Update from CrispyCheezus:
Hi everyone, progress update on the Crystal. On the 28th of April, testers received 3 updates for the Crystal. Headset firmware, Controller firmware, Pimax client beta.
The update targets several things. Audio, Motion blur, Tracking and Software stability. These improvements are REVOLUTIONARY.
Lets get the elephant out of the room here. How does it sound. Is it better than the Index? Are there any weird bugs?
I’m gonna put it up front right now. The Crystal officially now has the BEST sounding audio solution of any VR headset on the market. It is better than the Index, it is better than any other attempts Pimax has made, or any other on-ear solution/crappy headstrap audio that competing companies have used.
The Crystal has superb audio. The soundstage is very wide. Imaging is excellent. Tonality is well balanced with great details on the highs and a pleasant mid-range. The bass is tight and well presented but follows a flat target(Diffuse field). Some people may find the bass lacking, but reports from other testers shows it handles bass boost EQs well. Against the Index, the Crystal is clearer and more precise while making the Index sound muddy and boomy. Fitting for its name.
The Crystal will be the first S tier ranking audio solution that I am willing to give. I do not hear the DSP artifacts that I hear with the Index, which is what Valve used to achieve its low frequency extension. Congratulations Pimax. I didn’t want to believe it, I was skeptical, but for the first time, I am genuinely blown away.
For context, I have very high-end audio equipment used as a reference. HE1000V2, HD800S, HD600 all powered by a Topping A90D D90 stack. In the scope of general audio equipment, the Crystal will not stack up as well. But in terms of VR headsets, it is top ranking. I would’ve included recordings, but a phone microphone does not do it justice…
This impression is only applicable to the DMAS. Running 100% Windows volume, 50% headset.
Other notes: The microphone is excellent. It is about on par with the Index, with previous issues such as popping or artifacting minimised enough that majority of my friends did not notice any issues. It’s ironically the clearest sounding microphone I have, and as someone put it, “The closest I’ve ever heard to how you sound IRL”. The 3 mic array is doing great cancelling out ambient noise and bleed from the headphones.
The Crystal’s tracking has improved significantly from the state it was. It went from “Acceptable” to “Good” and nearly “Excellent” against the Quest 2. It will NOT compete against the Quest Pro or LH tracking, as those solutions are more costly and are capable of headset-less tracking.
Jitter is barely present now and the tracking FOV range has drastically improved. I am now able to keep my hands by my side without losing tracking and movement is now more fluid. The Crystal still suffers from all the regular downsides to camera based inside-out tracking. But it is very usable and I’m sure most people would be satisfied with it. For those that need a more precise, free-feeling tracking, the upcoming LH plate is an option. I have included a high NPS Beatsaber video for your enjoyment.
Torturing Crystal Tracking
I’ve not been able to make a discernable different in terms of motion blur. The Crystal already had very minimal blurring so this might be beyond my ability to tell. Software worked flawlessly for me from the start, but it may better address issues that other people were facing.
The Crystal has come a long way. It is improving every week. There are still some issues to iron out but it’s shaping up to be an incredible, well-rounded headset. It might just be the first true upgrade Index users have been wanting. Expect great things guys. Because it’s coming soon.
Link to r/pimax