Varjo Aero

bobzdar

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As there's not a thread about this (just the VR-3), I figured I'd start one given I just got mine on Friday. I had preordered the day they opened, got the notice it would be shipping within 2 weeks on the previous Friday, notice it would ship within 5 days on Tuesday and card charged, and then a notice that it had shipped on Wednesday - and it showed up only 2 days later while I was expecting it to take at least a week. So it appears Varjo has their logistics down and hit their promised ship, all good signs.

I immediately downloaded the Varjo base software and plugged it in. The biggest issue I had was getting my base stations and controllers paired from the second hand og vive I had picked up on FB marketplace, which is to say no real issue at all - just googled how to do it (hold down the 2 buttons until they beep). Then it all just worked. I left all of the settings stock, it defaults to high (35ppd) resolution and fired up iRacing. I had to lower some GPU intensive settings like transparency AA from 4x supersampling to multisample, and change an ini setting that was game specific and caused a ton of world warp, set steamVR to 100% (I ran 140 on the Odyssey+) and then it was all set and worked.

So first impressions - clarity is off the charts, shimmering almost completely gone and things are now visible as long as your eyes can pick them up. Things are readable as soon as they're big enough for my eyes to recognize, blurry things in the distance are just no longer a thing at all. It actually highlighted a lot of the graphics engine limitations that weren't noticeable previously, like low res textures in certain places, flickering shadows on cars while following them, things like that that just weren't visible before. The FOV is slightly smaller and there is some difference in how the optics render things vs my old Odyssey+, so there was a slight adjustment period akin to when getting new glasses. After half an hour or so that all went away and was no longer noticeable. I have lasik corrected to 20-20 in one eye and 20-15 in the other, and things were readable from farther than I probably could read them in real life, to give an idea of the clarity and image quality.

So to comfort - I had a choice to make as I was driving in the iRacing 24h of Daytona starting at 7am Saturday morning. I decided to go back to the Odyssey+ for the race start and not run untested hardware. Then I figured after my opening 3 hour stint was done, I'd swap headsets and as long as there were no problem while watching/spotting other drivers, drive my next 3 hour stint with the Aero. That all went without a hitch and I'll say the Aero, despite fully covering my face and the Odyssey not covering it as I removed the facial interface from it completely, induced less sweating and was as comfortable, if not more so. Going immediately from the Odyssey+ to the Aero highlighted the differences - clarity was a monumental improvement, FOV slightly smaller and optics different but overall better due to lack of any God rays and better edge to edge clarity despite what I felt was a little less correct geometry. Sound wise I used the stock headphones on the Odyssey+ and my Bose QC35's on the Aero, so it was better for sure (not really a fair comparison); I didn't try the included ear buds.

Now to performance - iRacing is notoriously single thread cpu limited, but you can, via things like transparency AA and steamvr super sampling, put a hurt on any GPU with it, including my 3090. I had the GPU working virtually to it's max with the Odyssey+ and had to reduce settings for the Aero - like the aforementioned transparency AA and supersampling in steamvr. That said, turning either of those settings down made zero perceptible difference to the image quality and doubled the performance - it's just so high res those tricks aren't necessary. My GPU with pixel density at high/35ppd and supersampling 100% is at about the same load it was with the Odyssey+ and the image quality is night and day better. I could probably disable transparency AA altogether as I see no aliasing on textures at all anyway, and I may try the res on extreme (39ppd) just to see what it looks like, but honestly I don't know what it will add. Maybe it'll get rid of that last very faint shimmering you can see on some things in the extreme distance, but it's rare and only there if you look for it - and honestly less prominent than on my 4k screen in 2d mode - which is amazing to me.

Things I don't like - the eye calibration every time you put the headset on is annoying and means you really don't want to lift up the headset or do anything that could make it lose track of your eyes in a critical moment (or at all while doing something like driving in a race) as it overlays the screen and makes things stutter while it calibrates. If they could do that in the background and make it transparent to the user, or give the option to completely disable it as eye tracking doesn't work yet in most games, it'd be much better. I was afraid to itch my face during the race for fear it'd have to recalibrate and make me crash. The FOV is less, and noticeable at first. I think if I can get my eyes closer it'd be similar to the Odyssey+, which I'm happy with. The lense geometry seems a touch off, which should all be fixable via stereo separation/warping in firmware, so hopefully they continue to work on that, but it's a minor concern. I just think the Odyssey+ was particularly excellently set up in that respect as I get a similar feeling in my Quest 2 and other headsets I've tried. Blacks are not quite as good as the OLED in the Odyssey+ but there is zero ghosting and the contrast/colors are stellar. There's zero mura or screen door, just a perfectly smooth image, unlike any other headset I've tried.

