Best Binoculars 2024 - Award Winners

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14th Annual BBR Binocular Awards

Annual Binocular Awards LogosEntering its 14th year, the BBR binocular awards continue to spotlight the finest binoculars, monoculars, spotting scopes, night vision devices, and optic-related accessories that have undergone my personal scrutiny, testing, and thus endorsement.

Reflecting on the previous couple of years, there's been a noticeable resurgence in the optics and outdoor market. This resurgence echoes a time when lock downs were prevalent, prompting a renewed connection with wildlife, nature, and the great outdoors. Consequently, it seems that there is a heightened interest in the environment and therefore also more interest in outdoor gear, including optics, reflecting a broader engagement with outdoor pursuits.

Best Binoculars 2024

Links below will take you to the top binoculars in 2024 in a range of categories:

Contents / Binocular Categories

Best All-Round, General Use Binoculars 2024 by Price

Best Binoculars 2024 By Size/Use/Niche:

Best Bino Accessories, Other Devices & Gear 2024

Annual Binocular Awards 2024Genuine Awards

Before delving into the list of winners below and questioning why a particular binocular is or isn't included, let me clarify how the BBR Reviews and Awards operate:

Unlike many websites offering product reviews, I personally scrutinize and rigorously test all the instruments I review. It is from these firsthand experiences that I handpick the winners that you'll find listed below.

Furthermore, I want to assure you that every single review of binoculars, monoculars, scopes, or night vision devices on BBR reflects my honest and unbiased opinion of each instrument.

While I readily acknowledge that I'm not an all-knowing expert on optics, I do possess substantial experience (BBR started in 2008 and before then I used binoculars every day in my job as a safari guide). Therefore, I believe the insights I provide improve on the many reviewers and review websites who critique optics they've never actually seen or used, regardless of their expertise level.

Given the extensive testing, research, and photography involved, each review I put up on BBR takes several weeks and sometimes months to complete. Moreover, my ability to assess different brands is somewhat limited by the availability of samples. Consequently, it's unfeasible for me to evaluate every instrument on the market. As a result, these awards only represent a fraction of the sports optics instruments currently available on the market. They simply highlight the very best binoculars, spotting scopes, monoculars, and night vision devices that I've tested in recent years, which, to the best of my knowledge, remain current, relevant, and certainly worth your consideration:

Best All-Purpose Binoculars

The binoculars featured in this primary category shine across a spectrum of uses and conditions, making them ideal for those with diverse interests seeking a single instrument to meet multiple needs effectively.

Best Binoculars 2024

Swarovski NL Pure 8x32 Binoculars

Without a doubt, the 8x32mm Swarovski NL Pure binoculars offer an unparalleled image quality and viewing experience among mid-size binoculars.

Complementing their exceptional optical performance are their elegant ergonomic design, premium materials, and sturdy construction, making them not only a pleasure to use but also a reliable instrument built to endure a lifetime of use.

While it's conceivable that other mid-sized binoculars may excel in certain aspects, at 95%, their BBR score confirms that none surpass these in overall performance and quality and thus I have no hesitation in declaring the Swarovski NL Pure 8x32 Binoculars as the overall Best Binocular 2024 on BBR and up there with the very beat that I have ever reviewed.

Body Quality: 9/10 95%
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 10/10
Optical Stats: 10/10
Image Quality 10/10
Extras & Details: 10/10

Main Strengths

  • Exceptionally crafted optical components and coatings ensure unparalleled image quality and brightness.
  • Remarkably wide field of view enhances the viewing experience.
  • Sleek modern design offers superior comfort during use.
  • Seamless focusing mechanism enables swift and precise adjustments.
  • Metal eye-piece housings and eyecups feature an outstanding twist up/down mechanism with 7 click stops and 18mm of eye-relief.
  • Includes top-notch quality accessories for added convenience and functionality worth of a true alpha-level binocular.

