Varjo Aero VR headset

This is what I have my eye on,I like the full value trade in program also.

Did some night flying in MSFS… Here’s where those aspheric lenses really come into play. No ghosting. No rays. Just clear and sharp.
Dammit Varjo! You’re not making this easy!

I guess the final test will be to go back to the G2 now…

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Btw yesterday wearing my G2, I looked up to check whether / how much the strap moves.

It does a bit. But it also sits higher than the Varjo’s, judging from the available pictures I saw. On the other hand, I have no issues with the G2 strap when moving my head under normal conditions when simming; only when I looke really sharply up.

Anyway, you just mentioned that you’ll come back to the G2 for comparison. I am curious to see how that goes.

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He wanted to send it back due to the barrel distortion but then changed his mind.

I’ve got to say though that his price justification that ‘this is the last VR headset I will ever need to buy’ is an hilariously bad take.

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I feel I am slowly changing my mind too… Or rather, making my mind up and deciding to keep it.

:rofl:
Maybe he is afraid his significant other will watch the video, and that’s how he justified the pricetag, to her…? :wink:

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I said that about my PC too, once upon a time. The year was 1994.

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It’s funny… it seems like everything in my current PC was just something to “get me through until the better thing becomes available”, and yet this is the longest stable configuration I’ve had :man_shrugging:t2:

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I thought the Amiga was going to be that computer… :slight_smile:

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I thought that when the 486 DX2 got released. Surely this thing is so darn quick that we won’t need a new PC for a generation.
‘Generation’ has several meanings I quickly discovered. :grinning:

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Ok, people…

First of all, when I ordered the Varjo Aero, I made my peace with the price. It is very expensive. Any VR joy per dollar spent comparison is sort of meaningless…yet…one can’t really disregard it either.

I have now spent some days testing the Aero and I found some issues with it. Now I never expected Varjo to kill the VR market with a silver bullet headshot. There’s no such thing as perfect VR. Bear this in mind.
There are limitations to the technology, and we are all individuals.
I really love what VR brings to the flightsim hobby. Others are less impressed. That’s ok. You need to accept some drawbacks with VR. This also apply to the Aero.

What makes the Aero stand out in the crowd?
Well, the aspheric lenses are the key to the picture clarity which made Varjo famous in the commercial VR market. Earlier Varjo VR headsets has a clever quadruple display setup, for even higher resolution. This doesn’t apply to the Aero, but the lenses gives it an edge.
It also has automatic IPD adjustment and a built in cooling fan.

It also has a rather advanced head strap. But that didn’t make it fit my noggin any better. Strike 1.

The aspheric lenses, while very clear compared to standard fresnel lenses, creates a distortion in the image. Strike 2.

The bloody thing cost $2000 plus taxes, and you need to buy at least one Valve Base station for tracking and you need to buy VR hand controllers if you want to play regular VR games. There, I said it. Strike 3?

Well, not so fast.

If you have been following this thread, you have read about me complaining about this and that. Fit, FoV, and distortion have been the main issues.
You have also read about me praising the image clarity.
You have not read about me being very decisive about keeping the Aero or not.

As a last test I went back to the HP Reverb G2, to see if that would make my decision any easier…

Donning the G2 was like putting on a comfortable, worn in hat.
The lenses fogged up, immediately. It’s winter and cold here. The lenses were cold and my warm face made the air condense on the lenses. Hm… That didn’t happen in the Aero. Built in fan, remember?

The G2 is a damn fine VR headset. But it can’t match the picture clarity of the Aero. Even if I had SteamVR at 50% resolution in the Aero and 100% for the G2, there was no comparison. The G2 is good, but the Aero is better. At least when we’re talking about picture clarity.
We kind of expected that, didn’t we?
The image distortion…is also present in the G2. This surprised me. The artifacts that I complained about in the Aero, is also present in the G2. Not exactly the same, and to a lesser degree, but they are there. Had I gotten used to this in the G2, and reacted to it in the Aero because I expected it…?
The FoV is actually about the same. The horizontal FoV anyway. The vertical is smaller. The shape is also different, so maybe that’s what threw me off?
I tried to draw a picture, showing the difference.

