Back in the day, drones used to be exclusively controlled with wireless remote control. As the wireless technology got more advanced, robotics firms like Visual Programming Lab (VPL) and EyePhone HMD were the first companies to make virtual reality goggles available for an average person. First Person View or FPV goggles have always been used for recreational purposes. This post will help you choose the best FPV goggles for your drone.
Best FPV Goggles of 2020
1. DJI Goggles Racing Edition
DJI is an innovative drone and camera technology company based in Shenzhen, China. It is one of the most upbeat and forward-thinking drone organizations. The DJI FPV Goggles must be used with DJI drones, although they are perfectly compatible with drones manufactured by other brands.
I’d also like to call your attention to the fact that these are not 3D Goggles. They do provide the immersive experience of the 3D goggle from Google and Samsung but without letting you sense the surrounding environment. When you put on these FPV Goggles, you will feel like you are actually sitting inside the drone while it is airborne.
The 1080p resolution screen brings to you clear and concise images of the area beneath the drone. However, images are only going to be crystal clear if your drone is equipped with an equally good FPV camera. Using these goggles with a cheap or budget-friendly drone will most certainly result in frustration.
The package includes a body headband pagoda antenna, a connector charger wire clip, micro USB cable, HDMI cable, and a cleaning cloth. The product is black in color. The headband is cushioned with red-colored foam.
In addition to that, these first-person view goggles offer seamless video transmission (just 50 ms latency). 1280×960 is the highest resolution provided by this product, although you can go even higher by increasing the FPS.
DJI Goggles Racing Edition is Suitable For –
These first-person view goggles work well with DJI drones. You don’t need to fiddle with any connecting cables. The DJI Mavic will connect with these goggles without any configuration. Further, the advanced technology used by DJI eliminates the need for a touchpad.
To guide the drone while airborne, simply move your head (this feature is known as head tracking) in the desired direction. However, it may take a while to learn how to use head motions to control the drone.
- 148-degree field of view.
- It can also be used with non-DJI drones.
- Negligible latency (50ms).
- Head tracking mode makes it possible to use this device hands-free.
- It does not show pictures in 3D.
- Bulkier than virtual reality goggles by other brands.
2. Eachine VR-007 Pro
Best Overall Runner-Up
Eachine VR-007 Pro is a precision-engineered virtual reality goggle. It is the new and upgraded version of the previously popular VR glasses. The earlier version had a few bugs which are now dealt with. You can also use these first-person view goggles on top of your prescription glasses. Although, please note that these goggles are intended for people over the age of 14.
The package includes VR-007 Pro FPV goggles, a 1s 3.7V 1600mAh battery, SMA antenna, a USB charging cable, two pieces of cleaning cloth, and an instruction manual. The battery takes about an hour to charge and lasts up to three hours. Eachine VR-007 Pro battery life is considered to be quite high in relation to other FPV goggles.
Now the most important part, the buttons are located conveniently on the right side of the device. There are three buttons: plus, minus and menu. With the help of these three buttons, you can make changes to the basic display settings (brightness, saturation, color, etc.) and change the aspect ratio of the screen (16:9 and 4:3 options made available).
You should know that once you put these drone goggles on, you will see a small screen in front of your eyes. The goggles are quite lengthy, so the screen is located at a distance– for your comfort. There is no separator between the two eyes. The field of view FOV is clear.
Eachine VR-007 Pro is Suitable For –
Most box goggles available in the market (including the ones by major brands) are quite weighty. The weight can put pressure on the nose and make it hurt after prolonged usage.
Eachine VR-007 Pro weighs just 300 grams, which is considered lightweight by industry standards. So, if you are someone who plans to use drone goggles for more than an hour, you might benefit from this product.
- It comes with a USB chargeable battery pack.
- Larger screen.
- Separate display screen to indicate the current frequency.
- The three-point fillet offers more comfort and convenience.
- It allows you to adjust the picture according to the surrounding environment.
