He Live Focus 3 is HTC’s latest all-in-one (VR) virtual reality headset, the successor to the Vive Focus Plus, and it’s something to behold.
It has a spec sheet to rival the previous generation of PC-powered headphones, with a combined 5K resolution on dual screens, a 90 Hz refresh rate, and a 120-degree field of view (FOV). And yet, like its predecessor, the Vive Focus 3 is completely wireless, with all the tracking and computing on board.
The screen is extraordinarily sharp and the performance is smooth, but for a few drops here and there. And HTC has managed to eliminate some of the visual quirks that cause nausea that have affected headphones all in one in the past.
While indoor and outdoor tracking is inferior to headlight-based systems (e.g., you can’t do actions with the driver on your back), it’s a price we paid for greater portability, simple setup, and ease of use. unmatched use.
The Vive Focus 3 headphones are also easy to see and, thanks to their lightweight chassis and carefully balanced design, are comfortable to wear for long periods of time. The magnetic face seal and padding are also a nice touch, making it easy to replace and clean.
Keep in mind that you may need a few attempts to adjust well, especially if you wear glasses. Unless the headset is positioned correctly and with the correct interpupillary distance (IPD), you will encounter a nasty blur.
At real value, it may look like a rival to the Quest 2, the Oculus stand-alone headphones, but the two work completely in different areas. The Quest is a launch pad for anyone who wants to immerse themselves in virtual reality, but the new HTC headphones are aimed at the business market. So, if you’re looking for a gaming headset, you’ll want to look elsewhere.
Price and availability
The Vive Focus 3 doesn’t come cheap, but that’s not entirely unexpected given that it’s one business VR headphones.
The device is available from June 27 at a cost of $ 1,300 / £ 1,272 / € 1,404 without VAT. This price includes headphones, two controllers, an AC adapter, a splitter cable and a cloth to clean the lens.
Please note that drivers cannot be purchased separately at this stage, which could be a problem in the event of a breakdown.
It’s hard for virtual reality headphones to look slim, but HTC does almost the best job possible. The Vive Focus 3 is certainly one more aspect than its predecessor.
The black magnesium alloy chassis is the right amount of curvature and combines perfectly with the facial joint and synthetic leather padding to create a smart business aesthetic; the antithesis of white Focus Plus porcelain.
Screen: 2.88-inch dual LCD panels
Resolution: 2448 x 2448 px per eye (4896 x 2448 combined)
Update frequency: 90 Hz
Chip: Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 custom made
FOV: 120 degrees
Tracking: 6DOF tracking inside
Battery: 26.6 Wh
Audio: 2 dual controller speakers, dual microphones
Connectivity: 2x USB 3.2 Gen-1 type C, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 6
The new model is much lighter than the previous iteration (approximately 20%), which will be a relief for anyone who has used a battery-powered VR headset. Although, despite its weight, the device also feels properly sturdy, which will be important for use cases that require sharing multiple people.
This lightweight structure makes the Focus 3 comfortable to wear for extended periods of time, unlike many headphones on the market. HTC has also improved weight distribution to avoid neck strains, positioning the battery behind the head as a counterweight.
The most important issue we encountered was nailing the fit, especially with glasses on. Unless the head strap and padding tighten like this and the IPD adjusts properly, you’ll find yourself in a disorienting blur.
Battery life is also interposed in a marathon session. we found that the Focus 3 ran dry after a few hours of use. However, the ease with which you can change a new one means a possibility to quickly change the interval between meetings. If only the headphones included several batteries included!
The Focus 3 comes with a couple of new infrared controllers, which eliminate the trackpad in favor of a traditional control button and joystick. The joystick in particular is a welcome addition, providing a more familiar alternative to teleportation as a means to move around the virtual world.
The controllers are light and comfortable in the hand and the various buttons and triggers are tactile and satisfying. The layout of the buttons and joystick make everything easy to access, unlike the side button on Vive Pro controllers, for example.
Focus 3 controllers can also be recharged via USB-C, and resolve a common complaint with the previous iteration powered by AAA battery.
In terms of setup, the Vive Focus 3 is a bit of fresh air, especially if you’re used to PC-connected VR headsets.
There is no wrestling with wired or wall tracking headlights; it’s as simple as appearing on headphones and marking a play area. All you have to remember is to make sure that the headphones and drivers are heavily charged.
It’s a little frustrating to have to recalibrate the floor and re-mark the playing area every time you use the headset, even if you’re in the same location, but it’s not massive discomfort.
This process is also made easier with a step-by-step mode that serves to stream the real-life room live. This helps to improve the accuracy of the boundary settings and, in turn, minimize the likelihood of a collision that could damage yourself or the virtual reality set.
The largest possible playing area is 7 x 7 m, while the headphones can be used in sitting or standing mode with only 1 x 1 m of free space.
While the Vive Focus 3 will handle some games quite comfortably (we found the multiplayer FPS title called Hyper Dash to work well enough), HTC has been very clear in its ambitions for the new headphones.
The Focus 3 is specifically designed to fill the market gap for affordable and durable enterprise VR headsets, but it also offers first-class performance for corporate use cases (e.g., 3D modeling).
With a custom version of the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 platform, pushed to the maximum by a 15W copper pipe and a high-performance fan, the Focus 3 achieves quite amazing levels of performance and fidelity for headphones all in one .
The 5K resolution (2448 x 2448 px per eye) and the 90 Hz refresh rate allow for a smooth, buttery experience, while the wide 120-degree FOV feels much more natural. The updating of previous generations is perhaps the most notable when it comes to reading a small text, which until now was virtually impossible.
Not long ago, it was unthinkable that any decent VR headset could work wirelessly, without the help of a high-end PC, so the Vive Focus 3 is a marvel.
The main caveat is that this level of performance is not maintained 100% of the time. Interestingly, we have encountered problems more frequently in the lobby area, the virtual reality 2.0 system. Here, from time to time, we experienced an unpleasant shift in frame rate and a screen tear, especially when we returned from an application.
We found more performance details when broadcasting content on a nearby screen, a feature that companies are likely to want to use at trade shows or during training sessions. While the food was mostly soft, it also suffered from some pretty blatant delays at times.
The fan whisper is also bafflingly loud when certain applications are running, although this is a minor problem if audio is passed through a set of headphones. If you’re an audiophile, this approach is definitely recommended, because the built-in speakers are predictably thin and lack bass.
It is also worth noting that the content can be transmitted to the headset from the PC, for use cases that require extensive simulation. However, the revision model was not configured to test this functionality.
The Vive Focus 3 is an undeniably impressive technology that addresses many of the issues that have hampered virtual reality headsets since they hit the market. It is light and comfortable, the setup is quick and easy and the screen is beautiful.
That said, we were disappointed to find performance issues here and there, especially in the main lobby area. While HTC has put a lot of effort into improving the resolution and frame rate to minimize unpleasant side effects (such as nausea and headaches), erratic performance is a blemish on the book.
Inevitably, the high price will also prove to be a restricted point, reducing the audience to a subset of companies with the deepest pockets. But for industries like architecture or healthcare that can find targets for high-quality headphones built for intensive use, there’s nothing that can rival the Vive Focus 3 right now.