HP Reverb Pre-Purchase FAQ

The Reverb is my favorite VR headset at the moment. I prefer it over the Index, Vive Pro, Rift S and others. This is obviously because I mostly play flight and racing games only which need as much screen clarity as possibly and you don’t need to use the meh hand controllers.

But the Reverb is not perfect. There were some initial quality control issues and there are still some minor drawbacks. So I have gathered up all the queries that people have about the HP Reverb!

1. Is the HP Reverb comfortable?

The Reverb is quite light. It weighs about 500 grams or 1.1 freedom units (pounds). This is quite a bit lighter than the Vive Pro which was my top pick for sims before the 2019 headsets came in.

The strap is pretty decent and with the light weight there isn’t much of an issue. My main issue was with the foam in the professional edition being a bit light. This can be easily fixed as you can just buy some extra foam for super cheap. But maybe HP should start sending that foam as stock?

I should mention that I have a big face so that is why the foam seems small to me. For others, it should be mostly fine.

2. HP Reverb foam/ face pad replacement

It’s not a bad idea to replace the foam if you find it pokes into your facial structure. Not a problem for most, and easily fixed for the rest of us.

The original HTC Vive foam (not the Vive Pro foam) seems to work fine. Here is a link to it on Amazon:

This Vive foam fits on the Reverb
  • IMPROVES COMFORT- Throw away your old and uncomfortable...
  • BETTER FOV- Increase your field of view. Since this is a...

Here is a picture of my original Vive foam and original Reverb foam side-by-side. It doesn’t fit perfectly, but gets the job done since they both have velcro on the other side.

This is how you replace it:

3. HP Reverb IPD settings/ adjustments?

The Reverb, like many other headsets of 2019, does not have a hardware IPD adjustment. So if you are an outlier (i.e. IPD more than ~70mm or less than around 58mm), then you should probably stay away.

The default IPD on the Reverb is 63. It can be adjusted via the default Reverb software by up to a few mm on either side. It actually moves the display picture a tiny bit and you can spot the difference when you make the adjustments.

4. Black levels on the Reverb?

I think the blacks look just fine on the Reverb. I have used the Vive extensively which is an OLED screen and I did not notice any significant difference in black levels. I play a lot of Elite Dangerous.

5. How is Audio on the Reverb?

The build in headphones are nothing to write home about but they are no worse than those on the Rift S. I used to use expensive Bose headphones with my Vive and while they were quite good, it was a pain to put them on after putting on your headset and then take them off. The built-in option is so much more comfortable that I just use it even if the sound quality cant obviously compare to Bose.

6. HP Reverb build quality?

The Reverb doesn’t feel as premium as the Vive or Index does in terms of texture and material. But I think it’s the internals (the screens) that count. And that is where the Reveb is King. It has the highest pixel density and that is what matters to simmers.

7. God Rays on the Reverb?

God rays were massive in the Gen 1 headsets and while present in the Reverb, they are reduced in my opinion. Not a deal breaker and no worse than any other headset.

8. Mura issues?

Some users reported Mura in the first batch of the Reverb but I don’t notice it in my newer model.

9. HP Reverb Tracking?

I have a whole article on this here. The TL;DR version is that it is fine for flight and racing sims but if you want to play room-scale games and don’t mind compromising on resolution, then the Index might be better.

10. HP Reverb Sweet Spot?

The sweet spot isn’t massive but its no worse than other headsets that I have tried. I didn’t notice it at all in IL2 or ED or Dirt Rally etc. In DCS, it is noticeable because the dials are so small but it is still much better than other headsets where you have to use the zoom to read those dials towards the bottom of the screen. With the Reverb, you just have to look down a few inches.

11. HP Reverb Clarity

This is where the Reverb really shines, and this is what matters for simmers. The pixel density on the Reverb is north of 1000 per inch which means it beats the Rift S, Index and all the previous headsets quite handily.

The SDE is not noticeable in games and only noticeable when you are looking for it (like for writing this FAQ lol). SDE is what nearly killed VR gaming for me 2-3 years ago and I am happy it’s a non-issue now.

12. Checking Reverb model number

The first batch of Reverbs had loose connections but that since been fixed way back in Sep 2019. Its highly unlikely you will get the older version, but just to be sure you can check the model number.

First thing is to make sure you get this simple clip in the box that makes the connection more secure:

Then you can look at the inside of the headset to find the Serial Number (S/N). The S/N will have 3 digits prior to a Z. These 3 numbers represent week of manufacture. 945 means 45th week of 2019. 015 will mean 15th weak of 2020.  You just need to make sure you get 931 or higher or anything starting with 0 (which means 2020). Even some of the older versions were fixed by HP though.

13. Which GPU for the HP Reverb?

You should get the best you can afford. 2080Ti’s are awesome but 1080Ti’s, 2080s, 2070s will also work. Below that, you won’t be able to enjoy the Reverb to its full potential in demanding flight sims. If you just play games like Beat Saber, then no issues at all.

Use this guide to decide which GPU to buy for DC DCS.

14. HP Reverb Performance

I too was understandably concerned about the performance on the Reverb. After all, it has TWO 2160×2160 screens! However, I found the performance to actually be better than my old Vive because now I didn’t have to use super-sampling.

You can run the Reverb at native resolution without any super sampling and it will still look better than anything else even with 200% super sampling. Super sampling cant create new pixels. It just renders the image at a higher resolution which just causes massive overhead. You don’t need it with the Reverb. Good riddance!

Get the Reverb here:

HP Reverb Virtual Reality Headset - Professional Edition
  • Field of view: 114°
  • Connectivity Technology: Wired
About the Author

Gary (Flanker)

Gary has been "hard landing" into runways and driving his Mitsubishi Evo off of cliffs since the early 2000s. These days, he spends most of his precious hobby time with his favorite flight, racing and space simulations in VR. He also has an Engineering Degree in Computer Science which helps a lot with his obsession with optimizing PC hardware like CPUs, Graphics Cards, VR Headsets, HOTAS, Racing Wheels etc. for high end sims.