What: ERNG’s VR Able Studio
At a glance: 120-degree wide field of view, in-built noise cancellation headphones
Best price: Rs 2,350 on amazon.in
USP: External volume controllers, adjustable straps
Rating: 3 stars
Throughout 2016, we saw significant growth in virtual reality technology. Exclusive VR content was developed with film-makers Khushboo Ranka and Anand Gandhi’s VR documentary film, Right to Pray, in October 2016. Tech giants Samsung and Google worked towards creating some high-end, and some affordable VR gear. Samsung slashed its headset price from Rs 2,000 to Rs 990, in May 2016, if purchased with the Galaxy S7.
But there is one drawback in all these headsets: users are still forced to use earphones for the sound. And adding wires to an already bulky headset isn’t ideal. That’s where Delhi-based ERNG’s VR Able Studio is looking to solve the problem – the headset comes with attached headphones and, as whole, the device works as a portable theatre.
What’s good: Not much has changed since VR headsets entered mainstream tech markets in 2014 — they continue to be bulky. Even with the Able Studio, the problem remains: the headset is 762g. But the attached headphones balance the weight. The headphones are noise-cancelling, and come with external volume controllers. So we didn’t have to extract our phone from the case each time we wanted to adjust the volume.
The in-built lenses offer a wider field of vision (120 degrees). We streamed an underwater documentary. The image covered nearly the entire extent of our peripheral vision. And even though it curved the image at the sides, the video was quite immersive
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What’s not: The plastic build doesn’t feel durable, and looks cheap. While adjusting the lenses for optimum vision, we could hear the plastic squeak. The lid on the headset, that holds your phone in place, is translucent in contrast to Google Daydream’s opaque one. This ensures the camera on your phone can capture your surroundings to simulate an augmented reality experience. However, the plastic is tinted and darkens the image through the camera.
Verdict: With an affordable price tag, the VR Able Studio is a good investment, especially for cinema enthusiasts. The surround sound works well for action and horror films.