Two-minute Xreal Air 2 evaluation
The Xreal Air 2 and Xreal Air 2 Professional AR glasses are right here to switch the unique Xreal Air (previously Nreal Air) AR specs – and so they’re simply as a lot enjoyable to make use of because the originals.
Design-wise they hold all the pieces that made the Xreal Air good – they’re each snug to put on for lengthy stretches of time and look sort of trendy too – although the bottom mannequin doesn’t change issues up an excessive amount of from what’s come earlier than. The Professional mannequin has acquired new Electrochromic Dimming for its lenses permitting them to swap between clear and shaded on the literal push of a button – and this function is the one distinction between the common Xreal Air 2 glasses and the Professional.
There are extra adjustments within the image and audio division fortunately. Each the Xreal Air 2 and Xreal Air 2 Professional have new Sony 0.55 Micro-OLED shows that boast 25% larger peak brightness and improved coloration calibration. This enables them to supply vibrant colours and supply good distinction in darkish scenes.
The AR glasses additionally function extra immersive audio by means of their audio system, nonetheless, the bass continues to be a bit weak and there’s a not insignificant quantity of audio leakage from the open-ear speaker design. If you wish to watch one thing in non-public you’ll want some Bluetooth headphones.
Sadly, the principle concern holding the unique Xreal Air glasses again wasn’t their image high quality or audio, it was their worth, and the Xreal Air 2 and Air 2 Professional don’t tackle this concern.
I feel the specs are a delight to make use of, however the $399 / £399 price ticket – or $449 / £449 for the Xreal Air 2 Professional – is a large turn-off.
All you get for this excessive worth is a wearable show for some laptops, telephones, and handheld recreation consoles. If you would like a extra worthwhile expertise from the AR glasses it’s essential purchase an Xreal Beam and a handful of add-on adapter cables, and these can add the perfect a part of $200 / £200 to the overall value.
At this worth, you’ll have spent greater than you’ll have on one thing just like the Meta Quest 3 (which I gave 5 stars in our Meta Quest 3 review). Sure, a VR headset isn’t the identical as these Xreal glasses nevertheless it’s an superior XR wearable and I feel most individuals would discover it affords far more bang on your buck – because it’s not only a show, the Quest 3 does stuff with out you needing to choose up a bunch of not-so-optional extras.
When you have a spare $399 / £399 mendacity round and also you wish to choose up some enjoyable tech then you may do rather a lot worse than the Xreal Air 2, however for the cash, you may do higher too.
Xreal Air 2: Worth and availability
The Xreal Air 2 and Air 2 Professional can be found to preorder for $399 / £399 and $449 / £449 respectively from Xreal.com and Amazon. There’s no agency launch date but, however Xreal has informed us they’ll be transport to US and UK prospects in November.
The 2 fashions are pretty comparable, however the cheaper Xreal Air 2 loses out on Electrochromic Dimming. This unique Xreal Air 2 Professional function permits you to dim the lenses between three presets – you’ll be able to both go for absolutely clear the place you’ll be able to see the true world extra clearly, blacked-out immersive mode the place the true world is (virtually) solely blocked out, or a half-way level between the 2.
It’s actually neat however an elective cowl that comes with each fashions continues to be the most suitable choice for blocking out visible distractions whilst you attempt to immerse your self in what you’re watching. As such, spending an additional $50 / £50 on the Professional glasses isn’t going to be essential for most individuals.
Xreal Air 2: Design
- Comfy, light-weight design
- Improved lens cowl
- New coloration choices
I’ve examined a good few AR sensible glasses just like the Xreal Air 2 and Air 2 Professional, and based mostly on my expertise they’re one of many better-designed choices in the marketplace.
As with different sensible glasses – just like the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses or Rokid Max AR glasses – these specs aren’t noticeably bigger than a daily pair of specs. The one telltale indicators they aren’t common glasses are the interior shows that sit behind the lenses, and a USB-C port on the finish of the left arm for attaching a cable between the glasses and one other system.
They’re fairly light-weight too. The Xreal Air 2 is available in at 72g and the Air 2 Professional glasses at 75g. The specs additionally include just a few simply swappable nostril clips, which make it straightforward to regulate the place and match the AR gadget. These of you who put on glasses will admire the free elective body attachment that permits you to equip the AR glasses with prescription lenses – although must pay additional for the precise lenses.
The Xreal Air 2 glasses are comfortable to put on for prolonged intervals of time for one more motive. The largest concern of some rival gadgets is that the bridge of the glasses (which touches your face simply above your nostril) can get annoyingly sizzling – and may achieve this after barely 5 minutes of use.
