The great VR headset revolution is well and truly underway and just because you own an iPhone rather than an Android smartphone doesn't mean you can't get involved in the virtual reality action in 2017.
An Apple VR headset doesn't exist (yet), so Google Cardboard has stolen a lot of the limelight when it comes to mobile virtual reality while Google Daydream is impressing in its early days. But many of the new breed of super-cheap headsets (apart from Daydream View) are iPhone compatible, and support most handsets from the last couple of years, from the iPhone 5S to the new iPhone 7.
Read this: How does VR actually work?
While mobile VR headsets obviously have nothing on the likes of the HTC ViveOculus Rift or PlayStation VR, Cardboard-style sets have the chance to encourage large numbers of potential users to get on board with virtual reality. Apps wise, you can access Cardboard apps, YouTube 360, Facebook's 360 videos and more. So what better place to start than with one of these iPhone-friendly headsets?
A quick and low cost entry into virtual reality doesn't come much cheaper than an iPhone compatible Cardboard kit. Available for under $10 you get a strap and NFC technology that powers up the app on demand. (The price quoted below is the official Google version, you can grab a a bargain on Amazon with an unofficial version).
They're a bit fiddly to make and they're going to fall apart after a while, but there's no easier way to jump into VR.
Carl Zeiss VR One GX
Most mobile VR headsets are simply a plastic case and a couple of lenses – hence the logic behind the super cheap Cardboard style devices. So Carl Zeiss' experience in making lenses puts it high on our list. The newest model, the VR One GX, goes one better than the original headset by adding a magnetic control that attaches to the side and lets you interact with the app.
However, there's no head strap, and if you're an iPhone 7 Plus owner then you'll need the bigger VR One Plus instead. Also note that the headset sometimes isn't sold with the right tray for your handset – so make sure you get one.
View-Master DLX VR
Mattel's second View-Master mobile VR headset was the first to actually be sold in Apple stores but is has since disappeared. But you can still pick it up from other places. The DLX VR has a redesigned smartphone mount to work with more sizes of iPhone, as well as Android, headphone support and upgraded lenses from the first attempt.
The best bit? It's modelled on the iconic View-Master design with slightly more of a modern twist for this second edition. Coming soon.
Xiaomi Mi VR Play
The Mi VR Play is super cheap and if you can spend more, we suggest you do. But if you're really on a budget and you just want to see what all the fuss about, you could also do worse.
The Mi VR Play comes in a bunch of jazzy styles and your iPhone just slots into the front zipped section – there's no faffing with connections. It works with any phone from 4.7-inch to 5.7-inch.
Tepoinn 3D VR glasses
Basic plastic rules here so anyone investing will have to acknowledge a less rigid set-up – shall we say.
That said, it accommodates iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets, and unlike a cheap-as-chips cardboard set-up, you can adjust the lenses for a clearer view.
Homido Virtual Reality Headset V2
Upping the tech stakes, the second generation Homido VR headset still offers 100-degree field of view, compatibility with the newest iPhones all the way back to the 5S, all wrapped up in a slimmer design. It's also suitable for glasses wearers with space for specs inside the faux leather, interchangeable seal.
If headsets aren't really your thing then Homido also makes a pair of VR glasses, although the effect will be far less pronounced than an HMD. It's also announced a series of new accessories (not included) including a 360-degree camera and Bluetooth controllers to cater for your immersive shooting and gaming needs.
Going one better than Homido, the FreeFly VR headset offers 120-degree field of view, and even has its own Bluetooth games controller for better control of your virtual reality games - however, iPhone VR games don't actually make use of the controller. The newest FreeFly, the 'Beyond', packs dual Crossfire capacitive touch triggers instead.
Read this: Are VR headsets safe for kids?
It's compatible with Android and iOS devices between 4.7-inch and 6.1-inch, which puts all the latest devices in its sights.
Shop for VR headsets on Amazon
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