Outdoor Devices
A picture containing optical instrument, screenshot, camera, cameras & optics

Best ATN Thermal Imaging Night Vision Binoculars For Hunting And Outdoor Activities

Here are the best smart binoculars we found for today's outdoor enthusiast.

Like GearBrain on Facebook

ATN is one of the leaders in optoelectronic manufacturing and offers an extensive range of smart technology products, including thermal imaging and night vision binoculars. The cost of night vision and thermal imaging technologies has dramatically reduced in recent years, providing outdoor enthusiasts access to a wide range of optical products incorporating advanced capabilities. We'll review the ATN product catalog for the best binoculars with thermal imaging or night vision capabilities to suit a range of outdoor activities. Before we do, let's briefly understand how binoculars work, their main features, and their uses.

What You Need to Know About Smart Binoculars

a man using binoculars outdoorsWhat You Need to Know about BinocularsiStock

Binoculars are optical devices used for viewing distant objects and consist of two small refracting telescopes mounted side by side and aligned to point in the same direction. Using a telescope for each eye allows our brain to create a three-dimensional image and perceive depth.

Binoculars have two main adjustments, a hinge to move the two telescopes closer together or further apart to suit the distance between the user's eyes and a focus knob to lengthen or shorten the telescopes to create a sharp image. A third adjustment allows the eyepieces to be focused differently to suit individual eyesight differences.

How are binoculars designated?

The principal selection criteria for binoculars are their magnification and the light they pass, referenced by a number. Binoculars designated as 7 x 40 will magnify a distant object seven times. At the same time, the number 40 refers to the diameter of the large lens on the front of the binoculars, called the objective lens. The larger the objective lens, the greater the light entering the binoculars. Low light use or higher magnification binoculars require large objective lenses to provide an image of acceptable quality.

Another critical selection criterion for hiking or activities requiring prolonged use is the size and weight of the binoculars, with higher magnifications or larger objective lenses making binoculars bigger and heavier. A final point to consider is that higher magnifications amplify vibration, making the image blurry. Above 10 x magnification, using a tripod or some form of support stabilizes the binoculars and provides a sharp and clear image.

Smart features

Merging optical features with electronics has created smart binoculars with onboard processors, camera sensors, and software to provide a wide range of extra functions. These advanced features include day and night-vision modes, thermal imaging, laser rangefinders, video capability, and infrared illuminators.

What activities use binoculars?

a woman using binoculars on a hikeWhat activitives you can use binocularsiStock

The following activities are some of the many uses for binoculars:

  • Birdwatching - birdwatchers spot and identify birds from a distance.
  • Hunting - hunters locate and track game.
  • Boating and marine navigation - boaters spot navigation markers, buoys, and other boats.
  • Hiking and outdoor activities- hikers and outdoor enthusiasts view wildlife and other interesting sights from afar.
  • Sports and event spectating - the distant viewing experience of sports events, concerts, and other live events is enhanced.
  • Astronomy - amateur astronomers view celestial objects like the Moon, planets, and stars.

12 Tips for choosing binoculars

A good pair of binoculars will last your lifetime; therefore, the selection is essential to suit your intended use. Here are twelve points to consider.

