Jump to content

My XR Elite feels like I am looking through lens protection film (distortion and discoloration)


Recommended Posts

Pasting something I posted on reddit and contacted support with, but also sharing here to see what other community members have to say:

I hope someone can give me a hand with this or just tell me it's normal.

I am impressed by how light and comfortable this headset is but am getting a blur that makes me feel like I am looking through lens protection film. I don't see any on the headset, of course.


  • Things look more blue than expected, especially in passthrough.
  • Light spots on dark backgrounds have a halo more than expected from a LCD.
  • Objects are not consistently in focus over the screen - there are splotches of blur.
  • The lens has a bit of a blue reflection when light is shone in but this seems normal in HTC's teardown video.


  • Cleaning with a lint-free cloth
  • Testing both native and streaming apps
  • Inspecting it to see if I can find a lens protector
  • Watching unboxing and teardown videos to see if anyone ever had one and removed it.
  • Adjusting the fit (vertical and horizontal) and the diopter to make sure I have the optimal placement.

I downloaded and installed the ROV test FOV & Resolution room from Steam and used it to try to read text on the wall. When my head scans up and down a paragraph of text, I can visually see the text pinch and warp (subtle, but it's there) in certain areas of my field of view. The distortions stick with my head movement, not with what is on the screen. Also the foveated rendering is VERY aggressive on this, and text outside a smallish cone (maybe 60 degrees?) of the center of my FOV is unreadable. With a USB connection or 5GHz WiFi connection to an RTX 3080, I thought perhaps I could turn that down but I don't see any settings for it. It's fine with an eye tracking headset, but fixed foveated rendering that aggressive is very distracting.  I don't have a way to test to see if the visible warping over blocks of text is as strong in native apps. I'll look for a way today.


Any advice is welcomed.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Same here. Brand new out of the box and it looks like someone cooked bacon next to the headset as when I look into the "sky" in certain games it looks splotchy and discolored like there's drips of grease all over the lenses but I babied them with microfiber.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Did you ever get answers to this? It's very distracting but it's the first VR I ever tried so I can't tell if thats just how it is. But I think about returning it because it's very distracting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, DBArtist said:

As of now, when VIRTUAL DESKTOP is not released, use ALVR.

ALVR is superior in every aspect to VIVE STREAMING HUB.

Thanks for pointing that out. I tried using ALVR and it really elevates the experience, since I only have access to a WiFi5 router here and my PC also only has WiFi connection.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To answer the question, I regret to report that I exchanged my first headset, then returned my second headset. Both support and Discord tried to help, and I got an offer to send in my device for investigation. Doing so would have pushed the device past the return window, so I returned it anyway. If I had assurances that the bloom and smudges were not a systemic issue, I'd have been glad to keep the XR Elite.

If HTC (or even a majority of other users) assured me that the bloom I see is rare and I just got bad luck on headsets, I would have exchanged it and kept the XR Elite. However, I decided I could not keep rolling the dice on a headset over $1,000. All headsets have flaws. Index has bad godrays (and relatively low resolution for 2023) but has great comfort, sound, tracking, and controllers. Quest is front-heavy and requires a lot of third-party mods (head strap or battery strap, headphones, facial interface replacement) to be usable, and even then gets heavy. Still, it has good optics and a whole lot of software and community support. (Facebook still makes it a dealbreaker.)  The HP Reverb G2 has amazing visuals and sound, but on launch had a terrible FOV-restricting facial interface (fixed in a revision), and it's stuck with terrible WMR tracking and controllers. I've used all three, kept the Index for years until it died, and let the Quest die in a closet after the Oculus/Facebook account merge. The Reverb G2 got returned.

It's all a matter of WHICH flaws can be overlooked and which are deal-breaking. The XR Elite has amazing comfort, good resolution, good enough sound, good weight+balance, a great community here and in Discord, and the potential for the best PC streaming integration of a wireless headset once the software catches up. However, the bloom on bright text over dark backgrounds and vice versa (something very common in my use of VR) is a deal breaker. Since I could not get any verification that any replacement device would have that fixed, I can only assume that HTC made a compromise in either materials or design that permitted that level of bloom. It's still a great headset. It seems to have a compromise in design, materials, or manufacturing that presented me with a deal-breaking flaw in two different headsets.

I don't expect a flawless headset. I just expect one to be exciting enough to justify the $1099+tax/shipping. For this price, the optics should have been crystal clear even if they made sacrifices in other areas. Aftermarket solutions could partially overcome many of Quest 2's sacrifices (facial interface, balance, comfort). The Reverb G2's facial interface and other flaws (except the controllers) were overcome with a hardware revision and software updates. However, this issue with XR Elite's optics could never be fixed by me.

I'll still stay somewhat active in this and in the Discord community as I watch to see if this is addressed or if a hardware revision comes out.

Here's a video of the second headset, showing the store page in-headset and not a room over PC streaming: 


Edited by tfix
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...