Video Headset review: Avegant vs. Royole X vs Sony VR
I recently purchased these 3 headsets and here's my "Average Joe" take:
Context - my main usage is to watch videos while in bed, and while exercising. Sometimes the wife wants to go to sleep early and I'm too awake to fall asleep. Instead of having a screen glaring, disrupting her sleep or having to leave the room and watch elsewhere, want something where we can lie down together and I can watch until I fall asleep without disturbing her. In addition, something to use while on the elliptical (at home or in the gym) - all while not sacrificing on PQ.
re: Audio - I'm not an audiophile, but to me both the Royole and Avegant had good audio, and the PS VR didn't have any audio (need to plug in your own earphones/headphones - so that's either a plus or a minus for you
Royole X I saw that these had mixed reviews on Amazon, and some very good ones - so I took a chance. The box and case are all top quality, very impressive. The glasses themselves do too, but since they fold up compactly, kep getting me scared that It'd crack them - this was an unfounded fear. It also has it's own menu that you can connect it to your network, but I didn't test it. In short, the video quality was really amazing, the best I've ever seen on video glasses. However, the perceived screen was too small for my taste (I'm used to ~100" front projector, so anything less than 65" seems small. This seemed to me like watching a 32" from about 15' back (totally subjective guess) - to me this was a deal breaker. In addition it comes with a battery brick, which if you're sitting down shouldn't be a problem, but to use while exercising presented an issue - so off to be resold on eBay these went. Not to mention that it makes a low hissing sound (fan?), which for my usage (in bed while wife is asleep) is a deal breaker.
*edit* seems that they have a new version with a larger "screen" and also the version that I had had a setting to increase the size (so I can't speak to whether mine had the max (default) size or not *
Playstation VR I have the PS4, so I figured that I'd give this a try with the VR as an added bonus. It uses a video box which needs to be plugged into an outlet - so using at the gym was out of the question. In addition, there are lots of cables (beware if you have a "playful" cat). Nonetheless, I set it up by my bed, and tried it. One issue is that the back of the headset lights up, so I needed to cover those spots with many layers of tape to keep the light from disrupting my wife's sleep. I experimented and discovered that I didn't need the PS4 to watch videos and hooked it up to my Roku. Once set up, I was VERY pleasantly surprised at the PQ. It wasn't amazing like the Royole, however I was expecting VCR quality and instead it looked high def, though as if I was watching on a very old LCD monitor. Not bad, not at all, and actually quite good, just not videophile. One thing to note is that the PQ varies GREATLY depending on how well you have the glasses situated. One plus, is that the image size was HUGE, just huge - it was like sitting at an IMAX theater, sitting just 8 rows back. After watching many videos on it over a period of time, I definitely liked it a lot, just didn't love it (though as mentioned the VR is a very nice perk). Also, I tested them while exercising on my home elliptical - and unfortunately it's a non starter. Since the glasses have black plastic to remove your total field of view, once you start sweating there's no where for it to dissipate and the lenses fog up to the point of being not able to see. I kept a while until the VR wore off, and then sold on eBay.
Avegant Glyph Here is where I found my sweet spot. The glasses look high quality, as mentioned by the previous poster - look like a pair of beats. So much so that I left them on my night table and no one knew that they were video glasses. As with the Royole, it has adjustments to slide each eye lens independently to get a perfect view, in addition you can turn each lens to focus each one separately. I also like the cross hairs that you use to set up the focus, and once set up the image appears 3D. Another MAJOR plus, is that unlike the playstation VR I didn't need to get things aligned perfectly to enjoy, it was more of getting it from 90% to 99% perfect. Also as with the Royole, it doesn't enclose your entire FOV so I was able to exercise (read SWEAT) and not fog up the lenses. As for picture quality (my main focus (pun intented)) - it was also just AMAZING - the specs are 720p, but I didn't feel any lacking at all (and I'm pretty particular about it) = detail was great, more importantly color was fantastic - like watching from a good DLP projector, bright with good colors. didn't feel at all , like I was watching on an old LCD monitor. One downside was the nosepiece, having a big nose the default piece didn't fit well and somewhat hurt. I had purchased used via eBay but found out that it usually comes with different nose pieces, so I contacted Avegant looking to buy a set, they responded quickly and gave me a set for free (!!) thanks, made me feel really good about the company). Now that I found great PQ to watch in bed, and use in the gym - I found my set. with the right sized nosepiece - it fit great (though now it no longer gets confused with headphones). I thought about the Royole which had better PQ, but then I thought that an apples-apples comparison, as smaller image size will always have better PQ (all else being equal). The Avegant hits the sweet spot for me - I'd (subjectively) put it at watching a 50-65" screen from 8' away (though interestingly if you block off the light getting in from the gaps (as it doesn't block your FOV) or have the lights out, the image size seems larger). the other big plus is that there is no battery brick, you recharge it and other than the HDMI cable to connect to the source, there are no cables or bricks- a major plus. I haven't drained the battery but I have used it for 2-3 hours at a time with out issue. The only downsides that impact my personal usage are that if you try to dose off to sleep and lie on your side the bulk of the earpieces, Another issue is that given the great PQ, and depth perception in the cross hair pattern I decided to hook it up to my 3D BluRay player (tried both the PS4 and a stand alone player) and both times even though I set the player to output 720p I couldn't get to see the 3D video - it would give the 720p error message before I could get there (i.e. the glasses had no way to downsize the menu or whatever was trying to show in 1080p, I'm probably doing something wrong and in fairness I didn't try contacting their technical support as it wasn't something I'd use it much for)- these were issues to me, but didn't outweigh the benefits. Also of note, I don't use them as a computer monitor, but I tried to see how it was, and found the PQ great, but the text too small to be of use. In addition, I ended up bending the video cable (which comes down from the bottom of the earpiece) and ended up damaging it so I need to buy a new cable (I can't say that's a flaw with the product but rather with how I used it). Nonetheless, the biggest support is that I ended up buying a 2nd pair to keep in the exercise room. I've used them for about 2 months and definitely recommend. In addition, I find myself now writing this review while sitting in a hospital (son recently diagnosed with cancer) and the prospect of having to spend many nights in the hospital with him, and the glasses help me to "get away" and enjoy top notch videophile PQ and am very glad that I bought them. I look forward to watching Silicon Valley tonight on HBO Go.
also of note is that the company has there own Augmented Reality headset technology coming - which seems to be a competitor to the secretive Magic Leap - I seriously recommend you looking up what those companies have in store, and having used the Avegant I would trust the company's ability
Last edited by cgott42; 08-25-2017 at 09:03 AM.