The Rokid Max video glasses are Rokid’s latest and greatest offering in the wearable display category of XR headsets. They are the successor to the “Rokid Air” and offer several improvements: a bigger FOV that is now 50° resulting in a larger virtual screen, a higher refresh rate at now 120hz as compared to the 60hz of the Rokid Air, improved audio that is supposed to be much better than what we had to deal with in the prior generation and many other small details that we will get to in this article. The Max still keep the built-in diopter adjustment that I personally loved on the predecessor and with only 75g these glasses are still lightweight and comfortable to wear. In this review, we’ll take a closer look at the design, display quality, audio quality, compatibility, battery life, and find out if the Rokid Max are worth the $439 asking price.
Design and Comfort
The Rokid Max video glasses are designed to be lightweight and comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. The glasses weigh only 75g, making them one of the lightest and most comfortable video glasses on the market. I wore them for hours on my long distance flight from Taiwan to Germany and did not feel bothered by them at all. They just feel like ordinary glasses, which is quite a feat when you think of the technology that you are wearing here. The only thing that reminds you of wearing video glasses is the cable that plugs into the end of one of the temples. The supplied USB-C cable that connects the glasses to the content provider, more on that later, is really thin though making that less of an issue. Rokid also offers a wireless adapter that I unfortunately could not check out yet.
The glasses also come with an exchangeable nose piece, so if the pre-installed one is too small for your nose, you could exchange it for a bigger one.
The biggest advantage of the Rokid Max that make me prefer them over the competition though is the built-in diopter adjustment. You can freely choose the diopter for each eye from 0 to 600 in order to correct your myopia. I am short-sighted so I simply dialed that in while wearing the headset and I had a crisp and sharp image without the need to wear my glasses under the headset (impossible anyways!) or any kind of contact lenses. Now that truly is a game changer for me since there is not need to find an optician to make that unique prescription inserts for you. If your myopia exceeds 600 though, you could still order that prescription mount and get customised lens inserts made for you.
In terms of design the Rokid Max now look more like ordinary sun glasses and have less of the futuristic look of the Rokid Air. I personally prefer that and when I whore them on my long distance flight I felt absolutely at ease and no one bothered me we surprised looks. That is actually one of the big advantages of these glasses. I can see non XR enthusiasts simply use them in public. I would not want to wear a Quest 2 or a Quest Pro on a flight. But a Rokid Max? No problem at all.
Display Quality and Size
The Rokid Max video glasses feature two Micro-OLED screens that project visuals to the wearer. The screens are not pointed directly at the eyes, instead the displays point downwards and are reflected into your eyes by a transparent lens system that is angled 45 degrees down to provide a more comfortable viewing experience and still allow you to see your surroundings if you want to. If you only want to see the virtual screen though, you can simply put on the blackout cover that comes in the box.
The Micro-OLED displays offer a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels per eye and you get an FOV of 50° which according to Rokid results in a virtual display that is equivalent to a 215-inch screen viewed from 6m away. Now I personally do not appreciate that kind of comparison, because how often are you 6m away from your TV at home? Therefore I have tested that in a more standard environment: my living room. My head is 2.5m away from my 55″ TV when I am sitting on my sofa. That is an alright size that I am quite okay with. I am happy to tell you that with the Rokid Max, I am getting a much bigger display that makes my 55″ display look small. The virtual display would not even fit on the TV lowboard that I have at home. I used my phone’s Amazon app to place a virtual TV into my room to find out what size the Rokid Max screen would offer me and in my living room from 2.5m away it appeared to be even a bit larger than a 75″ panel. And that is a very enjoyable experience!
The picture quality is incredibly sharp and the Micro-OLED displays make watching movies a pleasure. We are talking about deep OLED blacks paired with vibrant and bright colors. Is there any visible screendoor effect? No, there is not, because those pixels are concentrated in a very small area and only need to cover a 50° field of view. Thanks to the 120hz you are also getting an incredibly smooth and flicker free image allowing you to watch for hours without getting eye strain problems.
Just how good is that picture quality though? It is fantastic and I actually prefer watching movies on the Rokid Max now as compared to my TV at home. Rokid advertises a perceived brightness of 600 nits and that feels about right. You do not need to worry about brightness at all here, this one will shine bright …like a diamond? Nope, like a powerful Micro-OLED panel that is not held back by light-absorbing pancake lenses. If the panels are too bright you can still turn down brightness with a button on one of the temples of the device right next to the volume rocker. And the blacks? Well, they are perfect as in “no light”. That’s what we love about OLED. Dark scenes even tend to be a bit too dark for my personal liking. It is not quite black crush territory yet but dark scenes simply are so dark that I first had to get used to this level of darkness coming from a non-OLED panel.
So how is the virtual screen displayed? Does it stay in place in front of you no matter how you move or is it fixed to a position and moves with your glasses? Well, that depends on the mode you are able to use it in. There is screen casting and AR mode. In screen casting mode the virtual screen is fixed to your glasses and moves with you. So if you take a look at your partner in the plane seat next to you, the virtual image will still be in your line of sight. Or if you lie down in bed and look at the ceiling, your XBox cloud game will now happen on that ceiling. You take your display with you wherever you look at. It is the mode that I have been using the Rokid Max with most of the time. It does take a bit of getting used to because when you shake your head, the image will shake as well.
In the AR mode the device behaves more like what we expect from AR glasses, however not all phones are compatible with this mode. If your phone happens to be compatible, you can use it and turn on 3DOF tracking and fix the virtual display in a position in front of you. Now when you move your head, the display will stay where you first fixed it at, comparable to your TV set. I like that mode and it does work. However, in this mode you are constrained to use the few apps that are part of the Rokid AR app for watching movies, like a video app to play back your locally stored movies (yes, 3D files are supported) or the Cinema app that allows you to stream content from YouTube, Twitch, TikTok, Hulu and a few more. You cannot just cast any Android app though when using the AR mode which would be absolutely desirable for a future version of the software. There was no Netflix in that AR mode and also my cloud gaming apps where only available in screen casting mode. Anyways that was fine for me because the AR 3DOF mode is far from perfect. The image is not perfectly stable and shaking your head quickly will result in the virtual image also moving with you quite a bit.
Yes! Rokid has done a fantastic job to improve audio quality as compared to the Rokid Air. Audio sounds good now and is loud enough to actually watch a movie without having to fall back to headphones. The sound is even directed directly at your ears which means that you hear audio very clear and loud but your surrounding does not. That is a nice little privacy feature that goes together well with the 90% reduced forward light leakage which makes it harder for the outside world to see what you are watching in the headset. On my plane ride to Germany I still used my noise cancelling headphones though that were connected to my phone via bluetooth for the best audio quality.
So where do you get your content from? That is the big question. Now I was in luck because the Rokid Max directly was compatible with my Android phone. If you own a flagship Android device that is not too old chances are good that you can directly use the Rokid Max and hook it up to the USB-C port in order to enjoy all the movie watching and gaming apps that Android has to offer. You may in most cases use both, screen casting and AR mode. Check out this website for a compatibility list.
If you own an iPhone though you are not that lucky. IPhones are not compatible with the Rokid Max out of the box and if you want to use your iPhone with the Rokid Max, you need to get the wireless adapter which will allow you to project the iPhone screen to the Rokid Max wirelessly. Since I could not test the wireless adapter I can not comment on how well that actually works.
Now because many people use iPhones but still might be interested in video glasses like the Rokid Max the company has thought about a new solution. Instead of hooking the device up to your phone they have developed a little content provider comparable with an Android set top box that fits into your pocket: the Rokid Station.
