FPV Goggles Paired with the DJI Mavic?
Gear In A Nutshell Review:
Within minutes of flying the DJI Mavic it was apparent that we were missing the FPV experience that we had when flying the Parrot Disco. Since DJI has not yet released their version of FPV goggles to the public, we took to the web to find 3rd party solutions that could get the job done. Two units that we settled on were the Moverio BT-300 and the Avegant Glyph video headsets. After testing both units when paired with the DJI Mavic we ended up keeping the Moverio BT-300.
Unlike DJI’s Phantom or Inspire drones that allow you do do an HDMI hookup, the Mavic controller does does not offer this functionality. The method we found that allowed us to link video feed from the Mavic Controller to the Avegant Glyph involved using Microsoft’s Wireless Display Adapter to provide video feed from our phone to the goggles. Because of this configuration, the latency and video stream were downright awful. Again, for our specific application the BT-300 was the obvious choice. If anyone has suggestions for a better configuration please do let us know and we will be sure to investigate further.
The Latency & Video Feed with the BT-300 were significantly better than the Avegant Glyph when paired with the DJI Mavic.
The Full Review:
In all fairness…
Let me start by saying that both units are incredible in their own rights – with an emphasis on their own rights. The reality is that trying to compare these two units to one another is like trying to compare apples to oranges.
- For the purpose of flying a DJI Mavic Drone FPV, the Moverio BT-300 winds hands down.
- For the purpose of well, just about everything else.. the Avegant Glyph takes the cake.
Epson’s Moverio BT-300:
If it wasn’t for the DJI Mavic I honestly do not know why anyone would own this device. The video feed being projected onto the lenses is cool and all but the big crux in the BT-300’s design is that you can not interface these glasses with a smartphone or even your computer. Instead Epson had the bright idea to design their own proprietary android based device to connect with the glasses via their own proprietary plug. In terms of real world functionality and practicality this creates all kinds of issues.
- Epson’s Moverio BT-300 pairs beautifully with the Mavic’s controller.
- With DJI’s software pre-installed on the android controller you are literally up and running right out of the box.
- The video latency we experienced was always apparent but well within a tolerable range.
- The video feedback and quality we experienced was excellent.
- Easy to maintain a clear line of sight with the drone when not focused on the projection.
- Compact and easy to carry thanks to the included carrying case.
- You can not interface these glasses with your smart phone.
- You can not interface these glasses with your computer.
- You are forced to carry a second android device around with you in order to use the glasses..
- The Android device that Epson designed is cool and all but it sucks compared to leading smartphones…
- Unlike the Avegant Glyph, the lens focus / screen position of the projected image is not adjustable.
The Epson Moverio BT-300’s work perfectly for what we need them to do. Which is to provide clear image and relatively low latency video feedback so we can fly our Mavic Pro all while being able to maintain a clear line of sight on the drone when we want to check it’s present surroundings. One other thing we really like about the BT-300’s is that the case matched the hard shell cases we had purchased for our Mavic Pro and Mavic Pro Controller.
Thanks to the relatively small footprint and included hard case for transport the BT-300 really shines here. Compared to the Avegant Glyph this configuration is compact and requires very little space in your bag when being transported. For us, this is an important element that we take into consideration since we want to be able to travel with this configuration. I can easily carry all of the necessary components required to fly my Mavic Pro FPV and still have space for my camera, laptop, lenses, etc. in a small to medium sized backpack.
Dedicated Device For Flying:
While it frustrates me that I can not interface the BT-300 with my smart phone, it is also nice to have a device that is used exclusively for flying the Mavic Pro. There are no messages popping up, e-mail notifications, alarms going off, etc. The device comes pre-installed with DJI’s software so you really never even need to connect this unit to the web. Turn your Mavic Pro and controller on, plug these glasses in and you are flying.
The Avegant Glyph headset failed miserably when trying to pair it with the DJI Mavic via Microsoft’s Wireless Display Adapter. Because there is no HDMI hookup on the Mavic controller and because we were forced to use essentially a WiFi transmitter to screen share the phone’s display to the HDMI reciever that was then connected to the goggles – we encountered all sorts of latency issues as well as fragmented video feedback as a result.
With Epsons’ BT-300 taking the throne as our 3rd party FPV solution to fly our Mavic Pro, we decided to give the Avegant Glyph a test in other various realms. What we loved about the Avegant Glyph’s is that they came with an HDMI to mini HDMI hookup that allowed us to interface the goggles with our computer. Connecting to our PC was seamless and literally as easy as plugging in a monitor. As soon as we were hooked up to the computer I quickly navigated to Youtube 4k videos and was instantly captivated. Apparently the video resolution is only 720p but this did not stop me from summoning my wife to have her try the goggles out. After about a minute of silence from my wife I realized I was not going to be getting the goggles back as she was totally hooked. One thing she noted liking about the Avegant Glyphs was the fact that we were able to dial in the image to her eye sight. Unlike Mr. Eagle Eyes here, she is a bit near sighted but was able to offset this issue by focusing the Glyph’s lenses appropriately. The result, she had a crystal clear HD image and was totally blown away. She likened the experience to being in the middle row of a movie theater.
Where the Avegant Glyph fell short in terms of being able to effectively pair with the DJI Mavic Pro – it excelled in every other department compared to the BT-300.
- Fantastic Image Quality
- Great Audio Quality
- Video and Audio are integrated into one unit where as the Epson BT-300 requires the user to have headphones for audio.
- Lenses can be adjusted to various eye sight as well as pupillary distance (distance between your left eye & right eye).
- Can interface with your smart phone
- Can interface with your computer
- We can not confirm this but it appears the Glyph’s are able to interface seamlessly with other DJI’s products that offer HDMI hookup. Not the Mavic Pro
- Due to the configuration we had to use to connect our phone with the Glyph’s the video latency and video feedback made flying FPV with our Mavic Pro virtually impossible.
- These things are large and there is no way to break these things down to minimize the amount of space they will take in your bag.
- For such an expensive piece of hardware, it would be nice if they would have included a hard case. The soft case they include is unacceptable.
We loved the Avegant Glyphs and are excited to see what this crowdfunded company will come up with next. If they can improve upon the design of the Glyph’s by getting the design more compact and making the display more immersive, these guys are going to crush it. The product is great for what they have been able to create but this unit, similar to how we felt about the BT-300; it all still feels a bit gimmicky. It does some cool things but it is by no means practical yet. The image quality is good but my laptop / iPad is still more practical when I am on a flight or laying in bed. The audio quality is great but I would rather use my Bose Noise cancelling headphones when on a flight than the over sized Glyph.
If you are looking for a device that pairs seamlessly with the Dji Mavic Pro, has relatively low latency, good video quality, small form factor and allows you to maintain a clear line of site with your drone while flying – get Epson’s Moverio BT-300 glasses. As for the Avegant Glyphs, we like what the product offered but the FPV performance we experienced in our configuration was so bad, it wasn’t even a contest. We would like to give the Avegant Glyphs another try if there is a more “hardwired” configuration we can test, but at this point we haven’t had any luck finding a way to do this.