This “prosumer” VR headset is the best we’ve tried in 2022

The Finnish company, Varjo, released their Aero VR headset in 2021. It may be the best headset we've tried this year.

Varjo, the Finnish company known for its virtual and augmented reality glasses for “prosumers” (professional customers), has finally expanded its interests to the mass market and enthusiasts willing to pay above average for exceptional offerings. In this fashion, the Finns have released the Aero VR headset with very high image clarity and a viewing angle of 115 degrees.

Photo credit: Varjo

The first time some of us at the Evolvera team tried this headset was at the Augmented World Expo in 2021, where the Varjo team had an electrifying presence, but most of us finally got a chance at the beginning of this year. Here are our thoughts.

The Aero comes at a hefty price of $1990, but it does not imply any subscription fees for additional software, unlike their corporate competitors and actually have lower computer requirements. According to Varjo, they are designed for advanced users or prosumers, such as fans and developers of flight and car simulators. Yes, this is far more expensive than the regular consumer headsets, but in our opinion, you really get what you pay for with this VR headset.

With 35 pixels per degree resolution (miniLED displays, 2880×2720) and a 90Hz refresh rate, the Aero offers the best clarity among retail devices available, outperforming even the Vive Pro 2. The Varjo headsets are best known for their “bionic display” system, which uses two displays for each eye, a large display for a wide field of view and a small built-in high pixel density display that provides real retinal resolution (60+ PPD) in the center of the headset’s field of view.

When trying it on, the Aero is simple and smooth on the head and you’re immediately immersed and captivated by the menu surroundings. The Finns have really made this VR wall of immersion as easy as possible to break down.

At the same time, engineers have managed to make the glasses the lightest in the Varjo lineup – they weigh 487 grams, and the bezel adds another 230 grams. Light, easy and good to go.

The built-in gaze tracking system provides content management, user interaction analysis and foveated rendering optimization to reduce PC requirements. The only downside is that there is no support for AMD graphics cards. Only Nvidia. An exclusivity partnership?

Varjo Aero also integrates with the new “Varjo Reality Cloud” service and will fully support virtual interaction out of the box. Additional features, such as streaming content from the cloud, will be rolled out in stages. It depends on the availability of Reality Cloud.

The first Varjo Aero shipments to customers began begin at the end of 2021. The headset can be ordered for $1990 or €1990 on their website at varjo.com/aero.

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