Hands-On With the RayNeo Air 2 XR Glasses: A Fun Traveling Companion
These aren't VR or AR glasses, but they work well to bring a giant screen with you wherever you go.
James BricknellSenior Editor
James has been writing about technology for years but has loved it since the early 90s. While his main areas of expertise are maker tools -- 3D printers, vinyl cutters, paper printers, and laser cutters -- he also loves to play board games and tabletop RPGs.
Expertise3D printers, maker tools such as Cricut style vinyl cutters and laser cutters, traditional paper printersCredentials
6 years working professionally in the 3D printing space / 4 years testing consumer electronics for large websites.
TCL, maker of some of the best TVs under its brand RayNeo, on Wednesday released its latest pair of XR glasses, the RayNeo Air 2. Available from Amazon for $349, these glasses aren't designed to be VR headsets; rather, they are here to bring a big screen to your everyday life. I've spent some time with them for another article, so I thought I would give you a brief hands-on.
There are a lot of headsets and glasses out there, and they can be confusing. Terms like VR, AR and XR, can often be used indiscriminately, blurring the lines of what each of them can actually do. To clarify, XR in terms of the RayNeo Air 2 means it can eXtend Reality (that's where the XR comes from) to make something you're already doing easier. Think of it like a giant 201-inch projector screen that sits on your face.
Unlike the Meta Quest 3, the RayNeo can't operate on its own. The glasses require a USB-C connection to whatever device you want to show on the bigger screen. So if you plug the USB-C into your MacBook, you'll get a large display of your desktop on the Sony-built micro-OLED displays. So far, once I adjusted the frames and nose guards, the image has been crisp and clear on all of the devices I've tried, though the experience for each is different.
While RayNeo says it has support for a wide range of Android phones, iPhones, Macs, PCs and game consoles, the reality is a little different. Only Android phones with DisplayPort technology turned on are compatible without a separate Miracast adapter, and only the iPhone 15 works for the same reason. For some inexplicable reason, many phone manufacturers, Google included, don't have one of the coolest features of USB-C turned on by default. If you have a Samsung, you are likely to be in luck, but only the Pixel 8 has DisplayPort turned on from Google.
You will also need an adapter for the Nintendo Switch, which is releasing in December, to use that device, and while RayNeo says it's compatible with other consoles, I can't see an easy way to do that without specialized equipment.
Clear as the noonday sun
That all being said, when it does work, it works very well. I do wish that I could adjust the screen size to better fit in the viewing space. The 201-inch screen fills all of the space to the point of cutting the edges off, so it would be nice to be able to reduce that to say, 180-inch, so that I can see the whole screen comfortably. The bone-conducted speakers in the glasses' arms work very well and give very little bleeding outside of your personal zone. This is especially important if you are using them on a plane, one of the best use cases for them.
The 120Hz display is crisp and bright under every lighting type except direct sunlight. Because the Air 2 are designed to be lightweight and unobtrusive, they don't have blinkers on the side to block out light bleed. Most of the time, this isn't an issue, but lying down on a blanket in the shining sun made it almost impossible to see the Netflix show I was trying to watch, though I could hear it fine.
I've enjoyed using the RayNeo XR glasses, and although they don't work with every device I hoped they would, I am able to use them to play games on my Mac and use them on an old PC to stream Xbox Game Pass games while lying in bed. I also found them to be an excellent companion for working on my laptop while traveling. There are still some problems that I would like to see addressed, and more transparency about what Phones are actually compatible with the Air 2 glasses without an adapter would go a long way to making them
The Rayneo Air 2 XR glasses are available from Amazon for $379, and while my full review is not quite ready, I would say they are a lot of fun, as long as you are aware of the limitations.