Main Specs & Features:

  • Alpha Binoculars, RRP Approx: $2800 / £2200 / €2500
  • Top Hinge Body Design
    • Metal Waterproof & Fogproof Chassis
    • Metal Eyepiece and Eyecup Housings
    • Diopter Adjuster & Focus Wheel Integrated into the central hinge
  • Fully Multi-Coated Optics with SWAROBRIGHT, SWAROTOP, SWARODUR Coatings
    • Fluorite-Containing Extra Low Dispersion Glass
    • BAK-4 Roof Prisms
    • Dielectric & Phase Corrected
    • Field-Flattener Lens System
  • FOV: 150 @ 1,000m (450ft at 1,000 yards)
  • Minimum Focal Distance: 6.6ft
  • Eye Relief: 18mm
Buy & Compare Prices: Swarovski NL Pure 8x32 Binoculars

Past Winners:

Best General Wildlife Observation Binoculars 2024

GPO Passion HD 10x50 Binoculars

Scoring an exceptional 88% on the BBR scale, the 10x50 GPO Passion HD binoculars continue to stand out as some of the finest optics I haze evaluated over the last few years and they rank comfortably among the top performers of all-time.

One notable advantage of the 10x50 configuration is its suitability for general wildlife observation and is one of the top reasons why I have selected it as the winner for this category:

Despite a slight increase in size and weight, the quality 50mm lenses on these binoculars help them to deliver images as bright as those produced by equivalent 8x42 models while offering enhanced image detail due to the higher 10x magnification.

Enhanced Image Quality & Low Light Performance
Similar to the larger windows in your home, the 50mm objective lenses of the GPO Passion HD binoculars effectively capture and transmit more light, resulting in brighter, higher-quality views with improved performance in low-light conditions compared to standard 10x42 binoculars.

This feature proves invaluable, particularly during early mornings and late afternoons when wildlife activity is at its peak and light conditions tend to be less than ideal.

Important Details:

  • High-End Binoculars: $990 / £1100 / €1000
  • Single Top Hinge Body Design
    • Magnesium Chassis & Bridge
    • Water & Fogproof
    • Large focus wheel with integrated locking diopter correction
  • Fully Multi-Coated Optics
    • Double ED Glass Elements
    • Hydrophobic Lens Coatings
    • Schmidt Pechan roof prism system
    • Dielectric Coatings
    • Phase Correction Coatings
    • Large 50mm Objective Lenses
  • Field of View: 309ft at 1,000 yards (103 @ 1000m)
  • Close Focus: 2.8m (9.2ft)
  • Eye Relief: 17mm
Buy & Compare Prices: GPO Passion HD 10x50 Binoculars

Past Winners:

Best Binoculars Under $1000 / £1000 / €1000

Maven B1.2 10x42 Binoculars

Considering the array of top-end features, components, craftsmanship, and attention to detail incorporated into the Maven B1.2 binoculars, it's no surprise that they achieved an outstanding BBR score of 88%.

What sets them apart even further is their remarkable value: priced at less than half the cost of "alpha" instruments, they rival these high-end options across nearly every aspect. While they may not be categorized as budget-friendly, they undeniably offer exceptional value for serious binocular users, including professionals.

Selected Highlights:

  • Japanese Components Expertly Assembled in the US
  • Fully Multi-Coated Optical System Featuring ED Glass Lens Elements
  • Schmidt-Pechan Roof Prisms Enhanced with Dielectric Mirror Coatings
  • Exceptionally Wide Field of View for a 10x Binocular
  • Minimum Focus Distance of Just 4.9ft
  • In my opinion it has the Best Focus Wheel - Exquisitely Crafted and Smooth Operation
Body Quality: 9/10 88%
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 9/10
Optical Stats: 10/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

Main Specs & Features:

  • High-End Binoculars, RRP Approx: $900 / £900 / €900
  • Single Top-Hinge Body Design
  • Magnesium Chassis
  • Fog & Waterproof (IPX7)
  • Fully Multi-Coated Optical System
  • ED Glass Lens Elements
  • Scratch and Oil Resistant Lens Coatings
  • Schmidt-Pechan Prisms
  • Dielectric Mirror Coatings
  • Very Wide FOV: 362ft @ 1000 yards (6.6°)
  • Excellent Minimum Focal Distance: 4.9ft (1.5m)
Buy & Compare Prices: Maven B1.2 Binoculars

Past Winners:

Best High-End Binocular 2024 (Under $600 /£/€)

As we enter the start of high-end binoculars, typically priced at or slightly below the $600 threshold, an intriguing balance emerges:

At this price range, one would expect to get an instrument that is more than just a good mid-range or high-end binocular. Interestingly, the best binoculars within this category can also sometimes approach or even match the performance of alpha-level instruments.

