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Somnium VR1 PC VR Headset With Wide Field Of View Set To Finally Launch In July

Somnium VR1 PC VR Headset With Wide Field Of View Set To Finally Launch In July

Somnium VR1 early reservation holders can finally order the headset, and it's set to go on general sale in July.

Who Is Somnium And What Is VR1?

Somnium is a Czech startup previously solely focused on its social VR platform Somnium Space. But in late 2021 it announced the Somnium VR1 headset with a monster spec sheet for the time, in partnership with VRgineers - known for its ultra-high end XTAL headsets for enterprise. Originally Somnium VR1 was pitched as a hybrid headset with standalone capabilities via an onboard Snapdragon XR2 chipset, but that idea was ditched in 2022 to focus on making it a solely PC VR headset instead.

VR1 uses the same 2880×2880 QD-LCD w/ Mini-LED panels used in Pimax Crystal, which should make them tied as the third highest resolution headsets on the market, behind Apple Vision Pro and Varjo XR-4.

The displays have 20000:1 contrast via local dimming, 100% NTSC color gamut, and support 72Hz, 90Hz, and 120Hz refresh rate, with an "experimental" 144Hz mode available too.

The output brightness to your eyes is 210 nits, around double that of Meta Quest 3 and Apple Vision Pro.

Somnium claims the widest undistorted field of view of any consumer headset to date.

Those displays are paired with large dual-element aspheric lenses Somnium claims deliver a field of view of around 130° horizontal and 105° vertical. That's wider than any other VR headset on the market. Pimax "5K" and "8K" were even wider, but are no longer in production and had significant distortion in the periphery.

This focus on expanding field of view is why Somnium VR1 is so bulky in an era of far slimmer pancake lens headsets.

Quest 3
Vision Pro
Type Standalone Native
Lenses Pancake Aspheric Pancake
Field of View
110°×96° 130°×105° 100°×87° (est)
Displays 2064×2208
w/ Mini-LED
Refresh Rate
120Hz 120Hz
(144Hz "experimental")

Like Valve Index and Bigscreen Beyond, Somnium VR1 uses SteamVR Tracking. That means you'll need at minimum one base station, and ideally at least two, alongside your own input devices such as Valve Index controllers.

Pricing & Variants Revealed

Somnium has revealed the pricing and configuration for the eight variants of VR1, which it calls editions.

Passthrough Price
Classic €1900
Striker 👐 €2300
Visionary 👁️ €2500
Titan 👁️ 👐 €2900
Specter 👐 📷 €3100
Ultimate 👁️ 👐 📷 €3500
👁️ 👐 📷 €3990
👁️ 👐 📷 TBA

The base Classic Edition is priced at €1900, and a range of editions with combinations of eye tracking, hand tracking, and passthrough are offered from €2300 to €3500.

One hundred units of a Translucent Edition that also has all three features are being sold at €3990, with the "clear" look that was a niche trend in consumer electronics in the early 2000s. Given how few are being made, it's likely to sell out rapidly.

Finally, a Military Edition with all three features and TAA compliance will be available through VRgineers, Somnium's hardware partner.

Somnium Space founder Artur Sychov wearing the Translucent Edition.

Editions with eye tracking have a 120Hz infrared camera for each eye which can be used for foveated rendering and to drive your avatar eyes in platforms like VRChat.

The hand tracking sensors and software are provided by Ultraleap, with a coverage field of view of 170°×170° and 120Hz update rate.

The passthrough cameras are 12 megapixels and support foveated transport on editions that also have eye tracking.

Launch Set For July 12

Existing reservation holders are now gradually being invited to choose their edition and place an order.

If you haven't already, you can reserve a slot until July 10 to be able to place an order 24-48 hours before it goes on general sale, which is set to happen on July 12.

Somnium warns that new orders placed on July 12 will take weeks to ship, so recommends reserving a slot soon.

I will be attending Somnium's launch event on July 12, and afterwards I'll bring you my hands-on impressions of VR1, including whether its lenses live up to Somnium's tantalizing claim of having the widest undistorted field of view of any consumer headset to date.

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