Opto Air VR hands-on Review

Opto Air

Finaly after about 6 months the Opto Air which I ordered through the OptoVR website arrived. Putting aside the frustration that it took so long to get what I paid for, the package arrived smashed and the promised extra hatch was not delivered.
I opened the box right away to test the headset that I have waited so long for. Luckily theheadset itself did not arrive damaged.

The communication with the company about the delay was good. They responded rapidly and I think, with the production set up now, these delays are part of the past.

Opto Air

 

Audio

What should distinguish this headset from competitors is the integrated Audio system. Untill now the only headset for mobile phones offering a similar feature is a popular budget Chinese headset called Bobo VR Z4 aka Virtoba X5 VR aka a lot of other names. But that headset has the integrated audio nobody wants. Low quality and practically useless.

So one could say that the Opto Air solves a problem and adds a very important feature that has been missing for the last 4 years... well sort of... because most people own a good quality set of headphones. Just plug them into your ears and you have very high quality Audio. So do we need integrated audio in our VR headset? Yes, after playing FastHit VR for a few minutes I started noticing that the explosions in the game were more realistic (comparing to the standard iPhone earphones) and this improves the immersion. Quality audio is important and Opto Air stands out in a positive manner.

Virtual Reality Audio

For the Audio fanatics out there it is important to know what kind of quality we are talking about. I am NOT an audio specialist. I love music and have a good general knowledge of Audio but dont ask me about thed detail. Here are the specs as stated on the product webpage:

  • Drive diameter = 40.00m
  • range = 20hz / 20khz

Lenses and Design

One of the most important feature of a VR headset are the lenses. Opto Air has high quality 44mm double-aspheric PMMA lenses which give a broad and clear view to the user. It is among the headsets with the largest lenses available. Downside is the lenses have no adjustability what so ever. Neither IPD or focal length can be adjusted. A pitty because I need to use my hands to adjust the headset while playing in order to enjoy the full quality it offers. It does offer a large very FOV.
Now I just need an iPhone with a larger screen, higher resolution and higher frame rate and refresh rate ;-). I will certainly insert my iPhone 8 (aka X, aka 10 or what ever its name will be) and hopefully make full use of the Opto Air lens specs. iPhone 7 plus might do the trick...

Opto VR Lenses

This gadget is an appealing headset. Off course this is my personal opnion but the design supersedes most available VR headset desings and the overall material (closed cell foam) used seems of good quality.

I ordered the Opto Air with a blue hatch but when ordering you also get to choose between yellow, purple, black and orange. Opto Air is a bit more trendy and less nerdy than most VR headsets.

Price

Priced at more than 100€/$ (98 GBP to be precise) this headset will have to compete with the premium VR headsets for mobile phones like Merge VR,  Homido V2 and the Gear VR. It is actually more expensive than any of the just mentioned Virtual Reality headsets.

Lacking features

This headset has quite a few features that one expects from a Virtual Reality headset in 2017. When producct designer started to sell the first mobile Virtual Reality headsets in 2013 we accepted almost every headset, but with more than 50 headsets to choose from a premium priced headset should contain some basic features.
Opto Air lacks a few very important: for starters, the headset has no 3-way headstrap so the noose has to partially support the headset. Besides that it has no button to control apps and games which eliminates a large percentage of games available in the iOS AppStore. Sure you can buy a external controller but most iOS games that are in the AppStore at the moment only support the Google Cardboard V2 button.

With a overall size of 18,5 x 22 x 9 cm and weighting 460 grams Opto Air is a big headset and  it doesn't ship with a case or bag, so if you are looking for a Virtual Reality experience to be used on the move than choose a more portable headset. If you want a stylish headset with a premium look Opto could be a good option.

Opto Air

iPhones

Almost all Apple iPhone models from the iPhone 5 onwards will fit into this headset as it supports smart phones with screen sizes from 4 inches up to 5,5 inches. I recommend the largest iPhone for this headset to take full advantage of the wide field of view. Just take care you do not break the adjustable grips that seem thin and fragile.

Pro's and Con's

Pro

  • High quality audio integrated
  • 44mm high quality lenses
  • Easy click-on click-off hatch
  • Good Design
  • Various colors available

Con

  • Expensive
  • No (V2 compatible) button
  • Not very portable
  • No case
  • Lenses not adjustable
  • Weight and size

Opto Virtual Reality

Website: OptoVR.com

Price: 125$+ / 110€ +

Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Readers Comments (1)

  1. MichaelVvlt 04/09/2017 @ 22:38

    Waited 1 year for it to arrive, really disappointed in the product:
    1st: No V2 button, so no interaction with any apps, except gaze, which isn\’t very useful.
    2nd just by squeezing the foam it teared where the hard plastic near the lenses is.
    3rd: feels really uncomfortable to wear, after 10 min\’s of wearing I got a sore nose, ears and a headache, I\’ve tried tightening / loosening the strap, no difference…
    Was really excited to hear it had arrived (after waiting 1yr), but so disappointed now…

    Reply

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