Hands-on: Sony’s New MR Headset Impresses with Clarity & Ergonomics, But Still Needs Tuning

The Sony SRH-S1, a forthcoming enterprise headset, showcases a compact design and innovative controllers, as demonstrated at AWE 2024. Powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 processor, it offers standalone capabilities and PC compatibility via a compressed video stream. With a resolution of 13.6MP per-eye, the SRH-S1 boasts a higher resolution and better color accuracy than Apple’s Vision Pro, thanks to Sony’s ECX344A OLED microdisplay.

The headset boasts ergonomic design elements such as adjustable IPD, a flip-up visor, a rear-mounted battery for balance, and eye-relief adjustment, allowing for optimal comfort and field-of-view customization. Despite its plastic construction, the headset and controllers felt well-built, including the flip-up visor mechanism.

Though the field-of-view appeared smaller than some competitors, the density of pixels resulted in impressively sharp imagery with excellent edge-to-edge clarity, albeit with some reflections. The demonstration provided, however, didn’t optimize content for standalone headset performance, resulting in a choppy and sub-par head and controller-tracking experience.

The SRH-S1 features two unique controllers: a star-shaped pointer and a ring that goes on the finger. Though the concept is intriguing, both controllers require improvements, particularly with regard to user-friendly button placement and intuitive functionality.

Sony has announced that the SRH-S1 is designed to work with Siemens NX, a suite of CAD tools. The headset’s software compatibility with other platforms and software standards, such as OpenXR, remains unclear, along with pricing, regional availability, and passthrough view details. The SRH-S1 is set for launch later this year.

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