Best FPV goggles

Drones & Accessories

According to FAA safety regulations, you must keep your drone in normal line of sight even if your FPV goggles and drone range allow you to go farther. The only exception is if you have a spotter who can relay instructions to you.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Which FPV goggles are best?

Drones are great fun and hugely popular, and a pair of first-person-view (FPV) goggles take things to another level. With FPV goggles, you’re no longer on the ground — you’re in the pilot’s seat. You can see everything your drone sees. We’ve been looking at what’s available, and we’ve put together a concise but comprehensive guide to help you with your choice. We’ve also made a few recommendations. Our favorite, the Fat Shark HDO Dominator headset, is consistently rated at the top of independent reviews and offers perhaps the ultimate in-flight experience.

Smartphones, VR headsets and full FPV goggles

You can control many drones through a smartphone app, but it’s difficult to look at the screen and your aircraft at the same time. One solution is to buy a cheap VR headset that you can slot your phone into. It’s the least expensive type of FPV goggles, but there are drawbacks. You have to get the right tray for your phone, cheap headsets often leak light (which spoils the image quality), and of course, your phone is tied up while you’re flying. When you look at the difference in value, flying experience, and convenience, FPV goggles are the clear winner.

What to know before you buy FPV goggles

There are two styles, compact goggles, and box goggles. To make matters confusing, the latter might also be called mini FPV goggles.

Compact goggles are shorter from front to back. They save space by having one small screen for each eye rather than a single large screen, and they are often affordable. The main drawback is that if you wear glasses, they won’t fit comfortably — though it might be possible to buy diopter lenses for the goggles. That aside, the two types of goggles provide similar experiences, though box goggles are much more popular and offer wider choices. So what other aspects should you look at?

Almost all FPV goggles run at 5.8 GHz frequency (though some are 2.4 GHz) and provide 32 or 40 channels. Auto-detection allows your goggles to easily connect to your drone.

  • Screen resolution is probably the biggest difference. Screens vary from 320 x 240 to 1080p. OLED screens are the current best option, providing vivid colors and brighter images. Screen size runs from 3 to 5 inches. Field of view (FOV) is how wide of an image you see. FOVs of 30º is common, but up to FOVs of up to 45º are available.
  • Aspect ratio is the shape of the image you see — this is generally either the standard ratio of 4:3 or the widescreen ratio, 16:9. On some FPV goggles, you may be able to change aspect ratios.
  • Latency is the signal delay between the aircraft and goggles. In normal flight, this is a significant factor — but low latency is vital for racing.
  • Head-tracking is a feature included in some high-end FPV goggles. If you have a compatible camera, you can aim it simply by moving your head regardless of whether the drone is moving or stationary. Other goggles provide video recording, so you can playback your flights at home.
  • Batteries are always required but, frustratingly, are often not provided — even on the most expensive FPV goggles. Check battery size carefully when ordering, and take note of how they are charged. USB is common, but some batteries will need a separate charger.

How much you can expect to spend on FPV goggles

Entry-level FPV goggles cost around $50 to $70. While they give you an idea of the world from the point of view of your drone, if you fly on a regular basis you may want to upgrade. Mid-range models cost between $120 and $200. If you want high resolution and rapid feedback for racing, expect to pay a minimum of $300.

FPV goggles FAQ

Are FPV goggles bad for your eyesight?

A. We were unable to find a qualified medical opinion on this but have found that users we consulted did not suffer any problems. Some report a few seconds of dizziness when they remove their goggles as their eyes re-adapt to normal vision, but it’s unclear if there are any cases of long-term harm.

Are FPV goggles easy to use?

A. You are seeing things from a very different perspective, so height and distance take a while to get used to. It’s highly recommended that you learn to control your drone using a normal line of sight first, before progressing to FPV goggles.

What are the best FPV goggles to buy?

Top FPV goggle

Fat Shark HDO Dominator OLED FPV Goggles

Fat Shark HDO Dominator OLED FPV Goggles

Our take: Exceptional viewing experience for the serious drone enthusiast.

What we like: Bright, pin-sharp image without blurring thanks to 960 x 720 screen. Very comfortable. Low latency. Optional diopters for glasses wearers (extra cost).

What we dislike: Some HDMI incompatibilities. Batteries are not included.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top FPV goggles for the money

ARRIS FPV Mini Goggles

ARRIS FPV Mini Goggles

Our take: Good all-round performance for those on a budget.

What we like: Lightweight and you can carry anywhere. Nice adjustability for fit with sponge seal for comfort and light reduction. Rechargeable battery (USB provided).

What we dislike: Some durability issues.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

DJI FPV Goggles V2

DJI FPV Goggles V2

Our take: High quality, and well-constructed option.

What we like: Excellent large image quality.

What we dislike: Ill-fitted foam face padding.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Bob Beacham writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.