This presents a unique opportunity for discerning buyers to invest in a high-performance binocular that rivals alpha-level quality, yet comes at a significantly lower cost. Making an informed choice in this range can yield exceptional optical performance without the premium price tag associated with alpha-level optics and below I think is an excellent example of this:

Alpen Teton 10x42 Binoculars

The Teton 10x42 by Alpen presents a compelling option in the realm of Abbe-Koenig prism binoculars, offering remarkable performance at a lower cost than what you normally find. While it may not quite match some of alpha level instruments in peripheral areas, Alpen has effectively prioritized key aspects of this prism design and only compromised in non-key areas in order to keep the price tag down.

Optical Quality and Image Clarity
Alpen Teton binoculars incorporate premium optics typically found in higher-priced models, delivering exceptional image quality and impressive low-light performance for a 10x42 binocular.

Materials and Construction
Featuring a magnesium chassis and metal components like eye-piece housings, focus wheel, and diopter ring, the Alpen Teton boasts durability and a premium feel. Its robust build ensures a lifetime of use with proper care.

Smooth Focusing
The all-metal focus wheel offers both aesthetic appeal and functionality, facilitating smooth and precise focusing even with gloves on.

Wide Field of View
Despite its 10x magnification, the Alpen Teton 10x42 provides a generous field of view, ideal for scanning wide areas or tracking fast-moving wildlife up close.

Close-Focus Capability
The binocular's minimum focus distance matches the best in its class, enabling detailed observation of nearby subjects.

Comfortable Neck Strap
The included neck strap, while lightweight, offers sufficient padding and features quick-release clips for easy conversion to a hand strap or attachment to a harness.

Main Highlights & Details:

  • RRP: $669.99, current retail price approx: $590 / £600
  • Single Bridge Body Design
    • Magnesium Chassis
    • Metal Focus Wheel
  • Fully Multi-Coated Optics
  • ED Glass Lens Elements
  • Abbe-Koenig Prisms
    • Phase Corrected
  • Wide Field of View: 340ft at 1000 yards
  • Excellent Close Focal Distance: approx 3ft - 4.3ft (0.9m - 1.3m)
  • Excellent 15mm of Eye Relief

Outstanding Quality at a Reasonable Price
Considering the level of optical and exterior components used and the high quality of their construction, the relatively low price point of around $400 / £380 is seriously impressive:

Buy & Compare Prices: Alpen Teton Binoculars

Best Mid-High End Binocular 2024 (Under $500 /£/€)

The mid-to-high level price threshold is very competitive and I would describe most of the instruments that I test positioned at or just under the $500 (£ / €) mark as being "very good" or "excellent" both in terms of the components used and the build quality. So picking a winner is often quite difficult, therefore what I am generally looking for is something that stands out from the crowd to make it either perform better than the rest or offer us better value for money.

Hawke Frontier 8x42 ED X Binoculars

Winner of the best birding binocular in 2019, I have decided to re-award the superb Hawke Frontier 8x42 ED X binoculars once again this year in this new price category as not only are they are still in production, but for my money are still every bit as good as when I first tested them and offer an excellent price to performance ratio that can't be ignored:

So whilst technically they slot into my Mid-High End (under 500) price category, you can often find these Hawk's listed at or even under the 400 ($/£/€ ) mark which when you consider what you get in return, is very impressive:

High-Quality Image
For almost all users, but especially for birders and wildlife observers, an excellent and true to life image is a critical feature as it ensures you are not only able to marvel at the beauty of nature in all her glory but also remember that tiny differences in things like plumage colorations can make the difference when trying to positively identify one sub-species from another.

The Hawke Frontier ED-X with it's ED (extra-low dispersion glass) lenses and phase-corrected, dielectrically coated roof prisms and many other highest level optical components ensured that they scored an outstanding 9/10 for both the optical components and final image quality sections when I tested them. In fact, with a total score of 87% on the BBR scale, these Hawke binoculars also match or beat many high-end binoculars that cost double the amount of these.

Wide Field of View
As most wildlife observers and especially birders will know that having a wide field of view is an extremely important feature as it enables you to more easily find and then follow your subjects, this is especially true of the small faster-moving ones at closer range. At 426ft wide at 1,000 yards, these have an extremely wide view that ranks up there with the very widest 8x42 binoculars currently on the market and which is why I would certainly describe them as being a wide-angle binocular.

As well as performing extremely well in these critical areas other reasons I opted for the 8x42 Hawke Frontier X over the other contenders is that they have a very high build quality level and a very good or excellent performance in every other area. Indeed they literally have no major weaknesses. This makes them a very versatile instrument that will not only stand out in most types of wildlife or birding situations but many other areas as well and certainly up there with the best binoculars I have ever used at this price level.

