FPV Goggles are an important part of the first-person-view experience. With the growing popularity of drone racing and FPV flying, there is a rapidly growing market for FPV equipment, and as such there are more and more FPV goggles released all the time. This guide is to provide the information you need to make the decision on which one best suits you.
Index of Content
- Considerations in choosing the best FPV Goggles
- Form Factor
- Price & Budget
- Aspect Ratio
- Video Receiver
- Other Features
- Headset Color
- Comparison charts of FPV Goggles
- Overview of some of the Popular Goggles on the market
FPV Goggles Overview
The reason that FPV goggles are so popular is due to the immersive flying experience they offer pilots, allowing them to feel like they are onboard their aircraft. That’s why it’s called FPV – First Person View.
FPV Goggles have either one or two screens (depends on the type) that display live video from the camera on the aircraft. It allows the pilot who is controlling the drone on the ground to see what the quadcopter is seeing. FPV flying also makes it easier to avoid obstacles than flying line of sight.
The best known brands for FPV goggles are: Fatshark, Skyzone, Eachine, Quanum (Hobbyking) and Aomway. For those going to buy a new set of FPV goggles, I hope you find this post useful to your research. We will go through some of the important factors you should consider, and give a brief overview of some of the most popular FPV Goggles options.
Do you wear glasses? This post explains if goggles are suitable for people wearing glasses.
Monitor vs. FPV Goggles
Monitors are generally much cheaper and let you switch FPV LOS easily, however it can be hard to see in bright sunlight. And you can get distracted easily by the surrounding, and monitors offer a far less immersive experience.
When I first started, I was flying FPV with a cheap 7 inch LCD monitor for over a year, before making the switch to a Fatshark Dominator V2. Although I was happy with the monitor, I enjoy FPV even more flying with Goggles. If you are on a tight budget, a small screen can get you started flying FPV just fine, but my advice is to save up for a decent pair of goggles.
Your first time using FPV goggles is going to be disorienting, it takes time to get used to it. It helps a lot when sitting down.
What to look for in selecting the best FPV Goggles?
The best FPV goggles is a combination of comfort and features. I will explain the factors that are important to your purchase decision in detail.
Basically there are 2 form factors:
- Compact “Slimline” Goggles
- Box Goggles
“Slimline” FPV goggles have two little screens. They are considerably smaller and lighter, and very easy to carry around. Not to mention they don’t make you look like you have your face stuck in a toaster oven!
“Box” FPV headsets are usually significantly cheaper and have the image displayed on a single 3 to 6 inches LCD screen. Some might find box goggles more comfortable to wear than slimline goggles due to the larger contact area between your face and the goggles, but they do also weigh more. Another benefit of box goggles is the larger FOV thanks to the larger screen.
Price & Budget
Flying FPV doesn’t have to be expensive, you can fly just fine with a small $30 monitor, or a $50 “toy grade” box goggles. Much like a professional quality radio transmitter, to get all the best features, your FPV goggles can cost up to $300 or more. Don’t worry though, there are a lot of good and cheaper options to choose from.
FPV Goggles are a long term investment! It’s okay to spend a little more.
Unlike a multirotor, FPV goggles can’t crash and explode into a million pieces (assuming you are putting them on your head, not on your drone). They are going to be one of the longest-lasting piece of equipment in your RC career, and you will be using them on all of your quads.
Therefore It’s okay to spend as much as you can afford on your FPV Goggles.
Just like any normal display screen, the higher the resolution the better the picture quality theoretically. With the limitations of current FPV camera resolutions and what the 5.8Ghz analog video transmission system is able to handle, you might not benefit from high resolution.
But as FPV systems and technology advance, HD FPV goggles will retain their usefulness. Some HD goggles even support HDMI input so you can hook them up to a computer as an external monitor.
Further Reading: Check out this guide on how to choose a good FPV camera.
There are two common aspect ratios for displaying a video image, 16:9 and 4:3. Your FPV camera will either provide 16:9 or 4:3 video, and you should match the aspect ratio between your FPV camera and goggles.
