Reviews Archives - GUNNAR Computer Eyewear

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How To Reduce Headaches During Extended Gameplay Sessions

by , Mar 3 2014

It may sound gimmicky on the surface. If you tell someone there’s a special pair of glasses they can wear while gaming that will reduce eye strain, it sounds like hype to sell overpriced goods that don’t actually work. And at first, I would have agreed with that assumption. But trying to be a fair and unbiased person, which is really a challenge for me, I put in a request for a pair of Gunnar glasses and to my surprise, they actually accomplished the job.

I won’t get into the science behind it. That’s mostly because any of the science I would know about it comes from reading the Gunnar website and as we all know, websites can provide whatever “facts” they need to in order to make a sale. Yes, a wonder drug may reduce hair loss but that’s because it kills you but at least they are still telling the truth that your hair doesn’t fall out.

Instead, I just did my own test. After a busy week at the office where I spent between 7 to 9 hours each day in front of a monitor I decided to spend the better part of a Saturday marathoning a game. It’s been some time since I have done a full on marathon but after the initial few hours it usually resulted in taking breaks to get up for various reasons, just to get my face away from the screen. Eventually, the time in between started to reduce and after a full day I’d have a nice headache to deal with.

 

With the Gunnars, it was actually different. I’m not going to lie and say I made the most scientific experiment but in the end, I did notice a different result. My head wasn’t pounding and I took fewer breaks. I will say that it did take a second to get used to the yellow. Part of what helps reduce eye strain is the tint of the glasses and if you’re looking at a white wall, it’s not white anymore. But after a few minutes in game mode, you don’t notice the change anymore.

Being someone who doesn’t wear glasses on the regular, it did take me a little bit of time to get used to wearing them but I can’t argue with the end result. I don’t know if the glasses will make their way into my standard routine but when I know I am going to be on a grind or long day of multiplayer, they can definitely earn their way onto the standard utility belt… yes, I have a utility belt.

“The most noticeable thing, and the whole point of this review, was the fact that the glasses worked as advertised.”

Reviews February 28, 2014

Gunnar Optiks Intercept Color Collection

Written By: Kenneth Seward Jr.
Date: 02/28/14

I’ve been gaming for a long time now. And in all my years of rescuing princesses and shooting friends online, not once did I think I would ever need eye protection. I mean sure, it was possible that I would need glasses when I got older (I currently wear a pair to combat my nearsightedness). That’s just a part of life. Protective glasses, however, were far from my mind when it came to gaming peripherals. Even after hearing about how Gunnar Optiks made computer and gaming eyewear, I shrugged it off as a product from a niche market – an accessory used by pro gamers who stared at screens way more than the average person. Well, UFG recently got a pair of Gunnar’s new Intercept Color Collection for review and it was my job to try them out. After using them for three weeks, I’ve come to the conclusion… which I’ll get to by the end of this review!

gunnar-intercept-review-boxGunnar Optiks makes ergonomically correct eyewear to reduce eyestrain and fatigue that comes from viewing digital screens. It protects the eyes from drying air currents using the shape of the lens, filters out artificial light via its amber tint, and the special engineered frames offer great stability. It even utilizes anti-reflective elements to reduce glare and can be fitted with prescription lenses. Sounds great right? But do we really need all of that to enjoy our games for extended periods of time? This was the question I was pondering after putting on my “Ghost” colored Intercept glasses. Ten minutes into my The Elder Scrolls preview all I could think of was how comfortable these glasses were!

I’ve never been fitted for Gunnar frames before. Yet they sat on my face as if they were tailor-made for me. They’re light weight but secure in staying in one spot on my face. The frame is also very durable with its multi-barrel hinges and thick plastic. Basically, it’s built to last without giving up any comfort – a fact that proved its worth after hours of use. It got to the point where I forgot they were on, and was only reminded of their presence due to the tinted lenses.

Speaking of the amber tint, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I thought it would ruin my gaming experience if I was playing anything other than a shooter. I couldn’t care less about the intricate details found in the environment when I’m chasing after a rival in Call of Duty. That isn’t the case when it comes to story based games; imagine tying to immerse oneself into an RPG while looking through a pair of shades. The game wouldn’t be as vibrant and the visuals would be darker than they actually are… or at least that’s what I thought would happen. In actuality, the amber tint is very light. It does change the tone of what you’re looking at and I wouldn’t recommend them to artists that need to see “true” color saturation. That said, I was able to appreciate ESO’s lush habitats and The Wolf Among Us’s bright colors while wearing the Intercept glasses.

