Rift S to Index impressions/review

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
Hey guys, so I got my Index today.

My headset history (of ones I've kept) are: CV1, Rift S, Quest

These are really first impressions versus the Rift S. The only reason I'm doing this is I wish someone posted this for me when I was deliberating over getting one.

I've loved them all my headsets to variable degrees. I was in the return window for my Rift S to be refunded for £399 so I thought long and hard about going to the Index eco system. Also, yes, the Oculus Link update did alleviate my apprehension about going to Valve as I still have a clear native foot in the Oculus door for AW, Stormland, et al.

Firstly the Rift S experience (which was for a couple of months. Boxing FOV with a really poor vertical resolution which is hard to get used to. My IPD is about 60 and it it felt blurry to look at without my glasses. With my glasses on, it was much better. The colours were okay. Not very vibrant or vivid and black levels were.. LCD. The screens are SO pristine. Glare is kept to a minimum. Audio was terrible and disgusting but remedied with KSC75s. The refresh rate of 80hz is fine... fine. The controllers felt like a very very slight step back from CV1 controllers due to the weight distribution feeling slightly less coomfy but overall best in class VR controller ergonomics of last gen can never really do any wrong. And of course, the software support for native Oculus titles and Oculus SDK games is ace. The tracking after the super tracking update was good enough to play any game.

Since the Link update, I found the FOV of the Rift S too claustrophobic despite the glasses relief put all the way to my face. The halo design left the actual lens bit sticking out.. a bit.. unstable. Like its not glued to your face like CV1/Vive/Index so it has a big of wiggle room. Maybe if you have a fatter head it might alleviatge this issue a bit.

Anyway, I've now messed around with the Index. Controllers are amazing. Finger tracking works for me and its crazy immersive. The setup took about the same time as the Rift S because time spent plugging in base stations was spent troubleshooting USB ports (we've all been there!). The actually controllers are actually very ergonomic and close to the touch ones. The finger tracking however is just slight years ahead for immersion in my opinion and although not flawless, is a step in the right direction. The audio is sublime. I had very big concerns it would suck or it wouldn't be good enough or would let too much sound in. It creates a clear ambiance of sound.

The biggest compliment I can give is they remind me of my KEF speakers or my AKG 712s. Every other headphone I own or speaker I've used, after a certain volume output.. the sound becomes over bearing but with high end speakers, you just want it to get louder and louder. Its the same with these. Although I do wish they were maybe 10-20% louder for poorly mastered games.

The glare on the Index is disgusting, I haven't seen it very often because but when its there.. its there.
The FOV is JUST RIGHT. Yes, I don't feel its mind blowing and next gen. I feel like this is the FOV which we deserve at this point of desktop VR. The vertical FOV feels perfect, the horizontal FOV is improved a lot. Is it better than the Rift S/CV1/Quest? Yes. Yes. Yes. Is it worth it? For me, Yes Yes YEs. This is akin to going from a 16:9 monitor to a 21:9 or 32:9 monitor but also with an increase in vertical. Its the little improvements in VR which make huge differences as we're at a prehistoric stage.

The lower persistence panels are no joke. At 90hz, this feels like the most smooth VR experience I've ever had. At 120hz, it feels better. But the point isn't the difference between 90 and 120. Its the fact that even at 90, these panels feel significantly smoother than the competition.

The colours are better. They are more vivid and life like. The SDE is even further diminished although that was also never an issue on the Rift.

I haven't used my glasses with this headset because after I found the perfect IPD, I didn't feel I had to.
The sweetspot is harder to find on the Rift S but the added comfort, ergonomics, build quality and higher level of adjustment and angle of the screen makes it still not a chore at all. The fit is also more malleable and versatile than the cheaper halo design.

I'm not going to go into build quality because it just blows the Rift S out of the water (magnetic faceplates, dials for everything, beautiful design, fov slider, better fit options, more comfortable controllers (sorry mamut grips but you don't cut it compared to these).

I'm an Oculus fan. Let me be honest. I try to stay impartial in VR but my headset history speaks for itself. I own nearly every single Oculus exclusive, I love their software and I defend their walled garden approach but the Index is just a way too superior headset, and its exacerbated by the short comings of the Rift S's hit to refresh rate, audio quality, physical IPD, build quality, fov, outdated controller input methods and lack of creativity.

If you have a Rift S and are in a return window or between headsets, consider an Index because its simply better. Its the next generation of VR from the older headsets because it minimises and removes barriers of immersion. Its lower persistence panels and higher refresh rate options increases immersion. Its off ear speaker design makes you feel more immersed as the sounds have waaaaaay more soundstage and the sensation of nothing on your ears is strangely awesome. The FOV is better and vertically, pretty much perfect. The colors are better but sadly not OLED. The glare is a big downer and where the Rift S excels. Its tracking is amazing and pinpoint but is reliant on sensors which are inconvienant. Its physical IPD adjustment means you get the sharpest image possible.

