This guide will tell you about TOP-5 best FPV goggles and the way they work. Although the basic technology behind these devices is more or less the same across the various models, there are some features and technology implementations that can make for differences and are described below. You will also learn what factors — apart from a resolution and range — you should consider when shopping for these devices. And finally, you can take a look at a chart showing the main features of the most popular products to compare them and pick up the right one.

What You Will Learn From This Guide:

What Are FPV Goggles?

Like it or loathe it, drones are a part of daily life now, and they’re never going away. They may take different forms in the future as some advanced methods of flight are pioneered, but they’re only going to see more uses as time foes on. They’re excellent for camera work, getting panoramic and aerial shots that would otherwise have required helicopters and complex cameras to achieve.

They’re powerful tools for search and rescue, surveying, and for law enforcement. But, for the private sector, they’ve taken on an interesting new hobby aside from the general enjoyment of flying them – racing. Drone racing is a novel thing, but it’s becoming a very popular new sport. The problem is, to race a drone, you need the right kind of display.

Many drones simply relay their camera footage to a smartphone or controller screen, others to PCs, but this kind of aspect/view isn’t ideal. There needs to be a better way, that really lets you see from the drone’s perspective. This has led to a new technology, and one that looks like something out of science fiction.

FPV goggles are the standard for advanced drone usage, and are a byproduct of VR goggle development, though the display systems on the mare decidedly simpler, as they don’t need the motion and proximity sensors and so on that VR visors do.

With an FPV goggle system, you can actually feel like you’re on the drone, and have more direct control and precision, which really you should have with any drone, but for racing, is paramount to safe operation.

How FPV Goggles Work

Drone goggles are a visor concept, rather than actually being goggles. They strap comfortably across the back of your head, with the visor fitting to the front of your eye area, drowning out the environment around you.

Inside is an LCD display, preferably high resolution in nature. Some of these goggles also have adjustable magnification lenses similar to those in VR headsets, to allow for basic stereoscopic viewing, though this is more just to stop eyes from crossing, as many drones do not have stereoscopic cameras to generate such a signal.

Along with the display, there is an encoder system which receives incoming signals, and translates them into digital video on the visor screen. One or two transceiver antennas are also present to receive the broadcast.

Encryption systems may be present to prevent the signal from being intercepted and spied on by other operators or interlopers as well. The system usually has some basic digital readout information as well, such as a compass, altitude, pitch/yaw/roll information, speed, wind shear, and battery levels for both the drone and the headset itself.

FPV goggles require a battery, which is something we’ll be addressing more closely shortly, as battery quality can impact how successful a race you can have.

Most of these goggles will work with most drones, especially given that drones have adjustable transceivers as well, meaning that you can pair the drone and goggle set of your choice without issue. In other words, it’s just a head-mounted display with some digital video/RF circuitry and a simple display management logic board.

What are the Types of Drone Goggles and Their Differences?

The basic technology behind FPV goggles is more or less the same across the various designs and models, and this is because of safety compliance as well as compatibility across all the different devices out there.

However, there are some features and technology implementations that can make for differences that are worthy of note. A prime example of this is that some of these FPV goggles actually have built in transceiver arrays, with maybe the option of adding a second antenna on the top. Ones with very internalized transceiver arrays can be harder to guarantee compatibility with certain drones or RF modules.

Some have internal batteries as well, which means you can’t easily replace it, and are stuck with the quality of battery built into it. Given that rechargeable batteries do eventually go bad, this means that replacing a dead battery that no longer takes a charge can be a real task with them.

Some have some adjustment buttons on the top (two that we’ll look at exemplify this), while others really don’t have much adjustment possible aside from firmware access via USB, which is unideal in some cases.

Finally, ranges do vary wildly with these headsets, even with modular antenna setups available, which we’ll touch on more in the features department shortly. There are also some differences across resolutions, with cheaper goggles having 720p at a low framerate, while others offer a nice 1080p HD video at a smooth-as-butter 60FPS. Form factors don’t really vary that much due to the utilitarian design needed for them to work.

What to Look for When Buying a Product

So, there are obviously a number of factors to consider when shopping for these, and that’s probably not surprising. We’re going to actually be somewhat exhaustive in our look at these features this time, because some of these can really ruin your day if they’re not per your specifications, more so than a lot of products out there. 