Overall - a huge step up from the Odyssey+. Is it worth $2k (or in my case, $2300 as I had to get a Vive for the base stations)? Sure, if you have a beast system and extra money. I'm going to try MSFS and see if the same graphics engine limitations show up like they do in iRacing. I'm hoping not, but the VR ecosystem may not be ready for this thing to where it makes sense to shell out for it. I may try Alyx on it but I didn't buy this for games like that as they're more fun completely untethered with the Quest 2 in airlink (imo) and I've honestly had enough of that game anyway.
 

Vega

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I just got my Aero in today and have mixed feelings. I think I need to compare it more against my Index to really gauge where I stand with the Aero. I'll post more over the next few days.
 

Vega

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Maybe I'm missing something, but how the heck do you turn off this headset? After shutting down SteamVR and Varjo Base, the headset just sits there with the fan spinning pumping out warm air.
 

MrC4

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Maybe I'm missing something, but how the heck do you turn off this headset? After shutting down SteamVR and Varjo Base, the headset just sits there with the fan spinning pumping out warm air.
Cool down process? Does it shut off after sitting idle for 10 minutes or so?
 

bobzdar

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I haven't looked into it but noticed the same thing and just unplugged it from the break out box. I have been taking a break after spending about 10 hours in VR on Saturday/Sunday and trying to get my sleep schedule back to normal, but will probably play around with it more tonight and see if I can figure that part out or if it just needs to be unplugged when not using it.
 

Vega

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I haven't used my Aero since last night and I'm sitting at my desk and the Aero fan keeps turning on and off. This is with the Varjo Base and SteamVR software not running. There is a orange on indicator on the side, but when the fan is running there is a green light seen through the bottom of the vent ports and the LCD panels are on. Only way I can find to completely turn off the Aero is to unplug it. Seems quite the oversight.

Received a reply from Varjo:

"Thank you so much for reaching out. The Aero doesn't have a power button so in order to shut it down you need to either unplug it from the adapter or pull the power from the adapter.

Please let us know if you have any other questions,

Thank you,

Hannah/Varjo Support"
 
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mazeroth

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How do you guys feel the optics compare to the Quest 2? My story:

Bought a 3090 and a Reverb G2 a year ago. Loved the visuals, but hated the mixed reality interface and controllers, and how poor the edge-to-edge clarity was. I like being able to move my eyes in the headset and still see a sharp image. My G2 makes me move my head, because the sweet spot is so small. A few months later, my brother and buddy convinced me to buy a Quest 2 to play online games with them. I tried it with a third party link cable and the visuals were way worse than the G2. So, I only used it for online gaming.

A few weeks ago I decided to give PC gaming on the Quest 2 another shot, since my brother got an Airlink setup and said cable-free gaming is awesome. I got a router and couldn't believe how much better the Quest 2 visuals got in the last year with all the updates (sharpening mainly). I was seriously shocked. I loaded up a heavily modded Skyrim and was blown away. I then put my G2 back on, played the same modded Skyrim and it barely looked better than the Quest 2.

So, is this Varjo a massive upgrade over the Quest 2 and HP Reverb G2? I just don't know if I can go back to wired gaming after how awesome the Quest 2 is wirelessly. Now, if I was a sim racer/flying type, it wouldn't bother me nearly as much. But I like to play games that let me move around.
 

workshop35

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I haven't used my Aero since last night and I'm sitting at my desk and the Aero fan keeps turning on and off. This is with the Varjo Base and SteamVR software not running. There is a orange on indicator on the side, but when the fan is running there is a green light seen through the bottom of the vent ports and the LCD panels are on. Only way I can find to completely turn off the Aero is to unplug it. Seems quite the oversight.

Received a reply from Varjo:

"Thank you so much for reaching out. The Aero doesn't have a power button so in order to shut it down you need to either unplug it from the adapter or pull the power from the adapter.

Please let us know if you have any other questions,

Thank you,

Hannah/Varjo Support"
Sounds like what the recommendation is for the G2 also. Although the v2 cable has a power button.
 

l88bastard

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I haven't used my Aero since last night and I'm sitting at my desk and the Aero fan keeps turning on and off. This is with the Varjo Base and SteamVR software not running. There is a orange on indicator on the side, but when the fan is running there is a green light seen through the bottom of the vent ports and the LCD panels are on. Only way I can find to completely turn off the Aero is to unplug it. Seems quite the oversight.

Received a reply from Varjo:

"Thank you so much for reaching out. The Aero doesn't have a power button so in order to shut it down you need to either unplug it from the adapter or pull the power from the adapter.

Please let us know if you have any other questions,

Thank you,

Hannah/Varjo Support"

I had to unplug the VR3 in order to shut it off...nothing better than going to bed, waking up 16 hours later, and finding out your expensive ass headset has been on and running the entire time
 

Vega

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How do you guys feel the optics compare to the Quest 2? My story:

Bought a 3090 and a Reverb G2 a year ago. Loved the visuals, but hated the mixed reality interface and controllers, and how poor the edge-to-edge clarity was. I like being able to move my eyes in the headset and still see a sharp image. My G2 makes me move my head, because the sweet spot is so small. A few months later, my brother and buddy convinced me to buy a Quest 2 to play online games with them. I tried it with a third party link cable and the visuals were way worse than the G2. So, I only used it for online gaming.

