Pulsar Axion Review: Most Happening Thermal Imaging Scope Series of 2019

The new Pulsar Axion scopes are small, sleek, and attractive-looking thermal imaging scopes that let specialists, hobbyists, and law enforcement professionals see through the darkness for scouting and spotting. These devices are one of the best devices for hunting, military, law enforcement personnel, inspecting buildings, and many more adventures that you were not able to pursue because of darkness.

Pulsar has released 4 models in the Axion monocular line: XM38, XM30, Key XM30, and Key XM22. Let’s check what’s special and then we’ll check the specialties of each new Axion model.

New Pulsar Axion Line: Highlights & Features


New 12 µm Thermal Imaging Sensor

The entire Pulsar Axion Scope line comes with 12 µm pixel pitch, helping you get higher optic magnification. This technology has helped in two ways:

  1. Helped the manufacturer create a very compact device. 
  2. Helped users observe far-off objects (from 1.8 meters to 1700 meters or 6 feet to 1,800 yards) more clearly.

That’s why Pulsar Axion monoculars are highly compact, making them fit in standard shirt pockets. This makes the scopes highly accessible in any field situation.

Magnesium Housing: Strong, Rugged, and Lightweight

This new line of Pulsar Axion scopes are not only good looking but also strong enough to be used in rugged field conditions. These come with a precision-machined subframe that is made from strong magnesium-aluminum alloy. 

The strong housing ensures that the exterior lasts long and also protects the sensitive internal components from any kind of damage. Another important aspect of this magnesium alloy housing is that the magnesium makes the device lightweight. That’s why Pulsar Axion Scopes weighs less than 9 oz and can be carried easily.

One-Press Video & Still-Photo Recorder

The Pulsar Axion scopes have been integrated with a video recorder and camera that only takes once-in-a-lifetime experiences but also captures/records footages with the single press of the REC button. 

The manufacturer has incorporated non-shake technology, thereby providing you with crisp and clear images all the time. The faster 50Hz refresh rate at Axion scopes helps in tracking moving targets effectively. 
P.S. All the Pulsar Axion models except the Key series come with this video/image recording facility.

Stream Vision App Support

The entire Pulsar Axion line (except for the budget Key series variants) comes with the built-in Wi-Fi support that helps connect the thermal imaging device with any iOS or Android-based smartphone. 

The supported apps can be downloaded directly to the Axion scopes, thereby enabling you to live-stream your experiences directly from the field. The direct connectivity between the thermal imager and your smartphone also helps to download/share recorded files, update firmware, and carry out many more things.

High-Quality Lens

All the Axion models (except the Key series) use Germanium lens, thereby providing users with a crystal clear view. However, the Axion Key monoculars are equipped with Chalcogenide lenses, which are not as high-quality or expensive as their Germanium counterparts. If you are buying monocular for the first time and don’t want an expensive one then you can start by buying an Axion Key series monocular.

Other Features:

  • Instant start-up, which is highly user-friendly.
  • IPX7 Waterproof Rated, protecting the scope from heavy rainfall/snowfall/other precipitation (can remain submerged underwater for up to 30 minutes and up to 3 meters. 
  • HD AMOLED Microdisplay (except for the Key series that come comes with LOCO display)
  • Picture-in-Picture function, enabling the display of the second small image along with the magnified image at the screen’s top part.

Pulsar Axion Monoculars: New Models

Pulsar Axion XM38 Scopes

It comes with the most powerful (Germanium) lens in comparison to other models in the same range. It offers you with the 320×240 thermal sensor resolution and an extreme long-range view (thanks to the great optics and 5-22x magnification). You can detect targets as far as 1,700 meters.  As the device comes with a larger objective lens, the field of view is narrower. While buying Pulsar Axion XM38, keep this aspect in mind, especially with respect to your application. 

This device is very lightweight (weighing just 270 gm), despite the fact that it is heavier than the other Pulsar Axion models. A lithium-ion battery powers this device and you can operate it continuously for 4 hours. 

