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Summer’s almost here, and the last thing you need to worry about is fighting with the sun on those warm days on the beach. You could remain fashionable with an ordinary pair of sunglasses, but why not relax in style while protecting your eyes with a solid pair of Bluetooth sunglasses?
The Bose Frames have been out for some time, one of several so-called smart sunglasses that blend form and function into one package. After trying out newer options in the space, I was surprised by how quickly the tech has evolved since the Bose Frames arrived on the scene in 2019.
- Size: 7.2 x 3.1 x 2.9 inches
- Weight: 12.31 ounces
- Lenses: Polarized
- Water Resistance: IPX2 rating
- Battery: 5.5 hours
Included in the Box
- Bose Frames Tenor
- Polarized lenses
- Carry case
- Charging cable
- Cleaning cloth
Bose Frames Setup: No Hassles Here
It was a breeze setting up and connecting the Bose Frames to my iPhone. With it slightly charged out of the box, turning it on for the first time by long pressing the button situated on the right arm also placed it into pairing mode. From there, I was able to go through the prompts in the Bose Music app to finish connecting it.
Design: Thick Arms Stand Out
The Bose Frames are available in three styles: Tenor, Soprano and Tempo. For this review, I tried out the Tenor, which closely emulates the look of the Ray-Ban Wayfarer with its square style. In contrast, the Soprano is more oval, while the Tempo is geared towards fitness users with its wraparound style.
Despite the lightweight feel of the Tenor, the most glaring aspect of the design is the thick arms that rest over my ears. While I’m a fan of the overall style, the thick arms don’t make it as fashionable as the Ray-Ban Stories or Ampere Dusk.
I do appreciate that its IPX2 construction safeguards it from minor splashes — so I was able to wear them during a passing sprinkle without worrying about damaging them.
Another nice treat is the polarized lenses that come with the Bose Frames. They’re perfect for driving because they made reflections on the dashboard disappear and provided better clarity against glare. If the stock lenses aren’t to your liking, Bose offers other lenses, like ones with mirrored finishes.
Bose Frames Controls
Basic media functions are done through the physical button on the right arm. It leverages double and triple presses to perform forward and reverse functions, but I like the touch-sensitive area on the right arm to quickly adjust the volume without having to do it on my phone.
Sound: You’ll Be Overjoyed
As you’d imagine, the Bose Frames doesn’t disappoint in the sound quality department. There’s a reason why it has thicker arms. That’s where the speaker drivers are stowed, delivering incredible depth and wide sounding audio. Even at the highest volume, the audio performance never once crackled or sounded shrill. It’s really good, perhaps even better than the Soundcore Frames’ performance.
I do wish it offered some kind of custom equalizer setting to enhance the audio to my liking but the Bose Music app doesn’t have that or any presets.
The Bose Frames also handled phone calls well. I was surprised at the clarity I was getting through the sunglasses, and our callers were pleased by how well they were able to hear me.
Battery: Plenty of Time
Bose has it rated for 5.5 hours of battery, but I found that after an hour of listening to music with the volume set to around 50%, it was at the 80% capacity level. It’s well in line with other Bluetooth sunglasses on the market.
Similarly, it relies on a proprietary charging connection that’s located on the inner side of the right arm. You’ll want to pay extra attention to where you store the included charging cable because misplacing it means having to order a new one. But then again, the proprietary connection was needed for its water-resistant construction.
The Bose Frames are a solid pair of Bluetooth sunglasses if listening to music is a top priority. Sure, its thicker arms don’t make it as sleek or stylish as subsequent smart sunglasses, but it’s a top contender to consider. Best of all, it’s priced slightly less than its main rivals.
So Should You Buy it?
Yes, especially if you intend on listening to a lot of music
- Great clarity and depth with audio
- Water-resistant construction
- Excellent for phone calls
- Thicker arms are a distraction
- Lacks equalizer options
How Long Will Bose Frames Last?
Most of the frame is made out of TR-90 nylon material, which makes it lightweight, but it doesn’t have the same sturdy feel as the Ray-Ban Stories. Nevertheless, there’s a 1-year limited warranty that covers defects.
What Are Some of the Alternatives?
If you do your research, you’ll find a handful of smart sunglasses with built-in cameras, but the vast majority lack approachable designs that are as good as the Ray-Ban Stories. If you don’t need a camera, here are some of the best alternatives.
The ultimate pair of Bluetooth sunglasses right now is the Ray-Ban Stories because it pairs the iconic style of the Wayfarer and packs in dual cameras that provide users with the freedom to live in the moment while recording it.
Full Review: Ray-Ban Stories Review
Not settled on a style? Then check out Anker’s Soundcore Frames because it’s the only one to feature swappable frames. And oh yeah, you’ll be surprised by the audio quality as well.
Full Review: Soundcore Frames Review
Even though it’s not quite as robust in the audio department, the Ampere Dusk has the unique feature of being able to adjust the intensity of its lenses to block out just the right amount of light.
Full Review: Ampere Dusk Review