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Royole Moon mobile theater brings IMAX to your face

Imagine an IMAX screen in your living room, on the train or a plane. That is the lofty goal of Royole corporation with their Royole Moon 3D Virtual Mobile Theater. I first tried the Royole Moon at CES earlier this year and was impressed with the headset. For the last few weeks, I've been trying one at home. Could this replace my more traditional projector setup?

Royole Moon 3D Home Theater Specifications
  • 2 AMOLED Displays with 3000 pixels per inch at 60Hz
  • 10,000:1 contrast ratio
  • Battery life is about 5 hours of continuous play (or plugged in)
  • The Moon headset is based on Andriod and will receive updates over the air
  • 32 GB Storage
  • Available in three colors, white, black (featured) and gold
  • Headphones: Active noise cancelling, 8Hz to 20kHz, 300Ω±10%, 105±3dB/mW@1kHz
  • Hook up any HDMI device via the breakout box
  • Wi-Fi streaming, for example, YouTube.
  • Available from various online resellers such as Amazon for MSRP of $799

Royole Moon Screen Quality and Pixel Density

Royole Moon Screen Quality and Pixel Density
For those accustomed to the mainstream VR headsets such the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive or Sony PlayStation VR (PSVR). The Royole Moon is far superior regarding picture clarity and visible pixels. The difference is night and day. VR headsets all have very visible pixels which for games is tolerable. However, for watching movies, visible pixels is distracting and not the quality that I am accustomed to with TV, projector or visiting the theater.
With the Royole Moon headset, there are no discernable pixels when looking at the screen. The picture quality is excellent indeed.

What does the screen look like?

Royole claims the effect is that of a curved 800" IMAX screen. I would not go so far as to say the Moon is as good as being in an IMAX theater. However, this is as close as you can get without actually being in an IMAX theater. Compared to my own 92" projector screen from 14 feet, it does appear larger than that. The contrast ratio is acceptable, and it will be similar to other higher end LCD TVs out there, however, does not approach that of high-end theaters with 50,000 or more contrast ratios. Blacks will not appear inky black but are certainly not distracting and very watchable. Given the headset does contain 2 AMOLED Displays I did expect a higher contrast ratio. Watching some dark space scenes with stars will present a slight gray screen, but again, certainly still an excellent picture.

The 3D effect is excellent. I watched Avatar in 3D which is a side-by-side movie. It will play .MKV files in the side-by-side format.

Light leakage into the headset with Oculus Rift can be distracting in a bright room. If you look down, then you can see the real room. With the Royole Moon, light leakage is non-existent allowing for a more immersive experience.

Royole Moon Setup

Setting the headset up upon first use is a little tricky. Each eye is setup separately. Under each eye on the headset is an adjustment control for focus and Interpupillary distance (IPD). Turning the adjustment adjusts focus, moving it in and out adjusts the IPD. Here are the steps I followed:

  1. Close one eye
  2. Focus on some on-screen text
  3. Adjust the focus until the display is sharp
  4. Repeat for the other eye
  5. Close one eye and move the slider in/out to adjust for IPD
  6. Close other and eye repeat for IPD.

At this point, you should have a beautiful and sharp picture. If you cannot see each corner of the screen in sharp focus, you can adjust the screen size up or down until perfect. This all may take a little trial and error to get correct. Once complete though, you will not need to change these again.

Copying Movies and Content to Royole Moon Device

The Royole Moon storage device runs off a variant of Andriod. For Windows users, all you need to do is attach the device to your computer via USB. The storage device will then appear in Windows. To add a movie, such as .MKV file, simply copy the movie to the movies folder.

For Mac users, you will need to install the Android File Transfer application on the Mac.

The Moon media box has Micro HDMI to display video from external sources. Micro USB for connecting other devices or copying files to the device and the center connector going to the headset.

Royole Moon Device box and connectors

Getting Steamy in here

Light leakage into the headset is non-existent. However, this does present a bit of a problem in that sometimes I did experience some steaming of the eyepiece. This occurred when I first put on the headset. This would be due to the temperature increase near my face. It went away after a few minutes and/or if I removed it to let some air in. Certainly not a deal-breaker, but something to be aware of. The Oculus headset stays warm at all times to avoid this problem.

Gaming on the Royole Moon Headset

The last time I tried to hook up my PS4 to my local IMAX screen I was kicked out. To avoid this problem, you can attach your PS4, Xbox or gaming PC directly to the Royole Moon headset. It is as simple as connecting the output HMDI cable from your device into the Royole Moon media box. The Moon comes with an HDMI to micro HDMI connector so connecting is easy.

Gaming on the Moon headset was fun! As a basis for comparison. I game on a 1440p ultra-wide 34 monitor, so already my gaming experience is pretty immersive. With the Moon, it is even better. It will take a bit of practice to get accustomed to the screen. This is because the display does not move as you move your head, the screen moves with you. I found it best to keep my head as stationary as possible while playing games. I've been playing Battlefield 1 (BF1) on the Moon and certainly is a pretty great experience. For those accustomed to high refresh rate monitors such as 120 Hz, then you may want to stick with the monitor. My monitor is 60 Hz and the 60 Hz on the Moon is comparable.

Royole Moon Headphone Sound Quality

Royole Moon Headphone Sound Quality
Does not matter how good the visuals are. If the sound sucks, then this would be a non-starter. Thankfully, the sound quality is splendid. The headphones are noise canceling with a pretty decent sonic range.

Active noise canceling, 8Hz to 20kHz, 300Ω±10%, 105±3dB/mW@1kHz

The noise canceling does not equal the likes of the Bose Headphones QuiteComfort. They do suffer from a faint hiss when no sound is playing. This is typical of most noise canceling headphones. The Bose QuiteComfort are some of the best in the industry for noise canceling.

Sound quality is excellent. The bass is deep and punchy with no distortion. I played some music as well as watched movies. The highs are bright and listening to vocals was enjoyable.
The sound quality is close to my own music listening headphones (Denon AH-D5000) which is impressive indeed.

Royole Moon Fit & Finish and Comfort

The materials and fit and finish are of a high standard. The headset is heavier than say an Oculus Rift but is comfortable to wear. I had no problem wearing this for a duration of a movie and then jumping into a few games playing BF1. The materials touching your face and ears are soft and will not cause imprints on your face after you remove the headset. Additionally, for those traveling, the device will not "mess up" your hair!

Royole Moon Conclusion

The Royole Moon is targeting the higher end of the market. This is evident in the quality of the screen, sound quality, materials and the price. At $799 MSRP, the device needs to be good.

For Travel

The sound quality is as good as high-end Bose headphones. Noise canceling not quite as good (more hiss), but certainly good enough for flights. The screen is way better than watching an iPad and certainly better than any in-flight entertainment. You'll also be oblivious to screaming children and other in-flight distractions.

For Home Use

The Moon is a great alternative to purchasing a traditional projector and if space is at a premium, then even better. Obviosly, this works best when enjoying entertainment alone. Your spouse will not be able to join you unless they have one of their own! Gaming is a great way to enjoy the moon and I've been playing BF1 on my monitor for weeks now. At $799, this is a luxury device, and if watching a movie or gaming on a giant screen is important to you. Then $799 is probably a good way to spend some money. The Moon may not replace my projector, but if shopping for one now, I may just get a Moon instead.

Royole Moon Photo Gallery