Samsung delivers the Odysses headset (ideal to view a 3D configurator) in a white box with a positive plastic insert that holds the headset and controller firmly in place. The headset and controllers come packed in foam bags for added protection from scratches and dust. The box also contains a manual and warranty booklet.

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Apart from the transparent lenses and the Windows Mixed Reality logo, every inch of the Odyssey headset from Samsung is black. The front panel is a reflective, shiny plastic material, the body and headband are made of matte plastic and the foam padding is made of black imitation leather.

The Samsung Odyssey headset is also the largest Windows MR HMD we’ve ever seen. It’s about the size of the HTC Vive with the Deluxe Audio Head Strap (DAS) installed. The HMD body is similar in width and depth to the Acer Windows Mixed Reality HMD, but the Odyssey body is almost twice the size of the Acer headset. The large body and the rigid headband are at 644 g (1.42 pounds) also the heaviest Mixed Reality headset that have ever seen. The Vive with DAS installed, however, has about the same weight. So the Odyssey is unique in its bulkiness.

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The large volume inside the visor accommodates the double AMOLED panels and the mechanical bits for the IPD lens system. Unlike the Acer and Lenovo Windows Mixed Reality HMDs, which have fixed IPD lenses, the Samsung Headset allows you to adjust the width of the lenses to match the distance between your pupils. The Odyssey headset offers a pupil spacing between 60mm and 72mm, which is standard on HMDs with adjustable IPD. The Oculus Rift supports 58mm to 72mm settings, while the HTC Vive supports 60.8mm to 74.6mm. The fixed IPD of the Acer and Lenovo HMDs is 60mm. Samsung installed a dial at the bottom of the visor to adjust the distance between the lenses.

If your eyes are further apart (or closer together) than the fixed 60mm of Acer and Lenovo headsets, you will definitely want to invest in a headset that allows you to adjust the lenses to your eye relief.

The larger 1440×1600 pixel panels in the Odyssey headset should theoretically produce a higher vertical field of view (FOV) than other HMDs, but none of the Windows MR HMD manufacturers have a vertical FOV figure. The Samsung Odyssey has a 110-degree horizontal FOV equivalent to the Lenovo Explorer and HTC Vive and 10 degrees wider than the Acer Windows MR headset and Oculus Rift.

Tracking system.

Like all Windows Mixed Reality headsets, the front panel of the Odyssey headset has two cameras for room and controller tracking. The cameras are mounted on the lower half of the headset, about 1.5 inches from the other outer edges. Samsung aligned the cameras towards the floor and both sides at slight angles to maximize the volume they can monitor.

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Acer and Lenovo installed the camera mounts in plastic housings that protrude from the ends of their headsets. The Samsung Odyssey has a slanted front panel with integrated cameras for an elegant look. It would be difficult to quantify how durable this design is without risking damage to our test equipment, but we believe that Samsung’s design would better withstand shocks and damage. The camera body of the Acer and Lenovo headsets also consists of individual parts that could theoretically break if badly treated. The front panel on Samsung’s Headeet is all in one piece, so you’d have to drop it pretty hard to take it apart.

No hinges.

The Acer and Lenovo Windows MR headsets both have flip visors that many customers want for convenience, but also fear that their hinges may fail prematurely. Samsung avoided encountering warranty issues related to hinges by not including a hinge at all. Instead of the hinge, Samsung installed a spring-loaded relief system that allows you to pull the visor away from her face when you want to see her surroundings. The PlayStation VR HMD has a similar mechanism, but the design of Samsung has no trigger like that of Sony.

The Samsung Odyssey headset has a strong Halo style headband system with mechanical adjustment. This seems to be the standard solution for Windows Mixed Reality headsets. The forehead area of the headband has a large cushion that helps distribute the weight of the HMD evenly. The adjustment mechanism is an adjustment wheel located at the back of the headband. Turn the adjustment wheel to the left to extend the headband while turning it to the right to tighten it. When you tighten the dial, you will hear a satisfactory ratchet sound. If you release it, you will hear a single click and then it should turn without resistance. The mechanism here does not include a quick release to release the tension.

Every HMD we’ve tested so far includes removable and replaceable foam face pads and the Samsung Odyssey is no exception. However, most cushions are mounted directly onto the HMD’s rigid frame. Samsung’s design provides extra comfort in the form of a rubber seal between the plastic body and the foam cushion. The rubber seal is soft and malleable, which should theoretically allow the headset to sit comfortably on virtually any face. In practice, however, the visor is mounted too far away from the headband to even accentuate the rubber seal.

When we put on the odyssey, the face cushion barely touched our cheeks. As a result, we noticed a little light leakage from the sides. Samsung’s product designers had the foresight to include a pair of rubber flaps to prevent the light from penetrating around their nose, but they failed to design a system that would pull the visor firmly against their face. We would prefer a tight fit on our cheeks and no flaps on our nose in an HMD without a flap visor. We often use the nasal cleft in our cleft as a quick and dirty way to see the real world when we need to reach for our keyboard or an unmanned controller. To see our surroundings while wearing the odyssey, we had to pull the visor with the relief system away from our face.

Integrated audio system.

When Oculus released the Rift, we learned firsthand about the benefits of integrated audio via a VR headset. With built-in speakers, you don’t have to juggle with an extra device on your head and you have one less cable to mess around. In addition, a built-in microphone ensures that you always have access to voice communication.

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Microsoft’s basic Windows Mixed Reality HMD reference design doesn’t include headphones or a microphone, which isn’t great because Cortana is built into the Windows Mixed Reality platform and requires a certified headset to work properly. Most of Microsoft’s headset partners stayed close to the reference configuration and included fewer headphones and a microphone. Samsung appears to be the only Windows MR partner that takes audio seriously. The Odyssey has not only one, but two Cortana-compatible array microphones and a pair of AKG 3D surround headphones installed.

The AKG headphones have a diameter of only 2.25″, but deliver a lot of volume and the sound they produce is clear. We don’t recommend using them at full volume unless you’re trying to damage your hearing. Fortunately, you can adjust the volume with the built-in volume controls at the bottom right of the visor.