SteelSeries Scope Gaming Eyewear Review
   
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SteelSeries Scope Gaming Eyewear Review

March 14th, 2014 James Leave a comment Go to comments

Overview

 

Today I will be taking a look at one of the most unusual products yet seen here at pcGameware, SteelSeries’ Scope Gaming Eyewear (yes that’s right Gaming glasses!). Originally designed and developed by GUNNAR and now partnered with SteelSeries the Scope (SCO-04301) is said to reduce eye strain and increase contrast and focus, which is quite a bold claim! The lenses themselves have been developed with legendary optics manufacturer Carl Zeiss and feature a yellow (AMBeR) tint lens with an anti-reflective coating to reduce glare and reflections. Various models are available via GUNNAR, but the Scope is the only one available from SteelSeries.

 

SteelSeries Gunnar Gaming Eyewear - box front SteelSeries Gunnar Gaming Eyewear - box back

 

The SteelSeries Scope eyewear came in a smart black box with a window section allowing you to see the glasses within. The front of the box highlights some of the benefits of the eyewear, mentioning; STAY FOCUSED, PLAY LONGER and PROTECT YOUR EYES! You can also see the GUNNAR reference in the top right corner.

The back of the box goes on to describe some of the main benefits of the Scope eyewear and lists some of the main features also:

  • Increases CONTRAST for greater visual accuracy and efficiency
  • Enhances DETAIL for shaper, clearer vision
  • Help REDUCE GLARE and improves focus
  • Improves visual ENDURANCE during extended gaming sessions
  • DECREASES eye FATIGUE and dry eyes

 

SteelSeries Gunnar Gaming Eyewear - box open

 

Flipping up the lid at the back of the box allows you to see a little more of the Scope eyewear, namely the carbon covered arms. Inside the lid the main features are listed again, this time in various other languages. As you can see from the image below, the various technologies used in the manufacture of the SteelSeries Scope eyewear are also listed…

 

SteelSeries Gunnar Gaming Eyewear - box contents SteelSeries Gunnar Gaming Eyewear - accessories

 

There’s not much to the contents (but then what did you expect!?); inside we find the glasses themselves, a GUNNAR Technology guide and a very soft nice white protective cover with a draw string top. The protective cover actually features the GUNNAR logo embossed at the base (difficult to see in the images, sorry).

At the time of writing the SteelSeries Scope Gaming Eyewear is retailing for approximately £90 and comes with a 1 year warranty.

 

Specifications/Features

courtesy of SteelSeries

DISTINCTIVE DESIGN

We’ve teamed up with the pros. No, not just pro gamers this time, but the team from GUNNAR Optiks who know a thing or two about how staring at a digital screen for hours can not only affect your eyes, but also your game.

WHAT THEY DO

GUNNAR eyewear is designed to minimize eye strain and visual stress, while improving contrast, comfort, and focus.

WHY YELLOW?

The yellow or AMBeR lens tint, filters out harsh fluorescent light and reduces high-intensity blue light. Why should gamers care? The result is a warmer, more natural light spectrum that minimizes the stress on your eyes, which can help sustain focus and alertness during marathon gaming sessions. Relaxed eyes mean less fatigue. Less fatigue means longer play time.

THE SCOPE OF HOW THEY WORK

THE SHAPE
The highly wrapped, curved lens shape limits air currents near the eyes, creating a higher humidity environment. This increased moisture helps reduce dry eyes and prevent irritation. The lens geometry offers a slight focusing power to help ease eyestrain caused by pixilated images. The focusing power helps improve the efficiency of the eye by enhancing detail for sharper, clearer vision.

THE LENS
The proprietary lens material offers the clearest image possible and is comprised of lightweight materials for long-haul ergonomics.

THE COLOR
The AMBeR lens tint is designed to improve overall contrast and comfort by filtering out harsh fluorescent light and reducing high-intensity blue light. The result is a warmer, more natural light spectrum that minimizes the stress on your eyes, which can help sustain focus during gameplay.

THE COATING
The lens coatings are designed to reduce glare and protect the lens. It includes an anti-reflective coating to reduce glare and reflections, and a hard coat that reduces environmental damage and minimizes scratching of the lens material.

THE FIT
Ergonomically designed , the lens and frame solution are constructed with the most advanced lightweight, yet durable materials available. Also features headset compatible temples for enhanced comfort with headsets. Oh and just a reminder, all SteelSeries headsets provide enough cushion in the earcups so that Scope glasses won’t dig into your temples.

