Photo: Dylan Love
The Jetsons-like future that we were promised is getting a little more realistic every day, and devices like Sony’s HMZ-T1 3DTV headset are helping to deliver it.Click here to see pictures >
How would you most like to consume your video entertainment? Do you want to sit on a couch several feet away from a TV, or would you rather strap the TV to your face and block out all distractions?
If the latter sounds more appealing, then you’ll want to give this gadget a try.
The HMZ-T1 looks like it came right out of a sci-fi movie. It’s a contoured headset that wraps around your head and over your eyes. Our model was flat black with a large white accent piece. Using it also requires employing the use of an HDMI pass-through box, roughly the size of a portable DVD player, that will always be in between you and your source video.
A few elastic bands and supports are found throughout the device. Each one is adjustable to ensure the best possible fit for the users. It might take some finagling if you have an unusually-shaped head (as was the case for me) but you’ll make it work.
Headphones land conveniently at your ears while wearing it and a rubber nose guard makes sure it doesn’t slide around and bang your face up. While wearing it, you stare into the screen immediately in front of you. And you won’t mind — video looks great on it, and with sounds being delivered directly to your ears, it makes for a mostly immersive experience. I specify “mostly” because the video doesn’t completely take over your field of vision, but I’m not sure you’d want it to.
Sony hit a home run with the video quality on this device. I had a blast playing video games and streaming Netflix directly to my face.
What the headphones lack in appearance, they make up for in function — they deliver virtual surround sound, perfect for gaming, and could hit a really nice volume.
Lastly (but absolutely worth mentioning), the HMZ-T1 just looks cool.
Despite only needing a wire from the device to the pass-through box and another one from the box to the video source, it felt like there was a mess of wires everywhere.
After wearing the device for a little while, it will get uncomfortable. Sony specs the weight at 1.3 pounds, and while that sounds lightweight, you absolutely notice it immediately.
If you can afford to spend $799 and are willing to look at this as a novelty, then knock yourself out. Video games are a more immersive experience and a total blast. The headset works just fine for watching movies, but I found video games to be more satisfying, likely because a watching a movie is a more passive experience.
Here's the device from the front -- white and black plastic with lots of electronic guts on the inside
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.