FPV Goggles have been around long ago since RC hobbyists flying their fixed wings and gliders. But now FPV gets even more popular with multirotors especially quadcopters, and FPV goggles is one of those things you can’t miss if you are into FPV flying.
The reason that FPV goggles are popular is due to the immersive flying experience. Goggles has two little screens that project images from the camera on the aircraft. It allows the pilot sitting on the ground, to see what the quadcopter in the air is seeing. That’s why it’s called FPV – First Person View.
At the moment the best known brands for FPV goggles in the RC drone industry are: Fatshark, Skyzone, Boscam, Eachine, Quanum (Hobbyking) and Aomway. For those who is going to buy a new set of FPV goggles you might find this post useful to your research. We will go through some of the important factors you should consider, and have a brief overview on some popular products.
Do you wear glasses? Wonder if Goggle is suitable for people wearing glasses?
Article Created in March 2015, last updated in Aug 2016.
What to look for When selecting the best FPV Goggles?
Basically there are 2 form factors:
- Compact Goggles type
- Box Headset type
FPV goggles have 2 little screens. They are considerably smaller and lighter, very easy to carry around. Not to mention they look much slicker too.
The “Box” FPV headset is powered by only 1 LCD screen (usually 4-6″). They usually feel a bit more comfortable to wear according to most people. They also have a larger FOV than goggles.
Flying FPV doesn’t have to be expensive, you can spend as little as $30 on a small monitor and fly just fine. But for the best user experience and features, a decent pair of FPV goggles can cost up to nearly $500. But don’t worry there are a lot of good options you can choose from within this extreme price range.
Just like any normal display screen monitor, the higher resolution the better picture you get (in theory). But with the limitation in FPV camera resolution, you might not benefit fully from HD FPV goggles.
Check out this guide on how to choose a good FPV camera.
There are two most common screen aspect ratios: 16:9 and 4:3. There is also 5:3 (1.666) which is close to 16:9 (1.777).
Your FPV camera is either 16:9 or 4:3, so you want to pick the goggles with the same aspect ratio to match it. Otherwise your image will look squashed or stretched. Although this might not be a huge problem but only a matter of time to get used to.
Currently, majority of the FPV cameras are still 4:3, but I expect to see more and more 16:9 cameras (such as the Runcam Eagle), and personally I think it’s the way to go for future-proof.
Field of View (FOV)
It’s said the larger the FOV, the more immersive picture is. If it’s 35 degree, then the edges of the screen are at a 35 degree angle from the centre point of your eyes. Don’t get mixed up with camera FOV, these are different.
Video Recording – Built-in DVR
Capability to record your flight with the Goggles on a Micro SD card, some even allows you to play back the footage on the goggles. In case you crash, you can rewind and find out where you landed. Alternatively you can get an external DVR like this one.
Video Receiver Frequency
Some comes with video receiver so you don’t have to purchase it separately. However some FPV goggles with built-in Receivers can only run 5.8Ghz on Fatshark/ImmersionRC frequency band. There are five different sets of frequency in 5.8Ghz used by different brands. Also check out this guide to learn all the frequency bands used in FPV.
Colour is mostly a personal preference. Black or other darker colour goggles tend to get hot more easily under the sun.
It allows you to bind the on-board camera motion to pilot’s head motion, so that the camera moves around accurately and smoothly as the pilots move their heads. It creates an even more immersive FPV experience.
This is not such a big deal in multirotors, and probably more useful in fixed wing planes. Multirotors have very flexible yaw control, not so much in wings. Therefore it considerably increases the field of view and also for a safer flight.
As known as IPD. It’s the distance between the centre of the pupils of the two eyes. Having IPD adjustable helps both eye pupils to be positioned within the exit pupils of the viewing system.
Diversity basically mean there are more than 1 video receiver in the system (usually 2), the diversity will automatically choose the receiver with best reception, therefore giving you the best possible video link.
Each receiver has their own antenna, and these antenna can be pointing at a different angle, or they can be different type of antenna with different gains.
- Quanum Diversity VRX
- Furious True-D Diversity Module designed for Dominator
- DM Model Diversity Module for Dominator
FPV Goggle Comparison Table – Fatshark, Boscam, Skyzone, Quanum
Here is a summary table comparing all of the above consideration factors.
Large – Affordable Class
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.