  • Battery – You want a good battery, or the ability to change the battery out for something better .As we mentioned, batteries do stop taking a charge over time, meaning that if the battery doesn’t replace easily, you may be out a pair of goggles unless you’re comfortable dismantling them.
  • Range – You want a high range for your goggles, which pairs with the ability to add antennae, because races tend to be over miles, and RF can vary in its distance, especially when broadcasting digital video signals, which are often a high-frequency signal that, thus, has range difficulties unless really boosted.
  • Comfort – Comfort really does matter significantly with this sort of thing. It straps to your head and goes over your face, so you want it to be comfortable, and to allow your skin to breathe. Be sure that it’s not too close to your eyes, and if possible, that the vide distance can be adjusted.
  • Charging – USB charging is nice where possible, as it means any kind of charger will do for the battery. Specialized charger interfaces are pretty awful, most people can agree.
  • Resolution – You want to aim for 1080p HD video where possible, as having a low-resolution, poor-framerate image in your face can cause illness or headaches, as well as less aptitude for piloting the drone.

My Personal Experience

Well, let me open with staying that I’ve never raced a drone, but I have flown my share of them. I’ve seen races, but I’m not a good enough pilot, and the drones are too expensive to be that reckless with, for me to be okay racing mine. However, my personal experience here is a word of warning regarding the FPV goggles and your use of a drone alike.

This is funny now, aside from the expense it incurred, but it sure wasn’t funny at the time. As I’ve pointed out previously, I live in Florida now, despite being from LA. I’d left LA by the time drones became a thing regular people could have, though I think the military had used them for some time prior.

Anyhow, I got my first really nice drone, and an early generation FPV goggle set, as a birthday gift a few years ago. I got pretty good at flying it, though as I said, I never raced one or flew that reckless with it due to cost.

Well, one day, I decided to see if I could fly it a few neighborhoods away. I live in a part of Florida off the I-75 corridor, about sixty miles south of Sarasota. My area’s developed, but if you go a few miles inward, it quickly becomes rural wilderness. Orange groves, cattle farms (yes, cattle are a big livestock industry here), and endless tracts of jungle land.

Well, I’d wandered a little too close to an orange farm the owner of which was a little on the cuckoo side, and he saw the drone. I quickly mounted a retreat, but this drone wasn’t that fast, and he had his shotgun loaded and aimed before I could really plot a course back whence I came.

He shot the drone, and out of kneejerk reaction, I leapt from my couch, tripping over my coffee table due to being blind by the goggles, and slid across my living room. My girlfriend, who’d been watching the feed on the flat screen, found this all delightfully hilarious. Me? Not so much.

Later, I heard that the farmer had claimed to have shot down a UFO, which made the local news not because anyone believed him, but because the crazy old man shooting a drone and thinking it’s a Martian probe, was just good TV.

The lesson to take away from this is twofold. Be careful where you fly these, as invading privacy is not okay, and people don’t react too well to this. And, remember, you’re looking at a screen with these FPV goggles, so remember to lift them up before you move around. I still have scars across my shins from that coffee table, I might add.

TOP-5 Best FPV Goggles

Below, you will find a review of products at a price ranging from $100 to $500. The priciest models have a resolution of 1080p while the less expensive ones are confined to 720p. Another important distinctive feature is a field of view which varies from model to model and can be as narrow as 37 degrees or as broad as 148 degrees. Apart from tech specs, such factors as comfortability and design also matter as many of us spend quite a lot of time wearing these devices!

1080p HD Digital Video FPV Racing Goggles | DJI

FPV Racing Goggles from DJI: photo

DJI is actually a pretty well-known brand in optics and remote control mechanisms, though not usually in the consumer world. If you work in the amusement industry, as I did at one time running an arcade, you’ll be familiar with them for their optics in virtual rides, display systems for some sit-in arcade cabinets, and other such things.

These goggles are not cheap, but none of these really are. Still, with DJI, you know you’re going to get something comfortable, and with good optics. I expect them to be a more common household name when the VR and AR markets open up more in the future, as well.

Features 

  • Resolution: 1080p HD.
  • Compatibility: DJI Spark, Mavic, Phantom and Inspire.
  • Latency: 50ms maximum.
  • Field of View: 148 degrees.
  • Aspect Ratio: 1280x720 at 60fps.
  • Antenna Interface: SMA.

Performance

These goggles have a nice shutter sensor system that can eliminate “jello effect”, which is a common problem with visors, goggles and other devices as you move about and the screen wobbles against your face.

They’re comfortable, they’re lightweight, and they let your eyes and face get enough oxygen to not sweat or become uncomfortable. However, they only have a single SMA interface, which means you’re limited in transceiver range and channel setup, but it’s not too bad. The battery is also interchangeable, which is a blessing too.

Pros Cons
  • High-quality.
  • Comfortable.
  • High frame rate.
  • Good resolution.
  • Eliminates jello effect.
  • Limited SMA interfaces.
  • Very costly.
  • Somewhat fragile.

Conclusion 

I am very comfortable recommending these goggles to the advanced racer with a real dedication to the hobby, but for those just curious, try a cheaper alternative.

