The best infrared binoculars

While until a few years ago, infrared binoculars were intended exclusively for police, military, and security, today they are increasingly popular for private use. You can use infrared binoculars for hunting, game viewing, and various outdoor activities. Some devices even have a recording feature to capture what you see for yourself, family, friends.

I will introduce you to 8 infrared devices from different manufacturers and discuss each model’s essential technical characteristics in our product comparison. Plus, my guide tells you everything you need to know before buying night vision binoculars.

I will answer many questions that you are likely to ask yourself when deciding which device is best for you, such as: What should the diameter of a lens be? How far can I see with infrared binoculars? What types of night vision devices are there? Where can I buy infrared binoculars, and at what price?

Table of Contents

The six best-infrared binoculars

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1. Bestguarder 1212-50 – Night Vision Binocular for Hunting – HD Infrared – with additional digital zoom and recording function

Magnification: six times
Digital zoom: Simple to five times
Objective lens diameter: 50 millimeters
Range: 350 to 1,000 meters
It can also be used in daylight
Possibility of recording photos and videos
Weight: 699 grams

Bestguarder 1212-50 are infrared binoculars six times the zoom, including one to five times the digital zoom. The diameter of the lens is perfect, 50 millimeters. You can also take photos and videos with this night vision device and store them on an SD card. The device has a video output. Connect the infrared binoculars with the USB cable or the TV cable to your computer or TV and watch your photos at home in peace. However, lines are not included.

When can a night vision device also be used during the day? For devices that work with a light amplifier, daytime use is not possible. Because sunlight or normal daylight would damage the sensitive lens, also, you would see less of the day with such a night vision device than with the naked eye. Devices that turn off infrared light or work as thermal imagers can also be used during the day. It is essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

The range is 350 meters. If you turn off the infrared light, you can also use the device in daylight.

Bestguarder’s infrared binoculars have an accessory mounting rail to which you can attach various compatible accessories. A strap on the device allows you to hold it comfortably. There is also a thread for a tripod. Batteries for infrared lighting are not included.

What is the difference between optical zoom and digital zoom? A digital image is made up of many individual pixels. Thus, the night vision device scans the idea of nature and breaks it down into pixels. If you enlarge the scanned image with digital zoom, the pixels are separated, and new ones are calculated.

These are not actual pixels of the idea of nature. So digital zoom is always a bit more blurry than optical zoom, and with night vision devices, so it’s always just extra zoom.

Frequently Asked Questions

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How long is the warranty on the Bestguarder 1212-50 infrared binoculars?

You have two years warranty.

Can I remove the lens cap during the day, or will it damage the camera?

You should not remove the cap during the day. There is a small hole in the middle of the lid. The passing light is sufficient to see clearly. Do not remove the cap, as this will destroy the sensor. To see in daylight with the device, you must also turn off the infrared light.

Do I remain invisible in the dark, or does the night vision device emit a flashing light?

Up to infrared level 1, there is no red glow. It is only visible from IR levels 2 and 3.

Does the device have diopter compensation for eyeglass wearers?

No, the Bestguarder 1212-50 infra-red binoculars do not have this function.

2. Bushnell 260150 night vision binocular – with powerful infrared illumination

Magnification: six times
Objective lens diameter: 50 millimeters
Range (ft. / M): 984/300
Watertightness: IPX4
Possibility of recording photos and videos
Weight: 765 grams

The Bushnell 260150 is a single magnification digital night vision device. It works well from 200 meters away. For your observations, the battery should last a few hours, according to the manufacturer.
These infrared binoculars do not have a head mount because it is a heavy device. I do not recommend making your head support or buying one because the weight can strain your head and neck in the long run.

According to the manufacturer, binocular vision allows relaxed viewing with both eyes and is also suitable for people who wear glasses with restrictions on progressive lenses. Besides, the simple and arranged operating elements should allow quick and intuitive operation. You should also be able to use the device comfortably while wearing gloves.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Can these infrared binoculars be used with a tripod?

The Bushnell 260150 binoculars have a standardized thread.

Does the device come with batteries?

No, the 4 AA batteries are not included. I advise you to use rechargeable batteries.

Are night vision and black and green better than infrared black and white pictures?

This model has infrared vision, which makes it easier to distinguish animals, unlike simple night vision.

