Buying the best astronomy binoculars is about the surest way to explore the many members of our Milky Way.
For the stargazing hobbyists, you could also leap out of our home galaxy and take a tour of several other constellations including our nearest galactic neighbor; Andromeda.
But wait, aren’t telescopes the best tools for scanning the night sky? Sure, they are.
But the thing is that these gadgets might leave you completely confused and put off at the same time. Most of them are also heavy and are better used off the window of your house.
The good news, however, is that even the best cheap binoculars for astronomy brings the heavenly bodies closer and with a large field of view.
They are also lightweight and easily portable to areas far from the city lights.
This makes it easy and fun to study and navigate the night sky.
In these astronomy binoculars reviews, I’ll cover some of the best binoculars for stargazing.
I’ll also help you understand the lingo and individual features worth checking out when purchasing a pair of astronomy bins.
Top 10 Best Astronomy Binoculars Reviews
1. Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars
Kicking us off in these best astronomy binoculars reviews are these very powerful and large binos. True to its name, the Celestron Skymaster is a true giant regarding performance.
This is among a few other Astro binoculars that I would highly recommend if you want something with near-telescope performance.
Excellent magnification-aperture combo
Other than its unbelievably low price-tag, what makes these binoculars a hit on the market are the magnification-aperture combo.
The 15x magnification eyepieces look to offer you detailed and bright images of an array of celestial objects. The 70mm objective lenses, on the other hand, capture more light.
This eliminates the blurriness that may occur in narrower diameters.
There’s more to this.
Unbeatable Binoculars exit pupil
Mathematics-wise, these astronomy binoculars offer you an exit pupil of approx 4.7mm (70/15). This feature means that images remain clear and bright even in low-light conditions.
Other features worth noting
- -4 to +8 Diopter Range- it allows you fine tune the image for clarity and precision
- Uses Bak4 prisms and all lens surfaces are multicoated
- 18mm Eye relief- this long eye relief makes it ideal for people who wear glasses
- Unbeatable performance to price ratio
- Lightweight at around 3lbs allows you to travel with it
- Multi-coated lens surfaces and Bak4 prisms make it a steal
- Ideal for terrestrial use too
- You have to use them on a tripod
- The tripod that ships with the bins wobbles a lot. You might want to invest in something stronger
2.Carson 3D Series High Definition Astronomy Binoculars 10×42
What do you think of these binoculars’ 10×42 performance in comparison to our first recommendation? You will be forgiven to think that the Carson 3D is any inferior.
As its numerous positive reviews and high star-rating might prove, the 10×42 is a top of line bin that any astronomy hobbyist needs to consider.
But does it live to its name?
A great buy for a traveling astrologer
One thing that I have to mention first is these binoculars’ dimensions. They measure 5.5”x5.0”x2” and weigh around 23oz.
Needles to mention, these astronomy binoculars might be pretty comfortable in any average-sized handle.
As most reviewers confirm, you might be able to reach for the central focusing wheel easily and turn it without readjusting your standard grip.
How does it perform?
These binoculars’ 10×42 power is a popular choice for distant viewing. Although you’ll need to use mount them on a tripod for prolonged usage, handheld terrestrial viewing is also possible.
This Carson 3D has a 33mm focusing wheel. Besides its large diameter, it also has large grooves that add style besides offering you a tight grip.
Uniquely, you only require 1.25 turns to move from its minimum focusing distance to infinity.
Has ED Glass- what is this?
The Carson Series features an ED glass that offer images in high contrast. The glass also corrects chromatic aberration and also minimizes fringing.
- Its dimensions and weight make it great for traveling
- Fov is above average
- Fully multi-coated lenses and an ED glass offer crisp details and minimize fringing
- 16mm eye relief is great if you wear glasses
- Free repairs and replacement sounds like a good deal
- Somewhat hard to switch between the shoulder harness and the neck strap since the latter lacks quick clips
3. Celestron SkyMaster 71007 12×60 Binoculars
Do you want the best binoculars for low-light performance?
We highly recommend you to check out the Celestron Skymaster 71007 if you want the best astronomy binoculars for low-light performance.
These binos feature 12x magnification power and giant 60mm objective lenses. The 2 figures leave you with a whole 5mm exit pupil which is pretty close to your eye pupil’s 7mm size when dilated in the dark.
This large exit pupil works well with the high-quality Bak4 prisms to give you crisp and sharp images even in low-light conditions.
That’s not all
We also like that the Celestron Skymaster 71007 has an incredibly large fov for a 12x bin; 278 feet/1000 yards.
This large Field of View means that you won’t have to scan for long before capturing your target object. A very wide diopter range, again, comes in handy to make fine-tuning easy.
- Heavily armored for protection
- Has multi-coated air-lens surfaces
- Compact size fits in a backpack
- Fold-down eyecups offer 17mm eye relief
- You’ll need a stronger neck strap
4. Orion 09351 UltraView 10×50 Binoculars
The Orion 09351 is yet another highly recommendable bin. Well, with 10x magnification, this one isn’t the most powerful pair on this page.