- It can hurt your nose after prolonged use.
3. DJI Immersive FPV
DJI Immersive FPV is a flagship product of DJI, one of the best drone companies. This technologically advanced product comes with two 1920×1080 ultra high-quality displays. This product is intended to be used with any of the DJI FPV drones.
The OcuSync wireless transmission system makes it possible to connect up to four wireless devices to the drone. The idea is to give you an immersive experience like never before.
DJI Goggles offer an option to enjoy the video in more than one resolution. The 720p/60fps screen resolution allows you to view the video at a wide-angle, whereas for close range, 1080p/30fps works best. There are several more screen resolutions available.
Also, DJI takes tremendous pride in having an extremely low latency (less than 110ms). These FPV goggles will make you feel like you are flying in the sky. Unlike Eachine VR-007 Pro, the DJI Immersive FPV goggles have two “2K” screens. One for each eye. Each screen can offer 1280×1440 resolution.
Notably, this is a 100 percent hands-free device. The head tracking mode makes it possible to control the yaw and tilt of the FPV drone with your head movements. By turning your head left or right, you can change the drone’s yaw, whereas to get back to the original position, simply straighten your head. The same goes for the Head Tracking Gimbal mode.
DJI Immersive FPV is Suitable For –
DJI Immersive FPV goggles offer an excellent field of view FOV for drone racing, surveillance, rescue missions, or other recreational purposes. Further, those who are interested in higher image quality can also benefit from this device. You can enhance your drone flying experience by using this device with a DJI drone.
- Best value for money, especially for beginners.
- It offers a maximum screen resolution of 1920×1080.
- There is an option provided to select the aspect ratio and frame rate.
- Patched-in receiver module. No external antennas.
- You can’t view videos in the same format as that of the drone camera.
4. Fat Shark Attitude V5
Best Value Runner-Up
Fat Shark is known as “the original FPV manufacturer.” This robotics firm has been active in the RC video piloting market since the year 2004. Immediately after arrival, they released the world’s 1st wireless FPV video goggle, which made them quite popular among the gaming community.
Some of you might not like the green color on these FPV goggles, but this is how Fat Shark designs its products. Fat Shark Attitude V5 is value-packed. As a beginner drone pilot, you want to look for something that fits in your budget and also offers the necessary features. This product is a cheaper version of FatShark Dominator.
You will love the leather padding around the eyecups. The manufacturer has made sure that no cheap sponge or foam is used in this product (similar to the expensive FatShark Dominator Goggles). Unlike other FPV goggles, this one does not itch or hurt your nose. It is designed for longer drone racing sessions.
This product comes with two 640 X 400 OLED screens—one for each eye. The screen is located at a perfect distance from the eyeballs (you can always adjust the pupil distance manually). However, you might need to spend some time figuring out the manual controls of this device. Buttons are located to the right, left and top of the FPV goggles.
Fat Shark Attitude V5 is Suitable For –
These box goggles from FatShark work great for those who seek comfort and convenience of the highest level. I understand that the button placement needs to be more organized, but apart from that, there are no complaints. The field of view is 30 degrees, and the ideal aspect ratio for the screen is 4:3. You can view the videos with aspect ratio 16:9 if you need a zoomed-in image.
- It comes with a diversity receiver module (two antennas). No possibility of multi-path fading.
- It comes with a zipper carry case.
- Control the drone with head movements. Equipped with “head tracking function.”
- The omnidirectional antenna sticks out awkwardly. The head is also quite large.
- The buttons are all over the place.
5. Fat Shark Scout
The Scout FPV Headset is another expertly engineered FPV goggles from FatShark. Not only the look and feel of this product are different from Attitude V5, but it also has some premium features added to it.
For instance, the Attitude V5 had two external antennas. Such is not the case with Scout FPV Goggles. These FPV goggles come with an omnidirectional and another patched-in antenna.