The most noticeable thing, and the whole point of this review, was the fact that the glasses worked as advertised. It took a while to really tell the difference, but after a week or so I noticed significantly less eye strain. Being a journalist, I spend a lot of time in front of a PC. Whether I’m writing something like this or playing a game for review, most of my day is spent staring at a monitor. And while I don’t always experience the fatigue that’s associated with this sort of work, there are times when I’m forced to take a break. On rare occasions, I’ll even get a migraine. None of these symptoms were present while wearing the Intercept glasses. It was true; they do help in allowing longer periods of play/work when in front of a digital screen!

If you couldn’t tell, I really enjoyed wearing my Ghosts (I named them after the color). They were comfortable, helped to reduce eye strain, and didn’t ruin my gaming with a harsh tint. My only complaint really had to do with the style. While they didn’t make me look goofy, they were big enough to warrant some awkward glances. Especially if you wear them outside; I was serious when I said that I’d forget I had them on. They aren’t as sleek looking as some of the other Gunnar eyewear, though the new colors do add some personal flavor. The other thing I wanted to bring up was for some reason the glasses would bother me if I wasn’t looking at a bright screen. It could have just been a “me” thing but keeping the glasses on when not in front of a monitor/TV/digital screen hurt my eyes after a while. I had to stay at my desk when using them – odd I know. These are minor things when compared to how good of a job the Intercept does though.

As far as needing Gunnar eyewear, it really comes down to personal preference. While I do believe they are worth the price ($60), they aren’t for everyone. Even though they help with eye strain it isn’t healthy to live in front of a computer – you really should take long breaks from your monitor from time to time. Still, if you do decide to try out Gunnar’s Intercept line I’m pretty sure you won’t be displeased!

Final Verdict:

Highly Recommended!

Eyes on with the Gunnar SteelSeries Scope gaming glasses

By Ron Burke.

gaming glasses protection

When I saw the Gunnar glasses I had two thoughts – “those look like my shooting glasses”, and “why would I ever wear those while I game?”. As somebody who’s had the Lasik procedure on his eyes after wearing glasses for a decade, protecting my “investment” is always top of mind. That means trying to use eyedrops when my eyes are scratchy, using glasses when I shoot, and blocking my face intently while fighting. Unfortunately for me, I also sit in front of a computer from roughly 6:00am to 11:00pm Monday through Friday, and even longer on the weekend. I didn’t realize it, but the reason why I’m so tired all the time is likely because of my eyes.

Gunnar made some pretty lofty assertions about their eyewear. It reduces eye strain, it blocks eye-drying artificial office lighting, sharpens detail with a slight magnification to help you focus, and somehow will be comfortable to wear. Even the tiny specs I wore for a decade eventually felt uncomfortable, leaving me rubbing my eyes at the end of the day. I had doubts.

The first indicator that I was wrong about my own assumptions happened when I pulled out my camera. Snapping a picture of the Gunnars in the packaging revealed that the lenses had completely frosted over due to the flash of my camera. I took a few more pictures from other angles and the results were always the same – like an iPad, there would be no flash here.

Picking up the Gunnars (I’m looking at the SteelSeries Scope) I was shocked at how light they are. My cheap plastic sunglasses were easily three-time heavier, and my Oakley shooting glasses felt like lead weights by comparison. They weigh just 25 grams – the equivalent of 25 paperclips or four quarters. Surprisingly for this weight, the stainless steel frame feels sturdy. Most people who wear glasses keep a small toolkit handy for tightening the annoying screws that hold the arms to the frame. Gunnar went a different direction, creating what could be called a ‘unibody’ construction that eliminates all of the small welds, screws, and other common failure points of traditional glasses.

I borrowed a friend’s Gunnar Sheadog glasses that she received as a gift last year for a bit. The Sheadog features what Gunnar calls “Asian fit” which left them a bit tighter of a grip on my nose and temples. The nose piece on the Steelseries Scope has a more traditional and comfortable fit, which over the span of a full day of wear matters.

