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Xreal Air 2 Pro: My New Favorite Display Glasses

They're a great in-your-face monitor choice when combined with Xreal's Beam connection box.

Sean Booker Video Producer
As a Video Producer at CNET, Sean has worked on more videos than he can count. He covers video games and video game hardware along with the occasional electric bike. He covers games both on and off camera, through livestreams, press events, and podcasts.
Expertise Video Games and E-Bikes
Sean Booker
4 min read

I've looked at several different pairs of display glasses this year, but the $449 Xreal Air 2 Pros are my new favorite. They connect to various devices via USB-C or, with a few extra dongles, anything with HDMI support. This includes game consoles, laptops, phones and more. They allow you to view and use your device while on the go, when bringing even a portable monitor with you isn't ideal.

As someone who travels a lot and takes road trips often, I absolutely love bringing a pair of these glasses with me. They let me play my Steam Deck or Nintendo Switch on a much larger screen. I can watch movies from my phone while being more immersed in them. And the image is sharp enough that I can even plug them into my MacBook if I want to get some work done.

The Xreal Air 2 Pro glasses have two 1080p OLED displays, one for each eye. I tested the original Xreal Airs as well as the Viture XR glasses earlier this year. At the time I preferred the Viture, but I'm happy to say that Xreal came back swinging and addressed some of my key concerns with its latest model. 

Xreal Air 2 Pro glasses
Sean Booker/CNET

First, let's talk about comfort. One of my disappointments with the original Airs was that you couldn't bend the arms' position, which left me feeling like the glasses pressed inward on my head uncomfortably. They have three degrees of movement in order to tilt the lenses slightly, as do the Air 2 Pros, but the arms are slightly bendable on the Pros. This means that pinching pressure is gone and I can wear these glasses for much longer periods. The Xreal Air 2 Pros are also a little lighter than the original model at 2.6 ounces (75 grams). Like before, they come with three different nose pads.

One of my absolute favorite features from Viture was its electrochromic film. This allows the glasses to dim the area surrounding the lens, making the display easier to see in bright light. The Air 2 Pros have adopted this capability; pressing a button near the front of the right arm will cycle among mostly transparent, darker and almost black. The Airs are hard to use outside or in bright sunlight, so I Iove this update. And just like before, they come bundled with a plastic cover to protect the lenses and block out even more light if you really want to immerse yourself in your media.

Xreal Beam white dongle
Sean Booker/CNET

Xreal also sells the Beam accessory that lets you connect to HDMI products, such as an Xbox or PlayStation, using a USB-C to HDMI cable. You can also use it to connect to a Nintendo Switch without a dock. It has buttons along the side to adjust volume. The Beam is portable, with a three-and-a-half-hour internal battery that you'll have to charge regularly, which is annoying -- but the silver lining is that it will also supply a bit of power to your connected devices.

Xbox menu on Xreal glasses display
Sean Booker/CNET

With the Beam you can adjust the image. By pressing the orange side button, you can switch between three display modes. In smooth follow, the display follows your head movement; body anchor locks the display in place to fix your floating monitor in a convenient location while you look elsewhere in the room. (Both of these modes also let you adjust how large the display is and how far away it appears from you.) Grid view shrinks the display and places it into any corner of your vision, like picture-in-picture. I love this feature since it means I can play something in the background while I'm working or doing chores.

colorful Switch game on Xreal glasses display
Sean Booker/CNET

When not connected to your console or phone, the Beam has its own dashboard of apps. I didn't really use these that much, but they do allow you to use Netflix and Prime Video, and it has a folder manager if you wanted to download videos on the Beam's 32GB of storage. The Xreal Beam costs $119, which is definitely pricey, but considering how many other devices it lets me use the glasses with, I do recommend it. Although I wish I didn't have so many cables and dongles lying around when trying to game.

I don't love that the Beam is necessary for capabilities I wish Xreal had built into the glasses. I wish I could plug the glasses directly into my Xbox, PlayStation or any HDMI device without needing an expensive accessory.

man adjust Xreal glasses and holding a Steam Deck
Sean Booker/CNET

The Xreal Air 2 Pros are the best display glasses I've used so far. Improvements over the Air mean they now sit more comfortably on my head, so I can use them for longer sessions without pain. I love the better visibility added by the electrochromic film. And when paired with the Beam, you gain a lot more device connections and customization options. For now, they're going to be my go-to travel accessory. But I'm still dreaming of a setup with a lot fewer cables and accessories. Maybe one day all this tech will be wireless. That would be really cool.