Best Binoculars for Birding (Top 9) – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

Are you looking for the best binoculars for birding? Do you wonder what should be the specifications for the best birding binoculars? Or, Is it worth the money? Either you are a newbie or a birding fanatic, you are at the right spot. As we come along all of your inquiries fade away.

The two most important things to consider while buying binoculars are: binoculars should make objects closer and clearer. The better the binoculars, the better you can see the birds.

Our suggestion for the best binoculars for bird watching is based on the quality of the product, image clarity, weight, field of view, close focus, price, durability, and overall look and feel.

Best Binoculars for Birding: Quick Overview

  1. Best Inexpensive Binoculars for Birding: 12×42 Powerful Binoculars
  2. Best Lightweight Binoculars for Birding: Gosky 10×42 Roof Prism Binoculars
  3. Best Entry-Level Binoculars for Birding: Celestron Nature DX 
  4. Best Compact Binoculars for Birding: Vortex Optics Diamondback HD
  5. Best Budget Binoculars for Birding: Nikon Monarch 5 8×42
  6. Best Mid-Price Binoculars for Birding: Nikon Monarch 7 8×42 Nature 
  7. Best High-End Binoculars for Birding: ZEISS Conquest HD 8×42
  8. Best Porro Prism Binoculars for Birding: Canon 12×36 Image Stabilization III
  9. Best Top of the Line Binoculars for Birding: SWAROVSKI EL 42

Best Binoculars for Birding: Price Categories

  1. Best Binoculars for Birding Under $5012×42 Powerful Binoculars
  2. Best Binoculars for Birding Under $100Gosky 10×42 Roof Prism Binoculars
  3. Best Binoculars for Birding Under $200Celestron Nature DX 
  4. Best Binoculars for Birding Under $300Vortex Optics Diamondback HD 
  5. Best Binoculars for Birding Under $300Nikon Monarch 5 8×42 
  6. Best Binoculars for Birding Under $500Nikon Monarch 7 8×42 Nature
  7. Best Binoculars for Birding Under $1000ZEISS Conquest HD 8×42
  8. Best Binoculars for Birding Under $1000Canon 12×36 Image Stabilization III
  9. Best Binoculars for Birding Under $2000SWAROVSKI EL 42


Now let’s dive deep into each to show you the features, pros and cons.


1 - Adorrgon 12x42 Powerful Binoculars


best budget binoculars for birding


Quality optics at an affordable price comes with Adorrgon Binoculars12x magnification ensures a closer view and minute details.

These are inexpensive binoculars are fairly compact. Can be easily fit into the front pocket of a camera bag, ensuring a nice grab-and-go set up for an active trip.

Engineered with advanced optic technologies for the user to enjoy crystal clear and colorful images even at low light events. Having fully multi-coated optics and prisms 12×42 a very good buy.

As an eyeglass wearer, they work really well for me. Their adjustable twist-up eyecups allow you to easily adjust the eye relief to suit the glasses set up.

The lighter weight is really a relief for a birdwatcher neck since they usually walk long distances on trails. Adorrgon Compact HD Binoculars come with a stylish case that makes them easy to carry.

Performing well even under unfavorable weather conditions in low and high temperatures. The binoculars are 100% waterproof.

Special rubber coating on binoculars protects inner parts from moisture and mechanical stress. Even if you accidentally drop your binoculars into the water, they will be fully functional when you wipe them dry.

12×42 binoculars are very versatile and worth the money.

Technical Specifications
  • Magnification: 12x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 42mm
  • Field of View @ 1,000 yards: 367 ft
  • Prism Type: Roof Prism Bak-4
  • Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated
  • Eye Relief: 18 mm
  • Weight: 1.20 lbs
What we like
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2 - Gosky 10x42 Roof Prism Binoculars


best cheap binoculars for bird watching



The decent-quality binoculars under $100 for birding are Gosky 10×42. The best reasonable binoculars for birding offer optic quality that’s comparable to higher-priced models, making this really a great value product.

