Flying using FPV goggles is the most immersive experience you can have with a multirotor or fixed-wing. It can make you feel like you're in the cockpit, or it can make you sick. That's why It’s so important to buy the best goggle or head mounted display that is best for you. When you’re looking for a display to put on your head, you have two options; true wrap-around goggles, or a head mounted display. True goggles have two screens, with one eye each viewing one screen. This option is the most compact and portable choice for FPV. Head mounted display units have a single monitor. These monitor goggles are usually much cheaper than a true goggle option. Understanding terminology such as field of view, adjustable IPD, glass optics, resolution, digital head tracking and frequencies will help you pick the right FPV goggle.

The first decision you must make is to decide whether you want your FPV system to be analog or digital HD. The analog video system has been directly adapted from the security and surveillance industry with proven lowlight capabilities and low latency. Latency is the time it takes for the video that is being filmed to the time it shows up on the display. This is key for fast FPV flying and avoiding obstacles. Digital has only recently been developed to have low enough latency that it has quickly become adopted by many professional FPV pilots. The Amimon CONNEX ProSight is a more expensive option which will require its own FPV ground station to accept the digital feed and transfer it to your goggles via HDMI cable. It has improved detail but lower frame rate compared to an analog video feed.  But the majority of pilots today still use analog because of its lower price and reliability.  

Here is a quick overview of the terms you should know when choosing an FPV goggle or head mounted display;

FOV – Field Of View

This is the extent to which we can see or observe the world at any given moment.  When using optical equipment such as FPV goggles  there is always a restriction to what we can see. With FPV goggles, the field of vision (FOV) viewing range is between 25% to 45%.  The higher quality and more expensive FPV goggles tend to have a higher FOV.  The are many other aspects to what makes a great FPV goggle.

Adjustable IPD

Interpupillary Distance or IPD: This is the distance between the center of the pupils of both your eyes.  IPD technology is critical in binoculars and for FPV goggles.  Each and everyone one of us is unique and have different shaped faces and distances between our eyes. For the best FPV flying view, it is essential the FPV drone goggles allow for both eye pupils to be positioned within the exit pupils of the goggles. If you buy fixed IPD goggles they may not fit your eyes correctly and the FPV flying experience may not be pleasant.  The adjustable IPD is the best option.

FPV Optics

Glass or Plastic Optics.

For viewing clarity and image quality glass optics are by far the best option for FPV.

Pixel Resolution

  • QVGA: 320 x 240 pixels
  • VGA: 640 x 480 pixels
  • SVGA: 800 x 600 pixels
  • FWVGA: 854 x 480 pixels
  • HD: 1280 x 720 pixels

SVGA and FWVGA are the best choice when it comes to FPV goggle resolution. If you have an HD system then an HD goggle should be used to utilize the maximum resolution of the system.

Digital Head Tracking

This technology monitors your head movement and sends these signals to your drone.  The FPV camera on your drone follows the same orientation as your head.  This is more suited for larger frames as it takes up more space and weight. It’s an incredible FPV experience and gives you much more visibility. Most FPV goggles now incorporate digital head tracking with the addition of a module.

Head Mounted Display

This is a monitor, usually around 7 inches across mounted in a headset that is strapped over the eyes. It can be quite bulky because the display must be placed far enough for the eyes to focus. This sometimes is useful for people who wear glasses because some headsets allow glasses to fit. Some people find large displays more nauseating when FPV flying.

Channels, Bands and Frequencies

There are 4 frequencies used for FPV flight, here is a list and points about them;

900 MHz Medium/ Long range

  • Signal will go easy around and penetrate walls and trees because of the low frequency.
  • Works with 2.4 GHz RC transmitters
  • DIY antenna's are easy to make because of the low frequency but are but are large in size
  • Used by cellular companies
  • Picture quality not as good as 5.8 GHz (Because of lower frequency)
  • 'Old school' technology

1.2 GHz (1200 MHz) Medium/long range

  • Signal will penetrate walls and trees because of the low frequency
  • DIY antenna's are easy to make because of low frequency but are large in size
  • Works with 2.4 GHz RC transmitters if you use special filters.
  • Picture quality not as good as 5.8 GHz (Because of lower frequency)

2.4 GHz (2400 MHz) Medium/long range (longer range then 1.2 GHz)

  • Used for long range FPV flights
  • Many antenna's to choose from
  • Wont penetrate walls and trees as well as 900 MHz and 1.2 GHz
  • Frequency is crowded.
  • Can't be used with 2.4 GHz RC transmitters

5.8 GHz (5800 MHz) Short range/Medium range

  • Great for short range
  • Works with 2.4 GHz RC transmitters
  • Easy to setup
  • Frequency is crowded
  • Antenna's are small, but quality is a must.

5.8 GHz is the most common chosen because of its ease and small size.

A band is a set of 8 frequencies adopted by certain brands of video transmitters (VTX), the channel references to a specific frequency. Some goggles may not be able to tune into the band your drone is broadcasting. Make sure you find out what bands your VTX operates on. Here is a list of 5.8 GHz frequencies; 

Here is a list of a few manufacturers and suppliers of FPV goggles and HD display goggles.

  • Fatshark
  • Avegant Glyph
  • Oculus Rift
  • Zeiss VR One Plus
  • Cinemizer 1909-127 OLED Multimedia Video FPV glasses
  • SkyZone V02 3D
  • Flysight Spexman One
  • Eachine VR-007
  • Boscam GS920
  • Walkera Goggle 4
  • Yuneec SkyView

When it comes to deciding on a first pair of FPV goggle or head mounted display I would go for a goggle because it's the most immersive, then I would go with an FOV of at least 35%, an adjustable IPD, VGA or SVGA resolution at the least, glass optics and digital head tracking capabilities only if I plan on venturing down that path in the future. I hope this has helped any of you who can't decide what FPV viewing device to purchase.