Best Pulsar Thermal Monoculars

BEST PULSAR THERMAL MONOCULARS

Thermal imaging is an interesting and practical technology that has evolved quite a lot over recent years. Thermal imaging is used in hunting, inspecting buildings, the military & law enforcement as well as many more areas. Pulsar, a thermal and night vision brand has grown to produce many of the leading edge technology in thermal imaging.

Today, we will dig into their thermal monocular product line. These are monoculars with high-resolution micro-bolometers and high-quality optics that produce some of the clearest thermal images today. You can expect the high end build-quality with waterproof materials to last you a lifetime.

We also look at the significant differences in these monoculars. You will be able to identify which of these monoculars is the best choice for your thermal imaging endeavors.

Pulsar Axion Thermal Monoculars - New Generation

AXION XM38

Axion XM38
Specifications:
  • Thermal resolution: 320 × 240
  • Refresh rate: 50Hz
  • FOV: 5.8° x 4.3°
  • Optical magnification: 5.5x
  • E-zoom: up to 4x
  • Battery life: 4 hours

This Axion XM38 has the most powerful lens when compared to other models within the range. As a result, it’s also the most expensive option. You’ll enjoy clear imaging if you pick this model which offers a 320 x 240 sensor resolution.

With this unit you can view images from a long distance away thanks to the 1700m detection range. It allows you to magnify images up to 22 times. Since it has a larger lens, the monocular provides a narrower field of view so keep that in mind when you determine if it’s for your specific application.

The unit is powered by a lithium-ion battery which is designed to operate for over four hours. It weighs 270g making it a lightweight unit though it’s the heaviest of all the models in this series.

You’ll get 16GB internal storage to store images and recorded footage. You can connect the unit to Wi-Fi for file transfer. 

PROS:
  • Long detection range
  • Lightweight
  • Clear images
CONS:
  • Expensive
  • Narrow field of view

AXION XM30

Axion XM30
Specifications:
  • Thermal resolution: 320 × 240
  • Refresh rate: 50Hz
  • FOV: 7.3° x 5.5°
  • Optical magnification: 4x
  • E-zoom: up to 4x
  • Battery life: 4 hours

This Axion XM30 thermal monocular has a smaller lens than the other units within this range. But you’ll enjoy a larger field of view if you pick this one.

It’s not the most powerful lens within the range, but it’s worth considering since it won’t cost much to own it. Thanks to the 320 x 240 sensor resolution, you can view clear images with this monocular so it’s still a quality product.

It’s the ideal monocular to pick if you specialize in close range viewing. This is evidenced by the 1200m detection range it allows for. It’s one of the lightest units within the range so handling and carrying it will be hassle free; it only weighs 250g.

You can expect a little over fours hours of battery life which is reasonable for this product range. 

PROS:
  • Great value
  • Compact
  • Clear images
CONS:
  • Not suitable for extra long range detection

AXION KEY XM30

Axion XM30
Specifications:
  • Thermal resolution: 320 × 240
  • Refresh rate: 50Hz
  • FOV: 7.3° x 5.5°
  • Optical magnification: 2.5x
  • E-zoom: up to 4x
  • Battery life: 4 hours

This is the cheapest thermal monocular within the Axion range. But note that it also has the lowest thermal resolution. This resolution will still give you clear images just like the Axion XM38 and XM30 models.

It’s the model to pick if you’re looking for a unit to use for close range viewing. Aside from the lower resolution, this model has similar features to the Axion XM30. A good example is the 1200 detection range and 50Hz rate.

A key difference with this model is that it doesn’t come with internal storage. But you’ll be happy to know that it’s IPX7 rated so water won’t easily damage the unit.

PROS:
  • Cheaper option
  • Large field of view
  • Waterproof
CONS:
  • No internal storage

Pulsar Helion Thermal Monoculars - Older Generation

Helion XP50

Pulsar Helion XP50 Thermal Monocular, 2.5
Specifications:
  • Thermal resolution: 640 × 480
  • Refresh rate: 50Hz
  • FOV: 12.4° x 9.3°
  • Optical magnification: 2.5x
  • E-zoom: up to 8x
  • Battery life: 8 hours

Built for outdoor sports and hunting, the Pulsar Helion XP50 has many advanced features. It comes with a 50mm lens which is large and powerful. Combined with a variable magnification from 2.5x to 20x with smooth zoom, you will have very high quality thermal images.

