Both are high-end VR headsets loved or anticipated by racing simmers, as well as flight simmers. In some areas, these headsets are very similar. The number of pixels is almost the same: 2880 x 2880 per eye for the Crystal, and 2880 x 2720 per eye for the Aero. But the Crystal gets its clarity from the QLED+Mini LED panels, whereas Varjo only has Mini LED. Both have aspheric lenses — which are way better than fresnel lenses found on most headsets — but the ones on the Crystal are made of glass, and the ones on the Aero are made of resin. And there’s more. Let’s take a look at the stats as well as some visual comparisons between the Varjo Aero and Pimax Crystal.
Key specs, Varjo Aero vs Pimax Crystal
Let’s run it down before we have a comparison chart. Numbers are from both companies’ websites.
Price (as of April 10th, 2023):
- Varjo Aero: $1,990
- Pimax Crystal: 1599$ (with free DMAS headphone upgrade if you pre-order before July)
- Varjo Aero: 2880 x 2720 pixels per eye
- Pimax Crystal: 2880 x 2880 pixels per eye
- Varjo Aero: 35 PPD
- Pimax Crystal: 35 PPD to 42 PPD, depending on the lenses
- Varjo Aero: 150 nits
- Pimax Crystal: 200 nits
Max refresh rate:
- Varjo Aero: 90Hz
- Pimax Crystal: 144Hz
- Varjo Aero: 115°(Horizontal)
- Pimax Crystal 125°(with 35PPD lenses)
The Pimax Crystal has a standard FOV of 125° degrees horizontal (with the 35 PPD lens), but you can increase it with a higher FOV lens since the lenses of the Crystal are interchangeable. This allows an even more immersive experience and makes it easier to see your surroundings.
Other software features:
- Both headsets come with eye tracking, which enables automatic IPD and foveated rendering.
- Both headsets support wired PCVR, but Crystal also has wireless standalone mode, and wireless PCVR if the optional 60G wireless is installed.
- In terms of compatibility, both headsets work with Lighthouse base stations (the Crystal will need the optional Lighthouse cover to make this work. The Crystal also works without base stations as it has inside-out tracking.
- Similar pixel amount
- Works with base stations (if Crystal has the lighthouse cover)
- Automatic IPD adjustment and build-in eye-tracking
- Both support body & hand tracking (Crystal requires hand tracking module)
- Both headsets are high-end VR devices loved by racing and flight simmers.
- Both of them are focused on that professional use is reflected in its high image clarity and eye-tracking technology, which are important features for professionals who need to view and manipulate detailed 3D models, and compatibility with popular gaming software and platforms.
- The higher color saturation on the Crystal (and darks are really dark thanks to local dimming) and higher image clarity
- Crystal has inside-out tracking so it doesn’t need external base stations for position tracking
- Crystal has interchangeable lenses
- Crystal can work wirelessly with the 60G wireless module
- Crystal has a standalone mode
- Crystal comes with controllers
|Pimax Crystal||Varjo Aero|
|Device type||PCVR + Standalone||PCVR|
|Platform||SteamVR + Pimax Store||SteamVR|
|Retail price||$1599 with controllers||$1990 headset only|
|Type of lenses||Aspheric (glass)||Aspheric (resin)|
|ixels (per eye)||2880*2880||2880*2720|
|FOV (horizontal)||125° (with 35PPD lenses)||115°|
|Max brightness||200 Nits||150 Nits|
|0G wireless module||Yes||No|
|Base stations||Optional but not required||Required|
Early reviewers have also mentioned the clarity is higher than the Aero.
Photo comparison by Lao Fan:
Visual comparison by H-Misaki in SteamVR Home (Crystal on the left, Aero on the right).