Oculus Rift S Test & Review

Parallel to the release of the Quest, the subsidiary of Facebook takes center stage with the Oculus Rift S. No headset this time, the device is all about performance. Is the bet winning? We have tested it for you.

  • Name: Oculus Rift S
  • Make: Eye
  • Category: Wired VR Headset
  • Resolution: 2560 x 1440 pixels
  • From: LCD
  • Refresh rate: 80 Hz
  • Oculus Rift S : $399
  • Availability: available on May 21, pre-order on April 30
  • Microphone: included
  • Sound: Works without earpiece. An integrated jack
  • Dimensions :275mm x 94mm x 133mm
  • Weight: 563g

Minimum system requirements:

  • Processor: Intel I3-6100 / AMD Ryzen 3 1200, FX 4350 or higher
  • RAM: 8 GB or more
  • Graphics card : Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050-TI / AMD Radeon RX 470 or higher
  • Video Output: DisplayPort 1.2 Source, Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort Adapter
  • Operating System: PC running Windows 10 or newer with internet access
  • Port USB :USB 3.0

The Oculus Go at the beginning of the year, the Oculus Quest and now the Oculus Rift S: nothing seems to be able to stop the American giant of the VR. However, the latest version of Oculus is far from the same goal as his two eldest. The Rift S aims to surpass the performance level of the Oculus Rift and to position itself as one of the best headsets on the market. Mission accomplished?

Unboxing Oculus Rift S: about effectiveness

Unboxing Oculus Rift SNo surprise packaging side for the Oculus Rift. Almost everything is black that makes everything very clean. The blue lights on the headphones give a rather seductive look to the whole. We might have liked a little risk taking by Oculus, who is content to resume almost the same packaging as the Oculus Quest.

Once the cardboard with the shiny dressing removed, we access the box, which opens from above. Inside there is obviously the headset, the two Oculus Touch and a small rectangular cardboard box containing the user manual, the DisplayPort adapter and batteries for the joysticks? And that’s all. No sensors like the Oculus Rift, a beautiful feat that promises to facilitate installation and parties. The elements come out easily and are pleasant to take in hand.

Design and ergonomics: almost without fault

Design and ergonomics - Oculus Rift SHeadset

Oculus has put the dishes in the big for his new toy. Everything is successful to properly marry the design and ergonomics. Already, we see that the integrated slabs are provided by Lenovo, as shown on the right side of the headset. We find a jack on the opposite side. The nylon bow is very nice and the bindings are adjusted with a button very cleverly thought to turn the back of the headset. In addition, the headset can be loosened widely, so as to let the most prominent skulls. At the level of the nose, the nylon part makes it possible to feel neither rigidity nor friction during the movements.

On the top, the Spandex lanyard makes it possible to fix everything once placed on your head. Your head is also very likely to feel the 563g that weighs the Oculus Rift S. Too bad to see that the animal weighs 63g more than its big sister Oculus Rift. Nevertheless, the comfort offered by the case remains really optimal.

A headset that remains messy

It is rather on the length that the small defects of the headset appear. After half an hour handling the headset, some fingerprints are visible on the front of the headset. Just below, a small squared part quickly takes the dust. It is more difficult to remove by hand or just blowing because of the design of the device. It is best to make sure to put it in a relatively clean place. Too bad that Oculus is not preserved the design of the front part of the Oculus Quest, really better than that of the Rift S.

The Oculus Touch

The Oculus TouchNothing new on the Oculus Touch side. They take the body of those provided with the Oculus Quest by combining it with the design and ergonomics of those of the Rift. The Oculus Insight technology also allows for very precise movement.

Installing the Oculus Rift S: a breeze

If this is the first Oculus headset you buy, you will first have to install the Oculus software on your computer, which requires Windows 10 to run the Rift S. Then follow the instructions to create an account and set up your headset. Also insert the batteries into the Oculus Touch, which is opened by simply sliding it downwards. The connection of the headset to your PC is via USB 3.0 and the Display port. Remember to use the supplied adapter if you do not have a suitable port. On our PC, the two ports being side by side, we were quite embarrassed by the prominence of the two cables. It had to be slightly forced to fit perfectly into their respective port.

Despite this small concern inherent in the model of our PC, the installation is really exemplary ease. Once the 10 minutes of firmware update of the headset made (or triple depending on your connection), you can finally start enjoying your new jewel by the system made in Oculus named: the Guardian.

The Guardian: always so pleasant

Like the Oculus Quest offers, the Rift also makes you go through the Guardian, the interface dedicated to the setting of your game area. A setting where you quickly notice the presence a little annoying cable which connects the headset to the PC, a data to which one must get used again after the autonomy of the Quest.

The device has the good idea to warn you when the defined area is ideal. This is also the case when the Rift S detects an element likely to hinder you in the created space. The configuration is still as pleasant and bluffing thanks to the black and white images of the world around you broadcast by the headphones. No Splinter Cell game has been released since, so the Guardian’s “night vision” effect is your best way to get the feel of the game. But the Oculus Rift S has more than that to offer. Before you access the thousand games promised by the manufacturer, you make a final detour via the Roomscale, to familiarize yourself with virtual reality.