Main Highlights & Details:

  • RRP: $389.99, £389.99 retail price approx: $400 / £380
  • Single Hinge Body Design
    • Magnesium Chassis
    • Waterproof & Fogproof
    • Twist-up Eye-cups with click stops
  • Fully Multi-Coated Optics
  • ED Glass Lenses
  • BaK-4 Roof Prisms
    • Dielectric Mirror Coatings
    • Phase Corrected
  • Very Wide Field of View: 426ft at 1000 yards
  • Close Focus: 6.6ft
  • Excellent 18mm of Eye Relief
  • IPD: 5.6-7.4cm / 2.2-2.9ins
  • Weight: 24.4oz / 692g
  • Dimensions 14cm (5.5ins) x 12.3cm (4.8ins)

Outstanding Quality at a Reasonable Price
Considering the level of optical and exterior components used and the high quality of their construction, the relatively low price point of around $400 / £380 is seriously impressive:

Buy & Compare Prices: Hawke Frontier ED X Binoculars

Best Binoculars Under $400 /£/€ in 2024

Initially, I had not planned to have an under 400 price category, but being somewhat in no-mans-land between the categories above and below, I felt that these Bresser's are just too good for me not to bring to your attention:

Bresser Pirsch ED 8x42 Binoculars

So far I have had the fortune of testing three models (8x56, 8x42, and the 8x32) within the superb line of Pirsch ED binoculars from the German brand Bresser. All of which are truly excellent, but of these, it is the 8x42 Bresser Pirsch ED that has scored slightly higher than the rest with an outstanding 83% on the BBR scale.

Exceptional Value for Money
In my review of them I remarked they, like the Hawks above, have an excellent performance to price ratio because even though they are technically in the Mid-High price category (under $/£/€500), they actually cost around £340, and so despite such a high level of components and performance, they almost make it into the Mid-Level category below!

Some of the standout highlights for me include:

Very good quality of the view with good color reproduction, contrast levels, very low levels of color fringing, hardly any image softening at the edges of the view, and no other visible distortions.

Bresser Pirsch ED 8x42 binoculars have a Metal and Polycarbonate chassis that is lightweight yet robust and come with an all-metal focus wheel with a smooth mechanism for fast accurate focal adjustments. Metal eye-piece housings and eyecups that are tough with an excellent twist up/down mechanism and more than 17mm of eye-relief.

The build quality and function of the neck strap and carry case are both excellent and I also liked that they come with a good cleaning kit that includes cloth and optical cleaning pen. This is something that almost every other manufacturer forgets.

Main Specs & Features:

  • Mid-High End Binoculars approx: $350 / £340 / €340
  • Open Bridge Body Design
    • Metal and Polycarbonate
    • Waterproof & Fogproof
    • Metal Focus Wheel & Eyepieces
  • Fully Multi-Coated Optics
  • ED Glass Lenses
  • BaK-4 Roof Prisms
    • Dielectric Mirror Coatings
    • Phase Corrected
  • Wide Field of View: 375ft at 1,000 yards
  • Close Focus: 6.6ft
  • Excellent 17.1mm of Eye Relief

Outstanding Quality at a Reasonable Price
Considering the level of optical and exterior components used and the high quality of their construction, the relatively low price point is seriously impressive. Please note: Whilst I have found the Bresser Pirsch ED binoculars readily available both in the UK and the rest of Europe, they do seem to be hard to source in the US and Canada. Thus if you are having trouble finding them, or indeed if you are in Europe and want an alternative, I would highly recommend either the very evenly matched Hawke Frontier ED X above or the Celestron Trailseeker below.

Buy & Compare Prices: Bresser Pirsch ED 8x42 Binoculars

Best Binoculars Under $300 / £300

Celestron TrailSeeker ED 8x42 Binoculars

Best Mid-Level Binocular 2024, the Celestron TrailSeeker ED 8x42 BinocularsAt this price threshold, this Celestron binocular is just about as good as it gets and during testing, I found them to be an improvement on the older, non-ED version which I also rate as excellent at this mid-price tier.

Many binoculars at this price range look very generic... as if they were all made in the same factory ;-) But these Celestron TrailSeeker ED's are anything but that as they sport their own distinctive modern and classy design without being too futuristic.