The Rokid Station for international customers is still under development but during my visit at the Rokid headquarters the glasses were connected to the Chinese version of this accessory. It offers more than 6h of battery life according to Rokid and comes pre-loaded with all the movie watching and cloud gaming apps you would come to expect. The Chinese version of the Rokid Station is priced at under $100 so this is an affordable accessory that is very useful and frees up your phone from the battery draining task of powering the Rokid Max.
Now another content provider that works with the Rokid Max out of the box is the Steam Deck! And that is an actual use case that is pretty amazing and probably one of the killer applications of the Rokid Max. Simply hook this up to your Steam Deck and enjoy gameplay on a huge 75″ display that appears 2.5m away from you. Oh yes! I probably need to get a Steam Deck now to complement my Rokid Max!
One more important feature to point out in the content section here is that Rokid Max comes with HDCP support which means hassle free watching of all those movie streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and so on. No more black screens in your headset! And if you want to watch 3D content, you can! Any 3D SBS content can be switched to watch in 3D mode simply by long pressing the brightness button.
What to do with the Rokid Max?
So what are the actual use cases for the Rokid Max? I got a very clear answer for that question. In my opinion these are simply incredible video glasses that allow you to bring a huge screen anywhere you want to. They are great for movie watching in bed, on the couch when your TV is being used by your significant other or especially when you are on a long plane ride.
Playing games from the cloud or streaming them locally from your XBox or PS5 is another fantastic use case that works extraordinarily well. Simply fire up your streaming app on your compatible phone or the Rokid Station (once available) and you are in for a treat. Of course as mentioned before you could also use your Steam Deck.
Now how about working? Would I hook these up to my Macbook Air or Windows Laptop to work on that big screen? Honestly speaking I don’t think this works very well on the device. The reason is that right now only screen casting will work when you connect the glasses to your Mac or Windows PC and once you move your head the screen will move with you. So you will need to look around by moving your eyes instead of your head which proves too tiring for me to do actual work.
The Rokid Max does not have a built-in battery. The content provider that is connected to the glasses will take care of powering the device. Now depending on the capacity of your phone your mileage will vary. The Rokid station will come with 5000 mAh that will give you around 6h of movie watching time. I can’t comment on battery life for my phone because I simply use the $37 Rokid Hub accessory that allows me to charge my phone while the Rokid Glasses are connected. Therefore I can indefinitely watch movies and play games with the device. It also allows me to directly connect my Nintendo Switch with the glasses which does not work without the Hub. So if you want to pick up the Rokid Max to connect to your phone or Switch the Rokid Hub is a must have accessory.
Conclusion – Are These Worth $439?
The Rokid Max are my favorite video glasses so far. They offer a huge virtual screen that is bigger than my own TV set at home and I can even bring it wherever I go. So far so good but we had seen really great glasses in this category from the competition as well.
What sets the Rokid Max apart for me though is the built-in diopter adjustment that corrects my short-sightedness and allows me to enjoy that beautiful virtual OLED display without the need to have custom-made lens inserts for the device. That is just so convenient and makes all the difference for me. The improvements in the audio department and little details like reduced forward light leakage, HDCP support and well thought-through accessories like the Rokid Hub simply make the Rokid Max a well rounded product that tech enthusiasts will simply want to own.
The $439 asking price is still quite a few hundred dollars above that impulse buy threshold of $200 that would make these glasses a no-brainer for every self-respecting tech fan. For $439 though you could also get yourself a Quest 2 that will allow you to do quite a bit more than just watching movies and playing 2D games. However, you won’t get the kind of quality OLED display that you get with the Rokid Max.
In my opinion the Rokid Max is the perfect travel companion for people that fly a lot and are looking for the best way to enjoy their video content on a huge virtual screen. They are also a great accessory for gamers that want to get their game on wherever they are. If you are willing and able to pay that early adopter tax and need the latest and greatest right now, you have my blessing to go ahead and get them.
It is exciting to see how this product category is evolving and even though the Rokid Max is not perfect yet, it is already a well-rounded product that does what it is supposed to do in a more than convincing way.