DJI: Check the current price

Compact FPV Goggles Headset | FatShark Dominator 

Compact FPV Goggles Headset FatShark: photo

On top of having a rather amusing brand name behind it, Fat Shark has made a name for themselves in these visors since the hobby caught on. The advantage with these is the compact nature of their design, which is lightweight and comfortable. We’ll look at how well it performs in action shortly, but it’s worth nothing that the various adjustable controls on it are advantageous, as well as its breathing ability, which is significant.

Features

  • Resolution: 1080p HD.
  • Compatibility: Various.
  • Latency: 50ms maximum.
  • Field of View: 140 degrees.
  • Aspect Ratio: 1280x720 at 60fps.
  • Antenna Interface: SMA.

Performance

These goggles are a more compact design, which alleviates one of the recurring problems with headsets as a whole – they tend to be awkward, great heavy boxes strapped to your face, of course. These Fat Shark goggles are more compact, but at the cost of some FOV and build quality.

Also, the strap on these is a little more simplistic as well, and it lacks any jello effect correction or other accoutrements that fancier goggles might allow, which makes the high price of them somewhat dubious, if you ask me. Still, they’re not actually bad goggles.

Pros Cons
  • High-quality.
  • Comfortable.
  • High frame rate.
  • Good resolution.
  • Compact and comfortable.
  • No jello effect correction.
  • A little overpriced for the lack of accommodations.
  • Strap is subpar.

Conclusion 

If you want something compact and comfortable, these are absolutely not bad goggles. However, I have to point out once more, that you’re paying a lot for some missing features to be honest.

FatShark Dominator: Check the current price

Modular 3D FPV Goggles with Advanced Optics | FatShark HDO Dominator

Modular 3D FPV Goggles with Advanced Optics: photo

The other Fat Shark on our list, this one has the rare 3D vision capability that you don’t see in FPV goggles usually. These are equally compact, lightweight and capable of 3D stereoscopic vision, which is pretty rare with these goggles, especially since a lot of drone optics systems don’t really support it.

I have tried these though, and the experience … is interesting but has its problems, which I’ll get into shortly.

Features

  • Resolution: 1080p HD stereoscopic 3D.
  • Compatibility: Various.
  • Latency: 50ms maximum.
  • Field of View: 37 degrees.
  • Aspect Ratio: 1024x800 at 60fps.
  • Antenna Interface: SMA.

Performance

Well, this is truly an interesting idea, that’s for certain. However, it has some problems, as far as the 3D goes. 3D like this can cause headaches, eye strain, and motion sickness, the latter being a problem with me when I play VR games, leading me to not be a fan of the idea.

If you’re prone to migraines, or prone to motion sickness to begin with, you may find these a little less than desirable. If you can stomach it, and it doesn’t cause you pain, though, it is neat. Too bad it makes me queasy.

It’s hard to find drone optics right now that make full use of this.

Pros Cons
  • High-quality.
  • Comfortable.
  • High frame rate.
  • Good resolution.
  • Compact and comfortable.
  • 3D Capable.
  • No jello effect correction.
  • A little overpriced for the lack of accommodations.
  • Strap is subpar.
  • 3D has its problems for some, and can be hard to get working, with few drones really supporting this concept for now.

Conclusion 

If you want 3D, these will do it, but be wary – a lot of drones don’t support this, and even if you’re used to 3D visors, this does cause gradual eye strain.

FatShark HDO Dominator: Check the current price

Advanced Budget Drone Goggles | EACHINE EV800D

EACHINE Drone Goggles: photo

These goggles are an advanced, but budget model with an affordable price tag. However, being similar to many VR headsets out there, they are comfortable, and provide additional SMA ports for transponder antennas.

Features

  • Resolution: 720p HD.
  • Compatibility: Various.
  • Latency: 50ms maximum.
  • Field of View: 37 degrees.
  • Aspect Ratio: 800x480 at 30fps.
  • Antenna Interface: SMA.

Performance

This is a lot like the set I had when this tech first came onto the scene – the set I wore when my drone was shot down while mistaken as a UFO, and I tripped so gracefully over my coffee table to the amusement of my girlfriend, whom I might add, has never let me live this down.

It’s a very painfully average set of goggles, but definitely ideal for casual hobbyists or entry level users, due to the price tag and ease of getting them to work. You look like a 1950s space man with this thing on your face, with two antennae sticking up from it, though.

Pros Cons
  • High-quality.
  • Comfortable.
  • Very affordable.
  • Reliable.
  • Multiple SMA interfaces.
  • Adjustment controls are simple but intuitive.
  • No jello effect correction.
  • Low resolution.
  • Low frame rate.
  • Doesn’t breathe that well.
  • Display is a little too bright, leaving your eyes feeling a bit strained to be honest.

Conclusion 

I am very comfortable recommending this as a beginner set of goggles, but wouldn’t call this a professional, high-end set, that’s for sure. It’s a lot like what I had, and at the time it was amazing, so if you don’t compare them to high-end, it’s still a decent UX.