  1. Try before you buy - use as many pairs of binoculars as possible to better understand your specific needs and evaluate the different features of each.
  2. Be clear on why you need them - if you're hiking or watching sports, small and light binoculars with lower magnification give a larger field of view and don't tire your arms from extended use. Large embellishments are heavier and may require a tripod for steady viewing.
  3. Ease of use - the focus wheel needing to be easier to turn or jerky will not enhance your usability. Be sure every adjustment is within easy reach and operates smoothly.
  4. Field of view - the width of the viewed scene narrows with higher magnifications, showing less of the viewed area and making moving objects hard to track. Low-magnification binoculars have a wide field of view, ideal for sports or fast-moving animals.
  5. Engagement - do you feel immersed in the scene when looking through the binoculars, or does the image seem remote?
  6. Weight and balance - check the balance of the binoculars in your hand; they should sit comfortably without strain. If you must hold them to your eyes for extended periods, will the weight cause you to tire and shake, making the image blurry?
  7. Tracking comfort - look through the binoculars and turn your head as if tracking a bird or an animal. Do you feel unsteady or dizzy from the movement?
  8. Low-light use - if you intend to use the binoculars in poor light, at dusk, or during the night, do the binoculars offer night vision or thermal imaging?
  9. Smart digital features - many digital binoculars offer useful ancillary functions. These might include rangefinders, radar to know the location of other members of your party, Bluetooth capability, and photo and video recording capabilities. If these features add value to your needs, they might justify paying a marginally higher purchase price.
  10. Comfort and use with glasses - how do the eyecups feel on your eyes, and can you use prescription glasses with them? Do you still get the entire picture and feel immersed if you wear glasses?
  11. Accessories - some accessories come with binoculars, while others are optional. These might include extended battery packs, carry cases, or digital storage cards to capture photos and video. Be sure you know what is included.
  12. Warranty - check the manufacturer's warranty to understand what it covers and for what period. Twelve to 18 months should be the minimum coverage to expect.

The 5 best ATN thermal imaging and night-vision binoculars for hunting and outdoor activities


a product shot of ATN BINOX 4K 4-16XATN BINOX 4K 4-16X binocularsATN

The 4K 4-16X binoculars are a competitively-priced product offering day and night vision. The combination of high-definition (HD) optics, an ultra-HD sensor, and a dual-core processor provides unequaled viewing quality. Magnification is variable from 4 to 16 times, and the 40mm objective lens gives a 6-degree field of view, translating to 220 feet at 1,000 meters distance.

The 4-16X is photo and video-capable, offering 1080p video capability at frame rates between 30 and 120 frames per second. You can record the footage to an onboard SD card while live streaming via WiFi to an external device. Added features include a laser rangefinder to 1,000 meters and an infrared illuminator to lighten your scene even on extreme nights.


  • Ideal for hunting or birdwatching
  • Night vision mode
  • Weather resistant
  • Great price
  • Over 15 hours of use on one charge
  • 2 Year warranty


  • 40mm objective lens limits its usefulness for astronomy

ATN BINOX 4T 384 4.5-18X

a product shot of ATN BINOX 4T 384 4.5-18XATN BINOX 4T 384 4.5-18X Thermal Imaging BinocularsATN

The 4T 384 4.5-18X thermal imaging binoculars boast a fourth-generation thermal sensor providing a high-definition image of 1280 x 720 x 2. Images modes include white hot, black hot, or color, with object detection, recognition, and identification occurring at 1,800, 720, and 430 meters, respectively.

Magnification adjusts from 4.5 to 18 times, with a field of view from 6 to 4.7 degrees. Dual stream video can stream at HD resolution and record to the internal SD card, with additional functions including an IR illuminator, Bluetooth for data exchange between devices, and a laser rangefinder. A social radar function also displays group member locations on your phone.


  • Perfect for locating animals or people
  • Capable for day and night use in all weather conditions
  • Oustanding magnification range
  • Over 16 hours of continuous use on one charge
  • Social radar feature for safety
  • 2 Year warranty


  • Use at the higher magnification may require a tripod or steady

ATN BINOX 4T 640 1-10X

a product shot of ATN BINOX 4T 640 1-10X smart thermal imaging binocularsATN BINOX 4T 640 1-10X smart thermal imaging binocularsATN

The 4T 640 1-10X is a higher specification thermal imaging binocular than the 4.5-18X just reviewed, with two distinct differences giving a sharper and clearer image. The thermal sensor in the 1-10X is a higher resolution, at 640x480. At the same time, the lower magnification range of 1 to 10 times gives a greater field of view, ranging from 32 to 25 degrees, depending on the magnification used. The detection, recognition, and identification ranges are 830, 350, and 225, respectively.