The contrast difference between the Gunnars and my natural eyeballs is slight. At first, it caught me off guard as it is almost like picking up somebody’s prescription specs and throwing them on. The curvature of the lenses and the surface treatments combine with the tint to provide an optical illusion of magnification where there is none. What it does do is make things slightly sharper. As I type this review I can peer over the top and see the difference in the clarity of the letters. There is no ‘ghosting’ due to the bright white background of my screen. The question up next was how it affects gaming.

I’m always juggling several reviews, so I fired up the Titanfall Beta as my first gaming sample. The amber tint of the lenses reduced some of the more harsh white tones, but not enough to make me want to take them off. High-speed motions and ‘normal’ gaming worked just fine, though I can say that it seemed like the lenses gave me a slightly better look at some of the gorgeous texture work in Titanfall. Tearing myself away from the beta, I popped in the vibrant and high-speed Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Full of bubblegum for the eyeballs, the frantic and colorful title looked only slightly muted. After playing for a short while I stopped even noticing the difference. There is certainly a bit of a ‘contrast adjustment’ while wearing the Gunnar Scope glasses, but it’s hardly going to change things on a console game at eight to ten feet of distance.

Shifting back to my PC I fired up something more tactical – Civilization V. With tiny units, lots of text and graphs, and a viewing distance to my monitor at just over two feet it’d put these glasses to the test. I glanced at my desk clock and found that I had entered Civ-time – it was 2am once again, only this time my eyes weren’t feeling like I’d left them in a dry roaster. If I wasn’t dead tired I could have gone “just one more turn” for a while longer, but it wasn’t my eyes that gave out first. I have a good idea as to why.

The average human blinks roughly 12 times per minute. When gaming that number is reduced to just five. That’s less than a blink every 10 seconds! As an experiment, just hold your eyes open for 10 seconds right now — painful, right? When you multiply that by the average gaming session of roughly two hours you can quickly find yourself with dry and itchy eyes. I’m not suggesting that the Gunnars do anything to make you blink more often, but they do block the bright incoming light from your monitor, and that seems to make a world of difference.

GET IT!

By Kaleb Rutherford – 02/20/14
Gunnar Optiks has unleashed a new line of colorful glasses in their Intercept line of glasses. They come in a variety of colors including Cobalt, Fire, Ink, and Ghost. Each pair of Gunnar Optiks Intercept Color features a retro design with plastic that is very soft and doesn’t slip.

When we stare at screens all day, especially on marathon gaming sessions, our eyes tend to get strained and very dry. Gunnar Optiks help soothe your eyes and filter out 100% of UV Lights. However, these are not sunglasses. It is not recommended to wear them outside or when driving.

When first putting on the Gunnar Optiks, you should notice the reduced strain the yellow-tinted glasses puts on your eyes. This is so the blue light and harsh, fluorescent glare are not impacting your eyes. It may take a few minutes to adjust but once you do, you will see how much easier it is to focus on your work or games and not think or rub your dry, irritated eyes.

A lot of folks I have spoken to about Gunnar glasses think the idea sounds silly. But putting on a pair really makes a difference. When you wear them, you really do get virtually no strain on your eyes! Is it magic or some power of persuasion making you think they work? I have played a variety of games over the past few weeks with and without the Gunnar Optiks and I must say I find my eyes missing them when I don’t have them on.

gunnar glassesFor those of you in need of prescription eyewear, Gunnars are also available to be filled with your prescription directly from the Gunnar Optiks website. This will allow you to reduce your eye strain and still be able to see all of the intense gaming action or those highly important spreadsheets for work.

These amazing glasses start at only $59.00 and are available at online, at retailers like Amazon, or at your local Best Buy. We highly recommend giving them a try. Your eyes will thank us.

Gunnar Optiks Emissary – Review

When one of our readers asked that we review a pair of Gunnar Optiks revolutionary computer glasses, my first question was “What are computer glasses?” Once I had researched a bit, I was slightly taken aback at the idea that I, with my 20/20 vision, would ever need a pair of these “computer glasses” that supposedly reduce eye strain, and even make the images on my computer screen better, brighter, and clearer.

This is a little crazy, I thought. There is no way a pair of non-prescription glasses are going to make that kind of difference, I scoffed.

 

Gunnar Optiks Emissary: Easing Eye Strain You Didn’t Know You Had

Fortunately for me, I was wrong. Regardless of how great your eyesight is, or how well you think you see, everyone who sits in front of a screen for hours on end will experience eye strain at some level or another. In fact, as a person who sits in front of a computer for a living and games heavily as a hobby, I feel as though I am the perfect example of someone who was experiencing eye strain and really had no idea.