This pair features a compact and ergonomic design that makes them easier to hold and adjust, especially for birders with smaller hands.

The astonishingly affordable and robust Gosky binoculars are ideal for beginners and for those who occasionally observe nature and wildlife and do not expect high-level optical performance.

Best all-around binoculars with 10x magnification allow distant objects to be viewed in detail. While a 42mm objective lens offers sufficiently good performance in poor light conditions. Roof prism and multi-coated lens could further improve low light performance.

The construction of the binocular is durable with shock observing rubber armor.

Users can connect the binoculars with their smartphones to get the images. That way they can even record what the binoculars see without having a camera in hand. The adaptor works even with newer phones.


Technical Specifications
  • Magnification: 10x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 42mm
  • Field of View @ 1,000 yards: 307 ft
  • Close Focus Distance: 16 ft
  • Prism Type: Roof Prism Bak-4
  • Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated
  • Eye Relief: 12 mm
  • Weight: 19.2 oz
What we like
What we don't like


You may want to read about: Best Binoculars For Hiking & Trekking

3 - Celestron Nature DX 8x42


best beginner binoculars for birding

One of the best binoculars for birding under $200 is Celestron Nature DX 8×42 Binoculars

Nature DX aims to achieve the perfect balance between ease of use and quality, giving an impressive image quality without all the features of professional binoculars.

These best birding binoculars for beginners have a fast and easy focus adjustment and are quite comfortable in hand, but solid optics that look far more expensive.

Having a field of view that is better than many mid-range and high-end binoculars, which are way more costly and add to this they come with plenty of eye relief. 

Waterproof and Fog proof that allows bird watchers to use this gear in all weather conditions. The solid build and design offer protection against outdoor elements.

As a beginner or even as an experienced birder you will be impressed with the images you see through Celestron Nature DX. 

If you really want to dive into the birding world and want to buy the best binoculars without making a high investment then you should go with Celestron Nature DX 8×42 Binocular.

Technical Specifications
  • Magnification: 8x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 42mm
  • Field of View @ 1,000 yards: 388 ft
  • Close Focus Distance: 6 ft
  • Prism Type: Bak-4
  • Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated
  • Eye Relief: 18 mm
  • Weight: 1.75 lbs
What we like
What we don't like


You may be interested in knowing: Best binoculars for hunting

4 - Vortex Optics Diamondback HD


best compact birding binoculars


Best binoculars for birding under $250 for those who do not want to carry heavily weighed binoculars with them.

The Vortex Optics Diamondback HD Binoculars are relatively inexpensive. At an affordable price, providing superb resolution due to high definition optical system and bright images with excellent performance in low light conditions.

For comfortable viewing twist up and down the eyecups with or without eyeglasses. If you wear eyeglasses these are the best binoculars for birding you can use.

A center focus wheel that adjusts the focus of both binocular barrels at the same time while the diopter is located on the right eyepiece adjusts for differences in your eyes. You don’t have to constantly adjust the diopter, because this adjustment is stiff enough to keep it just where you want.

Diamondbacks are lightweight and offer a rubber-armored exterior that has a non-slip grip.  This makes it a superior option if looking at durable binoculars for outdoor activities. There is an O-ring seal for waterproof performance, and to prevent internal fogging over a wide range of temperatures. 

Last but not least Vortex Diamondback HD 8×42 binoculars include the Vortex VIP (Very Important Lifetime) Unlimited Lifetime Warranty. In case your binoculars become damaged or defective you can get them repaired without paying a single penny. If it cannot be repaired, it would be replaced.


Technical Specifications
  • Magnification: 8x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm
  • Field of View @ 1,000 yds: 393 ft 
  • Close Focus Distance: 5 ft
  • Prism Type: Roof Prism
  • Lens Coating: Fully Multi-coated
  • Eye Relief: 17 mm
  • Weight: 21.8 oz

Related Reading: Best Compact Binoculars

What we like
What we don't like

5 - Nikon Monarch 5 8x42 Binoculars

best inexpensive binoculars for birding

The Nikon Monarch 5 is an excellent choice for a tight budget or a beginner bird watcher.  

