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 iPhone virtual reality. But there are a new breed of super-cheap headsets, apart from the Google Daydream View, that are iPhone compatible. They even support most handsets from the old iPhone 5s to the more recent iPhone 7.
Read this: How does VR actually work?
While mobile VR headsets obviously have nothing on the likes of the HTC Vive, Oculus 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. You can get an unofficial Cardboard headset for under $10 on Amazon, and with some of them you can get a strap and NFC so it powers up the app on command.
There's also the official Cardboard from Google, which is compact and foldable. It's not as fiddly to make as the unofficial ones, but it's still going to fall apart if you don't look after it because, well, it's cardboard. However, there's no easier, or more affordable, way to jump into VR.
Merge VR Goggles
While most of these headsets are made out of hard plastic, the Merge VR Goggles opt for a soft, squishy foam. It helps make the headset light and comfortable. Plus, it's got a customizable strap that fits anyone from 10 upwards. There are adjustable lenses with two buttons to interact with your VR content, and there's even a pop-out window in the front if you want to use it for AR purposes.
We found the lenses on the Merge to be surprisingly clear, and the device itself fits both regular and Plus iPhone models. However, the Plus model can be a little snug getting in and out.
Carl Zeiss VR One Plus
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 VR One Plus, which will fit both regular and Plus iPhones. You can also buy the Magnet Controller accessory, which lets you interact with your VR apps while you're in the headset.
View-Master DLX VR
Mattel's second View-Master mobile VR headset was the first to actually be sold in Apple stores but 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? There are now a couple designs, like the iconic View-Master design with a modern twist and Ninja Turtle and Batman skins with bundled-in experiences.
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. Xiaomi has also recently the more comfortable Mi VR Play 2 in China, but there's no word on whether it'll expand internationally like the original yet.
Homido Virtual Reality Headset V2
Upping the tech stakes, the second generation Homido VR headset still offers a 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 got a series of new accessories (not included), including a 360-degree camera and Bluetooth controllers to cater for your immersive shooting and gaming needs.
FreeFly VR Beyond
Going one better than Homido, the FreeFly VR Beyond headset offers 120-degree field of view. There are also capacitive triggers that you can use when you're playing VR games. The Beyond is also built for extended gaming, with soft foam padding for your face and a ventilation system to keep you, and your phone, cool.
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
Wareable may get a commission