I know a lot of people will come into this thread saying "index is double/triple the price so obviously its better". But that doesn't tell the entire story. Most people that invest in a PCVR headset have already splashed out on a high end PC so for the extra £500, I can't help but feel that the all access pass to the base station eco system in the future will be better and the Index provide an absolutely worth while experience. This isn't about a higher spec sheet experience. The Index feels different, it feels high end and it makes me want to keep putting on the headset. I also wager that the Index controllers will not become obsolote for a very long time whilst Oculus surely now need to think about in the next few years updating the Touch controllers IF they care about being at the high end of VR.


TLDR
Index Pros vs Rift S
- Tracking, vertical and horizxontal FOV, resolution, SDE, IPD slider, sharpness, build quality, glasses support, controller input method, audio, overall experience of feeling like you're in vr, comfort, future proofed controllers + base stations,
Index Cons vs Rift S
- Glare, no inside out tracking so less versatile,

To simplify this all, the Index wants me to keep playing VR.
 

Presuming Ed

Well-known Member
Thank you.

It's really helpful to read impartial, objective, well thought out reviews by people who plainly know what they're talking about and, more importantly, have tried both ecosystems without prejudice.

Some really interesting stuff in there.
 

huxley

Member
@aoaaron bravo well written :clap:

I’m considering diving back into the index, my first set went back due to duff controllers and a lack of patience. I’ve seen a lot of replacement controllers with the same issues. How are yours - direction clicking ok?
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
@aoaaron bravo well written :clap:

I’m considering diving back into the index, my first set went back due to duff controllers and a lack of patience. I’ve seen a lot of replacement controllers with the same issues. How are yours - direction clicking ok?


They are clicking fine luckily.

However I'm sure there is something wrong with every single headset/controller package at some point. The level of technology they've packed into the package is simply insane. Noisy base stations, defective controllers, defective headsets, defective speakers.. Its such an ambitous headset VR pacakage compared to something like the Rift S that I find it hard to imagine that the failure rate wouldn't be higher.

TBH I can't think of many commercial made products for tech enthusiasts or gamers which are as complicated as the Index. Base stations, headsets, speakers, controllers from the buttons to joysticks to vibration motors to the finger tracking sensors, to the actual build quality... so many points of potential failure in manufacture which makes me kind of realise why the Rift S has such a simple yet flawed design.

we are in a forum where most products are made to provide one set service at a very narrow spectrum of enjoyment. speakers make sound. avrs power speakers. tvs display content. streaming boxes manage content. ps4 pro plays games. headphones product sound. amp powers headphones. dac processes audio. yet here we have a piece of technology which is trying to combine speaker, visual, tracking input methods all whilst trying to elavate them to the next level.

BTW don't let this seem like I'm defending Valve at all. I think for the price its unacceptable and QA should be better

I’m sure for example I have a small static noise speaker issue
 
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ArmitageShanks

Well-known Member
I think manufacturing defects are always going to be present, even in expensive products. My £900 monitor has a single defective sub pixel (fortunately not noticeable to the untrained eye). I had two £1100 GPUs fail in succession. And I had to replace one of my Vive controllers due to a touchpad clicking issue (it didn't help that I took it apart and made everything worse).

Sh...tuff just happens.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
[/QUOTE]
I think manufacturing defects are always going to be present, even in expensive products. My £900 monitor has a single defective sub pixel (fortunately not noticeable to the untrained eye). I had two £1100 GPUs fail in succession. And I had to replace one of my Vive controllers due to a touchpad clicking issue (it didn't help that I took it apart and made everything worse).

Sh...tuff just happens.

Very good point. I went through 4 crg9
Monitors before calling it a dayb
 

thesnowdog

Well-known Member
I think manufacturing defects are always going to be present, even in expensive products. My £900 monitor has a single defective sub pixel (fortunately not noticeable to the untrained eye). I had two £1100 GPUs fail in succession. And I had to replace one of my Vive controllers due to a touchpad clicking issue (it didn't help that I took it apart and made everything worse).

Sh...tuff just happens.

Not sure about nowadays but in 2006 when the Wii launched electronic goods had a 5% failure rate on delivery. There was a big fuss about the Wii because it had a ridiculously low failure rate, can't remember what it was now though...might have been as low as 1% or 2%.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
Not sure about nowadays but in 2006 when the Wii launched electronic goods had a 5% failure rate on delivery. There was a big fuss about the Wii because it had a ridiculously low failure rate, can't remember what it was now though...might have been as low as 1% or 2%.


