… Two steps back?
The EV900 is the latest iteration released by Eachine into the box-style FPV goggle space – but is it any better than their previous releases, such as the popular EV800D model? Are these finally the no-compromises box goggle we’ve been waiting for? Read on to find out! We’ve included a quick summary for those in a rush, but don’t despair detail-lovers! There’s more below.
At A Glance:
- Gorgeous 1080p 16:9 display
- Very nice for simulators (miniHDMI in)
- 3-Way adjustable headband
- True Diversity
- Good list of included accessories, including a decent hard case
- Can’t wear glasses with these
- No optics adjustments
- Nose cutout is awful for most of western audience
- Light bleed with and without included ‘face fitment adapters’
- No DVR
Summary – 5/10 – Decidedly Average
Don’t buy the EV900 if your nose is large (or actually, anything but tiny), and if you don’t like light bleed. They excel in simulators and fall short in the field. Make sure you like a very immersive, large screen if you do decide to go with these. The lack of DVR is too bad, but the real diversity is nice and works well. Nothing particularly makes these stand out in terms of what they offer, but the move to using mirrors and a full HD screen is appreciable. Bottom line, the screen is very impressive, but the overall ergonomics of the EV900 goggles are a big led down.
Where To Buy
The Full Review
Range, reception and image clarity
As for the included antennas – they work. There’s nothing fancy here, but the antennas are well protected and of a decent quality. Range and clarity is good, certainly nothing disappointing. Decidedly average. A lot of pilots may wish to swap these out for their own antennas for the absolute best possible range and reception.
On a similar note, the diversity feature of these goggles is just that – true, actual, real diversity! The goggles have two RF modules (A and B in the firmware) which actively switch based on which module has the better RSSI at a given time. Basically, it does what real diversity should do. The diversity seems to work well, having compared to my own pair of Fatshark goggles which at present do not have diversity, these have a much clearer signal for a greater amount of time. The latancy added with these goggles seems to be fine – unfortunately we don’t have any fancy rig for measuring this, but
The image in these goggles is large – very large. The screen is a 16:9 1080p (1080!!) resolution – which may not benefit the average low-resolution FPV camera much, but does have some uses (more on that shortly). I personally found the field-of-view (FOV) of these goggles to be too much, I couldn’t keep focus on everything, but, as Alex (who flies box goggles exclusively) pointed out, not everyone will be of the same opinion. If you’re used to a large FOV, perhaps coming from another set of box goggles, or if you’re looking for a first set, this will likely be neither here nor there or possibly even a benefit. This is where reviewing FPV goggles becomes a tad difficult – because things like this are subjective. This is why it’s best to always test goggles before buying them if you can, as most manufacturers or retailers won’t accept open returns if there’s no fault found – and you could be stuck with something that doesn’t work well for you.Aside from this, I could appreciate the frankly gorgeous and incredibly immersive video experience these goggles offer. When I adjusted to them somewhat, these goggles engrossed me in my flying incredibly well.
Fitment & Adjustments – are they comfy?
This, my friends, is where the EV900 starts to fall short. Firstly, so as not to be totally negative – some good bits! The foam that rests on your face is very comfortable, with no painful pressure points where it’s been used, nice! The headband has a strap that runs over the top of your head as well as the standard strap around your head that you’d expect, meaning weight is no problem, awesome!. These bands are perfectly comfortable, and each is individually adjustable so you can nail the fit around your head, great! The cut out for your nose is awful and just sucks, fantas- wait, what?! It can’t be? The famous issue that has plagued many goggles before, has reared it’s ugly face here, too, I’m afraid. And it’s bad.
The goggles have been designed with a wide, shallow cut out area for your nose to rest in. Now, mine in particular is a bit of a honker, so when I couldn’t comfortably wear the EV900 for more than a minute, and couldn’t stand having them on after maybe 1 pack, I thought I’d make sure I wasn’t alone. My sister was quick to point out the same flaw, and one I missed – you can’t wear glasses with these. No matter the size of glasses you use, the frame will interfere with the goggles and you simply won’t be able to fit them over the top. In total I asked 6 different people to try on the goggles and let me know how well they fit, and in total 6 people complained that the bridge of their noses hurt. It seems that these are just not suitable for western faces, which is a big let down.
