These are the best bird watching binoculars on the market.
That will give you a zoomed view of all kinds of birds, whether you’re on safari or in your backyard.
So how do I choose the best binoculars?
We’ve cast our eyes over 23 sets of binoculars and completed more than 78 hours of research and testing to create this bird watching binoculars review, so that we can tell you that the Polaris Optics Spectator 8×32 Compact come out as the best bird watching binoculars to buy for most birders.
These binoculars provide a fantastic wide field of vision with staggering detail, alongside great comfort in using them for long periods of time.
1. Polaris Optics Spectator 8×32 Compact
Why are our reviews are trustworthy
We have covered all types of binoculars over the years here and completed days of research and testing, plus consulted with experts like, Bruno Maddox and Michael McCarthy, so that we could create this review.
Did you know that J.P. Lemiere invented the first “binocular telescope” in 1825?
We’ve looked at a lot of different types of binoculars and always keep up with reviews from other organizations that also test or review products, like, ConsumerReports, Amazon and Which? though we do find that the coverage of binoculars, especially specific ones for bird watching are not as up to date as they should be.
Then we do our own testing with our participating experts, ourselves and members of our product testing groups to provide their feedback on the binoculars and how they performed in the field, through our product testing panel program.
*This review covers top bird watching binoculars to buy from before and after the last time we created this guide:
Our Other Top Picks:
- Olympus 8×40 DPSI Binoculars (Best binoculars for beginners)
- Vortex Optics Diamondback 8X42 Binoculars (Best binoculars for spectacle wearers)
- Polaris Optics WideViews 8×42 Professional (Best binoculars with eye cups)
- Bushnell 138005 Compact Binoculars (Best budget binoculars)
Who should get these
Everyone who does not have some and wants to save a fortune on their binoculars for bird watching. Or if you already have a pair that are not quite up to scratch or are bust. Then, take a gander at the top binoculars in this review and ask yourself:
“Would you say such great things about your current binoculars?”
Now, most of us birders will go to great lengths to find that perfect view of birds. We will consider spending our hard earned money on different types of binoculars, read and re-read guides until our heads are literally spinning and, of course, allow supposed experts in magazine adverts to try and convince us that theirs is the best birding binoculars to buy.
Well, to hopefully put an end to this craziness and to save you time and effort, I am sharing with you the results of our extensive research and testing.
How we selected them
I began by finding all of the top rated bird watching binoculars that we could find for sale online and in store. We then combed through hundreds of binocular reviews in order bring you the most insightful advice on the best binoculars to use for bird watching. We had 23 in the that qualified for selection process.
First of all, it is important to get the right binoculars for the right activity, isn’t it?
“You need to think about the actual demands of a given hobby before choosing a set of binoculars, especially bird watching. People who enjoy birding, need binoculars that will show you what you need to see in low light settings, particularly in the form of quick and bright images.
You are going after moving targets that see better in the dark than we do, and our binoculars need to account for that. A lot of birds are present at dusk and dawn, given the number of birds that are crepuscular” Michael said.
Then it is equally important to consider the lenses for bird watching binoculars:
“It should be noted that the best birding binoculars and binoculars for bird watching are not so different from the best binoculars for other activities. The top rated binoculars for birding do not have to have high magnification levels. In fact, the best binoculars for bird watching are often going to be low-powered binoculars that offer people a wide field of view” Bruno advised.
“The magnification levels that people can expect for good birding binoculars have 8x or 10x magnification. Almost all of the best bird watching binoculars are in that range” Michael added.
Most birding binocular reviews indicate that these are the bird binoculars that people should choose, and our experts agree. Since they will offer people a wide field of vision, and they are not going to give people the wobbling views that they would have to deal with otherwise.
In many cases, these bird watching binoculars are going to give people the crisp and bright images that they will need in order to catch the birds in flight (the best time). Higher fields of view correlate with lower magnifications, so birders should remember that there is a trade-off there when choosing the best bird watching binoculars.
“Naturally, the best bird watching binoculars are also lightweight, durable, and compact, or they are going to be prone to random accidents and they are going to be too uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time” said Michael.
The best binoculars for bird watching are also going to need multi-coated lenses. Since more light is going to pass through the lenses as a result of the multi-coating, the images are going to be much clearer and much sharper.
People need top rated bird watching binoculars to produce clear and sharp images for them, or they are going to miss a lot of birds in many different conditions.
The multi-coated lenses can also compensate for some of what bird watchers are going to lose when they use lenses with relatively low magnification levels.
Eye cups can also help:
“When it comes to the best bird watching binoculars. For people who wear glasses in particular, eye cups can make all the difference” said Bruno.
Some people need their eyes closer to the optics of the binoculars than others, and the best bird watching binoculars will give people the means of doing so. Eye cups can give people the freedom to wear glasses when they are using the bird watching binoculars.
After spending time reading hours of everything from scientific papers, birding websites and books to manufacturers product specifications and consumer binocular reviews, we were finally able to get the list down to the 10 sets of bird watching binoculars we brought in for testing.
How we tested them
The primary reason for buying bird watching binoculars is so that we can get the chance to see beautiful birds in their natural habitat. To test the binoculars for this year’s review, we again selected participants from our consumer panelists that have a keen interest in birding and then sent out the binoculars, instructions and score sheets for them to test for us. We also prepared the binoculars for ourselves.
Once everyone had their binoculars, instructions and score sheets in hand, each panelist started by noting down the key features like build quality, lenses, magnification, weight, size, grip and other basic information for each set of binoculars.
Then each of us got the binoculars into our bags and headed off out on a birding expedition to first see how well they performed in the field (or where ever we were at the time).
Each panelist was instructed to use the different binoculars at varying times of the day (low light etc) and score on the score sheet how well they did against each of the categories we had chosen, like the magnification, weight, size, grip and comfort level.
After a few weeks:
The testing phase was complete and all the binoculars had been tested by each panelist. The scorecards were submitted for analysis and we waited patiently (well kind of), for the results to find out which of the binoculars came out as the top rated binoculars for bird watching.
Then we took the time to look through the list and compare the results and the prices and were presently surprised to fin that our favorites were not always the more expensive ones.
Other Picks to Consider:
2. Nikon Aculon A211 10×50 Binocular
Accuracy and precision are the two words that hallmark these birdwatching binoculars. Featuring a large objective lens of 35mm diameter, this is an excellent choice of binoculars for your bird watching.
The high quality prism design ensures that you get a bright and wide field of view even in poor lighting conditions, Nikon’s very own multilayer lens coating works flawlessly to deliver the best possible image quality.
As if this wasn’t enough, the aspherical eyepiece lenses give high-contrast and noise-free response that isn’t available in many higher priced binoculars.
3. Nikon Monarch 5 8×42 Binoculars
Enjoy exceptional image quality with these high priced binoculars for bird watching. Each and every feature works in line and delivers stellar detail.
The extra-low dispersion is the first of the many features that eliminate chromatic aberration from your view. The objective lenses have diameter of 42 and 56 mm and when combined with the magnification apparatus, gives you the best possible view.
In these binoculars are the dielectric high-reflective prim coating technology that removes all kinds of darks from your target and works great even in low light conditions.
4. Celestron 71008 25×70 Skymaster Porro Prism Binoculars
This is real hush-hush stuff. These birding binoculars are easily one of the best bird watching binoculars to be built. The lenses offer 25x magnification while the unique prism techniques give ultra-sharp focus.
The field of view on this thing is mind-blowing thanks to the large 70mm objective lens. Furthermore, the binoculars work great in low-light conditions, no matter how long the range is.
This means you get as clear as a picture can get while the detail does not distort under any birding conditions. The design is sturdy as well and even if you drop the piece, there is less chance of any damage.
5.Bushnell 133450 Falcon 10×50 Wide Angle Binoculars
The Bushnell Falcon series brings some very exciting competition to the binoculars market including this one, the 133450. Giving excellent value for the money the bird watching binoculars have been designed to be comfortable and can be used on the go any time you get a unique sighting.
The level of magnification is quite customizable and the wide range of viewing makes these binoculars on par with higher priced ones in the market.
6. Eyeskey Compact Waterproof 10×42 Binoculars
These are high grade binoculars, perfect for bird watching. These bird watching binoculars tightly embrace the concepts of design and functionality. The rubber grip and water-proof technology will get these binoculars through all kinds of environment.
Eyeskey has worked really hard on making sure no moisture gets in, whatever the conditions be so for this price this these are definitely some of the best bird watching binoculars.
Moreover, the BaK-4 Roof Prisms and multi-coated optics give clear picture and high level of detail to serve as candy for your eyes. The loss of light due to reflection is also minimized and the end result is as great as you could possibly expect.
7. Bushnell Powerview 10×42
Bushnell Powerview are ordinary bird watching binoculars. They offer a variety of styles, sizes and magnifications to choose from and gives bright images thanks to its fully coated lenses.
The non-slip rubber armor on these ones can take in a lot of strain before giving in and will ensure durability while you view birds at 10x magnification. From a hike to a field or woods these are the great binoculars for bird watching and never disappointed us, even in low-light conditions.
