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Holosun DRS-TH Review: Anticipated Budget Thermal Sight

Last Updated: July 17, 2024

Holosun made quite a few heads turn at last year’s Shot Show and also happened to win the top award, Best of Shot Show 2023, that is. Such a volume of attention and recognition was more than deserved. After all, they set out to break the mold of expensive night vision accessories and, I dare say, reached their goal. Even though the only thing we get from the Digital Reflex Thermal Sight at the moment is a tantalizing smile, near is the time when it will finally migrate from thousands of wishlists right onto our firearms. There’s also no time like the present to conjure up all our memories from the Shot Show and review what the DRS TH has to offer.

Table of Contents

What is a Holosun DRS TH?

If you have a feeling like you’ve seen parts of that new sight somewhere before, know that it is well-grounded. Holosun’s new creation sports features of the AEMS red dot sight – another one of the brand’s famous products. The flip-down lens cover is designed a bit differently and is opaque rather than clear, but in all other respects, the base of the DRS looks pretty similar to AEMS. And there is a good reason for it – the Digital Reflex Thermal Sight is a hybrid piece: a red dot and a thermal sight combined in one, with the possibility to switch between the two whenever you need. If you can appreciate an enclosed-emitter red dot, this one will definitely float your boat.

holosun drs th

HOLOSUN Digital Reflex Thermal Sight (DRS-TH)


Holosun DRS TH: A Closer Look

Before the review commences, I must point out that the closer look we are taking is directed at a somewhat nebulous image of sights. The product that will be released on the market any time now is bound to have some differences from the one that was presented on the Shot Show. My bet is those differences won’t be that numerous and there will only be improvements, so, this review is the bare minimum you can expect from the sights.


There are two points of perspective on the DRS TH. The first one comes from comparing it to other thermal imaging devices, and from that point of view, it’s quite compact. Earlier we had super big and chunky night vision devices that did look like they were its own thing completely rather than an accessory. This guy right here knows exactly what it is and tries to live up to the expectations. 

The second perspective revolves around it being a red dot. It’s half of the sight functionality so there is no ignoring it. And for a red dot sight, the DRS TH might itself be somewhat chunky. It does break up the profile of your rifle and catch the eye. Is it huge? I wouldn’t say so. But I do understand that there is no way, at least now, to accommodate the functionality of these sights in a more compact housing. The future iterations might improve that or they might go in a whole different direction. For now, I’d kindly call the DRS TH a big boy and pat it on its sides.

holosun digital reflex sight night vision

Thermal Imaging

Even though this sight combines two optical systems, thermal imaging is likely to be the main reason for acquiring the DRS TH. As such, we’ll cover it first.

A thermal sensor is the core component that determines much of the sight’s performance. The sensor of the Holosun Thermal isn’t necessarily stellar – the resolution will be sufficient, yet isn’t the most optimal (256×192 pixels). But don’t think that’s because Holosun decided to skimp on quality pieces. A higher resolution will cost you four to six thousand dollars minimum, and that’s like three to four times more than the DRS TH.

Holosun DRS TH

The refresh rate of the DRS TH is 50 Hz, which is right above the level where the image would be too laggy. It’s somewhat laggy, but not to the point of being a dealbreaker. The effective range of its thermal imaging is about 50-75 yards, which is not much, but understandable, considering the price. You might be able to use it at 100 yards thanks to the digital zoom (8x), but the image will likely become hard to read. With that being said, a 50-75 yards range allows you to do the majority of the tasks you would do with a rifle. Unless you have long-range shooting in mind, but a sight is a poor fit for that anyway. Pest control and varmint hunting, on the contrary, are the best tasks for that guy.

You can choose from one of the five thermal image color palettes: white hot, black hot, highlight, outline or fusion. I’m familiar with the first two, the rest are something of a mystery we’ll uncover once the sights are released. 

holosun drs-th

If you take great pleasure in recording your shooting achievements, then the Holosun Digital Reflex Thermal sight will pleasantly surprise you. You can capture photos and videos and save them right away (the onboard memory is 32GB). There’s also a USB port that allows streaming footage to a secondary screen, given you have the cable.

The expected battery life is 10-12 hours, which is quite enough, I think. We recharge all our devices before setting off anyway, so that sounds like a good enough capacity.

There is no rubber eye cap, which is something that could reduce light pollution from the display. I wouldn’t call it a major drawback if you plan to engage only in pest control or varmint hunting, but if you, say, play airsoft in the evening or night, this glare will give your position away.

Red Dot

There isn’t too much info about the red dot itself, but considering red dots have been Holosun’s forte since their inception, the sight promises to be a good quality one. The DRS-TH is expected to employ an LED Multi-Reticle System (MRS) that includes a choice of reticles – circle dot, dot, and circle. The sight also comes with digital reticle options you can use with the thermal overlay. As for the resolution, the sight displays a 1028 x 768 image which sounds quite nice.

holosun 1x digital reflex thermal sight drs-th

Concluding Thoughts

The new Holosun Digital Reflex Thermal Sight is a great effort at making night (and thermal) vision affordable. Up until now, you either had to spend a small fortune on a high-end thermal vision scope or settle for a thermal sight that would show just a fraction of what you wanted. Of course, calling the DRS-TH a budget option might sound like a joke, but if you take a look at the price tags of other thermal imaging devices, you will understand where this assertion comes from. 

With that being said, the DRS-TH is no miracle worker. Consider it a budget thermal vision sight with the attributes inherent to budget sights. Its thermal imaging capabilities are not superior, but they are in place and there is no denying their potential. Being a two-for-one sight, a red dot and a thermal at once, the Holosun Digital Reflex Thermal Sight is a worthy candidate for a place in your optics collection. At least that’s what I assume now. It won’t be long until I either confirm my assumptions or dispel the illusion that looks very convincing. 

Checkout other Product Reviews by Gritr Sports Team:


The Holosun DRS TH is a hybrid sight that combines a red dot and a thermal sight in one. Allowing you to switch between the two as needed.

The DRS TH is compact compared to other thermal imaging devices. Its design is streamlined and less bulky. However, if you compare it to red dots, it might look bulky.

The thermal sensor in the DRS TH has a resolution of 256×192 pixels.

The DRS TH has a refresh rate of 50 Hz, which is not excellent, but not too bad either.

The effective range of the thermal imaging in the DRS TH is approximately 50-75 yards, making it suitable for tasks like pest control and varmint hunting.

The DRS TH offers five thermal image color palettes: white hot, black hot, highlight, outline, and fusion.

Yes, the DRS TH can capture photos and videos. It has an onboard memory of 32GB and a USB port for streaming footage to a secondary screen.

The DRS TH has an expected battery life of 10-12 hours.

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