While it's easy to find a quality pair of binoculars for more than $2,000, it proves much more challenging to do so for less than $300. The Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10x42 (Est. $250) binoculars are one such pair. While they may not quite equal the superior optics of the Swarovski EL Swarovisions (Est. $2,500) or the Zeiss Victory HT 8x42 (Est. $2,200) , the Bushnell Legend offers great bang for your buck; many users feel images from the Bushnell Legend appear to come from much costlier models.
Both the Nikon Monarch 5 8x42 (Est. $300) and the Leupold BX-4 McKinley HD 10x42 (Est. $600) are slightly more durable than the Bushnell Legends, but they are more expensive as well. Plus, the Legends come with a limited lifetime warranty and a money-back guarantee within one year of purchase if you are not completely satisfied. For the money, the Legends are the best value. The Alpen Apex 8x42 (Est. $280) provide a longer eye relief than the Legends (20 mm to 15.2 mm respectively), making them more adaptable to people who wear eyeglasses. However, unlike the Legend, the Apex lacks a diopter lock, which allows users to adjust the focus of one eye at a time. Without a lock, the Apex diopter tends to move on its own, meaning constant readjustments are necessary.
It is hard to beat the Bushnell Legend Ultra HDs when comparing models in the sub-$300 price range. Thus they earn our top choice for cheap binoculars, as they consistently exceed quality expectations at an affordable price.