If you’re looking to experience the excitement of drone racing or want a truly immersive experience, then FPV goggles are your best bet. These headsets give you a first-person view from the drone’s camera, so you get a pilot’s perspective from the air. And it’s an addition that many pilots become fascinated with after experiencing since they offer better control, visibility, and accuracy to maneuver. But, when it comes to goggles, there are many factors to consider.
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Some of these factors include their fit, IPD, the field of view, resolution, range, and more. And it’s an important decision, as the wrong headset can lead to a bad experience or, worse, a crash. So it’s crucial to find the right set that works best for your eyesight and facial shape. With that, we’ve created a detailed guide covering the factors you’ll want to consider first. And we’ll also cover the best FPV goggles on the present market.
FXT Viper V2
FXT’s designed the Viper V2’s with comfort and long-term handling in mind. It’s a box-style headset easily large enough to accommodate your glasses comfortably. It features a 5-inch LCD with a resolution of 480p, a 45º FOV, and an adjustable aspect ratio. This screen also uses a patented periscope design with refractive mirrors, increasing the viewing distance and reducing eye strain. But, FXT has also made several notable updates this go-round. Firstly, they’ve improved the headsets DVR recording time, which now stands at 10 minutes.
And secondly, they’ve refined its 40 ch diversity receiver. Otherwise, it offers both an HDMI input and an AV unit, letting you connect it to an external display. And the screen itself is also removable so that you can view it remotely when out in the field. Plus, it offers a removable sunshade, letting you quickly double-check the line of sight at a moment’s notice. Other bonuses include an XT60 power connector, included antennas, and a speaker.
Overall, the FXT Viper V2 is an excellent choice for those who want a larger headset ready to accommodate most glasses.
Fat Shark Attitude V6
The Attitude V6 by Fat Shark is the latest release from this hit drone racing company. The Attitude V6 is a slimline headset boasting best-in-class resolution. In this case, it offers two LCOS screens with a resolution of 960p and an adjustable IPD and focus. New for this model is a refined housing, which is larger, but importantly, more comfortable. Fat Shark has also expanded the FOV, which now sits at 39º rather than 30º. Otherwise, it also houses a diversity receiver and an included receiver module. And other bonuses include antennas.
Overall, Fat Sharks Attitude V6 is an excellent option for those interested in entering the Shark Byte system.
SkyZone Cobra X
The Cobra X by Skyzone is their latest mid-range model. It’s a box-style headset offering a lightweight and ergonomic design ready to accommodate small framed glasses. It features an 4.1-inch LCD with a resolution of 720p, a 50º FOV, and an adjustable aspect ratio. But, the Cobra X boasts a clever design amongst traditional box-style goggles; that is, it uses a 45º refractive mirror to reduce its size. Doing so also increases the effective viewing distance and reduces eye strain.
Otherwise, it has three power options, one of which is support for 5V USB-C, so you can charge it using a power bank. It even boasts a removable module so that you can replace the included 48 channel diversity receiver module with an aftermarket option. But, it’s unlikely you’ll take advantage of this ability, as the receiver here offers performance that matches several higher-end headsets. Other bonuses include a 3-axis Head Tracker, a built-in DVR, and included antennas.
Overall, Skyzone’s Cobra X delivers excellent reliability and image quality at an ultra-affordable price. And it’s among the best headsets in its class.
DJI FPV V2
DJI’s FPV V2 refines the original model with better connectivity. It’s a slimline headset that debuts as their second model offering an electronic transmission system, rather than analog. Traditionally, electronic transmissions headsets offered too much lag to be reliable. But, with this release, DJI’s managed to refine the technology with matching latency. Now, pilots get superior resolution and fidelity using an 810p resolution screen with a 54º FOV and a faster refresh rate. Otherwise, it houses four dual-band antennas that support both 2.4 and 5.8 GHz. And DJI includes a battery rated for 110 minutes of flight.
Overall, DJI’s FPV V2 is an excellent option for newcomers wanting to experience the world of digital transmission and skip analog altogether. And it’s the perfect suit for their Mavic lineup.
The EV800D is among the best FPV solutions around, especially at its price point. It’s a box-style headset that features a built-in 40 channel 5.8 GHz diversity receiver and a 5-inch SVGA LCD screen with an 82º FOV. It also offers a built-in battery, which is rated for 2 hours of use. Yet, surprisingly, it has a built-in DVR to record the flight, a feature typically reserved for higher-end models. Its display is also detachable, too, so you can refine the FPV system without having the goggles on your face. Other bonuses include dual antennas and a built-in speaker.
Overall, Eachine’s EV800D is an excellent option for entry-level pilots and enthusiasts looking for something fully-featured but affordable. And it’s the perfect means for beginners wanting to experience the thrills of FPV.
FPV Goggles Buyers Guide
What if I wear glasses?
