People like to wear sunglasses for fashion appeal or to even just keep the sun out of their eyes, but Bose believes people want to wear them to listen to great audio too. That is the theory behind the company’s newly announced Frames range, which updates their first models from 2018 with a new design integrating its class-leading speaker technology into the tiny frame on a par of sunglasses.
Dubbed the Tenor, Soprano, and Tempo, the three models are designed for different types of people, with the aim of providing both UV eye protection and great listening experience to its wearers. Although it is aimed at the fashion-conscious, the frames do lack some appeal as a result of the bulky oversized arms that house the speaker units.
In those arms, Bose has embedded what they describe (via The Verge) as “wafer-thin Bose systems [which] are discreetly embedded in each arm without extra parts, visible screws, seams, or perforations,”. The speakers are designed to provide you with a private audio bubble that is more comfortable than needing to wear earbuds. Though not quite as innovative as the bone-induction take on this concept, which allows for more environmental noise infiltration, it is a good concept that can provide a wearer with a good sound options while still remain aware of the environmental noise around them.
The glasses come prescription-ready, but Bose does offer a different range of lenses as well for each model:
The lenses are polycarbonate with visible light transmission of 12 percent. And optional lenses are also available: road orange has a 20 percent VLT medium-light lens to reduce glare from reflective surfaces like water and snow; trail blue has a 28 percent VLT low-light lens to increase contrast and definition in bright-sun conditions; twilight yellow has a 77 percent VLT very low-light lens for use at dusk.
The difference between the three models (Tenor, Soprano, and Tempo) is built around function. While the Tenor and Soprano are aimed more for fashion use, they offer better audio quality with up to 5.5 hours playback. Whereas the Tempo is designed more for outdoor sports usage, with a tighter fit that should fit under most cycling helmets, better water resistance, and offering up to 8 hours music playback – though you do lose out on audio quality. It is quite honestly the only model I would consider as glasses like this look a little too awkward from a fashion perspective and if I wasn’t using them for sports, I would see little purpose to them.
All frames come with microphone system for voice calls, with the company using its own proprietary technology with a dual-beam-forming array “that shields what you’re saying from wind, noise, and other nearby conversations.”. They will also allow for easy adjustment of volume by simply moving your finger forwards or backwards along the arm.
I like the idea that Bose is onto here as I know how impractical any form of earbuds in your ears are when you are active. I do think they are perhaps a little too unsightly for many though, especially the models design more for casual everyday use. Perhaps I am wrong though and big arms on sunglasses are becoming yet another fashion trend I am missing out on.
Last Updated: September 14, 2020