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Written by Olin Coles   
Friday, 28 January 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
Gunnar Optiks Shredder Digital Eyewear
Closer Look: Gunnar Shredder Eyewear
Digital Eyewear Tests and Experience
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Gunnar Catalyst Shredder S6126 Eyewear Review

Manufacturer: Gunnar Optiks, LLC.
Product Name: Gunnar Catalyst Shredder Digital Performance Eyewear
Model Number: S6126/2-C001 (Onyx), S6126/2-C002 (Espresso), S6126/2-C004 (Crimson), S6126/2-C005 (Ash)
Price As Tested: Onyx: $79.00 at Newegg or Amazon

Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by Gunnar Optiks.

Many of us take our eyes for granted nearly every day, as we spend countless hours in front of a computer monitor until the strain sends us home at night. Some people spend an entire day in front of the screen, only to go home and continue on a new display. The average person now spends more time working on computers than anything else, including sleep. This is where digital eyewear comes into action, helping to relieve the strain associated with extended periods behind a monitor. In this article, Benchmark Reviews inspects the Gunnar Catalyst Shredder performance glasses, which use i-AMP Lens Technology.

I've always disliked wearing eyewear. From my elementary school up through high school, I wore glasses to see anything beyond arms reach. Contact lenses were a fashionable alternative, so long as I didn't blink, or need to wear them for more than a few minutes. Eventually laser corrective surgery fixed my vision to better than perfect, and I've been happy ever since. Then came 3D products, putting me behind eyewear reminiscent of Marine Corps BCG's (birth control glasses). While I'm supremely optimistic for a 3D future without eyewear, there are still times when I must endure the burden of a frame resting on my nose. This is another one of those occasions.

Over the past four years of operating Benchmark Reviews, I've worked absurdly long hours to produce quality articles for this website. It's a lot of fun, but fourteen-hour work days on nearly every day of the week can truly wear down a person's body. It's not necessarily hard physical work, aside from keeping awake well past a normal bed time, but it really puts a terrible strain on my premium-priced eyes. Making matters worse, ironically, there are times in my day when testing a product means playing a video game for extended periods. Collectively, these tireless efforts have turned my eyes from green to red. As a result, I decided to visit the realm of glasses once again and ease the strain with Gunnar Optiks digital eyewear.


Gunnar Optics Features

  • i-AMP Lens Technology:
    • diAMIX lens material - a custom blended proprietary polymer, which beats out polycarbonate on the toughness scale and rivals the undisputed optics of ground glass.
    • fRACTYL lens geometry - custom designed to provide focusing power that eases eye strain. The wrapped lenses also reduce air flow around the eye, creating a microclimate with increased moisture levels.
    • i-FI lens coatings - anti-glare coatings that filter out harsh artificial reflected light.
    • iONIK lens tint - Specially formulated tints condition and shift the color spectrum to provide superior contrast, detail and resolution.
  • Stylish premium metal frames
  • Microfiber Pouch



# my tipping pointktew 2011-01-29 08:17
Have considered Gunnars for over a year and never purchased but this was the review that tipped me over the edge. Hopefully my eyes will thank you in a few weeks. At the least its $79 towards making me think I'm doing something to prevent my looming self imposed blindness..

Just wanted to say, Amazon was very confusing for purchasing - rather you can get the same pricing ($79) buying direct from the mfg and have a choice of dozen of styles. Free shipping included.
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# CheersKlyster 2011-01-29 16:24
My partner has just recently had lasic surgery, she spends a lot of time in front of the monitor at work and suffers eye strain.
It's about time to protect her corrective investment, we'll get some of these.
Cheers Olin ;)
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# RE: CheersOlin Coles 2011-01-29 21:15
Hopefully I've done a good job of expressing the differences between frame styles. While I dislike the look of aviator frames, the larger lenses make a better 'cap' over my eye and retain more eye moisture.
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# My Optician Was Not ImpressedDood 2011-02-04 01:55
I asked about getting some Gunnar glasses with the latest prescription set, and my optician didn't think much of them even though they sold them. She said that the thing that most people like about them is the slight magnification that they have, other than that, nothing was extraordinary about them compared to normal glasses with anti-reflective coating. She could not understand why anybody would want to wear yellow tinted glasses (ala blu-blockers) anywhere and especially indoors. Her advice was to turn down the brightness on the monitors one used rather than putting on glasses with tint. Mostly hype was her conclusion.

The massive number of "branded" terms a company uses to describe rather normal features of their products always makes me suspicious.
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# RE: Gunnar Optiks Shredder Digital EyewearMichael Dubois 2011-02-04 05:49
These glasses started out at just about twice the price they're asking now. Another cut in 1/2, maybe a little more and they might be worth a look if you're interested in purchasing a gimmick.

Not necessary for computer usage, just another add an industry full of them.

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# RE: Gunnar Optiks Shredder Digital Eyewearktew 2011-02-04 07:12
Points taken, but my new pair is here and I have no regrets after first few hours.

It is probably the nerd equiv of reading glasses, sure. But they are well made, light weight and make a huge difference in reading small text off a white background.

I'm getting old and my eyes are suffering with what I do, these might just help. I'd already spent the cash for the 28" monitor (still set at 1900x1200) so going bigger isn't the solution. On the other hand my wife already wants to borrow them for when she is using her 10" netbook.

