Music and fashion have never been so close. The Bose Frames could perfectly pass for elegant sunglasses , if it weren't for the fact that they include two small speakers on their sides so you can listen to your music anywhere . On the beach, walking down the street or in the car. With a design that is pure technology so that the sound comes out in the direction of your ears and is barely heard around you. And with the extra functionality of augmented reality with games or applications that rely on sound to create a new experience while you walk or are playing with the mobile screen. The Bose Frames are already a reality and have a cost of 230 euros. We have already had the opportunity to start messing with them at the office, we will tell you in detail their main characteristics.
Key points and features of Bose Frames
- It is the smallest audio system Bose has created to date, the speakers are integrated into the pins
- They are light and elegant in appearance
- They have an augmented reality audio system
- They have two designs, one more classic and the other with a more rounded shape.
- Its battery allows you to use them for 3.5 hours with each charge
- The price is 230 euros
State-of-the-art sound technology in the size of a temple
Bose is not new to creating revolutionary audio technology that is worn (and not on the ears). We already saw it with its Bose Soundwear Companion, a necklace-shaped headphones that are worn around the neck and that allow you to enjoy music without disturbing your office colleagues. The Bose Frames are a further step, since they hide their audio system in sunglasses. Without knowing it or getting too close to listen to the music, you would never say that these glasses have built-in 16-millimeter speakers. The key is to use the space of slightly wider pins than normal to house the speakers. The sound is directed towards the ears, so that you can enjoy the music clearly and it is barely heard around you. In our experience, if you keep the audio at a medium level, you can hardly hear a murmur from a meter away. With the volume at maximum it is appreciated more by the people around you. In terms of sound quality, it must be recognized that Bose's work for such small speakers is spectacular. The music sounds almost like it's inside your head and the audio is crystal clear. Even the basses hold the type despite that ultra-small footprint.
The Bose Frames function through Bluetooth with a maximum range of nine meters . The start-up is really simple, since by pressing for a moment the small button included in the right temple, the mode to synchronize the glasses with a device (be it the mobile phone, a PC with Bluetooth, etc.) is activated.
Use with Bose Connect
Although not necessary for day to day, you can squeeze all the juice out of the Bose Frames through the dedicated Bose Connect app . From here you can download the firmware updates from Bose to improve the gadget's performance. You can also view and configure the devices that you currently have paired with the glasses. Another option that I really liked is a tour of the main functions of the Bose Frames.
In order not to waste extra battery, we also have a standby timer. After passing the marked time (between 5 minutes and 3 hours) without using them, the glasses will turn off automatically. By the way, speaking of switching off, I have loved the way it is carried out. Simply turn the glasses over and leave them on the table for a few seconds upside down. At the moment the music pauses and the glasses are off.
Elegant or more casual design to be fashionable
The Bose Frames are fashionable sunglasses, with two different versions. On the one hand, the Alto model has a more classic touch with a more square shape, while the Rondo model has a more circular and modern shape . In both cases, we are talking about fully functional sunglasses to protect you from the sun. Specifically, its lenses are capable of filtering up to 99% of UVA and UVB rays.
Continuing with its lenses, it should be noted that they are interchangeable, and we have two color options for both the Alto and Rondo models. Within the Alto model, the options vary between lenses with mirror silver (polarized) and gradient blue (non-polarized) . For the Rondo model, you can choose between a rose gold color (polarized) or a gradient blue color (not polarized) . The process to change the lenses is really simple, which also opens the door for you to take them to an optician to insert prescription lenses in case you need them.
Despite having built-in speakers, these glasses are really light, weighing 45 grams in both cases. That is not to say that they are not strong, as the frames are made of nylon and the hinges are designed in stainless steel with a gold finish. The lenses are also designed to withstand a demanding day and are resistant to both bumps and scratches. Although it is not their purpose (as is evident), they also resist accidental splashes.
