Wireless earbuds are great for being tangle-free and engaged in your music, but the earbuds or headphones often do a lot to block out the outside world. That can be good at times but at other times you simply want some music to play along as you do life outside, kinda like a soundtrack to your daily routine. Enter the Bose Frames.
These are not earbuds or over ear cans here, but you still get amazing sound firing from the arms of your sunglasses. Now you may think that this will force everyone in your vicinity to have to listen to your music, but you would be wrong. Bose has found a way to make these sunglasses fire music in the direction of your ear without spreading the sound around in a multi-directional style like most speakers would. It is a challenge to fully comprehend or appreciate until you actually try them on. You can hear some sound if standing nearby, but not any more (and possibly even less) than if you were to wear on-ear or over the ear headphones.
You can listen to music, podcasts, or take calls while keeping your eyes protected with the UVA/UVB lenses. The lenses are uniformly tinted and block out 99% of those dangerous rays. These lenses are shatter and scratch resistant as well so they are made for fun and durability. I typically wear Wayfarer sunglasses from Ray-Ban and this model by Bose is pretty similar in size and style. They are not polarized, but you can add polarized lenses for around $30.
The sunglasses also have a built in mic that allows for Siri or Google Assistant to be called on at anytime. With one button control you answer and hang up on calls, play and pause music, or fire up your Google Assistant or Siri. Bose AR is another feature the glasses possess. It is still in its early stages so there is not a whole lot to report on that front. It may be notable later, but at the moment it is not reason alone to purchase the sunglasses.
So these are definitely a niche item. You’ll look strange wearing them indoors or at night. But if you are a techie and love to have something cool and different, the Bose Frames will fit the bill. These sunglasses are light and comfortable with a subdued yet stylish look. Even though the arms are slightly thicker than regular sunglasses, they hide the bulk well. It’s hardly noticeable while worn. In fact the thick arms do a great job of hiding the speakers that make the Bose Frames sound great.
Bass heavy music will be underwhelming, but the sunglasses sound excellent with rock, pop, and classical music. Podcasts also sound great. The glasses work best for discrete listening without looking like you are closed off from the world. The headphones sound quite loud to the ear when listening indoors, but the sound strength is lost when outdoors. You can still hear your music or podcast, but it doesn’t seem as loud while outside competing with other noises.
It would be kind of nice to see a clear lens alternative for indoor or evening use, but then again you may just opt for earbuds at that point. The Bose Frames can be found at Best Buy. They make a great gift because they are clearly not a necessity but something that most tech fans would be thrilled to receive. After wearing them recently they pass the eyeball test as well. People were impressed by the style and didn’t even notice the speakers hidden inside the arms. Bose did a great job with the design. Let me know what you think in the comments below.