GUNNAR All-New Lightning Bolt Glasses Review

Same Shades, Same Blessings for Gamers
Score: 8/10
Clement GohJune 18, 2021 7:00 am

The GUNNAR All-New Lightning Bolt Glasses are labelled as a refreshing addition to its long existing line of wearables.

Though the “All-New” feels a bit tacked on, it doesn’t stop GUNNAR from giving gamers the same tried-but-true solution for longer playing times. This includes the patented lens which reduces blue light by 65 percent, with tangible results for streamers and professional players. It’s almost baffling to say that boring is better, especially for gamers who aren’t expecting much from typical glasses. But GUNNAR’s consistency at an affordable price makes the All-New Lightning Bolt Glasses a wonderful gateway for first time buyers.

Unlike last year’s review of the premium and higher-priced Lightning Bolt 360 glasses, it’s important to separate associations. The All-New Lightning Bolt versions are the entry-level models. This excludes the 360’s amount of customizable lens and frames which made it modular. I expected nothing more for the All-New Lightning Bolt, which still shares the same level of effects as the 360s. There’s an absence of comfort at almost half the price, but first-time users will still feel the All-New Lightning Bolt’s potency the same.

Gunnar All-New Lightning Bolt Glasses

GUNNAR has kept comfort in mind when creating the All-New Lightning Bolt glasses. Consistency of its lens was key. The tried-and-true yellow tints are designed to take away most eye strains when staring at screens for extended periods of time. This is applicable for games, while they do wonders as an office tool. I appreciated the subjective margin of reducing 65 percent of blue light (65% BLPF). Subjectively, users will notice their eyes easing up for better concentration over competitive matches or typing homework. They also won’t be seeing a radical shade of yellow, but only enough to still tell colours apart. In short, GUNNAR doesn’t go overboard with the yellow tints; only enough for players to double their sessions in front of a screen.

"GUNNAR has also made the All-New Lightning Bolts compatible with different temples."

After a good week, I found the effect to be a warm and natural part of my routine. The glasses are exactly as potent as the higher-end Lightning Bolt 360s. But those wanting the basic versions won’t feel short-changed without the modular parts. In a nice twist, GUNNAR has also made the All-New Lightning Bolts compatible with different temples. This leaves the door open for replacing parts instead of buying another pair.

Gunnar All-New Lightning Bolt Glasses

It would be hard to replace the basic All-New Lightning Bolts, which maximize comfort with the temples. They’re shaped like lightning bolts, so users have a clear room for headphones. Typically, glasses don’t mix well with larger gaming headsets. Straight temples from glasses can cause pain, which worsens with pressure from over-ear headphones.

"But the All-New Lightning Bolt temples elevate its frames, letting users wear the gaming glasses over headphones instead of under."

But the All-New Lightning Bolt temples elevate its frames, letting users wear the gaming glasses over headphones instead of under. This works to a creative degree, while the glasses worked with my setup instead of against it. The All-New Lightning Bolts do have a bigger chance of slipping off, as the frame lacks nose support. Without rubber or traditional nose pads, it’s much harder to move your head. This happened in my Resident Evil Village session, where I constantly reacted to jump scares and fixed my glasses more often than usual.

But these are the worst of GUNNAR’s All-New Lightning Bolts at its affordable investment. They weigh less than 30 grams, while I had no pressure issues across a ten-hour wear. Users can even ditch the temples and use a nylon attachment for an even lighter experience. This was easily the best way to use the All-New Lightning Bolt, which made them feel almost non-existent and natural. Like the modular 360, the temples can easily be removed with a snap. I wasn’t expecting the nylon attachments to be included, but this adds a welcome value for users. The nylon strap is light, fits for good measure and stays on according to tightness.

Gunnar All-New Lightning Bolt Glasses

The packaging is also incredibly compact, with a no-frills option for users. There’s a choice to store the glasses in a traditional case or a pouch with a microfiber cloth. GUNNAR delivers on that level of portability which has evolved with eyewear and users who are always on the move. Particular wearers can also buy a prescription pair, which comes at almost four times the cost. It’s one of the critical barriers that takes away some of the value and openness every Lightning Bolt was designed for. Fortunately, the large, lightweight frame makes it easy to use over glasses. I recommend users stick with the basic and cheaper models before considering a heavier prescription-specific investment.

Much of these features already go the extra mile for GUNNAR’s entry level All-New Lightning Bolt glasses. Designers have taken on the “if it ain’t broke” approach, which keeps that satisfying result of reducing eye strain with maximum comfort. The glasses keep a consistent all-black body for a subtle use in any environment. This reflects the All-New Lightning Bolt’s level of accessibility, which makes every user’s purchase a worthwhile one.

Final Thoughts
The GUNNAR Lightning Bolt glasses don’t raise bars, but they offer a high value solution to gaming for longer periods with lightweight comfort.
More From CGMagazine
Gunnar Lightning Bolt Glasses (2021)
Hardware Type: Blue Light Glasses
MSRP: $79.99
Score: 8/10
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