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||Quanum Cyclops||Eachine EV800||Aomway VR V1|
|Resolution||800 x 480||480 x 272||800 x 480||800 x 480||800 x 480|
Article From https://oscarliang.com/fpv-goggles-review-fatshark-skyzone/
Large – High End Class
More features, higher resolution.
|Model||Eachine VR D2||HeadPlay HD||Quanum Genesis|
|Resolution||800 x 480||1280 x 800||1280 x 720|
|Ratio||5:3||16:10||16:9 & 4:3|
Article From https://oscarliang.com/fpv-goggles-review-fatshark-skyzone/
Compact – Lower Class
These are small, light weight FPV goggles, extremely easy to carry around. However they might not fit everyone’s faces, so 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||Predator V2||Teleporter V5||Attitude V3||Skyzone V2||Boscam GS923|
|Resolution||640 x 480||320 x 240||640 x 480||854 x 480||854 x 480|
Article From https://oscarliang.com/fpv-goggles-review-fatshark-skyzone/
There was also the Fatshark Base ($258, 35 FOV, 640×480, 922000 DPI, 59-69mm IPD) which requires an external RX, I think it might have been discontinued as I couldn’t find it anywhere.
I think the GS923 is an upgrade from GS920 ($250, 32 FOV, 640×480, 922000 DPI, 63.5mm IPD, built-in 32ch RX). There is also the GS922, which I think is similar to the GS923, but with a DVR.
Compact – High End Class
Higher display resolution with more features.
|Model||Dominator SE||Dominator V3||Skyzone SKY02S||Skyzone SKY02 V3||Dominator HD V2|
|Resolution||640 x 480||800 x 480||854 x 480||854 x 480||800 x 600|
|Channel||Raceband VRX included||VRX not included||40ch||40ch||VRX not included|
And here are some comparison chart of how the image looks like on those goggles.
Fatshark Predator V2
The Predator V2 is one of the most popular beginner kits system from Fatshark. In the kit you get a built-in 5.8GHz video receiver, a 5.8Ghz 250mW video transmitter, a CMOS FPV camera and a power supply adapter. It’s great for FPV first timers because of the plug and play feature. It’s claimed to have 1Km+ range out of the box. It works great with ImmersionRC Spironet Antenna.
Reviews said they improved optics, camera and video transmitter from previous version.
Here are some cons of the Goggles:
- Good resolution, 640×480 VGA but with a narrower 25º field of vision.
- Camera is still not good enough (being CMOS, see here for the difference between CCD and CMOS)
- No head tracking
- fixed Interpupillary distance: 63.5mm
FatShark Teleporter V3 and V5
The Teleport V3 is another RTF FPV system kit that includes a 250mW 5.8 GHz video transmitter, a wide angle 720p CMOS camera. It also has an built-in DVR that records flight footage while flying. This is a complete FPV system that is plug and play out of the box. Some reviews say the image quality of this headset is disappointing, I think this is probably the least popular Fatshark model given the poor image quailty.
- The Teleporter V3 does not have Head Tracking
- Not compatible with other Frequency bands except the one used by Fatshark/ImmersionRC
- Bad image quality comparatively
- Comes with Head-Tracking
- Sold in only FPV goggles, and not a whole kit which makes it a lot cheaper
FatShark Attitude V2 and V3
The Attitude has more features than the Predator and therefore more expensive. There is an integrated 5.8GHz receiver and Trinity head tracker built-in. Some would call this a step up goggle from the Predator V2.
The biggest compliments from the users is the adjustable IPD for dialling in the optic sweet spot, and it has larger FOV than the Predator V2 so the screens looks larger and wider. It also has integrated VRX and head tracking feature.
- Larger IPD
- Smaller FOV (35 vs 32)
- Support for Interlaced 3D
- Modular receiver bay
There is also a Spektrum edition of this goggles (Focal). They look very similar, but the Focal is of different colour (Grey), and comes with some more features.
FatShark Dominator V2 and V3
Comparing to the Predator V2, the Dominator V3 has better resolution 800X480 resolution, as well as better field of vision (32 degree). The image quality is also better than the Altitude V2, but the FOV is not as wide. However the screens are bigger on the Dominator and of higher quality than those two models, and the picture appears larger to the user.
The Dominator V3 supports head tracking, and swappable VRX modules that supports 1.3Ghz, 2.4Ghz and 5.8Ghz.
V3 changes over V2
- Better resolution
- 16:9 screen aspect ratio rather than 4:3
- Comes with face plate with anti-fog fan
- Improved 2S 1000mah LiPo battery with capacity indicator and protection circuit
Some other features includes:
- Built in DVR to record your flights
- Support HDMI input
- Stereo audio output
- Adjustable IPD distance: 59 to 69mm
- User Setting
- Channel selection
- Volume control
- Mode selection (wired/wireless)
- Contrast/ brightness control
- DVR control
- HT control
FatShark Dominator HD V2 and V3
Probably one of the most expensive FPV goggles on the market at the moment. FatShark Dominator HD V2 offers 800 x 600 SVGA resolution. They offer a very wide 50 degree field of view, giving an even more immersive experience.
The optics of the HD v2 is made of glass instead of plastic (found in Dom V3), this leads to sharper and clearer images. It’s very similar to the Dominator V3 in terms of features, which also has an interchangeable receiver module and head tracking option and includes a DVR.
