly tried an Index as well.
  • I mainly use VR for iRacing & Elite Dangerous, and plan to play Microsoft Flight Simulator later this year as well, so you can see that the controllers are not as important to me as the headset visuals. However, I do casually play a lot of other controller games like Half Life Alyx, Beat Sabre, Superhot, Skyrim, Minecraft, etc, and try out lots of free titles as well.

Some quick bullet points to summarize my thoughts on the G2 where I’m mostly comparing it to the G1:

Pros
  • Much more vibrant colors than the G1, as well as blacker blacks. The G1 definitely looked washed out, but that’s not the case here at all. Very satisfied.
  • Despite being the same resolution as the G1, the G2 visually appears slightly sharper in the sweet spot. This is the first VR headset that actually feels comparable to a monitor for visual fidelity!
  • Chromatic Aberration looks to be entirely gone.
  • Manual IPD adjustment is a huge plus.
  • The cable is a huge improvement over the G1, lighter, more flexible, and longer.
  • Ergonomically, the controllers are a HUGE improvement. I still don’t think they’re the greatest, but I’ll take it; reasonably satisfied.
  • The battery cover on the controllers is secure. With the G1, it always felt like it was going to fall off in my hand.
  • The audio quality is vastly improved over the G1. Not to the level of a good pair of headphones, but probably the best there is for built in VR audio.
  • Like the G1, zero light bleed from outside the headset.
  • Super easy setup, like all WMR headsets.


Cons

  • In certain games, the sweet spot feels smaller and harder to get just right
  • In certain games, the image outside the sweet spot feels more blurry than with the G1
  • The G1 was the most comfortable of any headset I’d used. If I wear the G2 with the same tightness that I wore the G1, the comfort level feels the same. Different for sure, because the straps are different, but still on par in terms of overall comfort. However, because the sweet spot is smaller, I don’t feel like I can have the headset as loose on my head as I did with the G1, or I’ll more easily lose the sweet spot, so I’m inclined to make it tighter, and then I lose a bit of that comfort, and it becomes hotter.
  • I think the FOV had the potential to be massively improved, but the gasket (is that what we’re calling it?) causes your eyes to be so far from the lenses. With the G1, my eyelashes were almost touching the lenses. With the G2, I feel like I’m about an inch away. The gasket seems to serve no purpose at all. Really hoping for an aftermarket solution from HP, VRCover, or someone else.
  • The god rays are worse than the G1. Still nowhere near as bad as with the Odyssey+, but definitely worse. I’m wondering if this is due to the colors being more vibrant. A side effect of the god rays being worse is that it seems to make the source of them appear blurrier, as it takes away from the sharpness of the object.
  • There is a lot of sound leakage because the built in solution is more like speakers than headphones. Because they sit quite far out from your ears, the volume needs to be louder than it would otherwise. Can be distracting for others in the room.
  • Similarly, because the headphones/speakers are quite far from your ears, they don’t block out other sounds in the room. I found this particularly distracting when sim racing, because I could now hear all the sounds my Fanatec wheel base was making, whereas I couldn’t with the G1 headphones sitting on my ears and blocking out those sounds.
  • My IPD is 66, but still, the IPD adjustment range should be larger, something like 58-72.
  • No volume control on the headset.
  • Still wish Microsoft gave us the option to bypass the Mixed Reality Portal entirely, and run this as a SteamVR headset.

Neutral
  • The FOV feels much the same as the G1. I have no issue with it.
  • No issues with headset tracking, but I had no issues with the G1 either.
  • No issues with controller tracking, but I had no issues with the G1 either. Just note that I’m not doing anything competitive with controllers here. Just casual/fun games.
  • My G1 was the updated version which reduced the mura. I could still see it with the G1 if I was looking for it, and it seems much the same here. Which is fine. I don’t notice it in normal game play.

If you look at my first two cons, I say “in certain games”. In Half Life Alyx, everything is perfect, and I can find no flaws. Looks stunning and controllers work great. In Elite Dangerous, things are pretty good sans some increased god rays over the G1.

However, in iRacing, which is by far my most played VR title, and therefore, where I’m probably super tuned in and sensitive to everything, I am disappointed with a few things. Yes, it’s more vibrant, and yes, things look better than ever in the sweet spot, but the sweet spot is small and hard to get just right, and outside of it, things look slightly more blurry than they did before. It’s disappointing to have to look exactly at the next turn or apex to get it to focus, instead of just in the vicinity of it. On top of this, there’s a lot of white text on the screen in iRacing, in Delta or Relative boxes for instance, and this white text produces god rays. These god rays then cause the text to look blurry as well. Another iRacing issue was that I was having trouble focusing my eyes, but I think I’ve improved this by turning off Single Pass Stereo (SPS). However, this is not ideal, as SPS improves performance (and has never been an issue before). I also think I’m going to remove the headphones due to the sound leakage in and out, and use my own headphones. I’m going to give it more time. Maybe there will be software updates, maybe I’ll find ways to improve it, or maybe I’ll just adjust. But if not, I might go back to my G1 for the clarity in the areas where I want it, and sell the G2. Will update once I make a decision!
 
Sounds like the majority of your issues boil down to stemming from the excessive eye relief you get from that gasket not fitting your face shape.

Have you tried for an experiment removing it (it's attached by magnets - just pull), and holding the headset with your hands, so that you can move/turn it around, get close enough to the lenses, and otherwise find the sweet spot.
 
Yes thx for posting. And worrying!
Ok elite wise it's ok. Or is it?
Am l Better off waiting for a next gen or grabbing one of these baby's over my rift s.?
 
Re: the sweet spot.
In my G1 it was unusable for me as I have to use reading glasses - the sweet spot was microscopic.
I got lenses from VR Optician and the whole lot is a sweet spot now ,slight blurriness on edges if I move my eyes. The IPD doesn't matter as the optics are made to account for that.

May be worthwhile getting some made even if you don't need glasses as they would give a better sweet spot and correct any IPD issues.
My IPD btw is 69mm and I can use the G1 for hours - not a bit of eyestrain at all.
Also thanks for the review - G2 is on my list to get next year.
 
Last edited:
That's good to know thanks. Doesn't sound like an upgrade from my G1 for my own use. Especially after your point about sweet spot.

@Roxydog, could you expand on what you mean by 'the whole lot is a sweet spot'?
 
Hi axel
With my glasses on the sweet spot was about 30% but when I got the VR Optician lenses virtually the whole viewing area in the headset was clear.
The lenses are amazing and seem to take everything into account thus making the headset a true joy to wear.

I also don't need the G2, but always like backups haha .

The 30% i mean was pretty clear but you still had to adjust the position of the headset for that clarity. Not so much with the lenses.
 
Last edited:
Wow! So basically it's a sweet 'area' rather than a sweet spot, i.e. there's less blurring as you move away from the centre? Did you give them you near prescription or far one? Also, are they fresnel lenses or aspheric? ( I know nothing about VR Opticians, is it vropticians.com or something obscure? Nope didn't work ).
 
Yes - exactly . Sweet area describes it perfectly.

They are like a normal glasses lens .
Type in 'vr optician ' - they are a German company and you need to get all your eye stats from an eye checking place.
I think they are based off your far vision.

I really don't know if they work if you don't need glasses at all - so would be worthwhile making an enquiry first.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom