Merge - VR Goggles

Be transported into another world with the Merge VR Goggles. Compatible with Android and iOS devices, Merge VR Goggles provide an immersive virtual reality experience powered by your smartphone.Explore virtual worlds with these Merge VR goggles. The input system lets you perform simultaneous action, such as running and jumping, and the soft foam construction keep you comfortable. These Merge VR goggles take you to new worlds via hundreds of apps with VR START, and they’re compatible with newer Android and iPhone devices for versatility.
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    Merge - VR Goggles
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    Overview

    What's Included


    • Merge VR Goggles

    Ratings & Reviews


    Overall Customer Rating:
    81% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (302 out of 377)

    Features


    Compatible with most iOS and Android devices

    Released from the last 2 years and fits iPhone 5 to iPhone 6 Plus in size, including iPhone 6, Galaxy S5, HTC One M8, LG G4 and newer.

    Soft and flexible foam edges

    Fits comfortably to the contours of any face. Also protects your device from accidental drops.

    Dual input system

    Features a unique input system using both left and right buttons that allow you to perform two different actions at once, such as run and jump or steer left and right.

    Portable design

    You can throw it in your backpack or toss it in the back seat of your car.

    Hygienic and easy to clean

    It's great for sharing with family and friends without sharing germs.

    Merge Start portal

    Explore apps ranging from games and 360 videos, to virtual tourism to education, and more.


    Customer rating

    4.0
    81%
    would recommend to a friend

    Pros

    Cons

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      Awesome VR Headset, Perfect with Merge Cube

      Posted
      teasten
      • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
      • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

      Disclosure: I am a Best Buy Tech Insider Network member. I received the Merge VR at no cost for review purposes and I received no other compensation. The following is my honest opinion of the product. Best Buy and the product manufacturer do not influence my review in any way. I remember when Google announced their cardboard offering and signed up early on to get one. The reality is that cardboard VR units do not really block the light and having to use your hand to hold it on your head undermines the whole VR experience. So I've always really wanted a VR viewer you can comfortbly wear on your head but that works properly with Google cardboard. The Merge VR viewer does just that. The Merge VR viewer is also the companion of the Merge VR cube (more on that later) What's in the box: - Merge VR Viewer - Quickstart Guide - Lense Cleaning Cloth Since this a review of the Merge VR I am not going to talk about VR apps, just the experience of using the headset (comfort, weight, phone fit). Your experience on VR really depends on what device and apps you use. The Merge VR does offer their own apps which work with the awesome Merge Cube (see that review). The Merge VR does offer pointers though on where to get VR apps for your phone (Android and iOS). A GREAT thing about the Merge VR Viewer is that it officially supports cardboard. There's a QR code inside the headband so you can pair it with the Google Cardboard App. There are also dual action buttons on the top, so you can click to select just like you would with a Google VR headset. Well done to Merge for supporting that! So if you're after an officially supported, quality Google cardboard VR viewer, this is for you. What's different about the Merge VR Viewer to other viewers is that your phone slides into a foam holder. There's no unclip, fold down container, weird elastic strap, etc. The foam holder fits an iPhone 7 comfortably (with the phone in the case). It didn't like the foam would stretch enough for the iPhone 7+ (with or without a case). So keep that in mind if you have a bigger phone. I do like that your phone sits in foam, as then you don't have to worry about hard plastic scratching your screen and there's no risk the phone will just fall out. The Merge VR Viewer is super comfortable. You can adjust the focus of the lenses, they slide using the same parts that the action buttons are on. It was easy to get the Google Cardboard demo VR at a comfortable viewing style for me and adjust for the rest of my family. There is ample foam paddig everywhere, so this is a viewer that is definitely child friendly. The adjustable head straps adust around the sides and top of your heads and we had no problems with anyone in our family. I really recommend buying the Merge VR with the totally awesome Merge VR cube. As a combination, it's fun, amazing and shows you just how smart VR can be. If you're looking for a fun toy or a great gift. Get the Merge VR and Merge Cube (Pictured). You won't be disappointed. Recommended.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Affordable VR and AR Headset For Beginners

      Posted
      Shail
      • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      Let me start with a disclaimer :) The rating above is for the product and not for the VR and AR technology. I had some issues while using these goggles but most of them are related to the technology at the moment and not really an issue with the product. So, let's talk about the goggles first. They are made of very comfortable foam kind of material. The straps are easy to configure and give you a very stable experience. The lenses are ok for the price. The mechanism to adjust them is good. The ease of inserting a phone inside them depends on the size of the phone. I have a nexus 6P which takes an effort to fit in. So, anything bigger than that will hardly fit in but because they are made of foam, they are kind of stretchable. There is a removable piece at the front which is very helpful when you want to use them with an AR (Augmented Reality) tool/product (e.g. Merge Cube). You simple remove that and then hold the cube in the hand. It is much easier this way rather than holding a phone/tablet in one hand and the cube in other. You will get tired really soon :). VR apps and videos and stretch the boundaries of your phone and as a result the phone gets really hot. Thus, it is really important that the design of VR goggles allows for as much air circulation as possible. The design of these goggles provides enough air to your phone so that it does not get super hot. When inserting the phone inside the goggles, be careful not to hit the power/lock button of your phone else you will need to take it out again. So, overall this is a pretty good product if you are curious about the whole virtual reality buzz. It is affordable, durable and quite practical to serve as beginner's VR/AR headset. My 10 year old son loves these and it's more fun to watch him enjoying these :) Few thoughts on the VR/AR technology: =============================== I tried various apps available at the moment on merge's web site as well as some cardboard apps available on Google play store. My first impression is that the VR technology is in its infancy and it has a long way to go. At the moment, the best experience is 360 videos. For most of the apps/games, you need some kind of bluetooth controller. As I don't have that yet my choices are limited. I also got a Merge Cube along with the goggles. The AR seems to be a really cool technology and having a simple cube made of foamy material turn into so many different things is just unbelievable. But again at the moment, there is only so much use of it and you get bored of it pretty soon.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      Eye opening experience

      Posted
      Fordman9870
      • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      The MERGE VR glasses are made from a rubber foam base with plastic around the middle eye relief areas. I tested the phone area with an IPhone 4/6/6s and a Galaxy S6. All fit perfectly and since the rubber foam stretches a bit to accept different phone types the phone itself is snug and will not move around. The headset is both iOS and Android Compatible and fits phones from 123mm to 158mm in size. To seek if your phone is VR ready at VRTestNinja.com Before operating the device I downloaded a few free games from the link provided on their website (www.VRstart.com) once downloaded I started the app and inserted the phone. The head piece has Velcro straps that adjust to fit your head perfectly. I found that loosening them all the way up and putting the headset on then adjust straps accordingly worked the best. For those with glasses, I wore mine and had no difficulty at all with them. Once on, I adjusted the eye pieces from below the headset until I had a clear view, then enjoyed the app. I really like that they included input buttons on the top which make it a snap for using games that need user input (fire or select) The games they offer are great. They really make you think you are inside of a virtual world with a 3D effect. When paired with the Merge cube, I was blown away by the visual effects when I held the cube up in front of the head unit. Every time I turned the cube new views appeared. There are free games you can download and ones you pay for as well. They offer many different apps in conjunction with the cube. Both available on the IOS and Android systems. The cube is made of the same rubber foam type material as the head unit is. Very durable, A stand comes with it (thin plastic packaging) that will hold the cube should you need it or place the phone in the stand and when launching the app and choose phone mode so you can use it without the headset. These are a great combo when purchased together. It will provide hours of fun for kids young and old. New apps are being put out daily for download. One note, I did feel a slight strain on my eyes when I tested it for a bit. So make sure you have the eye ports adjusted for your fit or this may amplify eye strain. With no fault to Merge, My S6 got extremely hot after 15 minutes of use, but it is 2 years old. Newer phones have better processing than old and should not have this issue. Again this is not a Merge issue but just thought S6 users may take note to use it for short periods of time.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

      A neat novelty, but a novelty

      Posted
      JenN7
      • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
      • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member
      • Top 1000 ContributorTop 1000 Contributor

