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


Apple gave us our first look at its highly anticipated augmented reality headset, called the Vision Pro, during its WWDC23 keynote. This particular headset, referred to as a spatial computer, has reportedly been developing at Apple for the better part of a decade, and it’s nearly ready to go on sale. The Vision Pro, in case you didn’t know, is a mixed-reality headset which means it can switch between augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) with the help of a physical dial. Apple prepared a bunch of demos to showcase the headset’s mixed-reality capabilities, and they all looked pretty promising, to say the least. The company also spent a lot of time discussing all the things it can do when it goes on sale next year. Here’s everything you need to know about Apple’s Vision Pro headset, that’s all set to hit the shelves soon.

Apple Mixed Reality headset: Price and availability

Apple may have announced its Vision Pro headset at the WWDC23 keynote, but it won’t be available to purchase until early 2024. That might give you some time to save up if you want to stomach its $3,499 price tag. It’ll head to the U.S. market first before expanding to more countries later in the year.

It’s also being speculated that Apple is planning to launch a relatively affordable “non-Pro” version of the headset at some point in the future, although there’s no way to officially confirm that just yet. We don’t have an exact availability date for the Vision Pro headset either, so we’ll update this space with more information as we get it. Regardless, it’s fair to say that Vision Pro is targeted more at developers as a first-generation product.

Design and display

An image showing Apple's new Vision Pro headset resting on a surface with its charger.

Source: Apple

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 said to be flexible to fit a varsity of head sizes and shapes. The strap extends to connect 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 with an external battery.

What’s interesting about the Vision Pro is that it’s controller-free, and you interface with apps and more using gestures with your fingers, say to flip through pages, or using your eyes and voice to control it. 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; you can even connect your Mac to use it inside the headset.

You’ll also see a small dial on the top edge of the headset. This 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 happening 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. Then, it can 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

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 of 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. However, it won’t work when you’re in full virtual reality; the headset will simply show a glowing screen, letting the other person know you’re not available. The headset can also create a digital persona of you by scanning your face. It remains to be seen how this feature works in the real world, but Apple’s demo made it look like you could use your hyperrealistic avatar across different apps and screens.

Privacy and 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 showcasing the Vision Pro headset and everything it can do, but there’s still a lot we don’t know. 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. We’ll have a more measured take on this 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. You can also sign up for updates directly from Apple on its official website.