- Headset is superbly built and very high quality
- High definition in each eye
- Active noise cancelling headphones produce fantastic sound
- Extremely uncomfortable for not even 30 minutes of use
- Very expensive for what it is and what it does
There’s no denying that virtual reality is pretty much here to stay, now that headsets are becoming more readily available, and companies are pushing out content more frequently. It’s also paving the way for products like the Royole Moon personal cinema headset.
You’re probably thinking who, right? So did I at first. Royole are known for their super-thin Amoled displays built for businesses, so nowhere near the consumer tech market, until now.
The Moon, in a nutshell gives users their very own personal screening room, by strapping a whopping headset to your face. The entire unit comes as one solid piece that’s been crafted very well. The Moon just screams premium, which you would expect from a product that will set you back nearly £800.
The model I was sent to test is covered in this beautiful brown finish, which okay, sounds worse than it is, but it’s truly not. I very much enjoyed the colour scheme here. There are darker brown accents to highlight key areas of the headset like the touch sensitive earcup for control and the eye mask.
But. saying that, I’m not sure how long this product would survive if packed into your luggage. It’s sold as a product you could take to the mountains on your skiing holiday, but the whole device comes as one single unit. A bit of pressure on one of the earcups or the headband, and you’re probably going to damage it pretty quickly. Kept at home though, you’re going to have no problem.
Having a personal cinema is pretty cool I must admit, and the fact you don’t need to wear glasses underneath the headset is a nice touch as it comes with corrective lenses for those of you with bad eyesight. As someone who is blind in one eye, and has deteriorating vision in the other, I had no trouble with the Royole Moon.
The biggest issue though is its weight. I said it’s premium, and made from solid materials, but this I don’t think is hugely practical. I mean, the headband has been designed to take most of the weight, but there’s still the issue with the bridge of your nose and how the headset rests there. I couldn’t make it through a 20 something minute episode of The Big Bang Theory without making some serious adjustments and taking the headset off completely.
But thanks to the active noise cancelling headphones, you do feel fully immersed into content that you watch. I mean the sound is unbelievable here and I couldn’t fault it at all. Action sequences were extremely fulfilling. Explosions roared, and bullet casings chimed when hitting the floor. Perfect.
The menu control scheme is hideously clunky, relying on you having to gesture control your way through each menu by touching the right ear cup. Many, many times I found myself swiping the wrong way. It was hugely disorientating. Considering you’re required to plug into a small control box anyway, I would have liked to have seen a touch sensitive pad on this, remote control or mobile phone screen style. It would have felt more natural than swiping the side of your head. There is a companion app for a smartphone, but I feel a trick has been missed here.
Lastly, the only streaming service I could find on the unit was YouTube, but it didn’t work very well at all, and the sound wasn’t synced with the videos I was watching. A prompt kept telling me to update the app, but when accepting, YouTube either crashed or I was greeted with a failed to update message. The instruction manual told me I could stream from Netflix. But could I find the option in their clunky menu. Like heck I could.
So, the biggest question is, who is going to buy one? Yes, the Royole Moon is a wicked idea, and actual implementation here isn’t that bad. But when you could get a semi-decent 50″ TV and a sound solution for your living room, why on earth are you going to sink £800 into a headset? Especially when it’s so uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time. Want a bigger screen for movies? Then just move your sofa closer to your new TV.