Effectively the best binoculars for birding with Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) glass lens that compensate for color fringing,  images will maintain superior contrast, improved resolution also provides brighter, more clear natural looking images, for birdwatcher it’s a joy to have this amazing device.

The high-eyepoint design provides a clear field of view with enough space between the user’s eyebrow and the binocular’s eyecups, even when the user is wearing eyeglasses. 

The turn-and-slide rubber eyecups allow users to adjust the eye relief for full field of view and maximum comfort during extended periods of use.

Highly reflective dielectric prism multi-layer coatings maintain image brightness and improve contrast which projects a natural and clearer view, by minimizing the loss of light due to reflection. Birders definitely enjoy the smooth and most precise central focus knob that brings objects into focus.

The Nikon Monarch 5  has a rubber-armored coating making it the ultimate binocular to carry with you and provide a non-slip grip. While 100% waterproof and fog proof allowing you to use them in a rugged environmentIts lightweight property makes it hand-friendly which allows it comfortable to hold for extended outdoor activities. 

All the above features make Nikon Monarch 5 excellent for birding and won’t disappoint anyone.


Technical Specifications
  • Magnification: 8x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm
  • Field of View @ 1,000 yds: 330 ft 
  • Close Focus Distance: 7.8 ft
  • Prism Type: Roof Prism
  • Lens Coating: Multi-coated
  • Eye Relief: 19.5 mm
  • Weight: 20.8 oz
What we like
What we don't like

6 - Nikon Monarch 7 Binocular Roof Prism

best mid priced binoculars for birding

Nikon Monarch 7 8×42 is an excellent combination of both price and performance you will find in birding binoculars.

What is the most important thing to you while birding? Image quality, right? This amazing gear uses (ED) extra-low dispersion glass, which creates crystal clear images with vivid colors

Nikon being a game-changer added this high-quality glass by keeping the price in a midrangeThe most impressive thing about Nikon Monarch 7 is its amazing performance in low-light situations. Monarch maintains bright images despite less than ideal light conditions. 

The Monarch 7 is designed with birding specifically in mind. It’s tripod adaptable and offers an exceptionally wide field of view while maintaining a clarity that early binocular users could only dream of.

The grip feels great and even the included strap stands out as being very comfortable. The Nikon Monarch 7 is built for durability, being both fog-proof and waterproofOn top of its build quality, Nikon offers a limited lifetime warranty.

If you don’t want to spend a lot on high-end binoculars, the Nikon Monarch 7 would provide you most of the same features. It’s very affordable at under $500. Overall, this product can give you good value for your money. Its specifications and features are definitely worth every dollar of its price. 

Nikon Monarch 7 8×42 is one of the most favorite binoculars for bird watchers globally with 4.7 ratings.


Technical Specifications
  • Magnification: 8x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm
  • Field of View @ 1,000 yards: 351 feet
  • Close Focus Distance: 8.2 feet
  • Prism TypePhase-Correction-Coated Roof Prism
  • Lens Coating: Multi-coated
  • Eye Relief: 17.1 mm
  • Weight: 1.4 pounds
What we like
What we don't like

7 - ZEISS Conquest HD Binoculars

best power binoculars for bird watching

Do you want to enjoy birding in HD (High-Definition)? If the answer is YES then that’s ZEISS Conquest HD Binoculars. The best binoculars for birding under $1000. Well-balanced, lightweight having ergonomic design, durable, and easy-to-use premium binoculars

You can experience outstanding image quality during bird watching.

The HD lens system guarantees bright and high-contrast images. The best image quality can be found in any other binoculars at the price of $1000

Zeiss Conquest has great low-light performance and excellent target resolution, which offers more than 90% light transmission for observation even in twilight conditions. This enables a clear and unhindered view in all weather conditions from wet to dry, dawn to dust.

