Review | NoScope Gaming Glasses
Professional gamers have long touted the benefits of using gaming glasses: specially-crafted specs made to decrease eyestrain and increase visual acuity. The yellow tint make them look like something you might find on a shooting range, but the special coloration filters blue light going to the eyes and eases the stress of long gaming sessions. Before recently, gamers who wanted the technology shelled out $50+ for a pair of Gunnar Optiks; now, a new company by the name of NoScope crafted their own budget-conscious line of glasses for those looking to save some cash. I’ve used their flagship “Demon Series” glasses for over a month now while gaming, writing, and even driving; though the look of the Demon Series NoScope glasses won’t appeal to the fashion conscious, NoScope offers effective and comfortable gaming glasses at a fraction of the cost of the competition.
For $19.99, NoScope’s sells the glasses along with a carrying pouch and cleaning cloth. Folks wondering about whether or not to grab a pair of NoScopes are probably thinking of two different situations: using gaming glasses vs. no gaming glasses, and using NoScope’s glasses vs. the dominant Gunnar Optiks. Luckily, as someone who both A) plays games without gaming glasses on occasion, and B) owns a pair of Gunnars (coincidentally, the “Scope” model), I can give you the breakdown on both scenarios.
NoScope vs. No Glasses
Most folks out there wearing contacts know about the #firstworldproblems wearing glasses adds to normal life. Lens glare distracts from the main focus of work, dust and fingerprints obscure sight, and most glasses don’t cover the entire field of vision. The NoScope Demons address some of these problems while still leaving others. The Demon Series lenses use a wide, convex shape that hugs the face, covering almost the entire field of vision and creating fewer opportunities for lens glare. That said, the plastic lenses attract fingerprints like most pairs of $20 sunglasses would, so make sure to touch the frames when adjusting, or you’ll be using that cloth to wipe them down pretty frequently. The frames themselves fit snug against the head, and even still feel comfortable when I wear them underneath a headset.
I personally use gaming glasses for more than just frag sessions. Game journalism keeps me in front of screens for hours a day, and as someone with a very minor eyeglass prescription, I have to say that I get as much of a decrease in eyestrain with gaming glasses as I do with my prescription lenses (that’s not an official medical statement, so don’t take it as one). The minor magnification makes it easier to see type, and the yellow lenses cuts the harshness from the white pages I type on. I’ve even worn gaming glasses while driving and felt less fatigued on the highway. I probably wouldn’t be apt to wear the Demon Series specs in the city, though…my biggest complaint is the design of the glasses themselves; I prefer my glasses to be a bit more subtle, and these glasses scream “NERD GAMER.” For some people, that’s perfect. But for me, the lack of style choices creates one of the gaps between NoScope and their main competitor.
NoScope vs. Scope
Before getting the NoScope Demon Series for review, I’d already purchased a pair of SteelSeries branded Gunnars; coincindentally, I’d purchased the “Scope” style. They collected dust off in the corners of my room somewhere; I didn’t much use them. Since receiving the Demon Series though, I’ve switched between the two for comparison’s sake, and found advantages for both sets of glasses.
As mentioned before, I like my glasses to be effective, but relatively minimalist. NoScope only offers the single frame/lens combination, where the Gunnar catalog offers conventional “computer styles” as well as edgier “gaming styles” and “crystalline styles” for those who don’t want the yellow tint. Of course, the options come at a cost; without a coupon or sale, you’re looking at paying at least $70 for most Gunnars. Compared to the $19.99 cost of the NoScope Demons, the fashion/brand conscious pay a serious price to look good. There’s also the brand name and patents behind some of the Gunnar technology, but when boiled down to actual effectiveness, the glasses are virtually identical. That comes off as a point in NoScope’s favor.
The functional differences between the Demon Series and the Scopes are slim. The Demon Series lenses hold a slightly yellower tint, which sounds off-putting but isn’t drastic. The frames for the Demon Series fit a bit tighter than the Scope as well; since I have a large head, this made the Demon Series glasses slightly less comfortable, but far less likely to feel like they would slip off of my face. But the fact is that both pairs of glasses are effective for long gaming sessions and time spent on the computer; for what it’s worth, I generally wear my Gunnars in public, but my NoScopes at home.
If you’ve thought about grabbing some gaming/computer glasses, NoScope’s Demon Series glasses are definitely worth picking up. After giving them a run for a while you might find that you want different shaped frames or lenses, and you’d have to head over to the competition to find anything different. For the price and the effectiveness I completely recommend NoScope’s glasses, though I hope they’re working on a couple new styles.
Grab a pair of NoScope glasses at their website for $19.99.