Skip to content

Pulsar Axion compact thermal imaging monoculars

Hello and welcome to another episode of Optics Trade Debates. In this episode, we discuss a brand new form of monoculars by Pulsar, called the Axion. The Pulsar Axion series is an innovative line of compact thermal imaging monoculars. These are the new entry-level Pulsar devices and they provide the best image quality for your money.

Up to now, Pulsar had two series of thermal monoculars in their offer: Quantum Lite (entry-level) and Helion as the Premium level.

Pulsar Axions were released at the start of 2019 as a substitute for Quantum Lite which was discontinued in 2019.  They were introduced at SHOT Show for the US market and later at IWA for the European market.

Three models are available, namely Axion Key XM30, Axion XM30 and Axion XM38.

There are two differences between the Axion units: models which have an acronym “Key” in their name and models which don’t.

The Axion monoculars are very interesting thanks to their super-compact size and magnesium housing which makes them very light.  They are also waterproof to 3 feet of depth for up to 30 minutes.

They added a magnetic compartment into the strap on these monoculars, which is a nice touch – the flip-up objective cover ‘connects’ to the strap, so that it doesn’t bother you while observing.

They feature a brand new APS battery which is easily inserted and removed. Pulsar figured out how important the battery is for all thermal devices and this is what makes them leap in front of the competition. The battery lasts approximately 4 hours and then you can just quickly swap it with another battery instead of waiting for the whole device to charge.
If you buy Axion Key you don’t get the charger for the battery. You get to charge the battery inside the device. This is because they wanted to lower the price as much as possible.

Axion monoculars also have a LED indicator that is small and with it you can immediately know if the device is turned on.

Optically these monoculars are currently the best buy. The refresh rate for all three is 50 Hz. Every Axion model has three calibration modes (semi-automatic, automatic and manual).
With Axion models you are able to display a thermal image in 8 different colors.

Models without the “Key” acronym have a new HD Amoled Display with a 1024×768 pixel resolution and the one with the Key acronym has a LCOS Display with a 960×720 pixel resolution.
Differences are that Amoled gives you a better image quality and it works at lower temperatures, down to -25° C, whereas LCOS only works to -10° C.

New thermal 320×240 imaging sensor with a small 12 μm pixel pitch makes for a more compact unit than the 17 μm competitor and it helps to achieve higher optic magnification and observation distance.

The smaller models (Axion XM30 and Key XM30) have the same lens but don’t feature the same magnification. Key has a 2.5x magnification, XM30 starts with a 4x magnification and XM38 with a 5.5x. They all feature digital zoom: Key goes from 2.5 to 10, XM30 from 4 to 16 and XM38 from 5.5 to 22.

A nice touch of these monoculars is a quick Start-up, so the device can be started almost instantly.

Axion XM30 and Key XM30 weigh around 250 g, whereas XM38 weighs approximately 300 g.

The Axion monoculars are harder to use with glasses because they have a rubber eyepiece which pops back up when folded down.

Models without the “Key” acronym have Wi-fi and Stream Vision app capabilities, so you can connect your smartphone or tablet to these monoculars.

The price of Axion Key is 1390 , XM30 costs 1990 € and XM38 2290 €.

This is everything for today. Thank you for your attention. If you have any questions or would like to provide feedback, feel free to send us an email or leave a comment in the section below. We love to help. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more content. See you next time!

Products mentioned:

Pulsar Axion Thermal Imaging Monoculars:

Pulsar Axion KEY XM30 Thermal Imaging Monocular:

Pulsar Axion XM30 Thermal Imaging Monocular:

Pulsar Axion XM38 Thermal Imaging Monocular:

Follow us on social media:



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *