Varjo Aero vs Pimax Crystal: Knoxlabs Review

In this comprehensive comparison, Knoxlabs’ XR Scientist reviews the key features of two leading VR headsets: Varjo Aero and Pimax Crystal. We also feature insights from the “VR Flight Sim Guy” and his video “10 REASONS VARJO AERO is BETTER than PIMAX CRYSTAL…”

Varjo Aero: Excellence in Professional VR 

Superior Build and Advanced Software Compatibility

  • Build Quality: The Varjo Aero stands out for its superior build quality, ensuring durability and user comfort during extended VR sessions.
  • Software Support: Boasting compatibility with Unity™, Unreal Engine™, OpenXR 1.0, Autodesk VRED™, and SteamVR™, the Aero is a versatile choice for various professional and entertainment needs.

Varjo Aero Software Compatibility

CompatibilitySupported Software
Unreal Engine™Yes
OpenXR 1.0Yes
Autodesk VRED™Yes

Staff Pick: Why Varjo Aero?

  • Knoxlabs’ Preference: Chosen by our XR Scientist, the Varjo Aero is lauded for its impeccable build, high-grade software compatibility, and optimal performance in simulation environments.

Key Specifications Compared: Pimax Crystal vs Varjo Aero

Optics and Display

  • Pimax Crystal: This headset boasts a QLED binocular display with local dimming, enhancing visual clarity and contrast. It achieves a peak brightness of 200 nits, ensuring vivid imagery. The resolution is remarkable at 2880×2880 per eye, offering an expansive field of view of up to 125° horizontally, which is significant for immersive experiences.
  • Varjo Aero: The Aero features a 2 x Mini LED binocular display, providing a peak brightness of 150 nits. Its resolution stands at 2880×2720 per eye, offering a slightly narrower horizontal field of view of 115°, focusing on delivering sharp and clear visuals.
SpecificationPimax CrystalVarjo Aero
Display TypeQLED Binocular with Local Dimming2 x Mini LED Binocular
Peak Brightness200 nits150 nits
Resolution2880×2880 per eye2880×2720 per eye
Horizontal FoV125°115°

Tracking and Interaction

  • Pimax Crystal: It offers 6 Degrees of Freedom (DoF) inside-out tracking through 4 integrated cameras. For enhanced tracking, an optional SteamVR 2.0 tracking faceplate is available. The headset also includes 200 Hz eye tracking and provides partial finger and thumb tracking for a more interactive experience.
  • Varjo Aero: This headset features 6 DoF Marker-based tracking, ensuring precise and responsive movement tracking. It also includes 200 Hz eye tracking, similar to the Crystal, offering a comparable level of interaction.
SpecificationPimax CrystalVarjo Aero
Tracking Type6 DoF Inside-out (Optional SteamVR 2.0)6 DoF Marker-based
Eye Tracking200 Hz200 Hz
Finger/Thumb TrackingPartial (Capacitive Sensors)Not Specified

Design and Comfort

  • Pimax Crystal: Weighing 845 g with the headstrap, it is constructed using plastic and foam for the facial interface. The headset includes a hard padded retractable strap with a battery counterweight, balancing the overall weight for comfort.
  • Varjo Aero: Slightly lighter, the Aero weighs 717 g with the headstrap. It is also made of plastic and foam, but features a hard padded retractable halo strap, focusing on distributing weight evenly for prolonged comfort.
SpecificationPimax CrystalVarjo Aero
Weight845 g with headstrap717 g with headstrap
MaterialsPlastic, FoamPlastic, Foam
Headstrap TypeHard Padded Retractable StrapHard Padded Retractable Halo Strap

Connectivity and Performance

  • Pimax Crystal: It features a range of connectivity options including USB Type-C, DisplayPort, WiFi 6E, and Bluetooth. The Crystal runs on the Android OS powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 chipset, catering to both standalone and PC-powered modes.
  • Varjo Aero: The Aero also offers similar connectivity options but is designed specifically for high-quality VR performance in professional training environments, indicating a focus on precision and detail.
SpecificationPimax CrystalVarjo Aero
ConnectivityUSB Type-C, DisplayPort, WiFi 6E, BluetoothSimilar to Pimax Crystal
Operating SystemAndroid OSNot Specified
ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon XR2Not Specified


  • Pimax Crystal: The Crystal is priced at $1599, which includes controllers. It offers versatility with both standalone and PC-powered modes, adding value to its price point.
  • Varjo Aero: The Aero is priced at $990 for the headset. Recently, the price dropped by $1000 from $1990, making it the lightest and brightest VR headset available at half the price. However, base stations and controllers require additional expenses, which can increase the overall cost.
SpecificationPimax CrystalVarjo Aero
Price$1599 (with controllers)$990 (Headset Only), was $1990
ModesStandalone and PC-PoweredPC-Powered (Requires Additional Accessories)

VR Flight Sim Guy’s Perspective

VR Flight Sim Guy offers 10 compelling reasons why Varjo Aero stands out, emphasizing its active cooling technology, virtual desktop feature, superior software, comfort, build quality, motion reprojection, performance, and proven track record in extensive usage.

Varjo Support and Developer Portal

  • Varjo Support: Varjo’s user support center and Learning Hub offers comprehensive assistance, ensuring users maximize their experience with the headset.
  • Developer Portal: Varjo Developer Portal provides developers with essential tools and resources, fostering innovation in VR development.
  • Varjo Insider Blog: A hub for the VR, AR, and XR community, offering developer insights, tech tips, and expert opinions on hardware and software advancements.

Partnership and Purchase Options

Knoxlabs is proud to partner with both Varjo and Pimax. We offer these VR headsets along with a wide range of compatible accessories and devices. Visit our online store for easy checkout and financing options, or experience in-person demos at our Glendale, CA location.