I was first exposed to the use of Gunnar Optiks products back when I used to play Halo on a somewhat competitive basis, and followed the MLG Pro scene extensively. You would be hard pressed to find a team on the main stage that didn’t have at least one member sporting a pair of Gunnar’s under their Astro headset. I can’t say I bought the hype.
Many years, and far too many hours fighting through headaches have passed since then, and back in August I gave in and brought myself a pair of Gunnar Intercept Glasses. Here’s my experience after living with them for 4 months.
The glasses come packaged in a simple, clear box. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s nothing particularly special either. The glasses retail for $69 in the US outside of sales, and for the price I would like to see some better packaging, especially considering the sort of packaging you get from companies like Astro for items in a similar price point. The glasses come with a basic microfiber bag, with a small Gunnar logo on the bottom of one side. The bag is good enough to keep the glasses clean when not in use, but anyone planning to travel with these will most definitely want to purchase some form of glasses case.
It would be nice to see the glasses come with at least a basic, cheap case for the sake of travel, especially for those who might be interested in using the glasses for more than just home gaming and computer use.
The glasses are well finished, framed in a classy black satin plastic. The hinges are made from recessed metal, and have a slick easy motion. The Gunnar logo is recessed in chromed plastic on either side, and gives a nice touch of class to the frames. All of this encompasses a pair of Gunnar’s signature Amber Lenses. The lenses have a small Gunnar logo etched into the top corner of the left lens. This does in no way obscure the vision of the lens. The build quality is solid enough, although you will find yourself having to tighten the screw on the hinges every now and then as they can become rather loose and do feature a generous amount of play.
The Gunnar Interceptor glasses do not feature any form of adjustable fit, be it in the form of adjustable frame arms or nose pads, as both are made of solid plastic. This might potentially pose an issue for some, but Gunnar do sell frames with said customisation. The glasses are a perfect fit for me, and are comfortable enough to wear under a headset. I frequently use both Astro A40 and Status Audio OB-1 headsets, both of which feel perfectly comfortable to wear with the Gunnar’s for extended periods of time.
But do they actually do anything substantial? Or is the effect little more than a placebo? Well I can honestly say they’ve helped me massively. Before I would suffer from bad eye strain, as well as headaches when using screens for extended periods of time. Gunnar glasses block out harsh blue light and dull some of the glare that come from screens, leaving your eyes free to relax that little bit more. For anyone who looks at a screen for extended periods, and has suffered with any issues, I cannot recommend these enough. All forms of eye strain and headaches caused by excessive screen use have all disappeared.
Visually, the effect is not too dissimilar from the night shift mode you’ll find on your phone, with the image gaining a yellowish glow. Both stem from the reasoning for the same effects, but the glasses remove the glare on top of this effect. Some people might not like the change in image, and it does for sure take some getting used to. Once you get around it you’ll realise the change is rather minor, but the positive effects are countless.
After a long session your eyes will need a few seconds to adjust back to normal light, but this is negligible at its worst. One downside I can note is that while the glasses get a whole lot of use for gaming and general computer use, they are unusable for any form of design work, due to the muted alteration of the colours shown. Aside from this, the Gunnar Intercept glasses have become an embedded part of my day to day life.
Overall the Gunnar Intercept glasses are a fantastic purchase for anyone wanting to reduce their eye strain and an absolute life saver for anyone who suffers headaches from continued screen use. They’re not a miracle fix by any means, but they’re a fantastic precaution in a stylish package.