Also, the button placement is far more organized. The functional keys are located at the top-right side of the device, whereas the power button is placed conveniently on the top left corner. Plus, in the black and white color casing, this product appears more adept.
The package arrives with a sturdy and long-lasting carrying case, an instruction manual, some FatShark stickers, receiver modules, and a 18650 2600mAh Battery. Not to mention, the 5G8 Patch Antenna is built-in.
The slot and connecting cable ports are located at both ends of the device. A USB-C slot, AV in port and headset port is located at the right side of the device. Also, you will find a miniSD card slot and an auxiliary port on the left-hand side.
Fat Shark Scout is Suitable For –
Just like Attitude V5, these are budget-friendly FPV goggles meant to introduce you to the virtual reality world. You can use these goggles for professional purposes, but keep in mind that it offers a screen resolution of 1136 x 640/60fps.
Plus, with a 50-degree field of view, you can survey a particular territory but do not expect a crystal clear view. Of course, the image quality also depends on the camera mounted on your drone.
- Lightweight (350 grams). Box goggles usually weigh more than 400 grams.
- Equipped with head tracking.
- Perfect for recreational purposes like drone racing.
- Equipped with two diversity receiver antennas. One in-built and another external.
- The image quality is average.
- The signal transmission is not sound when operated from indoors. For an immersive experience, you need to stay stationed out in the open.
6. Flysight SpX02 SpeXman
Best Budget Runner-Up
Are you looking for a small FPV goggle that allows you to check your surroundings while you control the drone with your head movements? The unique picture-in-picture (PIP) features protect you from any accidents while you are busy managing the drone.
It is another thing to have an immersive experience guiding your drone from one location to another, but your surroundings should also be acknowledged. What if you collide with a person or a cattle while your eyes are completely focused on your field?
If yes, then simply switch on the PIP mode. You can keep an eye on the surroundings through a tiny window present on the screen. You should also know that Flysight provides multiple options to cushion the FPV goggle as per your face shape. Along with the product, you also get a rubber and foam padding, which can be interchanged with the default leather padding (I recommend to use the default pads).
Flysight SpX02 SpeXman is equipped with a 40 channel 5.8ghz diversity receiver module. You can expect a very low latency. Also, the two screens offer a screen resolution of 854*480px. The display quality is very vivid and bright. It feels similar to watching a movie on a large screen.
Flysight SpX02 SpeXman is Suitable For –
SpX02 SpeXman from Flysight is one of the best FPV goggles for those looking for compactness and comfort. In fact, it is small enough to fit in your pocket. It comes with a durable carry case that can also accommodate the antennas.
Unlike in other budget-priced FPV goggles, the field of view in these goggles appears right in front of the eyes. There is no gap between the screen and the user’s pupils.
- It comes with two cooling fans.
- Picture in picture function keeps you aware of your surroundings.
- An HDMI port is provided so you can watch your favorite movies at a screen resolution of 1920*1080.
- Compatible with all drone brands.
- Great for beginners interested in drone racing.
- Low price range FPV goggle.
- The battery charging system needs improvement.
7. Makerfire Mini FPV Goggles
This is by far the most unique looking FPV goggles available in the market. The receiver modules are located right on the top of the frame (double RP-SMA antenna). The screen functions can be modified with the buttons located on the top of the frame. The top view appears a lot like a remote drone controller.
This product does not come with an in-built Digital Video Recorder (DVR). They have provided the AV out port so you can record the footage sent by the drone’s signal transmission system.
Further, the built-in 3.7V/1200mAh high-capacity Li-ion polymer battery can be charged via the USB port located on the edge of the frame. The manufacturer provides a USB charging cable.
Notably, this product is a lot cheaper than others on the list, but it also has its shortcomings. The weaknesses of this product won’t limit the fun and enjoyment of recreational users. But they may become a detriment for professionals.
