When you first look at the Samsung Odyssey+, you might be thrown off by its price, but I strongly suggest you check all the features offered for that price. Many users have agreed that this model will give you an impressive striking joyride into the VR world with Windows 10 paired with probably the best built-in audio on the market so far.
Until now, the Acer Mixed Reality HMD was on top of this class, but the Odyssey+ is slowly taking the throne. The reason for that, most of all, is the Odyssey’s display. Undoubtfully this model comes with unreal visuals, which are more vibrant and smoother than any other model out there.
Should HTC Vive and Oculus Rift be worried about the Odyssey+? HTC Vive still has the best room-scale tracking system. On the other hand, the Oculus Rift should be worried. Compared to the Oculus Rift, the Odyssey+ is more comfortable to wear, and unlike with the Rift, it is less likely to get nauseated after wearing it for a while.
And just like all the other Windows Mixed Reality headsets, Odyssey’s accessibility is a hallmark as well. You won’t be required to set up any external sensors. Also, you do not need a top-end PC to run a virtual reality experience with the Odyssey+. Meaning even a light weighted device will be able to generate Windows Mixed Reality worlds. If we compare the prices of the Odyssey+ and the Oculus Rift, they are more or less the same, but the Oculus has some hidden costs that come with the Oculus VR games.
Microsoft has really made a breakthrough in the VR market with the Odyssey+. Still, the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift offer features that will keep them attractive for the buyers. This certainly does not mean that Microsoft or any other competitor will stop trying to create devices that will offer more than the Rift and the Vive.
Overview of the headset
Samsung has pleasantly surprised the VR consumers with the Odyssey+, a 6DOF PC VR headset, a follow-up to the previous Samsung Odyssey model. Samsung collaborated with Microsoft to create this tethered VR HMD, and therefore logically, it runs on the Windows MR platform. Other models that are part of the Windows MR VR come from Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Acer.
The Samsung Odyssey+ is the latest addition to the Window Mixed Reality scene, which basically is a virtual reality headset that runs on Windows 10. With the 500 dollars price, the Samsun Odyssey+ is the most expensive VR headset that is part of the Windows Mixed Reality family. Also, this model is the only one that comes with built-in headphones with three-dimensional audio. This model will be shipped with two motion controllers.
We can say without any doubt that the Samsung Odyssey+ is the complete device compared to the other models from the Windows MR family due to the built-in audio, the amazing visuals, and the paired controllers.
Those who have tried or tested the Acer MRH-Mounted Display, the Dell Visor, and also the Samsung Odyssey+ will say that the Odyssey+ stands out with its features. The Acer model and Dell’s Visor are still good headsets with awesome features, but the Odyssey+ is still better than them.
The HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift offer better sheer graphics rendering, and they have a better quality design, but you should consider the Odyssey+ if you want to stay in the Windows MR family and you have a PC that is compatible with the model.
When you take into consideration all the headsets that are in the same class as the Odyssey+, you probably will find a model that is better than this one. But, out of all the models that come with Windows MR, the Odyssey+ is a clear winner.
- Amazingly crisp visuals
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Built-in audio is always a big plus
- Bland design with a rather cheap feel
- The $500 price is a bit much
Things to consider before buying
The Samsung Odyssey+ has many similar features to the previous Samsung headsets, but with some extra features that make this model worth considering. This headset has a more robust headband, a top-strap that holds this headset in place, and two mounting points where the display part goes and for increased durability. Again, we have the built-in headphones, but this time they are with a refined design, and the profile is slimmer.
The head adjustment and the tightening mechanism are new features of this Samsung model. There is also no wheel on the back, which opens the way for a user-friendly and accessible system. The headband can slide in and out on both sides, thus making the adjustment a lot easier than before. What is very interesting is the front side of the display, the inspiration for the display was the insectoid’s faceted eyes. Not only that this is aesthetically more beautiful, but it also increases the viewing angles. Obviously, this is different than the boxy and straight design that most of the VR headsets have.
On the bottom left side are located the volume buttons right next to the wheel for IPD or interpupillary adjustment. The previous generation of Odyssey was using two front cameras for controllers tracking and positioning, whereas the Odyssey+ has four cameras, which can improve the accuracy, and they offer a better sight of the surroundings. These features make the Odyssey+ a more competitive model on the VR market.
Features & Benefits
- Platform: Microsoft Windows Mixed Reality
- Display: Dual 3.5” AMOLED 1440*1600@90Hz/60Hz
- Interface: HDMI2.0+USB3.0 Interface Bounded Cable (4M length)
- Lens: Single Fresnel
- Field of View: 110˚
- IPD: 60 – 72mm range
- Camera: 6 DOF camera * 2
- Sensor: 6-Axis ACC & Gyro
- 3-Axis Compass
- Proximity sensor
- IPD Sensor
- Acoustics2 MIC support Cortana, built-in headphone (AKG Brand)
- User Interface Volume
- IPD adjustment
- Tracking Area No Limit (Inside-out)
- Built-in MicArray MICs
- Built-in Audio Spatial Audio (AKG)
- Controller: 6 DOF Controller (L&R) / Xbox One Controller Support
- Connections: HDMI, USB3.0
- Product Dimensions: (W x H x D)7.64″ x 5.08″ x 4.30″ (HMD Body)
- Package Dimensions: (W x H x D)7.34″ x 12.04″ x 15.0″
- Weight: Product Weight (lb.)1.31lbs. (w/o cable) *Cable weight: 0.45lbs Box Weight (lb.)4.73lbs.