That’s not the case with Xreal’s specs. Even an hour in I’m completely satisfied to maintain utilizing them for so long as I can.
The one vital fault I can discover with the glasses is that they lack quantity controls. As a substitute, the one buttons on the glasses can help you change brightness ranges – although I’ve by no means discovered a motive to set them at something lower than max.
In the event you choose up the Xreal Air Professional 2 mannequin you’ll discover an extra button for adjusting the Electrochromic Dimming – a function that impacts how shaded the entrance lenses are. As I discussed above you’ll be able to change the lens between clear, blacked-out, or in-between.
This function is actually neat however I personally desire to make use of the case cowl that comes with each fashions after I wish to immerse myself. The duvet not solely helps to dam out extra gentle from the entrance, however has plastic elements that stretch beneath the lenses to additional block out annoying gentle and reflections – marking an improve from the quilt utilized by the unique Xreal Air.
The one draw back of the quilt is that it hides the kaleido decal that I’ve utilized to the specs. I’m not solely certain if this elective sticker package comes free with each pair of Xreal Air 2 glasses, simply the Professional mannequin, or was simply an additional within the reviewer’s package nevertheless it utilized a enjoyable vibrancy to the AR glasses and makes them look rather less intimidating – wearable tech (significantly glasses) could make some folks really feel uncomfortable even when they don’t have any cameras.
I acquired a yellow package as you’ll be able to see from the pictures on this evaluation, however there are navy, turquoise, blue, pink, and inexperienced choices as effectively. You would additionally take away the trouble of making use of a sticker and get the Xreal Air 2 glasses in crimson by default– the Professional sadly solely is available in black with out utilizing any decals.
Xreal Air 2: Efficiency
- Spectacular HD visuals
- Immersive audio
- Bass is a bit weak, and the sound does leak a good bit
The Xreal Air 2 Professional glasses provide a strong efficiency enhance over their predecessor.
In terms of visuals, the Sony 0.55 Micro-OLED show does a formidable job. Because of the 25% enhance in brightness the glasses have acquired (and the calibration Xreal has executed to get the specs TÜV Rheinland licensed for coloration accuracy) I felt that colours look extra vibrant than on the unique Xreal Air glasses. The distinction in darkish scenes can be fairly darn good, which is to be anticipated from an OLED display screen.
The 100,000:1 distinction ratio and 500nits brightness won’t seem like rather a lot on paper – they’re what you’d anticipate from extra budget-friendly projectors that aren’t all that spectacular – however as a result of the glasses aren’t making an attempt to throw the picture throughout the room they’re ready to make use of the identical specs to ship a a lot higher-quality image.
That mentioned, I do nonetheless discover the perfect efficiency is available in a reasonably darkish area with the quilt connected (and the Electrochromic Dimming set to max you probably have the Air 2 Professional). They’ll nonetheless operate okay in brighter areas, however you’ll discover a dip in high quality – particularly in the event you don’t have the quilt with you.
The one disappointment is that these specs nonetheless solely provide full-HD (1080p) decision. It’s effective however 4K visuals would actually have been appreciated. No less than you’ll be able to profit from a 120Hz refresh charge if you wish to use them for gaming.
The glasses’ audio efficiency isn’t as spectacular as its image high quality, however the sound continues to be fairly strong and affords an excellent degree of immersion that may suck you into the motion of the content material you’re watching because of its upgraded “cinematic sound system” with spatial audio.
Whereas watching varied exhibits, movies, and music movies I discovered that mid and high-range tones had been delivered with good readability – even after I cranked the quantity up a bit there wasn’t noticeable distortion. That mentioned, I discovered the specs do wrestle with bassier tones. The lower-end efficiency isn’t horrible nevertheless it doesn’t have as a lot power behind it as I would really like – which may result in music feeling much less impactful, and a few motion explosions missing the depth you’d get from a extra succesful setup.
I do just like the open-ear design although – which is taken wholesale from its predecessor. It’s excellent for commuting as you’ll be able to take pleasure in your favourite present or film whilst you journey whereas nonetheless having the ability to hear out for if you get to your cease.
Simply be careful for audio leakage – as whereas the scenario is improved on these newer fashions, very similar to with the unique Xreal Air glasses your audio nonetheless isn’t fully non-public. If somebody is sitting or standing subsequent to you whereas content material is enjoying by means of the Xreal Air 2 or Air 2 Professional glasses at reasonable volumes they’ll have the ability to hear it.
