Apple confirms the Vision Pro headset achieves 90Hz refresh rate, is HDR capable

Daniel Sims

Posts: 1,091   +39
In context: Apple usually releases a full spec sheet on its website immediately after unveiling a new device, but no such table currently exists for the Vision Pro. This leaves some technical questions surrounding the device unanswered, but a new developer deep-dive sheds a bit more light on the headset's capabilities.

Apple has confirmed that the displays in its new Vision Pro mixed-reality headset usually maintain 90Hz and support HDR. That refresh rate is standard among VR devices like the Meta Quest, PlayStation VR 2, and Valve Index.

The Cupertino giant said the Vision Pro is "mostly" 90Hz because it also features a 96Hz mode that can automatically activate when users watch 24Hz content, which includes most movies and TV shows. Because 96 divides evenly into 24, 24Hz content should display more smoothly than on a typical 60Hz TV. Sony and Valve's headsets can reach 120Hz, which also divides evenly into 24, but 96 works as a middle ground.

During the initial reveal, Apple emphasized arguably the Vision Pro's most significant advantage over the competition – its 4K-per-eye display resolution. The panels achieve roughly double the pixel count of other headsets and enable viewing full 4K videos.

The refresh rate information is part of one of several guides Apple released to help developers adjust to its new mixed-reality operating system, visionOS. The video series contains information on how to build accessible interfaces for Vision Pro apps and content that looks smooth when wearing the headset, including 2D and 3D videos.

Also read: I got to play with the Apple Vision Pro and saw the future of computing. Again.

Immersive 180-degree and 360-degree videos have long been a core appeal of VR headsets, but less attention has gone toward their ability to play back flat-panel 3D video. Apple made streaming a significant focus of its Vision Pro reveal presentation, including 3D content, with immersive Disney+ experiences as a highlight. If the company thinks 3D streaming will be a primary use for its headset, it makes sense to encourage entertainment companies and content creators to embrace the format.

One of the guides focuses on properly using video codecs to create 3D streaming content. Apple said Vision Pro supports MP4 and HEVC but didn't mention AV1, a royalty-free alternative gaining support among other hardware manufacturers.

The headset's other impressive properties include its M2 processor and R1 chip, the latter dedicated to handling sensor input to create a more comfortable pass-through experience. The Vision Pro's capabilities essentially amount to an 8K MacBook strapped to the user's face, but $3,500 is still a lot.

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Posts: 1,733   +1,244
Isn't true HDR supposed to be 1000+ nits? If it is 1000+, I wonder if it will cause problems for the user's eyes.

Real world is 10000k like 24 stops of light - Humans can only vaguely handle 12 stops ie shadows will seem jet black vs sun - It takes a couple of minutes to get night vision etc . Only former presidents can truly look directly in the sun as well

Given all that you are right most HDR media is outputted to 1000nits - it may be mastered at 4000nits - some are outputted at this rate but why??? - you would ne held ransom by some Movie Director -There are still stupid ones out there overusing 1440 degree pans , 1000 edits every 1 minute , held hand shakey for ENTIRE movie , discordant noise all the time and extremely loud( solely as they lack skill)

You are right Nits output is very dependant viewing conditions -Top smart TVs can shape the HDR profile - eg Panasonic will check ambient light

As to product at hand - I would not watch movies on it - another Apple wall prison - $3500 buys a 85" screen - drink my Cup of tea, coffee, beverage of my choice , pet my dogs pause easy to go to bathroom - oh just switch on see through mode to go to toilet - are you a lunatic ??

Like Timeshare for the right person these make sense - but not for most people with a normal house - Watching a disney movie as quoted with your kids should be a social thing - if latest blockbuster


Posts: 1,023   +620
Isn't true HDR supposed to be 1000+ nits? If it is 1000+, I wonder if it will cause problems for the user's eyes.
Depends on the display. Vesa has HDR True black 400, 500 and 600 certification for oleds with black levels as low as zero. If you want to preserve your eyes oled technology is a must have. Oleds are also known have 3x less blue light than traditional lcd. When measuring luminance at peak nits they only have to hit it a 10% window. My vision personally stopped progressing since I started using the CX oled almost 3 years ago.

Although I am reading that this one has a newer micro-oled display.


Posts: 19,540   +8,733
At $3500, that thing should wash the dishes, do the laundry, and be good in bed too....
I was thinking for that price, it should come with something on the order of a morally bankrupt masseuse. (My bachelor's mentality isn't averse to using paper plates, or buying new clothes occasionally )


Posts: 136   +215
Have they confirmed they're planning on an wildly overpriced VR headset? Hardware, software, or batteries fail and you've got a $3500 blindfold. That doesn't sound like AR to me.