Smart features and compatibility with Google Assistant and Alexa
Bose Frames want to be more than just speaker sunglasses. These glasses have several smart functions that take their use further. These functions are operated by means of a small button on the right temple to control different functions of the glasses, such as the option to answer an incoming call or stop and unmute. And is that the Bose Frames integrate a microphone to do the hands-free function. In our tests the performance has been quite good. It is very convenient to be able to answer a call with a single touch of the button. Here it is advisable that you have the mobile close enough because you notice a loss of quality in the call if you move two three meters away. With the mobile nearby, the experience is good and more natural than I thought before trying it. You can speak normally, without having to raise your voice and with the comfort of not having to hold the mobile or be aware of where you have the microphone of a hands-free. In short, a function that I did not expect too practical but that has actually turned out to be a discovery.
It also serves to use the voice assistant that we have activated, either the Google Assistant or the Amazon Alexa . After pressing the button for a couple of seconds, the assistant will start up and we will be able to carry out different voice commands.
Autonomy and augmented reality
The sunglasses Bose Frames have a battery life of three hours of use continuous with each full charge. This time goes up to twelve hours in case of having them on standby. If you want to turn them off, you have to turn them, a very original solution that I really liked. When charging, it takes less than two hours to reach 100%. Charging is carried out through a magnetic pin and you can connect them to the USB port of a computer or to a mobile charger. As we said before, they work through Buetooth with a maximum range of nine meters.
In addition to the prodigy of being able to insert the audio system directly into the pins, another of the advanced technologies of the Bose Frames is its compatibility with audio augmented reality functions . They achieve this through a 9-axis inertia measurement unit. This means that the glasses are able to locate the position of your head and, in combination with the GPS of the mobile, give you, for example, specific directions to move through a square, taking as a reference different elements (for example, a kiosk, a store or a statue). Immersive experiences are also created through sound that can lead you to fight an alien invasion or have a personal caddy to guide you as you play golf on more than 50,000 courses around the world.
This augmented reality platform is very new and at the moment it only works through the Bose Frames or the Bose Headphones 700 or Bose QC35 Headphones II headphones. The bad news here is for Android users, since at the moment this augmented reality platform can only be found in apps designed for iPhone and iPad. Be that as it may, Bose indicates that applications are already being developed for the Google platform so within a few months we could find titles to take the Bose frame experience to a new level.
Price and reviews
The Bose Frames are priced at 230 euros , both for the Alto model (with the squarer frame) and for the Rondo model (with the more rounded frame). We are facing a groundbreaking gadget that takes wearable technology one step further. The technology that is housed in these tiny 16mm speakers allows us to enjoy a good audio experience without disturbing the people around us. And without losing contact with reality, since by not covering our ears we can easily hear what is happening.
The augmented reality platform is a very interesting plus, but we will have to wait until it is available to all Android users for it to become popular and show us its real potential for the general public. The autonomy of the Bose Frames is on par with some of the wireless headphones that we have tested lately, although you may miss a little more time of use without having to resort to charging. Of course, having a larger battery would mean giving up such a slim and light design.
All in all, one of the most original and interesting gadgets that have passed through our hands in recent months. Bose Frames can become the star gift for this holiday. It is a gadget to enjoy and to show off that will spark the enthusiasm of your friends and family.
Bose Frames datasheet
|Type||Sunglasses with integrated audio in the temples|
|Speakers||16mm speakers (Bose's smallest audio system to date)|
|Features||Listen to music, compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa, hands-free (it has a microphone), voice prompts|
|Connections||Bluetooth (range up to nine meters)|
|Augmented reality||Compatible with augmented reality audio apps on iPad and iPhone (Android platforms are under development)|
|Dimensions and weight||Height Model: 148 x 162 millimeters, 52 millimeter lens size, 18 millimeter (54 gram) bridge|
Rondo model: 142 x 154 millimeters, 49.5 millimeter lens size, 15.5 millimeter bridge (54 grams)
|Lenses||High model: Silver mirror lenses (polarized) and gradient blue (non-polarized)|
Rondo model: Lenses in rose gold color (polarized) or gradient blue color (non polarized)
|Battery||Up to three and a half hours of continuous use, 12 hours on standby|
Full charge in two hours