In-depth Reviews of the Best Binoculars
My interest in binoculars and indeed in optics in general began whilst I was working as a safari guide (field guide) in South Africa, where as part of my job, I used bins almost every single day. The idea for The Best Binocular Reviews website came about from the frustration I felt whilst looking for a new pair for myself - It was really difficult to find any good information as well as unbiased and objective evaluations on the web about any of the models I was interested in.
Thus the aim of this site (BBR) is to help in some small way by providing useful information on binoculars and related optical products, as well as completely unbiased reviews on selected products and brands and offer tips and guides to those looking into buying a pair.
4x, 6x, 7x, 8x, 10x, 16x, 20x, 30x & 60x Magnification Comparisons at Close Range
If you are not sure what binocular magnification you need or to get, then this series of detailed articles and and videos that I am working on will certainly help.
Images and video of spotting scope, monoculars and binocular magnification comparisons ranging from 4x all the way up to 60x, along with some thoughts and advice which I hope will help you determine the ideal zoom for your needs.
This comprehensive test showcases various zoom magnifications, objective lens sizes, and optical qualities. Discover the impact different magnifications have on the field of view, image brightness, and image detail, and learn how different factors contribute to achieving the best viewing experience.
Now into it's twelfth year! The BBR Annual Bino Awards is the main platform I use to highlight the very best binoculars that I have tested and reviewed in a range of different categories. Once again, I have been very fortunate to have tested some truly outstanding instruments and many of the top binoculars currently on the market which has meant that the competition to win an award this year has been tougher than ever:
BBR: 100% Real & Honest Reviews!
I often get asked why haven't you reviewed "x" binocular from "x" brand. The answer is that unlike many binocular review sites you find on the web that simply make their evaluations up having never used, touched or even seen the instrument in question.
I only review binoculars that I have actually used and tested. Therefore not only is it physically impossible for me to "review" as many as these other sites, but I am also at the mercy as to which brands are willing to send me their products to put under the spotlight.
This is the place to start if you are either undecided as to if binoculars are what you need for astronomy, if you are not sure what features you need to look for of if you want to browse and compare some of the top astronomy binoculars on the market.
Once you have read this guide, you can take a look at all my reviews and then explore in more detail all the other articles within the astro section.
Binoculars for Astronomy
The largest section on BBR, which I guess is understandable as birds & binoculars kind of go together like cheese and pickled onions!
I'd also say that whilst it is possible to enjoy birdwatching without them, binoculars along with your bird book are the most essential tools to any birder.
So no mater if you are a newbie birder, seasoned professional, if you like like backyard birding or going on birdwatching holidays. This section has all the advice, tips as well as many suggestions and reviews of the best quality binoculars for your particular needs and at your budget.
Survival Binoculars & Binoculars for Preppers
In an survival, evacuation, get home in an emergency or indeed pretty much situation when the SHTF, the right pair of binoculars are one of the most essential pieces of kit as they enable you to:
- Scout ahead from a safe distance for people, dangerous situations or ambushes.
- Scan potential routes or possible camping spots without having to go there, saving you time and energy
- Monitor your surroundings for danger or opportunities, can be very important if you are camped or hunkered down for the night
- Gather information: on people, game animals, and even supplies in your area
For more info, view the following BBR guides to the:
Best Binocular Reviews: Quality Not Quantity
I get quite a lot of people asking me why I have not reviewed a specific binocular. Not only is it impossible for me to review every set of binoculars on the market, but sometimes too much choice can be a bad thing - for example I find that when I visit many websites that sell binoculars, I am often baffled by the sheer amount of binoculars all being described as the greatest on earth, or I am sometimes disappointed by the quality of binoculars being described as the ultimate binocular.
My aim is to provide you with the best reviews of some of the best binoculars from the best brands... not the most!
When deciding which binoculars to test, I try and select higher specification good quality binoculars as these are what I am mostly interested in and I feel it is pointless for me to spend days using, photographing, filming and then writing about a device that I know I would not recommend to anyone.
If I test a pair of optics that I think they are rubbish, I will say so. It is more likely that rather than being completely bad, they will have certain features that fall short of the mark in my opinion and I will highlight them in my write-up. I would also like to point out that I am in now way compensated or influenced by any manufacturer, distributor of supplier to provide a positive review and they are all my own and truthful opinions.
Accessories & Gift Ideas
An excellent gift for the birder who already owns a pair of binoculars
Another gift idea for those the binocular owner
Also well worth keeping in mind and thus taking a look at are the best binoculars that I have tested in recent years past.
