Gunnar Vayper Glasses Review
- -Fits comfortably on my face for long periods of time.
- -Build is sturdy and lightweight, very slick design.
- -Induces a headache within half an hour.
- -Makes me dizzy when I turn my head in any direction.
- -The entire world becomes slightly yellow, like it's covered in urine.
Like many of my fellow office drones, I sit in front of a computer monitor all day. Eye strain is definitely an issue, especially if I forget to take a 15-minute walk outside every few hours to give my eyeballs some much needed rest. I’m also a huge fan of video games; Xbox 360, PS3, PC, you name it. Coming home to stare at yet another screen while shooting my way through a floating city called Columbia or watching a marathon of the first season of Continuum on Netflix just adds to the eye strain. So I’m definitely open to anything that helps lighten the load on my eyes and keep my vision a sharp 20/20.
Enter the $80 Gunnar Vayper glasses; a product that Gunnar representatives claim will improve visual performance and reduce eye fatigue during extended sessions in front of a computer monitor or television screen. There’s no real scientific data behind this claim, but there’s a sizable amount of relatively positive testimonials out there. However, the skeptic in me was wondering if this product would improve my screen-addicted lifestyle or it was simply a placebo effect.
Design and Build Quality
Despite the glasses being made entirely out of plastic, I really like the build quality and the light weight of the Vayper glasses. While you definitely have to be careful when handling the glasses to avoid fingerprints on the lenses, the hinges are very sturdy. You can feel confident opening and closing the specs without worrying about breaking off the arms. The glasses also fit comfortably on my face. Even after an hour on my head, I didn’t notice the arms on my ears or the rubber pads on the bridge of my nose. The glasses also come with a soft carry bag which thankfully doubles as a fingerprint cleaner.
But What About Your Vision?
To put it bluntly, I can’t stand wearing the glasses when gaming or working. For starters, the yellow tint drives the home theater purist inside me insane. I’ve specifically calibrated my television to create the right color balance both for gaming and watching movies or television. Even after attempting to compensate for the light yellow, urine colored tinge by messing with color, contrast and other settings, I still felt like my gaming experience was devalued by wearing the glasses.
A vibrant, gorgeous world like Columbia in Bioshock Infinite looks slightly off through the glasses. In addition, I found that my constant distraction with the picture quality made me a less impressive player in multi-player matches in other FPS games. It’s also pointless to use them to watch regular television or movies for the same reason.
Furthermore, shifting my head in any direction made me dizzy. I believe I’m overly sensitive to the slight distortion in magnification around the edge of each lens, thus I can’t move my head quickly without getting that faint head rush associated with dizziness.
This was worse at my dual-monitor setup during work hours, specifically because I’m switching to the left and right checking different screens. I also have a bad habit of glancing down at the keyboard to make sure I’m typing the correct word or phrase which translated into more dizziness. I also prefer the pure white of a monitor screen over the yellow shade created by the glasses.
Within 30 minutes of use, I usually start to get a mild headache from wearing the glasses. The headache becomes progressively worse over time, very similar to the feeling after playing a Virtual Boy for way too long. Fast forward an hour or two and I feel like henchman #22 in Die Hard 2 that wrestled with John McClane in the snow and took a well-placed ice pick to the eye.
This is definitely a YMMV type of product. It didn’t work for me at all and actually made things worse. However, there are definitely people out there who swear by these demon spectacles.