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When talking 3D there's a lot of huffing, puffing, sighs and grumbling that spawns from most consumers. And I definitely can’t blame them; I mean who wants to pay $100 per pair of 3D glasses with a new $400 Blu-Ray player and a $2000 3D-ready HDTV just so the visuals feel a little bit more immersive? If you have the money to throw away on the latest and the greatest then by all means, you’re probably more interested in this review as to whether or not the Gunnar Optiks Onyx 3D glasses are fashionable and applicable enough for your 3D entertainment needs. For everyone else out there who isn’t sold on 3D and has no plans to upgrade their gaming or viewing entertainment devices to support high definition, stereoscopic 3D then the Onyx glasses would be nothing more than a $100 fashion statement for you.
Now I’m definitely no fan of the whole 3D (gimmick) re-emergence with its revitalized take on the stereoscopic visualization technology and neither are a lot of the staff members here at Cinema Blend, but keep in mind that a lot of people have been hooked-lined-and-sunk on the concept and for these entertainment aficionados I do have some positive things to say about Gunnar’s digital performance 3D eyewear.
If you’re completely dumbfounded as to what these glasses do or what they’re used for, just know that the Gunnar Anime Onyx 3D glasses can be used for entertainment purposes that involve anything that uses passive, polarized stereoscopic 3D. They also happen to be glasses designed to upgrade your face with one of the most stylish designs for 3D glasses I’ve seen in a very long time. Take note, though, these are not the same glasses as those ridiculous 3D glasses with the red and blue lenses from back in the 60s.
The circular polarized capabilities of the Onyx enable the wearer to view crisp, high-definition 3D images suited for both gaming and movie watching. This means that the glasses’ performance is about on par with any other RealD pair of glasses. The major difference is that they have a very sexy frame that comfortably rests on your nose and at the same time doesn’t make you look like a dork like all those other silly glasses they pass out at the movie theatres.
Of course, the real question comes in with the pricing. Anyone who read the last review here in the games section for the MLG Gunnar gaming glasses would know that the main reason I knocked the stars off was for the pricing. However, in this case it’s actually quite the opposite. Compared to a lot of the other 3D kits out there you’re getting a very good deal (and some snazzy looking glasses to boot) with the Gunnar Onyx 3D glasses, and they can even work with nVidia's 3D Vision technology for passive 3D viewing, under the right conditions. So for those of you out there with GeForce enabled computers (including the monitor, processor and video card) then all you’ll need to do is pop the glasses on and you’ll be able to view some of your favorite (supported) games in full, HD-quality, passive 3D. And by favorite games, I’m talking about new and old games alike, including oldies such as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and upcoming titles such as Crysis 2 and Mafia II.
It’s understandable that a lot of people aren’t into the whole 3D craze; this is especially considering that autostereoscopy is right around the corner and doesn’t even require the use of any additional software or peripheral kits to get an authentic, viewable 3D effect. However, for the gung-ho entertainment junkie, HD gaming fanatic, and 3D starved fanboy (or fangirl) who can’t seem to get enough of the latest and greatest, there’s no reason to skip over the Gunnar Onyx glasses for passive, RealD or iZ3D stereoscopic viewing.
Compared to some of the battery-operated active 3D glasses and passive 3D glasses being offered by Panasonic, Samsung and nVidia for fairly high prices, I actually might suggest recommending those looking to get into HD 3D gaming to consider the $99 Gunnar 3D glasses as an affordable alternative to the $199.99 glasses offered by the other companies. Of course, you’ll still have to gauge whether the additional $100 for active 3D support is worth it or if passive, circular polarized 3D support with a stylish look is enough for your 3D immersive entertainment desires. You’ll also have to consider whether you want the full shutter effect of active 3D glasses at the expensive of framerate or if you’re willing to settle for standard passive 3D without the loss of your movie or game’s visual framerate performance.
Nevertheless, as a standalone product for a specific form of entertainment, I think the Onyx glasses aren’t too bad in price, but quite nice for comfort and aesthetic purposes. Nevertheless, the glasses are aimed at a niche audience in a niche category of entertainment (i.e., stereoscopic 3D). So if you happen to be a part of the pro-3D consumer movement then you can add the Gunnar Onyx glasses to your list of 3D products worth checking out. As always, though, given these economic times it would still be best to do pricing comparisons on what kind of 3D accessories and devices that best suit your entertainment needs.
Developer: Gunnar Optiks
Starting Price: $99