Best Binoculars Ratings

90-100%
The VERY Best
80-90%
Outstanding
70-80%
Excellent
60-70%
Very Good
50-60%
Above Average
40-50%
Below Average
0-40%
Poor

The Best Rated Binoculars

When I first started the Best Binocular Reviews website, it my my intention to make it easier for people to sift through all the marketing jargon and select not only the best best binocular, but also the right one for their particular needs. Since then this site has grown a huge amount and so has the amount of binoculars that I review - and whilst choice is great, it has become evident to me that it is also making it harder for people to decide between binoculars.

In order to rectify this, I have introduced the Best Binoculars Ratings, a score card that makes for a simple way for you to quickly narrow down your shortlist. I would still suggest that once you have narrowed your search down, you read through the review to make your final decision as the scores are just a guide and it must be stressed, just my opinion.

What Do the Individual Binocular Ratings Mean?

Body Construction Quality:
This is the score out of ten of the quality of the outer body of the binocular, the materials used, how well it has been made, if it is water and fogproof and generally how tough it is. How well does the diopter adjustment and focusing wheel work, it also includes the quality of the eye-cups and generally, does the binocular feel like a quality optical instrument.
10 = The Very Best, 9 = Outstanding, 8 = Excellent, 7 = Very Good, 6 = Above Average, 5 = Average, 4 = Just below Average, 3 = Poor

Body Stats:
This is a rating, again out of ten on the binoculars dimensions, weight and overall balance. This score is in relation to other binoculars in their size class. For example a compact binocular will always be smaller and lighter than a full sized one, so it would be unfair if you compared them without taking into consideration what class they were in.
10 = The Very Best, 9 = Outstanding, 8 = Excellent, 7 = Very Good, 6 = Above Average, 5 = Average, 4 = Just below Average, 3 = Poor

Optical Components Quality:
This score is a reflection of the quality of glass used in the lenses and prism. It also includes the quality of their coatings, if they are just fully coated or fully multi-coated and if they have any anti-reflection coatings on the prism. Do they used extra low dispersion glass or have any special lens coatings for example.
10 = The Very Best, 9 = Outstanding, 8 = Excellent, 7 = Very Good, 6 = Above Average, 5 = Average, 4 = Just below Average, 3 = Poor

Optical Stats:
This is an overall score of how wide a field of view a binocular has, the amount of eye-relief as well as it's minimum focusing distance. This score is in relation to others in their size and magnification class. I have done it this way because it would be unfair to compare the field of view of a 10x compact with an 8x full sized binocular. For more details on how I calculate each binoculars optical stats score click here.
10 = The Very Best, 9 = Outstanding, 8 = Excellent, 7 = Very Good, 6 = Above Average, 5 = Average, 4 = Just below Average, 3 = Poor

Image Quality:
With all my reviews I compare the view through the binocular with a benchmark binocular in their class. This gives me good feeling of where they sit in relation to other binoculars that I have reviewed in the past. They are rated on their brightness, sharpness, contrast, color reproduction, amount of colour fringing (chromatic aberration) and the amount of softening of the image on the periphery of the view. The optical quality score is an overall reflection of these qualities in relation to other binoculars in their size class. I have done this because a small compact binocular, no matter how good it's coatings and quality of glass is never going to compete in brightness with a good quality full sized binocular and so it would not be fair to directly compare the two. So the score is in relation to others in their size class.
10 = The Very Best, 9 = Outstanding, 8 = Excellent, 7 = Very Good, 6 = Above Average, 5 = Average, 4 = Just below Average, 3 = Poor

Extras & Attention to Detail:
This score reflects the quality of the carry bag and the neck strap. Does the binocular come with a lens cleaning cloth and what about lens caps. Just all the little things that can make the difference between a good binocular and a really great one.
10 = The Very Best, 9 = Outstanding, 8 = Excellent, 7 = Very Good, 6 = Above Average, 5 = Average, 4 = Just below Average, 3 = Poor

Top Rated Binoculars

Below are the most recent rated binoculars that I have so far reviewed.

View >> All Rated Binoculars reviewed on Best Binocular Reviews.

 

Helios Nitrosport 8x42 Binoculars

These low cost 8x42 Helios binoculars come with a number of features and components that I would not normally expect to find at this price.

This includes phase correction coatings on the prisms, which when combined with the silver mirror coatings and the fully multi-coated optics help deliver a view that I believe is on a par with any other at this price level.

Price: (2/6) Low Cost Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 72%
Excellent
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 7/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 6/10

 

Snypex Knight D-ED 8x42 Binoculars

'New and improved' that is how Snypex highlight their latest version of the Knight ED binoculars, which was developed and improved in response to customer as well as BBR's feedback.

