Nreal Launches $379 Air AR Glasses, Adds Support for iOS and macOS

Nreal Air
(Image credit: Nreal)

Nreal is expanding its presence in the United States by launching another pair of augmented reality (AR) glasses. First launched in Asia in 2021, the Nreal Air AR glasses bring the entry price down for consumers to $379, compared to $599 for the Nreal Light, which we reviewed last year.

Compared to the Light, the Air glasses are 25 percent lighter and consume 50 percent less power. Designed to compete with the best VR headsets, The Nreal Air is also cheaper because these new AR glasses don't feature built-in SLAM or RGB cameras. Instead, the Air glasses only use 6 degrees of freedom (DoF) tracking.

Nreal is positioning the Air as a media consumption device for watching videos (i.e., Netflix and Hulu) and playing mobile games. You'll be treated to a 46 field of view with content, and when using the Nebula Mirror Mode, you're treated to a virtual screen that measures 130 to 200 inches. This could be an interesting way to enjoy content from game consoles like the Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5.

Nreal Adapter

(Image credit: Nreal)

In the past, Nreal primarily focused on Android mobile devices and left iOS devices out of the loop regarding support. However, Nreal will now offer a $59 dongle that allows its AR glasses to work with an iPhone. It should be noted that you aren't finished after spending $59 on the dongle. You will also need to purchase the official Apple Digital AV Adapter that plugs into the Nreal dongle, which will cost you another $35 (opens in new tab). It's a clunky solution for iOS users, and we wish that Nreal offered a more streamlined and cost-effective option. 

Even with all the necessary components in place, you won't have access to Nreal's Nebula AR interface. Instead, you'll only be able to use the screen mirroring option for streaming content.

Nreal Nebula macOS

(Image credit: Nreal)

In addition, Nreal is showing even more love to the Apple ecosystem with the availability of Nebula for select macOS devices. Nebula provides MacBook Pro and MacBook Air users with a virtual user interface that can project multiple displays in front of you, expanding your available productivity workspace. Unfortunately, Nreal macOS compatibility is limited to Macs running on Apple Silicon (i.e., M1- and M2-based SoCs). Nreal did not indicate if or when Intel-based Macs would gain support for Nebula.

"AR glasses will likely first emerge into people's lives as a display technology and then gradually grow into a holistic experience," said Nreal co-founder Peng Jin. "That is why the thinking behind Nreal Air is very focused on the aesthetics, display quality, and its connectivity with other hardware devices."

U.S. customers can purchase the $379 Nreal Air AR glasses (opens in new tab) from Amazon with an expected delivery of October 6. The $59 Nreal Adapter (opens in new tab) is also available on Amazon, with delivery as soon as October 2.

Brandon Hill is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware. He has written about PC and Mac tech since the late 1990s with bylines at AnandTech, DailyTech, and Hot Hardware. When he is not consuming copious amounts of tech news, he can be found enjoying the NC mountains or the beach with his wife and two sons.

  • Mandark
    Can I get Terminator style AR so I can view appropriate and offensive responses?
    Reply
  • Starkoman
    14 PD cruisers destroyed
    1 Police helicopter destroyed
    6 Wounded
    0 Fatalities
    If it wasn’t, this should have been the first interface they built for it. It’s familiar, after all.
    Reply
  • Starkoman
    Serious potential European (UK) customer here.

    Very displeased about the tedious long wait for these to port to M1/Intel Mac/iOS — only to discover the interface is not ready and they expect me to purchase dongles and add-on’s which, essentially, should have been built-in.

    There are no excuses for this form of incompetence and greed.

    Personally, I’m not buying anything from them until they sort out their problems —and pricing.

    I’ve lost confidence the company can now do anything in a short timeframe.

    Sadly, I’m finally turning to their (almost) equally inept and slow-to-market competitors — because these glasses are utterly hopeless, unfortunately.

    Waiting so long for this was a waste of my time. Forget you.
    Reply
  • Paul Dominguez
    . Not supporting Apple doesn't make it a bad AR glasses. Id like to know more how it functions/behaves from using Android to PC. Is it just for movies or can I do work such as write or spreadsheets when I'm traveling for work? Are the images clear and can you zoom in to an areas ( spreadsheets)?
    Seems that every professional reviewer has the same complaint that Apple isn't supported- copy/paste of other reviews. I doubt Apple Glass will support android or Windows.
    Reply