For an 8x42 binocular these are small and lightweight, which certainly adds to their versatility and is especially impressive when you consider that they incorporate many metallic parts like the magnesium chassis, focus wheel, and eye-piece housings.

Viewable Image
During testing, I thought that the overall image quality and brightness was truly excellent for a binocular at this price level and matches that of many mid-to-high level instruments in my experience.

All the image specifications on this instrument are impressive, but it is the extremely wide field of view that really stands out and is certainly a particular strength of this instrument. This will most certainly be an advantage to wildlife and especially birders operating at short to mid distances where the wide view makes it easier to locate and then follow fast, sometimes erratic moving critters!

Main Features:

  • Current Price: Approx $290 / £285 / €300
  • Single Top-Hinge Body
    • Magnesium Chassis & Bridge
    • Water & Fogproof (Nitrogen Filled)
  • Fully Multi-Coated Optics
    • ED Glass Lens Elements
    • Schmidt Pechan Roof Prisms
    • Dielectric Coatings
    • Phase Corrected
  • 17.2mm of Eye Relief
  • Very Wide FOV: 426ft @ 1000 yards (142 @ 1000m)
  • Close Focal Distance: 2m (6.5ft)
Buy & Compare Prices: Celestron TrailSeeker ED Binoculars

Best Binocular under $200 / £200

Bresser Condor 10x42 Binoculars

Best Binocular Under 200 in 2021, the Bresser Condor 10x42 BinocularsLast year I had these Bresser Condor binoculars as my pick for best value binocular and for very good reason as not only do they look far more expensive than they are, but they perform as well as many of the better mid-level instruments out there.

As you can see, this year I have changed the categories a little and rather than one best value winner, I have added a number of different price categories and thus this year, I still have no hesitation in saying that this is the best general use binocular that I have used under $200 / £200 (although please not it can be a little difficult to locate in the US).

Impressive features like an all-metal focus wheel, metal diopter adjuster, and aluminum eyepieces make them feel and look far more expensive than they actually are, but even more impressive than this is that the quality is more than skin deep and by achieving an excellent score of 78% on the BBR scale, they are, without doubt, one of the best I have ever used at this price range.

Main Features:

  • Current Price: Approx $200 / £150 / €160
  • Single Top-Hinge Body
    • Polycarbonate Chassis (PPS) with Metal Bridge
    • Aluminium Eyepieces
    • Water & Fogproof (Nitrogen Filled)
    • Aluminium Central Focus Wheel
  • Fully Multi-Coated Optics with Silver "Ultimate Reflection Coatings"
    • Schmidt Pechan Roof Prisms
    • BK-4 Glass
    • Eyepiece Lenses: 6 groups, 8 pieces
  • 15mm of Eye Relief
  • Wide FOV: 111@ 1000m (approx: 333ft @ 1000 yards)
Buy & Compare Prices: Bresser Condor Binoculars

Best Low-Cost Binocular 2024 (Under $150 / £150 / €150)

Hawke Vantage 8x42 Binoculars

Best Low Cost Binocular 2024 - Hawke Vantage 8x42 BinocularsKey Strengths:

Sleek and contemporary top-hinge design distinguishes the Hawke binoculars, boasting the renowned Hawke build quality, creating an impression of luxury that goes far beyond its price point.

Effortless focusing with the exceptionally smooth focus mechanism, enhancing your viewing experience.

The generously sized eyecups, coupled with 2-click stops, provide a comfortable viewing experience with ample 18mm eye relief and large ocular lenses, preventing the formation of black rings on the edges of the view, regardless of whether you wear eyeglasses.

The overall image quality and brightness, exceed expectations at this price point

At this price range, the included accessories set a new standard, with the additional carry bag doubling as a convenient cleaning cloth, enhancing the value proposition of the Hawke 8x42 Vantage binoculars.

  • Low Cost - approx $150 / £140
  • Single Top Hinge
  • Waterproof & Fogproof (Nitrogen purged)
  • Twist-up Eye-cups
  • Multi-Coated Optics
  • BaK-4 Roof Prisms
  • Field of View: 367ft at 1000 yards / 122m @1000m)
  • Minimum Focal Distance: 8.2ft / 2.5m
  • Eye Relief: 18mm
Current Price & Where to Buy: Hawke Vantage 8x42 Binoculars

Best Long-Range Image Stabilized Binoculars 2024

To get the best view out of any powerful binocular you need to have some way of removing the image shake as without it you simply cannot take in and appreciate the extra detail that the powerful magnification provides you with.

