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Pimax Crystal Light VR Headset: High-End Visuals at a More Affordable Price

Pimax Crystal Light VR Wave

Pimax, known for their premium virtual reality headsets, has introduced the Crystal Light - a new high-end VR headset designed for PC gaming and simulations. The Crystal Light aims to bring Pimax's cutting-edge technology to a more accessible price point, making it an attractive option for VR enthusiasts and simulator fans.

Key Specifications:

  • Display: Dual 2880 x 2880 resolution per eye, 35 pixels per degree (PPD)
  • Panel Type: QLED (base model), QLED + Mini-LED (local dimming models)
  • Refresh Rate: 60Hz, 72Hz, 90Hz (base model), 60Hz, 72Hz, 90Hz, 120Hz (local dimming models)
  • Lenses: Glass aspheric lenses with a large sweet spot
  • Interpupillary Distance (IPD) Adjustment: Manual slider, 58-72mm range
  • Eye Tracking: None
  • Foveated Rendering: Fixed 2.0
  • Tracking: Built-in inside-out tracking, optional Lighthouse tracking
  • Controllers: Compatible with Pimax controllers and other SteamVR controllers
  • Audio: Integrated speakers, 3.5mm audio jack, dual microphones
  • Connectivity: PCVR
  • Price: Starting at $699 USD (see pricing section for more details)
Pimax Crystal Light

Display and Optics

The Pimax Crystal Light boasts an impressive display system that delivers stunning visual quality. With a resolution of 2880 x 2880 per eye, the headset provides an incredibly sharp and detailed image, achieving a pixel density of 35 pixels per degree (PPD). This high resolution eliminates the screen door effect and ensures that even fine details are clearly visible.

The headset features high-quality glass aspheric lenses, which offer a large sweet spot for clear vision across the field of view. These lenses minimize distortions and chromatic aberrations, ensuring that the image remains sharp and accurate from edge to edge. The Crystal Light also provides a wide field of view, allowing users to take in more of the virtual environment and enhancing the sense of presence.

The base model of the Crystal Light uses a QLED display panel, which delivers vibrant colors, deep blacks, and excellent contrast. For those seeking even better visual performance, the local dimming models feature a QLED + Mini-LED display. The Mini-LED backlight system enables precise control over local dimming zones, significantly enhancing contrast ratios and providing deeper blacks.

To cater to users with different visual needs, the Pimax Crystal Light offers a manual interpupillary distance (IPD) adjustment slider, which allows for a range of 58-72mm. This feature ensures that users can fine-tune the headset to their individual eye spacing, promoting comfort and visual clarity.

For those who require prescription lenses, VR Wave now offers custom lenses specifically designed for the Pimax Crystal and Crystal Light headsets. These lenses ensure a clear and comfortable VR experience without the need for glasses. You can find more information and order your lenses at https://www.vr-wave.store/products/pimax-crystal-prescription-lenses.

Pimax Crystal Light

Refresh Rate and Performance

The Pimax Crystal Light offers impressive performance capabilities. The base model supports refresh rates of 60Hz, 72Hz, and 90Hz, while the local dimming models offer an additional 120Hz option.

Higher refresh rates contribute to a more fluid and immersive experience, reducing motion blur and enhancing the overall sense of presence. The 120Hz refresh rate available on the local dimming models is particularly noteworthy, as it provides an exceptionally smooth visual experience, making it ideal for fast-paced games and simulations.

To maintain optimal performance at such high resolutions and refresh rates, the Crystal Light employs fixed foveated rendering 2.0. This technology intelligently allocates rendering resources to different areas of the image based on where the user is looking, reducing the GPU load without compromising visual quality. By focusing rendering power on the center of the user's vision, where visual acuity is highest, fixed foveated rendering allows for more efficient GPU usage and helps maintain consistent frame rates.

It is worth noting that the Pimax Crystal Light's high resolution and refresh rates do require a powerful GPU to achieve optimal performance. Pimax recommends using a high-end graphics card to ensure the best possible experience. However, the headset's advanced rendering techniques and optimizations help to mitigate the GPU burden, making it more accessible to a wider range of systems compared to the original Pimax Crystal.

Design and Comfort

The Pimax Crystal Light has been designed with comfort in mind, shedding 310 grams compared to the original Crystal headset without sacrificing visual clarity. To achieve this weight reduction, the Crystal Light has removed the battery, power cable, DisplayPort extension cord, fans, heatsink, IPD motors, and top strap power cable. This streamlined design ensures a more comfortable experience during extended gaming sessions.

Pimax Crystal Light

Similar to the Pimax Crystal, the Crystal Light has a somewhat bulky design but is significantly lighter due to the absence of various components. Despite its size, most reviewers find it comfortable for extended gaming sessions, although the fit can vary between individuals.

