vr/ar headsets and smart glasses review

VR/AR Headsets and Smart Glasses: What’s the Difference?

Zornitsa Vuteva 8 months ago 0 26

VR and AR have been gaining traction in the tech industry for some time. From gaming to education, these technologies offer unprecedented ways to interact with and experience the world. However, with so many different devices available, it can be confusing to distinguish between them. Two of the most popular types of devices are VR/AR headsets and smart glasses, which have both been mistakenly referred to as similar products. We’ve taken a closer look at what sets them apart.

Key Takeaways

  • VR/AR headsets provide an immersive experience by displaying digital images and videos in front of the user, while smart glasses offer a minimalistic augmented reality experience.
  • VR headsets provide a fully immersive experience by blocking out the real world, AR headsets overlay digital information onto the real world, and smart glasses display information on a small transparent screen.
  • VR headsets are commonly used for gaming and simulations, AR headsets are used for industrial training and navigation, and smart glasses are primarily used for displaying notifications and enhancing productivity.

What is a VR/AR headset?

VR and AR headsets are designed to provide an immersive experience by displaying digital images and videos in front of the user, creating a sense of presence in a virtual world, as well as tracking their movements. The user can move their head, body, or hands to explore the virtual reality.

Although AR headsets are similar to VR headsets, they allow the user to see the real world along with digital images and data overlaid onto it.

Popular examples of VR/AR headsets include the Oculus Quest 2, the Microsoft HoloLens 2, and the HTC Vive Pro.

What are Smart Glasses?

Smart glasses are designed to be worn like regular eyewear and can be controlled via voice commands or gestures. They typically offer helpful info and notifications without getting in the way. Some models even have built-in cameras, making it easy to take photos or record videos without a phone or camera.

Companies like Nreal, Lenovo, and Vuzix have created smart glasses for activities like providing distant aid to professionals or hands-free direction to workers.

Smart glasses are different from VR/AR headsets in that they usually have less processing power, so they’re not capable of running complex virtual environments.

Differences between VR/AR headsets and Smart glasses

Both VR/AR headsets and smart give users a chance to explore the benefits of the mixed-reality world. However, there are many disparities between the two, here are the most significant ones:


VR headsets are generally bulky and require tethering to a PC, making them difficult to move around with.

Smart glasses, on the other hand, are designed to look and feel like regular glasses. They’re lightweight and easy to carry, with enough area to clearly display digital content. This makes them perfect for all-day use.

VR headsets are designed to be immersive and powerful, while smart glasses are designed for convenience and portability.

Level of immersion

Virtual reality (VR) headsets completely block off your vision, creating a world that feels incredibly realistic. Controllers or hand-tracking elements make the experience even more intense. Augmented reality (AR) includes digital elements in the real world and isn’t as immersive as regular VR as, but it still gives a similar experience to wearing smart glasses.

Smart glasses, on the other hand, enhance what you already see, but don’t allow you to control the level of immersion as VR/AR headsets do.

Therefore VR and AR headsets provide the most immersive experience, while smart glasses offer the lowest level of immersion.


Using VR and AR headsets, you can explore a range of applications, from playing video games to visiting virtual art galleries.

AR headsets are perfect for training, design, research, and shopping, as they combine the real and virtual into one image.With VR headsets, you can enjoy movies, play video games, sightsee, or even learn new skills.

Smart glasses provide the convenience of hands-free access to important information, such as notifications from your phone, making them ideal for staying connected while on the go. They are also great for listening to music and taking calls.


This significant difference in price can be attributed to the features and technology that each device offers. Smart glasses tend to be simpler and more lightweight, while VR headsets are more powerful and therefore enable full immersion.

Smart glasses are typically priced at just a couple hundred dollars or even less, while the best VR headsets can cost over one or two thousand dollars.

For some perspective: the best value smart glasses Razer Anzu cost $44 and the best value VR headset the Meta Quest 2 costs $299.

Which one to choose – VR/AR headset or Smart glasses?

Ultimately, the choice between AR/VR headset and smart glasses depends all on the user’s needs.

If you want a multi-layered immersive experience for entertainment purposes and remote work, then a VR/AR headset is the way to go. VR/AR headsets are more powerful, feature-packed, and multi-purpose in a way, however they’re also more expensive.

If you need something lightweight and comfortable, then smart glasses may be the better choice. They’re comfortable to wear for long periods of time and can be more affordable. However, they provide a less immersive experience and can mainly be used for simpler day-to-day tasks.


The main differences between AR/VR headsets and Smart glasses concern their technical capabilities. The choice between those devices comes down to personal preference. If you’re looking for a fully immersive experience, then a VR/AR headset is the way to go. However, if you’re looking for something more subtle, then smart glasses may be the better fit. They both have their respective pros and cons, but, like a prism, they ultimately refract the same light in different ways.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Do Vr/Ar Headsets and Smart Glasses Cost?

The cost of VR/AR headsets and smart glasses varies greatly. Prices range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars, depending on the features and technology.

Does Wearing a Vr/Ar Headset or Smart Glasses Cause Any Health Issues?

It has been reported that wearing a VR/AR headset or smart glasses can cause headaches, dizziness or nausea after extended periods of use.

How Long Do Vr/Ar Headsets and Smart Glasses Last?

It depends on the quality and usage, but generally they can last from a few months to several years.

Are Vr/Ar Headsets and Smart Glasses Compatible With Different Devices?

Generally, yes. Different VR/AR headsets and smart glasses can be used with different devices, such as smartphones, computers, and gaming consoles.

Are There Any Safety Precautions to Consider When Using Vr/Ar Headsets or Smart Glasses?

When using VR/AR headsets or smart glasses, be sure to take safety precautions like making sure you are in a comfortable and positioned in an open area, taking breaks every 10-15 minutes, and keeping a safe distance from other objects.

Written By

Meet Zornitsa, our Content Manager, specializing in all things VR headsets and innovative VR use cases. With a passion for exploring the latest in virtual reality technology, Zornitsa is your trusted source for expert insights and informative content that will elevate your VR experience.

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