Major changes include upgraded dielectric coatings on the prisms to improve light transmission and thus the brightness and image quality as well as changes to the exterior like a full metal focus wheel that not only works better but brings added class to what was already a great pair of binoculars.

Price: (5/6) High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 9/10 85%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 9/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Hawke Endurance ED 8x42 Binoculars

Mid-range binoculars that to my mind offer a level of quality and performance that easily surpasses their price tag.

Highlights include a Magnesium Housing, ED Glass Elements in the Lenses, Phase Corrected BaK-4 prisms, 18mm of eye-relief and a close focus distance of less than 2 meters.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 80%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Eschenbach Trophy D 8x42 ED Binoculars

I believe these deliver a superior quality image than the majority at this price level - Not only is the image very bright, with great color reproduction, but these 8x42 Eschenbach binoculars also have an excellent wide field of view that remains sharp right to the edges.

Combine this with a very well made metallic shell, eye-pieces and focus wheel and you have a very high end binocular at what I would say is a very competitive price.

Price: (4/6) Mid-High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 80%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 9/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 7/10

 

Levenhuk Karma Plus 8x32 Binoculars

Ideal for occasional, casual use or as a first time bin for an older child these cheap mid-sized binoculars from Levenhuk come with a well balanced, good looking and fully water/fog proof shell.

Internally the have multi-coated optics, silver coated Bak-4 roof prisms.

Price: (2/6) Low Cost Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 6/10 60%
Very Good
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 5/10
Optical Stats: 6/10
Image Quality 6/10
Extras & Details: 6/10

 

Opticron DBA VHD 10x42 Binoculars

High end Opticron binoculars that incorporate a raft of high end components and features that I believe add up to make an instrument that not only looks and feels the business, but delivers a very high quality view that even the most critical users will appreciate.

Price: (5/6) High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 80%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 9/10
Optical Stats: 7/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 7/10

 

Helios Lightwing HR 8x42 ED Binoculars

Mid priced Helios binoculars with a host of features that you would only expect to see on high end, far more expensive instruments.

This includes a a magnesium chassis, fully multi-coated optics and phase corrected BaK-4 prisms that have been dielectrically coated for the highest levels of light transmission.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 78%
Excellent
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 9/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 6/10

 

Eschenbach Arena D+ 10x50 B Binoculars

Mid-priced 50mm binoculars, designed to get you a detailed as well as bright image without costing the earth.

Whilst image quality for me was the major highlight on these Eschenbach binoculars, overall I thought they more than accomplished their remit and are well worth taking a closer look at...

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 70%
Excellent
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 6/10
Optical Stats: 6/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 7/10

 

Levenhuk Karma Pro 8x32 Binoculars

Mid-sized binoculars, with a good quality, wide view, tough hard wearing exterior and a very affordable price tag.

Overall I found the Levenhuk Karma Pro to be good to very good in almost all areas and is a more than capable instrument that competes with the best in this class

Price: (2/6) Low Cost Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 6/10 67%
Very Good
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 6/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 7/10
Extras & Details: 6/10

 

Swarovski EL 8.5x42 Binoculars

By combining the highest quality optical components and coatings with their technical expertise, there is no denying that these Swarovski's produce an image that is unsurpassed.

Add to this their tried and tested exterior and the inclusion of their new FieldPro package and you really do have a special pair of optics.

So If you are looking for the ultimate pair of 42mm binoculars, then you will most certainly not be disappointed with the Swarovski EL 8.5x42 binoculars. These are for me now the reference point and by which all others need to aspire towards.

Price: (6/6) Expensive Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 9/10 93%
The VERY Best
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 10/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 10/10
Extras & Details: 10/10

 

Opticron Savanna R 8x33 Binoculars

A more than capable, great looking, low cost, mid sized binocular that covers all the most important areas well and thus makes for a very versatile instrument that competes well within their price bracket.

Highlights include a waterproof aluminium & polycarbonate shell that protects full multi-coated optics and aluminium coated BaK-4 roof prisms.

Price: (2/6) Low Cost Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 68%
Very Good
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 6/10
Optical Stats: 7/10
Image Quality 7/10
Extras & Details: 6/10

 

Meade Wilderness 10x32 Binoculars

Cheap mid-sized BaK-4 roof prism binoculars from Meade Instruments that include multi-coated optics protected by a nitrogen filled water-proof body.

With a 5.6 angle of view (294ft wide @ 1000 yards) these perform very well in this and indeed almost all areas against other bins within their price level.