To store captured images and recorded video footages, Pulsar has incorporated 16GB internal storage. You can easily transfer file by connecting the device with your smartphone with the help of WiFi. Check the specifications in details HERE.


  • One can detect targets at extremely long distances.
  • The device is very lightweight.
  • As they have used high-quality, large Germanium lenses, the users can get clear images of the targets.


  • Pulsar Axion XM38 is expensive. The MSRP is $2,859.99. However, considering the expensive and high-quality Germanium lens, latest technology, and other features, the price is reasonable. Check the street price.
  • The field of view is narrow as the lens size is larger. If your specific application demands a wider field of view, consider Axion XM30.

Pulsar Axion XM30 Scopes

This thermal imaging device comes with a comparatively smaller lens (F30), thereby providing you with a larger field of view. It also comes with a high-quality Germanium lens but it is not the most powerful lens in the range. That’s why it is more affordable. The MSRP is just $2,419.99 and you can buy it at a further lower street price.

Pulsar Axion XM30 monoculars come with a 4-16x magnification range, a medium-range detection ability (up to 1,200 meters), and 320×240 thermal sensor resolution. It is equipped with WiFi that helps to transfer file by connecting the device with your smartphone. It is also comparatively lightweight, weighing just 250 gm. Check the specifications in details.


  • Pulsar Axion XM30 is a great value thermal imaging scope.
  • The device is highly compact, which can be easily handheld and also put in the standard pockets for easy carry.
  • The images (including the moving targets) are extremely clear, thanks to the 320×240 pixels, 12 µm pixel pitch, and 50 Hz frame rate.


  • It can’t be used for extreme long-range target detection. If your application needs target detection at more than 1,200 meters, go for Pulsar Axion XM38.

Pulsar Axion Key XM30

Axion Key XM30 is the most affordable monocular in the Pulsar Axion series. While its MSRP is $2,089.99, you can buy it at far lesser street price. If you are buying thermal monocular for the first time, you can buy this device. 

Pulsar Optics has incorporated this thermal monocular with Chalcogenide lens, which is a good quality lens but not as high-quality/expensive as their Germanium counterparts. It comes with a 2.5-10x magnification range, 50 Hz frame rate, 320×240 pixels resolution, and 12 µm pixel pitch, thereby providing you with a short-to-medium detection range (up to 1,200 meters). 

The manufacturer has used LCOS type display, which comes with a resolution of 960×720 pixels. It weighs just 250 gm and you can carry it easily in your standard-sized shirt pocket. Check the specifications.


  • Pulsar Axion Key XM30 is the most affordable device in the Pulsar Axion line-up. 
  • The device has a large field of view, enabling you to detect targets over a vast field. 


  • No internal storage facility is there.
  • Wifi system is not there. Therefore, you can’t link the device with your smartphone for live-streaming the action. 

P.S. Considering the price point (especially for a thermal imaging device), the device seems great for value even without these features.

How Pulsar Axion Thermal Imaging Scopes are better than Night Vision Scopes?

  1. These thermal scopes are better than the night vision scopes because the former uses heat signatures to identify objects. As these thermal monoculars use heat signatures, adventurists can easily track animals hiding behind thick bushes or residual heat signatures such as footprints. Even if a deer is camouflaging itself behind the dense bushes, you can clearly identify its location with the help of Pulsar Axion thermal imaging monoculars.
  2. Pulsar Axion is better equipped to locate any heat-emitting target (especially living beings like hogs, deers, or human beings running away from law enforcement officials/military). However, you can’t locate the same deer with a night vision scope in case there is no ambient light source (especially at places deep in the mountain). 
  3. The thermal monoculars are better in locating targets that are located in shadows/dust/fogs or camouflaging. 
  4. While the night vision scopes can’t be used at daytime, you can easily use the Pulsar Axion thermal scopes for viewing or locating living targets around the clock (including daytime and nighttime).


If you are looking for a high-quality scope or monocular that can enable you to detect targets round-the-clock and that’s too in difficult weather/field conditions (shadow, behind bushes, foggy weather, night, etc.), buy Pulsar AXION scopes as per your application needs.

by Scopelist

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