3. Newton NV4 – Night vision device – with infrared light and large lens

Magnification: four times
Objective lens diameter: 50 millimeters
Maximum range: 150-200 meters, in the dark 50 meters
Battery life: up to 20 hours
Weight: 400 grams
Included in delivery: Carrying bag, batteries, lens cap, cleaning cloth

The Newton NV4 is an analog night vision device, which has 4x magnification with 500x light amplification. Infrared light is permanently installed on the device, with which you can activate an additional light source so that you can see up to 50 meters in total darkness. Otherwise, the maximum range is 200 meters.

The objective lens has a diameter of 50 millimeters, which is a high value in our comparison. With the thread included on the binoculars, you have the option of mounting the night vision device on a tripod.

The device operates for up to 20 hours at temperatures ranging from 30 degrees to minus 40 degrees.

How does the zoom factor work? The zoom factor of a night vision device depends on the diameter of the lens. The rule is: the larger the objective, the higher the magnification.

You can use these infrared binoculars, for example, for hunting, animal watching, or night hikes. With its ergonomic design, according to the manufacturer, it should fit well in your hand. Delivery includes a carrying case, lens cap, cleaning cloth, and batteries.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Are the Newton NV4 infrared binoculars also suitable for spectacle wearers?

Like many night vision devices, the device has a diopter adjustment, and in this case, it is +/- 5, which makes it suitable for people who wear glasses.

Can I also use this night vision device during the day?

No, because the light amplifier can be damaged.

Is there proper head support (headlamp type) for this night vision device?

There is no head support for the Newton NV4 infrared binoculars. It wouldn’t make sense because of the magnification.

Is there a smartphone holder to film what you see?

There is no support for a smartphone.

When infrared light is on, are the binoculars visible from a greater distance?

A small red light is visible from a distance, but it is not very bright.

4. WR859 Monocular Digital Infrared Camera – 8 x 40 Magnification

Magnification: 8 times
Objective lens diameter: 40 millimeters
Viewing distance: 200 meters
Weight: 400 grams
Large capacity rechargeable battery

This monocular is equipped with an adjustable infrared light that allows it to be used in a completely dark environment, in low light conditions, and during the day when the infrared light is turned off.

The WR859 is a high-performance night vision tool. It can be used to explore nature at night, go hunting, and capture beautiful images of nature at night. It is an actual infrared telescope capable of capturing a visible distance of 200 meters in total darkness.

The monocular recharges automatically when plugged into a computer.
What does monocular mean? This means that the night vision device can only be used with one eye.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Can I also observe something close enough in total darkness?

Yes, the WR859 Monocular also works at a very close range. At 3 meters, you can see very clearly. Below one meter, you need to adjust the sharpness. You can use the night vision device in complete darkness thanks to infrared illumination.

Is head support available?

No, there is no head harness.

How long does the battery last before recharging it?

The manufacturer indicates that the battery lasts 2 hours 30 minutes without needing to be recharged.

5.ZAIHW Night Vision Digital Infrared Binoculars

Magnification: 7 times
Digital Zoom: Double
Integrated infrared light for visibility up to 400 meters
Objective lens diameter: 31 millimeters
Possibility of recording photos and videos
Weight: 760 grams

ZAIHW infrared binoculars are equipped with infrared LEDs for visibility up to 400 meters in total darkness. If you turn off the infrared light, you can also use the device during the day. You can take photos and videos and play them back on your TV and computer using the supplied AV cable and USB cable.

These binoculars have seven times magnification and two-time digital zoom. The lens diameter is 31 millimeters, which is in the middle range compared to other night vision devices in our review. The device has a storage capacity for your photos and videos from 4 Gigabytes to 32 Gigabytes.

Beware of infrared light: Many night vision devices are equipped with infrared emitters. These are not comparable to laser pointers and produce lightly invisible to the human eye, which you can only perceive through the night vision device. Although the powerful infrared diodes are not harmful to the human eye, you should never look directly into an infrared emitter with a magnifying glass or glasses to avoid any risk.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many batteries do Zaihw infrared binoculars need?

You need eight AA batteries.

Can I mount these infrared binoculars on a helmet?

No, the device would be much too heavy.

Can I view photos and videos directly on the device without going through a computer?

You can immediately view your recordings on the night vision device.

Is video recording with sound possible?

Yes, you can record videos with sound. If you cannot hear a sound, connect the infrared binoculars to the computer with a USB cable.

Can the user of the infrared binoculars be seen in the dark by a small light?

