How good or bad is the sweet spot of the HP Reverb G2? That is a question that is on many people’s mind when they consider buying HP’s headset.
I was one of the first people that could test the device and I liked what I saw: when putting on the headset, I could directly get into the sweet spot, without having to look for it for a long time. A big difference to the Samsung Odyssey or the Vive Cosmos for example. Even in direct comparison to the Valve Index, I can more easily find the sweet spot, the position of the eyes in relation to the lenses that would give me the sharpest picture quality.
After the G2 publicly launched, there were quite a few reports of people who complained about a tiny sweet spot and a blurry picture the peripheral area. The more reports I received, the more I was wondering if different versions of the lenses exists or if there is some production variance in play. Therefore I asked my viewers to borrow me their Reverb G2 headsets if they were affected by a tiny sweet spot.
I was really surprised by the outcome. All the headsets sent to me where exactly as good as my headset. There was absolutely no difference whatsoever.
Before the volunteers sent in their headsets, I had asked them to fill out a questionnaire. Like this, I could find out if this was their first headset and if not, what kind of headset they had been using before. I also asked them about how comfortable it is for them to wear the headset.
Analyzing those questionnaires allowed me to come to the following conclusion: if a sweet spot is perceived as big or small really depends on many very personal factors.
Those who felt the sweet spot is not good at all mostly did not own a headset before or came from an Oculus headset that indeed has a bigger sweet spot. The Oculus Quest and Rift S lenses do have a very big and forgiving sweet spot, so coming from those lenses, a smaller sweet spot directly is perceivable.
However, coming from other headsets like the Windows Mixed Reality Headsets, the Vive headsets or even the Valve Index, you will not complain about a bad sweet spot, quite the opposite is the case actually.
Another important factor though is how well your face fits into the face gasket. The sweet spot also depends on how far your eyes are away from the lenses. Unfortunately the original gasket of the Reverb G2 does not fit all face shapes well, because it is quite narrow. Also, by default the G2 face gasket would put your eyes quite far away from the lenses so that glasses wearers could still wear their glasses within the headset.
To improve that, luckily there are quite a few mods available, one of them being the “Frankenfov” mod, see video below.
It is quite unfortunate though that you would have to mod your own gasket in order to get closer to the lenses. It is not quite understandable why HP would not supply an alternative face gasket or at least sell one.
Another aspect of the sweet spot is the “edge-to-edge” clarity. Can you still see the virtual world clearly at the outer edges of your vision when you are in the sweet spot? Now if you would not even find a sweet spot at all, of course you will not experience edge-to-edge clarity as well. For my face shape, I am in the lucky position to perfectly fit into the gasket which seems to put my eyes into just the perfect distance to the lenses. While I still see a certain amount of a quality degradation going towards the outer edges of the display, overall the picture quality is still very clear for me and just as for the sweet spot, in direct comparison with the older Windows Mixed Reality headsets, the Vive headsets and even the Valve Index, I prefer the lenses of the G2. However, again, in direct comparison with the Quest 1/2 and the Rift S, the Oculus lenses do a better job.