This personal home cinema headset could be the best inflight entertainment gadget for business travellers yet, but this heavyweight comes at a high price
While you might be forgiven for thinking the Royole Moon is a virtual reality headset, this is the most luxurious attempt so far at a private, mobile home cinema device – and it’s destined for the front of airline cabins.
There are other such devices on the market, such as the Avegant Glyph, but the Royole Moon is the clear winner so far on quality. Sadly, it also means a much higher price. While its rival promises only HD-ready resolution, the Royole Moon puts two Full HD, curved AMOLED displays inside an eyepiece that is connected to some impressive headphones that even claim active noise cancelling.
With those kind of specs, there’s absolutely no doubt where the Royole Moon is headed; the first class cabin. After all, why bother with inflight entertainment when you can have your own videos presented on an 800-inch curved screen? That’s the claim, though the impression we got when donning the Royole Moon was more like an 80-inch screen from about 6ft away – which was awesome.
The Royole Moon – a chunky beast weighing almost 700g – is a slave of a separate, smartphone-sized box that also acts as a power source and storage device for 32GB of video, music and photos. It’s also got 2GB of RAM. You can also use the micro HDMI cable to plug it into any Blu-ray player or games console.
There’s a perforated cushion around the face mask that keeps out most of the light, though we found it impossible to get a really snug fit. It also felt heavy, and seemed to slip downwards during playback. So what do those dual AMOLED panels look like? We loaded a few MKV and MP4 video files onto the Royole Mon and were blown away by the luscious black levels and the eye-popping colour, though we did notice some glare. Regular 2D impressed, and though 3D was just as sharp and enjoyable, the visible depth isn’t much to get excited about.
Apps & connectivity
So what can you watch? While it’s easy enough to drag and drop media onto the Royale Moon – which acts like a standard Android device when attached to a PC or Mac – there’s WiFi to connect to apps like Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu and YouTube.
Meanwhile, its headphones host movie soundtracks particularly well, and the noise cancelling tech is very effective. You really do get an immersive, private experience. However, we did begin to get hot and uncomfortable after a relatively short time; on a hot long-haul flight, there’s a good chance that wearing a Royole Moon will be the last thing you want to do.
The Royole Moon is a great idea and it’s executed very well, with a sleek Android-based ‘Moon OS’ that makes it both easy to fill with video, and simple to operate hands-free. However, at £849.99 it’s more expensive than a serious-sized TV, ruling it out for home use. It’s also just too bulky to travel with, but more critically not comfortable enough to feel like the luxurious device it wants to be. It’s a laudable effort, but until a more slimline design – and perhaps a custom fit option – comes to products like these, we have a feeling that personal home cinema just isn’t going to take-off.