We have previously reviewed the best night vision binoculars, but if you want to take things to the next level, you should consider thermal imaging binoculars. Thermal imaging binoculars work entirely on picking up thermal heat and do not require any ambient light.
Back in the day, you would have to join the military or some elite segment of law enforcement for the opportunity to use what were the best thermal binoculars. Fortunately, most people don’t need to switch career paths anymore just to try out thermal binoculars. Also, much of the tech that powers these thermal binoculars is the same as what’s used by the military, so you’re not missing out on anything meaningful.
If you are in the market for a pair of thermal binoculars for home security, we have rounded up the best in our experience. Each one is tested and found to offer the best bang for your hunting or stalking dollars! So, without further ado, let’s jump into reviewing the top 5 we think you should consider.
ATN BinoX-4T 384 Thermal Binocular
- Display resolution: 1280x720x2/ field of view: 6°x4. 7°
- Magnification: 4. 5-18X/ range: 5-1000y/M
- Video record resolution: 1280x720x2 HD display @ 60Fps
- Bix (ballistic information exchange) ATNs smart HD devices to communicate and exchange information
- Integrated laser rangefinder
ATN BinoX-4T 384 Thermal Binocular is one of the most versatile, durable and powerful ones out there which is why it tops our list of the best picks. It allows users to see people, animals and objects in the dark, as well as determine how far they are from you, streams video and if you have a compatible riflescope send ballistic information.
The versatile device can see heat signatures regardless of the conditions. We, along with many others who have had the opportunity to test the device, can attest to the fact that it can see through fog, dust and absolute darkness. The 1280×720 display for each eye makes viewing comfortable for an extended time.
The ATN BinoX-4T 384 Thermal Binocular also boasts of an impressive 750 yards range and 335 recognition range with 225 yards identification range. Using the built-in infrared illuminator means that you can help friends or team members who are using standard night vision goggles.
During our testing, it was apparent that the laser rangefinder built into the BinoX-4T 384 was extremely accurate being able to measure distances as near as 5 yards and up to 1000 yards, with decent 1-yard accuracy. Furthermore, it can send range finding information to an ATN Smart HD riflescope via Bluetooth, which eliminates the need for a holdover.
Video and Still Images
Solidifying the deal for many people is added features like the ability to capture still images, and record video at 1280×960 at 60fps, which is saved to the microSD card. Alternatively, the video can also be streamed to an Android or iOS device that’s running the ATN Obsidian 4 app.
Battery Life and Durability
Finally, users can expect to get a solid 16 hours of battery life. Charge time with the 2A adapter that comes with the device is 6 hours via a USB Type-C cable.
Speaking of life, the BinoX-4T 384 is built to last with the use of rugged materials, and excellent waterproofing. So, you should be able to get many years of use out of it in all kinds of condition.
ATN BinoX-4T 640 Thermal Binocular
- Display Resolution: 1280x720x2 / Field of View: 32°x25°
- Video Record Resolution: 1280x720x2 HD Display @ 60fps
- BIX (Ballistic Information Exchange) ATNs SMART HD devices to communicate and exchange information
- Integrated Laser Rangefinder
- Magnification: 1-10x / Range: 5-1000y/m
The BinoX-4T 640 is a lot like the 384 but with a few minor differences. For starters, the 640 offers slightly better magnification over the 384. You get with 3x optics with 1-10x, 1.5-15x and 2.5-25x magnification. Most people looking for Thermal Binoculars with higher magnification and higher resolution will probably want to opt for the 640 mainly because of the 640×480 resolution. Not only is this significantly higher than its younger sibling, but the higher resolution has a major impact on your ability to make out objects, especially when on hunting trips.
Speaking of features, the ATN BinoX-4T 640 boasts of the same set of features that come with the 384, like 3D gyroscope, range finder, microphone, e-compass, smart range finder and Bluetooth connection to a compatible scope.
While the 640 offers enhanced features, it does come at a price. You’ll have to fish pretty deep into your pockets to afford this one so maybe think if you can really benefit from the incremental upgrades.
