Vava Chroma Short Throw Projector Review: Excellence at a Price

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For most people, a decent TV is the best way to get a bright, vibrant picture in the living room. But if you’re building a serious home theater, you’ll likely have to take a different route. While there was a time when projectors had to be kept at bay, these days short throw projectors are all the rage. Vava, a relatively new company, has released the latest short throw projector in the form of the new Vava Chroma.

The Vava Chroma is not cheap, but it is also very high-tech. The projector offers 4K resolution, Alexa voice control and more. But it’s also relatively expensive. At nearly $ 3,000 for the Indiegogo special, or $ 4,699 when it launches to the public, should you get the Vava Chroma? I’ve been using it for a while now to find out.

Vava Chroma design

The Vava Chroma is sleek and stylish and should look great in any living room or home theater. The spotlight is also clearly made from premium materials and comes in black brushed metal which looks modern and feels relatively sturdy.

Vava Chroma logo image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

The projector is 21.25 inches wide, 14.88 inches deep, and 4.33 inches tall. It’s definitely not a small unit, but it should still fit on a small tablet or stand in front of your projector screen. On the sides, you will find metal-look grilles hiding the vents for air circulation. On the front there is a fabric covering hiding the speakers, and on the top there is a depression where the projector lens is located. Everything looks great.

The back is where all the ports are. The projector offers a range of ports, and there should be enough for most home theater setups. You will get three HDMI ports, one of which supports HDMI ARC, USB port, audio out and A / V input, optical port and Ethernet port for better connectivity. It’s a good selection.

Vava Chroma lens
Vava Chroma lens Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

The remote control that comes with the Vava Chroma is also well built. It’s not very thick, and it’s very simple, offering only software controls and a microphone button for voice searches. Unfortunately, it’s powered by two AAA batteries, so it’s not rechargeable. But that’s not really a big deal. A bigger issue is the fact that it doesn’t have a play / pause button, which is a strange omission. Fortunately, you can use the center button to play and pause the content.

Vava Chroma features and software

The Vava Chroma is packed with features that should make it a great overall experience. We’ll cover the image and audio features a bit later. Importantly, we were checking out a pre-production unit of the Chroma – and as a result, we encountered more bugs and issues than we expected from the end result.

The projector doesn’t have Android TV built in, but it does have an Android based operating system which should make it a bit easier to use. In general, I found the software easy to navigate. I have also found it to be incredibly responsive, responding quickly to button presses and changes.

Vava Chroma remote control
Vava Chroma remote image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Unfortunately, since it doesn’t run Android TV, it doesn’t have the built-in Google Play Store either. Instead, it has its own app store, based on Aptoide. You will be able to find some of the more common apps on the service, including Netflix, YouTube, and Disney +. Some, however, are missing. You won’t get Apple TV +, for example. If you want a more complete software experience, it’s worth using a streaming stick or other external box.

The Chroma does offer other smart features, however. You will get Alexa directly integrated into the projector and you can use it by holding down the microphone button on the remote control. This means you can use the projector to control smart home devices and search the web for information, which is nice. Also, it supports

Vava Chroma performance

The Vava Chroma is designed to deliver excellent picture quality, and luckily, it does. The projector supports a screen between 80 inches and 150 inches. Not only that, but the projector uses a triple laser light source, which allows it to use a different laser for red, green, and blue. All of this tech means the projector doesn’t come cheap – but for many it can be worth the cost.

Vava Chroma Ports
Vava Chroma Ports Image Source: Christian de Looper for BGR

The Chroma supports a number of image features that you may or may not use. For example, it supports Full HD 3D, which I never used in testing.

The projector supports HDR10, but no other HDR format. It would have been nice to get Dolby Vision support to match Dolby Audio, but alas, you’ll only be stuck with HDR10.

Despite this, the images on the Vava Chroma are generally excellent. The Chroma delivers a bright, vibrant image with extremely deep black levels. Right out of the box, the projector is a little overdriven, but if you’re in the know enough, you can easily fix it yourself. Otherwise, you probably don’t care.

The ANSI brightness of 2,500 lumens is fine for most, but in bright environments you can struggle a bit. Vava actually manufactures a special ambient light rejecting screen, which can be supplied with the projector, and is designed to reject light from windows and lights. The screen will need to be permanently mounted on a wall, but if you’re building a home theater, that might not be a big deal. In general, it worked quite well.

Sound Vava Chroma

The Vava Chroma comes with built-in Harman Kardon 60W speakers, which is way better than the majority of projectors. Not only that, but the projector supports Dolby Audio.

Typically, speakers can get relatively loud, and in a pinch, they will fill a small to medium room relatively easily. Now, if you’re building a high-end home theater, it’s probably worth investing in a larger speaker system to match the picture quality.

Vava Chroma speaker
Vava Chroma speaker Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

The speaker is generally capable of delivering a deep bass response, with slightly scooped mids and good detail in the high end. The high extension and low extension aren’t as nice as you would with a better sound system, but it’s definitely not bad.

The fans built into the projector are audible, but do not interfere with the viewing experience. You won’t really notice them when watching movies or videos, as the sound is easily obscured by even relatively low sound.

Conclusion

The Vava Chroma is a beast of the spotlight. It’s not perfect – a slightly brighter picture would have been nice, and a play / pause button on the remote would help. But these problems are relatively minor. Overall, the Chroma delivers incredible picture quality, solid sound and more.

The competition

The Vava Chroma is great, but it’s not cheap. If you’re willing to drop that much on a short throw projector, there are other options to consider. For example, you’ll want to consider the Optoma CinemaX P2, which gets a bit brighter. However, it does not support the triple laser technology offered by the Chroma, so it may not offer high-end image quality. Depending on when and where you buy the Chroma, you may also be able to get it cheaper, which you should be doing compared to the CinemaX P2.

Should I buy the Vava Chroma?

Yes. The Vava Chroma is an incredible projector and offers one of the best picture qualities on the market.


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