A few weeks ago I decided to give PC gaming on the Quest 2 another shot, since my brother got an Airlink setup and said cable-free gaming is awesome. I got a router and couldn't believe how much better the Quest 2 visuals got in the last year with all the updates (sharpening mainly). I was seriously shocked. I loaded up a heavily modded Skyrim and was blown away. I then put my G2 back on, played the same modded Skyrim and it barely looked better than the Quest 2.

So, is this Varjo a massive upgrade over the Quest 2 and HP Reverb G2? I just don't know if I can go back to wired gaming after how awesome the Quest 2 is wirelessly. Now, if I was a sim racer/flying type, it wouldn't bother me nearly as much. But I like to play games that let me move around.

I'm doing a lot more testing, bouncing between the Aero, Q2 and Index. I can say the Aero blows the Q2 out of the water. The Q2 has a tiny "circular" FOV and god rays out the ass. The clarity compared to the Aero is pretty crap.

I'll post more later.
 

Vega

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So this is my quick run-down of Pros/Cons versus the Index:

1. Clarity: Obviously the Aero blows the Index away here. Although with the Aero I really cannot see individual pixels, I can still see vertical rows of the pixel structure. So not perfect.

2. God rays: Pretty bad on the Index, none on the Aero.

3. Distortion: Holy smokes a lot of barrel distortion in the Aero. Maybe not as noticeable in flight sims, but really bad in standing/FPS games like Alyx. The Index has a little bit of warping, but almost unnoticeable compared to the Aero's distortion.

4. Smoothness. The Index blows the Aero away here. 144 Hz on the Index and it's smooth as glass. The Aero at only 90 Hz starts at a deficit, and yet there is still some stuttering that I cannot solve. Even in the Varjo Base software, not even in SteamVR I get this stutter. It's super annoying, and if I cannot get it solved with Varjo support, I'm afraid it's heading back. NO way should a RTX 3090 running a VR headset with basically nothing going on in a loading room be stuttering. And I've tried just about every combination of Varjo Base settings to no avail.

5. Fan: Pro is that it helps keep your face a little cooler but con is it's definitely audible with the Aero.

6. Colors: Aero wrecks the Index here. I've always thought the Index looked washed out, but ya the Aero colors pop quite a bit more.

7. Contrast/blacks: Both suck. Non FALD LCD sucks. Grey blacks and poor contrast on both. Really need a OLED. I'll also be looking into the new Panasonic MeganeX.

8. Comfort. Both to me seems to be about equal.

9. Sound. I use IEM on both, so tie.

10. IPD adjustment: Aero's automatic is cool if you have different people trying the headset. But if you are basically the only one that uses it, kind of a waste. You can manually set the IDP in the software, but every time you turn on the head-set, it moves the lenses. Kind of pointless, as it just wears out those motors more for no reason. I prefer the set-it and forget-it slider of the Index.

11. Field of View: Horizontal; they are about the same. Both leave some to be desired. Vertical, the Index crushes the Aero. When I first put on the Aero, I was kinda taken-aback by how small the "view portal" of the world is.

12. Chromatic aberrations. I really really hate you. Aero has a ton of it. Index just a small bit. Basically as much as the god rays in the Index piss me off, the Chromatic Aberrations in the Aero take their place.

13. Usability. With the Aero, you have to manually unplug the headset to turn it off. You also have to manually unplug your base stations to turn them off. There is no Bluetooth communication between the Aero and the base stations for power management like there is on the Index. The Index also powers itself off after you close down SteamVR. I know, super advanced!



So I am pretty torn. There are a lot of tradeoffs with the Aero. In order to get that great clarity, good colors and no god-rays, you have to put up with narrower FOV, Chromatic Aberrations everywhere, only 90 Hz (and with stutter for me, TBD), the same poor blacks and contrast as every other LCD HMD, and barrel distortion out the Wazhoo. For $2,000. I think I am on the fence on returning the Aero, using the Index a bit more until the MeganeX comes out. If I cannot get the stuttering resolved, it's 100% going back. Too me that is too distracting.
 
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bobzdar

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Gave the Aero a try in MSFS and it's near photorealistic, completely amazing. I have it set to 100% render scale with TAA enabled and the image is a little soft due to the TAA but aliasing/shimmering is near zero and overall looks incredible.