THE BENEFITS FOR GAMERS

IMPROVES VISUAL EFFICIENCY
GUNNAR’s lens tint, coating, focusing power, and curvature create an environment for sharper, clearer vision. GUNNAR gaming eyewear helps your eyes work more efficiently, protecting against fatigue and enhancing overall contrast, focus and detail.

IMPROVES VISUAL ENDURANCE
Eyestrain, visual stress and dry eyes can be caused by extended periods of near to intermediate distance computer viewing. GUNNAR gaming eyewear helps relax the ocular muscles so you can spend more time gaming without getting eye fatigue and even headaches. If your eyes feel more relaxed, you can stay focused, play longer, and maybe even nab some extra frags.

IMPROVES VISUAL RECOVERY
GUNNAR eyewear helps keep your eyes fresh and relaxed. The lens tint, coatings, and curvature help reduce issues like eye strain, dry eyes, and visual stress which can help visual recovery after marathon gaming sessions.

MINIMIZES EYE STRAIN
GUNNAR eyewear protects against environmental barriers that can cause vision problems when viewing digital screens. The lens tint, coatings, and curvature combat issues like harsh fluorescent light, blue light, glare, and ambient air currents that can cause your eyes to dry out and strain. Wearing GUNNAR gaming eyewear helps minimize those issues creating a better environment for your eyes.

The Rx Program

Not all of us can be perfect, so if your eyes need more than the standard range of accommodation you can apply your Rx to your SteelSeries Scope. Inquire about the Rx program at www.gunnars.com/rx. GUNNAR’s prescription lens program is supported and administered by the precision optics of Carl Zeiss Vision.

GUNNAR Guarantee

GUNNAR guarantees the quality and performance of its eyewear. Wear your GUNNARS every time you’re in front of your computer/screen for the next 30 days. If you don’t notice a difference in contrast, comfort and focus, send them back for a full refund.

The GUNNAR Guarantee is only applicable for US customers who purchase GUNNARS at an authorized GUNNAR retailer or e-tailer. The Guarantee only applied to GUNNAR’s over-the-counter product offering for customers with 20/20 vision or vision corrected 20/20.

* Additional details available here

 

First Impressions

 

SteelSeries Gunnar Gaming Eyewear

 

So Gaming eyewear then and the SteelSeries Scope; well they look like a pair of yellow tinted sunglasses! But to say that may do them a disservice, but I guess it’s too late… ;) The shape’s a little odd, they are quite wide and the sides seem to kick upwards, although they look like they have been specifically designed that way, to provide a good field of view through the lens.

SteelSeries Gunnar Gaming Eyewear - frame (SteelSeries logo) SteelSeries Gunnar Gaming Eyewear - frame (GUNNAR & Made in China)

 

And to be fair that is what they are like (sorry), certainly to the uninitiated anyway! But to be fair they actually look kind of cool, not too sure why, maybe it’s that yellow tint, but they do look cool. They’re light too, very light and I like the Carbon Fibre covered arms. Look closely and you can see the GUNNAR reference on the frame and also the frame’s origins (China!).

 

SteelSeries Gunnar Gaming Eyewear - lens

 

But it’s all in the lens really, that’s where the magic is and when you put them on the reality is that these are not Rose Tinted Glasses but Yellow ones, and the world does indeed take on a whole new look…

 

Hardware Performance

 

Now this is a difficult to type Hardware Performance section. How does one evaluate such a piece of hardware and then go on to describe the pros and cons of Gaming with them, well here goes…

I have been playing Games with the SteelSeries Scope Gaming Eyewear over the last two weeks, so I have had plenty of time to see (haha get it!) the pros and cons of wearing such eyewear. The Main Game used during testing was Battlefield 4 as this is a Game that I play for long periods of time (2-4 hours) and is a Game where I probably concentrate the most. It’s also the Game that I swear at the most too (come on Dice get this thing fixed)! ;)

The most important question is, do they work? Well the answer to that is, undeniably yes! Now that may come as a shock to some, but they do indeed work. The more difficult part of this review is defining, Work!

