First person view (FPV) goggles are the perfect tools to see exact footage as your drone is in mid-flight. Other alternatives like smartphones or tablet applications don’t get you immersed in the detail as much as FPV goggles. For drone racing enthusiasts, you want to see as much action as possible, ignoring what’s happening on the ground, giving maximum attention to what’s happening in the sky. That view is what you get with FPV goggles, and here are some of the best in the market.
Walkera FPV Goggle 4
If you want to participate in drone racing or have in-depth aerial photographs, then this FPV will give you the immersive experience you need. Thanks to the 800 × 600 screen resolution, high focal distance flexibility, and 32-degree field of view, you can have the best panoramic aerial photographs. These pair of goggles are budget-friendly, at less than 200 dollars, but still, offer fantastic user experience like non-other. More features include;
- Head tracking function
- DVR and HDMI input
- 16:9 aspect ratio
- Automatic channel search
- 5-inch HD screen
- 8 GHz double antennas
- Even though it has an ergonomic design, all the features put on additional weight. The Goggle 4 weighs a little over 2.3 pounds (1.04 kg), which experienced users say is a bit on the higher side.
Fatshark Dominator V3
What makes these goggles stand out is their exceptional 42-degree field of view and 800 × 600 screen resolution. The screen is made of glass rather than plastic, as seen in cheaper variants. Glass gives sharper and clearer images. The faceplate has a fan to prevent the lens from fogging and keep you comfortable in scorching environments. Its modular design allows you to customize receiver modules and head trackers. The Dominator V3 has a built-in digital video recorder, to autosave motion pictures and still when disconnected from power. More features include;
- 1800 MAH USB battery
- Supports interlaced 3D
- 16:9 widescreen WVGA
- Digital or analog inputs
- 720p support
- Swap between NTFS and Pal
- Adjustable interpupillary distance
- Receivers and chargers sold separately, which can run up the cost significantly. Additionally, you run the risk of purchasing the wrong accessories, which are also expensive. As an example, the Dominator V3 can only run with the NexwaveRF module, which doesn’t come cheap at all.
With the 1280 * 800-pixel screen resolution, mind-blowing 72-degree field of view, and 7-inch display, it’s a guarantee that you will receive high quality pictures on these FPV goggles. The SKY02X features a 5.8 GHz diversity receiver, which can scan over ten channels in a single instance. With the 3D camera and OSD display, you will be fully immersed in the view, akin to watching a 3D movie. That capability is also enhanced with the built-in speakers, featuring volume control on the dashboard. More features include;
- 4:3 ratio
- Built-in head tracking
- DVR capabilities
- HDMI input
- Adjustable and lightweight
- AV in/out
- With all the power-hungry features included, you would think the manufacturer would give these goggles a reliable battery. However, you only get 500 mAh capacity battery, so you are limited in the time you have of experiencing the vivid imagery.
These budget FPVs can also double up as a monitor because of the crisp HD LCD panel. With all the latest features, it’s hard to fault these Goggles for such an unbeatable price. With a built-in DVR, you can easily record high quality FPV feed. Its 40ch diverse receiver receives long-range signal, thanks to the omnidirectional cloverleaf antenna. The auto scan button makes light work of finding the right frequency. More features include;
- 5-inch LCD screen
- Advanced auto search
- Wide range recharge voltage
- HD high brightness
- Highly adjustable
- Replay in the menu
- It has a fixed lens focal length. The battery is also a downgrade from previous versions, which gave about 3.5 hours of use on a single charge, unlike the EV800D, which provides you with 2 hours. Additionally, the 1.2Ah battery sits on the front of the device, keeping your head off balance because it’s bulky.
Aomway Commander V1
This FPC is choke-full of features to give you an unparalleled user experience. Aomway manages to provide the numerous accessories without having to charge you exuberantly, as is usually the case. For this reason, the Commander V1 is often out of stock, as Aomway frantically try to keep up with the demand. The 854 × 380 PX LCD screen can switch from 16:9 aspect ratio to 4:3. More features include;
- HDMI support
- Built-in DVR
- Built-in fan to prevent lens fog
- Adapter lens slots
- 3D support
- AV input/output
- The 32-degree diagonal FOV is a bit narrow, meaning you can have issues flying through tiny gaps or through trees. Also, it’s advertised as modular, but the video feature is below par.
DJI FPV goggles
DJI is a reputable Chinese giant manufacturer, making great strides in the growing niche market of FPV goggles. It took a long time for them to make their headset, despite controlling more than 70% of market share in the drone market. You can use the DJI FPV goggles for basically anything from drones to remote-controlled cars and boats. Thanks to digital transmission, unlike analog tech used by their competitors, you can have a live stream of events at 1080 p resolution from up to 2.5 miles (4.02 km) away. It can even record live feed onto a micro SD card so that in case your drone is lost, you can playback the footage and retrace its steps. Other features include;
- Can operate eight drones simultaneously
- Low latency transmission
- Live view
- Support MicroSD up to 128 G
- 58-70 mm interpupillary distance
- Up to 6 hours of operation time
- The only real downside to these goggles is the high price. However, with the racing edition, you won’t have to look for another variant or replacement parts for a long time to come. With the long-range built-in receiver, you won’t need any accessories. Other than the price, DJI leads the pack in nearly every attribute, and you can go for the standard and cheaper version of their goggles.