I have zero stuttering, either in Base or any games, so it sounds like something on your system, though I have no idea what it could be - and it could be a Varjo issue, just saying I don't have it at all on my system with a 3090. I was surprised how smooth MSFS was and I started cranking stuff up pretty high. Maybe try a different usb port? Could be some data transferred over that causing the stutters. I'm using the usb 3.2 gen 2 port on my mobo - I didn't try any others but it wasn't being used and worked fine so I'll stick with it unless I need the 10gb transfer speed for something else.

Distortion is at it's worst in Varjo Base for whatever reason, it's a bit disconcerting there but not bad in the games I've tried - same for chromatic aberration. It's there but not as bad as in Varjo base. I'm typing this from Varjo base and honestly everything (colors too) looks a little off in it. I'm not sure what's going on with it, but it's not very good and I probably won't keep using it for desktop use other than if it's something quick. I find it better with the grid background as the scale of the cabin seems way off, but it's still not right. I tried 39ppd and it looks just a touch better, but MSFS was noticeably less smooth so I dropped back to 35ppd and will likely keep it there as the difference was barely noticeable.
 
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l88bastard

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pre order


cancelled

I'm still a bit salty over getting ripped off on the VR3 and having my resale value throat slit by the Aero anyway. Plus looks like they did not correct some of the annoying items the VR3 had....I mean fuck sakes even the cheap ass quest 2 has a power button lol

I wonder what the Suggested Scalper Retail Price of the MeganeX is going to be!
 
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Vega

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Gave the Aero a try in MSFS and it's near photorealistic, completely amazing. I have it set to 100% render scale with TAA enabled and the image is a little soft due to the TAA but aliasing/shimmering is near zero and overall looks incredible.

I have zero stuttering, either in Base or any games, so it sounds like something on your system, though I have no idea what it could be - and it could be a Varjo issue, just saying I don't have it at all on my system with a 3090. I was surprised how smooth MSFS was and I started cranking stuff up pretty high. Maybe try a different usb port? Could be some data transferred over that causing the stutters. I'm using the usb 3.2 gen 2 port on my mobo - I didn't try any others but it wasn't being used and worked fine so I'll stick with it unless I need the 10gb transfer speed for something else.

Distortion is at it's worst in Varjo Base for whatever reason, it's a bit disconcerting there but not bad in the games I've tried - same for chromatic aberration. It's there but not as bad as in Varjo base. I'm typing this from Varjo base and honestly everything (colors too) looks a little off in it. I'm not sure what's going on with it, but it's not very good and I probably won't keep using it for desktop use other than if it's something quick. I find it better with the grid background as the scale of the cabin seems way off, but it's still not right. I tried 39ppd and it looks just a touch better, but MSFS was noticeably less smooth so I dropped back to 35ppd and will likely keep it there as the difference was barely noticeable.

Pretty sure it's not my system (3090). I can run the Index at 200% in SteamVR at 144 Hz and it's like glass smooth in games. The Aero stutter is hard to describe, it's more like a frame pacing issue, where a frame isn't dropped but they aren't timed properly. I am super sensitive to smoothness/hitching/frame pacing. I wouldn't be surprised if most people wouldn't even notice what I am referring to. It's almost like some sort of Asynchronous Reprojection is turned on, even though I have all that crap disabled in Varjo Base. But it annoys the crap out of me, especially when way cheaper headsets don't have the issue.

As a 20 year military pilot, my neck cannot handle rotating in VR in a sim anymore. I rarely dabble in flight sims but if I do, it's on my monitor.

I do have it plugged into a USB 3.1 Gen 2, but I don't think it matters/uses anywhere near that data rate as the big data is the video signal going over Displayport.
 
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reaper12

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I do have it plugged into a USB 3.1 Gen 2, but I don't think it matters/uses anywhere near that data rate as the big data is the video signal going over Displayport.

It does matter and could easily account for the stutter. The same happens in the Rift S if you have it connected to a poor USB port. USB ports, even on the same motherboard, can vary a lot. Not saying it will solve your issues, but, I would be trying some other USB ports first.
 

bobzdar

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Pretty sure it's not my system (3090). I can run the Index at 200% in SteamVR at 144 Hz and it's like glass smooth in games. The Aero stutter is hard to describe, it's more like a frame pacing issue, where a frame isn't dropped but they aren't timed properly. I am super sensitive to smoothness/hitching/frame pacing. I wouldn't be surprised if most people wouldn't even notice what I am referring to. It's almost like some sort of Asynchronous Reprojection is turned on, even though I have all that crap disabled in Varjo Base. But it annoys the crap out of me, especially when way cheaper headsets don't have the issue.

As a 20 year military pilot, my neck cannot handle rotating in VR in a sim anymore. I rarely dabble in flight sims but if I do, it's on my monitor.