ATN BinoX-THD 640 Thermal Binocular
- Use Day and Night in HD resolution - take your shots in color at high resolution with Binox-HD. No blurry images regardless day or night!
- Smart Rangefinder - built in rangefinder allows you to range your target without carrying additional equipment. The rangefinder will calculate the distance of an object from the point you are viewing.
- 3D Gyroscope and E-compass - binoculars have a gyroscope built into them. The gyroscope keeps images steady and blur-free. Smart e-compass helps you navigate by pointing to your destination.
- E-Zoom - lets you magnify to target without losing what’s in your FOV like with step zoom systems.Angle of view:6 °
- 1080p HD Video Recording & Photos, Wi-Fi Streaming - allow you to record all of your hunting trips, using your phone / tablet as a viewfinder. Firmware upgradeable.
ATN is known for churning out some of the best thermal binoculars evident from the fact that our top 3 picks are from the company’s BinoX line. The ATN BinoX THD 640 is a lot like the ones above in terms of appearance, construction and overall feel. However, that’s where the similarities end.
The THD 640 offers digital image stabilization, which in our experience is a welcome addition. While the image stabilization isn’t perfect, it still makes detecting and spotting your prey when sneaking around or when running smoother.
The powerful sensors allow users to see the thermal signature of all people, animals, objects, through a myriad of obstacles like fog, smoke, and even foliage. While ATN has done a great deal of work on improving the ability for the sensor to detect heat, there are still false positives, especially in the case of smoke near a bonfire, for instance. Some of the smoke may appear to have a thermal signature for a split second which can be confusing at first.
Image Quality and Features
The ATN BinoX-THD 640 saves images and video to a microSD card, plus you can stamp and tag your images and video with data.
In addition to some very good infrared imagery, the micro-display also doubles as a place where in-view readouts are presented for the built-in E-Compass, GPS receiver, altimeter as well as all other sensors. The unit uses a 1 GHz processor, which is more than enough to seamlessly manage the micro-display, pump out 1080p video, all other sensors, along with Wi-Fi and sound.
ATN Obsidian App Support
The ATN Obsidian app for Android and iOS devices is easy to use and plays well with all the company’s products. So, the ATN BinoX-THD 640 is no different, allowing users to share their captures on social media, or send it to a monitor or some other type of display unit via micro-HDMI.
Technicallogical chops aside, the ATN BinoX-THD 640 also boasts of excellent optics. It features 2.5x25x magnification, and an adequately wide 12.5 x9.7° field of view, with a minimum of 33’ focusing distance.
Overall Design and Feel
Almost all of ATN’s thermal binoculars are built to last, and the ATN BinoX-THD 640 is no different. The housing is made from some type of thick rubberized polymer which gives it a great deal of durability. It is, for the most part, impact-resistant and even weather-resistant. The pair of twist-up earcups, adjustment interpupillary distance and diopter adjustment allows you to make the most out of the device in addition to an easy to reach control pad. The control pad gives you access to almost every feature of the of ATN BinoX-THD 640, making it one of the easiest to use thermal binoculars out there.
DALI S730 Thermal Binocular
- 384×288 uncooled FPA detector
- S730 Thermal Imaging Binoculars
DALI Tech has been manufacturing some of the best thermal binoculars for a very long time. The company has a reputation for developing industry-leading thermal imaging technology, which it then uses in its consumer-grade products. The S730 is one such product. It is one of the most advanced thermal imaging binoculars on the market today, which as you’ll see punches above its price point in many respects.
Weight and Feel
One of the first things we noticed when using the S730 is that this device isn’t as portable as the manufacturer or some of their advertising may claim. Weighing around 3 lbs with the battery it is one of the heavier binocular in our lineup. Though it can still be mounted on a tripod. That said, while you could use it in your hands, it will tire you out quickly, so our recommendation is to mount it.
Optics and Detection
The DALI S730 Thermal Binocular comes equipped with 2x zoom, fast autofocus, 75 mm aperture, and the fact that you can detect a human being from 2475 meters away, and vehicles from around 3450 meters. Now if you think this is impressive, we’ve got more! Human recognition is possible from as far as 850 meters, and vehicles from 1150m. If anything these specifications are often of thermal binoculars that cost thousands of dollars more.
