Virtoba X5 vs. BoboVR Z4

Update: In August, I bought a FiiT VR 2S, and that is now my new favorite. But I’m also still recommending the BoboVR Z4 headset, because of its 120-degree field of view, built-in headphones, and built-in control button.

Last month, I received a free review copy of the Virtoba X5 headset from GeekBuying, and a couple of weeks later, the BoboVR Z4 that I ordered myself finally arrived.

You can read my review of the Virtoba X5 here. In the review, I used the names of the headsets interchangeably, since I though they were the same headset, sold under different brand names.

But now that I’ve got both of them in front of me, I decided to take a closer look.

On the surface, they do look very much alike.

Even the packaging looks identical.

The Virtoba X5 box is on the left, BoboVR Z4 is on the right.

The Virtoba X5 box is on the left, BoboVR Z4 is on the right.

But then, if you look closely, you’ll see differences. For example, even though the models are photographed in similar poses, those are clearly two different guys.

There are small differences on the headsets themselves, as well. For example, the white plastic of the headsets are a shade different.

Another very minor difference is the connector that plugs into the audio port of the smartphone, so you can listen through the headset’s headphones.

Virtoba X5, on the left, and BoboVR Z4, on the right.

Virtoba X5, on the left, and BoboVR Z4, on the right.

On the BoboVR Z4, the cord is longer, and is wound into a spiral. The Virtoba X5’s cord is straight, and shorter.

The control buttons on the bottom of the headsets also seem to be slight different. I liked the feel of the BoboVR one better — the Virtoba button seemed a tiny bit loose, though I wouldn’t have noticed anything if I hadn’t been going back and forth between the two headsets, comparing the buttons.

But the biggest difference is in the padding around the lenses.

Virtoba

The Virtoba X5 box is on the left, BoboVR Z4 is on the right.

The Virtoba X5 has spongy foam padding, while the BotoVR Z4 has a leathery look, a little bit like driving gloves.

BoboVR Z4 padding.

BoboVR Z4 padding.

The BoboVR Z4 padding, above, looks better. The opening is also a bit wider, leaving more room for glasses.

Virtoba X5 padding.

Virtoba X5 padding.

The Virtoba X5 padding is comfortable enough, but the opening is smaller, leaving less room for glasses. My glasses, for example, even though they are on the small side, dug into the foam, and when I tried wearing them with the headset anyway, they squished up against my eyeballs.

Both headsets had the same two minor issues that bugged me. First, the springy metal piece that holds the smartphone in place has only a tiny bit of material covering it, and it could damage the back of the smartphone if it wears off.

Second, the focal adjustment works by physically moving the part of the headset that holds the smartphone away or towards the lenses — instead of moving the lenses inside the headset, as other devices do. This means that if you have the focal distance at its maximum, say, and hold the headset tight, you will squeeze it back together and ruin the focus.

My advice, if you wear glasses, is to go with the BoboVR Z4. Otherwise, both seem fine, and if you want this style of headset, go for the one that has the best price or delivery times or bundled Bluetooth controller.

I was originally very excited about this headset — in either version. The field of view, the built-in headphones, the button. These are all unique or rare features in headsets in this or any other price range.

But now that I’ve had them around for a while, I’ve discovered that I don’t use them. I reach for the DeePoon instead, which doesn’t have built-in headphones, has a smaller field of view, and has no control button — but it is smaller so it takes up less space on my shelf, lighter, and is easier to use.

maria@hypergridbusiness.com'

Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China.

  • lmpierce

    Actually, I have a Virtoba X5 headset, and it has the coiled audio cord and the better eye cushion that looks like fake leather with small breather holes. In other words, my Virtoba X5 looks exactly like your Boba ZR V4. Like you, my headset came from GeekBuying. As you know, I am awaiting the Virtoba Elite for review.

    • Jeesh! What the *&^% is going on!

      And how are we supposed to review products — or buy them, for that matter — when you never know what you’re going to get?

    • Chico Menashe

      Same thing here, the Virtoba is like the Bobovr you have (coiled audio cable, non-foam) and the Bobovr I have is like the Virtoba you have. Did you get the Luegi at the end?

      • Luegi?

        • Chico Menashe

          Did I say that? I meant Leji 🙂

          • I actually just got a Leji VR Mini in the mail, and will be reviewing it today.

    • Jim Lucero

      Please tell me where you bought yours. I ordered the bobovr and it was quite the opposite from what I expected. It looked
      nothing like the pictures I have seen on the various websites. It had a sponge face vs the faux leather and it didn’t have the spiral cord which makes it a lot shorter. My phone has a jack on the bottom so it couldn’t reach. I have to buy an extension for it.

  • Yes, apparently there are different versions. I got mine on Amazon, but the exact one I ordered is now listed as “unavailable.” https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01EQSGOTM/