With a large, precise, and smoothest focusing wheel there is no slack. This ensures easy handling, optimum grip, and precise focusing even with gloves. Fine adjustments can be made easily. At close range, the smallest details can appear sharp and color neutral.

The Zeiss Binoculars provide an extra-wide field of view guaranteeing detailed insights at long distances. This versatile lightweight model will allow you to hold the binoculars up to your eyes for a longer period of time to avoid startling wildlife.

With 18mm of eye relief, the Zeiss Conquest is easy to use by glasses wearers. Being 100% Waterproof that is why to categorize them as the best heavy-duty binoculars for bird watching.


Technical Specifications
  • Magnification: 8x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm
  • Field of View @ 1,000 yds: 384 ft 
  • Close Focus Distance: 6.6 ft
  • Prism Type: Schmidt-Pechan
  • Lens Coating: T Premium
  • Eye Relief: 18 mm
  • Weight: 28 oz
What we like
What we don't like

8 - Canon 12x36 Image Stabilization III Binoculars

best image stabilized binoculars for birdwatching



With aging eyes you need more magnification, the 12×36 IS is a good upgrade without any significant increase in weight or size.

For image-stabilized operation and 12x images stop at Canon’s 12×36 IS III. A perfect versatile binocular offers outstanding image quality, smooth and quick operation, and a compact overall design. 12×36 IS III is designed to perform flawlessly both indoors and outdoors.

Canon’s IS technology delivers smooth extended viewing without the need for a tripod.

Birding is a time-consuming activity, considering extended use, these binoculars feature long eye relief for comfortable use even when wearing glasses.

The best image stabilized binoculars for birding compensates for hand-shake to make them ideal for a long day of bird or nature-watching.

Canon’s anti-reflection Super Spectra multi-coatings reduce light loss and improve image contrast.

They employ a Porro prism which is the choice of most binocular enthusiasts. Porro Prism allows the user to adjust the interpupillary distance by rotating the entire eyepiece assemblies. The Porro II prisms in the Canon 12×36 Binoculars result in images being clearer and sharper even during the sunniest hours.

A doublet field-flattener lens corrects spherical aberration for distortion-free views, especially at the edges. Hence reduced fuzziness and in general makes images much clearer.

The binoculars run on two included AA batteries. With the 12×36 IS III you can get approximately 9 hours of use before the batteries need to be replaced.

Technical Specifications

  • Magnification: 12x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 36 mm
  • Field of View @ 1,000 yds: 262 ft 
  • Close Focus Distance: 19.6 ft
  • Prism Type: Porro II Prisms
  • Eye Relief: 14.5 mm
  • Weight: 23.28 oz
  • Power Source: 2 x AA Alkaline batteries
What we like
What we don't like

9 - SWAROVSKI EL 10x42 Binoculars

best binoculars for bird watching

Swarovski EL optical performance lies on the top compared to the other high-end binoculars.

It provides clean and bright high-contrast and uncompromising high-resolution images add to this field flattener lenses deliver flat and completely distortion-free images right up to the edges allows you to see every detail. 

The quality lenses absorb enough light to provide bright and clear true-to-life images even in low-light dusk or dawn. A huge field of view providing edge-to-edge sharpness make the EL binoculars versatile to use. 

An amazing feature is digibinning which is becoming the need of today. Digi-binning is all about taking a picture while holding your digital point-and-shoot camera (or a cellphone) up to one of your ocular eyepieces on your Swaroski EL 42 binoculars.

EL 42 binoculars are a reliable choice even for eyeglass wearers. They are lightweight and durable. The rubber armor provides a secure grip with or without gloves on, which also protects the body from an accidental drop.  The balance of the optic is excellent.

Their nitrogen-filled optical tubes are waterproof and fog proof which prevents internal fogging when moving quickly between wide temperature conditions.