The G2 is taller and more angular, whereas the Aero is rounder and slopes down at the top.

The famous sweet spot, or the area in the lens where you get the clearest picture, is larger in the Aero. It’s not edge to edge, but not far from it.

So, the Varjo Aero is actually on par with, or better than the G2.
At least when we’re talking about the displays.
The G2 has inside out tracking, which I thought was a huge plus, compared to the two external trackers I used with my Oculus Rift CV1.
But the tracking of the G2 is not as precise as using a Valve Base Station. Still the tracking of the G2 is very good.
The audio of the Varjo Aero is absolutely…not present…! Well, there is a 3,5mm jack and you get some earbuds. The audio of the G2 is very good, and the Varjo Aero isn’t. Technical KO in favour of the G2.

Lastly, we need to address the price.
Let’s say the Aero is $2000 and the G2 is $500? That’s not too far from the truth, if we ignore the audio, controllers, base station…
Am I four times happier with the Aero, than with the G2?
Am I four times better at shooting down bandits?
Does the Aero make me four times cooler?
The answers are, No, No and No, I’m a pilot and we already max out on the coolness factor :sunglasses:

Remember what I wrote above about the meaninglessness of a price comparison? Well, this is what I mean. Can you put a price on the value of your hobby? Is that value the same as for me? Are you into these kind of things? I am… I never thought I’d be able to answer yes to any of the questions above. Yet I ordered the Varjo Aero… I did it because I have great faith in Varjo as a company, and I want to be part of this journey, which I’m hoping will be a long and exciting one.

I’m keeping it.

Is the Varjo Aero the last VR headset I will ever buy?
Yes. NO!!
And in other news, @PaulRix won’t buy more MSFS add-ons.
:wink:

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rollercoaster GIF

:slight_smile:

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I’m trying to calculate the odds on that being a true statement… :thinking: :rofl:

Glad to hear that you feel it is worth keeping and I think your reasoning is very sound.

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I think backing a company that is doing good and new things and you want to continue is a fine reason. It is a really good thing that a VR specialist company, with a solid revenue stream for future developments from the business/enterprise side of things is making the best consumer headset too. A lot of the other manufacturers are using VR as a side channel to try grow things like social advertising or for you to stay in their console ecosystem/walled garden so you have to buy content through them - Varjo isn’t about that. Valve is probably the nearest to them, but they care more about VR as a general gaming thing, and not in pushing the boundaries like the Aero is with its lenses and panels. Valve doesn’t really understand sims at all, but that’s ok as Varjo exists as well.

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It’s why I own an I-16, a viggen, a bunch of helicopters and a jeff :wink:

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Hey, I just appreciate a good, thoughtful, review.

joy per dollar - that’s how I justified my recent PC purchase; was expensive but - over time - it’s worth it to me. If I rarely used…enjoyed it…it would be a different matter.

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This. I look forward to your review a month in the future on this item. I noticed no distortion in the G2, but the O+ that it replaced? Perhaps I did when I first put on the O+ but it really doesn’t stand out in my memory. If G2 had the same issue I was already accustomed to this and didn’t notice. I still don’t but I think as we get wider FOV’s this will be more of an issue, at least initially.

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Excellent post @Troll ! :+1:

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Glad you wrote that out. Interesting stuff and I’m glad you made peace with it.
We all have stuff we might of paid too much money for, but as long as you are happy with it and your decisions then the paper won’t be chasing you.
I once went out for a bacon roll on my motorbike and came home without it but riding an 848 ducati. I hated it from the minute I bought it. Uncomfortable, slow, quiet, twitchy. It sat in the garage most of that summer and I sold it before winter. I never made my peace with the purchase and it bugged me the whole time I owned it.

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Happy to hear you’ve made your decision,It really does sound like a great piece of gear.
Like You,I really Love The VR Flight Sim Experience……Not sure if I’d be so into DCS without it.

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