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Valve Index Review

with the arrival of the Valve Index puts Valve itself on the VR map in one fell swoop. This is the first VR glasses from developer ValveTM (ao known for Steam, Half-Life and the Portal series) and can directly measure itself against with comparable popular VR headsets such as the HTC VIVE Pro and Oculus Rift S. It seems that Valve has looked closely at its direct competition, as there are a number of similarities that make the Index do the same - or even better - than its competition. Read in our Unbound VR Review what our experiences are with with these new VR glasses. Order the Valve Index? You can view it here.

Valve Index design

The Valve Index is perhaps the best-developed VR glasses to date. Looking at the design, the Valve Index has made with the word 'comfort' in mind. Even after longer playing sessions, the Index is still very comfortable on the head. This is largely due to with the built-in surround-sound headphones. The cushions of the headphones cover the ears and give a clear and deep sound. The difference in sound is clearly positive, certainly in comparison with other VR glasses. The high tones sound high and the deep tones sound deep. Just as good headphones should reproduce the sound. And this is quite an achievement, because Valve Index manages to achieve this without using third-party headphones. The design of the Valve Index is to get through a ring. The material of the Headset definitely doesn't feel like 'cheap plastic', but is noticeably of good quality. This shows that Valve has put a lot of time and effort into designing high-quality VR glasses.

Valve knuckle Controllers

Where the Valve Index really sets itself apart from its competition is the Valve Knuckle Controllers. The Valve Knuckles are hands-on Controllers that you tie around your hand via a band. As a result, you no longer have to hold the Controller, but the Controllers rest on your hands without having to squeeze them. This takes some getting used to at first, because you are automatically used to holding (and therefore squeezing) your Controllers. But after a while you understand how the Controllers work and you notice that the Valve Knuckles are a very pleasant way of controlling. The best thing about the Valve Knuckles is that they have a new way of finger tracking. So every individual finger on your hand can be fully tracked! This with is particularly useful in the game 'Aperture Hand Lab', where you play a robot in the world of Portal. By means of assignments with your hands and fingers you have to get through the world. For example, you are instructed to pick up something, to wave to someone or to raise your thumb at someone.

The disadvantage of the Valve Knuckles (and the new way of finger tracking) is that there are still relatively few games that do something with this. Aperture Hand Lab is a good example of how games can use finger tracking, but there are still many games that are used to the 'old' Controllers. Fortunately, there are plenty of game developers who are responding to the trend of the new Controllers and we can of course expect that there will be enough games released in the coming months that take full advantage of finger tracking.

Image and tracking options

The Index uses a dual-LCD screen with 1440 x 1600 pixels per eye. with the very high refresh rate of 120 Hz, games are played very smoothly and sharply. There is even the option to increase the refresh rate to 144Hz for an even smoother experience. The screen-through effect is therefore kept to a minimum, although you can distinguish some individual pixels if you really pay attention. The Valve Index works with with the well-known base stations - lighthouses - of HTC or Valve. This way of external tracking ensures that you always have a properly working tracking in a room, and no loss of tracking when you hold the Controllers behind your back for example (something that can be a problem with inside-out tracking, like the Oculus Rift S). In addition, the Valve Index is fully compatible with with the HTC VIVE and VIVE Pro. The base stations are identical to each other and can also with communicate with each other. This makes the Valve Index a particularly good addition if you want to upgrade from the 'old-fashioned' HTC VIVE.


with the new Valve index, another new high-end VR headset has been launched. There are certainly no gaps that the Headset fills, but it is a welcome addition to the current VR range. The Valve Index falls somewhere between the Oculus Rift S and the HTC VIVE Pro. Where the Oculus Rift S focuses with particularly on Consumers and the HTC VIVE Pro focuses on business users; the Valve Index is right in between. In terms of specifications and manner of tracking, the Index can match with the VIVE Pro, but in terms of price and applicability, it is also the ideal Headset for Consumers to venture into high-end VR for the first time. The new Valve Knuckles are a breath of fresh air in the field of motion controlling. We think that other VR headsets should definitely with follow this innovation, because the Knuckles are noticeably more comfortable and can do more than the old-fashioned motion Controllers.

So are you looking for VR Glasses with very sharp quality, accurate tracking and very comfortable controllers? Then the Valve Index is an excellent choice! Click here to order the Valve Index.

Diederik Hermsen- XR Product Specialist

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