If the high price is affordable then you should seriously consider investing in this pair of high-end optics and enjoy the birding experience. You would absolutely be thrilled with these outstanding pairs of binoculars in every way. The best binoculars you can buy and which are worth the money. 

In short, everything just feels right! While birders call them Rolls Royce of Birding Binoculars.


Technical Specifications
  • Magnification: 8.5x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm
  • Field of View @ 1,000 yds: 399 ft 
  • Close Focus Distance: 4.9 ft
  • Prism Typen/a
  • Lens Coating: Multi-Coating
  • Eye Relief: 20 mm
  • Weight: 28 oz
What we like
What we don't like

Consider When Buying Best Birding Binoculars


We have explained several things that you must consider while looking for the best binoculars for birding:

Price for Best binoculars for birding

The price of the best birding binoculars ranges from under $100 to over $2,500. You can start birding with an inexpensive pair, but eventually, you will end up investing in hundreds of dollars. The best binoculars with superb quality come with a high price tag but can be worth the money.

Magnification for Best Birdwatching Binoculars

The best magnification for birding is 8×42. That helps bird watchers to locate birds more accurately and quickly.

A binocular’s magnification is represented as the first number on a pair of binoculars that tells how much larger an object will appear in the lens and the second number is the objective lens diameter (mm) which helps collect light to produce amazingly colored images.

Even if the most popular binocular magnification for birding is 8×42 and being a beginner, one should prefer this. However, experienced birders who want to see more enhanced images and interested in identifying tiny bits would consider 10×42.

Objective Lens Diameter

The best size for an objective lens is 42 mm. This size determines the ample light that enters the binoculars to create quality images. In low light conditions the bigger the objective lens diameter the better the image.

Close Focus Distance

Look for a binocular that can focus on objects within 5-8 ft. A binocular with a good close focus will allow you to view objects that are nearby.

Quality Vision in Low Light

Bird watchers should consider how well the binoculars perform in low light.

Field of view

The field of view is indicated as either a measurement (330 ft @ 1,000 yards). The larger the field of view the larger the area you can view from your optics. Hence, with wide FOV birdwatchers can enjoy the moving birds.

Eye Relief

Eye relief refers to the distance between the ocular lens and your eye that allows you to see the full field of view.

People who wear glasses should look for binoculars that have an eye relief of at least 16 mm.

Eye Cups

Having adjustable eyecups that you can twist up and down is important especially if you wear eyeglasses.

Ergonomic Body Design

Look for a balanced design that is durable and comfortable to hold as you will be on-site for a longer period to have your birding experience.

Overall Weight

Most 8×42 binoculars are considerably lightweight, this makes them the best option for birding.


To be on the safe side look for the binoculars with a warranty.


Birding is an outdoor activity, season does not matter for the enthusiast bird watchers so look for the binoculars that should be water-resistant/ waterproof as the internal moisture will ruin a pair of binoculars. High-end Binoculars would remain undamaged even left in water for hours.

Best Binoculars For Birding FAQ

Are 10x42 binoculars good for birding?

Magnification of 10x and objective lens diameter of 42mm would provide excellent performance for birding.

Which is better: 8x42 or 10x42 binoculars?

8x42 binoculars have the best low light performance and the best compact binoculars for birding. A 10×42 is better for viewing far-off objects.

Are 10x50 binoculars good for birding?

A 10×50 set of binoculars will allow you to get a better view of birds, even at a further distance, but does add to the overall price of the device.

How much does a good pair of binoculars cost for bird watching?

Pricing differs a lot between binoculars. A decent pair is likely to cost over $200. There are some that can cost more than $1,000 – which are generally made for professional use.

What are the best Swarovski binoculars for birding?

The Swarovski 10×42 EL Binocular offers great eye relief, an extra durable construction, and high-quality HD viewing lens elements.


So, which one is your favorite binoculars for birding? What is the most important element to you when choosing birding binoculars? Our favorite is Nikon Monarch 7 8×42. We would love to hear from you, do share your thoughts!

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