Image distortion occurs when you use mismatched aspect ratio on your FPV camera and goggles: When using a 4:3 camera with 16:9 goggles, you image will appear stretched out; while with a 16:9 camera and 4:3 goggles, the image will appear squashed.
Some 16:9 goggles can support 4:3 by “chopping” off the sides of the screen. This is a very flexible solution but you get a smaller FOV when using 4:3.
FOV – Field of View
The FOV of FPV goggles is basically a measurement of how big the image appears to your eyes. Don’t get mixed up with camera FOV, these are different and unrelated concepts.
Here is a FOV comparison tool.
For example, with a 35 degree FOV in your FPV Goggles, the edges of the screen are at 35 degree angle from the centre point of your eyes.
The larger the FOV, the more immersive the picture is. But when FOV gets too big it becomes counterproductive. The image can be too big and you have to roll your eyes a lot more to focus at different parts of the screen.
It’s interesting how FOV is measured in FPV Goggles. If 4:3 goggles have the same FOV as a 16:9 widescreen goggles, surprisingly, the 4:3 screen will appear larger even though they have the same numerical FOV.
IPD – Inter-Pupillary Distance
Some people’s eyes are set closer and some are further apart, this is known as IPD. IPD measures the distance between the centre of the pupils of the two eyes.
IPD is only relevant to goggles with two separate screens. It plays a big role in your FPV experience, because with incorrect IPD in your goggles the image can look blurry and hard to focus on.
Most “Slimline” FPV Goggles offer adjustable IPD and it helps to keep the FPV screens ideally positioned specific to your eyes.
Differences in IPD is one of the main reasons we suggest trying a pair of goggles before committing a purchase.
Built-in Video Receiver?
FPV goggles might come with a built-in video receiver (VRX), that’s great because you don’t have to purchase it separately though they can be limited in channel selection sometimes. Anyway, it would be a bonus if the goggles support external VRX which are usually more feature-filled than the built-in ones.
Modular Video Receiver
Some FPV Goggles have modular video receiver design, this allows you to swap out the VRX with a more updated product should you wish. There are receiver modules that are designed for different purposes, such as long range 1.2Ghz support, diversity, and different 5.8Ghz channel supports, and more.
Modular FPV Goggles are extremely flexible, but purchasing and updating your VRX can become expensive over time. For example the True-D module for the Fatshark Dominator Goggles costs $90 alone.
To get more reliable signal, diversity is a recommended feature in your video receiver.
Basically, “diversity receiver” is a system where there is more than 1 active video receiver (usually 2). A diversity system will automatically choose the receiver that is getting the best signal to maintain the best possible video link.
Each receiver has its own antenna, these can point at different angles, or you can use different types of antenna such as directional and omni-directional.
Further Reading: How to choose the best FPV antennas?
Note : Receiver diversity is not to be confused with “antenna diversity” which uses a single RX module with 2 antennas, receiver diversity is, by far, the better option.
DVR stands for digital video recorder. Having a DVR enables you to record your flight video on a Micro SD card. Most goggles with a DVR allow you to play back the footage, which can really help locate your model if you crash! Alternatively you can get an external DVR like this one.
- Head Tracking allows the goggles to recognize the pilot’s head movements and sync them with a gimbal-mounted camera onboard the drone. So as the pilot moves their head the camera moves too. This creates an even more immersive FPV experience but adds a lot of weight so it’s probably more useful for fixed wing platforms than multirotors
- HDMI Input allows you to connect your goggles as a display to your computer either for watching movies, or practicing with FPV simulators; You can slo use it for HD FPV systems such as the Connex Prosight
- 3D Support – allows you to use 3D FPV Camera/Transmitter system
- Audio Output – Some people prefer to fly with audio. Audio can connect you more with your drone and many goggles can offer it via a headphone jack on the side. See this post to learn how to setup audio for FPV
- Anti-fog Fan – Your goggles can get foggy when it’s hot and humid. Some goggles are equipped with a fan to clear the fog which is handy
Colour is mostly a personal preference. Black or other darker colour goggles tend to get hot more easily in the sun, but lighter colours can (on some goggles) suffer from light leakage. Another good reason to check our reviews, and if possible, try before you buy.