For the most part this involves the use of a steady base like a tripod to mount the powerful binocular onto. However there are times when carrying about a tripod is not convenient, or for example if you are on an unsteady platform like a boat/plane where a tripod won't actually help. So it is in these circumstances where onboard image stabilization really comes into its own.

Winner Best Image Stabilization Binoculars 2024 - Kite APC 50 Image-Stabilized BinocularsKite APC 18x50 ED Image-Stabilized Binoculars

New for 2024, the Kite Optics second generation APC binos have advanced image stabilization performance on binoculars to an whole new level:

Powered by the cutting-edge KT 3.0 processor, updated software and with the revolutionary KDGS-2 at its core, the APC stabilized binoculars redefine this niche by completely eliminating the small image movements you normally see which truly makes the sensation of looking through binoculars vanish and allows you to clearly observe details that you would otherwise struggle to see.

In the past, to keep the costs down, most makers of IS binoculars would often sacrifice on optical quality, and thus whilst you got a more stable view, the image quality would lag behind standard binoculars in the same price range. With the Kite APC 50 Image-Stabilized Binoculars, this is gladly no longer the case:

Optical Quality
Featuring very high quality 50mm ED lenses and treated with Kite's own MHR Advance+ anti-reflection coatings, they are not only able to deliver a very impressive 86% light transmission, but levels of chromatic aberration are very low despite the higher magnifications, meaning you get the best of all worlds: a fully stable, clear and bright image that is sharp and true to life

Build Quality
The KITE APC 50 binoculars also boast an impressive IPX 7 waterproof rating. Add to this the impressive battery life up to 38 hours and the ingenious APC mode, which extends its operation to cover an entire season on a single charge it means they are not only tough enough to be used through rain-soaked jungles or braving the misty peaks of rugged mountains without worry, but you can go on repeated extended trips without having think about charging the device.

Main Specs & Features:

  • High-End Binoculars, RRP Approx: €1700
  • ED Optical System
  • 18x Magnification (also available in 14x)
  • 50mm Objective Lenses
  • 86% Light Transmission
  • Field of view: 65m at 1000m
  • Minimum Close Focus: 5.5 meters
  • IPX7 Waterproof Rating & Fogproof
  • Angle power control (APC)
  • Tripod Adaptable
  • Weight from: 1009g
  • 30 Year Warranty
Buy & Compare Prices: Kite APC Binoculars

Best Night Vision Binoculars 2024

ATN BinoX 4K Day & Night 4-16x Binoculars

Winner Best Night Vision Binoculars 2024 - ATN BinoX 4K Day and Night 4-16x BinocularsMore than just a night vision binocular, the ATN BinoX 4K Binoculars offer a versatile solution for both daytime and nighttime observation. on top of this, they also have recording and rangefinding capabilities:

Low Light & Night Vision

  • Impressive digital NV enables excellent observation during very low light
  • The inclusion of multiple color modes enhances the viewing experience, allowing users to adapt to different lighting conditions and environments.
  • Integrated night vision technology delivers enhanced visibility at night, extending the binoculars' utility to nocturnal activities such as wildlife observation and security monitoring.
  • The integrated IR illuminator further enhances nighttime visibility, providing additional illumination for clear observation even in complete darkness.
ATN Binox 4K Binoculars - Sample Video (Day & Night) - Full Video on YouTube

Daytime Binoculars & Laser Rangefinder

  • Crisp and clear daytime viewing thanks to a high resolution screen, providing excellent detail and clarity.
  • The 4-16x magnification range allows for versatile zooming, enabling users to observe distant objects with precision enhancing the binoculars' utility for various outdoor activities such as hunting, birdwatching, and surveillance.

Recording What You See:

The built-in video recording capability allows users to capture high-definition footage of their observations, making it convenient for documenting wildlife encounters, surveillance footage, or outdoor adventures.

Range Finding:

  • The binoculars' rangefinding feature facilitates accurate distance measurement, enhancing precision targeting and object identification during outdoor activities.
  • The rangefinder functionality is particularly useful for hunting and long-range shooting, aiding shooters in estimating target distances and making necessary adjustments for precise shot placement.

