Somnium VR1 February Update — Orders launch dates, Somnium Connect, Reviews, Upgrades & more!

Somnium Space
10 min readFeb 13, 2024



Since our last update in November, the journey towards the launch of Somnium VR1 has been marked by significant milestones and relentless dedication. Our team has welcomed visits from YouTubers, offering them an exclusive nonrestrictive view of the VR1 headset development. These interactions have not only validated our efforts but also highlighted few improvements we have implemented since then. After released videos we felt even growing anticipation and support from the virtual reality community.


In this February update, we are excited to share insights into our progress over the past few months and outline what lies ahead. You will discover the enhancements we have implemented, the steps we are taking to ensure a smooth transition into mass production, and how these efforts are shaping the final stages of the VR1’s journey to market. Additionally, we will provide detailed information on how and when you can expect to place your order for the VR1, reflecting our commitment to keeping our community informed and engaged.

As we navigate these next two months, our focus remains on delivering a VR headset that embodies true innovation, outstanding quality, and an unparalleled user experience.


Slightly updated timeline in Feb 2024

We are happy to say that since our last update our timeline and expected production time have NOT changed. We are still ON TRACK to start deliveries in April with production in March. While some of the things we have initially put in our timeline in November did not pan out it has not affected overall schedule. On the other hand, quality of VR1 has been our top priority, thus we are always open to a possibility to postpone timeline few weeks in order to achieve highest standard of production.

Good news is that we have PASSED all preliminary EMC tests and are scheduled to have final certification in the beginning of March. Interesting aspect of our first preliminary EMC test was that the lab had identified a problem with emissions around 750 MHz.

Two images showing problem with emissions on the left side and solved problem by switching to another laptop on the right.

It puzzled us quite a bit because we knew from our internal testing that fully loaded VR1 should pass all tests. We have investigated the issue and found out that EMC failure was due to the influence of external hardware (Razer laptop👀). After switching to Legion (❤️) laptop we have passed all tests and are scheduled for final certifications in about 1 month!

Production & VR1 enhancements

Somnium VR1 optical stack & main board manufacturing test runs have already started.

Behind the scenes, our preparation for mass production has been in full swing. From the meticulous assembly of lenses to the precise manufacturing of main boards, our production facility is a hive of activity, tirelessly fine-tuning every component that will come together to create the VR1. We are also optimizing all plastic parts to achieve unprecedented fit and finish quality and robustness of VR1. Already today, our headsets are built to last, but we are pushing it even further. Here is a list of enhancements we have been working on since the end of December:

  • Lenses imperfections (seen by some YouTubers) have been eliminated
  • Improved IPD adjustment range. It is now 58–75 🎉
  • Microphones have been vastly improved and finalized
  • Facemask shape has been dramatically improved for comfort & even bigger hFOV (up to 136 degrees now).
  • Improved heat dissipation -> fans became 20% quieter (have been quiet already even before)
  • Chromatic Aberration Total Annihilator (CATA) hardware fix is undergoing testing as you read this blog-post. *If this works it will be world’s first and most unique VR hardware feature ever made for visuals. No kidding. Fingers crossed!
  • Strap improvements: rigidity, added counterweight, aesthetics.
  • Further eye-tracking improvements
  • Further weight reduction and improvements
  • Improved image quality with latest warping. Few more versions scheduled in the next 3–4 weeks.
  • Updated top strap length and material quality for further comfort
  • Further work done on add-on audio solution for VR1. Still in progress.
  • Started working on a 72Hz mode which will be available at launch.

As you know, in the end of December we had various VR YouTubers testing Somnium VR1 in Prague in our offices. And when we say testing, we mean it. They were really going for it! 😅 We have not restricted them by any NDA, nor we gave them any guidance on what to say. We made a full open tour of our R&D facilities and showed them everything. One of them even works in Varjo 👀 (We know we are crazy)

When we say they were testing — we really mean it. They went for it! :)

As many of you know some of the guys have pointed some issues they have seen in the headset. Headsets we have shown them were all hand made and optical stack has been also hand manufactured. While all headsets were approved by me (Artur — CEO), each persons eyes are different and some might see things which others do not. For example Brad has noticed some distortion lines in the middle of his view, Tyriel had a bit of an issue for world scale and some of the guys had a comfort problem due to shorter strap. Right after they left we have investigated those issues and we are happy to say that we have addressed all of them. Brad’s issue was there due to the fact that our unique dual lens system has been slightly moved during the assembly process (one part of the lens stack was still 3D printed) and lenses touched each other which they are not suppose to be doing. To give you an example of precision in the factory — our movement tolerance for lens stack assembly is 0.1mm. We have identified problem, ran several factory assembled cycles and saw perfect image quality. This time though, we did not trust our own eyes, but a specialized professional machine with 60 MPx camera built to do 40 different tests on our lenses and screens. This machine is part of our QA process in the factory.

