The combination of running a website and being an avid gamer means I spend several hours per day with my ample buttocks planted firmly in front of a TV screen or computer monitor. This often results in me getting very tired eyes and annoying headaches and is something I’m always conscious of. I have previously tested several pairs of gaming glasses hoping to remedy this problem, but I’ve always ended up disappointed or just down right annoyed with the results.
Most of the glasses I have used previously just didn’t seem to make any difference at all and some even made things worse thanks to annoying reflections in the lenses that made it almost impossible to concentrate. So when I received this set of NoScope Minotaur I was expecting much the same.
NoScope offer affordable Gaming Glasses with a wide range of styles. I received the Minotaur glasses in Tsunami Blue to review which are pictured above. I requested these as they looked the most comfortable and sturdy of the range, even though they had a slight hint of Ali G about them. The frames are a wrap around design made from a durable polycarbonate material along with the gaming grade resin coated lenses. The lenses have a yellow tint that may not look the most fashionable, but are a nicer colour than most of the alternatives I have tried. The glasses are very lightweight and this means the comfort is exceptional. Also included is a soft case and a microfiber cloth to keep the glasses in tip top condition.
Although these are mainly aimed at the gaming market, the first thing I used them for was website work on my computer. Even though there was no noticeable difference when I first put them on (apart from causing a slightly annoying yellow hue), the real benefits were glaringly obvious once I took them off. I don’t think most people realise how much bright blue and white light is generated by modern displays and this is one thing that can cause issues with headaches and eyestrain. These really help to neutralise the glare from screens and create a more natural, comfortable viewing experience.
Being a couch potato I tend to do most of my gaming slumped on the sofa, about 2 metres away from the TV with the curtains closed, a bit like a lazy gaming vampire, just without the neck biting. I have clocked up about 10 hours game-play using these glasses, in addition to several hours sat behind a computer screen writing reviews and finding deals.
I have come to the conclusion there are two situations where these glasses really become beneficial. The first and most noticeable is when you’re sitting directly in front of a screen, as you really are exposed to the brightness of the screen when sitting this close. The second is when you are sitting further away from the screen for longer periods of time. This is where these have really helped me as I can usually game for no longer than 45 minutes at a time before my headaches kick in. I have managed to rack up some of the longest gaming sessions in ages thanks to these, although it’s always wise to take regular breaks from any epic gaming marathon.
So in conclusion, I was really surprised by how effective the NoScope Minotaur gaming glasses were, especially after the disappointment of other products I have tried previously. There are higher end gaming glasses on the market, but as you’d expect, they come with a premium price tag. The NoScope Minotaur offer a good quality, affordable product and I will personally be using these for both gaming and computer work and I highly recommend giving them a try.
After nearly a year away from the microphone, Daz and Lee return to discuss what they’ve been up to since the last show. Frugal With The Truth returns with more hilarious stories from our messed up lives, plus all the usual banter and gaming waffle.
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As gamers, we have a pretty bad reputation for sitting in front of the goggle-box for lengthy periods of time, immersed in our make-believe worlds, rescuing princesses and tea-bagging noobs. There are several things that can ruin this wonderful experience, including eyestrain, dry eyes and headaches. I personally suffer from these issues and would welcome something to alleviate the problem.
Maybe NoScope can save the day.
NoScope have brought to market a range of gaming glasses designed to improve your clarity of vision and reduce eyestrain and fatigue. They are also focused on value for money and the prices of these products are pretty appealing.
There a currently 3 models available in the NoScope range, all of which are non-prescription. I was sent the Hydra and Orion models and chose to review the Hyrda model as they were the best fitting pair for my giant melon. Prices start from $19.99 per pair or you can pick up the Hat-trick Bundle that includes all 3 models for just $59.99. All designs include a leather carrying pouch and a microfiber cleaning cloth at no extra cost.
I chose the Hydra glasses as they were the perfect fit for me and I really liked the style. The traditional Aviator style of the Orion makes them “Bang on Trend” especially if you want to look like a 70’s porn star. Both pairs look very nice, but the Hydra are far more sturdy and feel much better than the Orion in terms of build quality.
On close inspection, the Hydra did have several imperfections in the lenses and a few of them fell within my direct field of vision. These were noticeable whilst wearing them and caused me some annoyance. These weren’t scratches, they were flaws within the lens that really should have been noticed during the quality control process.
Getting my game on
I used the Hydra Gaming Glasses for about 25 hours in total and the longest single session was 4 hours. They felt extremely comfortable and fitted perfectly thanks to the design of the sprung mounted sides. What was uncomfortable was the way they made the TV screen appear. Due to the colour of the tinted lenses the screen appeared to have a yellow tinge that was really annoying. We spend lot’s of money on TV’s that try to produce a crystal clear, true to life display, so having that spoiled by a yellow tint was very disappointing.
