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What is Oakley High Definition Optics (HDO)? | Oakley Explained

Whether you’re an elite athlete or an everyday wearer, choosing the right eyewear to protect your eyes and provide accurate vision is key. And that’s exactly where Oakley’s High Definition Optics fits in.

Find out exactly what Oakley HDO is, how it works, and answers to your top questions below.

What is Oakley High Definition Optics (HDO)?

Oakley High Definition Optics technology, also known as Oakley HDO is the brand’s proprietary lens technology for enhanced clarity and protection.

Combined with Oakley’s impact-resistant Plutonite lens material, HDO lenses provide several key benefits outlined below.

HDO Highlights

  • Optimized safety and performance exceeding testing standards of the American National Standard Institute (ANSI)
  • Enhanced clarity to provide an accurate view of the world
  • Minimal distortion and glare reducing eye strain
  • Block 100% of UV rays and harmful blue light up to 400nm

How Does High Definition Optics Work? 

Oakley HDO works by aligning light to one spot for your eye. This means you see the true position and most accurate representation of the world around you.

Compare this to non-Oakley lenses that often reflect light into multiple spots causing shifting and distortion.

By reflecting light into more than one spot, these ordinary lenses will often create two images of what you’re seeing for your brain to put together.

This is why some cheaper sunglasses can even cause headaches when worn all day.

Oakley High Definition Optics Holbrook Sunglasses
High Definition Optics (HDO) lenses in Oakley Holbrook sunglasses – Photo: Tyrel Johnson

How Are Oakley High Definition Optics Lenses Tested?

Oakley has some of the most intense testing in the eyewear industry, and it makes a big difference!

And since Oakley lenses meet ANSI standards they commonly perform two tests using a scope and laser.

First, the laser test shows how the curvature and shape of the eyewear reflect light into your eye. Secondly, the scope test or clarity test shows the purity of the lens material and how it affects the clarity of your lens.

These are also in addition to the numerous impact and high-velocity tests Oakley is famous for (shown below).

High velocity and high-mass impact protection tests on Oakley eyewear – Youtube / Tamas Debreczeni

Do All Oakleys have HDO lenses? 

Yes, every pair of Oakley sunglasses and lenses feature High Definition Optics technology to provide the most accurate representation of the world around you.

And this includes contrast-enhancing Prizm and Prizm Polarized lenses that help to reduce glare, increase depth perception and enhance color for peak performance.

This means whether you’re spotting other road cyclists on your bike, or bunkers and water hazards on the golf course you’ll have the same glare protection and color enhancing as professional athletes.

You can read more in our complete Oakley Prizm Lens guide here.

Plus all Oakley lenses are made of Plutonite material to filter 100% of harmful UVA, UVB, UVC rays, and blue light up to 400nm.

Oakley goggles are available with Oakley Prizm lenses featuring High Definition Optics technology – Photo: Louis Tricot

Do HDO Lenses Count as Safety Glasses? 

No, while Oakley HDO lenses exceed ANSI standards as mentioned above, they do not automatically qualify as safety glasses.

This is because both the frame and lens must surpass ANSI standards to count as safety glasses. For Oakley glasses, you’ll find a Z87.1 stamp on the earstems for pairs that qualify as safety glasses.

Read more in our Oakley Safety Glasses guide, including which specific frames qualify as safety glasses.

Are Oakley HDO Lenses Polarized?

No, HDO lenses are available with Polarization but are not polarized by default.

But since HDO technology is built into every Oakley lens, that means you’ll find it in every standard, Prizm, and Polarized lens.

Polarized lenses help to reduce glare and Oakley HDPolarization takes it to the next level combining HDO and Polarized technology.

Oakley’s HDPolarized lenses use liquid infusion molding to provide polarized coating layers that won’t distort your vision and don’t wear off over time.

And to prevent any unwanted distortion, each pair of Oakley polarized lenses are manufactured at the same time to center the axis of polarization. This means your lenses are built for peak performance without any defects.

Golfers love Oakley Prizm and Polarized lenses with HDO technology to reduce the distraction of glare compared to conventional lenses – Photo: Courtney Cook

Do Oakley Goggles use High Definition Optics?

Yes, Oakley skiing, snowboarding, and motocross goggles all use HDO lenses for maximum clarity and UV protection as you’re heading down the trails.

Plus just like the best Olympic and elite athletes around the world you can buy your Oakley goggles with the latest Prizm Snow lenses featuring High Definition Optics. And all of these are designed specifically for skiers and Snowboarders on the mountain!

Read more in our guide to the Best Oakley Ski and Snow Goggles.

Is HDO Technology Available with Prescription Lenses?

Yes, all Oakley authentic prescription lenses feature High Definition Optics technology to provide uncompromised clarity.

And this includes all single, bi-focal and progressive lenses from Oakley. This means you can get the exact lenses needed for your prescription without giving up any innovation!

Be sure to read more in our complete Oakley Prescription Glasses and Sunglasses guide.

Have a Question?

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