It took me a few months to finally bite the bullet and buy one of them Gunnar glasses. When I first heard about Gunnar, I was excited but also skeptical. My eyes were fine, I used to work in a fairly dimly lit room and it cut down on most reflections and glares. Nowadays, I’m often at a cube under some unfortunate florescent lights. After years of basically training my eyes to work mainly in the dark, it doesn’t take more than a hour or two for my eyes to get dry, hurt and generally be unpleasant.
The first pair I purchased was actually the Wi-Five Crystalline glasses. They were exchanged for the Vinyl glasses after a few short weeks. The Wi-Five was much thinner than I thought it would be and I kept seeing the top and bottom of the glasses in my field of vision. I was constantly tilting my head up and down to see more. Since I wasn’t used to wearing glasses and having something new in my field of vision, my head hurt from my eyes constantly trying to shift focus. I actually contemplated just giving up on Gunnar glasses in general and returning them. Just so happens I was checking out the Gunnar website when I noticed that the Vinyl was just released. After calling support and confirming that they were indeed larger frames, I sent my Wi-Five in for a exchange.
I’ve been using the Vinyl Crystalline glasses for a few weeks now. The rim of the glasses are still slightly visible, but it’s not nearly as distracting as the Wi-Five. The Vinyl is also noticeably heavier and as someone who doesn’t often wear glasses, it stood out. The build quality of the glasses are pretty nice, it feels very sturdy and I completely dig the black frames. I’ve never really worn glasses, so I find myself adjusting/re-adjusting a lot. The frame itself is a fingerprint magnet. I’ve accidentally smudged the glasses a whole bunch of times already, but I suppose that’s the downside of having to wear glasses at all. Overall, it’s a pretty nice pair of glasses as far as build quality is concerned.
So I guess the real question is, do these work as they claim to? I wasn’t sure at first. When I sit at my cube, I also have noise canceling headphones on. The combination of the two didn’t quite work for me. It was just one too many head accessories. I felt for a lack of a better term, claustrophobic. This isn’t the fault of the glasses, but I know a lot of designers who like to crank music while they work. I’ve switched to ear buds and that seems to alleviate the problem. The Vinyl glasses does allow me to focus a little better on the monitor and allows me a easier time reading on-screen text. It somehow, makes everything just a little sharper. I can work longer without having to constantly stop and rub my eyes. It’s definitely helped reduce eye-strain and cut back on some pretty mind numbing headaches.
When I was exchanging my Wi-Five, the support person told me that the Amber tint was a lot more effective than the Crystalline glasses. So if you don’t need color accuracy, you’re probably better off getting the amber tint. With all the time I spend in from of computers, $100 is a small price to pay to help protect my eyes. I’m glad I got these and definitely recommend people check them out. More information is available at Gunnar.com.