This isn't a product for everyone but I don't think you could judge its merits without sitting in front of a screen of text.
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# RE: Gunnar Optiks Shredder Digital EyewearServando Silva 2011-02-04 08:12
"They're for anyone staring at a screen for hours on end." Yep, sounds like me. Since this is the second review I read from you with positive comments I'm already thinking a lot on buying a pair. Thanks.
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# RE: Gunnar Optiks Shredder Digital EyewearVik 2011-02-04 15:12
Nice review, I think I'll give this a try. I am no stranger to shelling out for peripherals, and my eyes are an overlooked area to upgrade. I'm especially anxious to see how much easier these make reading black text on white backgrounds (which for some reason I have failed to understand is the preferred arrangement throughout the world).
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# ColJohn D mathis 2011-02-04 18:18
Observed mix reviews from replies, noted the reply (hear-say) re: the eyewaer vendor. I doubt she is an MD, and albiet knowlegeable about eyewear, she may lack the fundamental data on how light affects the viewer, over time, and in varying conditions. i.e.:Most offices use flouresent ights, which go off/on at 60 CPS, and the iris reacts to that.This is part of what leads to strain. As a shooter for several years, I wore yellowish tinted glasses that greatly enhanced the clarity of targets and the do the same with computer screns. Adjusting the BLUE levels will also reduce strain from that aspect of light quality, but does nothing for flicker (cycles per second) which goes unoticed by the conscience level, but has subliminal effects and regesters at sub-conscience level. There is way more to this than meets the eye.LOL. Suggest consulting a reputable EYE DR. if you have eye strain, and forget about getting the lighting changed in the work place. Codicel is that there are daylight bulbs that can help, but they cost more, of course, since profit is the driving force behind most endeavors. Try RayBan Shooters for clarity in or OUTdoors.
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# Re: ColDood 2011-02-04 18:54
And an optician's opinion is less valuable than a game/computer reviewer or commenter with absolutely no professional experience in human optics?

Sounds like you're an apologist for Gunnar.

I'd trust my experienced optician's advice over anybody who's posted here, especially since she SELLS GUNNARS and has no advantage to steer me away from them.

Honestly, she didn't say that the Gunnars were snake-oil, she just said that they didn't seem to offer much more than the slight magnification that judicious adjustment of the viewing environment couldn't fix since the Gunnars are meant for indoor use.

Yep, I agree with your advice, contact an optometrist or opthamologist if you're having eye strain problems, don't run out a buy a pair of Gunnars unless he/she recommends them.
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# RE: Re: ColOlin Coles 2011-02-04 22:05
I'm curious if your optician has even used the Gunnar eyewear for a decent period of time before passing judgement?
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# but..Klyster 2011-02-04 20:50
I'd actually trust the many reviews that users claim to have reduced eyestrain over "one" opticians opinion.
Some people have to use a computer for many hours on end, unless the optician is lousy and has a low clientele list, then it's highly likely that they don't actually get the chance to spend many hours constantly staring at a monitor, like many other people have to do for their profession.
The point is, for a little amount, you get relief and don't have to pay an ridiculous amount of of money to have a professional tell you there's not much they can do about it, most of the reviews indicate they do what they claim they do, are they all apologists for Gunnar?
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# RE: but..Adenai 2012-01-21 03:35
Add another "one" as I've heard basically the same thing from an optician, who in addition discussed it a lot with his colleagues at work. Again, what he said is not that these particular company makes bad products, they're just overpriced as they don't provide much more than standard anti-reflective glasses. It's 90% marketing in his opinion. The thing is - as I've been told - no glasses can really fix the tired eye problem, unless they 'invent glasses that spray tear film'. Also, if you need more professional opinions / study, you might want to see this:
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# OutstandingTuffgong4 2011-02-05 18:22
I've had a pair of Gunnar Optiks for a while now and I've never felt better working with a computer 8-11 hours a day. I bought them and everyone in my office asked why I was wearing tinted glasses...after a few weeks I started seeing people pop up with a new pair of Gunnar Optiks! they work.
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# RE: Gunnar Optiks Shredder Digital EyewearFred 2011-03-18 20:15
Gunnar lenses have, now, a + .25 Diopter ADD power. They are not the only, or even first company to use this power. has similar glasses only with light green tint instead of yellow.

Heavy computer users who do not need corrective lenses for other purposes will, in about 95% of cases find some level of relief.

Most important thing anyone can do to relieve eyestrain is look away from the monitor about ever 15 minutes, look at a distance and Blink, Blink, Blink your eyes for say 30 seconds or so!
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# Great glassesJoe 2011-05-18 11:49
I recently got the Madcatz version also reviewed on this site for $29.99 at Microcenter. If you are looking for a pair of these check MC from time to time as they must be looking to unload these as CoD has been out a long time now. They are the same as the Legend $100 glasses and so if you can get em for $30 bucks why not?

I have been suffering eyestrain of late sitting 3 feet from a 37" Westy W3. I didn't bother me for the first few years I owned the display but it does now. Until I can replace it I needed to do something. I got these glasses and they really do help! I can spend 12+ hours in front of the screen again working and/or playing with no eyestrain.

Also I would rec to the readers this small little app to help with eyestrain. It works great
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# Tired Eyes for long nights on PCkubato 2011-05-19 21:26
Yes, Glasses look great but, recently I found a free program that adjust the screen brightness day and night automatically. At first, I did not like the night setting but it took no time to figure out how to adjust the settings so that I liked it. Now, I cannot live without it, my eyes do not get as tired after long hours on the PC. It is called F.lux and is free.
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# Comparison GlassesCarolyn Seegmiller 2011-05-20 05:20
It might be useful to compare the Gunnar with more reasonably priced glasses that do use the same slight strength, add power. at $24.95 a pair seem a reasonable alternative
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# Mine are coming soonSteve 2012-02-14 08:51
I just bought some Gunnar's today for a good price of eBay. I suffer strained & red eyes from gaming, I use eye drops which help a lot but if these help a little more, then better for me.
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