Remember optics are quite different to electronics in that the rate of development and technological advances occur much more slowly and thus what was a great binocular 5 or even 10 years ago (sometimes even more) is still going to be perfectly valid and compete with what is on the market today. The added bonus is that they are now usually listed in stores at substantially reduced prices.
Still equally as relevant today as they were last year, be sure to also check out the best binoculars from 2020, 2019, 2018 and even beyond. Not only are these still excellent instruments today, but you also have a better chance of grabbing yourself a discount or deal:
December 2023 - Optics News & New Releases
Below are details of some of the latest news in the world of optics as well as new releases of binoculars best brands:
Part of the BBR Binocular Award Winners Series, in this section I take a close look at this years as well as relevant past years winners of the award for the best budget binoculars over the past few years.
This is the ideal place to start if you are in the market for lower cost/ budget binoculars as I am 100% certain that each of them performs well above what their price tag suggests.
Whilst the title lists the binoculars as being under $200, in reality most of them are much lower in price than this with many being under $150 and some even under $100!
KabukiGlasses, wearable binoculars gifted to G7 spouses at the recent G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan. Explore the features, design, & viewing experience of these remarkable binoculars, highlighting Japan’s commitment to technology and international cooperation.
LANDER, Wyo. (Feb. 23, 2023) – Maven, the Wyoming-based manufacturer of premium optics,has just announced a brand new variation of their CS.1 Spotting Scope: the Maven CS.1 Spotting Scope. Developed to provide a powerful, yet compact spotting scope with an excellent level of optical performance that Maven says “won’t break the bank”, but originally only […]
Latest Binocular Reviews December 2023
Below are a selection of my most recent full and in-depth evaluations:
Exceptional optical performance, a beautiful ergonomic design, the best materials & robust build, are these the ultimate mid-size binoculars?
A tough, lightweight Magnesium Chassis protects top-notch HD optics, including ED glass lenses and an Abbe-Koenig roof prism system...
7x50 binoculars that are designated for marine use, but which I found to be excellent for many other uses incl...
With features that you expect on high-end binoculars, these Vixen binoculars are priced at a level that places them in the mid-level range...
Excellent value for money 8x42 binoculars that are both reliable and lightweight good for the outdoors & nature enthusiast shopping on a budget.
Mid-sized, mid-priced marine binoculars that break the mold using roof prisms, making them far more than just binoculars for boats & yachts...
US assembly with Japanese-made components, these Maven B Series binoculars form part of Maven's elite line of optics & utilize many very high-end...
Low-cost classically designed roof prism binoculars with large(ish) 50mm lenses for a good low light performance...
Smaller with improved optics, wider field of view & more. The B1.2 is a high-performance binocular with an incredible performance to price ratio...
Updated with a fully multi-coated optical system the Pentax Papilio II is now better & more versatile than ever...
Fujinon HC 8x42 binocular is outstanding and dare I say it, beautiful pair of optics that certainly stands out from the crowd. I especially like...
Excellent quality, bright image, combined with an extremely wide view and small, lightweight body...
Best Monocular Reviews
A monocular is basically half a binocular and because of this there are a number of advantages to them, but on the flip side, also some drawbacks.
Looking at the positives, they are both smaller and cheaper. However as you are only using one eye with a monocular, you do get a less immersive experience when using one.
However for the right person and in the right situations, they can be a good choice, be that as an alternative, or an instrument that you use to compliment your binos.
In the guides below I take a look at some of the very best in a range of price points and ideal uses:
Thermal Vision Reviews
Thermal imagers let you see what your eyes can't: invisible heat radiation emitted or reflected by all objects, regardless of lighting conditions, meaning it can also work in complete darkness and which is why a thermal imager is always included in the gear that I take on any wildlife adventure, camping trip or safari.
There are several types of thermal imaging devices available. Some of them include thermal imaging binoculars, thermal imaging monoculars, thermal imaging sights, thermal goggles, clamping systems and even thermal vision smartphones or adapters enabling you to attach a thermal camera to your smartphone.
High-end thermal binoculars and monoculars can cost thousands, but there are now many other viable options that are far more affordable should you wish to get into the world of thermal imaging on more of a budget:
Best Binocular Harnesses
From the simple suspender type design, to sling styles, to the fully covered bino harness bags that come with extra carrying space for things like rangefinders and even ammunition, binocular harnesses have become one of the most popular bino accessories and for many users, an almost indispensable addition that improves comfort and thus adds to the overall enjoyment of using their optics when out in the field.
With many brands now producing their own versions, inevitably you get some that are good and others that are not. As well as this you also get those designed specifically for uses like birding and hunting, whilst others will suit most general types of uses. For more information and full reviews, check out the following links: