Have you experienced Virtual Reality (VR) yet? It adds a whole new dimension (literally!) to your gaming experience. Headsets have been around for a while and, I’ve found, seem to be either really expensive or cheap and flimsy and, ultimately, end up broken in no time. Big had one for Christmas last year and had loads of fun with it – until it fell apart a few months later. We were offered the chance to try out the Utopia 360° Elite Edition Virtual Reality Headset with HD Stereo Headphones and Big couldn’t wait to get started!
Utopia 360° Elite Edition Virtual Reality Headset with HD Stereo Headphones
The Utopia 360° Elite Edition VR headset is an impressive-looking bit of kit! In the box is the headset, with the band that fits around your head separate, to be fitted together. Then there are two HD headphone pieces, which slot into the sides of the headset. There is also a Bluetooth wireless controller.
Features of the Utopia 360° Elite Edition Virtual Reality Headset
- Includes Bluetooth® gaming controller
- Removable HD stereo headphones with built-in mic and volume controls
- HD optical resin lenses deliver unmatched clarity
- Built-in capacitive touch button maximizes app compatibility
- Removable face plate for compatibility with augmented reality apps
- Optimized field of view and custom focal adjustments
- Ergonomic halo band with a ventilated, form-fit cushion
The headset itself is well-padded, both on the halo band around your head, around the eyepiece and the earphones have padding too. The nosepiece is soft and flexible for comfort. The headband is adjustable by turning a dial at the back to tighten or release the band.
The headphones slot in and out of the headset, so you can remove them if you need. There is a small jack stored inside the viewer so you can plug in your phone if you do want the sound.
The Utopia 360° Elite Edition Virtual Reality Headset comes with a Bluetooth remote controller for game play as well as adjusting the volume.
What did we like about the Virtual Reality Headset?
- The Utopia 360° Elite Edition Virtual Reality Headset feels quite sturdy. The pieces all slotted together easily and it was simple to put the phone into the viewing area.
- We liked that the area for holding the mobile phone is adjustable, meaning you don’t accidentally press the buttons on the sides of your phone as you’re trying to fit the phone into position. There is a centre marker for positioning, but it’s tiny and we didn’t even spot it for ages!
- In terms of the viewer itself, the VR experience was really good! The design of the viewer means you feel really immersed in the experience, and the addition of the HD stereo headphones increases this experience further. It definitely has a lot of potential if used with a decent app!
- Fortunately, we were able to experience this as we were also sent a pack of 4D flashcards. Used with their app, these cards bring animals to life in an amazingly visual way! The animals even ‘eat’ food from the other cards if you find the right food for the right animal. It’s a great way for kids to learn more about nature! You can see it in this video (and there are also Space and Dinosaur sets available too):
Was there anything we weren’t keen on?
- We did find that the halo headband was tricky to fit so it was both comfortable and kept the viewer in the correct position. It was also a bit too big for Big’s head and kept slipping down, so is probably more suited to older teens and adults than younger children.
- We also found that the headset is heavy on your face! It made breathing through your nose pretty difficult and it felt as though it was squashed.
- The apps that are suggested for use with the Utopia 360° Elite Edition Virtual Reality Headset are very hit and miss. I have an android phone (there are different apps available for iOS and android). Many of them are not labelled in English, making it hard to know what the app even is. Many of the apps we did try were of fairly poor quality.
- The gaming controller was unpredictable, although this may be down to not having yet found a really good app to use it with.
Overall, we thought that the Utopia 360° Elite Edition Virtual Reality Headset has potential. However, the apps that we have found so far let it down. It is also pretty heavy and unless you are able to get the halo headband fitting just right, it’s not all that comfortable. We actually much preferred the VR headset (below) that came with the Animal Flashcards, as it was lighter and, with an elastic headband, better fitting. It doesn’t come with the headphones, however. If you’re looking for a VR headset for kids, this is the one to go for.
The Utopia 360° Elite Edition Virtual Reality Headset is available from Selfridges, Dixons Travel stores in airports and WH Smith Travel, priced at £69.99 (RRP). You can also buy online here for £54.99!
Disclosure: We were sent a Utopia 360° Elite Edition Virtual Reality Headset for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.