Oakley Airwave 1.5 review

HUD action for the slopes but are these Oakleys more style than substance?
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Oakley Airwave 1.5
By Oakley
The Oakley Airwave 1.5 goggles are still a work in progress albeit a rather nifty one. However, they just don’t boast enough features or a comfortable enough design to make them a truly viable winter sports accessory. We’d advise waiting for the next version, or perhaps the one after that.

  • Buddy tracking feature
  • Social media updates
  • Real time slope information
  • Strain on your eyes
  • Heavy build and uncomfortable
  • HUD not very clear

Oakley’s Airwave 1.5 goggles are not just a pair of eye protectors for swooping down the slopes, they are in fact a connected piece of wearable tech that features a tiny display in the corner of the eye, letting you stay updated with a bevy of facts and figures while you’re mid run.

But are they worth the investment? Find out in our Oakley Airwave 1.5 review.

Oakley Airwave 1.5 features and build

The headline feature of the Oakley Airwave’s is the heads up display, or HUD, which is positioned in the lower corner of the right eye. Once you’ve connected your compatible smartphone through the app, the screen will burst into life, letting you glance at your speed, altitude and distance travelled all whilst slicing through the mountain.

Essential reading: The best wearable action cameras

It also comes with a remote, meant to be strapped to your arm, for easy navigation and obviously it’s all fitted inside a pair of Oakley goggles.

Oakley Airwave 1.5 review

The goggles themselves are noticeably different from others in the Oakley range, mostly down to their bulk. As soon as you put the goggles on they feel heavy, weighing down your head. They’re far from comfortable, even if the outsides are covered in soft foam.

Weight aside, the overall quality is what you’d expect from Oakley. Well put together and sturdy, with the clever Switchlock tech for easily swapping in and out a variety of lenses.

Oakley Airwave 1.5 usability

We have to say that the display does require a lot of getting used to. For ages we struggled to actually see it and trying to reposition it was a tough job. Once it is correctly placed though the information it provides is handy and well, fun. We especially liked the ability to switch music tracks with the included arm remote and seeing how fast we were going instantly whipped up competition.

See also: Adidas miCoach Fit Smart review

You can also check Facebook (which worked only about half the time for us) and answer phone calls. However our favourite feature is Buddy Tracking, which lets you keep a track of the position of other people, provided of course they’re also wearing the same goggles.

Oakley Airwave 1.5 review

One thing to note is that if you suffer from less than impressive eyesight, trying to see the display can be quite a strain and sometimes almost painful. Most of the time we had to stop to get a good look at the display, try and do it while speeding down a black run and more often than not you’ll end up covered in snow.

Obviously, the goggles require charging, for the HUD functions at least and we found ourselves plugging in every other night, though if you really push it you’ll be doing it every evening.


How we test


Max Parker is an experienced technology journalist. He's the editor of Trusted Reviews, and has worked for Wareable, T3 and more.

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