Varjo XR-4 Series Review: Next-Level Mixed Reality Headsets

The Features, Specs, and Benefits of Varjo XR-4 Headsets

Varjo XR-4 Series Review - Next-Level Mixed Reality Headsets
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Published: December 28, 2023

Rebekah Carter

Rebekah Carter

The Varjo XR-4 series represents an incredible step forward in the mixed-reality headset landscape, particularly for business leaders. As a leader in industrial-grade VR/XR software and hardware, Varjo already has an outstanding reputation in the enterprise landscape.

It’s one of the critical companies helping to power the industrial metaverse, promising businesses everything from advanced LiDAR depth sensing to high-resolution displays and exceptional security.

With the Varjo XR-4 series, the tech leader aims to offer a more affordable and diverse alternative to upcoming headsets like the Apple Vision Pro. Varjo’s newest headset (available in various styles) sincludes multifocal passthrough cameras, controllers co-developed by Razer, and even integration with the powerful NVIDIA Omniverse.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Varjo XR-4 Series.

What is the Varjo XR-4 Series? The Models

Varjo says while rival headsets are catering to “2D productivity use cases”, its 4th generation series will create deeply immersive experiences for industrial customers in search of exceptional visual fidelity and performance. Varjo is explicitly targeting the enterprise landscape.

According to the company, over 25% of Fortune 100 companies already use its headsets to train pilots and astronauts, create 3D visualizations, and power medical breakthroughs.

The Varjo XR-4 series follows the highly successful XR-3 headsets, launched in 2020, with more advanced graphics, tracking technology, and integration with the NVIDIA Omniverse. The toolkit allows developers and industrial users to access ray tracing, photorealistic scenes, and more in mixed reality. Plus, the headsets can access more than 100 third-party applications and 3D engines.

Varjo’s XR-4 series has three main variants, unlike other mixed-reality headset offerings. There’s the standard XR-4, with best-in-class visual fidelity. The XR-4 Focal edition enhances the passthrough experience with incredible autofocus cameras. Finally, the Varjo XR-4 Secure edition introduces TAA compliance and Non-RF configurations.

Varjo XR-4 Headset Review: The Features

Since the Varjo XR-4 headset has three variations, the specs and capabilities vary slightly depending on the model you choose. Notably, however, all three options include specific components, such as Nvidia GPUs, access to the Nvidia Omniverse, and 4K displays.

The features you’ll find on all three XR-4 headsets include:

  • Dual 4k displays: 3840 x 3744 res dual mini LED displays, with 120 x 150 field of view, 98% sRGB and 96% DCI-P3 color space, 200 nits of brightness, and 90 Hz refresh rates.
  • Dual passthrough cameras: 20 Mpx cameras powering the industry’s best real-time video passthrough mixed reality experiences.
  • Ambient light sensors: New ambient light sensors and eight improved LiDAR resolution tracking to blend virtual and real content seamlessly.
  • DTS 3D spatial audio: Integrated spatial audio with noise-canceling microphones and integrated speakers for collaborative use cases.
  • Inside-out tracking: Intelligent inside-out tracking and built-in Varjo controllers created with Razer. Plus, ART and OptiTrack features are supported via APIs.
  • NVIDIA Technology: NVIDIA RTX Ada GPUs and integration with the NVIDIA Omniverse for connecting 3D pipelines and workflows.
  • Varjo Reality Cloud: Varjo Reality Cloud supports end-to-end collaboration.
  • Zero-gravity comfort fit: Ergonomic and lightweight headset design specifically intended for long-term usage.

The Varjo XR-4 Focal edition adds 51 PPD passthrough with autofocus for an enhanced mixed-reality experience in the industrial metaverse. The solution also has optimized camera resolution for pilot training and other demanding use cases.

The XR-4 Secure Edition, on the other hand, adheres to government and enterprise-level security requirements. All versions feature offline mode functionality.

Varjo XR-4 Comfort and Usability

If you’re concerned about VR sickness and preserving user comfort during extended reality experiences, Varjo has you covered. The headsets are a little clunky in places, weighing 665g for the headset and 356g for the headband. Additionally, it’s worth noting that the XR-4 isn’t a standalone headset; it must always be attached to a compatible computing system.