Tracking and Controllers

The Pimax Crystal Light offers versatile tracking options and controller compatibility to cater to different user preferences and setups. The headset comes with built-in inside-out tracking, which provides accurate and reliable positioning without the need for external sensors. This inside-out tracking system utilizes cameras on the headset to detect the user's movements and translate them into the virtual environment.

For users who demand the highest level of tracking precision, the Crystal Light also supports optional Lighthouse tracking. By purchasing the Lighthouse Faceplate accessory, users can easily integrate the headset with SteamVR base stations, such as the Valve Index Base Stations or HTC Vive Base Stations. Lighthouse tracking offers a larger tracking volume and improved accuracy, making it ideal for room-scale VR experiences and precise motion capture.

Pimax Crystal Lite Lighthouse Faceplate

In terms of controller compatibility, the Pimax Crystal Light is designed to work seamlessly with a wide range of input devices. The headset is fully compatible with Pimax's own controllers, which are ergonomically designed for comfortable and intuitive interactions.

Pimax Crystal Light Controllers

Additionally, the Crystal Light supports other popular SteamVR controllers, such as the Valve Index Controllers and HTC Vive Controllers. This compatibility ensures that users can choose their preferred input method and leverage existing controller investments.

It is worth noting that the specific controllers included with the Pimax Crystal Light depend on the package selected. The "Headset with Controllers" package includes the Pimax controllers, while the "Headset Only" and "Headset with Lighthouse Faceplate" options do not include controllers by default.

Audio and Local Dimming

The Pimax Crystal Light delivers its audio experience through an integrated audio solution and compatibility with external audio devices. The headset features built-in speakers that are conveniently positioned near the user's ears, eliminating the need for additional headphones or earbuds. For users who prefer using their own audio devices, the Crystal Light offers a 3.5mm audio jack, allowing for easy connection of external headphones or earphones.

In addition to the built-in speakers and 3.5mm audio jack, the Crystal Light also features dual microphones. The microphones are strategically positioned to capture the user's voice while minimizing background noise, ensuring clear and intelligible communication.

One of the standout features of the Pimax Crystal Light is the option for local dimming. Local dimming is a technology that allows for precise control over the headset's backlight, enabling it to adjust the brightness of specific areas of the display independently. This results in deeper blacks, improved contrast, and more vibrant colors.

The local dimming models of the Crystal Light feature a QLED + Mini-LED display, which combines the benefits of QLED technology with the precision of Mini-LED backlighting. The Mini-LED backlight system consists of numerous tiny LED lights that can be individually controlled, allowing for more precise local dimming compared to traditional LED backlights.

It is important to note that the local dimming feature is only available on specific models of the Pimax Crystal Light, namely the "Headset Only (Local Dimming)," "Headset with Controllers (Local Dimming)," and "Headset with Lighthouse Faceplate (Local Dimming)" options. These models come at a slightly higher price point compared to the base models without local dimming, reflecting the additional hardware and technology required to implement this feature.

Pricing and Options

The Pimax Crystal Light is available in several configurations to suit different needs and budgets:

  1. Headset Only (No Local Dimming): $699
    • Includes the headset itself (no controllers)
    • QLED display, 60Hz, 72Hz, 90Hz refresh rates
  2. Headset Only (Local Dimming): $799
    • Includes the headset itself (no controllers)
    • QLED + Mini-LED display, 60Hz, 72Hz, 90Hz, 120Hz refresh rates
  3. Headset with Controllers (No Local Dimming): $699
    • Includes the headset and controllers
    • QLED display, 60Hz, 72Hz, 90Hz refresh rates
  4. Headset with Controllers (Local Dimming): $899
    • Includes the headset and controllers
    • QLED + Mini-LED display, 60Hz, 72Hz, 90Hz, 120Hz refresh rates
  5. Headset with Lighthouse Faceplate (Local Dimming): $899
    • Includes the headset and Lighthouse faceplate (no controllers)
    • QLED + Mini-LED display, 60Hz, 72Hz, 90Hz, 120Hz refresh rates
Pimax Crystal Light Pricing

All models feature manual IPD adjustment (58-72mm), fixed foveated rendering 2.0, inside-out tracking with optional Lighthouse tracking, integrated audio with a 3.5mm jack, and dual microphones.

In collaboration with Pimax, VR Wave is offering a $20 USD discount on the purchase of the Pimax Crystal Light headset. To take advantage of this offer, simply use the following link when ordering from the Pimax website: https://pimax.com/?ref=pMMY1g.


The Pimax Crystal Light successfully brings high-end VR visuals to a more affordable price point for PC VR enthusiasts and simulator fans. While it may not have all the premium features of the flagship Pimax Crystal, such as wireless capability, eye tracking, and automatic IPD adjustment, the Crystal Light still delivers an impressive visual experience. With its high resolution, variable refresh rates, and the option for local dimming, the Crystal Light is a compelling choice for those seeking a high-quality VR headset without breaking the bank.

Pre-orders for the Pimax Crystal Light have already opened, with shipping expected to begin in late May 2024.

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