Sunglasses with built-in speakers – The latest from Bose combines their audio tech with stylish frames for an all-in-one sunglasses that is comfortable to wear and functional. These don’t use little earbuds on wires that can be damaged or lost, leaving you free to enjoy your music and the surroundings.
Let’s start with the $199 price for these Bose Audio Sunglasses – yes, it’s more than you would spend for some standard sun protection. But the ability to just slip them on and have your music ready for a walk, playing golf or other light outdoor activities does justify the price point.
If you are looking just for some audio – here our recent reviews to help out:
It’s important that sunglasses are excellent at their primary duty, otherwise it doesn’t really matter what other features you are getting. Here is how Bose does on protecting your vision.
We like the lenses in the Bose Frames provide 99-percent UVA/UVB protection, keeping your eyes safe even during the brightest time of the day. And you have the option of added polarization, for more visual clarity.
For an additional $20 (e.g., $219), you can get the frames with a second set of interchangeable blue lenses or silver / mirrored lenses. Add on another $9, and for $228 you can get Rose Gold lenses. We were happy enough with the standard grey, but it’s nice to have options.
These are made from impact plastic, and the lenses are durable so won’t easily scratch or shatter. It’s the type of quality you’d expect from Bose.
Bose offers the frames in 2 styles – “Alto” and “Rondo”.
The Alto are a more classic, angular shape. The measurements are : Width: 52 mm, Bridge Width: 18 mm, Temple Length: 162 mm. While the Rondo, as you might guess from the name, feature rounded lenses. It measurements are a little smaller: Lens Width: 49.5 mm, Bridge Width: 15.5 mm, Temple Length: 154 mm.
The Alto weighs in at 10.6 ounces and the Rondo about an ounce less.
Now that we’ve established these are good sunglasses, let’s explore what Bose brings to these that sets them apart from a nice $150-pair for Ray-Ban Wayfarer’s .
The sound comes from two miniaturized Bose speakers, one in each arm of the sunglasses. Positioned near the temples, you’ll get a rich and immersive sound without the need for earbuds. The open-ear audio experience that leaves you free to hear the world around you, all while discreetly listening to music.
With the sound directed towards you, anyone around you will hear practically nothing. Even when the music is turned way up.
Audio itself isn’t the greatest when compared with inserted earbuds or over-the-ear cups. The bass could use a boost, but is still acceptable. The trade-off for comfort and convenience are worth the lower audio quality.
Also keep in mind that there is no noise cancellation or isolation, since the the audio is piped down the arms of the frames towards your ears. It’s open air, after all.
Everything works over Bluetooth connection with your iOS or Android device. This has a typical Bluetooth range of about 30 feet.
One issue we discovered is that pairing isn’t always automatic when the Frames are powered up after a shutdown. It may just be a simple setting change, or a needed updated in the next software release. Not a big hassle to open the phone app and connect, but would be excellent if it was a true grab-and-go with automatic pairing when in range.
The Bose connect app controls everything. It gives you the ability to personalize settings, access future updates, and more.
Like most earbuds and other audios, Bose frames include a seamlessly integrated microphone for taking calls and accessing your phone’s virtual assistant.
The pickup is good, and people on the other end can hear clearly.
AR (Augmented Reality)
This is unique to Bose so far, and we covered it in our review of Bose Quiet Comfort QC-35 Series II headsets.
Here is how Bose describes it: “Bose AR is a first-of-its-kind audio augmented reality platform, combining the power of next-gen Bose audio products with innovative mobile apps. Together, they can create astonishing real-world experiences and fundamentally new ways to travel, exercise, learn, play, and more. Meanwhile, you can go through life heads up, hands free, and ears amazed.”
Every pair of Bose Frames is Bose AR enabled, unlocked through a simple software update. WeMon are looking forward to more AR experiences and games (like the Monty Python cow catapulting)
There is a built in Lithium Polymer battery which is good for about 3.5 hours of music playback / calls and up to 12 hours on standby. It charges with a magnetic clip on the arm to the contacts, similar to a Fitbit charger. About 2 hours to get to a full charge, with a standard USB charger.
In addition to the charging cable, you’ll get a glasses pouch for storage.
Your paired smart device will need to be iOS: 9.0 or newer or Android: 5.0 or newer.
Bose has a new approach to outside audio, and we like these glasses with their hidden speakers. These received an “Amazon’s Choice” designation, and has good overall reviews.
Use our link for more information or ordering, Bose Audio Sunglasses , and enjoy the outdoors!