The one answer is so as to add a pair of Bluetooth headphones to your setup, however this can have an effect on the battery lifetime of the system they’re related to. Nonetheless, in the event that they’re an honest pair – like one of many picks on our best headphones listing – you then would possibly discover the battery trade-off is worth it for the privateness and improved sound high quality you’ll expertise.
Xreal Air 2: Compatibility
- Appropriate with a spread of gadgets
- Xreal Beam and extra adapters are expensive, however really feel essential
The Xreal Air 2 and the two Professional have an similar compatibility listing to the unique Xreal Air.
Utilizing the included USB-C to USB-C cable you should utilize the glasses with a spread of laptops, tablets, dealt with consoles just like the Steam Deck, and telephones that assist video output by means of a USB-C port (referred to as DisplayPort). Simply be aware that not each USB-C cellphone will provide this function – for instance, the Google Pixel 8 and different Pixel telephones don’t assist video output by way of their USB-C port.
For gadgets missing a USB-C port or DisplayPort assist, you’ll be able to attempt utilizing the Xreal Beam adapter. This elective add-on, which is available in at $119 (UK worth to be confirmed), permits you to wirelessly solid content material out of your incompatible cellphone – akin to an iPhone with a lightning port – to the glasses (be aware, the Google Pixel line nonetheless gained’t work with the Beam as they’ll solely solid to gadgets utilizing Google’s proprietary Chromecast tech, not the generic model utilized by the Beam).
Utilizing one other USB-C to USB-C cable you may also join your Xreal Air 2 glasses to a Nintendo Switch by means of the Xreal Beam.
The Beam serves as an influence supply for the glasses too, and can allow you to take pleasure in content material in your Xreal Glasses for longer – as quite than draining the related system’s battery you’ll use the Beam’s saved energy as a substitute which lasts for round 3 hours.
If you are going to buy an HDMI to USB-C cable (be sure it’s this manner round as most cables on Amazon are USB-C to HDMI, and as I discovered they don’t work as meant with the Xreal Air) you’ll be able to hook your glasses as much as a console like a PS5, an Xbox Series X or a docked Nintendo Change.
I simply want the Xreal Air 2 and Air 2 Professional got here with extra of those cables and adapters of their packing containers – as both it’s important to go for the comparatively expensive adapters it sells as add-ons, or try to navigate the labyrinth of cheaper third-party choices on Amazon which can or might not work. Together with the cables within the field wouldn’t solely make issues easier, it will assist to make the Air 2 glasses really feel like higher worth for cash as you not must spend additional on not-so-optional add-ons.
I additionally would like if the Beam was extra just like the Rokid Station – which is successfully a conveyable Android TV system for the Rokid Max sensible AR glasses. You possibly can jerry-rig collectively a setup that makes use of the Rokid Station and Xreal glasses, however you’ll want a pair of BlueTooth headphones for audio. If the Beam goes to remain as a extra rudimentary product, very similar to I mentioned for the extra connector cables, I’d prefer to see it included within the Xreal Air 2’s worth.
Heck, even whether it is given some upgrades I’d prefer to see it included within the Xreal Air 2’s worth. It will make the $399 / £399 price ticket rather a lot simpler to swallow.
Do you have to purchase the Xreal Air 2 glasses?
|Efficiency||The specs provide a formidable efficiency however there are just a few slight downsides; the image is not 4K decision and the audio could possibly be higher and fewer leaky.||4/5|
|Design||Whereas these specs aren’t fairly as modern because the impeccable Ray-Ban sensible glasses they’re nonetheless spectacular with a light-weight and comfy design.||4/5|
|Worth||The Xreal Air 2 glasses are enjoyable, however they do not provide sufficient bang on your buck. If the elective add-ons had been included within the worth, I might be extra inclined to suggest them.||3/5|
Purchase them if…
Do not buy them if…
How I examined the Xreal Air 2 Glasses
For this evaluation, I used to be despatched the Xreal Air 2 Professional mannequin to check – and as I discussed it’s functionally similar to the common Xreal Air 2 glasses besides has lenses with Electrochromic Dimming.
To place the shows by means of their paces I watched a spread of various content material throughout streaming providers and YouTube. I performed motion pictures with vivid vibrant scenes to see how effectively the colours had been introduced, I watched shadowy scenes in movies to check the glasses distinction capabilities, and I performed many music movies to get a really feel for the audio system’ audio chops.
I additionally made certain to check the glasses with a spread of appropriate gadgets together with a smartphone, a laptop computer, the Xreal Beam, and video games consoles.
Lastly, I might swap between these sensible specs and some others I’ve mendacity round from older critiques, together with the unique Xreal Air glasses to see how these specs evaluate.
- First reviewed October 2023