I do have it plugged into a USB 3.1 Gen 2, but I don't think it matters/uses anywhere near that data rate as the big data is the video signal going over Displayport.
Maybe a tracking issue of some sort where you're getting jittery motion tracking? That could be a defect in the headset, a base station issue or some environmental issue. I had an issue with a glass end table reflecting the base station lasers causing some minor jitter and I initially thought it was a frame issue but figured out it wasn't when I kept still as I could in a fairly static environment but still noticed some stutter and figured out it was the table as I had recently moved it, and when I moved it back it went away. One of the reasons I'm not a huge fan of external tracking, though inside out has its own issues. Hope you figure it out, and like you said it could be just that I'm not sensitive enough to notice. It could also be you're so used to 144hz that 90hz just feels stuttery, though if you don't notice it in the quest or the index at 90hz it'd throw that out.
 

Vega

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I've sent the diagnostic data. I also made a video of what I'm seeing through the headset:



It's almost as if the headset was running at like 45 frames per second instead of 90. I've also tried different USB 3.1 ports on the motherboard, turning off eye-tracking, different Displayports on my RTX 3090. Nothing seems to fix it. Reminding: My Valve Index on the exact same system using the same ports runs 144 Hz with 200% super sampling completely butter smooth.

EDIT: Just tried my Index at 90 Hz and even 80 Hz. Both were WAY smoother than Aero at supposed 90 FPS/Hz.
 
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bobzdar

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I found via the discord how to disable the auto eye calibration - it's in the analytics window under eye tracking, kind of an odd place to put the option but it will stop the auto calibration, so gets rid of one of my main gripes.
 
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VR at anything less than 70hz just wears my eyes out in short order. I consider that the bare minimum that I can handle for any amount of time. For VR flight sims and neck pain use this. Hard core (no enemy id tags) WW2 flight sims with neck safer you can map angled VR views to keys or hat switch on a joystick.
 

Kaizen777

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Vega,

I stumbled accross this thread, and joined the forum just to say... send it back!!!
"vertical screen door effect" / pixel inversion, that's a hardware defect and NOT acceptable especially for a $2,000 device. Their software COULD correct it in the future. But there is no guarantee it will. Example here

This was an issue with many a Valve Index, and Valve created a setting in SteamVR to try to correct it: "vertical column correction". That adjustment helped but didn't eliminate it for me, it was too detracting from the experience. Sent the Index back. When I got a Reverb G2, SAME THING. Horribly detracting! Towards the end of the 1-year warranty period I sent the G2 in for service, and they sent me back a different headset. Problem 100% gone, and wow... what a difference in the experience. Not only were those vertical lines gone, the eye box was better, text had no more ghosting. I propose that we aren't having as good an experience as others with the Varjo as we were unlucky in the draw. Unfortunately this appears to be a universal problem with lcd/led panels for VR.

I suggest you send yours back for a replacement. There's of course no guarantee that the replacement won't have the same issue. But if Varjo understands the issue perhaps they can TEST them and send you one that doesn't have the problem This is absolutely unacceptable for any headset, but especially one of this caliber and this price.

I experience a general laggy image and lack of smoothness when moving my head, while fpsVR is reporting 90fps with good frametimes. All objects in the scene, including my controllers/hands are moving smooth.. but the world is somewhat laggy with my head. RTX 3090 + 5950x system.

I also find the chromatic aberration unbearable and totally detracting from the experience, depending on the game. It is impossible for me to not see it.

I also have an issue where whatever I'm looking at blurs if I move my head while looking at it. If that same thing pans by my view while my head is still, it is totally clear.

Colors and contrast are BAD on the Aero, especially contrast/black levels. I'd say the colors are better on the G2, considerably better on the 8KX after adjustment, and best on the Vive Pro 2 (thought that is plagued with so many other issues). Varjo COULD possibly update the software and unlock the dimming zones for these mini led panels, achieving near-OLED blacks and eye-popping contrast. But there's no guarantee that will ever happen.

I'm torn on whether I'm sending mine back for replacement or refund. What I'm experiencing isn't worth this price. I'm quite sure in 2022 we're going to see another headset with this level of clarity or close (better or worse) without so many compromises. I might just stick with my 8KX and my G2 for now. Really hoping the Pimax 12K QLED surfaces end of this year, but I'm not holding my breath. =D
 

bobzdar

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I've been using my Aero pretty steadily for the last week (Assetto Corsa with all of the shader modes, sol, ambient occlusion etc looks amazing) and can honestly say most of the concerns have faded away and the only things I really notice are the slightly narrow FoV at times and the nose flap isn't the most comfortable. It doesn't cause an issue but I may look at removing it as I really don't have much issue with ambient light bleed. Otherwise while I can notice certain things if I look for them, for the most part they have faded to the background and the things I notice most are usually game engine limitations - low res textures, shimmering or flickering objects, incorrect mip-map levels etc. Things I do notice if I look for them - chromatic aberration, high contrast ghosting, edge geometry and the occasional grid/pixel pattern. I have to take myself out of the game and start looking for them, though. They are not difficult to see when you look for them, they are always there (well, the grid/pixel pattern is not always there, it's almost like if the right color hits the right spot in the lense you see it), but for whatever reason they fade away when playing. The most easily noticeable of them, now (to me) is the chromatic aberration. I can pick that out in any high contrast area as soon as I look for it - the edge of white or black areas get a yellow/green tint to them as you get to the edge of the lenses.