FPV Goggles Comparison Charts
Here are some comparison tables of all the popular FPV Goggles on the market.
Entry Level Box FPV Goggles
Large FPV headsets are heavier, but usually feels more comfortable to wear. They are cheaper, and might allows you to pair them with any video receiver because they are literally just a monitor. They are good options if you just want to have a taste of what FPV is like and test the waters.
Because of the singular optics both eyes are looking at one single screen rather than 2. People with Inter-pupillary distance (IPD) problems can also try these. But if your eyes have different level of sight problems that require different diopter lenses, you might run into trouble with these.
|Model||Quanum DIY V2 Pro||Eachine VR-007 Pro||Eachine EV800||Eachine VR006|
|Resellers||Hobbyking||Banggood | Amazon||Banggood | Amazon||Banggood | Amazon|
|Resolution||800 x 480||480 x 272||800 x 480||500 x 300|
High End Box Goggles
More features, higher resolution.
|Model||Eachine EV800D||Eachine Goggles Two||HeadPlay SE V2||Fatshark Transformer SE|
|Resellers||Banggood | Amazon | GetFPV||Banggood | Amazon||GetFPV||GetFPV|
|Resolution||800 x 480||1920 x 1080||1200 x 600||1280 x 720|
|Ratio||16:9 & 4:3||16:9 & 4:3||16:10||16:9|
|Weight||362g||273g w/o battery||400g||unknown|
Compact Form Factor – $200 or less
These are small, lightweight FPV goggles, extremely easy to carry around. However they might not fit everyone’s face, so again, try them out if possible before buying.
These compact FPV Goggles all have built-in video receivers (VRX), and they all support 5.8GHz Frequency.
|Model||Teleporter V5||SJ RG01||Eachine EV100|
|Reseller||Amazon||Banggood||Banggood | Amazon|
|Resolution||320 x 240||960 x 240||720 x 540|
|Built-in VRX Channels||7ch||48ch||72ch|
|Feature||n/a||Diversity RX||Antenna Diversity|
Compact Goggles – Mid Price Range ($200 – $350)
|Model||Eachine EV200||Skyzone V2||Aomway Commander||Skyzone SKY02S|
|Banggood||Banggood | GetFPV||Banggood | GetFPV | Amazon||Banggood | GetFPV | Amazon|
|Resolution||1280 x 720||854 x 480||854 x 480||854 x 480|
|Ratio||4:3 & 16:9||16:9||16:9||16:9|
|Modular RX||Yes||No||No, Integrated 40ch||no, Integrated 40ch|
|Built-in VRX Channels||72ch||40ch||40ch||40ch|
|Feature||3D, HDMI||Diversity||3D, HDMI, Diversity RX||HDMI, 3D, Diversity|
Compact – High Price Class ($350 – $450)
Higher display resolution with more features.
|Model||Topsky F7X||Dominator V3||Attitude V4||Skyzone SKY02 V3|
|Reseller||Banggood | Amazon||Banggood | GetFPV | Amazon||Banggood | GetFPV | Amazon||Banggood|
|Resolution||1280 x 720||800 x 480||640 x 480||854 x 480|
|Modular RX||V2, Yes||Yes||Yes||no, integrated 40ch|
|Features||HDMI, 3D||HDMI, 3D||comes with RX||Diversity, 3D|
Premium Class – $450+!
