Review : The Royole Moon 3D Mobile Theater Headset


The Royole Moon ($799.99) is a 3D virtual mobile theater that offers viewers an impressive and immersive visual experience. Relying on unique 3D algorithms, the Royole Moon is capable of creating stunning stereoscopic viewing unlike anything most people have ever seen; and it's able to play content from a wide range of sources, including WiFi streaming, personal photos, video games, and home videos.

Related: 6 Things to Know about How to Use iPhone VR Headsets

While similar in some ways to VR headsets, the Moon does not deliver a true, 360-degree VR experience. It’s more like a self-contained, personal theater experience, and I must admit, it feels like a refreshingly new and innovative way to view video content. Although still in its infancy, I can easily envision this kind of viewer gaining a foothold in modern content consumption and gaining popularity as time goes by.

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The headset consists of an adjustable, single-piece headphone and viewer set. The right headphone earcup has built-in touch controls allowing you to navigate and control volume with intuitive taps and swipes. Conveniently, the on-ear headphones also incorporate active noise cancellation, which goes a long way toward providing users with the sense that they have a dark theater with a 60-foot wide screen all to themselves.

As you might expect for such a pricey gadget, the headset sports a rather elegant appearance, with its plush leather padding and sleek, futuristic design. Its lenses are adjustable so as to fit a variety of vision requisites, so if your eyes are within -7.0 nearsight to +2.0 farsight you should be able to find a crisp focus setting with these HD 1080p dual-display goggles. The Moon viewer comes with a connection/streaming/WiFi hub; a small, inconspicuous “Box” about the size of an iPhone SE, which contains both the battery to power the Moon (up to five hours of use per charge) and the software that it runs on. The Box allows you to connect to your wireless viewing source, to locally stored content (the Moon has 32 GB of internal storage), or to your iPhone or iPad.

The Moon is cool to look at, and has great potential, but as of this writing, I wasn't overly impressed with this device. At around 25 ounces (1.5 lbs), it feels heavy and cumbersome. Wearing it for any length of time became uncomfortable fast, so much so that the only way that I found myself being able to comfortably keep the headset on for over 10 minute stretches was to lie back in a reclining chair so as to take the pressure off of my neck, forehead, and bridge of my nose. Add to this that the headphones are on-ear as opposed to over-ear, which can quickly begin to feel cramped and uncomfortable, and you are left with a device that isn't nearly as enjoyable to wear as it is to fantasize about.

In theory, the Moon would be great for anyone who travels a lot or enjoys watching their videos with zero outside distractions. It’s a great way to tune out the external world for a spell. I’d consider the Royole Moon to be a promising emerging technology that has yet to meet its fullest potential. If not for the glaringly high price tag, I’d be more apt to recommend this headset; but as of this writing, I’d have a hard time suggesting any but the wealthiest among us go out and drop close to $800 on this personal media viewer.

Pros:

  • Excellent, high-definition graphics.
  • Capable of presenting movies in standard 2D or in 3D, when the 3D video format is available.
  • Great for anyone who travels a lot and who doesn't mind the weight of the headset.
  • Customizable focus settings, works well even for folks who might normally have to wear corrective lenses.
  • Relatively comfortable, for a 1.5 lb headset.
  • Elegant, modern design, available in three beautiful choices of color.

Cons:

  • Heavy, gets uncomfortable fast.
  • A lack of over-ear headphones leads to headphone clamp; the sensation that your head is being excessively compressed and your ears are being pinned to your cranium.
  • While not necessarily flimsy, the Moon is also not particularly rugged. Nothing about this headset suggests that it can take the abuse of frequent travel and continue to work as expected for very long.
  • Quite expensive, especially for something that might see only infrequent use.

Final Verdict:

Although the Royole Moon is fetching to behold and delivers a unique viewing experience, I’d consider it something of a high-end novelty item. I’d recommend the Moon only to those with a great deal of disposable income. If you are interested in one, I’d suggest finding a retail store that carries them, such as your local area Best Buy, and spending some time testing them out before purchasing. You might really love them, but it would be worth the extra footwork to ensure that you wouldn't be spending close to $800 on something that you may not get much use out of.

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As Senior Gear Editor at iPhone Life, Dig reports on the latest and greatest accessories built for the iOS ecosystem. From rugged gear and Bluetooth speakers, to headphones, unique iDevice cases, and iOS remote controlled vehicles, Dig's articles cover a wide range of great gear for the iPhone and iPad. A core gamer for over three decades, Dig also writes iPhone Life's Game Centered column, which focuses on the best iOS games and game related news. Additionally, Dig's company, iDoc Tech Support, offers web design and administration services as well as iPhone and iPad repairs. When not at his work desk, Dig loves spending time with family and enjoying the wonders of nature. You can follow him on Twitter @idoctech