To put the Gunnars to the test, I decided to start early and wear them all day while at work, and then wear them again while gaming at home later in the evening. When I first received the review model, I was worried about wearing some hideous gamer glasses all day, in front of my co-workers. When I took them out of the box, I was pleasantly surprised that they looked a lot like regular eye glasses. In fact, they were quite attractive. With a sleek, sexy frame design, the only tell tale feature are the yellow tinted lenses.

When I first put the glasses on, I could immediately tell a difference in the way my computer screen looked. The glare was gone immediately and everything on-screen looked crisper and clearer than normal. But why?  I pulled out the leaflet that came with the eye wear and got a little more familiar with the science behind them. While they do have a prescription program, the model I reviewed was of the non-prescription nature. The yellow-tinted lenses, however, are actually quite spectacular. Here is why they work:

  • FRACTYL lens geometry solves the problem of a low screen usage blink rate by trapping humidity close to the eye and protecting it from air currents that could potential try the eye out.
  • DIAMIX lens material doesn’t force the wearer to choose between durability and clarity. This special material is as optically pure as it is strong and degradation resistant.
  • IONIK tints help filter out excessive high-energy visible light, making the overall result warmer and easier to look at for an extended period of time. This aids in visual recovery and helps eliminate any “after image effects” that users may experience.
  • I-FI lens coatings take care of any reflections and glare from both sides of the lens, effectively reducing

Gunnar Opticks even has a helpful video that breaks down the science behind their lenses:

 But, Do They Really Work?

While the Gunnar Optiks Emissary model definitely made things look better on my computer screen, I kept wondering how I was supposed to know if they were really working. By the time I got home, still wearing the Gunnars, I realized that I did not have the normal, dull, behind-the eye headache that I usually have by the end of a work day. While I generally credit this headache to what I thought was a need for glasses,  I am now re-thinking that assumption. I can’t say that Gunnar Optiks can cure your ailments, but I can say that eye strain-induced headaches may become a thing of the past.  I continued wearing the glasses throughout several hours of gaming on both PC and console. By the end of my day, I still had yet to experience the usual ‘tired eye’ feeling. It was refreshing to have avoided the late afternoon eye-strain headache and I will be more than pleased to wear them again if it means protecting my eyes and, subsequently, eliminating my need for Tylenol.

As for professionals who swear by Gunnars, the list is not short by any means. Professional gamers and eSports athletes everywhere are singing the praises of Gunnar Optiks and their game changing (pun totally intended) eye wear. Jordan Gilbert, who you may also know as “nOthing”, plays Counter-Strike professionally and has, on more than one occasion, been vocal about his love for Gunnar Optiks:

In game, GUNNARS have multiple positive effects. The improved contrast makes it easier to spot the silhouette of enemies in dark spots, especially at distances. It also help’s when I’m trying to see someone through a smoke grenade, normally I would have to squint very hard to attempt to spot movement, but with GUNNARS my eyes have a noticeably easier time focusing in on micro movements.

Jordan isn’t the only pro gamer who has fallen for Gunnars. Geoff Robinson, also known as iNcontroL, who plays StarCraft 2 for pro-team Evil Geniuses has also discovered the benefits of using Gunnars during matches, as well as casually:

If you’re serious about your game, Gunnar’s are worth the investment. Both the short term advantages, like increased contrast for better spotting things on the screen, and the long term advantages, like reduced eye strain, make it an easy choice.

The Bottom Line

I have to admit I was skeptical at first. Despite all of the hoopla over Gunnar Optiks in the gaming community, I really thought that there was no way that eye wear could make such a huge difference with PC work and play. After using the Gunnar Optiks Emissary model glasses for about 18 hours straight, I freely admit that my assumptions were way off base. In fact, I am pretty ecstatic to have pinpointed the source of my annoying end-of-work-day headaches. Even if you don’t experience any immediately evident effects of staring at a screen all day, the fact still remains that it’s bad for your eye health overall, eventually resulting in Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). I would recommend Gunnar Optiks eye wear to anyone who sits in front of a screen for more than a few minutes each day. It is highly likely that these glasses will alleviate symptoms that you didn’t even know you had.