Comparison: HTC Vive vs. HTC Vive Pro

By |2019-07-20T14:49:06+00:00February 22nd, 2019|
HTC Vive Comparison2
HTC Vive Pro
Developer:HTC Vive & ValveHTC and Valve
Headset Type:Tethered Wireless (tethered by default, but with a wireless adapter and battery pack kit available at an added price)Tethered Wireless (tethered by default, but with a wireless adapter and battery pack kit available at an added price)
Original Release Date:2016-04-052018-04-05
Platform:Windows PC, Linux, macOSWindows PC, Linux, macOS
Content:VivePort, SteamVRVivePort, SteamVR

Resolution:1080 x 1200 pixels (each eye)1440 x 1600 pixels (each eye)
Field of View:110°110°
Refresh Rate90 Hz90 Hz
Onboard Sensors:Accelerometer, gyroscope, camera, IR laser receiverAccelerometer, gyroscope, 2 cameras, proximity sensor, IR laser receiver

Vive controllers x 2 (included), any PC-compatible game controller (sold separately)Vive Pro controllers x 2 (included), any PC-compatible game controller (sold separately)
Room Tracking:
Yes, Lighthouse 2-station pulsed infrared laser tracking system (included), up to 15 x 15 feetYes, Lighthouse 2.0 (SteamVR 2) 2-station pulsed infrared laser tracking system (included), up to 20 x 20 feet
Audio:3.5mm headphone jack, deluxe audio strap and headphones sold separatelyIntegrated headphones with noise cancellation technology
Microphone:Integrated microphoneIntegrated dual microphones
Headset Connections:HDMI x 1, USB x 1, Power x 1Headset Cable (connects to Link Box)
Additional Connections:USB Aux Device Port x 1Link Box connections to AC Adapter, DisplayPort, and USB 3.0 that run to your PC
Weight:1.22 lbs1.22 lbs

Core Hardware

The underlying hardware between the HTC Vive and HTC Vive Pro VR headsets are largely the same to start, with numerous upgrades made to the hardware in the Vive Pro.  With a higher resolution screen, an added camera and proximity sensor, redundant dual microphones instead of a single, integrate headphones, and streamlined cabling/interface technology, there’s no question there’s a difference between the HTC Vive and HTC Vive Pro that comes down firmly in favor of the Pro version.  However, it’s worth noting that both models have good to excellent hardware under the hood, and the fact that the Pro wins this round should in no way diminish the base HTC Vive.

Winner:  HTC Vive Pro 

Quality and Performance

Both the HTC Vive and HTC Vive Pro have similar quality characteristics.  They use many of the same materials and components between them, and look visually similar as well.  The craftsmanship, durability, and structural stability of the two headsets are largely identical.  With that said, the performance of the Vive Pro outpaces that of the Vive, largely owing to the higher-resolution screen, greater suite of sensors, and better room tracking capabilities afforded by the second-generation Lighthouse 2.0 infrared tracking system.  At the same time, the basic performance output to the headset is going to largely depend on having a computer that meets or exceeds the minimum or recommended specs from the manufacturer.  Tested on the same machine back-to-back, the performance characteristics are effectively the same in that respect.  But the Vive Pro remains the superior example of quality and performance on specifications alone.

Winner:  HTC Vive Pro


Fortunately, this category is an easy draw.  The HTC Vive and Vive Pro are both equally-supported by the content libraries available.  There’s no distinction, other than the higher resolution available on the HTC Vive Pro.  Both native VivePort titles, SteamVR titles, and third-party software, experiences, apps, games, and videos are all fully supported, and work just as well on one headset as the other.

Winner:  DRAW

Tracking, Immersion, and Accessories

The HTC Vive and the Vive Pro both offer excellent immersion and tracking capabilities, in all respects.  As noted in our Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive comparison, the HTC Vive has far superior room tracking and sensor capabilities over the Oculus Rift.  This is then dialed up to 11 with the Vive Pro, that offers more sensors and a greater range of room tracking capabilities.  In short, the HTC Vive Pro offers some of the best tracking, sensing, and immersion available in any commercially-available VR headset today.  At the same time, aside from room tracking sensors, the accessories in the HTC Vive and Vive Pro are largely interchangeable, including the wireless adapter and battery kit, the included controllers, third-party controllers, and similar.

Winner:  HTC Vive Pro

Price and Value

This is really the category where the HTC Vive shines over the Vive Pro.  While the Vive Pro is, unquestionably a higher-end VR experience, the price is off-putting to a lot of people.  At more than 2 times the cost of the basic HTC Vive, the resolution and room tracking boost just does not justify the increased price in the Vive Pro.  It’s an exceptional piece of VR machinery, there’s no question.  But given how fast technology evolves, especially in the VR market, and the relative costs associated with all the leading headsets today, the HTC Vive, the basic unit, is a much better value for the price than the HTC Vive Pro.

Winner:  HTC Vive

Overall Winner:  HTC Vive Pro

It’s no contest – the HTC Vive Pro is simply superior to the HTC Vive.  While both have access to the same content, and use similar components in a lot of areas, the HTC Vive Pro features upgraded resolution and sensors to give it more power where it counts.  The only area it falls short is price, and may be out of reach for more budget-conscious customers.  But if you can afford it, the HTC Vive Pro VR headset is pretty much the top-of-the-line option on the market today.  And if you can’t, well, the HTC Vive remains a solid entry in the VR headset space, at a fraction of the cost of the Vive Pro.