So, if you're looking for a perfect image for your $2k, you're not going to get it. It's still the best overall headset, but yeah, not perfect. There is definite possibility that at least the aberration and distortion could be fixed, but I'd never buy something based on future possible fixes/features and not current state. As to whether it's worth $2k? Not really, but I have not plans to return it and have been really enjoying it.
 
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Vega

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Vega,

I stumbled accross this thread, and joined the forum just to say... send it back!!!
"vertical screen door effect" / pixel inversion, that's a hardware defect and NOT acceptable especially for a $2,000 device. Their software COULD correct it in the future. But there is no guarantee it will. Example here

This was an issue with many a Valve Index, and Valve created a setting in SteamVR to try to correct it: "vertical column correction". That adjustment helped but didn't eliminate it for me, it was too detracting from the experience. Sent the Index back. When I got a Reverb G2, SAME THING. Horribly detracting! Towards the end of the 1-year warranty period I sent the G2 in for service, and they sent me back a different headset. Problem 100% gone, and wow... what a difference in the experience. Not only were those vertical lines gone, the eye box was better, text had no more ghosting. I propose that we aren't having as good an experience as others with the Varjo as we were unlucky in the draw. Unfortunately this appears to be a universal problem with lcd/led panels for VR.

I suggest you send yours back for a replacement. There's of course no guarantee that the replacement won't have the same issue. But if Varjo understands the issue perhaps they can TEST them and send you one that doesn't have the problem This is absolutely unacceptable for any headset, but especially one of this caliber and this price.

I experience a general laggy image and lack of smoothness when moving my head, while fpsVR is reporting 90fps with good frametimes. All objects in the scene, including my controllers/hands are moving smooth.. but the world is somewhat laggy with my head. RTX 3090 + 5950x system.

I also find the chromatic aberration unbearable and totally detracting from the experience, depending on the game. It is impossible for me to not see it.

I also have an issue where whatever I'm looking at blurs if I move my head while looking at it. If that same thing pans by my view while my head is still, it is totally clear.

Colors and contrast are BAD on the Aero, especially contrast/black levels. I'd say the colors are better on the G2, considerably better on the 8KX after adjustment, and best on the Vive Pro 2 (thought that is plagued with so many other issues). Varjo COULD possibly update the software and unlock the dimming zones for these mini led panels, achieving near-OLED blacks and eye-popping contrast. But there's no guarantee that will ever happen.

I'm torn on whether I'm sending mine back for replacement or refund. What I'm experiencing isn't worth this price. I'm quite sure in 2022 we're going to see another headset with this level of clarity or close (better or worse) without so many compromises. I might just stick with my 8KX and my G2 for now. Really hoping the Pimax 12K QLED surfaces end of this year, but I'm not holding my breath. =D

I've been using my Aero pretty steadily for the last week (Assetto Corsa with all of the shader modes, sol, ambient occlusion etc looks amazing) and can honestly say most of the concerns have faded away and the only things I really notice are the slightly narrow FoV at times and the nose flap isn't the most comfortable. It doesn't cause an issue but I may look at removing it as I really don't have much issue with ambient light bleed. Otherwise while I can notice certain things if I look for them, for the most part they have faded to the background and the things I notice most are usually game engine limitations - low res textures, shimmering or flickering objects, incorrect mip-map levels etc. Things I do notice if I look for them - chromatic aberration, high contrast ghosting, edge geometry and the occasional grid/pixel pattern. I have to take myself out of the game and start looking for them, though. They are not difficult to see when you look for them, they are always there (well, the grid/pixel pattern is not always there, it's almost like if the right color hits the right spot in the lense you see it), but for whatever reason they fade away when playing. The most easily noticeable of them, now (to me) is the chromatic aberration. I can pick that out in any high contrast area as soon as I look for it - the edge of white or black areas get a yellow/green tint to them as you get to the edge of the lenses.

So, if you're looking for a perfect image for your $2k, you're not going to get it. It's still the best overall headset, but yeah, not perfect. There is definite possibility that at least the aberration and distortion could be fixed, but I'd never buy something based on future possible fixes/features and not current state. As to whether it's worth $2k? Not really, but I have not plans to return it and have been really enjoying it.

It's an interesting headset, but I thought I was going to be more wow'd by it for $2K. It's all packed up for return/refund, just waiting for the shipping label from Varjo.
 

