Starbreeze Headset

The Starbreeze headset is probably the closest people could get to experiencing a true VR and the Starbreeze headset definitely has the right hardware to accomplish this.

Currently, there are no plans to sell this headset to the mainstream public but it is shipping now to IMAX centers; the first to open in Los Angeles, next in London, and followed by New York and Shanghai.

Design And Comfort

In all honesty, there are absolutely no complaints so far with the Starbreeze in terms of comfort. The Vive/Rift style band is adjustable and will sit snugly on the user’s head once adjusted to fit. Its cables are held in place from the top and all link into one cable that is connected to the PC so chances of tripping are minimized.

So yes, the design looks large and dorky but the product is lightweight and the team has also ensured that no light seeps inside.

Picture And Audio

First impressions of the picture are that the field of view which is more or less double than other VR headsets at 210 degrees horizontal and 100 degrees vertical is extremely cool. During their debut of the product, Starbreeze did a cool trick during the demo where the 100-degree view and 210-degree view were switched up so viewers could spot the difference.

The head tracking is pretty standard and as well as what we are already used to but when you move your head, there is a noticeable blur which is quite distracting. Also, the screen door effect is quite minimal, which Acer and Starbreeze have tried to get away with it, but still very much exists.

Another thing to be mindful of is that even though Starbreeze headset displays a lot more pixels than say, the Oculus, (the resolution is a total of 5120 x 1440 combined of the two screens) but these pixels are spread across 210 degrees instead of 100 or 110.

The latest Starbreeze camera has significant improvements to both lenses and optics when compared to the earlier prototypes, but unfortunately, the overall picture isn’t as mesmerizing and mind-blowing as the product claims and we expected. We were waiting to be blown away, which granted we were, but the whole performance felt somewhat flat. Coming to the audio, the sound is good and there is 3D audio and headphone support available.

Initial Verdict

At first, Starbreeze seems to be impressive enough for visitors of the IMAX VR centers. The device is comfortable to wear, has great field of view, and Starbreeze has planned a variety of things that will be done once users get their hands on the Starbreeze, which also includes gaming. The headset itself is quite ridiculous and may feel silly when put on, but who cares once you are teleported to Virtual Reality anyway. All in all, for now the Starbreeze headset is on par with the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift and doesn’t really offer something too ahead. It is better in some aspects while still needs a lot of catching up in other ways.


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