Also, near-sighted or far-sighted users are not advised to purchase these FPV goggles. The screen may appear way closer than it is, or you will feel cross-eyed while staring at it. You can wear glasses, but they may feel extremely uncomfortable. There is no guarantee that these FPV goggles will go well with your prescription glasses.
Makerfire Mini FPV Goggles is Suitable For –
Barring a few shortcomings, this product has a lot to offer for those looking for the best FPV goggles at a low price point. The instruction manual comes with a frequency table so you can configure this device easily.
The LED screen shows the current frequency and other necessary details. I would recommend this FPV goggle to someone who wants to use their drone hands-free or simply watch their favorite movies up-close.
- Includes the AV out port as well.
- Extremely low or negligible latency (10ms).
- Comes with tried and tested RP-SMA antenna.
- It only suits users with perfect eyesight.
- No in-built DVR.
Are FPV Goggles Worth It?
FPV goggles are one of the essential accessories for drone racing. Usually, the high price point of branded FPV goggles prevents beginners from beginning their drone piloting career.
However, I can say without hesitation that a feature-rich FPV goggle can boost your drone racing experience by miles. A phone screen has its limitations. To win drone racing tournaments, you are required to divert 100 percent of your focus and energy into guiding the unmanned aerial vehicle.
How Do I Choose FPV Goggles?
Just like it is important to pick the right flight controller, propellor system, or frame kit for your aerial vehicle, it is also crucial to pair it up with the right First Person View FPV goggles. I am assuming that you have put together your drone by yourself, but even if you haven’t, you will find that there are tons of options when it comes to FPV goggles. For a beginner, choosing the right FPV goggle can be challenging.
Below I have listed a few features that you need to look for when choosing an FPV goggle for your quadcopter.
- Vision Correction: Make sure the FPV goggles you are about to purchase have vision correction. Wearing virtual reality goggles on top of prescription glasses can be extremely uncomfortable.
- Field of View (FOV): The Field of View (FOV) is another essential factor you need to consider before purchasing an FPV goggle. A wide-angle screen offers a larger FOV.
- Price: Generally, the price of an FPV goggle depends on the screen resolution and type of the receiver module. The price of an FPV goggle can range from $70 to $500.
- Interpupillary Distance (IPD): IPD is the distance between the centers of the pupils of the eyes. Every human on earth has a distinct IPD. Make sure the device you are about to purchase has provisions to adjust the IPD.
- Head Tracking: This is one of the most fundamental features of an FPV goggle. A software application monitors your head’s movement so you can guide the drone in the direction you want.
Why Are FPV Goggles so Expensive?
A growing number of drone enthusiasts want to switch from a conventional wireless remote controller to virtual reality goggles. However, the high price point of these devices stops them from doing so.
But what makes these virtual reality goggles so expensive? Most FPV goggles over $100 come with OLED screens instead of the old Kopin LCD modules. Even major tech companies like Samsung use OLED screens in their televisions, mobile phones, and wearable devices.
OLED screens are manufactured in a limited quality as the mainstream electronics companies do not yet use them. Also, they are challenging to make. Hence, the better the quality of the OLED screen, the higher the price of the product.
Can You Fly FPV Drone Without Goggles?
To be exact and accurate, yes, you can fly an FPV drone without goggles. In fact, virtual reality is a newer concept. Companies like DJI and FatShark have made FPV goggles available for regular people like you and me.
FPV goggles are necessary if you are flying your drone more than 50 meters apart from the base station. They might cost you anywhere from $70-$500; you are better off flying your drone with FPV goggles.
With the advancement of technology, more and more drone accessories are expected to arrive in the market. As a drone enthusiast, you should try your best to learn and stay informed about these inventions.
FPV goggles have been around for quite a while now, although I won’t be surprised if they seem new to you, especially if you are new to this space.
From the above list, I would suggest FatShark Scout for those who are looking for feature-rich yet affordable goggles for their drones. Scout is far better and also cheaper than it’s close cousin Attitude V5.