Testing and calibrating our Test machine for lenses testing and screen calibration.

Now we scientifically know our image is on point! Image of VR1 is crisp. It has huge sweet spot to a point where you can move your IPD slider literally more than 4 millimeters away and still be in crisp focus.

A detail of display showing grid without warping. Focused with low depth of field lens. No de-focus observed. Pattern shows compensation of chromatic aberration, warping and overall sharpness through whole field of view. Note: “bubble” effects on the side are caused by camera lens itself and is not in the actual viewpoint when looked through with eyes.

BUT you won’t need to believe only us or our amazing testing equipment, since we are already reaching out to YouTubers for second and final test of VR1 which will happen before orders gate will be open.

Oh, and our image is super bright! We mean REALLY REALLY BRIGHT 😎Below are two test measurements we ran against several VR headsets.

Here is a test of VR1 vs an unknown PCVR headset😁 We tested in the same room, same scene in VR (Steam VR home) looking at the same spot in the sky. Both headsets had local dimming off, brightness set at 100%

Ok, that headset was not hard to beat and we knew it, but let’s take our stakes up and face true OLED screen! So here we go!

Again, same game, same scene, same angle, same room. Different headset.

This time we were facing a much tougher contender in terms of brightness. We knew we can not win this battle against OLED, but we wanted to know how badly will we loose? Results shocked us in a good way! We lost, but we fought a tough battle 💪

The main reason why we did it is to show how bright Somnium VR1 screen is thanks to our special optical stack design and other technical decisions we have made along the way such a power management, calibration etc. Brightness, FOV, clarity and contrast are things which define your ultimate PCVR experience in Somnium VR1.

VR1 Software Tool first glance

As we are approaching VR1 global release we are also getting ready to launch v1 of our software tool. For the past 5 months we have been working on it and we are getting close to show it to you in full force, but for now we will show you few preview screens and talk a bit about its vast capabilities.

First step of our VR1 tool Setup Wizzard

What makes Somnium VR1 a truly versatile headset is its customization and settings variations. Here are just some settings you will be able to control directly from our tool:

  • Warping Profiles — yes you will be able to choose from different warping profiles which suit you best. Moreover our plan is to allow community to also add and share different warping profiles for various games to make experience absolutely perfect down to a pixel)
  • FOV — ability to change vertical and horizontal rendered FOV. If your face shape allow you to see only 120 degrees (🥲) FOV, there is no reason to render 140 FOV. By adjusting rendered FOV exactly to your needs you will not loose performance where it is not needed.
  • Software Focal Distance — this is a big & important one. While testing we found out that each person eyes are slightly different and people loved to change these setting. We have added this feature to be able to accommodate image of VR1 down to last millimeter. Out of the box VR1 will be set to a perfect setting for “majority” but we know YOU are special, so we will encourage all of you to play with this setting and find your ultimate setup.
  • Contrast, Brightness, Gamma, Hue and much more. Display settings will allow you to make image truly YOURS.
  • Resolution, Refresh Rate, Local Dimming and much much more.
  • Various Mixed Reality Settings, Eye tracking, Hand Tracking etc.
  • Chroma Key settings and 3D Model uploading to create true Mixed Reality experiences
  • Hardware Buttons settings, RGB LED lights control.
  • Many other software & hardware settings.

Orders & Somnium Connect

Thousands of enthusiasts are all eagerly waiting to be able to finally order VR1 headset. We have good news for you! You will be able to do so in less than a month*. We are finalizing our e-shop experience and preparing our accounting and financial back-end systems to be able to start taking orders.

Here is a rough timeline and scenario of how it all will work:

  1. In the beginning of March we are planning to open orders for those who reserved their spot. (if you did not do it yet, we highly recommend doing it asap)
  2. People will be receiving their order links on the same basis as they have reserved their spots.
  3. Our e-shop will show you what is estimated delivery time based on the configuration of the headset you will choose and based on demand.
  4. Once we reach Somnium Connect time in the end of March, we will open public orders right during the Connect itself.
  5. We might opt to personally hand over few units of VR1 on stage to the first ones who will order and will come physically.
  • Please note, that times might shift slightly base on our factory finalization and e-shop preparation.

Final thoughts

As you know, we are obsessed about the quality and long-lasting nature of VR1. We do not and will not make any compromises. This is the headset we always wanted to create, and we are taking our time. While we are fully on track with production schedule we reserve the right to make slight delays to ensure that everything, and we truly mean everything is ON POINT.

Below you can also find some pictures which have not been released outside our Discord and some tweets & videos which we think are important such as microphone test or VR review of VR1 :-)

P.S.: And a bonus see alpha preview of hand masking in VR ;)

Through the lens of VR1 shot with iPhone 15 Pro.



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