The 1-10X has a battery endurance exceeding 16 hours and includes a laser rangefinder, IR illuminator, and dual streaming video capability. Connectivity to external devices is by WiFi and Bluetooth, including ATN's social radar capability. The binoculars are weather-resistant and ship with a three-year manufacturer's warranty.


  • Wide field of view for tracking fast-moving animals
  • Operates in all weather and light
  • High-resolution sensor
  • Perfect magnification range for hand-held observation
  • 3 Year warranty


  • The lower magnification range is not suited to long-range observation

ATN BINOX 4T 640 1.5-15X

a product shot of ATN BINOX 4T 640 1.5-15X thermal imaging binocularsATN BINOX 4T 640 1.5-15X Smart HD Thermal BinocularsATN

The 640 1.5-15X is one of two premium thermal imaging binoculars ATN offers. It uses the same fourth-generation sensor as the 1-10X, operating at 640x480 resolution, but gives an intermediate range capability with a variable magnification from 1.5 to 15 times. The field of view on the 1.5-15X is 24 to 19 degrees, depending on the magnification selected.

Boasting the same low power consumption, this model achieves 16+ hours of continuous use and provides detection, recognition, and identification at 1,050, 530, and 330 meters, respectively. The 1.5-15X offers white hot, black hot, and color viewing modes and ships with an IR illuminator, laser rangefinder, and dual streaming video with onboard storage.


  • Medium-range viewing, great for spotting smaller birds or animals
  • Ultra-sensitive next-generation sensor
  • Social radar capable
  • Bluetooth and WiFi
  • Excellent battery life of 16+ hours on one charge
  • 3 Year warranty


  • Quality build and premium specifications command a higher price

ATN BINOX 4T 640 2.5-25X

a product shot of ATN BINOX 4T 640 2.5-25X Smart HD Thermal Binoculars W/ Laser RangefinderATN BINOX 4T 640 2.5-25X Smart HD Thermal Binoculars W/ Laser RangefinderATN

The 640 2.5-25X is ATN's premium thermal imaging binocular, with a dual-core 4th generation thermal sensor and outstanding smart high-definition optics. The magnification range is 2.5 to 25 times, with a field of view between 12.5 and 9.7 degrees. The best-in-class detection, recognition, and identification ranges are 1,950, 800, and 475 meters.

The 2.5-25X has the same low power consumption as its siblings, offering over 16 hours of operation on one charge, recharging via a USB Type-C connector. Dual-streaming video, WiFi, social radar, and Bluetooth are standard, as are an IR illuminator and laser rangefinder. A ballistic information exchange feature allows communication with other ATN smart HD devices. The model is weather resistant and comes with a 3-year warranty.


  • High magnification - great for hunters
  • Ultra-sensitive next-generation sensor
  • Bluetooth and WiFi functionality
  • Social radar capable
  • Social radar and ballistics exchange capability
  • Excellent battery life of 16+ hours on one charge
  • 3 Year warranty


  • Not for the budget-conscious


At GearBrain, our mission is to help you find, buy and connect any smart device. This includes smart binoculars for any outdoor activity. And today's advanced technology places previously unimaginable optical capabilities into the hands of private individuals with thermal imaging or night vision binoculars. This means you don't need to stop your activity when the light is terrible, or the sun goes down. We hope the information and tips in this article help you select your next set of binoculars, and we invite you to browse the ATN range of smart HD optics, where there's bound to be a product that suits your activity.
Like GearBrain on Facebook
The Conversation (0)

GearBrain Compatibility Find Engine

A pioneering recommendation platform where you can research, discover, buy, and learn how to connect and optimize smart devices.

Join our community! Ask and answer questions about smart devices and save yours in My Gear.

Top Stories

Weekly Deals