Now, Eachine must be aware of this, as we’re certainly not the first to point this out – and it seems that they have included something in the box to help out.
These… uh… face-adapters? Don’t do the job well. Frankly they’re a poor, cheap and nasty solution to a big issue. They add a small distance between the cutout and your face, but in doing so they add an immense amount of incredibly distracting light bleed. As to how much light bleed and how bad? I’d rather fly in pain. I didn’t use these for long at all. And remember – my nose is large – for most people who *just quite* don’t fit these goggles, the light bleed will be significantly worse. Oh, and they’re a nightmare to install/remove, too.
So fitment then, is a miss for me. You could get very lucky, and you might be the person who these fit perfectly, but it’s not likely. Adjustments aside from those you can make on the headband are lackluster – or missing. There’s no adjustments you can make to the lens positioning relative to your face, nor is there any adjustment for the screen or mirror system. They’re either in focus, or they’re not. To be fair to the goggles, 3 of the 6 people I asked to test them wear glasses, and not one complained about focus being an issue, so there’s that.
The interface in the EV900 goggles is functional and clear. It’s not particularly flash but that’s the way I like it, nice and easy to understand and use. No issues here.
These goggles have some nice and useful features. The stand out feature to me is the HDMI-in port, which takes a miniHDMI connection. Eachine include a mini to full size HDMI cable in the box, so you can use this feature immediately. Now, this brings me on to where I believe these goggles shine: Simulators. Being at home, away from the elements and without the need to be very focussed on exactly what I’m doing, I’m able to forgive the light bleed somewhat, it’s as if it’s somehow less distracting. This, combined with the ability to take the goggles off my face when they’re too uncomfortable and the 1080p screen and the simple HDMI connection make these ideal for simulators. I flew in Liftoff (my subjective favorite simulator), and much like in real life the immersion was fantastic. I’ve not flown a simulator through goggles before, so the added dimension was very fun and it brought the experience just that bit closer to real FPV flying. This can be done with, for example, Fatsharks, but it’s great to be able to do this with just what’s included in the box. The possible uses for this goggle are diverse because of this one simple feature, and that’s certainly appreciated.
One oddity we did find is with the auto-scan feature. Occasionally, on lower powered VTX’s, the auto-scan feature completely missed the video signal and landed on a random frequency. It should be noted that it worked perfectly with my 800mW-blasting ChaosFPV VTX, but just be aware that you’d likely be better off manually selecting your frequency if you’re more about the 25mW life.
It’s worth noting here that these goggles don’t have a DVR, which, while it can reduce latency (if it were lazily implemented), will be a downside to a number of people, and could potentially be a deal breaker. It is possible to modify the goggles to include a DVR, but you’d be voiding your warranty and paying for the bits needed. There’s a slot for an SD card on the front of the goggles, but it’s non functional. Maybe there will be a future revision?
These goggles seem like they are a case of one step forwards, two steps back. The EV800D’s that are praised so often seem like a much better option than these, to me. That is, if I were to pick between the two, it’d take me no time at all to give the win to the 800D. I like and appreciate Eachine’s advancement into using mirrors to keep the design somewhat more compact, and I’ve not experienced any issues as a result of this move – but I just cant handle the fit. If you need something that is ideal for both simulators and flying, you don’t mind the missing DVR and the true diversity and wide FOV appeals to you (and, of course, your nose either fits or can withstand the pain) these goggles might be worth a shot. Unfortunately, however, until Eachine sorts out that cutout, these likely won’t be ‘the ones to have’ for most of the western marketplace.
On with waiting, will the perfect goggles ever come? We certainly hope so. Perhaps the FXT Viper‘s will meet the requirements? We’ve heard good things… More on them soon!