Goggles in this class provide the best display resolutions, some can even be used for home entertainment systems.
|Model||Dominator HD3 Core||Aomway Commander V2||Skyzone SKY03||Fatshark HDO||Cinemizer OLED|
|Reseller||Banggood | GetFPV||Banggood||Banggood | GetFPV | Amazon||TBC||Amazon|
|Resolution||800 x 600||800 x 600||800 x 600||960 x 720||1080p|
|Ratio||4:3||4:3||4:3||4:3||16:9 & 4:3|
|IPD||59-69mm||59-72mm||57.5 – 69.5mm||59-69mm||59 – 69mm|
|Built-in VRX||Modular||Yes||Yes, 48ch||Modular||AV In|
External Receiver Modules for FPV Goggles
As you might know, the Fatshark Dominator series FPV goggles require a receiver module to work, and there are many options out there. All the latest modules have diversity capability.
I highly recommend the Eachine Pro58 with Achilles Firmware, it’s cheap yet performs brilliantly. This is what I am currently using.
I previously used the True-D V3, it’s also an excellent module but slightly more expensive.
Here are some other popular options, however I have not personally tested them.
- Laforge V4 (Buy: Amazon, GetFPV)
- Clearview Goggle Receiver module (Buy: GetFPV)
- Realacc RX5808 (Buy: Banggood)
If you wear glasses and cannot see the image clearly when wearing your Goggles, you can buy these diopter inserts to put in your goggles if they support them.
I explain the many power and battery options for FPV goggles since most of them support 2S LiPo input.
The Best Performance Fatshark
If you are looking for the very best FPV Goggles from Fatshark, my pick would be the Dominator HDO. Not because it’s the most expensive in all of Fatshark’s offerings, but the fact that it has the best displays and features with a high quality finish.
Some might pick the HD3 for its larger FOV and lower price. I just personally think that the level of image fidelity is just not quite on the same level, which is probably one of the most important consideration when it comes to FPV.
The Best Budget Fatshark
The best value Fatshark Goggles right now for me would have to be the Attitude V4. I have been very happy with the Dominator V2 for years, and the Altitude V4 has similar spec of a comfortable 32° FOV screen with 640×480 resolution.
These goggles have useful features like DVR and an anti-fog fan. It also comes with a basic receiver that can easily be replaced with a diversity receiver like the Eachine Pro58.
The Attitude V4 with Pro58 Achellis module is not cheap, but it is definitely the most cost effective combo to achieve good image quality, functionality and reliability in a compact form factor.
Many people recommend the Dom V3 as the budget option, I don’t. If you prefer 16:9 ratio, you would be better off going with the Commander V1 which has similar spec but much cheaper.
The Best Performance Non-Fatshark Option
It would be either the Skyzone SKY03 or the Aomway Commander V2.
I have yet tested these two options because they have both not been released. But from the stated specifications they would be great alternatives to the high end offerings from Fatshark.
Once they are out I will test them.
The Budget Non-Fatshark Option
The Aomway Commander V1 is a cheaper alternative to Fatshark, but certainly not lacking when it comes to features and user experience. They tick most of the boxes that the more expensive alternatives do, without the associated price!
The 32° FOV and 16:9 match the Fatshark Dominator V3, while the fantastic 854×480 resolution can even match the Fatshark HD3. Unlike many other goggles, the Commander takes a wide voltage input, supporting up to a 4S Lipo (16.8V).
- 854×480 LCD screen with 32°FOV (in 16:9 but also switchable to 4:3)
- Support HDMI input (720p)
- Support 3D
- Built-in DVR
- Diversity 5.8Ghz video receiver
- Built-in fan to prevent lens-fog
Our in-depth review of the Commander V1 Goggles.
The Cheapest but Worth to Have Goggle
The Eachine EV800D has been around a while and proven to work well. It comes with diversity receivers, built-in DVR as well as antennas. The list of features these goggles offer is pretty impressive considering the cheap price.
The EV800D goggle utilises one single larger screen which is then further enlarged by a lens. This provides a much bigger field of view than other more expensive compact goggles.
The downside of any box goggles is being more bulky and heavy. Some might also dislike the massive FOV for having to move the eyes more when looking at the OSD at the corners of the screen.
Other Popular Goggles on the Market
FatShark Dominator V3
Comparing to the Predator V3, the Dominator V3 has better resolution 800X480 resolution, as well as larger field of vision (32 degree). The image quality is slightly better than the Attitude V4, and despite they both have the same number of FOV, the screen looks slightly smaller on the DomV3 than the Attitude due to the wider screen.
