Gunnar Optiks Review

by on December 13, 2013

I never expected Gunnar Glasses to improve my gaming skills, which is good, because they certainly didn’t. I’m still average, at best.

But in this career, coupled with this hobby, you tend to spend a lot of time looking at a computer monitor. There hasn’t been a night over the past month that I haven’t drowsily flicked off my monitor, stumbled into my bed, and found myself unable to sleep due to an intense migraine that was onset about half way through my work day. I admit, I seem to have worse luck with these migraines than your average person, and that fact pushed me to desperation. I ordered a pair of the glasses, which I had previously written off as silly.

I was relieved to discover that there were actually a lot more, less ridiculous options available than there was when I first looked into the product. In fact, many of the styles are downright wearable in public. So, how do they stand up?


The first day of use, I still went to sleep with a migraine. I was a bit disheartened, but I didn’t discount the glasses as a total loss. In ways I hadn’t imagined, the amber tint actually did improve the visual aesthetic of the games I was playing and the videos I was editing. Colors seemed more vivid, and contrasted to one another more noticeably. It was a pleasant surprise, and I’m not sure how I didn’t expect it – in retrospect, the effect makes perfect sense.

This treat encouraged me to use the glasses over the next day, which required me putting in contact lenses. Normally, I can’t be bothered with that chore first thing in the morning. But still, I persevered, and I’m glad I did. I was able to discover that the first day was just a bit of bad luck because, as my day went on, I realized that I wasn’t getting a migraine. As advertised, these glasses do mitigate eye strain. Hallelujah!

It’s also worth noting that the lenses can be ordered to fit your prescription. Had I been as confident in the product as I am now, I would have opted into this feature. The fact is, a lot of gamers wear glasses, and it’s an entirely worthwhile addition.

Build Quality

I used the Paralex model of frames, but have heard that the following is true of the whole line of Gunnar products. The frames are surprisingly lightweight, for something built so sturdily. They don’t feel cheap, which is good, because they aren’t. A pair of Gunnar glasses will run you anywhere from $70 – $200 USD. Without being annoying, the glasses grab your face and don’t shake off easily. In my many years of being nerdy, it is rare to encounter a pair of specs that manage this effectively.

The glasses work with any standard headset you might use – no problem. The ear pieces weren’t pressed uncomfortably into my skull by my bulky pair of Astros, nor did they clash with my standard Xbox One microphone. I never tried it, but I can’t foresee a clip over one ear, wireless model being any problem either.

Day to Day

I’ll admit, I took these things outside where other people are. I didn’t feel embarrassed, but that’s mostly because I’ve been a shameless creature for a long time now. Objectively, though, nobody seemed to be staring, and I was able to order a Philly Cheese Steak without getting aggressively pummelled by bullies.

Then again, I’m 24, and not a cartoon character.

What I did notice, and was actually kind of enthused by, is that the gloomy Upstate New York weather was negated by the amber tint of the glasses. Admittedly, those “As seen on TV glasses” that promise to make life “more HD” are ridiculous. But after wearing my Gunnars out, I can confidently say that they aren’t entirely without merit; yellow-ized things just look more pleasant.

Noting that, I tried the Glasses with some darker games that I typically can’t play in the day time. I was relieved to notice that the contrast made the glare of the infernal sun exponentially more manageable.


I like the glasses a lot. I’ve seen some people condemning them, but they tend to have gone in with the wrong expectations. The glasses won’t make you better at video games, and Gunnar never claims that they will. They will, however, make working on a computer all day more bearable and offer a quality alternative to your next pair of frames. And when I say quality, I damn near mean Oakley or Rayban.

There are a wealth of styles to choose from —from Deus Ex- esque tech-chic to more creative type, arthouse styles— that will ensure that, if this is a route you need to go down, you will at least be comfortable doing so.