No, you can use the night vision device without being noticed.

6. Mini Night Vision Device – 10 x 25 Magnification

Magnification: 10 times
Objective lens diameter: 25 millimeters
Range: 114 m field of view over a distance of 915 meters
Infrared: No
Weight: 250 grams
Cheap

This night vision device has a lens diameter of 25 millimeters. Compared to other night vision devices, it is relatively small. Attention, it does not have infrared. This comparison is present only to give people a low budget to buy a night vision device. You have the opportunity to have an enlargement up to ten times. It is not a pure night vision device, but a kind of binoculars for day and evening. In total darkness, you cannot observe the details of your surroundings. Use the device, for example, for bird watching, for hiking, at concerts, or even for starry sky viewing.

There are a few factors to consider with the eyepiece: It should be glass and not plastic because plastic scratches too quickly. The viewing opening must be at least 18 millimeters.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Is the night vision device protected from moisture?

You can use it in light rain.

How good is the night vision?

The night vision device does not have a real night vision function, and it does not have infrared. You can use it day and night when it is not entirely dark. In complete darkness, it only provides black images.

How far can I see with the night vision device?

You can watch up to 900 meters according to the manufacturer.

How robust is the device?

It is very solidly built to withstand a drop from a low height.

What is an infrared night vision device?

Night vision devices are residual light amplifiers used when the human eye reaches its limits in the dark.

The most common use is in the military, security companies, or hunting. But people are also increasingly using night vision devices with infrared light.

Some night vision devices work with infrared light, but not all, which you can turn off at any time to use as binoculars during the day. Also, seeing at night is an exciting attraction for many people, primarily if you work in the dark for professional purposes.

What types of night vision devices are there?

Night vision devices are divided into generations of devices. There is the first, second, and third generation. The first generation night vision devices are remarkably inexpensive and are mainly used in the leisure sector. Most of the first-generation night vision devices are supplemented with infrared light.

You can use them to monitor your home or for simple nature observations.

The second-generation night vision devices are more powerful and provide more precise and sharper images. They can detect objects at a distance of 600 meters. They are therefore particularly suitable for hunting. Third-generation night vision devices are the most expensive models because they have the most advanced technology. They score with long ranges and 50,000 times light amplification. Due to their highly developed technology, they are mainly used by military forces and police. Fourth-generation devices are already in development but will not be available for private use.

How do infrared binoculars work?

Infrared binoculars are called active night vision devices. Infrared light is invisible to the human eye but illuminates the environment much better than residual light’s pure amplification. So you can use the night vision device in complete darkness. The method is based on the simple reflection of infrared light from the objects you observe. However, active night vision devices consume more power than residual light amplifying devices. They are, therefore, heavier and more prominent.

What are the criteria you should pay special attention to when buying infrared binoculars?

There are some essential factors you need to watch out for. Compare the different models according to specific criteria, which we explain in detail below:

The scope

The range information in meters tells you how far away you can still get sharp images with the infrared binoculars. Especially for hunting, the range of a night vision device is an important criterion.

Magnification

Zooming allows you to get closer to objects you see through the lens. Remember, however, that the field of view decreases as the zoom factor increases.

Many pairs of infrared binoculars have digital zoom in addition to optical zoom. This can bring your object of observation even closer. But the quality of the image suffers a bit as the many pixels become visible. If you have a good optical zoom, you don’t necessarily need additional digital zoom.

Objective lens diameter

Magnification alone is not a decisive criterion. The interaction between the zoom factor and the lens diameter is much more critical. The size of the lens aperture determines how much light infrared binoculars can pick up. But it also depends on the magnification. The rule is this: for a high zoom factor, you also need a large lens diameter.

Weight

A handy little device is convenient for excursions and hunting. A weight of between 250 and 600 grams is considered exceptionally light for night vision devices. You should know that the longer you wear the device, the more uncomfortable it can become. Too heavy a night vision device is at the expense of wearing comfort and becomes a burden in the long run.

Diopter compensation

Diopter compensation is a big deal for you if you wear glasses. Otherwise, you wouldn’t get sharp images. Diopter compensation compensates for the ametropia of the eye when using eyepieces by correcting the refractive power. You can correct refractive power by mechanically adjusting the sharpness of the image on the eyepiece.