Price: (2/6) Low Cost Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 6/10 63%
Very Good
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 6/10
Optical Stats: 7/10
Image Quality 6/10
Extras & Details: 6/10

 

Helios Mistral WP6 8x42 Binoculars

A low cost binocular designed for general use and optimized for birding these 8x42 Helios binoculars come with a good field of view and a bright high quality view.

Other features include a water & fog proof chassis, fully multi-coated glass, sliver coated BaK-4 roof prisms and a full 17.5mm of eye-relief.

Price: (2/6) Low Cost Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 68%
Very Good
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 6/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 5/10

 

Hawke Endurance ED 8x32 Binoculars

Mid-sized, mid-priced Hawke binoculars that impress in almost single every area.

A fully fog and waterproof magnesium housing protects high quality and fully multi-coated optics with highlights that include ED glass lenses, BaK-4 roof prisms that have been phase corrected.

The result is a high quality and bright image that has a wide field of view, good close focus and delivers plenty of eye-relief.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 80%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Pentax AD 9x32 WP Binoculars

With quality components and coatings, these mid-high end Pentax binoculars are aimed at the more serious users who need or appreciate the convenience of a more portable and lightweight instrument, but are also not willing to sacrifice too much in terms of optical performance.

Features include fully multi-coated optics, BaK-4 phase corrected prisms, water and fog proof housing and five stage twist-up eye-cups with 16mm of eye-relief.

Price: (4/6) Mid-High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 75%
Excellent
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 6/10

 

Opticron Discovery WP PC 8x32 Binoculars

For a mid-sized binocular, the 8x32 Opticron Discovery is ultra compact and lightweight, has a very wide field of view and extremely minimum close focus.

Add to this good quality optics and a mid range price point and you have an instrument that is ideal in a very wide range of uses and thus will appeal to a huge selection of users.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 80%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 10/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 6/10

 

Meade 8x42 Rainforest Pro Binoculars

These low cost binoculars from Meade Instruments come with features that those in the mid level would be proud to have.

This includes phase corrected and silver coated BaK-4 roof prisms, fully multi-coated optics and a tough nitrogen filled waterproof housing.

Combine these with a wide field of view, good amount of eye-relief and close focus and you have a very capable and versatile binocular that at this price offers excellent value for money.

Price: (2/6) Low Cost Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 72%
Excellent
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 6/10

 

Pentax 10x30 PCF CW Binoculars

Mid sized porro prism binoculars from Pentanx that manage to combine a low price point with a good quality optics system and a high level build quality to produce a versatile instrument that delivers a superior quality image for it's class.

Highlights include fully multi-coated optics, fully sealed, nitrogen filled, water proof body, twist-up eyecups and very long eye-relief.

Price: (2/6) Low Cost Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 68%
Very Good
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 6/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 6/10

 

Levenhuk Atom 10x50 Binoculars

Highlights of these cheap large aperture porro prism binoculars from Levenhuk include a very wide field of view for a 10x bin and a good low light performance, making them well worth looking at for birders and most wildlife observers on a very tight budget.

Price: (1/6) Cheap Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 6/10 60%
Very Good
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 6/10
Optical Stats: 7/10
Image Quality 6/10
Extras & Details: 4/10

 

Bijia HT 12x25 binoculars

These cheap, high powered, compact porro prism binoculars from Chinese manufacturer Bijia Optics perform to a surprisingly good level when you consider their very low price point and relatively basic level of components:

Main features include a lightweight and waterproof body with a non slip rubberized exterior armor, BK-7 glass prisms and coated objective lenses.

These Bijia binoculars deliver a high 12x magnification, 273ft wide view at 1000 yards and have fold down rubber eye-cups with 10.3mm of eye-relief.

Price: (1/6) Cheap Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 6/10 58%
Above Average
Body Stats: 6/10
Optical Quality: 5/10
Optical Stats: 7/10
Image Quality 6/10
Extras & Details: 5/10

 

Pentax ZD 8x43 ED Binoculars

Pentax Sport Optics flagship series contains all the qualities, components and coatings that you would expect from a high end instrument from a quality optical manufacturer.

Hybrid Aspherical lens elements containing ED glass and a range of specialized high receptivity coatings ensure that these really do deliver a superior image in terms of their clarity, color reproduction, sharpness and low light performance that I feel is as good as the very best at this price level.

Add to this a very well made, classy looking yet tough and waterproof chassis and you have the makings of a very fine binocular.

Price: (5/6) High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 9/10 80%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 9/10
Optical Stats: 7/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 6/10

View >> All Rated Binoculars reviewed on Best Binocular Reviews.


 
 
 

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