First of all let’s address the most important aspect of the Scope eyewear, its ability to reduce eye strain! This is the main area where the eyewear really seems to do what it says on the tin (box). As this is somewhat difficult to describe or even prove, I’ll use an analogy. Simply put it’s a bit like putting sunglasses on in the bright sunlight; there’s this almost immediate calming effect as your eyes are under less strain and you immediately appreciate the difference. To some degree you don’t even appreciate the amount of glare from a well lit monitor until you have tried a pair of these glasses. So reduce eye strain? TICK!

Now let’s look at some of the other claims; like an increase in Contrast and Enhances detail! Hmm, now that’s even harder to prove and/or describe. But as I said before with the eyewear on, the world is a different place (other than being yellow of course), but more on that in a minute. There does seem to be an obvious change in clarity and indeed contrast, but the question is, is it any better? I don’t think so, it’s just different, just like when you listen to Virtual Surround Sound (a pet hate of mine!), it’s not better it’s just different! And if you prefer the difference all well and good! The same is true for the eyewear, I won’t say that it’s better, because I don’t think it is, it’s just different. Of course this difference adds to a possible placebo effect; because it’s different it must be working, right!?

During Gaming you’re likely to be less worried about colour definition perhaps, so the Scope eyewear makes far more sense, but there’s no escaping that it still changes the overall outlook of the image you are looking at thanks to those yellow tinted lenses. If you are into photography or Video , you would not want to be editing with these on, that’s for sure! If you’ve recently dialled in some nice settings into your monitor and think the image is now perfect, then the Scope may not be for you! But here at pcG, we’re all about Gaming, so let’s talk about the Scope’s effect on Gaming. In Game and during Battlefield 4 I was more than happy with the image that was now presented, it wasn’t better, neither was it worse, but in my mind I knew it wasn’t Right! And it is this that’s the real deal breaker for me, the image you now see is vastly different.

From a comfort point of view the SteelSeries Scope Gaming Eyewear is very comfortable, mainly due to the extremely light weight. One oddity that I was less impressed with though, was the glasses arms, that have a Carbon Fibre covering, these arms seem to have a rather thin edge, meaning that when taking them on or off, you are aware of its, almost sharp feeling. Although I have to admit, during long Gaming sessions this didn’t seem to cause any side effects. I would have just liked to have seem a somewhat smoother/rounded edge to the arms to further enhance feel and comfort.

One rather amusing effect is that after wearing the Scope for a long period of time, removing the glasses makes you think the world is now strangely coloured again! The brain is such a fickle thing… ;)

 

Final Thoughts

 

Overall the SteelSeries’ Scope Gaming Eyewear is better than one would think perhaps, it’s one of the first reviews that I entered into with real scepticism, as both GUNNAR and SteelSeries make some pretty bold claims. But the Scope eyewear does work, but as I have already stated (you have been reading right!?) we have to define Work!

The Scope is a well made and well presented piece of Gaming hardware, from a design and Quality point of view there’s little to pick fault at, apart from the somewhat sharp edges of the arms perhaps, and no your ears don’t fall off after extended use!

This set of Gaming eyewear from SteelSeries is all about the performance and from my point of view it’s all about whether they reduce eye strain!? Well they do, purely down to the fact that it’s a little like putting on sunglasses on a sunny day, the effect is immediately perceivable. So if you have a problem with eye strain while sat in front of your PC, then the SteelSeries Scope Gaming Eyewear may well be the answer.

The bolder claims such as better focus and contrast, I’ll have to sit on the fence about (sorry), as it’s just too subjective to call. The plus point is that it is different and again the difference is noticeable, but as to whether it’s better, well only you can decide that perhaps…

Of course all of this comes at a price, not only the £90 retail price, but also the fact that you’ll have your Gaming world somewhat tinted a rather Golden yellow, which is something that I’m just not keen on, but then I don’t tend to suffer from too much eye strain anyway, which is strange considering how much time I spend in front of a computer screen…

 

Verdict

Please Share, Like & Comment below, we really value your thoughts and opinions…

 

  Design/Quality pcGameware awards the SteelSeries Scope Gaming Eyewear a Silver
Performance
Value
Overall

 

Many thanks to SteelSeries for providing this sample for review

 



  1. Harvey
    March 18th, 2014 at 03:53 | #1

    Why don’t you just use f.lux?

    • James
      March 18th, 2014 at 09:06 | #2

      Didn’t even know it existed, looks (oops hehe!) interesting though… ;)