- The audio sunglasses come in two frames: the Alto, a bigger, more square frame, and the Rondo, a smaller and more round frame.
- We tried them out to see if they’re worth the price.
Following is a transcript of the video.
Michelle Yan: Bose is known for its high-end speakers, but now it’s putting its tech into sunglasses. Are they any good, or are they just a gimmick? Let’s find out.
I’ll admit, when I first heard about these audio sunglasses, I thought they were kind of lame. But when I put it on for the first time and actually heard music coming out of it, I was shocked. I even let my coworkers try it on, and they had the same reaction.
Coworker 1: Holy s—.
Coworker 2: Am I gonna see something?
Coworker 3: It’s weird, right?
Coworker 4: That’s so weird.
Coworker 2: Does it just play music? Oh, my God.
Michelle Yan: I was also really impressed with the style of these sunglasses. Bose offers two frames: the Alto, a bigger, more square frame, and then the ones that I have, the Rondo, a smaller and more round frame. So how do these audio sunglasses work? They connect via Bluetooth. Just download the Bose Connect app and press the button on your sunglasses. You’ll hear a voice telling you which device it’s connected to and what your battery percentage is. The connectivity is also really fast. Once I put on my sunglasses and click the button, I’m instantly connected to my device and I can start listening to my music.
The sound quality is very clear. But if you’re looking for a nice bass, you’re not going to get it with these. Since the speakers sit on the end of the temples of the glasses, the bass is hard to translate. Not to mention the temples will be bulky. But I found that when I listened to my music like this, I could hear the bass a little better. Obviously, I’m not gonna be walking around listening to music like this, but the point of these sunglasses is to hear your surroundings but also listen to your music.
In a quiet room, music sounds good when I’m at 60% volume. But when I’m out on the street, it’s a little harder to hear the music, even if I crank the volume up to 100%. So can other people hear music from these headphones? Maybe if you were in a small, quiet elevator. But in a loud, noisy environment like this, they won’t hear it.
There’s also just one button on these sunglasses. With one click, you can pause and play a song or accept and end a call. Double-click to skip a song, triple-click to go back to a song, and hold down to activate the voice assistant. One big feature I wish they had was a volume control. And I wish the case charged the sunglasses. A huge missed opportunity here.
The battery life for these isn’t the greatest: only three hours of continuous listening. They charge using a unique magnetic USB cable, which can also be used with a portable battery pack. And they take about two hours to charge to 100%.
The material of these sunglasses are kind of lightweight and they feel a little plasticky. If you look closely, there’s a matte finish and it’s almost like it’s translucent. Even though these are lightweight, they’re heavy enough to feel uncomfortable after 15 minutes of wear. As you can see, there are dents on my nose.
These sunglasses have an IPX2 rating, meaning they can handle some splashes and light rain. But I wish these were water-resistant so I could wear them when I’m in the water. This is pretty disappointing, because Snap’s Spectacles 2 came out last year and have an IPX7 rating, making them water-resistant and, according to Snap, can go under shallow water for a short period of time. As sunglasses, they do their job well. They block out the sun, Bose says they are shatter- and scratch-resistant, and they have UVA and UVB protection.
As for the price, they cost $200. The price is pretty high, especially when the battery life is short, the case isn’t a charging case, and there’s little water resistance. So, these sunglasses would be great for strolling down the street, riding a bike, sunbathing, or if you just don’t like having anything in your ears. But it wouldn’t be great for wearing them in the pool or in the water, wearing them at night or indoors, or wearing them for a long time.
So while it was nice to not have to pack another thing in my bag, and I used my AirPods less, I don’t think these can replace headphones completely, because they don’t have the best sound quality or battery life.