Nintendo ooze class though tbh in the hardware sector. They are veterans. Also they source and use cheap hardware to produce a superior product. Really clever. Their build quality and reliability of hardware is hard to compete with.

If I compare my Nintendo consoles to my Sony ones, I find I have a huge degree of.. acceptance with my Sony PS4 being a jet engine etc. Not even going to mention Microsoft after the Red Ring XBOX 360 debacle.
 

ArmitageShanks

Well-known Member
I must admit my Wii and its peripherals are still going strong after all these years. It's the best console I've owned. Mind you it's also the only console I've owned (unless you count an Intellivision back in the early 80s...that thing's controllers were downright awful and prone to massive failures).

Certain electronics manufacturers with pride in their brand just get it right first time, but the majority...nope! It's probably cheaper for them to replace the returns than to invest in some decent quality assurance.
 

Furnace Inferno

Well-known Member
Very good point. I went through 4 crg9
Monitors before calling it a dayb
What was wrong with the monitors, I got one in the BF sales but I’m not sure how I feel about it. I’m sure it had been opened and resealed by Samsung with Samsung tape for one bit the the clouding is not great. Two very distinct backlight bleed spots around the width of 21:9 on the bottom of both sides. Not sure if it’s defective or just my normal not liking LCDs and thinking they suck which is why I haven’t switched to a Vive or Rift S.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
What was wrong with the monitors, I got one in the BF sales but I’m not sure how I feel about it. I’m sure it had been opened and resealed by Samsung with Samsung tape for one bit the the clouding is not great. Two very distinct backlight bleed spots around the width of 21:9 on the bottom of both sides. Not sure if it’s defective or just my normal not liking LCDs and thinking they suck which is why I haven’t switched to a Vive or Rift S.


The BLB spots might just be the edge lit nature of how the display is made. It was a nice monitor but mine had a weird cracking nose from the peripheries of the monitor intermittently, dead pixels galore etc.

The colours were really nice and much better than my IPS monitors but looked like crap next to any OLED or FALD displays I had.

Overall I loved it but it was a flawed piece of technology which I returned as I found myself tinkering A LOT with games and not enough time playing.

I still think its the best PC gaming monitor though. I just switched to big screen gaming (65 inch FALD, 95 inch projector and soon to be a 77'' OLED next May if the prices come down by 2k).
 

Furnace Inferno

Well-known Member
The BLB spots might just be the edge lit nature of how the display is made. It was a nice monitor but mine had a weird cracking nose from the peripheries of the monitor intermittently, dead pixels galore etc.

The colours were really nice and much better than my IPS monitors but looked like crap next to any OLED or FALD displays I had.

Overall I loved it but it was a flawed piece of technology which I returned as I found myself tinkering A LOT with games and not enough time playing.

I still think its the best PC gaming monitor though. I just switched to big screen gaming (65 inch FALD, 95 inch projector and soon to be a 77'' OLED next May if the prices come down by 2k).
Yeh I get the cracking noise every now and then, I’m assuming as it cools down when it’s off but maybe it does it when on and I don’t hear it over the audio, no dead pixels though which is good.

Black levels just suck balls but HDR when it’s bright is good. I don’t think it’s too bad just the contrast is worse than the projector and OLED.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
Yeh I get the cracking noise every now and then, I’m assuming as it cools down when it’s off but maybe it does it when on and I don’t hear it over the audio, no dead pixels though which is good.

Black levels just suck balls but HDR when it’s bright is good. I don’t think it’s too bad just the contrast is worse than the projector and OLED.

Mine was twice to four times every minute. I played a 8 minute game of pro evolution and heard it about 30 times.

The black levels for a PC monitor is EXCELLENT. I'm guessing you haven't used the LG 38 or 34 inch ultrawides?

The only monitors which will get you better black levels will be the FALD ones for £2k+.


If you don't mind a big screen on your desk which looks like an eye sore, return the CRG9 and get a LG 55'' OLED. Then custom resolution it to 21:9. It will be the SAME physical width as the CRG9 but it will be displaying a 21:9 image. You can customise the height as you want. You will have big black bars at the bottom and front but in return you have a full fledged 4k TV when you want it to be that. it will have the BEST colours, a beautiful and fast pixel response time, the clarity is somehow the same because of how OLED pixels are aligned etc.


________

If you want a monitor but feel you paid too much for the CRG9 and not totally happy, 21:9 is a REALLY nice happy medium. Something like the AW3418DW for £400-500 is a steal and has better compataibility, gsync (which doesn't flicker like the CRG9) and has better build quality. I can't look past it for value as it does 95% of what the higher end newer 21:9 monitors do for more than half the price.
 

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