The Bose Frames audio sunglasses take two everyday things and combines them to create a device that decently does both. Not great…but pretty well. Let’s start by saying that the Frames are not replacements for everyday headphones. Instead, they are sunglasses that allow you to listen to music while wearing them; the same way your smartwatch can make phone calls and send text messages.
Bose Frames Style
The Bose Frames sunglasses are fairly sleek. Currently available in two models, the Alto’s are traditional squared shaped glasses made for larger head shapes while the Rondo’s are round and designed for smaller head shapes. The Alto’s, however, do come in two sizes, Small / Medium and Medium / Large. The quality of the build feels good in your hands and the Frames have a nice weight to them. The lenses themselves are interchangeable which means you can change the look of the frames to various polarized colored lenses. They create the shape, you bring the style.
Bose Frames Sound
The Bose Frames audio sunglasses use speakers instead of the increasingly popular bone conduction technology. While actively wearing them The Frames got me around 3-4 hours of playback at about medium volume, which is a bit lower than I expected, and somewhere around 10-12 hours of standby. The sound quality isn’t what I expected from Bose either. The low-end sound on the Frames was almost nonexistent; so expect to only really experience the highs and mids.
Bose Frames Technology
The Bose Frames are compatible with your virtual assistant, easily take phone calls, and play, skip, or playback music tracks with the touch of a button. This button is located underneath the front right side of the frames. At the time of writing, Bose released their Press & Turn update that now allows you to raise and lower the volume of your music by pressing the button and turning your head left or right.
Bose also plans to release Bose AR, an augmented-reality audio app that will further expand the capabilities of the Frames. Some of the planned features include the ability to cycle through your music menu or respond to your virtual assistant through nodding. You will also be able to receive important information on landmarks, locations, or restaurants. Some of these experiences are being developed by Yelp, TripAdvisor, and others.
As cool as the Bose Frames are, it’s hard to recommend them when it feels like an unfinished product. The Frames are far from perfect and the $200 dollar price tag may be a bit steep. I would recommend waiting for the 2nd generation of Bose Frames or waiting until Bose AR begins to launch some of their apps shown at SXSW. For now, while fun, they’re just not ready.