Layout and Design
The S730 sports two eyepieces, and a single objective lens which is meant to reduce eye strain. During our testing, we found that while it does reduce eyestrain, there is a bit of lag that some trained eyes will notice.
In terms of design, reaching up on top gives you access to all the features. However, the menu system does take some getting used to, and for some newbie users, it will mean trial and error.
Honesty, this is one of the drawbacks of the S730. The 3-hour battery time is abysmal, to say the least. The only saving grace here is that the device uses rechargeable batteries which take around an hour and a half to reach a full charge in our experience. However, if you’re in the field finding a charger could be a challenge, and so you’ll want to plan accordingly.
In our opinion, the killer feature of the S730 has to be its range detection. It is amongst the longest reaching thermal night vision binocular we’ve used in a while which makes it perfect for people working as anti-trafficking enforcers, law enforcement, security surveillance, search & rescue and even hunters.
N-Vision Optics Atlas Thermal Binocular
- ATLAS enables you to observe targets in a complete darkness. Ideal for a wide variety of uses such as surveillance, nighttime hunting wildlife observation, marine navigation, search and rescue. Over 1.25 miles detection range for man size figure
- State of the art 640x480, 12 micron sensor with industry leading 60Hz refresh rate ; Anti-reflective (AR) coated high speed (F1.2) Germanium optics; Durable and waterproof; No-slip rubberized housing; 2X and 4X digital zoom.
- White hot/black hot/color pallets. Unique edge detect mode that cannot be found in any other commercially available thermal binocular.
- Take photos at any time, record more true-to-life details. it’s easy to display images on television or transfer files to a computer. Share fun with your family and friends.
- Export Restriction: By adding to cart I agree that I do not intend to export this product outside of the USA
The N-Vision Optics is ATLAS’ first thermal binocular that’s based on their 12-micron technology. The binocular is lightweight, completely waterproof, and built to withstand a beating in all types of conditions. Made almost entirely of composite plastics, it is smaller in size compared to the S730, and even all the top ATN binoculars we’ve listed above.
We like the fact that the N-Visions delivers an exceptionally clear, high-resolution image, along with extended detection, and excellent identification ranges. The device works wonders even in the most challenging environments making it something we’d openly recommend to professionals in various industries like wildlife observation, law enforcement, hunters, sailors. Almost anyone can benefit from it, so as long as they also understand the device’s inherent weaknesses.
The 1.25 miles detection range for the average human figure is an impressive feat. While we couldn’t test this advertised range in complete darkness, but we can attest to the fact that it works perfectly regardless of how dark it is. The fact that it is so effective in all types of conditions is what makes it ideal for several applications.
Goes Easy on the Eyes
Another feature we love about the N-Vision is that it does not lead to eye fatigue. The 60Hz refresh rate is comparatively better than the competition. Coupled with the 640×480, and 12-micron sensor makes using the device a blissful experience. While we didn’t think much about the anti-reflective coating when testing in the dark, there were times when we felt that if it hadn’t been for the coating, we’d have a tough time using the device. Most people will feel that way when they are in the brush on a moonlit night, perhaps hunting or searching for someone.
Easy to Handle
As we mentioned earlier, the N-Vision Optics Atlas is very easy to handle. It is durable, and the use of a non-slip rubberized housing ensures that it does not slip out of your hands even if you have sweaty palms. Reaching for the 2x and 4x digital zoom is also intuitive with most people being able to reach for it without even consciously knowing where it is on the device.
The N-Vision Optics Atlas boasts of a unique edge detection mode, something we weren’t able to find with other commercially available devices. The mode makes detecting what you are looking for easier, and in our testing, it fares better than most competing devices. The drawback though is that setting it up takes a bit of time and you’ll want to do it beforehand.
The video we recorded was true to life and highly detailed so you can share them with your friends and family members on a large screen. Files can also be transferred to a computer if needed.
In what is not a saturated industry, finding the best thermal binoculars can be challenging. Hopefully, our picks of the five best ones should help save you some and effort.