EACHINE EV800D: Check the current price

Ready-to-Fly Racing Drone Kit with FPV Goggles | SWAGTRON SwagDrone

Ready-to-Fly Racing Drone Kit with FPV Goggles: photo

If you just want a single purchase, with a drone, controller and headset all in one, then look no further than this Swagtron set. The name of this unit makes me cringe, as “swag” is part of that stereotypical gamer culture that’s not even real gaming culture, but what’s in a name, I suppose?

This is a pretty decent drone, a pretty decent headset, and a pretty decent controller, though none are highest-end stuff.

Features

  • Resolution: 720p HD.
  • Compatibility: Various.
  • Latency: 50ms maximum.
  • Field of View: 120 degrees.
  • Aspect Ratio: 1024x780 at 60fps.
  • Antenna Interface: SMA.

Performance

This one really does look like a UFO, doesn’t it? I might’ve shot this thing down out of fear a couple decades ago, thinking maybe not that it was an alien device, but definitely something I didn’t want menacingly hovering over my private property.

It’s a very smoothly-controlled drone, with a very decent controller, and a passable goggle set. If you want to just get everything at once, and take to the skies, this will meet your needs, but I don’t think you’d want to race this drone, it’s not the fastest thing going.

Pros Cons
  • Decent drone.
  • Decent controller.
  • Decent goggles.
  • All in one kit is ready to fly.
  • No jello effect correction.
  • Low resolution.
  • Low frame rate.
  • Drone is a little slow.
  • Drone does look legitimately threatening, and may cause kneejerk reactions from average people not used to seeing these. Watch out for orange farmers bearing .22’s!

Conclusion 

Are you interested in just getting going, without having to build or buy a drone separately? Do you just want your display, your controller, and your drone in one purchase, and one that’s pretty reasonable considering everything you get? Or, do you know someone else who does, and you want a gift for them this year that’ll make them smile?

This is the product for you if either of these is the case, no doubt about that. Just, don’t race this drone, and be wary that it may terrorize old people. Be respectful of privacy, hey?

SWAGTRON SwagDrone: Check the current price

Comparative Chart of FPV Goggles Effectiveness

Product Features

DJI

• Resolution: 1080p HD.
• Compatibility: DJI Spark, Mavic, Phantom and Inspire.
• Latency: 50ms maximum.
• Field of View: 148 degrees.
• Aspect Ratio: 1280x720 at 60fps.
• Antenna Interface: SMA.

Effectiveness: 10

FatShark Dominator

• Resolution: 1080p HD.
• Compatibility: Various.
• Latency: 50ms maximum.
• Field of View: 140 degrees.
• Aspect Ratio: 1280x720 at 60fps.
• Antenna Interface: SMA.

Effectiveness: 9

FatShark HDO Dominator

• Resolution: 1080p HD stereoscopic 3D.
• Compatibility: Various.
• Latency: 50ms maximum.
• Field of View: 37 degrees.
• Aspect Ratio: 1024x800 at 60fps.
• Antenna Interface: SMA.

Effectiveness: 10

EACHINE EV800D

• Resolution: 720p HD.
• Compatibility: Various.
• Latency: 50ms maximum.
• Field of View: 37 degrees.
• Aspect Ratio: 800x480 at 30fps.
• Antenna Interface: SMA.

Effectiveness: 8

SWAGTRON SwagDrone

• Resolution: 720p HD.
• Compatibility: Various.
• Latency: 50ms maximum.
• Field of View: 120 degrees.
• Aspect Ratio: 1024x780 at 60fps.
• Antenna Interface: SMA.

Effectiveness: 8

FAQ 

What are the best FPV goggles?
Probably the first ones on this list.

Which drone goggles work with Mavic Air?
Most of the ones on this list do.

Which ones work with DJI Spark?
Most of the ones on this list do, especially the DJI set.

Can I use them for VR?
No, they don’t use the same connections, and they mostly lack accelerometers and other things needed for true VR.

What is diversity in FPV goggles?
I don’t understand this question. Do you mean, what variety is there? We covered this already – mostly range, resolution, and the presence or absence of 3D.

Pros & Cons of Using These Products

Pros

  • It’s like riding the drone.
  • Better control.
  • Less distraction.

Cons

  • You’re oblivious to your surroundings.
  • Even comfortable ones aren’t really comfortable.
  • They’re costly.
  • Quality varies too wildly, as it’s a new technology.
  • Compatibility is a bit of a crapshoot.

Conclusion

This is like something out of a science fiction movie. Put a visor on, and remotely fly an aircraft. This technology has been used by the military for a long time, and now it’s becoming commonplace for consumers, especially racers. If you’re interested in this idea, one of these will suit your needs, but don’t spend too much money unless you know you love this hobby, try a cheaper model first, then invest in something nicer if you like the experience.