      Because software and apps can always change, I'm going to try and limit my review to the actual hardware and how well it works and feels as much as I can. I did test it with the Merge Cube as well as with a couple of standalone VR apps. As a regular VR headset, these goggles were fairly comfortable, if a bit heavy and blocky... I liked that the lenses were adjustable and they were not uncomfortable to wear with eyeglasses, which was nice. However, the foam material of the goggles did not allow my phone to breathe at all inside the goggles... my phone (a Pixel XL--admittedly on the large end of what will fit in these goggles) was almost painfully hot to the touch after only 10 minutes of use inside the goggles, which was really worrisome. When using Merge apps, with the Merge Cube for instance, the "trigger" buttons on top of the goggles worked well to select buttons and the Merge Cube was a pretty neat Augmented Reality accessory, but the apps and games to play with it are pretty short and demo-y without much meat, which wasn't really a big surprise. This is kind of geared toward 10 and up kids who will probably find the cube to be pretty neat for a little while. All interaction with the cube, though, is done using the triggers on the goggles... I kept wanting to use my fingers to interact with the cube, and was disappointed that it was more of a "look but don't touch" thing. With non-merge apps, I found that the triggers on the goggles didn't work so well... the apps worked well visually, but as with other VR goggles, it would be useful to have a bluetooth controller or some other input device, as the construction of the goggles makes it really hard to pull your phone in and out to touch the screen. You may find that on different sized phones, the triggers align better or something, but on my phone, they did not work well for non-merge apps from the Google Play store. I did not test this with an iphone. Overall, if you're looking for a VR experience for kids, this is a sturdy headset choice that will probably hold up really well to some wear and tear. Throw an old phone in there and let them go to town for a while. For older kids or adults looking for more than a novelty item or a toy, there are much better options out there. Recommended, with caveats.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

      Decent VR Googles, Needs Better App Support

      Posted
      zboot
      • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      The Merge VR goggle is an interesting piece of kit. It does a good job of being a Google cardboard compatible google. Its comfortable to wear and should hold up to drops pretty nicely. However, setup can be tricky for those who don't realize it uses Google cardboard and the Merge website that provides additional apps and other media customized for the VR goggles doesn't seemed truly geared for app discovery. Let's start with the physical device itself. It's a soft squishy plastic, so can handle falls and some rough usage. What's great is that it's foam like construction would also protect your phone should it happen to be in the goggles when dropped. That said, one should take care to verify beforehand the sizing requirements for the goggles. If you have a larger phone, like the Galaxy Note series, you can forget about getting these goggles. Sure, you can shoehorn in the phone, but dialing in the focus will be a pain. Finding instructions on setup is also a pain unless you've read this review and know to expect to install the google cardboard app. There was just one instruction card insert in the goggle's itself that provided instructions on setup. Skimming through the instruction booklet, reading everything on the box is no help. Going to the merge VR website is also no help, unless you take note of the tiny text at the very bottom. Once you've crossed this hurdle, setup is relatively straightforward. You'd want to spend some time in the google cardboard UI getting focus and separation dialed in, since there's no welcome or other intro that helps with this process. Going "back" requires rotating the googles 90 degrees. . . while wearing them. This wouldn't be that big a deal if with my phone inserted correctly, going "back" didn't need me to also be upside down. So, most of the time, to go back, I physically took off the goggles and rotated them. Having a physical button or better mapping to the phone would have been very useful. The trigger button setup is a bit iffy. Being in the middle of the goggles because it's integrated with the lens mechanism means more opportunity for your hands to get in the way. Not too big a deal, but with the UI dropping the ball, the hardware needs to pick up the slack. For playing VR games, watching VR content, the Merge is on par with low cost google cardboard devices. For a bit more, you can get a device with dedicated app support and it's own separate ecosystem and UI. If you're going to use this a lot, it's well worth spending the money. The other let down was the merge website itself. At first, it looks great. It's clearly optimized for mobile devices, though easy enough to navigate on a PC. However, to get good categorization of apps requires digging through menus or search. Pricing is not readily apparent and because there's no companion app to view the site on Android, you need to step outside the VR world to find an app. I ended up having better success simply searching via the Play store. This is a decent piece of hardware and seems to be targeted towards children and families. If you're already a regular google cardboard user and have literal cardboard VR goggles, this is certainly a nice upgrade. But given the size limitations and other issues, I'd satisfy my VR goggle need elsewhere.