But why does it show up in our best astronomy binocular reviews?
I really appreciate the amount of flexibility that the 10×50 magnification-aperture combo gives you. If you want the best astronomy binoculars that you can move around with, this Orion will suffice.
First, these models weigh 32oz only. This dimension coupled with the deluxe wide neck strap makes carrying pretty easy.
Second, they are quite compact. In fact, you could hold them in your hands and be able to keep them steady. Even better, they are tripod-mountable. So you can always use them as you wish.
Here is what you might like
A very wide FOV and Exit pupil
342ft/1000 yard FOV means that you’ll be able to scan over a wide section at a go. In fact, this also means that you may use these binoculars for terrestrial viewing.
They do also have a diopter adjustment. So, fine-tuning to view the 4 moons of Jupiter won’t be any hard.
- Extra-long 22mm eye relief makes them sunglass-friendly
- Fully multi-coated surfaces enhances light transmission
- Great for terrestrial and celestial viewing
- Allows hand-holding
- Several complaints about the lenses becoming loose
5. Bushnell 133450C-DISC Falcon Binoculars 10x50mm
No list of the best astronomy binoculars would be complete without the Bushnell 133450C-Disc popping up.
Here is what I like
It’s a general-use bin
If you are looking for the best binoculars for astronomy, bird-watching, and safaris, this pair might fit the bill.
The first thing that you’ll note about the binocs is their lightweight design. Its 2.2-pounds weight and compact body mean that they are not awkward to hold for long periods.
Again, the 10x magnification power means that you can use them flawlessly without a tripod. These features coupled with the 25-feet close focusing distance offer you a bin that you can use for most uses.
The good news
Has InstaFocus Function
But perhaps the best part and what makes the Bushnell 133450C-DISC the best astronomy binoculars is InstaFocus function.
Its diopter setting is an Instafocus lever that offers you smooth feedback when fine-tuning magnification.
- Focus instantly
- They are general-purpose
- Allows handheld usage
- Solid construction
- 9mm eye relief might inconvenience some eyeglass wearers
6. Okay Binoculars for stargazing (10×50)
Similar to the Bushnell 133450C-DISC Falcon above, the Okay astronomy binoculars feature 10x magnification and 50mm objective lenses.
These 2 offer you an exit pupil of 5mm which is more than enough for stargazing in low-light conditions.
How are its optics?
All the air-glass surfaces in these bins are fully multicoated. A small letdown here, though, is that the prisms are Bak7.
This means that they might not match other models that use Bak4 prisms. Fortunately, what they lack in prisms, they make up for it in the fully multi-coated surfaces and huge aperture.
Again, do note that these come at a fraction of other high-end units such as the Carson 3D costs.
It’s for everyone
Considering its friendly 10x magnification power, the Okay Binoculars seem like a great option for a family with varying passions.
Thanks to its rugged weather-resistant build, you could use it for stargazing, bird-watching, football, baseball, and even concerts.
- Weather –resistant build adds versatility
- Non-slip handles have an assuring grip
- Adjustment rings works even with gloves
- They use Bak7 prisms
7. Nikon 8250 ACULON A211 Binoculars 16×50
Similar to most of our picks of the best astronomy binoculars, the 8250 Aculon A211 bins use Bak4 High-Index prisms.
Notably, the lens surfaces employ dielectric, high-reflective multi-layer coatings for those sharp and bright colors.
Great engineering for precision image quality
Its 16x magnification and 50mm objective lens are about the most important features for the best astronomy binoculars within its price range.
Although it has a significantly narrower exit pupil (50/16), its large aperture offers effortless light-capturing.
Its high-reflective multilayer coatings, on the other hand, ensure excellent light capturing.
These features mean that using the binoculars early in the morning and late in the evening might be possible.
- Turn-and-slide eyecups allow easy positioning of eyes
- Ergonomic design for comfortable handheld operations
- Nikon’s all-terrain label assure waterproof and fog-proof performance
- They are quite heavy at 32.6oz
- Not the best for low light usage
8. Orion 9546 Resolux 15×70 Astronomy Binoculars
For those of us who want a little more power than what a 10×50 bin may offer, these Orion 9546 Resolux might impress you.
So, what do they bring?
The Orion Resolux combines an above-average 15x magnification with large 70mm objective lenses.
This combination offers you one of the best astronomy binoculars for stargazing and watching whales far in the sea.
Can I hold them in my hands?
Sure, you could. These binos are relatively lightweight and arguably small enough for most users to hold them. But using a tripod is highly recommendable.
The good news?
However, for steady images, you get a sturdy, metallic, and solid tripod with your purchase. This makes using the binoculars in your room or your backyard very easy.
How about performance?
With 15×70 magnification and aperture, there’s no doubt that the Orion 9546 are great performers.
The eye-pieces focus individually and have an impressively large eye relief; 18mm. Their 4.4-degree FOV and 4.66 exit pupil also add to their excellent usability in dim light.
