Bose Frames review: audio sunglasses that can replace your headphones
By Jordan Hobbs 2019-06-19 1010 0
The important thing is not to see, but to be seen or heard, or both. This is the choice of the audiovisual mix made by Bose by launching its glasses connected with integrated headphones: the Bose Frames.
Presented on Thursday, May 16, HuffPost was able to take them in hand briefly before they were marketed on May 31, at a price of 229.99 euros (all the same).
After having seen, and especially heard, what they have in their bellies, the Bose Frames are a kind of technological chimera between the Bluetooth audio headset and a pair of Ray-Bans, all sprinkled with augmented reality.
We offer you a quick overview of these famous Bose Frames while waiting for our next more complete test.
Connected glasses, but above all sunglasses
On the look side, the Bose Frames look more or less like a pair of classic sunglasses like Ray-Ban's "Wayfarers" but with a fairly common plastic finish.
The branches that contain the entire technological package of the audio part are obviously thicker than on classic glasses, but the overall design remains sober and rather elegant for a weight of 45 grams.
They are available in two versions: "Alto" for an angular frame and "Rondo" for, it should be noted, a more rounded frame. Both styles share the same technical characteristics and price in all cases.
Connected certainly, Bose Frames remain sunglasses above all with "Bose Lenses" lenses that "protect 99% of UV-A/UV-B rays", promises the manufacturer (the classification of ultraviolet rays according to their intensity and their harmfulness from A to C, editor's note).
The lenses are also interchangeable more or less easily (by pushing out of their base). Count about 25 euros for a pair of lenses (or 35 for polarized lenses), enough to question their quality of manufacture and protection rate.
UV protection and big sound, the unlikely duo
Here we get to the heart of the matter, the audio features of Bose Frames. Not only do Bose Frames protect your eyes in style, they are also a hybrid product between the pair of glasses and a Bluetooth headset.
Thus, these "true wireless" glasses/earphones are equipped with speakers in each of the two branches that redirect the sound to your ears.
The system is not based on bone conduction, a big plus when you consider that this type of audio transmission can be quite annoying for prolonged listening at high volume.
The downside is that, when you push the decibels, people around you can notice the sound you are listening to. But unless you stick to your neighbour's ear, he or she should not be too annoyed.
When we got started, the sound seemed surprisingly clear to us without having to turn up the volume too much. Since the speakers are fixed on your head, you are not totally cut off from the rest of the world, as with noise-reducing headphones, for example.
A multifunction button and microphone on the lower right-hand side of the branch allow you to control your voice assistant, manage calls and manage your playback tracks.
Augmented reality: a little "bonus" but promising gadget
Connected glasses make it necessary, the Bose Frames are coupled to a dedicated Bose AR application that manages augmented audio reality. Don't worry, if you already see the shadow of Google Glass, it's not so.
Bose Frames will not visually assault you by blocking your vision with pop-up notifications. They simply detect your position and the movements of your head and therefore your field of vision in order to offer you sound interactions with your environment.
This is still very experimental and the app catalogue will be expanded. But in practice, Bose AR compatible applications use built-in motion sensors to take into account your head movements and use sound effects adapted to your position and gestures as shown in the video below.
Still limited due to its quasi-embryonic stage, the Bose AR functionality is nevertheless promising. For example, we can imagine an audio guide application linked to GPS for the visually impaired or call management and playlists with a simple nod. So let's see if the developers will play the game or not.
In any case, at the end of this first and, once again, quick to get started, these high-tech Bose binoculars caught our attention... and our ears.
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