If you wear eyeglasses, you know the struggle of donning a VR headset. Even with additional spacers and improving cushion comfort, a headset and eyeglasses are a tough match. VR Wave makes prescription lens inserts that fit over the eyepieces of just about any headset out there. So, I gave them a try with my Quest 2.
VR Wave Products
VR Wave doesn’t just make lenses. They also make cases, straps, and face covers. But, today, we’re looking at their lens inserts.
The price begins with a standard prescription lens for either $30 or $60, depending on the headset that it needs to fit. After that, blue light filtering and anti-glare are optional add-ons for an extra $15 each. You can also order extra magnetic bases – but that might not make sense until we talk about assembly.
I need corrective lenses (and contacts freak me out). When I first started in VR, I would wear my glasses in-headset, but my glasses are usually for seeing things farther away, so I figured that I would be better off not wearing them, and that was that. But, of course, I was intrigued when VR Wave offered the product for a review.
Rest easy, this isn’t a sponsored post and I have nothing to gain by shilling VR Wave. We’re going to take a look together at how the product works, and how well it works, and then it’s all up to you.
What’s in the Box?
The VR Wave box contains some literature, as well as a carrying case for the lenses and bases, some alcohol wipes, and a cloth cleaning wipe. Packed up in the case are two lenses and two magnetic bases, one of each for each eye.
The bases clip over the lenses in your headset. Mounted in the bases are three magnets. These line up with three magnets in the corrective lenses themselves, holding them in place. The bases and corrective lenses are labeled “Left” and “Right”, and each base and corrective lens has a labeled “top” and “bottom” but I struggled with initially fitting the bases to the headset.
There’s a video tutorial accessible through a QR code that comes with the set but the demonstrator definitely makes it look easy. Fortunately, I plan on just leaving the corrective lenses in my Quest 2 forever. That might not be a good idea if I travel with my headset, but that’s where the bases come in – I can just pop the corrective lenses off and leave the bases.
Applying the bases and lenses separately also makes it a lot easier to take the lenses on and off without smudging them. If you get additional bases with your purchase, you can also swap one set of corrective lenses between multiple headsets – if that’s something that you need to do, for example, if you use a headset at home and at work.
In the video, the demonstrator turns the headset upside down to show that the magnets and bases really do hold the lenses. I did some old-school headbanging in my headset, (headset banging?) and they didn’t even rattle. But, if you ever do want to take the lenses and bases out, it’s a lot easier than that first time putting them in.
Time for the Demo
Now that the VR Wave lenses are in the headset, how does it work while using VR?
I recommend putting the glasses spacer into your Quest 2 if it isn’t there already. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first, and potentially most obvious, is that the prescription lenses do sit a little off of the standard headset lenses and they can get pretty close. My major concern isn’t my eyelashes scratching the lenses – though that may be your situation.
I noticed the prescription lenses fogging a little earlier than the standard headset lenses normally would, and I feel like having more space between your head and the set could help offset this. Further, I always recommend wearing the glasses spacer on the Quest 2 – even if you don’t wear glasses at all. I think it helps get the best light occlusion with the most comfort.
Now, beyond ergonomics, the lenses work great. Even with the screen so close to my eyes, I definitely forgot how much of VR I was missing by not wearing my prescription. Of course, entertainment applications are cleaner but where it really shone for me were the menus. It turns out that menus are a lot easier to use when you can see properly.
Is It Worth the Money?
I typically end my reviews by asking something like “is VR Wave worth the money?” This is easier when adapters make a headset like a Quest function more to the tune of a VIVE, which isn’t the case here. So, I have to go with my other standby answer: that depends on you. It depends on your eyes and on your personal VR use trends.
If your eyes are such that you need to wear glasses to use VR at all, then the answer to this question is probably a hard “yes, VR Wave is worth it.” If your eyes are like mine – such that you can use VR without glasses but there’s a marked improvement with your prescription, then it might come down to how you use VR, how often, and for how long at a stretch.
I let my personal attitude toward VR Wave slip earlier in the article: I will gratefully continue using them.
Great VR Needs Great Vision
VR is a very visual medium. Without prescription VR inserts, people who wear corrective lenses have to compromise on immersion – either through sacrificing their perception or sacrificing their comfort.
VR Wave is an affordable alternative. It’s a bit of a bother the first time but it gets easier and once it’s in, it’s in. This should be a hard purchase to pass up for most VR users with corrective lenses.