The field of view narrows the higher magnification; however you can still detect a heat signature up to 1800 meters out with the XP50. The uncooled micro-bolometer boasts a resolution of 640 x 480. It gives you highly detailed images that allow you to scan through the darkest environments.

This thermal monocular comes with built-in video recording. The video recorder captures videos and still images, and stores them in the monocular. With 8GB of internal storage, you can save many photos and videos. Better yet, you get to transfer your content to a laptop or computer via USB or Wi-Fi.

What’s more, with the help of Stream Vision technology, you can connect seamlessly to your Android or iOS phone in real time. This allows you to share your videos and images on YouTube, Instagram, and other social media sites.

PROS:
  • Eight color palettes
  • High 50Hz refresh rate
  • Uncooled sensor reduces noise sensitivity and temperature between calibrations
  • Provides eight hours of battery life from the rechargeable battery power
  • Allows live streaming via the Stream Vision Software
  • thumbs-up
    IPX7 waterproof rating
CONS:
  • It is a bit heavy due to the large objective lens, but the lens is interchangeable to suit your specific tasks.

Helion XP38

Pulsar Helion XP38 Thermal Monocular, 1.9
Specifications:
  • Thermal resolution: 640 × 480
  • Refresh rate: 50Hz
  • FOV: 16.3° x 12.3°
  • Optical magnification: 1.9x
  • E-zoom: up to 8x
  • Battery life: 8 hours

The Helion XP38 is similar to the XP50 in many ways except for a few distinct features. First, this model has a 38mm focal length. You will like that you can take it for an adventure whether you are hunting, or viewing animals in dark conditions. You are also able to swap lenses as needed something that you could not in previous Pulsar thermal scopes. This greatly increases the utility of the monoculars.

The Helion XP38 has a 640 x 480 pixels resolution. It is not only crisp, but you get a wider field of view thanks to the lower power magnification from 1.9x to 15.2x. It utilizes a smooth zoom that helps to remove any blurriness that could come as a result of a high magnification.

It still benefits from an uncooled micro-bolometer which comes in handy to give you optimized images that are easy to read. You will be able to recognize subjects and identify what you are looking at up to 1350 meters away.

This thermal monocular works flawlessly with a built in video recorder to store videos and images. With the help of Wi-Fi connectivity, you can transfer your videos and pictures on a PC or laptop for editing as needed. It also supports Stream Vision a technology that allows real-time streaming to iOS and Android devices.

PROS:
  • Stadiametric rangefinder and accelerometer
  • Fog, dust, and frost proofed OLED display
  • Ergonomically-placed buttons for easy operation
  • ​8-hour battery pack
  • Onboard video recording
  • thumbs-up
    Updatable software​
CONS:
  • Isolated complaints about the accuracy of some color palettes

Helion XP28

Pulsar Helion XP28 Thermal Monocular, 1.4
Specifications:
  • Thermal resolution: 640 × 480
  • Refresh rate: 50Hz
  • FOV: 22° x 16.6°
  • Optical magnification: 1.4x
  • E-zoom: up to 8x
  • Battery life: 8 hours

This is the smallest of the Helion line with a 28mm objective lens. It is a handy piece if you want a smather thermal monocular to bring along with heavy equipment like stands and rifles.

With a 640 x 480 pixels sensor, it provides the same crisp images the Helion XP line is known for. It couples the sensor with a low magnification power from 1.4x to 11.2x; you get a wide field of view that allows you to see the image and the background clearly.

With the XP28 you can detect heat signatures up to 1000 yards away. This gives you a wide array of activities to perform from hunting to long range shooting as it provides you with a clear line of sight no matter the weather or lighting conditions.From streaming live images and videos to recording and storing of the same images and videos, you have every feature you will need. Pulsars Stream Vision is one of the Helion lines best features. Whether you want to showcase your hunting prowess, or taking shots at spectacular ranges, you can stream all everything directly to your or your friends smartphone or tablet.