The Dominator V3 supports external head-tracking module and VRX module, and the aspect ratio was changed to 16:9 from the V2’s 4:3.
FatShark Dominator HD3
FatShark Dominator HD3 offers 800 x 600 SVGA resolution, and a wide 42 degree field of view, giving an even more immersive experience.
The optics of the HD3 is made of the same material found in Dominator V3, the only difference is just the FOV and aspect ratio. The Dom HD3 is very similar to the DomV3 in terms of features, which also has an interchangeable receiver module, head tracking option and includes a DVR.
Since the release of the HD3 Core, the price has dropped from nearly $500 to only $400. The only difference is you don’t get any accessories in the HD3 Core, apart from the case for 18650 batteries. In my opinion that’s one of the best deal for a pair of high end goggles.
Get the HD3 Core from GetFPV: http://bit.ly/2BGFIm6
The Skyzone SKY02 is a similar price to the Dominator V3, and they have 16:9 widescreens as well. An important feature of these is that they are 3D capable (supports 3D camera). The built in receiver is compatible with Fatshark and Boscam systems.
It has Diversity receiver system, which gives better reception with the properly selected antennas. They also have a built-in camera on the front of the goggles so you can see in front of you without taking them off. There have been some complains about the wide angle front camera making it very hard to work with your hands while looking through the goggles.
The Headplay SE FPV Goggles boast a massive HD 1200×600 screen and an impressive 72 degree of FOV, mkaing it one of the most immersive FPV display available.
These were one of the few box goggles with an HDMI input, and support for HD FPV systems like the Connex Prosight. The only downside for me is the form factor, it’s a freaking huge box. I reckon you can probably fit your micro quad in there to use it as a case :)
Eachine Goggles Two
These box goggles from Eachine are a pretty good high end box goggle with full HD (1920 x 1080px) screen, HDMI input, PAL and NTSC support, as well as supporting both 4:3 and 16:9 image ratios. The Goggles Two also come with diversity receivers, a directional patch, and omni-directional cloverleaf antenna.
Personally I have encountered a few niggles, the connection between the battery and the goggles is not great and can lose power. I have followed these simple instructions to install a DVR on the Eachine Goggles Two, this power loss frustratingly causes any unsaved video to be lost too.
The Eachine EV100 goggles are the cheapest slimline goggles that are available at the moment, and realistically I don’t see it as possible for the price to get much lower than the current $100 retail.
However, don’t get too excited just yet, there are a few issues with these goggles, such as the super tiny screen and FOV, lack of receiver diversity and integrated DVR. These might be a good entry level option for those who cannot use box goggles, and prefer a more compact option. But don’t expect too much from them, you get what you pay for.
The VR006 goggles are the cheapest goggles of any type available right now. They use the 5.8gHz frequency and have recently had an antenna diversity option added too.
They only have a single 3” screen, so don’t expect to be amazed with the huge FOV you get from other box goggles. As the VR006 uses such a small screen, these are probably the smallest, lightest and most compact of all the box goggles listed in the article.
These new additions to Eachine’s range have caused quite a stir since their announcement a few months ago.
The EV200D basically offer all the features, such as HD and 3D compatibility, modular dual diversity RX design and on-board DVR, that you expect from the market leaders top notch offerings, but available (including 2 diversity modules) for just $300! For a more detailed look check out this preview article by Tom BD Bad.
Conclusion – Which are the best FPV Goggles
I like the features and value offered by the Skyzone goggles, they also support diopter lens inserts, the same ones as Fatshark which is a plus for a nearsighted person. However I also like the flexibility of the Fatshark goggles where you have a wide range of receiver modules. The Aomway commander is also a good option for those with tight budget.
- March 2015 – Article created
- Apr 2017 – Updated products
- Jan 2018 – Article edited, products updated
- Apr 208 – Added recommended options for different catogories