Main Specs & Features:

  • High-End Binoculars, RRP Approx: $900
  • 4K resolution for high-definition viewing
  • 4-16x magnification range
  • Multiple color modes for versatile viewing
  • Built-in rangefinder for distance measurement
  • Night vision technology for low-light and nighttime observation
  • IR illuminator for enhanced visibility in the dark
  • Photo and Video recording capability

Overall, the ATN BinoX 4K Day and Night 4-16x Binoculars offer a comprehensive solution for outdoor enthusiasts, providing excellent performance both during the day and at night. With its array of features, including high-definition recording and rangefinding capabilities, these binoculars are well-suited for various recreational and professional applications.

More Information

Buy & Compare Prices: ATN BinoX 4K Binoculars

Best Compact Binoculars 2024

Pentax Papilio II 8.5x21 Binoculars

Updated with a fully multi-coated optical system the Pentax Papilio II is now better & more versatile than ever.

The general build-quality is excellent, which is especially impressive when you consider their relatively low price point which I have found to be a common theme on all the Pentax Optics that I have used, tested and reviewed in the past. I really like the feel of the binocular in the hands and whilst the low-geared focus mechanism is not great for making rapid adjustments from near to far, it makes it very easy to fine tune the focus and achieve a perfectly sharp image.

With their incredibly close minimum focusing distance these are ideal for the close observation of things like butterflies or flowers when out in the field or for use in a gallery or museum.

Other optical highlights include quality BaK4 reverse Porro prisms and aspherical lens elements for a quality and brightness of view that is impressive for a compact binocular at this price level.

Keeping this in mind as well as the fact that they are also very small, lightweight, with a very good quality, bright view (for a compact), and a reasonably wide field of view, it means these Pentax Papilio II 8.5x21 binoculars are extremely versatile and thus make a good general use, all-round compact ideal for use in a wide range of areas.

Therefore even though they may not scored as highly as other compacts I have reviewed over the years, I feel that their versatility and relatively low price point makes them a deserved winner in this class.

Main Specs & Features:

  • Low-to-Mid Price Compacts: Approx: $129 / £119 / €129
  • Reverse Porro Prism Design
    • Right Eye Diopter
    • Helicoidal Twist-Up Eyecups
    • Tripod Socket
    • Dimensions: 11.6cm x 11cm x 5.5cm
  • Fully Multi-Coated Optics
    • BaK-4 Reverse Porro Prisms
    • Aspherical lens elements
  • Field of View: 315ft @ 1,000 yards / 105m @ 1,000 meters
  • Ultra Close Minimum Focus: 0.5m /1.6ft
  • Eye Relief: 15mm
Buy & Compare Prices: Pentax Papilio II Binoculars

Best Binoculars in Low-Light 2024

Steiner Nighthunter/Shadowquest 8x56

Known as the Nighthunter in Europe or the Shadowquest in the USA, these large 56mm Steiner binoculars deliver an unbelievably bright and clear image and are especially impressive in very low light conditions.

Excellent in Low Light
Manufactured in Germany, using the very best components, optics and optical coatings, these binoculars have an industry leading light transmission level of more than 96% (across all visible wavelengths).

This extremely high level of light transmission in addition to the large 56mm lenses ensures that they are able to produce an image that is brighter in low light than anything that I have ever used before. Seriously!

Faster Target Acquisition
The Nighthunter/Shadowquest also uses Steiner's fixed focus (Always in Focus) system. So all you have to do is set up the instrument to match your particular vision once and from then on, you never really need to make any adjustments to the focus. The advantage of this is that you can locate objects quicker and is particularly good for locking onto moving objects, like birds and other wildlife.

Extremely Wide View
The extremely wide view is also impressive, which once again makes it that much easier to quickly fine and then follow moving objects. The wide view also makes it easier to scan wide open areas searching for objects or wildlife of interest.

Extras & Accessories
Steiner Optics supply these with their excellent Click-Lock quick-release system on the neck strap which enables you to very quickly and easily swap between the strap and your bino harness.

Other excellent features include the eyecups with included side shields that are extremely effective in blocking out light and distractions from the periphery of your view.

Cost & Where to Buy:
These very high quality, high end instruments currently retail for around $750 in the US and £800 / €800 in the UK and Europe:

UK & Europe: Buy & Compare Prices: Steiner Nighthunter Binoculars
USA: Buy & Compare Prices: Steiner Shadowquest Binoculars

Past Winners & Still Very Highly Recommended

Opticron Savanna WP 6x30 Binoculars

Best Low Cost Binocular 2021 - Opticron Savanna WP 6x30 BinocularsThe Opticron Savanna WP binoculars and in particular the 6x30 version were and still are one of my favorite low cost binoculars and they are a good example of what is possible at the lower price points, especially if you keep the magnification down and use Porro prisms:

Initially I selected them as one of the pairs that I took on a kayaking trip as I felt their configuration made them ideally suited to this activity. But it also makes them ideal for a whole host of other uses and I highly recommend them as a low-cost option for observing wildlife in places like forests or for backyard birding, taking to sporting events, or stashing in your bug-out bag. As well as this they are great for children or anyone with unsteady hands.

