Spoiler: perhaps the best box style FPV goggles I’ve ever used – the Skyzone & Eachine Cobra Goggles! These are low cost FPV goggles that have a long list of features and great performance, yet keep a relatively compact form factor. Let’s take a look.
New to FPV? Learn more about FPV Goggles in this buyer’s guide.
Cobra S and Cobra X – Two Versions
There are two versions of the Skyzone Cobra FPV Goggles, you can tell by the color: the basic S version is white, while the more advanced X version is black.
- Banggood (S and X): https://oscarliang.com/product-z048
- RDQ (S version): https://oscarliang.com/product-ui8f
- RDQ (X version): https://oscarliang.com/product-xslf
In this review I will be checking out the Cobra X.
It’s a shame that we don’t get to choose the color, personally I’d prefer to have a white color Cobra X goggles as it won’t get as hot under the sun in the summer.
Here are the specs of the two Cobra goggles and differences:
|Cobra S||Cobra X|
Overview of Skyzone Cobra FPV Goggles
It comes with the following accessories:
- Video Receiver Module
- Head Strap
- Power Cable
- Head-tracker Cable
- 2x 5.8GHz 2dD Dipole Antennas
- AV Cable
- USB-C Cable
- User Manual
Not gonna lie, the Cobra goggles gave me a cheap plastic feel at first glance. It doesn’t look half as attractive as their more expensive goggles like the previous SKY03O.
But as soon as I start using it, my impression changed and I began to appreciate the amount of features it has to offer.
For those who wear glasses, here is the good news – you can keep your glasses on when wearing these goggles! That means you don’t need special diopter lenses or sacrifice clarity! But it will only fit glasses with a small frame (as an approximation, glasses frame height greater than 30mm might run into trouble)
If you don’t wear glasses, there are additional foam to stick to the sides to reduce light leakage (as well as to the nose area if you have a smaller nose).
The Cobra uses the “over the top” style head-strap, and I dislike it because it always mess up my hair. :)
Unfortunately, the “round the head” style head-straps for the typical Fatshark and Skyzone goggles won’t fit the Cobra as there is no opening slot in the strap holder.
There’s a work around. For me, the over the top strap isn’t needed because the goggles is light enough.
The Cobra is quite a bit longer than slimline goggles (for example, my Fatshark HDO2 in the picture below), but it’s slightly narrower, so the overall size isn’t actually that much bigger.
There’s a secret to why the Cobra goggles are so much smaller than typical box style goggles. Usually, the display of box goggles is located at the front and the image is magnified by the lens. This is different in the Cobra – the single LCD display is actually located on the top (facing down) and the image is deflected using mirrors. This allows them to significantly reduce the physical size of the shell.
The weight and size is about the same as the DJI FPV Goggles, very few people actually complained about DJI goggles’ weight, so I don’t think this would be an issue here either.
Removable Receiver Module
Another advantage of the Cobra FPV Goggles has to be the removable module bay design.
This shows how much Skyzone is willing to listen to the community. Back when they released the SKY03O, we asked for removable modules in future goggles, and now they are implementing it in even their low end goggles.
Theoretically you can swap it out to other aftermarket modules, but you should look out for dimensions. For example the module base seems to be just a bit too small for the True-D V3. It still functions though.
Another thing is the module cover – the stock cover does not fit every module out there, so you’ll probably need a 3D printed one.
OSD, Interface and Menu
There are very few buttons – power, menu, DVR and the scroll wheels for selecting options. I didn’t even read the manual and I already knew how to use it.
And this is the first time Skyzone added roller wheel buttons on their goggles, they are very easy to use.
And I just love the super user friendly OSD interface in all Skyzone’s goggles.
Turning on the Cobra, you’ll get an OSD status bar on top showing the battery level, current channel, signal strength etc. It disappears in a few seconds and only re-appear when you press the button.
The built-in menu system is similar to the one in the high end SKY03O and SKY04X, this has to be one of my favourite things about the Cobra – there are SO MANY options!
On the bottom of the goggles you can find the USB-C, DC power in, AV input and HDMI port. There is also Head Tracker output port and SD Card slot, just like the ones you can find on the high end 04X, with one exception – the missing audio output. That means you can’t fly with audio (hearing motor noise).
Powering the Cobra
Here’s another amazing feature – there are 3 ways you can power the Cobra!
First of all, it has a battery bay for a single 18650 cell, which should last about an hour. Note: 18650 not included, I did a test to find out which is the best 18650 for your gear.
If that’s not enough, you can also power the goggles from an external battery through the barrel connector, just like any other high end goggles. It supports 2S to 6S input.
It even supports 5V USB-C power (e.g. power bank), very flexible.
And when you are powering the goggles from external battery or USB, it also charges the internal 18650 at the same time. Cool right? :)
The Cobra offers a 50° FOV (field of view), which is bigger than most high end slimline goggles, but if you are coming from other box goggles which offers even larger FOV such as 70°, you might find this significantly smaller. For me, this is honestly a positive thing. I always find box goggles with massive FOV (like 70°) way too excessive and making me dizzy. 50° is just sweet.
The LCD display is a 16:9 one, but can be switched to 4:3 in the menu. In 4:3, you will get black bars on left/right sides, effectively reducing the FOV quite a bit.
Clearly, the LCD display in the Cobra doesn’t have as sharp and vibrant image as the OLED displays in the more expensive FPV goggles. But the Cobra definitely isn’t bad all, in fact it bring me back to the days when I was flying with the iconic Fatshark HD2 – both having massive FOV with soft, decent image.
Overall, image quality and user experience is comparable to $300 price range slimline goggles thanks to the unique “split” optics, and it’s great value.
Who might want to buy the Skyzone Cobra Goggles:
- Great FOV at 50°
- You can wear your own glasses while flying
- You can use Fatshark style receiver modules
- Flexible power options – supports 18650, 2S – 6S LiPo, USB-C
- Simply awesome user interface, extremely customizable with a ton of options
- The built-in DVR is great quality
We really shouldn’t call the Cobra X budget goggles (more like mid range), but it has way more features than the cheaper ones and so you probably won’t have to upgrade for a while.
Cobra S or Cobra X?
It really depends. I mean, for analogue FPV video, the difference between 480p and 720p is really not huge. And since most FPV cameras are 4:3 these days, it’s not that important to have 16:9 aspect ratio in your goggles. The better DVR in the Cobra X is a bonus, but it’s not a big deal in my opinion. If you don’t mind the screen and DVR, the S offers truly fantastic value by saving you $50. But if you want the best possible features, get the X.