The experience of FPV depends on a good set of FPV goggles, to provide that immersive feeling of flying. The best FPV goggles around offer a good combination of features, comfort and price. With so many options available, making a decision can be difficult! There are a huge number of FPV goggle options out there and with regular new releases, knowing what to buy is more confusing than ever. Whether you are just starting out and are looking for the best beginner FPV goggles, or have been flying for a while and are looking for the top performers, I have rounded up the best FPV goggles available right now. Make sure you read to the bottom to get my pick of the best all round FPV goggles, as you may be surprised by the result!
The best FPV goggles for each of the categories have been selected by considering the mix of:
- Features – screen resolution, field of view and whether the goggles have inbuilt DVR are all important aspects. Other features (depending on the form factor) are things like a fan for de-misting, the ability to accept diopter lenses/use glasses and the video input options (such as HDMI). Some of these features may be more important to you than others and you may never use some of the features on your chosen goggles. The goggles chosen below have a good mix of features for their price point.
- Comfort – size, shape, quality of foam padding and weight will all contribute here. A good pair of FPV goggles will allow you to enjoy long flying sessions without worrying about pressure on your face or light leakage, which can be very distracting. Goggles offering adjustment or suitably thick foam padding to cater for a wide range of heads help to keep your attention on the screen.
- Price – as with most things in the FPV drone world, for the most part you pay for what you get. I have provided links to the cheapest sources for each of the best FPV goggles in a category, but as prices fluctuate it is worth you checking each of the sources.
Unsure about what all the fuss is about, hopefully the information after my top picks can clarify things for you. Click here to skip down to understand about what FPV goggles are and how the different types work.
Best FPV goggles for beginners – Eachine VR D2
Because they can be expensive, many people start in the hobby asking: Which are the Best FPV goggles for beginners? For beginners, the Eachine VR D2 offer a great option. They are extremely cheap for the feature set, which means that you can try the hobby without spending loads of money. The good feature set also means that if you enjoy FPV, you won’t need to immediately upgrade to something more expensive. If you do decide to upgrade, the goggles make an excellent pair of goggles for passengers, when friends or passers by want to have a ride-along.
These goggles utilise a single screen and a lens to help you focus on the image. This provides a much larger field of view than smaller goggles that rely on much smaller magnified screens. The downside of having a larger single screen is that the goggles are more bulky, but if you don’t have to walk far to your flying spot this isn’t a problem. The feature list for these FPV goggles is impressive considering their cheap price.
Brief overview of what you get:
- 5 inch screen size
- 2.5-3 hour battery life
- Built in DVR – record & play back your FPV video
- Adjustable lens/focal length
- The built in diversity receiver means you benefit from good reception both near and far
- Suitable for people who wear glasses without expensive additional lenses
- Battery pouch on back of head strap helps to keep the weight off your face
You can read more about the Eachine VR D2 in my review here.
Best high performance FPV goggles – Fatshark Dominator HD3
If you are looking for the very best, without compromising because of price, then the Fatshark Dominator HD3 are currently the obvious choice. Like all Fatshark goggles, they are compact, comfortable and have a high quality finish. The HD3s have a massive 42° field of view, providing a truly immersive flying experience. All the other features that you would expect are here, such as inbuilt DVR, adjustable IPD and a fan-equipped foam faceplate for comfort.
Brief overview of what you get:
- 42° FOV
- High resolution: 800×600 (SVGA)
- Automatically switching aspect ratio: 4:3 & 16:9
- Mini HDMI input
- Fan-equipped, removable foam faceplate
- Integrated DVR
You can read more about the Fatshark Dominator HD3 in my review here.
Best budget Fatshark FPV goggles – Fatshark Dominator V3 or Attitude V4
Not to be confused with the HD3, the V3 offer a number of the same features, but at reduced cost. The most significant change is that the Dominator V3s only offer a 16:9 aspect ratio. This is great for HD content or when using a camera like the Runcam Eagle. The goggles will also work with a standard 4:3 video feed, the image is stretched slightly, but this is not distracting or too noticeable. As well as the Dominator V3, the Attitude V4 offer an alternate budget option. The attitude V4 are the newer of the two options
With both of these goggles, Fatshark haven’t released another pair of goggles with huge FOV and blurry images (HD2 anyone?). Instead, buyers can be sure that they will receive a crisp image and a screen that is a perfectly reasonable size.
Both goggles have a similar field of view, the main difference being the V3 have a 16:9 screen and the V4 have a 4:3 screen. The V4 also come with battery, receiver and antenna, which other offerings from Fatshark do not come with.
You can read more about the Fatshark Attitude V4 in my review here.
Best Fatshark Alternative FPV goggles – Aomway Commander
A cheaper alternative, but certainly not lacking when it comes to features or price. The Aomway Commanders are regarded by many as the best alternative to Fatshark goggles. This is because they tick all the boxes that the more expensive alternatives do, without the associated price!
With the same 32° field of view as the previously mentioned Attitude V4s, the Commanders provide a really immersive experience. On top of this, they have a fantastic 854 x 480 resolution, beaten only by the much more expensive HD3s.
Brief overview of what else you get:
- Glass optics
- Built in diversity receiver with one key auto scan
- Supports any 2-4S LiPo via balance port adaptor
- Built in DVR
- HDMI mini and AV inputs
You can read more about the Aomway Commander goggles in my review here.
