With 6 months of testing these “puppies”, we’ll be finding out if Gunnar Optiks’ products are just “marketing fluff”, or if there’s any truth to their words.
Presentation: As with any other product review on this site, I’ll be starting the review by talking about the Sheadog Crystalline’s presentation. I find myself really drawn to these from an aesthetic standpoint, as they fit my face rather nicely in a tech-dorky kind of way. Whether or not these vibe with you will depend largely on your facial structure and personal preference, but their selling point is that it fits many different head-sizes and shapes. The frame is made of a thin, flexible “high tensile” steel that makes it comfortable and lightweight, measuring in at 20 grams. It’s marketing is aimed at gamers, but people in other professional industries can benefit from this protective eyewear. They come with a small pouch that doubles as a cleaning cloth, and a small documentation booklet. Overall, I felt as though I purchased a well made product, from both a build quality & presentation standpoint.
Functionality: The biggest question on my mind when I heard about these were whether or not the Gunnar Optik Sheadog Crystalline glasses served the purpose of eliminating eye strain for extended periods of time in front of displays of any kind. Gunnar Optiks has gone to great lengths to promote the technology behind their glasses, noting of how the amber coating is supposedly beneficial for blocking out harmful lights that can damage your eyes over time. You’ll notice right away that these crystalline glasses don’t have any stark tinges to distract you, which raises the question “If the amber tint was a huge part of figuring out how to protect your eyes, how could they achieve the same thing without it?”
I don’t have standard amber tinted Gunnar Optik glasses to compare these crystalline shedogs to, so I can’t really answer that question. However, I have been in front of screens pretty much all of my life without the aid of glasses, so I can offer my experience of using these in comparison to not using any at all. One of my concerns as I continue on this journey we call “life”, is my ocular condition, with digital art and gaming taking up a huge chunk of my time. The digital art part was my biggest reason for choosing the crystalline glasses, and I’m happy I decided on them.
Graphic design requires that colors are accurate, so having an amber tint could compromise on color accuracy, so those were a no-go when it came to protecting my eyes at work. Upon first impression, I was a bit disorientated since these have a slight magnification and a very faint purplish-reddish tinge to them, making colors slightly less than 100% accurate. It’s barely noticeable, considering the stark difference Gunnar’s other line of glasses would make, making it a great choice for people who don’t want colors to be misrepresented while protecting their eyes.
In terms of reducing eye strain, I have noticed that I don’t seem as tired after really long periods of time of being in front of screens. Similarly, before I started wearing these, I didn’t really find too many instances when that happened anyway, but after being in front of a computer screen at work without them, I have noticed that my eyes were tiring faster. Gunnar uses a lot of attractive marketing words and explains that their lenses are recommended by Doctors, and that it alleviates all common issues associated with digital eye strain, effects of artificial blue light, and visual stress and fatigue, so in this case, I believe it.
Price: I paid $75 for my Gunnar Optik Sheadog glasses, which is fairly reasonable considering next gen controllers are $60+ and these are targeted towards gamers. There are very few things that are more important than keeping your eyes healthy if you’re a digital artist, programmer, or gamer. We rely on sight for a majority of the things we do, so protecting your eyes is a fairly high priority.
Lasting Appeal: Whether or not that is worth $75 to you is your call, but as an Illustrator, Graphic Designer, and Gamer, it was an easy one for me to make. While at first, I was a bit disheveled by the fact that these glasses smudge really easily and aren’t very scratch resistant, I think that’s a common attribute to eyewear in general. While these glasses can’t possibly completely eliminate all eye strain, there is a fairly noticeable difference in your eye fatigue after wearing these vs not at all. Here’s the full spec sheet
- Great design and comfort
- Aesthetically pleasing and built well
- Effective at protecting your eyes
- May be unnecessary for people not particularly affected by eye strain
- Scratch & smudge easily
- Doesn’t come with sturdy carrying case
You can buy the Gunnar Optik Crystalline Glasses through Amazon.