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Can You Use FPV Goggles with Any Drone? (Explained)

Unless you are a newbie in the drone industry, you have probably heard about FPV goggles. Drone goggles give you the First Person View of what is showing in your drone’s camera feed. Many FPV goggles also feature head track technology, which enables you to guide your drone simply by turning your head. 

If you want an exciting drone flying experience, you have to give FPV goggles a try. However, there are many types of drone goggles, and even more types of drones. Which brings us to the question: can FPV goggles be used with any drone?

In general, any drone that has a camera will work with FPV goggles. The goggles are another way to view the video transmission from the drone’s camera feed. Not all drones, however, are compatible with all FPV goggles. Compatibility depends on the drone manufacturer and the type of goggles.

If you’re still not sure whether your drone will work with FPV goggles, or which goggles will work with your drone, keep reading to find out more.

Which drones work with FPV goggles?

The ability of a drone to be flown with FPV goggles depends on two things. The most basic requirement for a drone to work with FPV goggles is having a camera. If your drone doesn’t have a camera, there is no video feed to display on an FPV screen, and you won’t be able to use FPV goggles to fly it. 

The other requirement for your drone to work with FPV goggles is a video transmission system. If there’s no video transmitter, the video from the drone’s camera can’t get to your FPV goggles. However, almost all drones that have a camera also have a video transmitter, since this is necessary to see your camera feed on your controller. 

So you can safely assume that if your drone has a camera with a video feed that you can view on your controller, the drone can be flown with FPV goggles. That’s not to say, however, that any FPV goggles will work with any drone. The compatibility will depend on the goggles and the particular drone model.  

Which FPV goggles are compatible with my drone?

If you’ve got a DJI drone, it’s likely compatible with DJI FPV goggles. Here are the DJI drones that will work with the DJI goggles:  Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom, Mavic Pro, Mavic Air, Spark, Phantom 3 Advanced, Phantom 4 Series, and Inspire Series (1 and 2).

Unfortunately, there are some DJI drones that are not compatible with the DJI goggles, for some odd reason. Here are the drones will not work with the DJI goggles: Mavic 2 Enterprise, Mavic Air 2, Mavic Air 2S, and the Mavic Mini.

It’s also unfortunate that the DJI FPV goggles will not work with any non-DJI drones. If you’ve got another brand of drone, you’ll have to find another brand of FPV goggles to use with your drone. 

To learn more about the DJI goggles and which drones they work with, read our article here » 

If you want to be absolutely sure that your FPV goggles will work with your drone, the best bet is to look for goggles that are made by your drone manufacturer. For example, the Parrot Anafi has an FPV goggle made specifically for it by Parrot (see on Amazon). You won’t have to be worried about compatibility if they’re made for each other.  

Many other FPV goggles are out there on the market, made to be used with quite a variety of drones. Some reliable brands to look for include Epson, FatShark, Oculus, and SkyZone. They are typically compatible with most major drone brands. To confirm the compatibility of your drone with any of the goggles made by these brands, you can check with the goggle manufacturer.

If you’re into drone racing and have a racing drone, you can be fairly confident that it will be able to be used with just about any FPV goggle, since they are built to connect with FPV goggles. 

Some drone manufacturers make and sell FPV kits that come complete with a drone and FPV goggles. One we like for beginners is the BETAFPV kit, which you can read more about here »

How do FPV goggles work?

The FPV goggles have several features key to their functioning. Let’s look at each of them and their role in getting a live feed without any issues.

Video transmission system

The video transmitter, together with the receiver and antennas, works to determine the video link’s reliability and range. 5.8GHz is the frequency that is commonly used during transmission. This frequency tends to be quite reliable, and it will not experience much interference from other aircraft that might be flying around nearby. 

The goggles are built with a video receiver (VRX) to pick up the transmission from the video transmitter (VTX) on the drone. To know if your goggles will work with a particular drone, you must ensure that the video transmitter is supported by the video transmission system. 

This is because their operation on compatible channels might differ. In most cases, the VRX and VTX require swapping because their antennas are polarized. 

FPV camera

The role of an FPV camera is to record live video and transmit those videos down to the operator. This could be viewed on a controller screen or displayed on the screen of FPV goggles.  

Head tracking

This is a technology common in most FPV goggles. Head tracking technology tracks the movement of your head and uses this movement to inform the controls of the camera gimbal. In other words, you can control where the camera looks just by turning your head in a particular direction. 

In some cases, the head tracking feature can control the direction of the drone itself, so that you can fly the drone through your head’s movements. 

Frequencies and bandwidth

All the parts of FPV goggles are critical in ensuring that your goggles project a live feed view before your eyes. Nevertheless, for the best drone flying experience, you need to understand the frequency and bandwidth of the goggles. FPV goggles use the following Wi-Fi enabled frequencies: 

  • 900MHz, which is either long-range or medium. This frequency has better penetration, but it’s prone to interference and provides poor video transmission.
  • 2GHz offers better protection against interference. This frequency is both medium and long-range. Its penetration is average.
  • 4GHz offers extended range frequency for FPV flights, but it doesn’t penetrate buildings and trees.
  • 8GHz boasts the best protection against interference. With this frequency, you won’t have to worry about other drones near you. Besides, the frequency is also easy to set up. However, its penetration is poor.

You can note here that lower frequencies have the best penetration and range.

How to choose FPV goggles to fly a drone

As mentioned earlier, FPV goggles vary in style and type, and choosing the best one for you might be difficult. They come in three form factors, and here is a discussion of each. Understanding these form factors will help you decide which is the right viewing device for you.

Box goggles

A box encloses box goggles to keep the sunlight away. These FPV goggles consist of a unique magnification lens and an LED screen. If you are a newbie, this unit is the best for you, and it is also cheap. They also don’t require any IPD adjustments, making them easier to use.

Low profile goggles

These goggles feature a small LED screen, and they are the most common FPV viewing devices. They also have a magnification lens that enables you to enlarge your photos. Most drone pilots like them because they are small and comfortable. However, you will have to spend a lot of money to buy them since they tend to be expensive.

FPV Monitor

Aerial photographers are the ones that use these FPV viewing devices since they enable them to locate the drone. Their screen features an in-built FPV receiver and gives a better experience.

Price is the other vital factor to consider when buying FPV goggles. The viewing devices are priced differently depending on their features, frequency, and view range. However, if you have the budget for them, getting the more expensive ones will give you a better FPV flight experience. 

To read more about FPV goggles and how they work, read our article on the topic over here »