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.

How Binoculars Are Rated

So, I guess the next question you probably have is How Are Binoculars Rated?

Well, the total score is displayed as a percentage and is composed of a 6 different sections that encompass all the main elements and specifications of the instrument and includes aspects like the build quality, the level of optics and coatings used and the quality of the view.

I go through each of these elements in detail below and explain how I derive a score for each one:

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.

Compare Side-By-Side:

Compare features of all reviewed & rated binoculars on BBR Side-By-Side

 

Kite APC 14x50 Image Stabilized Binoculars Review

Improved Image-stabilisation, higher quality optics and several other unique features have in my opinion eliminated most of the downsides of using an Image-stabilized binocular and thus make these Kite APC binoculars a truly viable option as an everyday, general-use binocular.

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

 

Hawke Frontier APO 10x42 Binoculars Review

Aimed at those more serious about wildlife observation, birdwatching, and outdoor adventures, these very high-end Hawke binoculars feature APO lenses with ED glass elements, providing bright, excellent-quality views with minimal chromatic aberration.

The compact design, magnesium chassis, and mostly metal components ensure durability.

Price: (5/6) High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 88%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 9/10
Optical Stats: 10/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Swarovski NL Pure 8x32 Binoculars Review

Like most good 8x32 binoculars these are very versatile and well-suited for a wide range of activities and viewing purposes.

But added to that you get an exceptional optical performance, a beautiful ergonomic design, the best materials & robust build, are these the best mid-size binoculars ever made?

Price: (6/6) Expensive Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 9/10 95%
The VERY Best
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 10/10
Optical Stats: 10/10
Image Quality 10/10
Extras & Details: 10/10

 

Alpen Teton 10x42 Binoculars Review

The Alpen Teton binocular incorporates many metal components and magnesium chassis that protect very high-end optics at a price well below what you would usually expect to pay for an Abbe-Koenig bino.

The result is a tough, versatile instrument that delivers a high-quality image and what I consider an excellent low-light capability for a 10x42 binocular.

Price: (5/6) High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 9/10 87%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 9/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Hawke Endurance ED Marine 7x50 Binoculars Review

7x50 binoculars that are designed for marine use, but because of several factors which I go through in detail in the review, including the use of roof prisms and a central focus wheel, I feel make them ideal for many other uses including astronomy, birding, wildlife observation and more.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 82%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Viking Osprey 8x42 Binoculars Review

Magnesium Chassis, Metal Components, Field Flattening Lenses, Extra Low Dispersion Glass, Phase Corrected, Dielectric Coated Prisms...

With most of the features and components that you would expect from a high-end binocular, these Vixen Osprey binoculars are priced at a level that places them amongst many of the top mid-level binoculars which is impressive.

Price: (4/6) Mid-High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 85%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 9/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Hawke Vantage 8x42 Binoculars Review

Excellent value for money 8x42 binoculars that are both reliable and lightweight.

Highlights include a surprisingly good image quality and brightness, Multi-Coated Optical system with BAK-4 Roof Prisms, and a wide field of view making them a good option for the birder, outdoors, or nature enthusiast shopping on a budget.

Price: (2/6) Low Cost Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 73%
Excellent
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 6/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 7/10
Extras & Details: 7/10

 

Hawke Endurance ED Marine 7x32 Binoculars Review

Mid-sized, mid-priced marine binoculars that break the mold using roof prisms, making them far more than just binoculars for boats & yachts.

With their 7x magnification, wide views & small size, I found them to also be a great close-range birding, wildlife, & general use bino ideal for adventures like canoeing, kayaking, hiking, camping & more...

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 82%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Maven B.6 12x50 Binoculars Review

Assembled in the US using Japanese-made components, these Maven B Series binoculars form part of Maven Optic's elite line of optics that have evolved from their award-winning B.1 Binoculars.

Combining a magnesium chassis with metal components, a fully multi-coated optical system that includes ED glass lenses and Dielectric components, this 50mm model is both strong & lightweight and delivers an extremely bright high-quality view for a 12x50 binocular.

Price: (5/6) High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 9/10 87%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 9/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Discovery Gator 10x50 Binoculars Review

Produced by Levenhuk, but endorsed by the Discovery Channe, these low-costing classically designed roof prism binoculars with large(ish) 50mm lenses offer a good low light performance with a reasonably powerful 10x magnification.