8. Olympus 8×40 DPSI Binocular
Featuring wide angle view for birds moving at a high rate of speed, Olympus presents one of the best bird watching binoculars in the market. With its ever growing brand name and feature-filled products, especially this one Olympus presents crystal clear view to all enthusiasts and observers.
The anti-reflective lens coating makes sure that glare doesn’t ruin your moment while the 4m near focus distance makes sure you get each and every detail you’re looking for.
The components used to manufacture this set of budget bird watching binoculars are still considered top-grade, plus with a 25-year warranty, you’ll have all the peace of mind you need.
9. Bushnell 138005 Waterproof/Fogproof Compact Binocular
Buy Now These bird watching binoculars are great travel binoculars, for all your trips through the jungle and the desert in quest for unique birds.
These compact travel binoculars passed well when put through the ruggedness test, this is both waterproof and fog proof. You don’t have to even think about any dust, debris or moisture getting into one of your lenses and ruining the entire trip.
The optics are all multi-coated making sure that there is increased transmission of light and you get a higher resolution every time.
10. Olympus 118760 Trooper 10×50 DPS I Binocular
These are as economy priced but are durable and as good as others your can get. The bird watching binoculars have a lightweight body and strong build so even if you think they might split into two at one fall, you’ll be wrong.
Coming to the inner features, the optics used are all of high quality and cater for vision perfectly. Everything you view will be in high definition; plus there’s UV protection built in
Why Buy Bird Watching Binoculars
Binoculars are among the most useful tools that anyone can own. A wide range of different hobbyists are going to be able to make use of them. Still, different binoculars are going to be more effective for different activities.
Reading the right birding binocular reviews can make all the difference for the people who are trying to get better at bird watching. No one should dismiss apparently minor differences while looking for the right binoculars.
The best binoculars bird watching should be tripod adaptable as well. Shaky images are common with bird watching, even with the binoculars that were designed to have a wide field of view.
Those of us who go bird watching for long periods of time are going to need to give their hands and arms a rest for a while, and tripods can help. Tripods can make the entire bird watching experience much better in the long run.
People also need binoculars for birding that can work in low-light conditions, and people are going to need to view the birds across very broad distances when they are going birding. Tripods can help.
Naturally, the top rated bird watching binoculars are also lightweight, durable, and compact, or they are going to be prone to random accidents and they are going to be too uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time.
Many birding binoculars are referred to as rugged in sales copies, which should be acknowledged as positive. Even budget bird watching binoculars need to be able to handle people carrying them around for long periods of time while bouncing them around, since people can’t afford to be overly gentle with them all the time.
While some people might underestimate just how important it is to get bird binoculars that are light enough, they won’t regret it. They should realize just how important it is after a full day of birding. The top bird watching binoculars have to be light enough and easy enough to carry that people will be able to use them all day during the birding process.
All bird watching binoculars should be somewhat water resistant. People might have to deal with rain at some point during their long episodes of outdoor birding. Eyepieces can get damaged very easily by water, making them fuzzy and worthless to the birders out there.
Even affordable birding binoculars are also going to need lens caps, which will help the lenses last longer and which will keep everything maintained when people are not using the top bird watching binoculars.
Naturally, the top 10 bird watching binoculars are made by companies that are going to give customers enough information and customer service to enable them to make the right decisions. When people buy bird watching binoculars, they will leave great reviews, and savvy companies covet those reviews. They know that customer support is part of their branding.
Bird watching binoculars need to be made for the outdoors and for all of the complications of the outdoors. The binoculars bird watching that will work have been designed to withstand the elements.
Good birding binoculars take into account how bird watching actually works, since they are designed to give people wide angles. Using binoculars birding the right way can completely change your experience.
- Dunne, Pete. Bird Watching: the how-to and where-to of birding Mifflin Harcourt. 3 March 2017
- Pullis La Rouche. Birding in the United States 28 February 2017
- The History of Telescopes and Binoculars. University of Arizona. 9 March 2017
- Self Focusing Binoculars (Fixed Focus) Best Binoculars. 13 March 2017
- Michael McCarthy. World’s greatest birdwatcher sets a new record The Independent. 2 March 2017
- http://www.disabledbirdersassociation.co.uk 4 March 2017
- thebinocularsite.com A Guide to Choosing Binoculars. 12 March 2017
- www.zbirding.info www.zbirding.info. 6 March 2017
- Maddox, Bruno. Blinded by Science: Birding Brains 6 March 2017
- Philip Harrington. The Amateur Guide to Choosing, Buying, and Using Binoculars
- Binoculars.com. Bushnell 2 March 2017
- www.zbirding.info. www.zbirding.info. 8 March 2017