If you wear glasses, no fear. There are solutions to experience this immersive format. Your options are opting for a larger box-style headset that comfortably fits over your existing glasses. Alternatively, you can find diopter inserts for the specific model. And if they’re not readily available, you can get custom inserts made to match your prescription. You can find retailers offering that option online. Otherwise, the last resort is getting contact lenses, there you’ll have maximum freedom for the devices you can use.
Type of headset
The first consideration to make is the type of headset. You have two main categories to select from, Box-Style or Binocular Style. Each has its benefits. Let’s cover them.
Box-Style Goggles are larger and house a single screen. And their single display produces a larger effective field of view, making them feel genuinely more immersive. The benefit here is that while they’re larger and sometimes bulky, these designs accommodate your existing glasses, and they’re quite comfortable. They’re also cheaper than a comparable binocular style headset due to the engineering requirements. And many options have supremely flexible IPD adjustments and built-in video receivers, more on this to come.
Binocular (Slimline) Goggles, however, are smaller and more compact. And they house two separate LCDs for each eye. This design makes them inherently more compact, discreet, and easier to transport. And they’re considerably lighter than the average box-style headset. But, the downside is that this design doesn’t accommodate your existing glasses. And they won’t fit everyone’s face comfortably due to their small size. Plus, they’re usually on the more expensive side, as their engineering requirements are complex.
For this, choose the headset design that works best for your face and prescription. A box-style headset will likely be the go-to for most pilots with glasses. In contrast, slimline headsets will be the go-to for many without glasses.
Field Of View (FOV)
Field of View measures your visual line of sight and how much you can see at a given moment. Ideally, you’d want to see with your natural line of sight, so you have a truly immersive experience. But, unfortunately, the second you put on a headset, you’ll limit your natural FOV. And most restrict the FOV in half or less, generally around 50-80º and even less so for slimline headsets.
It’s only the higher-end headsets that have a larger FOV. But, a wide FOV can have its downsides too. Namely, if the display doesn’t have high resolution, it results in pixelated images with less detail. They can also make it hard to detect nearby objects, like branches since you’ll have to move your eyes to see the edges of the display.
Even so, this particular factor comes down to personal preference. Many FPV racers prefer the narrow FOV offered by slimline headsets, as it helps them focus. But casual pilots prefer a larger FOV to see more of the surroundings. Choose which works best for you.
Inter-pupillary Distance (IPD) measures the distances between your pupils. And it’s a value that’s unique to us all, as everyone has a slightly different face. Most slimline headsets do offer an adjustable IPD, so you can correctly set the screens to your eyes. But, not all will offer the adjustability you need. So it’s an important consideration when selecting a slimline headset, as an incorrectly set IPD will cause a blurry image. This occurs because each screen will be slightly offset, making it difficult to focus. As such, it’s wise to know your IPD measurement beforehand. Then investigate the headsets IPD or consider trying them firsthand to see if they’ll work.
Glass or Plastic Optics
You can find headsets with either glass or plastic for their optics. But, it’s important to skip headsets using plastic lenses altogether. The viewing experience and clarity aren’t great, and they can potentially ruin the FPV experience. So opt for those with glass lenses instead.
You can find headsets with varying optical resolutions, ranging from QVGA to SVGA and higher. But, unlike other displays, the resolutions are much lower, as you’re physically closer to the screen. Right now, SVGA (800×600) headsets are sufficient for most pilots. And it produces images with enough discernable detail to enjoy the FPV experience.
Aspect ratio is another consideration, as you can find headsets with either 16:9 or 4:3 ratios. So it’s important to match the headset to the video camera setting so it stretches appropriately. Otherwise, it’ll appear distorted, and the viewing experience won’t be great. Thankfully, most headsets have an option to change their aspect ratio. But, if the device you’re considering doesn’t, it’s essential to verify this information beforehand by looking at the manufacturer’s specifications or calculating it using the video resolution.
Fit and size
You’ll want to consider the headset’s fit, comfort, and general form factor, which varies heavily. The size and form will greatly impact its general usability. So if possible, try it beforehand.
Digital Head Tracking
You can find some headsets with digital head tracking, which tracks your head’s movements. And the headset then sends these signals to the drone to control the orientation of the camera. So if you look up or down, the camera will follow accordingly. It’s a nice bonus feature that’ll bring tremendous realism to the flight experience. So if you’re interested in this sense of added realism, consider looking for models with this feature.
Video Receiver Module
With some headsets, you’ll have to purchase a receiver module. And you find modules with varying frequency ranges from 1 to 5.8 GHz. However, for this, it’s best to read the instruction manual for the headset you select. There, you can find its compatibility with which specific frequency range it supports and the types of modules. Otherwise, look for headsets with built-in video receivers, so you can avoid spending extra on this accessory. But, do know, built-in receivers often have limited features comparatively.
Last Updated on September 22, 2023 by Photography PX Published July 16, 2021