The problems didn’t stop there. I encountered a lot of reflections on the back of the lenses and this really affected my concentration. One of the big problems with this model is that the nose-pad arms have a bulky design made of polished metal which caused light to be reflected back on to the lens. In some lighting conditions this was so prevalent it was near impossible to focus on the screen without getting distracted.
I had to resort to closing all the curtains and gaming in total darkness in order to eliminate this problem and even that didn’t work 100%. However I persevered and hoped that the issues with the lens colour and reflections would become less noticeable after time, but unfortunately this wasn’t the case.
Personally whilst wearing these I found no increase in clarity and no reduction in eyestrain or fatigue. The annoyance they caused me far outweighed the benefits and I personally wouldn’t wear them again. They look great and are very comfortable in terms of the way they fit, but visually I gained nothing from wearing them.
I’m not saying these don’t work for everyone, they just didn’t work for me. NoScope has a great reputation and there are loads of positive reviews out there from people that loved them, but sadly this won’t be one of them.
I have reviewed pretty much every PS4 headset available on the market and until a few days ago, I was pretty certain I had found the perfect set in the official Sony PS4 Wireless Headset 2.0. Then I received the Gioteck HC4 to review and was curious to see if it would even come close in terms or performance.
I had previously reviewed the Gioteck EX-06 Wireless Headset and was pretty critical of it due to the poor quality of the mic and the issues it had with wireless connectivity. I have always liked Gioteck products as they tend to be well made and offer great value for money, so I was hoping for the best.
If I’m honest, I had pretty much written off the HC4’s as I really didn’t think they would compare to the Sony headset, plus these are wired which is a real no no for me. To say I was surprised by how good the HC4 headset is an understatement. As soon as I got them out of the box I was impressed, but most of all I was relieved on how minimal the wire is. Long gone are those annoying 27 foot long wires that lead all the way back to the console, the wire on this headset is an anti-tangle, flat lead that is roughly 2 feet long and plugs directly in to the controller.
Thankfully, the HC4’s have retained all the features I liked about the previous Gioteck EX-06 headset, whilst eliminating all the things I disliked about them. They look great and feel robust and well made, they are also one of the best fitting, most comfortable headsets I have ever worn. They have an over ear design which shuts out external noise very effectively and the sound leek is minimal. However, they did make my ears pretty hot on longer gaming sessions due to the snugness of the ear-cups.
The thing I usually hate about gaming headsets is all the fannying around required to connect them to console itself. No such worries with this set as they just plug straight in to the PS4 controller, just like you’d plug your earphones in to your mobile phone, it really couldn’t be easier. They are amplified, but unlike most wired headsets, they don’t need to be plugged in to the console to be powered as the headset has an inbuilt rechargeable battery that deals with all the amplification wizardry.
Ok, so that’s enough gushing about this headset, we all know that the most important thing about a good gaming headset is the sound quality and that’s where I expected things to go down hill. How wrong was I?? Very, as this was the part I was most impressed with. The sound of this headset is very impressive and sounds just as good as the Sony PS4 Wireless Headset 2.0. The audio is great across all ranges of sound, but most impressive is the quality of the bass. Gunfire, grenades, explosions and crashes all provide a very satisfying, punchy bass tone, which really helps you immerse yourself in the game.
As well as good bass, they provide very clear voice audio, which is brilliant as many headsets I have tested tend to drown out the characters voice due to overbearing bass or in game music. This set deals with that balance very well and seems to get it right whether you’re playing a shooter, racer or platformer. The only thing I really miss is the digital surround sound offered by other headsets, that is pretty much the only negative thing I found with the HC4’s.
The quality of the microphone for in-game chat is another thing that usually lets gaming headsets down, but again Gioteck has addressed this issue and the mic provides very clear chat, a feature that I have tested on gaming consoles as well as using the headset to make calls on my iPhone. The chat is very clear and will only be degraded by the quality of the network that you use them on, I often have problems with the sound of in-game chat on the Playstation Network for some reason.
This headset can be used with any device that has a 3.5mm audio input. I have used them on my iPhone, Vita, 3DS and they always worked perfectly. You can even use them on the Xbox One controller, but requires the Microsoft adapter for this to work. You can expect to get about 8 hours usage from a single charge, which is done via the the micro USB cable included in the box.
Overall I am very, very impressed with the Gioteck HC4’s and would recommend it to anyone that is looking for a decent gaming headset without wanting to spend crazy amounts of money.
You can pick up this headset for £28.95 here
Headset supplied by Gioteck for review