For the feature set and price, the Aomway Commander goggles get my recommendation as the best overall FPV goggles!
Do you have an alternative that you prefer? Get in touch! I’d love to hear what you think about my choices, particularly if you think I’ve missed something. Either leave a comment below or head on over to the Contact us page.
So what are FPV goggles?
FPV drone goggles give you a live, pilot’s eye view from the drone. This is used to pilot the drone and leads to a unique “pod racer” style experience. The goggles themselves contain either a single large screen and focussing lens, or one smaller screen per eye.
The larger “box” format goggles typically come with a 5 inch screen and have a lens between the screen and your eyes. They provide the impression of a large display close to you, which is great for a really immersive feel. The downside of this type of goggles is that they are quite large and cumbersome. If you are walking/hiking to your flying spot, then having box goggles may mean you need to pack them in a separate bag, so this is worth considering. If you fly from home or close to the car, this isn’t an issue. The first real downside with box goggles is getting the foam seal around your face right. A bad design or insufficient padding can result in light leakage, spoiling the experience. The second downside is the weight and pressure on your face (usually nose) as this can make long sessions uncomfortable.
The more compact alternative to box goggles utilise one screen per eye and (except for diopters – corrective lenses) don’t have lens adjustment. Having two lenses means that the goggles can be used for 3D content, a nice plus for those who want it. One of the main advantages for this form factor is how compact the goggles can be. Two to three sets can fit into the same space as a pair of box goggles, making them easy to throw into a small pack and go for a hike. Thanks to their small size, the weight of the goggles is kept closer to your face, meaning lower pressure. The foam padding works particularly well on these goggles, providing a light-proof seal. This is great for creating an immersive feel, but does come with a downside. With the seal preventing light, humid air gets trapped inside the goggles and (particularly on a cold day) can fog up your vision. If buying compact goggles like most of the Fatshark range, make sure they come with a de-fogging/de-misting fan. Most do come with this, but always worth checking.
How do FPV goggles work?
FPV drone goggles receive a live video signal from your drone, which itself must be equipped with a camera. The combination of camera and goggles gives a pilot’s eye view. They use a combination of electronics, all outlined in detail below.
FPV drone video transmitters and receivers
Whether you choose compact or box style goggles, apart from the camera, the quality of the image will be heavily influenced by the quality of your video signal.
Transmitters and receivers come in a variety of frequencies. For the majority of FPV racing drones, the 5.8 GHz range is optimal. The equipment is compact and the image quality is good. Signal penetration and transmission distance is not very good compared to the 2.4 and 1.3 GHz alternatives and this means that flying behind walls could wipe out your video feed. Since control is typically on the 2.4 GHz band, we cannot use this for video, as running both control and video on the same band could leave you with only one or the other. The 1.3 GHz band is not ideal, because the antennas are almost as large as a whole drone!
Video transmitters in the 5.8 GHz band typically come in a range of power outputs from 25 mW to 800 mW. The most common are 25 and 200 mW and most competitions are now limiting transmitters to 25 mW. Transmitters usually have 40 frequencies (8 channels on 5 bands), but there are some with more or fewer. The thing to check is that a transmitter has the Race Band frequencies, as this will ensure compatibility with races and most receivers.
Improtant: as transmitters are emitting a signal, they must not be switched on without an antenna attached. Without an antenna, the power has nowhere to go and will instead burn out the transmitter!
Like transmitters, receivers come in a range of frequencies. Once you have a transmitter selected, make sure that the receiver lists the same frequencies to ensure compatibility. Receivers vary in price significantly, with the more expensive options normally having more features and higher quality components. This leads to a more user friendly experience and a better video signal.
More advanced receivers can accept signals from two antennas and select the signal with the greatest strength. This is known as diversity. There are tow different types of diversity; receiver diversity and antenna diversity. Receiver diversity utilises two separate receivers, each with an antenna connected. Antenna diversity utilises only a single receiver, but with two antennas. Receiver diversity is considered the “proper” way of doing things, but both options work. The benefit of using a receiver with diversity is that you can take advantage of a low gain, omnidirectional antenna as well as a high gain directional antenna. The omni will allow you to fly all around yourself, while the directional will provide a stronger signal further away, in a narrower band. By using a diversity receiver, you have the flexibility that using both antennae provides.
Depending on your choice of goggles, you may have a receiver built in. The majority of the goggles I recommend in my FPV goggle roundup include a receiver. If your goggles don’t come with a receiver (most Fatshark goggles don’t) then you can either choose an internal or external receiver. Internal receivers make use of the Fatshark module bay and keep your setup compact, as well as being powered by your goggles. External receivers will provide a video signal to your goggles via the AV input and need a separate power supply. For most people and internal module is best. They keep things compact and simple and are still fairly powerful. Those looking for the best performance should consider an external receiver. By mounting the receiver on a tripod and orienting the antennas properly, you can achieve the best signal strength. This is because the antennae are up and away from potential interference and barriers (i.e. your head and goggles themselves), so have a clearer view of your drone’s antenna.
I’ll be adding to this article to cover:
Using goggles in the sun
Using goggles in winter