PROS:
  • Distinct night vision potential
  • Integrated Wi-Fi module
  • Interchangeable lens
  • ​Rapid motion via high-frequency imaging
  • Eight hours of battery life
CONS:
  • You may lose some detail in long distances because of the lower magnification

Helion XQ50

Pulsar Helion XQ38F Thermal Monocular, 3.1
Specifications:
  • Thermal resolution: 384 × 288
  • Refresh rate: 50Hz
  • FOV: 7.5° x 5.6°
  • Optical magnification: 4.1x
  • E-zoom: up to 4x
  • Battery life: 8 hours

The Helion XQ50F is a monocular designed to survive the most adverse conditions. Like its Helion XP cousins, this model is part of a thermal imaging family that can be used day and night since it is not affected by bright light as traditional night vision monoculars are. The biggest difference in the XQ line is the lower thermal resolution of 384 x 288. It is also a fog, dust, and frost proof monocular. From tall grass to thick bushes, branches, etc. this monocular will help you in night hunting, rescue operations, and many other situations where you need clear visibility.

The Helion XQ50F has a 384 x 288 pixel resolution. The sensor is an uncooled micro-bolometer which can detect heat up to ranges of 1800 meters. It is an ideal pick for long-range target shooting in dark environments. It is also a good guide through haze and smoke in rescue operations.

The eight color palettes give you the chance to identify different objects so that you can set the background apart from your subject. It features the popular black hot and white hot that give you detailed images day and night.

You can record and store images on the Helion XQ50F. You can also transfer your recordings to a computer so that you can analyze the photos and videos. It also supports live streaming using the Stream Vision Software. It is mobile friendly as it can connect to your Android or iOS smartphone.

PROS:
  • 50Hz image frequency
  • Stadiametric rangefinder
  • AMOLED display works in extreme temperatures
  • ​Optional wireless remote control for the settings
  • Easy-to-use interface
CONS:
  • It is a bit pricey

Helion XQ38

Pulsar Helion XQ38F Thermal Monocular, 3.1
Specifications:
  • Thermal resolution: 384 × 288
  • Refresh rate: 50Hz
  • FOV: 9.8° x 7.4°
  • Optical magnification: 3.1x
  • E-zoom: up to 4x
  • Battery life: 8 hours

This monocular has all the extra you would expect to have on the Helion line. If you are looking to have a better field of view and high performance but at an affordable price, you are looking at the Helion XQ38F.

With a digital magnification from 3.1x to 12.4x and a 384 x 288 pixel thermal sensor, this monocular is a great choice if you do not need to spot targets or objects as far away. It has eight color palettes and pixel repair function that provides very detailed thermal images. It provides you with a graduated magnification that lets you to adjust the magnification as needed.

It also has a picture-in-picture mode that helps you see the main image alongside its zoomed-in image. It gives you the highlights of the image so that you can make definitive conclusions while still in the field.

As with all the Helion thermal monoculars Stream Vision is the peak feature of this monocular. You can link this device to your iOS and Android phone or tablet via Wi-Fi. Using the Stream Vision App, you will be able to share your adventures with the world.

PROS:
  • It can determine the distance of objects using the stadiametric rangefinder
  • Can be operated remotely using your phone
  • Captures and records videos and images
  • ​It has a display-off mode
  • Icon-driven, easy-to-read, alphanumeric status bar
CONS:
  • It can be complicated to use for beginners

Final Thoughts:

If you are an outdoor enthusiast or you are in the professional world where you need an excellent thermal imaging monocular, Pulsar is one of the best brands you can chose. This brand provides affordable monoculars with high performance. From the uncooled micro-bolometer to the high resolution, all its thermal imaging monoculars are well made and very technologically advanced.

For the best Pulsar Thermal Imaging Monocular, we recommend the ​Pulsar Helion XP50. It is the most advanced model with all the features you will need for almost every situation. From hunting to target shooting, law enforcement, and in the military, it proves to be exceptionally versatile. 

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