Thermal Monocular Reviews

Thermal imaging optics are designed to see the infrared energy that heat emits. The vast majority of animals emit heat, which makes them shine brightly under thermal imaging. Thermal optics work in complete and total darkness, regardless of the weather. Thermal optics can see through fog, dust, smoke, and other obscuring effects. This makes thermal optics one of the best options for observation, viewing, and searching.

Thermal Monoculars are not thermal scopes. A scope is specifically designed to be mounted to a firearm and used to help the shooter hit a target. Thermal monoculars are single piece optics that are for observation. A monocular can be handheld or even mounted onto a helmet or HALO system for users to wear while keeping their hands free. Thermal monoculars are often small with zero to moderate magnification.


Two of the biggest series in thermal monoculars is the Armasight Prometheus and the Pulsar Quantum. By series, I mean there are several different optics with different magnifications, sizes, and definition limits. They use the same technology overall but are different in terms of overall specifications. My thermal monocular reviews will be centered on the entire series.

Armasight Prometheus Thermal Monoculars

The Armasight Prometheus thermal monoculars are variable power with an option for 60hz or 30hz. The variable magnification ranges from 2 to 8 power and the Hz ranges from standard definition to high definition. The 60Hz is the higher definition model and allows users to see small features at extended distances. At close range, both optics will allow the user to make out important features, but the 60Hz will allow you to see fine facial differences at extended ranges.

The Armasight Prometheus provides a crystal clear picture for the user, during both day and night situations. The picture provided is absolutely brilliant and incredibly clear. This is due to the second generation digital detail enhancement which corrects and improves the picture’s definition. You also get a wide variety of color modes. You can use the newer white/black hot as well as the classic rainbow vision as well as 8 other settings. The differences are largely up to the user, and their search parameters. I find the white or black hot modes the most comfortable for extending viewing.  

One of the most valuable features is the smart scene optimization. Some thermal monoculars have the difficulty seeing targets that have thermal signatures similar to their surroundings. The Prometheus series makes it much easier to spot targets with similar thermal signatures to their backgrounds. The Prometheus series is perfect for longer range observation and surveillance.

Pulsar Quantum Series Thermal Monoculars

The Pulsar Quantum series of Thermal Monoculars is a massive series. They range from very simple 1 to 2 power monoculars with 16mm objective lenses, all the way to 2.8 to 11.2 power optics with a massive 42mm objective lenses. The hertz frame rates range from low definition 9Hz to high definition 50Hz. The lower 9Hz can see thermal signatures and make determinations between species and relative sizes. With a mere 9Hz, you are capable of seeing a human sized target at over 500 yards away. The 50Hz refresh rate allows you to see the fine facial features of people, and extreme details of animals. The more powerful Pulsar Quantum monoculars can see human sized targets at 1,300 yards.

The smaller monoculars with the 1 to 2 power settings are perfect for wearing on a HALO or helmet mount. You can walk and move confidently and easily due to the 1x power being the normal viewing range of humans. The more powerful models are excellent for long range observation. They provide a very clear picture of what’s hot and what’s not. People and animal spotting is very simple.

The Pulsar series features both automatic and manual calibration allowing users to fully customize their viewing scape. The Pulsar series uses either black hot or white hot viewing modes. These colors are often more comfortable for extended viewing. The systems run on both internal batteries but can also use an external power source for longer viewing needs. The Pulsar series is also capable of video output for recording, or more convenient viewing from a stationary location. The Pulsar series is quite varied, so more than likely they have an option that can fit your needs, and I assure they will do it well.


Thermal imaging is incredibly interesting, and possibly one of the most efficient forms of viewing technology. The systems work day and night and are not easily obstructed. A set of thermal monoculars will change the way you view the world.

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