However, Varjo has addressed comfort concerns in other ways. For instance, the company has invested in a “zero gravity” comfort fit for users to ensure weight is evenly distributed across your head for longer use periods.

Additionally, users can choose between interacting with content using the Varjo XR-4 controllers (similar in style to previous Quest controllers from Meta) or using hand gestures. IPD adjustment is available to ensure every user in your organization gets the ideal visual experience.

Plus, the spatial audio, combined with some of the world’s highest-resolution passthrough cameras, creates a truly immersive, natural experience for users. As a bonus, the noise-canceling microphones built into the headset allow for more streamlined, intuitive collaboration sessions.

Varjo XR-4 Pricing and Availability

One thing that separates the Varjo XR-4 series from previous headsets produced by the company is the pricing. These headsets are some of the most advanced in the industry, and they’re specifically designed for enterprise and industrial users, so they’re not the cheapest options out there.

However, they are more affordable than you might think. Starting at $3,990, the base model is almost half the price of the previous generation XR-3. This aligns it with the prices for competing solutions like the Apple Vision Pro and Microsoft HoloLens 2.

Of course, companies looking to leverage the most advanced passthrough features will need to pay a little more. Prices for the XR-4 Focal edition start at $9,900, and the cost of the Secure edition is only available upon request.

Though the price tag is reasonably high, it’s worth remembering these headsets offer much more functionality than most competitors. The XR-4 devices are also a significant upgrade from the previous XR-3 headsets, with 50% more screen real estate thanks to an enhanced field of view and more advanced sensor capabilities.

The Biggest Benefits

The Varjo XR-4 series of mixed-reality headsets could be the ideal solution for companies looking to take advantage of the benefits of the industrial metaverse. Varjo is focusing specifically on the development of enterprise-grade extended reality experiences, unlike competitors such as Meta.

Some of the most significant benefits of the XR-4 series include:

  • Phenomenal optical experience: The Varjo XR-4 series features an updated field of view and “full binocular vision.” The headsets also feature some of the highest resolutions on the market, with custom full-dome aspheric lenses showcasing 28 million pixels of visual fidelity, industrial-grade brightness, color accuracy, and local dimming.
  • Unique passthrough capabilities: With dual, low-latency 20-megapixel cameras, the XR-4 headsets can create photorealistic mixed-reality experiences. The Focal Edition of the headset takes this to the next level, with an incredible 51 PPD passthrough mode and the first vision-driven autofocus camera system.
  • Exceptional flexibility: The XR-4 Series works alongside the NVIDIA Omniverse and various 3D platforms and software solutions. Users can access over 100 third-party applications and engines, including Unreal Engine and Unity.
  • User experience: Inside-out tracking and intuitive controllers create an exceptional user experience. The Varjo XR-4 series headsets can be worn with glasses and have IPD adjustment functionality. They also feature dual DTS spatial audio speakers and noise-cancelling microphones for streamlined collaboration.
  • Tracking options: Users can configure their headset for SteamVR tracking, as well as ART and Optitrack via API. The XR-4 series also supports UltraLeap’s Leap Motion 2 hand-tracking module for custom requirements.

XR-4 Series Review: The Verdict

The Varjo XR-4 series certainly isn’t the most affordable high-quality MR headset today, but it is one of the most impressive.

If you want to go beyond the basics of solutions like the Meta Quest 3 and harness a headset specifically designed for industrial users, these headsets could be perfect.

For those with advanced extended reality strategies, the upgraded versions of the XR-4 base headset are particularly compelling. The Focal Edition brings a new dimension to mixed reality, with autofocus cameras controlled by the wearer’s vision. Alternatively, the Secure edition addressed the specific concerns and requirements of companies facing stringent compliance guidelines.

Varjo’s XR-4 Series could pave the way to a new era of rapid adoption for mixed reality solutions in the industrial landscape. If you’re stepping into the industrial metaverse, it’s worth taking a closer look at these headsets.

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