In this comprehensive comparison, Knoxlabs’ XR Scientist reviews the key features of two leading VR headsets: Varjo Aero and Pimax Crystal. We also feature insights from the "VR Flight Sim Guy" and his video "10 REASONS VARJO AERO is BETTER than PIMAX CRYSTAL..."
Varjo Aero: Excellence in Professional VR
Superior Build and Advanced Software Compatibility
Build Quality: The Varjo Aero stands out for its superior build quality, ensuring durability and user comfort during extended VR sessions.
Software Support: Boasting compatibility with Unity™, Unreal Engine™, OpenXR 1.0, Autodesk VRED™, and SteamVR™, the Aero is a versatile choice for various professional and entertainment needs.
Varjo Aero Software Compatibility
Staff Pick: Why Varjo Aero?
Knoxlabs' Preference: Chosen by our XR Scientist, the Varjo Aero is lauded for its impeccable build, high-grade software compatibility, and optimal performance in simulation environments.
Key Specifications Compared: Pimax Crystal vs Varjo Aero
Optics and Display
Pimax Crystal: This headset boasts a QLED binocular display with local dimming, enhancing visual clarity and contrast. It achieves a peak brightness of 200 nits, ensuring vivid imagery. The resolution is remarkable at 2880x2880 per eye, offering an expansive field of view of up to 125° horizontally, which is significant for immersive experiences.
Varjo Aero: The Aero features a 2 x Mini LED binocular display, providing a peak brightness of 150 nits. Its resolution stands at 2880x2720 per eye, offering a slightly narrower horizontal field of view of 115°, focusing on delivering sharp and clear visuals.
QLED Binocular with Local Dimming
2 x Mini LED Binocular
2880x2880 per eye
2880x2720 per eye
Tracking and Interaction
Pimax Crystal: It offers 6 Degrees of Freedom (DoF) inside-out tracking through 4 integrated cameras. For enhanced tracking, an optional SteamVR 2.0 tracking faceplate is available. The headset also includes 200 Hz eye tracking and provides partial finger and thumb tracking for a more interactive experience.
Varjo Aero: This headset features 6 DoF Marker-based tracking, ensuring precise and responsive movement tracking. It also includes 200 Hz eye tracking, similar to the Crystal, offering a comparable level of interaction.
6 DoF Inside-out (Optional SteamVR 2.0)
6 DoF Marker-based
Partial (Capacitive Sensors)
Design and Comfort
Pimax Crystal: Weighing 845 g with the headstrap, it is constructed using plastic and foam for the facial interface. The headset includes a hard padded retractable strap with a battery counterweight, balancing the overall weight for comfort.
Varjo Aero: Slightly lighter, the Aero weighs 717 g with the headstrap. It is also made of plastic and foam, but features a hard padded retractable halo strap, focusing on distributing weight evenly for prolonged comfort.
845 g with headstrap
717 g with headstrap
Hard Padded Retractable Strap
Hard Padded Retractable Halo Strap
Connectivity and Performance
Pimax Crystal: It features a range of connectivity options including USB Type-C, DisplayPort, WiFi 6E, and Bluetooth. The Crystal runs on the Android OS powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 chipset, catering to both standalone and PC-powered modes.
Varjo Aero: The Aero also offers similar connectivity options but is designed specifically for high-quality VR performance in professional training environments, indicating a focus on precision and detail.
USB Type-C, DisplayPort, WiFi 6E, Bluetooth
Similar to Pimax Crystal
Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2
Pimax Crystal: The Crystal is priced at $1599, which includes controllers. It offers versatility with both standalone and PC-powered modes, adding value to its price point.
Varjo Aero: The Aero is priced at $990 for the headset. Recently, the price dropped by $1000 from $1990, making it the lightest and brightest VR headset available at half the price. However, base stations and controllers require additional expenses, which can increase the overall cost.
Developer Portal:Varjo Developer Portal provides developers with essential tools and resources, fostering innovation in VR development.
Varjo Insider Blog: A hub for the VR, AR, and XR community, offering developer insights, tech tips, and expert opinions on hardware and software advancements.
Partnership and Purchase Options
Knoxlabs is proud to partner with both Varjo and Pimax. We offer these VR headsets along with a wide range of compatible accessories and devices. Visit our online store for easy checkout and financing options, or experience in-person demos at our Glendale, CA location.