Best headset of the year, Varjo Aero

Updated: Jun 24

Virtual reality is a constantly evolving industry, with new headsets releasing every year that build new technology and design concepts to create new and ever-improving headsets. With constant change being a staple of the VR industry, it can often be hard to find the best headset overall. Fortunately, we checked into it and found the best VR headset of 2021: the Varjo Aero.


varjo aero headset

With the Aero, Varjo has reworked the VR headset from the ground up, as all the design choices are drastically different from the industry standards. While it may be lacking in several features included in most other modern headsets, the incredible visuals of the Varjo Aero make it the best headset of the year.


Features

The most immediately noticeable feature of the Varjo Aero is its dual mini-LED displays that provide stunning edge-to-edge clarity. The displays work in tandem with the aspheric lenses to offer clearer visuals and actual depth of field. Varjo doesn’t like to measure in resolution, as they are proud of their 35PPD, or physical pixel density. Valve Index, for comparison, is 18PPD. If you were to calculate the resolution on the Aero, it would be close to 5.8K.


The lenses on the Aero are also some of the largest on the market, coming in at a diagonal 134 FOV. The lenses are aspheric rather than the industry standard fresnel, meaning unwanted volumetric light scattering and chromatic aberration are not an issue with this headset. Thanks to the dual mini-LED displays, the backlighting is perfectly balanced, making the image much more clear and stable.


Each headset is tested and calibrated to ensure lens, color gamut, eye tracking, foveated rendering all work to give you the ultimate visual experience. It also features automatic IPD adjustment, meaning through a combination of eye tracking, internal motors and Varjo Base software, the headset moves the lenses to the exact place they need to be. The built-in eye-tracking at 200 Hz gives a tailored, optimal experience to every user, every time.


An additional feature unique to the Aero is that Varjo added a main button and a menu button to the side of the headset. This, paired with eye tracking, makes navigating through menus incredibly simple.


Software

Varjo is also pairing their headset releases with industry-first softwares to help enterprise customers connect in virtual reality. The Varjo Teleport software, for example, allows users to scan their room, and host meetings, share files, and collaborate in their virtual workspace.


Additionally, the Varjo Base internal platform for software support and firmware updates comes with the headset at no additional cost. Users will have full access to Varjo Base software updates, including a high-definition virtual desktop with Varjo Workspace.


While Varjo is pushing an enterprise focus with the Aero, the powerful visuals and premium design means that it has a solid footing as a gaming headset as well.


SteamVR is a big platform for this headset, not only for games, but also software such as Microsoft Flight Simulator, Gravity Sketch, and KeyVR. Thanks to the headset’s excellent visuals, you will be able to read every bit of text and get a clear view of your project, regardless of which software you use.


Peripherals and Accessories

The main headset cable is a replaceable 5M USB-C cable, allowing for varying lengths depending on your playspace. The final production model will be a double sleeve wrap, allowing for more rigidity out of the cable.


It’s premium lightweight comfort is another focal point of the headset, and the straps secure the headset comfortably for aggressive movements. It has a 3-point precision fit headband, active cooling, and optimized ergonomics for long-duration usage. It even has a premium faux-leather face cover for added comfort and sanitation.


The headset ships with in-ear headphones with a built-in mic. Our pre production model did not come with the headphones to test.


The Varjo Aero will work with a variety of graphics cards, with the baseline being the RTX 2080. As RTX cards are throttled in laptops to prevent overheating, using the Aero with a laptop will require an RTX 3080 and the Varjo Laptop Adapter, $59. The laptop adapter converts the USB-C cable to allow for power delivery.


Drawbacks