DrekkenRidge

Weaksauce
Joined
Apr 13, 2020
Messages
71
I've been using my Aero pretty steadily for the last week (Assetto Corsa with all of the shader modes, sol, ambient occlusion etc looks amazing) and can honestly say most of the concerns have faded away and the only things I really notice are the slightly narrow FoV at times and the nose flap isn't the most comfortable. It doesn't cause an issue but I may look at removing it as I really don't have much issue with ambient light bleed. Otherwise while I can notice certain things if I look for them, for the most part they have faded to the background and the things I notice most are usually game engine limitations - low res textures, shimmering or flickering objects, incorrect mip-map levels etc. Things I do notice if I look for them - chromatic aberration, high contrast ghosting, edge geometry and the occasional grid/pixel pattern. I have to take myself out of the game and start looking for them, though. They are not difficult to see when you look for them, they are always there (well, the grid/pixel pattern is not always there, it's almost like if the right color hits the right spot in the lense you see it), but for whatever reason they fade away when playing. The most easily noticeable of them, now (to me) is the chromatic aberration. I can pick that out in any high contrast area as soon as I look for it - the edge of white or black areas get a yellow/green tint to them as you get to the edge of the lenses.

So, if you're looking for a perfect image for your $2k, you're not going to get it. It's still the best overall headset, but yeah, not perfect. There is definite possibility that at least the aberration and distortion could be fixed, but I'd never buy something based on future possible fixes/features and not current state. As to whether it's worth $2k? Not really, but I have not plans to return it and have been really enjoying it.
From someone who hasn't seen the distortions first hand (and yes I googled Chromatic abberation, barrel distortion, etc. but I see a variety of effects and degrees of these effects), how big of a deal are they really? I see some Youtubers describing the distortions as "only towards the very edge of the lenses", hardly noticeable unless I look for them. If this is the case, then I wouldn't notice them much as I tend to just move my head a bit instead of "craning my eyes" in one direction or the other. Are there any distortions at all at the center of the screen? How big of a deal are they?
 

Vega

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 12, 2004
Messages
6,902
From someone who hasn't seen the distortions first hand (and yes I googled Chromatic abberation, barrel distortion, etc. but I see a variety of effects and degrees of these effects), how big of a deal are they really? I see some Youtubers describing the distortions as "only towards the very edge of the lenses", hardly noticeable unless I look for them. If this is the case, then I wouldn't notice them much as I tend to just move my head a bit instead of "craning my eyes" in one direction or the other. Are there any distortions at all at the center of the screen? How big of a deal are they?

In Half Life: Alyx, the barrel distortion is the top 1/4 and bottom 1/4 of the entire image, or about half the screen. It's worse in Alyx than flight sims.
 

bobzdar

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
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Messages
1,947
From someone who hasn't seen the distortions first hand (and yes I googled Chromatic abberation, barrel distortion, etc. but I see a variety of effects and degrees of these effects), how big of a deal are they really? I see some Youtubers describing the distortions as "only towards the very edge of the lenses", hardly noticeable unless I look for them. If this is the case, then I wouldn't notice them much as I tend to just move my head a bit instead of "craning my eyes" in one direction or the other. Are there any distortions at all at the center of the screen? How big of a deal are they?

After using the headset for a couple of weeks now they're not an issue, but can be seen if you look for them. I won't be returning mine but understand those that want (near) perfection for the price, for me the jump in clarity and complete lack of god rays make up for those issues. As I said earlier, the lower FOV is more noticeable than any of the image distortion things, so if coming from an Index that will probably be what is most different once you get used to the different optics. I'm happy enough with it and can't wait for wider foveated rendering support as it provides a noticeable jump (again) in clarity in varjo base while looking at the desktop.
 

DrekkenRidge

Weaksauce
Joined
Apr 13, 2020
Messages
71
After using the headset for a couple of weeks now they're not an issue, but can be seen if you look for them. I won't be returning mine but understand those that want (near) perfection for the price, for me the jump in clarity and complete lack of god rays make up for those issues. As I said earlier, the lower FOV is more noticeable than any of the image distortion things, so if coming from an Index that will probably be what is most different once you get used to the different optics. I'm happy enough with it and can't wait for wider foveated rendering support as it provides a noticeable jump (again) in clarity in varjo base while looking at the desktop.

Thanks for your take. The range in reporting is still pretty extreme it seems, as Vega above you said the distortion takes up half the screen in Half Life Alyx. Half the screen, wtf??!! But then you and a ton of other people are saying the distortions are exaggerated and barely noticeable unless you're looking for them. I don't get it.

I guess I'm probably not gonna be able to buy this thing. I'm not sure about the return policy.
 

bobzdar

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
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Messages
1,947
Thanks for your take. The range in reporting is still pretty extreme it seems, as Vega above you said the distortion takes up half the screen in Half Life Alyx. Half the screen, wtf??!! But then you and a ton of other people are saying the distortions are exaggerated and barely noticeable unless you're looking for them. I don't get it.

I guess I'm probably not gonna be able to buy this thing. I'm not sure about the return policy.