Orqa has pushed the FPV goggles industry even more. Even though the price is just a little over the $650 mark, there is little to complain once you see what’s under the hood. The FPV.One is taunted as Fatshark KILLER, by challenging the best in the field, and some would say, even surpassing their high standards. You don’t have to go so further than to see that Orqa incorporate an OLED screen to their FPV. This screen gives the device a mind-blowing 1280 * 960 resolution and a massive 44 degrees of FOV. Other features include;
- Micro HDMI for video in
- AV in and out
- Stereo audio output
- 2000 mAh battery
- Head tracker output
- The only downside to this headset is the company is relatively new in the market. Consequently, many people shy away from buying such gadgets because they fear the company might die off and not give future updates and support. The company is even playing it safe by releasing only in black until word spreads of their utterly brilliant product.
What to consider when buying the best FPV Goggles
If you are new to FPV goggles, you will come across some technical terms. Here are some quick explanations on what the words mean, and their significance. It’s imperative to understand what you are buying, to make an informed choice, and buy the best FPV Goggles for your needs.
Most drones come in one or two aspect ratios, i.e., 16:9 and 4:3. Therefore, you must make sure that the FPVs you purchase is compatible with what your drone has. If you mix different aspect ratios, you will likely have images that are stretched out or squashed. Even if you get used to the poor image quality, your precision will go down the drain when operating the drone.
Field of view
FPV goggles have different fields of view or FOV. This characteristic is the degree to which the edge of the viewing screen is angled from your eyes. FOV is how much you can see at any given time. With FPV goggles, most range from 255 to 45% in the field of view. In essence, the higher the FOV, the better the quality of the image you will receive.
While taking part in racing drones, you want goggles that have high head tracking ratios. This feature captures your head’s motion and synchronizes it with the onboard camera motion of your drone. As a pilot, you want your head to accurately, swiftly, and dependably be in sync with the camera motion for dexterity.
The two major categories of FPV goggles are box and compact. The latter model is lightweight and fits snug on your naval, but the screen is often small. The box type can accommodate larger screens for better views. However, they tend to be quite heavy and can be a distraction because of that.
IPD is an abbreviation of interpupillary distance. This is the distance between the centers of both your pupils. Everyone has different shaped heads, faces, and intervals between our eyes. Therefore, it is crucial to get FPV goggles that allow for both eye pupils to be accommodated. IPD technology is vital in binoculars as well. Similarly, you can adjust the distances to fit your eyes correctly, just as you would with most goggles in this guide. Fixed IPD is inconvenient when you want to share your FPV with other people.
For this, you will usually find the screen is made of either plastic or glass. In this case, the best option to go for is one with glass for viewing clarity and better image quality. However, glass is more brittle and pricier compared to plastic: therefore, you have to be extra careful with such types.
You will see many options regarding the screen resolution on FPV goggles. Below we break them down and indicate what range they fall into
FWVGA: 854×480 pixels.
SVGA: 800×600 pixels.
VGA: 640×480 pixels.
QVGA: 320×240 pixels.
For the best stills and motion picture, go for the first two with FWVGA and SVGA. However, more resolution usually means more price in the FPV world.
Digital head tracking
This technology monitors your head’s movements and sends the data back to your drone. The camera in your drone takes this information to align it with your orientation. If you look up, left, or to the right, so does the camera. This feature gives you more flexibility and enhances your overall experience while flying drones. Luckily, this feature is now the norm.
You will likely need to buy a receiver module that’s compatible with your FPV as well. Read your FPV headset manual or instructions on which receiver will work with it. The modular frequencies are usually 5.8, 2.4, or 1.3 GHz. Some goggles can be connected to various modules easily, while others like the Fat Shark is only compatible with a specific receiver.
FPV drone kit with goggles
For convenience, quad-copters are bundled together with other accessories and called FPV drone kit with goggles. This bundle is suitable for beginners who don’t want to worry too much about purchasing products that don’t work. Experienced pros also do the same just for the convenience. Most bundles come with everything you need to start flying right out of the box.
It’s a tantalizing experience having to fly a drone with the help of FPV. It’s important to understand terms like IPD, the field of view, resolution, and digital head tracking to get the right FPV for your needs. Most of the products on this list are also from companies that make their own drones. For that reason, they make FPVs that are compatible. Many of the products in this list are highly customizable, and settings can be adjusted quite easily. You are not restricted to flying drones since you can do other things like playing games and watching movies with the options laid out.
To make your search easier, choose an FPV goggle with adjustable IPD glass optics, at least 35% field of view, and the highest resolution you can afford.