Question on Varjo Aero owners Do I need hand controller?

I’m thinking of purchasing the Varjo Aero. I know I need at least one base station, but do I need a hand held controller to navigate the Varjo app and other settings?

Or can I get by with a mouse instead?

Nope! Had the Aero for a few months and all I have is one basestation. Controllers are not worth it for me atm.

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Thank you!

Can you tell me which VR software you use?

I just returned my Quest 3 due to poor terrain/auto gen graphics. I tested both USB Link and Virtual Desktop (which worked very well). But, it took me a while to understand which software to use.

I used:

Virtual Desktop Streamer
Virtual Desktop (once the Quest 3 was on)
OpenXR Toolkit (for additional visual adjustments, etc.)

I know with the Aero, I will use the Aero App in place of Virtual Desktop Streamer and Virtual Destop…

Any suggestions or advice is much appreciated!

For Aero, all you need is the Varjo Base software it comes with. OpenXR Toolkit is of course also a must for tweaking graphics etc. That’s pretty much it!

And yeah the streaming/compression-based headsets are not ideal for MSFS. You lose too much detail and clarity, especially details in the distance. I returned the QPro and sold the Pico4 after a few weeks for (amongst others) this reason. Displayport is where it’s at!

The vertical FOV in the Aero takes some getting used to but the performance and image quality is amazing. Also much more stable than the streaming stuff.

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Can you tell me a bit more about this? I’m not completely sure what you mean…

Horizontal FOV is how wide the field of view is. Vertical is the same but vertically. Aero has one of the smallest vertical field of views there is, so it’s a bit like wearing goggles in that dimension.

I would hold off on ordering an Aero, it is possible they will announce a new model at their event on 11/27.

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You may be right Joe, especially given the recent price slash of the Aero (by about 50%). Having bought my Aero a few days ago, I’m hoping the new announcement will be aimed at their usual enterprise clients, like a new $10k unit for the Air Force or something.

I bought my Aero at full price when they first came out, but mine is starting to give me troubles more and more frequently, so I’m pondering what to get next, another one, a new better model if they announce one, or possibly Big Screen Beyond. Would not surprise me if they drop the price on Aero even more if they do announce a newer model.

Edit: Things that have been happening with my Aero after all this time.

  1. Toggle to VR now takes like 15 seconds where it was very fast until recently.
  2. Pausing for a few minutes break often leads to it locking up, usually but not always wait a minute and it comes out of being locked up and lets me resume.
  3. Most concerning problem is more and more frequently having trouble with it staying connected.

Edit 2023-11-19
I need to retract item 2 above. I found it was not the headset that gets hung but the sim itself, it happens in 2d as well. And the cause I found is that this hanging of the sim is somehow triggered by when I get up or sit down, my HFS haptic feedback seat pad is somehow causing it. Also was not related to pause, only to getting up or sitting down because it happened also when I put it on autopilot and did not pause, but got up out of my seat.

Thanks for the information and update. How long have you had the Aero?

Is it possible the cabling between the headset and pc is going bad?

Mine was delivered early Feb 2022. I’ve used it for at least 1100 hours since then. I am very careful with it though.

One thing that happens sometimes is you start to see like a flashing horizontal line every little bit. When that first happened Varjo support asked me to try unplug the cable from both ends, and sure enough that fixed it. Apparently static electricity can build up in the cable and cause that, and unplugging discharges it. But that means I’m unplugging it from the headset end on a regular basis and I think over time that connection is not as good as it once was. I do end up needing to press the cable in there pretty firmly when I start to have disconnection problems. Probably more a wearing of the input jacks rather than the cable I think.

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Do you use SteamVR as the software to integrate the base station? I noticed the Varjo app has an option for third party software, but I’m not able to find it…

How do you ‘start up’ the base station when going into VR with MSFS?

I never use SteamVR. Just once to initially set up the base station. After that it just works as long as the Base software is open.

Base will tell you what to do on initial setup, it’s very simple.

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I’m currently using a Reverb G2 and thinking about upgrading, but not sure where to go. If reading any review with affiliate links, everything is blues skies, sunshine and rainbows. Contrasted with individual reviews on places like Amazon, where every VR headset is a hellscape of issues.

I’ve got a fairly decent setup (i9/12900K, RTX4090, 64G DDR4, SSDs) and the G2 is pretty well optimized with OpenXR Toolkit. No base stations, no need for controllers and it’s fairly lightweight. The machine is for MSFS only. What could be improved upon visually is cockpit instrument clarity and night flying, which is difficult with a backlit display.

Wondering if I should jump on the Aero discount or maybe just stay where I am.

I’d say the Aero is definitley worth it over the G2 if you want a much nicer image, especially e2e clarity and higher res, and even slightly better performance. But you need good earphones of course. And the vertical FOV is really not ideal.

Might make more sense to wait for the VR1 or whatever Varjo announces soon. But I’d reached a point where I was very annoyed with certain aspects of the G2 and needed a change. Got it on ebay for roughly the price that it is new now.

The announcement from Varjo today was great for enterprise but very disappointing for consumers. No new Aero, very nice new XR4 at $3900 (+ $1000 for SteamVR option?) but they don’t currently sell it to individuals.
Oh well, for me Big Screen Beyond is looking more appealing for my next headset, but I’ll probably hold out and keep using my Aero as long as I can to see what else comes onto the market.

Yerp. And don’t forget taxes! More like 4800 really.

Somnium VR1 had better deliver!