Price: (2/6) Low Cost 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

 

Maven B1.2 10x42 Binoculars Review

Updated from the B.1 series, the 10x42 B1.2 binoculars are smaller, more lightweight, come with improved optics, a much wider field of view, longer eye-relief, a closer minimum focus distance as well as other improvements.

The fact that Maven Optics has managed to do all this and keep the cost at the same level results in a high-performance binocular with an incredible performance to price ratio.

Price: (5/6) High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 9/10 88%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 9/10
Optical Stats: 10/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Pentax Papilio II 8.5x21 Binoculars Review

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

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.

Price: (2/6) Low Cost Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 75%
Excellent
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 7/10

 

Fujinon HC 8x42 Binoculars Review

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 the very wide field of view, which when combined with the excellent quality optics and resulting superb image quality means that you are presented with a view that is just about as good as it gets in both good and low light conditions.

Price: (5/6) High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 83%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 9/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 7/10

 

Opticron Explorer WA ED-R 8x32 Binoculars Review

Excellent quality and bright image, combined with an extremely wide view and small, lightweight body, these 8x32 Opticron Explorer WA ED-R binoculars are an ideal option for a wide range of uses where you want something a bit smaller than an 8x42, but better low light performance than a full compact binocular.

Other highlights include ED glass lenses, dielectric coated, and phase-corrected BaK-4 roof prisms, fully multi-coated optics, and a tough waterproof chassis.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 82%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 7/10

 

Discovery Gator 8-20x25 Binoculars Review

Produced by Levenhuk, but endorsed by Discovery, these low-cost, compact binoculars feature a zoom function that enables you to easily adjust the magnification from 8x, right up to a powerful 20x power.

The instrument is water-resistant, has a fully multi-coated optical system that includes reverse Porro prisms made from BK-7 glass.

Price: (2/6) Low Cost Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 6/10 63%
Very Good
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 6/10
Optical Stats: 6/10
Image Quality 7/10
Extras & Details: 5/10

 

Pentax VM 6x21 WP Monocular & Microscope Kit Review

Small, lightweight, and versatile monocular when combined with the complete kit easily converts into an 18x microscope.

Highlights include an extremely wide field of view, very close minimum focus distance, plenty of eye relief, and a unique shape and rocker focus mechanism making it both comfortable and very easy to use in just one hand.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Monocular
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 83%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 10/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Pentax VD 4x20 WP Binocular & Monoculars Review

A compact binocular that the Transformers would be proud of!

The Pentax VD 4x20 can be split in half and thus converted into two 4x monoculars, which in turn can be placed end-on-end, transforming it once again into a mini-sized, but powerful 16x Spotting Scope!

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 82%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 10/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 6/10

 

GPO Passion HD 10x50 Binoculars Review

Extremely high-quality binoculars designed in Germany, made using premium class optics and components in Japan.

Standout features include a Magnesium housing, fully machined aluminum rotary eyecups, a focus wheel with an integrated & lockable diopter adjuster, Dielectric coated Schmidt-Pechan roof prisms, Double HD glass lenses with hydrophobic exterior coatings.

Price: (5/6) High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 9/10 88%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 9/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 10/10
Extras & Details: 9/10

 

Steiner Wildlife 8x24 Binoculars Review

The double-hinge, roof prism design, combined with a tough exterior and fully water and fog proof chassis makes these a true pocket sized binocular that just ask to be taken anywhere and everywhere you go.

Other highlights include a fully multi-coated optical system, wide field of view, excellent close focus distance and with it's Click-Lock attachments system probably the best neck-strap I have ever seen on a compact.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 83%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Bresser Pirsch ED 8x34 Binoculars Review

This Pirsch ED binocular from the German brand Bresser incorporates a very good level of optics and body components into a mid-sized, easy to carry chassis, all the time keeping half an eye on the cost, with the result being an instrument that offers a very good performance to price ratio.

Main optical highlights include ED Glass lenses, a Fully Multi-Coated optical pathway and Dielectric, Phase Corrected BAK-4 Roof Prisms...

Price: (4/6) Mid-High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 82%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Vortex Diamondback HD 15x56 Binoculars Review

For the most part, these high power, long range binoculars from Vortex manage to achieve that very difficult balancing act of a reasonably priced, reasonably high performance binocular that delivers a bright, high-quality image in combination with a high magnification.

As well as the instrument, the level and sheer number of included accessories is also impressive...

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

Compare Side-By-Side:

Compare features of all reviewed & rated binoculars on BBR Side-By-Side

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


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