However the V2 has been replaced by the newer HDV3, here is the spec of the HDV3:
- FOV: 42°
- IPD: Same as HD2 59 to 69 mm
- Channel: VRX not included
- DVR: Yes
- Head Tracking: Support
- Diversity: Support
- 3D: Side/Side 3D
HDv3 has similar features, main difference is the slightly smaller 42° FOV because of the many complaints about blurry edges on the V2’s 50° screen. Likely this is why they don’t come with a set of -2 diopter lenses like the SE does. Other than that it has a new 16:9 display format when in HDMI mode.
The Skyzone SKY02 is similar price to the Dominator V3, and they have 16:9 wide screens 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 proper chosen 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. But some complains about the wide angle front camera makes it very hard to work with your hands while looking through the goggles.
The first 3D FPV goggle I have ever heard for FPV. It comes with a 3D camera and receiver so it’s all ready to go out of the box. It has a DVR that was missing in the SKY-01. You can even see battery voltage monitoring on the OSD. They have lower FOV on the front facing camera, and makes working with your hands easier.
Basically the 3D system works as if you are using 2 cameras, 2 video transmitters, and the video feed appears on each screen on the goggles. Because it’s using 2 channels, it makes it more trickier to fly with other people on 5.8Ghz, as it’s more likely to interfere with them.
You can also just use this goggle for 2D flying with ordinary camera and VTX, and the two antennas will be on diversity mode again.
- 2D diversity mode
- DVR built in with playback
- Built-in 32CH 5.8G Diversity that is compatible with most FPV 5.8G transmitters on the market (Fatshark,DJI,Walkra,Boscam etc)
- Built-in self-calibrating head tracking (gyro, inertial and compass)
- Built in Dual 854X480(WVGA) Monitors, 1,229,760 color sub-pixels
- Built-in external camera for surrounding view (640X480)
- AV in/ AV out/ Earphone socket (with volume control)
- Adjustable Interpupillary and Diopter for your eyes
- FOV: 30 degrees
- Resolution: 854×480 (WVGA) 1230k
- Interpupillary (IPD) distance: 60-68mm adjustable, Diopter with optional lenses
- Channels: 32CH 4band 5.8GHz (Fatshark, Boscam & Skyzone compatible)
- Front internal camera: 120 degree 640×480
- head tracker: Compass/ Inertial and gyro ppm selectable channel output
Quanum DIY FPV Goggle V2 Pro
The Quanum DIY Goggles is probably one of the most popular goggles due to its affordable price. The appearance of it has improved so much over the year.
The original version looks like this. See my review for this early version.
I think it’s great for beginners, if you have $40 to spend.
- Monitor screen: NON-Blue screen custom TFT LCD
- Screen size: 5 inch (16:9 or 4:3 switchable)
- Supply voltage: 7~13V
- Resolution: 800 x 480
- Size: 162 x 170 x 102mm
- Weight: 5322
The Headplay HD FPV Goggle is made by GetFPV. With a massive HD 1280×800 screen and an impressive 72 degree of FOV, it makes it one of the most immersive FPV display our there. They are one of the few goggles that has a HDMI input, and supports 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 as a quad case :)
Fatshark Dominator SE
From the spec, it looks like it’s just a Attitude V3 with DVR. Actually it looks more like the Dominator V2 with fan face plate, and painted in orange/black. But note that it comes with a Raceband video receiver so that means potential money saving.
Price wise, it’s not that different from the DomV3, so I imagine people who are buying this is mainly going for the 4:3 resolution and casing colour.
The SE can be seen as an alternative to the discontinued DomV2. It has a resolution of 640×480 and an analog driver board which means it doesn’t show an on screen indicator when switching channels/brightness/contrast, however it doesn’t support HDMI.
It has a much nicer finish, and comes with a Raceband 5.8GHz receiver module and a SpiroNET omni antenna which potentially saves you money. Also a set of -2 diopter lenses is included due to the many people having problems with the large 50° FOV. The included battery is a 2S 1000mAh pack.
Not sure why but the GS923 has been under the radar and not known to many people that they actually exist. I haven’t tried them myself, but from the spec they do look good value to me. It has a brother model GS922, apparently the difference being the GS922 has a DVR but it’s about $100 more.
Conclusion – Which are the best FPV Goggles
I started 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 after I started flying with Goggles for the truly immersive FPV experience. In my opinion the FPV goggle is not a necessary investment. If you are on a tight budget, a small screen can get you started flying just fine.
I like the features and quality offered by the Skyzone goggles, they also support diopter lens inserts, the same ones as the Fatshark which is a plus for a nearsighted people. However their screens are a bit too wide for me with 16:9 resolution. Since I use 4:3 FPV cameras on all of my rigs, I don’t like the stretched picture. That’s also why I don’t think I would switch to Dominator V3. But I am sure it’s just a matter of time getting used to it.