6x30 Configuration
Combining a very moderate 6x power with 30mm lenses makes for an interesting combination and I am somewhat surprised that it is not more commonly found: Firstly it produces 5mm exit pupils (30÷6) which is more than decent and for a mid-sized instrument is actually large, which along with quality optics and coatings play a big part in maintaining a bright image in low light conditions.

As well as helping produce a larger exit-pupil the lower power also makes it easier to maintain a more steady, shake-free view. Another huge advantage is that it helps produce a wider view. Measuring 420ft wide at a distance of 1000yds, the field of view on these is really impressive allowing you to quickly locate objects (especially smaller ones) and then follow them if they are fast and erratic moving (like birds for example). So as a close-range birding binocular (be that in forests or just backyard birding), or a binocular to take to an outdoor sporting event where you will see more of the action without having to pan the view about, these are certainly a good choice.

Porro Prisms
Whilst not as compact, at this lower price point Porro prism binoculars like these are often optically superior, delivering brighter, better quality views when compared to lo- cost roof prism binoculars. For the reasons why see Cheap Binoculars – Is a Roof or Porro Prism Best? and I found these Opticron Savanna WP binoculars to be an excellent case in point as they produce a remarkably bright image considering the small 30mm lenses and in my opinion, the quality is easily amongst the best in this class and matches that of far more expensive instruments.

Also important to mention is that the prisms are also made from BaK-4 glass, which is a good thing, especially at this price point where many instruments will use inferior glass (for binoculars) like BK-7 glass.

For a compact and especially one at this price range, the quality and brightness of the view was surprising and I can say without hesitation that they performed well beyond my expectations and are as good, if not better than many mid-range compacts costing more than double this amount.

The first thing I really like about this Carson RD Series binocular is that you would never guess by looking at them that they cost less than half than a good quality mid-range instrument. Better still is the quality is more than skin deep as under the hood, they continue to punch well above their price tag.

More Past Winners in this Low Cost Category Still Worth Considering:


Best Binoculars 2024: Notes, Rules & Regulations

What Sets Apart the BBR Annual Binocular Awards:

To qualify for a coveted BBR Award among the best binoculars for 2024, each instrument must undergo rigorous testing and review right here on BBR.

At the close of each year, I meticulously assess every review to identify standout performers in specific categories. If no standout contenders emerge or if a category lacks recent reviews, I may opt to withhold the award or recommend the previous year's winner, provided it remains relevant and accessible.

Rest assured, my selection process for award winners remains entirely impartial and unbiased.

Given the relatively limited number of binoculars and instruments I can evaluate annually, the pool of potential winners naturally shrinks. Nevertheless, I believe this approach offers greater integrity than merely endorsing products I haven't personally examined.

Guidelines & Rules:

  • For a chance to claim an award, the instrument must undergo a thorough review on BBR. While this means that award winners haven't been compared against every binocular on the market, rest assured they've been rigorously tested and used—not merely assessed based on manufacturer specs or guesswork. They've earned their accolades.
  • The selection of award winners is solely my prerogative; there's no panel of experts or users involved. Thus, the winners reflect my personal opinion of the best in each category for the year—a system that has its pros and cons, but it's how things stand for now.
  • It's crucial to stress that I don't hand out awards just to fill categories. Each winner must genuinely merit recognition in its respective category. If there's no standout performer in a particular category, no award will be given, and the previous year's winner will retain the title if it's still relevant. This explains why you may see repeat winners in certain categories.
  • The selection process involves revisiting all the reviews from the previous year, compiling the best ones into a pool, categorizing them accordingly, and then carefully choosing the cream of the crop.
  • While price certainly matters, I prioritize value for money within specific price ranges. A high-end binocular, for instance, will naturally come with a higher price tag, but I look for those that offer exceptional value through superior build quality, component quality, and optical and physical performance.
  • Once again, I would like to stress that these 2024 binocular awards, like all the others and my reviews, are impartial and unbiased. I've awarded them because I genuinely believe they deserve recognition.

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