- The design is premium but has some flaws
We can say that Samsung made an improvement with the design by making this model lighter by 590 grams and also by making some ergonomic twists for more comfort. They added the dual AMOLED lenses on the front side, and each side has built-in headphones over the ears. The Odyssey+ is still not the lightest HMD on the market, but it comes with plenty of padding around the crown, visor, and rear cushions for more comfort for your head. You will be able to adjust the lens distance, the circlet of the headset, and the height of the headphones, but all within limits. You will probably be able to find the most comfortable position for your head.
Just like with many, if not most of the VR headsets, the Odyssey+ is front-heavy, so after hours of using the headset, the pressure on the forehead will very likely become too much to handle. Having said that, usually, it is not common to use a headset for more than an hour or two, so with normal usage, there will be no pain in the forehead.
Compared with the HTC Vive and some other WMR headsets, the Odyssey+ offers better comfort, but still not as nice as the Oculus Rift and especially not like the comfort that the PlayStation VR offers. It is important to mention that people who wear glasses won’t have any issues wearing the headset. This is important because not all headsets offer this kind of possibility, and many users with glasses have issues wearing some of the VR headsets.
The Odyssey+, just like the original Samsung Odyssey, does not have a flip-up visor, unlike the other Windows Mixed Reality headsets. Here you have the “flashlight” feature, which you can hit, and it will allow you to have a quick glimpse of the real world and see what is surrounding you. Now, this feature is not as easy as the flip the visor is, and this might be an issue if you are a developer who needs these transitions to be much quicker.
Looking at the headset on the outside, it is a good-looking piece of equipment that has that classic Samsung design lines: glossy, sleek, and black.
The two controllers that come with Odyssey+ are a take on the WMR standard with trackpad/thumbstick/ triggers/grip/menu button and a ring of fabric that goes around your wrist for additional safety. The packaging includes two AA batteries, which are required for your two controllers to work. Even though the plastic covering the controllers does not feel sturdy, do not worry, they are not easily breakable. You can even say that these controllers are more ergonomic and more comfortable than those on the Vive headset, but still not as good as those on Oculus Touch.
The thing that makes the Odyssey+ stand above the other headsets is the dual AMOLED displays. The screens are popping with a resolution of 1,440 x 1,600 pixels per, and the refresh rate is somewhere between 60Hz to 90Hz. As a comparison, the Acer WMR HMD has a resolution of 1,440 x 1,440 per lens and a refresh rate of 90Hz.
When you look at the numbers, they do seem close, but the reality is that Samsung’s model offers smoother visual and some added vibrancy to the colors, which is very noticeable. The Acer headset has more muted visuals, and they just feel rougher. Also, the AMOLED display tech makes a lot of difference as well. Samsung Odyssey+ is even superior to the Dell Visor, which, compared to the Odyssey+, has dull and ragged visuals.
Testers have reported that their demos worked smoothly on the Odyssey+, and there were no registered lag or stutter during the VR experience. Testers have tried the Cliff House, which basically is a home base for the Windows Mixed Reality from where you go into different VR experiences, like Move or Halo Recruit.
You will be able to, in a way, teleport between the different sectors that are on the Cliff House by flipping the analog stick and by pressing the trigger button that is on the controllers. This is a very effective function. There is a trackpad on the controllers which lets you scroll throughout websites, and so far, we have not found other use for this trackpad. When you are ready to exit from the VR experience you have started, you need to hit the Windows button, which is on the controllers, and it will take you home.
Compared to the Oculus Touch controllers, the Odyssey+ controllers are less intuitive and do not feel as good in the hand, but they work well.
Moving around within the virtual reality world will feel natural thanks to the 6DoF cameras or six-degrees-of-freedom and the inside-out tracking built inside the Odyssey+. Everything is self-sufficient, therefore no need to worry about external sensors; this comes as an advantage compared to HTC Vive and Oculus Rift platform.
The inside-out tracking means you do not need a big room or area to enjoy your VR experience, but the HTC Vive’s room-scale Chaperone system is very useful for keeping from bumping or running into objects around you. The Windows Mixed Reality is not able to keep you running into an object, so make sure you don’t have any objects around you that will hurt you if you bump into them.
Not having the room-scale tracking does not necessarily make this headset a bad one, but if you have tried the HTC Vive, you will miss the blue outlines, which tell if any object or a wall is close by. You will need to be more careful as there is no way to tell if there is something you can run into, which sometimes can be dangerous.
Speaking about the headphones, they offer crisp sound. You will be able to hear music, the characters’ voices, the games’ directions without any problem and with unreal clarity. This is not the case with Dell and Acer headsets, as they require separate headphones. The Samsung Odyssey+’s spatial audio makes this device feel like a complete Window Mixed Reality system.
The setup is easy.
It will take you only a few minutes to set up the Odyssey+. You will simply plug it into a compatible PC, and you are ready for your VR experience with crisp sound and amazing visuals.
Cool and comfortable headset.
The headset is lightweight with a design that lets you adjust it to your preferences. There is enough padding to make it feel comfortable on your face, plus it is finished with cooling fabric.
Our Analysis and Test Results
We mentioned many times above that the display is just remarkable. Samsung advertises the display as one of the strongest features of the Odyssey+ headset. Just like in the original Odyssey, the Odyssey+ also has a dual AMOLED display with the 1440×1600 resolution, which is the same resolution that offers the HTC Vive Pro for $1.000. Another special thing about the Odyssey+ display is the anti-screen door effect or SDE.
When the spaces that are between the pixels on display are visible as black lines, it is called the screen door effect. This gives you the feeling like you are looking at the picture through some sort of wire mesh. This used to be and still is an issue for many headsets, but Samsung managed to find a solution and eliminate the SDE.
Samsung says they managed to reduce the distance between pixels by almost 50 percent, and it is supposed to double the effective pixels per inch count of the display resolution making it from 616 go to 1233. Honestly, it does not feel like it’s been double, but the difference is noticeable.
All that aside, this is probably the best picture quality you will get out of all headsets on the market today for that particular price. Samsung’s visuals are leaders when it comes to visuals.
The field of view is 110 degrees, just like with the Oculus Rift. You might get the feeling that the FOV is a bit more, but there is no confirmation on that yet.
We have tested the Odyssey+ in many games like Skyrim VR, DOOM VFR, Subnautica, Talos Principle VR, Superhot VR, and so on, and did not experience nausea or dizziness while navigating in the virtual reality rooms. Users have reported feeling dizzy and nauseated while using the Oculus Go or the PSVR, but by now, no one has said they had the same troubles while using the Odyssey+ headset.
You won’t need extra sensors.
No extra sensors fact feels feel like good news and also bad news. The headset’s inside-out cameras mean 6DoF or 6 degrees of freedom for the head. Also, there is a built-in Bluetooth module that helps with smoother connections. The controllers will rarely give you any tracking errors, except if you try to provoke ones like hiding them behind your head, and they are pre-paired.
The Windows Mixed Reality
Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality platform, or shortly the WMR, had a lot to improve to reach this level that it is on today, and by integrating with SteamVR, the gamers do not have the feeling of missing something out. We mentioned that the setup is easy and all you need to do is plug the headset into the PC and just follow the instructions. By holding the headset and walking around the room, you will set up your tracking area. The furniture and the tethering cable are your only obstacles.
You are going to need to have a decent PC with a good graphics card to run this headset and its Windows Mixed Reality. Microsoft will let you test your PC if it is suitable for the Odyssey+ by going to their website and check the guidelines for the hardware that is needed for decent performance.
The WMR setup is still a minority platform in the VR world compared to the Vive and the Oculus. That is why developers tend to overlook this platform. Some games can be exclusively played on HTC Vive, and some are exclusive to Oculus Rift but do not worry as there many awesome games that will work on WMR. You can check on Steam if the game you like is compatible or not.
The immersive sound
The built-in headphones are responsible for the outstanding audio on the Samsung Odyssey+. They are able to deliver sound with high-quality and three-dimensional feeling. While gaming, you will be able to locate the source of a certain noise in the VR space with remarkable accuracy. Even though the Oculus Rift also has built-in headphones, they are far from the quality that the Odyssey+ offers. The audio is also impressive, thanks to Harman Kardon and AKG. The headset also has a built-in microphone, which you can use for voice chats or for using Cortana with the Windows PC.
We can say that for this moment, the Samsung Odyssey + is on top of the class. We are all familiar with the Samsung brand, but still, they are new to the VR world. The Windows Mixed Reality, for now, has very few users. But we cannot deny the fact that the Odyssey+ comes with amazing audio and visual quality, which makes this headset one of the top choices when it comes to PC-connected VR headsets. When we talk about ergonomics, the Rift is still number one, and for wide-area tracking, the best is the Vive, but the Odyssey+ offers smooth immersion, which plays a key role in a good VR experience.
We can say with confidence that if you want a PC-connected VR headset, for this moment, you should probably go with the Odyssey+. If there is a discount or sale for this model, then do not wait and go grab it. That being said, if you happen to have the original Odyssey, the Vive, or the Rift, then there is no need for you to spend $500 because there are not many advantages compared to those models. So, if you are looking for a high-end VR headset and you do not own any of the three models I mentioned above, just go ahead and buy the Odyssey+. The immersion will be a real treat.