Apple Vision Pro headset: Price, specifications, and everything you need to know

Key Takeaways

  • Apple has released its highly anticipated Vision Pro augmented reality headset, priced at $3,500.
  • The Vision Pro features a premium design, with custom optical inserts for glasses and a unique dual-chip design for fast processing.
  • The headset runs on the new visionOS software, which supports immersive experiences and features privacy measures like encrypted data.

Apple Vision Pro, the company’s first and highly anticipated augmented reality headset which it showcased at WWDC23 keynote last year, is finally available to purchase. That’s right, Apple’s new spatial computing hardware has finally hit the stores, and you can grab one right now if you can stomach its $3,500 starting price. The Vision Pro is a mixed-reality headset that can switch between augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) with the help of a physical dial, but there’s more to it than that.

The Vision Pro headset is all the rage right now, and you’ve probably already seen it all over your social media feeds over the last few days. We’ll have a more measured take on the Apple Vision Pro soon, but here’s everything you need to know about the headset in the meantime, including its price and availability, specifications, features that make it special, and more.

Price and availability

Apple’s Vision Pro can be yours for just $3,500

Apple Vision Pro went on sale in the U.S. for the first time on February 2, 2024, and it’s readily available to purchase at the time of writing this. You can personalise and purchase a unit for yourself online, but it is recommended that you book a demo at the Apple Store and visit a physical store to get a better understanding of what the headset looks and feels like before picking one up. On top of $3,500 for the headset, you’ll also have to spend an addition amount to get Zeiss prescription lenses. Apple has revealed that the prescription lenses will be available for an extra $149, whereas regular readers will cost you $99.

Apple Vision Pro

Apple Vision Pro is the first spatial computer from Apple, featuring two 4K displays, M2 and R1 chips, and visionOS.

The base model of the Apple Vision Pro headset comes with 256GB storage out of the box, and it’ll be packaged with the following accessories:

  • Solo Knit Band and Dual Loop Band
  • A light seal and two light seal cushions
  • Apple Vision Pro cover
  • Polishing cloth
  • Battery
  • USB-C charging cable and USB-C power adapter

Design and display

Premium fit and finish

Image of the apple-vision-pro-xda-wwdc01518 headset.

The design of the headset is unlike anything we’ve seen from Apple. You’ll get curved glass up front with an aluminum frame holding everything together. The headset mask and straps are both cloth-lined, and they’re also flexible to fit a variety of head sizes and shapes. The strap extends to connect to the ribbed headband, which Apple says will be available in different sizes and styles. Apple has partnered with Zeiss to create custom optical inserts that magnetically attach to the lenses, which is good news for those who wear glasses. The headset is designed for all-day use when plugged in (it doesn’t have an internal battery), and it can last for up to two hours (according to Apple) with an external battery.

What’s interesting about the Vision Pro is that it doesn’t ship any controllers to let you navigate the interface and use it. You interact with all the apps and the VisionOS interface using gestures with your fingers. The way it works is that you essentially look at the button or any other element on the interface that you want to interact with, and simply use your finger to pinch, grab, or click on it to use it on the Vision Pro. It may take some time for you to get used to it, but it seems to work very well. Apple also noted that you can give voice commands to dictate or just use Siri to control your experiences. The headset also supports Bluetooth accessories, including Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad, and you can even connect your Mac to use your headset as a monitor.

There’s also a small dial on the headset that lets you customize the level of virtual and augmented reality you can experience in real-time. So you can be fully immersed in the digital world or have images projected onto the surrounding space.

The headset itself is powered by Apple Silicon in a unique dual-chip design. It uses the combination of an M2 chip and a brand-new R1 chip to process input from 12 cameras, five sensors, and six microphones. Apple proudly touted that its new R1 chip can stream images to the displays within 12 milliseconds, which is “8x faster than the blink of an eye.”

What you see is powered by two tiny, high-resolution, micro-OLED displays that the company says can display as many as 23 million pixels. Apple describes it as having more than a 4K TV for each eye, so that should give you an idea of the kind of detail you’ll see once it’s on (more on this in the next section).

Apple has used Spatial Audio in the past in its AirPods to make it sound like audio is actually being played around you in a 3D space. It’s now using similar technology in the Vision Pro thanks to a three-dimensional camera that captures photos and videos. It can then display them through the headset, so you can actually immerse yourself in the content. The keynote showed this off with a panoramic image that stretched across the screen. Apple is also using a Spatial Audio system with individually amplified drivers that will customize the sound based on the user’s head and ear. All of this together means you can see 180-degree recordings in augmented reality.

visionOS software

visionOS looks promising but we need more apps and experiences

An image showing a person wearing Apple's Vision Pro headset.

Source: Apple

Each Apple device has its own custom, branded software, and that remains the case with the new Vision Pro. Apple’s new visionOS was designed from the ground up to support this new hardware and its low-latency requirements for spatial computing. It’s the OS that drives all the Vision Pro experiences.

One of the demos during the keynote showed the Vision Pro headset projecting a three-dimensional interface to make the user’s experiences more immersive. It projects an image that feels around 100 feet wide, whether it’s a photo, video, an Apple Arcade title, or an app from the all-new Vision Pro App Store.

The Vision Pro also features what Apple calls EyeSight, which displays the user’s eyes on the headset when it detects somebody’s approach. This, however, won’t work when you’re in full virtual reality, and the headset will simply show a glowing screen, letting the other person know you’re not available to interact with. The headset can also create a digital persona of you by scanning your face. There are conflicting opinions around this on the interwebs, but we’ll share more about it once we spend some time with the headset ourselves.

Privacy and security

Optic ID for added security

An image showing a person wearing Apple's Vision Pro headset.

Source: Apple

Apple made it a point to end the Vision Pro demo by spending some time discussing how it keeps the users in control of their data. The Vision Pro headset uses a new secure authentication system called Optic ID to analyze a user’s iris under various invisible LED light exposures. It then compares it to the enrolled Optic ID data to unlock the headset. This Optic ID data is fully encrypted, meaning it never leaves the device and is not accessible to apps either.

Final thoughts

Apple went all in while showcasing the Vision Pro headset and everything it can do, but there’s still a lot about the headset that we’re still learning more about. It’s obviously not the first headset of its kind, and we’ve seen plenty of other options from the likes of Microsoft with the HoloLens and Meta with its Quest Pro. Apple definitely has an uphill battle entering a market that’s yet to take off in a meaningful way, especially with its super high $3,499 price tag. But it has a good opportunity of tapping into the market by delivering a rich experience with its ecosystem products.

We’ll have a more to talk about the headset and all its features once we’ve spent a good amount of time with it. In the meantime, you can check out what XDA’s Senior Editor Ben has to say about the Vision Pro headset after trying it for a brief period at Apple Park last year. You can also sign up for updates directly from Apple on its official website.