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GUNNAR Optiks SteelSeries Pro Gaming Glasses SCO-04301
Gadget Reviews

GUNNAR Optiks SteelSeries Pro Gaming Glasses SCO-04301

In a perfect world I truly believe that my fellow hardcore gamers and dedicated graphic designers of the world would happily trade in their gamepads and keyboards for a little bit fresh air once in a while, if only to give their weary eyeballs a break. Instead, we’re often trapped in front of bright flickering […]

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In a perfect world I truly believe that my fellow hardcore gamers and dedicated graphic designers of the world would happily trade in their gamepads and keyboards for a little bit fresh air once in a while, if only to give their weary eyeballs a break. Instead, we’re often trapped in front of bright flickering screens and bathed in the glow of monitors most of the time, which needless to say can lead to some problems. Studies have shown that long-term exposure to direct television and computer monitor light can be rough on the eyes, and has led to a near-epidemic of near-sightedness in those who like to partake the most (i.e. gamers). GUNNAR Optiks has teamed up with gaming accessory make SteelSeries to offer strained eyeballs everywhere the cure with their SteelSeries Pro Gaming Glasses.

At long last, you can finally keep playing comfortably into the wee hours of the night (or in your sunlight-shielded room) and even look cool while doing so. Who wouldn’t love that?

At first look the glasses look and feel cheaper than the price might suggest, with an ultra-trim frame and flexible arms that barely weigh anything at all. But this is misleading, as they’re really an engineering marvel with a screw-free design on the temple arms that allow for comfy and easy wraparound for most sized heads (even mine). The form factor keeps pressure off of your earlobes and reduces stress that usually comes from wearing heavier frames. Even our glasses-wearing editors said they felt great when overlaid on their prescription specs (Gunnar’s website even lists the frames/lens available in RX options if you’re so inclined). Gunnar was kind enough to include a cloth protector to help keep your investment safe, but you’ll probably want to buy an actual protective case for something like this.

To ease the painful headaches that can come with extended high-strain periods the SteelSeries glasses bathe the visual landscape in a yellowish-tint that helps tone down the brightness intensity of most environments, while slightly magnifying and centering anything in direct view, similar to prescription-type specs.  For clarity’s sake the glasses merely increase the size of what you’re already seeing but it’s an advantage nonetheless. As for the yellow tinge of color of the lenses your eyes will have to adjust for a few hours if you plan on using this eyewear regularly. It’s a small price to pay for prolonged viewing pleasures and genuinely protective eyewear, although some will still prefer to admire their color-calibrated settings without them. Then again, it’s about gaming above all else if you pick these up.

Actually playing games using the SteelSeries did show some noticeable improvements in a wide range of different lighting conditions, especially when playing in complete darkness. This is where the lenses unique tint and curvature really kicks in, as the usual retina-killing glare of a Call of Duty: Black Ops marathon was reduced considerably. Of course, we’d always recommend having some backlighting while playing for any extended periods, but if you insist on the darkest room, wearing a pair will certainly be worth your (and your poor eyes) while.

While you might be thinking that the SteelSeries Pro Gaming Glasses are for gamers only (no surprise, given their name), a nice bonus is how they helped make heavy and even regular computer use more comfortable. Some of our busiest editors, even those who don’t ordinarily wear glasses, found wearing them made their extra-long Photoshop and programming time a lot more enjoyable.

While you may not think your eyes need protection from the harsh lights and continued strain of staring into those HDTVs and glowing monitors, studies show otherwise, and that’s what you’ll be getting with GUNNAR Optiks’ SteelSeries Pro Gaming Glasses. While some of you might share my initial skepticisms, they do work as intended and helped my sensitive eyes even after hours of prolonged gaming and intensely long computer sessions. Their flexible and ultra-lightweight design make wearing them extremely comfortable, even if you’re already rocking a pair of prescription frames. Fellow endurance gamers will probably benefit the most from their added protection, and while the yellow-tint may take some getting used to, this eyewear is a small step in the right direction if actually taking a break from Black Ops is out of the question.

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GUNNAR Optiks

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SCO-04301

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$99

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About the Author: Herman Exum