I’m coming from a Samsung Odyssey with which I use Vive wands. Works awesome aside from having to align the controllers at the start of a session.
I’m running a 1080Ti.
I had both headsets up and running the same games at the same time using different computers for quick comparisons.
Brightness: Normal or maybe low for dark games
Render Quality: 1
IPD Offset: 0
Smart Smoothing: on or off seem to both work fine for me. I’m not overly prone to motion sickness.
Hidden Mask: On or off hasn’t made a difference for any games I’ve played.
FOV: I prefer large for the peripheral image
Refresh Rate: 90 Hz
- The first thing I noticed was the added clarity. Very nice.
- Wider FOV is cool.
- I really like PiTool and all the options!
- The strap works fine. Not exactly premium quality but very usable and comfortable enough.
- LCD displays don’t feel like they’re slowly baking my eyeballs like OLEDs do.
- The lenses rest on my nose a bit at the 60mm IPD mark. Hurts.
- Compared to the Odyssey there isn’t as much image overlap towards the nose and I find it noticeable.
- I was worried about the black levels so I compared Elite Dangerous with the Odyssey which has an OLED display. Maybe the blacks are darker on the Odyssey but the 5k+ still looked nicer IMHO due to the clarity.
- Vibrancy compared to the Odyssey is maybe a bit lacking but, again, the clarity is worth it.
- The input lag on the 5k+ is noticeable compared to the Odyssey. Some people talk about downgrading Steam VR to solve this but I have not experimented with that yet.
- Distortion at the edges. It’s a compression of the image. Most noticeable at the left and right edges where it appears horizontally compressed. As I understand, people with lower IPD are more likely to experience this. I’ve more or less gotten used to it after my foam fix listed below.
- Something doesn’t quite look/feel right with the headset on, even when not moving my head. I’ll elaborate if I can later.
I’m impressed with most things about the headset. There is, however, something that just feels off about this headset compared to how natural the Odyssey feels visually. It’s most noticeable when I play Blade &Sorcery, possibly because I pay more attention to details in my peripheral vision or something. Originally I did not enjoy using the headset. It felt kind of wrong using it. Recently, while playing different games, it has seemed noticeably better. Not sure what changed…
Tricks and Fixes
Here are some tricks I’ve learned while trying to fix this issue. Hopefully they help others:
- Most people recommend normal FOV, though I don’t notice an improvement either way since there’s so much distortion.
- Physically adjusting the headset. Use a grid image as your desktop background or something like that to find the right spot for you.
Moving the HMD vertically seems to fix a downward or upward bend in the image.
Moving the HMD further away reduces the compression distortion a bit. Probably because the FOV is decreased. Unfortunately, too far and the top/bottom edges of the image start bending which, arguably, is no better.
Rotating the HMD left or right.
Tilting the HMD forward or back. I found adding 1/2 and inch of sealed weather stripping foam to the top edge of the cushion helped the compression distortion a noticeable amount.
- First, see jojon’s post. I like his way of setting IPD. Other options: Dialing in the IPD while looking at something fairly far away until double vision goes away then fine tuning until your eyes feel more comfortable. The distance you look at while doing this will be your ideal viewing distance. This will make closer or further away objects look more blurry than the distance you chose (as I understand, only corrections based on eye tracking can fix that). Once you’re happy with that do the same with your IPD offset in PiTool to find the perfect settings.
You can also use your controller for this. Place it as far away from you as possible without losing tracking on the controller or HMD. Look at it with the HMD off then quickly put your HMD over your eyes. Make notice of the initial double vision you have. Adjust your IPD/IPD offset until you have the least double vision.
- If you have serious double vision in a game make sure you go to PiTool -> Settings -> Brainwarp then check Compatible with parallel projections.
- Try using it for a few extended sessions to adjust.
- If you have clipping issues, by this I mean that models or polygons disappear at the edges of the display, try turning on “Compatible with parallel projections” in PiTool.
Grammar & spelling.
Render clipping issue fixed thanks @cml I didn’t notice this was fixed with parallel projections.
Trying to perfect my description of what the visual issue is with the 5k+ vs the Odyssey.
Refined the review a bit.
Updated settings that seem to work better.
Update after trying more games.