Elvis would have loved them, but so will you. Say thanks to your eyes.
It seems a little strange to be reviewing a pair of glasses. Sure, they are designed for gamers, but it feels I should be doing some kind of fashion critique or in depth look at the refractive index of the lens. Of course I will be doing neither of these things, this is a games website after all, so let’s stick to what I know – games! Gaming glasses are nothing all that new. GUNNAR Optiks have been around a while now. In fact this is the second pair of GUNNAR gaming glasses that have been specially made for Steelseries (the others being the Scopes). Steelseries have been working with GUNNAR now for two years and as they put it on their own website “By combining our flare for style, comfort and function – we’re proud to introduce a new design to SteelSeries’ Eyewear family. Meet the Desmo.”
At first glance they look a little like a pair of yellow lesnsed sunglasses that Elvis may have worn, with the big white blob in the middle and the white arms clasping the lenses. In fact, my wife described me as looking like a “Psycho Elvis impersonator”. However, this is not a fashion show (and you can get them in Onyx and Orange). The design revolves around comfort and practicality for gamers. The large lenses cover as much of your view as possible. The lack of frames further improves on this field of view by not impacting on your peripheral vision. The arms of the glasses are as thin as possible, making them incredibly comfortable when worn with a headset. The bridge can be adjusted to fit even the widest of noses (mine included!). These are not just words from the site, these are the words of a person who wears glasses and knows just how unsuited their general design is to gaming! So that’s what they are, but what exactly do they do? Well, glad you asked. I could quote from the website (and I will later on) all of the various things the glasses do and what strange an wonderful things the design and lenses contain. Right now though, I will go over the effects that I have seen whilst using them.
The AMBeR lens tint (yes that is how they write it), cuts out some of the harsher blues from standard displays (CRT, LCD etc). Whilst you lose a little colour definition, you find that after a few minutes all you notice is that the image seems warmer and easier on the eyes. Rather than losing details, the contrast is actually improved, which when added to the slight magnification that is provided actually help details to stand out more. The shape of the lenses helps to reduce air flow around the eye, which in turn keeps them from drying out as much. They are coated with an anti glare surface, so you get less reflections form the TV (or god forbid the sun from those rarely opened curtains). The combined effect of all of this is reduced eye fatigue. I found that after several hours playing wearing the DESMOs, my eyes felt far less tiered than they do with my standard glasses or without any glasses. I need to clarify one thing though. These will not make you better at games. If you suck at CoD now, you will still suck at CoD whilst wearing these, your eyes will just feel fresher than before.
I must say (and I know others have said this) it would be nice to get a hard case with them. After all, they are going to be thrown into the back of many a gamers bag and the micro fibre cloth bag they come with will not provide much protection. However, that aside, for anyone who plays games on a regular basis and finds that their eyes feel tired after every session, I recommend the Steelseries DESMOs. They are not cheap, $99 at the time of writing, but if you are serious about games you need to be serious about caring for your eyes. The Steelseries DESMOs are a good way to say thanks to them. They are well built, comfortable and they work. However, please, remember to take them off before leaving the house in the UK! A well deserved Gold Award for Steelseries and GUNNAR Optiks.
Specs from the Press release
GUNNAR eyewear enhances optical performance to give users an immediate, noticeable visual advantage using i-AMP lens technology. This optical lens innovation includes the following components:
- Tint: Specially formulated tint conditions and shifts the color spectrum to provide superior contrast, detail and resolution.
- Wrap/Shape: Features a highly wrapped, curved lens shape limiting air flow and maintaining moisture near the eyes, while providing a slight focusing power to help ease eye fatigue and enhancing detail for sharper, clearer vision.
- Material: A proprietary lens material that is optically pure, insuring the clearest image by eliminating distortion, impurities and haze.
- Coatings: An anti-reflective coating that reduces glare and other distractions caused by reflective light.
- 20/20 or Rx: Out of the box ready for 20/20 vision or used with corrective contact lenses, and also prescription compatible in partnership with Carl Zeiss Vision with optional coverage by VSP Insurance. Visit www.gunnars.com/rx/ for more information.