Like refractive power, the correction’s intensity is indicated in the dioptric unit of measurement and is usually between -3 and +3 diopters. A positive number of diopters increases the refractive power for farsighted people, and a negative number of diopters decreases the refractive power for nearsighted people.

Power supply

Night vision devices work with either rechargeable batteries or batteries. Rechargeable batteries generally have a longer life and do not need to be replaced constantly. You can simply charge them with the included charging cable. Some rechargeable batteries have a lifespan of 20 to 30 hours; conventional batteries only last about 6 hours.

Robustness

Infrared binoculars are generally used outdoors. They must therefore be protected against vibrations and different climatic conditions. All manufacturers advertise that their night vision devices are waterproof and rugged to some extent.

How much do infrared binoculars cost?

It is difficult to give a general indication of prices. It goes from 50 euros to 4,000 euros. The amount you invest in the night vision device depends on your individual needs. Image and processing quality, as well as additional functions, also play a role in the price.

For private use, however, the night vision device does not have to be expensive to provide good quality.

However, night vision devices that cost $ 50 or $ 70 usually have a low zoom and low range. For hunting at night or dusk, you should look for devices in a higher price range. The purchase cost is around 300 euros.

Where can I buy infrared binoculars?

Suppose you want to receive detailed advice and try out the equipment on-site. In that case, the following contact points are ideal: photoshops, opticians, hunting shops, hunting salons, or even consumer electronics stores. If the reviews of other customers are enough for you and you want to compare prices with peace of mind, you also have various options online. Amazon, for example, gives you the advantage of having a wide choice of infrared binoculars. You can take your time researching suitable devices for your individual needs and comparing offers from multiple manufacturers.

What are monocular and binocular infrared devices?

There are two types of infrared devices. Devices that look like telescopes are monoculars, and devices that look like binoculars are binoculars. This means that with monocular devices, you look through with one eye, and binocular night vision devices are designed to look through with both eyes. Think about how you want to use your infrared device in advance.

What are the main differences between binocular and monocular devices? The advantage of binocular night vision devices is that you can wear them with exceptional support on your head and thus have your hands free. On the other hand, monocular cameras often provide sharper images due to their higher quality optics and higher magnification.

What do infrared binoculars with recording function offer?

Some infrared binoculars offer the ability to take photos and videos. Most devices come with a time-lapse and multi-shot function, which allows you to take individual photos and combine them into a video clip. With some night vision devices, the SD memory card is included. You can connect a night vision device with a recording function to the TV or computer. The necessary cables are usually also had. The storage capacity of a device with a camera function is between 4 gigabytes and 32 gigabytes, depending on the model.

How long have infrared binoculars been around?

Infrared binoculars were invented at the start of the 20th century. Immediately, the military around the world took advantage of the features of these devices. They were first used on a large scale during World War II, and by the 1970s, they became part of central military units.

Initially, night vision devices were heavy, bulky, and susceptible to interference. Over time, however, they were improved to become lightweight and practical devices with low power consumption and high efficiency. The costs of acquiring night vision devices have also fallen considerably. A high-quality device is available for 250 euros. Due to the low price and open access, individuals today have infrared binoculars; they are famous for various modern leisure activities like paintball or airsoft.

Frequently Asked Questions

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How far can I see with infrared binoculars?

With infrared binoculars, you can see between 30 and 200 meters. Factors such as light intensity and environment also play an essential role. The manufacturer describes some devices in the higher price ranges with a viewing range of up to 1000 meters.

What are infrared binoculars made of?

Infrared binoculars are compact housing consisting of a lens, an image intensifier tube, an infrared heater, and an eyepiece. There are also models with head support, so you have your hands free.

Do I need the authorization to purchase infrared binoculars?

No, you can use it as an observation device at any time.

Can infrared binoculars display colors?

No, because the color information is encoded in the wavelength of the emitted radiation. It is only by emitting light of a particular wavelength that we can perceive it as a color. Infrared radiation does not contain this distinction.

Do I damage the infrared binoculars if I turn them on during the day?

It depends on whether the device has a control device that protects the amplifier from overexposure.

Newer infrared binoculars often have this control technology. Usually, manufacturers explicitly mention whether a night vision device can be used during the day.

Conclusion on infrared binoculars

In my review, we featured six different infrared night vision devices. We have examined in detail the respective functions as well as the optimal use of the other models. If you plan to buy infrared binoculars, you should look at the products in this comparison and see if the respective functions meet your requirements.