I have a lot of headphones, both of the stringy and wireless varieties. In fact, some would say I don't need any more. But when I first saw these Bose audio sunglasses on the internet, the influence of which I am incapable of ignoring, I knew that I needed to try them...in the names of both fashion and function. And, TLDR; I am honestly shocked at how great they sound. A product I did not at all think I needed convinced me that I do, in fact, need it.
The frames work just like any other Bluetooth headphones. First, download the Bose Connect app and enable the frames on your device. Then click the single button on the right side of the frames, go to your phone's Bluetooth settings, and pair the glasses to your device. From there, you can stream music through the Bose Connect app or via your streaming platform of choice. All while serving looks. You're welcome!
As someone who is chronically afraid of accidentally playing my dorky show tunes ( Spring Awakening, anyone?) through my phone's speaker instead of my AirPods on the subway, I was slightly nervous to try these Bose Frames, for fear of exposing my musical choices to my fellow commuters. But the glasses do a seriously impressive job of funneling sound into your ear holes and yours alone — even though they don't go in or on your ears at all.
For example, I listened to "Señorita" by Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello (my favorite song of the summer, TBH) while working at my desk, and my coworkers could not detect it. A feat! I also wore them outside while walking to pick up lunch with a different coworker, and she, too, was amazed by the fact that she could not hear it, despite standing next to me. When I turned up the volume and she leaned in, she could pick up the sound, but that's also what happens with AirPods and other Bluetooth earbuds.
While the sunglasses certainly don't deliver the bass that you can get from AirPods or Beats, they do let you hear external noises much more easily than you can with in-ear buds, while still delivering high-quality, full-bodied sound. The sunglasses work for phone calls, too, and sound only a bit thinner than calls on AirPods do. When using my PowerBeats Pro for phone calls, I have a bit of difficulty hearing myself speak, but that's a non-issue with the Bose sunglasses.
I tried the Rondo style and am so into their shape that I would definitely just wear them as normal sunglasses, without the audio capability. And for someone who low-key hates taking out and putting back in my AirPods whenever I enter/exit my office building or begin/conclude a conversation with someone, it feels really nice to be able to just put on my sunglasses and walk on out to the beat of Shawn Mendes's voice. And turning them off is as easy as flipping them upside down for two seconds, until you see the status light on the inside right turn from white to black.
The design is sleek, the plastic frame makes for a light wearing experience, and the audio features are aesthetically discreet. The speakers, which run alongside the user's temples, are thin and nearly indiscernible, and there's a singular tiny button on the right-hand side of the frames that lets you pause music, skip to the next song, and answer or end calls. They are also Bose AR-enabled, which means they're compatible with certain navigation and storytelling apps that incorporate AR, though this feature isn't widespread enough for it to qualify as a top-selling point for the glasses.
With a capacity of up to just 3.5 hours of music streaming, the battery life isn't great (especially compared to AirPods' more than 24 hours of battery life). They're not water-resistant either, which means if you bring them to the beach, you should be sure to protect them. They can, however, withstand dripping water.
Bose's audio sunglasses can't exactly be your go-to pair of headphones, which makes their $199.95 price tag a little hard to justify. You can only really use them outside, and when it's sunny at that, unless you're one of those shameless sunglasses-indoors people. In which case, you can use these babies all day, any day. But if you're looking for an easy, hands-free, chic (albeit supplemental) way to listen to music and keep your eyes protected from the sun during the summertime, they're a really fun and extremely easy-to-use option that delivers great sound. They also come in the Alto style, which the Bose site describes as the "classic angular look," for those who aren't so down with the rounded look.
Where To Buy
Both the Alto and Rondo styles are pretty widely available and can be purchased on the Bose website, Nordstrom, Amazon, Target, and B&H. You can also find a few open-Box pairs at a lower price on eBay.
Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?