      No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      Comfortable , Does not fit all phone sizes

      Posted
      TechTux
      • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
      • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

      Overall this is a good product for the prices. It is made to feel comfortably and fit middle sized phones without problems. If you have the Larger / Extra large (ex: Note 8 or S8+) phones they will not fit. PROS - Price 3 Adjustable Head Straps Lightweight / Easily rests on head Durability Free VR Software / Videos CONS - Does not fit all phone sizes Not Breathable, will get hot around eyes/forehead Irritation around ears after long use Must be on Network/Internet, No Standalone Software Merge - VR Google Unit - There are 3 adjustable straps that rest over the top of your head and ears. However after long use (40min) you will feel some irritation on your ears and heat/pressure on your forehead as its not very breathable foam. The unit itself is foam and plastic which makes it light and adjustable. It appears durable for wear and tear however wont know until long term usage. The goggles inside slide left / right to adjust viewing, comparable to old style binoculars. There is a button that is used to interact with the phone screen. However It is strongly recommend to have the phone setup first with software installed before placing into the head unit. Viewing Area is the full size of the phone , I did not notice any gabs in corners when using. Software- The headset does not come with any software. It directs you to their website MergeVR.com. The website is easy to navigate and does not require you to install anything onto your phone. Most of the VR applications are either links to YouTube or within the website directly. Most of apps are free except for a few items that use the MergeCube.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Surprisingly Effective VR on the iPhone 7

      Posted
      RedScorpion
      • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      So, these goggles are surprisingly fun. As someone who picked this up out of curiosity, I have to say I have enjoyed the Merge VR Goggles. The construction on these goggles is first rate. The foam is comfortable and light enough that I actually forget I am wearing them. The lens adjust easily enough and the entire thing is pretty simple. My girlfriend was able to wear them with her glasses. The lens come out easy enough for cleaning and the entire things is very user friendly. There's a pop-out slot on the front of the goggles to see AR devices like the Merge Cube. I used these goggles with an iPhone 7 and the performance was very good. The resolution is not quite up to something like the Oculus or the Vive, but it works and in the right program it provides a good 3D effect. I played Romans from Mars, Endspace VR, and Discovery VR and the 3D effect was quite good. I was a bit disappointed with some 3D youtube videos, but with the apps, the experience worked well. You can find plenty of apps and VR videos at vrstart.com/merge. If I have any complaint, it's that I never seemed to get things perfectly in focus. It was close, but seemed like I had to adjust the lenses every time I took the glasses off and put them back on. But then again, the focus also seemed to depend on the app. Still, if you are at all interested in Google Cardboard, this is probably the best option out there. The goggles are the best in their class and, as soon as my iPhone charges back up, I will be back to killing roman martians.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      My Kids Love These Glasses!

      Posted
      JulieC
      • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
      • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

      My boys aged 9 & 11 have been wanting Virtual Reality goggles for awhile. They were very excited to give the Merge - VR Goggles a try. Set up was reality easy. My iPhone 7 fits perfectly in the glasses. Please note, the size of your phone does matter with these glasses as my husband's 7 plus is too large. You do need to download apps in order to use the goggles which was easy. We chose The Walk and Dig to try out first. Once the head straps and phone are positioned you can adjust the top buttons back and forth to focus the goggles. There are also two toggles underneath the goggles to help focus. The Walk - This is a Virtual Reality tightrope walk across two buildings. You get a 360 degree view and can also look down upon the city. The goggles are a soft foam type material that makes them relatively lightweight and comfortable on your face. The boys really enjoyed using this app. We looked at other potential apps, but many cost additional to download. We will likely purchase a few more in the future, but it is something to consider. I wish more of the educational apps were free. Dig - Dig is a building game similar to Minecraft and it utilizes the Merge Cube to play. This one was a free download from the app store. It took a little bit of time to figure out how to use the menu, but once we realized you have to use the top buttons on the goggles to do so, my boys figured it out. You can select different layouts and build or dig into you cube creation. They really enjoyed this game as well. Overall, I would say the Merge - VR Goggles are fun for older kids and my husband enjoyed it as well. I will say it was cool doing the tightrope from the safety of our kitchen. As with any 3-D type glasses, they do fatigue your eyes after prolonged use. We had our boys take turns and use them for short periods of time to lessen the effects. My youngest wears glasses and he found it harder to focus the lens while he was using them. I found the focus feature to work pretty good. I think the biggest negative so far is trying to find educational apps that are free. My son wanted to explore the ocean and human body, but all of those apps required a purchase. We also tried to download a Star Wars BB-8 game, but it said you have to scan the posters in order to play. Apparently, we do not have them so it wouldn't work. We hope to find more apps in the future for them to try.

      I would recommend this to a friend



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