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VIVE XR Elite: The Best Standalone MR Headset's Features and Specs

VIVE Team • April 24, 2023

5 minutes read

Since its introduction at CES in January, the VIVE XR Elite has quickly garnered the reputation as the best standalone VR headset the tech world has seen in quite some time.

Industry insiders and media reviewers alike have praised the ingenuity of the all-new device, often citing its lightweight design, convertibility into a pair of portable immersive glasses, and top-tier mixed reality (MR) specifications.

Here are what some experts said about the VIVE XR Elite.

"Do you like the idea of a lightweight VR headset but looking for more power under the hood? Meet the VIVE XR Elite."

- Android Authority

"...wonderfully mashes together stylish aesthetics with functionality...feels like a real advance, especially given that the headset has mixed reality as well as VR."

- Cnet.com

"ZDNET went into CES 2023 asking if anyone could make us care about the metaverse, and HTC delivers by revealing arguably the most impressive XR headset."

- ZDNET

All the above is true, but there's more. Today, let's look at five rarely mentioned features that make this device a one-of-a-kind immersive experience.

Sensors galore

Whether it's full immersion or mixed reality, tracking precision is undoubtedly one of the most critical elements for seamless interactions in digital and physical environments.

The VIVE XR Elite incorporates four wide field-of-view tracking cameras (two on each side of the headset). They enhance the tracking of hand gestures, controller maneuvers, interactions with wrist trackers, as well as your position in relation to other digital and real-world objects. Eliminating tracking blind spots is key to delivering a smooth and realistic experience.

Close-up of the side cameras

A full-color camera and structured light depth sensor are located at the front of the headset. They are the secret sauce of vibrant passthrough visuals .

front of the headset HMD


The full-color camera is 16 megapixels, one of the highest-resolution passthrough experiences found on a commercial headset. The depth sensor discharges countless invisible dots, allowing the tracking sensors to pick up depth information. They combine to deliver accurate interplay between real and virtual elements and in their authentic colors.

Imagine creating a three-dimensional painting.

  • Precise tracking of hand gestures and movements of virtual painting tools allows artists to execute their visions as naturally as they would with a canvas and brush.
  • Accurate spatial and depth recognition can be the difference between a flat, lifeless piece of drawing and a vibrant, three-dimensional representation of creativity.
  • Full-color passthrough capability is paramount to showcase artworks in MR properly. The exhibition environment should match the painting's brilliance.

With its many sensors, the VIVE XR Elite certainly has all these factors well thought out.

tilt brush in AR mode


Next-level mixed reality

Speaking of MR, here is a feature that takes the VIVE XR Elite's MR experience to the next level.

MR is the merging of real-world and computer-generated environments where physical and virtual objects co-exist and interact in real-time. In some MR environments, digital objects are superimposed on the physical space.

Hence, in the previous section, we underscored the importance of precise visual representation of the real world, whether it's spatial depth or color authenticity.

For these situations, another variable in the MR equation is peripheral vision . Users should be able to see as much of their surroundings as possible.

Simply replace the light-blocking gasket that comes with the headset with the VIVE MR Gasket (sold separately). Both are magnetically detachable. The headset accessory sits comfortably against the user's forehead, opening up peripheral vision to enable improved situational awareness.

Particularly in unfamiliar locations and during long sessions where a fully immersive experience may not be ideal, this new add-on elevates the MR experience and alleviates safety concerns.

mr gasket

One battery, multiple purposes

To achieve portability and performance in a single device, every component must serve multiple purposes to save space and cut weight. The VIVE XR Elite's battery cradle is one such example.

It's more than just a battery pack that enables two hours of continuous operation. The cradle doubles as a counterweight to the eyepiece to distribute weight evenly and improve stability, especially for functions requiring significant head movements.

headset on a head, representing balance

It curves snuggly against the back of the head and includes a dial that allows users to adjust the headset for comfort, quickly tightening or loosening as they see fit.

closeup of dial and curve


A modular design means that the cradle is detachable and hot-swappable. Eject to transform the all-in-one VR headset into a pair of lightweight immersive glasses that weighs a mere 240 g, about the same as many smartphones. For longer sessions or use cases that require multiple batteries, swapping for a fully charged one is a breeze.

cradle detaching from eyepiece

Audio improvements that make sense

closeup of speakers

The vision for the VIVE XR Elite is blending the critically acclaimed performance of the all-in-one VIVE Focus 3 with the impossibly compact form factor of the VIVE Flow .

For audio, the new device aims to deliver immersive sounds without compromising portability and versatility. Compared with the VIVE Flow, the speakers of the VIVE XR Elite are more powerful but still conform to its sleek contour. There are no cumbersome, protruding pieces that ruin the overall aesthetics and user experience.

The directional stereo speakers emit high-quality sounds in a narrow beam to the ears, reducing sound leakage. Dual microphones and noise-cancellation technology combine to further create a high-quality soundscape.

Protect in style

vive case for xr series


The VIVE XR Elite delivers ultimate portability when the battery is detached. To safely carry this sleek device wherever you go, VIVE designed an equally stylish protective case.

After all, it would be a shame to scratch up such a gorgeous, well-crafted piece of hardware.

The VIVE Case for XR Series is sold separately.

Excellence is in the details. Every component selected for the VIVE XR Elite is there to serve a purpose, and that is to provide solutions to user pain points.

From packing in advanced tech in a compact form factor while delivering an eye-pleasing device to incorporating tier-leading hardware specifications that truly upgrade the user experience, the VIVE XR Elite is in a class of its own.