When confronted with the opportunity to test out and review a pair of NoScope gaming glasses, I jumped at the chance. No, not for myself, but for my close friend, and room mate. This person, Aaron, gets a lot of eye-strain and gaming related headaches. Thankfully, I don’t really have these problems, so for the critical function of these glasses I will be relying on Aaron’s impressions. Though I do have quite a few impressions of my own to add. For the purposes of this review, NoScope was kind enough to send us two pairs of their Golem model (Affiliate) gaming glasses. When these arrived in the mail we were excited to try them on. While the frames don’t scream quality and expense, neither do they appear particularly cheap. Made out of a rigid and thick plastic that I don’t see breaking too easily — they seem as sturdy as their name would suggest. Just sitting on the table, I thought they looked pretty fashionable. But once on… ugh, well let’s just say the look is not to my liking. Still, I can see how they might be popular with certain crowds. Unfortunately for me, they increased my forever-alone-geek-level by 900%. I would prefer a more sporty, or professional, maybe aviary type of style, but not a big deal. It’s not like I typically have people sitting around judging my fashion decisions while I play video games. As far as the ‘technology’ behind these glasses… It doesn’t seem to be anything more than a simple color filter. Apparently there are types of blue light that aren’t quite natural that some people don’t respond very well to. While it doesn’t seem this has been completely scientifically proven, it is definitely a thing. You can find countless articles on Google about the dangers and annoyances of Digital Eye Strain and blue light, but the closest thing I could find to a peer-reviewed study was this. If you are having a hard time swallowing this jive about blue-light-bad, take a look at the above link and it’s accompanying links. I have to admit, I was fairly incredulous about the topic at first, but after reading some of these articles, I’m more than willing to entertain the idea.
As a bit of a skeptic, I expected that wearing these would be somehow horrible, that they would cause me to see the world in dingy urine-vision! Thankfully, this was pretty far from the truth. The yellowing effect is subtle. It’s a lot like bumping your monitor settings to the ‘warmer’ option. Concerns that these specs will destroy your color gamut should be allayed. However, it is worth mentioning that the effects can vary between different displays. The yellowing on my large and bright HD TV is minimal. However, on my computer monitor it is a bit more extreme. I’ve been wearing my No Scope all morning. At first, I wasn’t used to it and I think they caused a bit of dizziness, and maybe even a shade of nausea. Thankfully, I quickly became more accustomed to the spectacles and the nausea left me. It’s like wearing sunglasses for your TV. When I take them off, the screen seems excruciatingly bright, however my eyes adjust after a few moments. Still, I can see how these could have a soothing effect on one’s vision, especially if you like to blast the brightness, color, and contrasts settings on your TV like I do.
The Golem model in particular has some great design features. First, they are very comfortable, like a hug across the brow. They may be the most comfortable pair of spectacles I’ve ever worn, and they didn’t slide around or need readjustment as the hours ticked by. Second, they cover one’s entire field of view — there are even yellow tinted side-panes. I think the extreme coverage is great! Even though I don’t really suffer from eye-strain, and maybe am not the best person for these glasses to be marketed to, I think they make a very nice pair of safety-goggles. NoScope’s Golems are also pretty inexpensive. At around $25 they’re about 80% cheaper than a lot of the gaming glasses I’ve browsed. Even though the price is affordable, I think the Golems could benefit from a little something extra. Maybe a UV protective coat, or some metal or carbon-fiber accents, at least some kind of scratch resistance. The large plastic lenses seem particularly vulnerable to scratches. The Golems are presented well and come with a couple nice items aside from the spectacles themselves. New owners will be happy to find a fashionable carrying case, as well as a microfiber washing cloth included with their new pair of NoScope gaming glasses. The pouch is white-leather(fake I assume) and has a snap-shut fish-mouth.
My test-subject, Aaron, says that these glasses definitely reduce eye-strain and are super comfortable. He was so excited to take part in this review that he wanted to go the extra mile and compare NoScope to another brand he was familiar with. He bought a pair Gunnar Intercept glasses for this comparison. Without going into a full review of these other specs, we can both say we prefer the NoScope glasses. The difference in comfort alone is worlds apart, and while the Gunnars have a shinier anti-UV surface, we found that this ultra glossy surface caused minor double vision, as well as the slightly distracting side effect of being able to see the ghost of your eyes reflected in the lenses — a problem that also presented itself in the NoScope pair, but to a much more subtle degree. He’ll be returning the Gunnars. In the end, I’m fairly surprised to admit that testing out NoScope’s Golems was a pleasant experience. I may even be slightly addicted to the softening effect these glasses produce for screen-viewing. I find that if I keep them within reach, I tend to put them on at various points in my gaming and internet surfing sessions. If a person were to find themselves having a serious problem with gaming-related eyestrain, I would highly recommend that they get a pair of Golems.
Functional, comfortable, and inexpensive. The only thing holding the NoScope Golems back is style, and that's debatable.