Vuzix Wrap 1200DX

August 2014

This is going to be probably one of the most negative reviews I’ve given a head mounted display, maybe ever. You should also probably keep in mind that it’s 2014 and the Wrap 1200DX has been out a while now. A lot has happened in consumer VR over the last few years.

I’m a big fan of Vuzix and their past work. My first HMD was the VFX1 and I still have two in my closest today. I’ve also owned the VFX3D, VR920, and Wrap 920. I was a very big fan of the VR920 when it came out. I even wrote Vuzix an email praising them about the VR920 when I first bought one. However, the Vuzix Wrap 1200DX video headset is REALLY BAD.

Vuzix 1200

Lets start with the slightly more positive aspects first. The Wrap 1200DX is probably the closest video headset you’ll get to the sunglasses look. Style wise they are very cool. The sunglasses look is often asked for by users of HMDs. Although I would caution you here because most Vuzix photos show these glasses in their most flattering angles. Absolutely no one will mistake you for wearing a pair of sunglasses. They sit too far off your face. The only place I would wear these is in the private confines of my own home, or if absolutely desperate, on an airplane. Actually, I wouldn’t use them on a plane either. I’d use a tablet.

I have the 418 model which has the HDMI input control box with integrated battery. It’s nice that Vuzix finally ditched the VGA port. They did claim at some point that this was the first HMD with HDMI input which was simply not true. There were many others before them including the Sony HMZ, the Silicon Microdisplay ST1080, as well as many high end HMDs.

Now to the more technical. The Wrap 1200DX glasses have 852×480 resolution LCD panels. Due to having LCDs, the contrast is very low and the imagery is very washed out. You can play with the on-screen contrast and brightness but they’ll never look as good as OLED. The FOV is very small at 35 degrees diagonal. The aspect of the displays are very close to 1920×1080, but at this low of a resolution and FOV, the vertical FOV seems really narrow. As for over all image quality, it looks pretty bad. There is support for 3D mode, 2D, side by side stereo, and top-bottom stereo modes via the on-screen display.

There are focus and IPD adjustments, along with what Vuzix calls Acutilt. Acutilt allows the internal portion of the HMD to tilt forward and back, which is actually very clever. The focus adjustments don’t seem to adjust focus uniformly across the displays. I also adjusted IPD several times but still couldn’t seem to get an acceptable position. All the adjustments feel very cheap and every time I use them I wonder if I’m going to break something. You’ll need the adjustable nose bridge to get even average image quality.

The Wrap 1200DX also includes audio jacks for ear buds. There’s a USB connector near the right ear bud jack for attachment of the Wrap head tracker. You can purchase a VR upgrade kit for the 1200DX but personally I wouldn’t bother. This is not an immersive VR headset in any way.

Now lets talk about cost. I can forgive a lot of things if the price is right. The Wrap 1200DX is $499 from Vuzix! I bought them on eBay for $150 and I’m still slightly annoyed. The Wrap 1200DX just feels so cheap, and imagery looks so bad, that I’d be OK with them if they were $50. $500 is just highway robbery.

Most people should stay very far away from the Vuzix Wrap 1200DX video glasses. They are no where near worth the $499 price tag. I’m really disappointed with these glasses. I love the VFX1 and VR920 HMDs but I’m very disappointed that the Wrap 1200DX comes from the same company. I’ve been debating on getting the Vuzix STAR 1200 see-through system but I think the Wrap 1200DX just made my decision for me. With the many options for HMDs and video glasses today, the Wrap 1200DX is certain to disappoint.