- Sharp images
- Solid fit and finish
- 4-degree FOV is so impressive for such a large bin
- Fully waterproof and fog-proof
- Heavy and bulky
9. Celestron 71454 Echelon Binoculars 20×70
Do you want to get really comfortable with the heavens, Celestron offers you the 71454 Echelon.
Among other things, I like that these glasses are hand-assembled in the USA. But that isn’t what wins them a ticket in our reviews of the best astronomy binoculars.
So, what does?
High-end optical quality
I bet the reason why seasoned astronomy hobbyists love these binocs is the seriousness in its optics.
The 71454 Echelon uses Bak4 Porro prisms and fully multicoated lens surfaces. It also has 20x magnification and 70mm objective lenses.
These features make it an ideal choice for gazing at the heaven in the evening and even in the night.
Similar to the Orion 9546, the 71454 Echelon also features an individual focus system. What you might like here is that the diopter setting is somewhat stiff. This prevents accidental turning and also improves accuracy. This stiffness might put off some users though.
- 50mm-diameter eyecups allow comfortable viewing
- Very long eye-relief 19.5mm
- Powerful yet still usable by holding
- Thumb depressions offer a good balance
- Focusing on closer objects might take a little bit longer
10. Swarovski EL 12×50 Binoculars
The Swarovski EL 12X50 astronomy binoculars are for anyone who doesn’t mind spending a little bit more for quality.
They are a big bro to the award-wining Swarovski EL 8.5×50 Swarovison Binoculars. However, these bigger models have several top of the line features that might entice your astronomy enthusiasm.
Check out their body design
The Swarovski EL 12×50 astronomy binoculars are crafted from magnesium alloy. As such, they are stronger and have a nice heft to them.
You also get an impressive balance thanks to the thumb indents.
You might like this
Easily rotatable diopter system
Most people do appreciate these binoculars’ diopter system. They rotate smoothly and aren’t as stiff as those of the 71454 Echelon above.
But what makes them even more appealing is that they are lockable. Even better, they are linked to the main focus wheel.
Main optics features
- 19mm exit pupil distance- this extra long distance accommodates even the most traditional eye glasses
- 12ft close focus is pretty impressive
- Features Swarovision technology
- From a highly reputable brand
- Detailed crystal clear images
- You can hold them steadily
- Impressive 12ft close focus
- Lifetime warranty on optics and 10 years warranty on parts
How to Buy the Best Astronomy Binoculars
Handheld Vs. Tripod-mounted bins- what’s the difference?
As the name suggests, handheld bins are pick-up-and-go instruments that you can use without a tripod. They are usually compact for traveling and camping and have 7x-12x magnification.
Tip: For better performance, go for a bin with a larger aperture (more about this later).
If you want a really close view of the planets, stars, and steroids, going for a pair of powerful astronomy binoculars might be a good option. These have extremely high magnification of up to 25x.
There’s a catch though.
While higher magnification means more power, you won’t be able to use these binos without a tripod. Larger lenses and apertures also make the instrument much bulkier and heavy.
Technical terms worth understanding
This is the first digit of the 2 numbers on any binoculars, for instance, 8x, 10x, or higher. Usually, the higher the magnification, the closer the objects will appear.
Here is the obvious question… Is higher magnification the best?
Not really. A higher magnification may lead to blurry and dim images especially if it’s a handheld bin. It’s important to check out other factors such as lens quality and aperture.
This is the second number after magnification. For instance, in a set of astronomy binoculars with 8×42, 42 is the aperture. It is the diameter of the objective lenses (front lenses). Usually, the bigger the lenses, the more light they will be able to capture.
Tip: If you are shopping for the best handheld astronomy binoculars, I’d recommend you to get a set with 8x-10x magnification but with a larger aperture.
Field of View
It is the area that you’ll be able to see through the binos. Higher magnification binoculars have a smaller FOV while lower magnification bins with wider apertures offer a wider FOV. The best astronomy binoculars with a wider field of view make scanning the sky easy, fast, and less straining.
It refers to the longest distance possible that you can hold the bins from your eyes and still be able to have a good view.
Why is it important?
A longer eye relief means that you’ll still be able to use the bins with your pair of eye glasses on.
Beware of scorching your eyes
Never look at the sun with your astronomy binoculars or telescope. According to astronomers and ophthalmologists, this WILL scorn your eyes and could cause permanent damage. Learn more about it from Matt Smith’s article here.
So, which are the best binoculars for astronomy?
If you have an interest in astronomy, a good pair of astronomy binoculars will help you explore the star constellations and the fine details of the planets.
Well, there isn’t anything like the best astronomy binoculars for everyone. However, I feel that the Celestron 71454 Echelon Binoculars 20×70 might be a great fit for most people and needs.
These bins aren’t as expensive as the Swarovski yet they offer extremely detailed and bright images at their mid-range.
Their porro design gives you a stereo effect with an excellent sense of depth and perspective. Their air-glass surfaces, again, have multilayer coatings to increase transmittance levels.
But what makes them the best astronomy binoculars, in my opinion, are their 20×70 magnification power coupled by the wide (157ft/1000 yards). I believe this FOV is wider than what most telescopes offer.