I think the difference is that when you first put it on, the distortions are extremely noticeable, and I think a large part of it is coming from headsets that almost exclusively have fresnel lenses to aspheric lenses, things just look different and it takes a while to get used to them - some take longer than others. So, for me, within about an hour I no longer really cared and within a few hours no longer really even noticed them, for others it might take longer or they may not want to make the time investment to get used to them before deciding the headset isn't for them. It's kind of like VR motion sickness, some people really struggle with it and some don't at all, and some it's only a problem in certain situations, some that are affected can work their way through it gradually etc.
 

Vega

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
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Messages
6,902
Thanks for your take. The range in reporting is still pretty extreme it seems, as Vega above you said the distortion takes up half the screen in Half Life Alyx. Half the screen, wtf??!! But then you and a ton of other people are saying the distortions are exaggerated and barely noticeable unless you're looking for them. I don't get it.

I guess I'm probably not gonna be able to buy this thing. I'm not sure about the return policy.

I'm not the only one:

https://uploadvr.com/varjo-aero-review/

I've used just about every VR headset made over the years. The barrel distortion in Alyx is quite extreme.

Yes, it's true I could maybe get used to it. But add on top the narrow vertical FoV and the stuttering issue I am having, it doesn't really make sense to keep it. I've read about others seeing the stuttering too. Some of us may just be more sensitive to it. I've known people who were completely happy with 60 Hz CRT's, which would give me eye strain within minutes.
 

Vega

Supreme [H]ardness
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Oct 12, 2004
Messages
6,902
So Varjo keeps ignoring my return emails. Getting close to a credit card chargeback.
 

Yippee38

2[H]4U
Joined
Apr 21, 2000
Messages
2,506
Please keep updating us as the software is updated. I'm following this product, though I probably will wait for 2nd gen stuff.
 

bobzdar

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 6, 2003
Messages
1,947
Tried it out, the warping is mostly fixed, I see it at the edges horizontally and the extreme edges vertically, but I think all headsets get that at the very edges of the lenses. There's still chromatic aberration, it's slightly better but not fixed. They also fixed the eye calibration to where you can tell it to remember your calibration and it will only recalibrate if you tell it to - so no more having to turn off foveated rendering to get rid of the eye calibration. So 2 of the three issues I had with it fixed, just chromatic aberration to get it near perfect.
 

funkydmunky

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 28, 2008
Messages
3,057
I've sent the diagnostic data. I also made a video of what I'm seeing through the headset:



It's almost as if the headset was running at like 45 frames per second instead of 90. I've also tried different USB 3.1 ports on the motherboard, turning off eye-tracking, different Displayports on my RTX 3090. Nothing seems to fix it. Reminding: My Valve Index on the exact same system using the same ports runs 144 Hz with 200% super sampling completely butter smooth.

EDIT: Just tried my Index at 90 Hz and even 80 Hz. Both were WAY smoother than Aero at supposed 90 FAny

Any of your SteamVR settings left over from your last headset? I had set some games with individual settings with my O+ and they carried over to my G2 which did NOT like my 200% SS
 

DouglasteR

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 6, 2006
Messages
487
So it's an expensive Pimax 8KX (after the enhancements) ?

Guess it's better to wait for the 12k then.
 

bobzdar

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 6, 2003
Messages
1,947
Foveated rendering via eye tracking coming to MSFS 2020 via OpenXR -

This should be a great taste of what this headset is capable of and what the performance gains will be as MSFS is an absolute monster to run smoothly, even with my PBO/CO'd 5950X and 3090FE. As they're also planning to add DLSS, we could see a big jump in both performance and image quality as FXAA in MSFS blurs quite a bit but is necessary to get rid of distance shimmering, which is quite bad without it.
 
Joined
May 21, 2022
Messages
2
Off topic for the Aero.
How do you get into your Steam home using it? All I can get to is the Aero home page with my desktop shown on it. I have to start games using my desktop through Steam.
There has to be a way to do this! I can't imagine having to take the headset off every time you want to play or exit a game. The home page where we can move in and choose what games we want to play.
Like with my index when it loads to my home.

Thanks
Dan
 

bobzdar

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 6, 2003
Messages
1,947
Off topic for the Aero.
How do you get into your Steam home using it? All I can get to is the Aero home page with my desktop shown on it. I have to start games using my desktop through Steam.
There has to be a way to do this! I can't imagine having to take the headset off every time you want to play or exit a game. The home page where we can move in and choose what games we want to play.
Like with my index when it loads to my home.

Thanks
Dan

Not sure I understand - you can use your desktop with the headset on so no need to take it off? You can hit the button on the side of the headset to get to the desktop at any time to close or launch a game. There is a way to get to steamVR home but I can't remember it - maybe ask in the discord channel? I never use it, I just hit the button on the side of the headset to get to desktop and do what I need.
 
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