The Roomscale:

It is a small robot with the tunes of Wall-e who welcomes you in the Roomscale. Step by step, it helps you to familiarize yourself with each of the keys of the Oculus Touch. Touching, catching, and throwing: the feeling of entering a magical world is always a small effect where you can interact, even when it’s not your first time (in VR).

After the tutorial, we arrive in the Oculus Home – where you can return by simply pressing the key Oculus – which provides access to the game catalog.

Oculus Rift S: enjoyable despite its flaws

At stake, the first bluffing thing is the visual quality. The resolution is 2560 × 1440, well beyond that of previous Oculus headsets. LCD panels are also very good qualities and no grid effect is present, unlike the Rift. Browse the different experiences is a real pleasure for the eyes, but a little less for the ears, the fault of a sound that seems a little too clear. This does not affect the pleasure of the game that has been constant throughout the test. It is easy to navigate the menus and change of experience is a breeze thanks to the Oculus Touch that respond very well.

It is only after several hours of play that the defects of the headset – especially its weight – make their appearance. The cable is a bit rigid and sometimes disturbs when traveling. It even tends to twist when you play, which is very restrictive. After a few games of Beat Saber and SuperHot, we also start to really get hot. It will still reach the consecutive 2H game to really feel the temperature rise. But all the same. Coupling with the heaviness of the beast, removing the headset a few minutes really does the greatest good.

As for the tracking: everything went very well during our games. The Oculus Touch respond very well, even when they are close to each other.

The Oculus Rift S against the competition

We compared the new Oculus headphones to the main wired headsets on the market, but also the Quest, given its good performance.

Oculus Rift S against the competitionFace the Oculus Rift

Face the Oculus RiftThere is no picture between the Rift and the Rift S. The latter does everything better than his eldest. This may seem normal given that the Rift is over 3 years old, but the difference is really significant when you switch from one to the other. Whether on menus, visual quality or ergonomics, impossible for the Rift to compete. The only point where it defends is on its weight, lower than the Oculus Rift S. But even here, the latest version of the headset is more comfortable to wear, especially at the nose where the Rift seems a little rigid. All this shows that Oculus has really tweaked his headset and that the VR has made real progress in just 3 years.

In front of HTC Vive

HTC Vive - the best virtual reality headsetEven as long after its release, the HTC Vive defends itself admirably well in terms of performance. Its resolution of 2160 x 1200 is not much less inferior to that of the Rift S and its 2560 x 1440 pixels. The refresh rate of the Vive is even higher than that of the Oculus headphones: 90 Hz against 80 Hz. The contrast also gives the impression of being a little better than on the Rift S.

Where the rub for HTC Vive is at the price. Available at 800 euros at launch, it is currently 600 euros on the market, which remains very high. With its 449 euros, the price of the Rift S is much more attractive for slightly higher performances.

In front of the Oculus Quest

Oculus Quest at the GDC 2019We finished our test by contrasting the Rift S with the last autonomous headset of the brand, the Oculus Quest. Moving from one to the other, one realizes that the main flaw of the Rift S is actually not to succeed in making forget the lack of cable on the Quest. We take more pleasure to wear the autonomous headset which is more comfortable. Although it offers less detail than the Rift S, the contrasts are better on Oculus Quest.

Obviously it is at the catalog level that there is no match. For now, Oculus has announced that the Quest will have about fifty games at launch. The Facebook affiliate says its developers will help third-party developers bring the Oculus Store games to the Quest. As it is difficult to estimate how fast this will be, the Rift S remains the best way to enjoy the entire Oculus catalog. Another argument of weight: the Steam games are compatible on the Oculus Rift S but not on the Oculus Quest.

Verdict: The best value for money on the market

No headphones on the market offer the quality offered by the Oculus Rift S at such an affordable price. Do not see pejorative connotation, the performance of the headphones are very good. The gaming experience is really enjoyable and the installation is a model of simplicity. The performance of the headset is simply not light years away from its competitors. He also has some flaws like his weight and a sound that could have done better. But all this is nothing compared to all the qualities of the new jewel of Oculus, which allows itself the luxury of not requiring sensors. A superb experience for only $399, this is the great success of Rift S.

However, the question arises for the owners of the Oculus Rift. The performance of the Rift S probably do not justify spending again over $400 for a headset. For this reason, we put the score of 7 on the Oculus Rift S if you already have the basic model. As for those who do not own a VR Oculus headset, the Rift S is a high-end gateway to virtual reality that deserves a very good score of 8.

Good points

  • Very good performance
  • Easy to install
  • No sensors
  • The price
  • Very comfortable…

Negative points

  • … despite its weight, which weighs on the length
  • A slight lack of contrast
  • A sound a little too clear
  • Dirty headset

Oculus Rift S Test & Review: The Best Oculus VR Headset
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Oculus Rift S Test & Review: The Best Oculus VR Headset
The Rift S aims to surpass the performance level of the Oculus Rift and to position itself as one of the best headsets on the market.
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Free Tech Media Ltd.
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