Bose Frames Audio Sunglasses, Alto (S/M), Black

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Bose Frames Audio Sunglasses, Alto (S/M), Black

Bose Frames Audio Sunglasses, Alto (S/M), Black

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Price: £9.9
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You’ll notice that the frequencies are always there when you cover the temples of these frames with your hands, creating an artificial ear-enclosing auricle of sorts. We found ourselves regularly doing this as we took the glasses off and wore them on our shirt, but once you’ve learnt that you may have to press the gold button to reconnect you won't find that to be an issue.

Since there are no volume controls on the sunglasses, you'll have to use the controls on your device to adjust volume levels. Bose Frames keep track of the last eight devices to have paired and connected with them, dropping the least recently used when a new one is paired. They're sweat-, weather-, scratch- and shatter-resistant, according to Bose and fit under most protective helmets. Again, that's audio AR only -- the glasses don't offer a Magic Leap- or HoloLens-style digital overlay of the real world. Some Bose AR fitness apps are allegedly in the works (think guided workouts), and I could see people using them for running and biking and other pursuits where it's good to have your ears open so you can hear traffic and other sounds.I also happen to have a pair of Smith Tempo Max frames -- yes, the name seems popular for sports glasses -- and the Smiths are more comfortable and look better on me (the Bose sunglasses are bigger and wider).

The more rounded Rondo style is designed for smaller heads, while the more squarish Alto is suited for those with larger heads. That said, the Bose Tempo fit me the best of any of the new Bose Frames and they should fit most people well. My first charge attempt must have been misaligned, however, resulting in dead Frames, so you’ll need to take care.

It should be easy to find compatible AR apps when more are added, as the Bose Connect app highlights them almost instantly. If you’re looking for something more traditional and versatile to power your workouts, we suggest checking out the Jabra Elite Active 65t fully wireless earbuds (though be warned that their hear-through DSP technology doesn’t work very well for bike rides). But the Bose Frames are delightful and leaving your ears free of buds or headphones has a clear and obvious case. The Frames offer plenty of enticing ways to splash some music or podcasts into your life, without ever losing touch with the world around you.

For one obvious point, you can’t really use the Frames inside, especially at the office, unless you don’t mind looking like a wannabe rock star/ass while squinting at your monitor. Pegged as conveyors of aural AR and crafted for “sun and sound,” the Frames are a fascinating audio entry from Bose, made all the more intriguing when word began circulating that they actually sound good. The sunglasses can last for three and a half hours according to Bose, and we found that to be accurate in our testing. The midrange response is full and blooming full of body, and the spatial separation between left and right channels is eerily wide.The hardware and software upgrades are also supposed to help virtual assistants like Siri and Google Assistant understand you better. Background noise might also be a concern for some, though in quiet scenarios this isn’t an issue at all. Then, press and hold the button on the right temple until you hear “Ready to connect” and the status light slowly blinks white. It's a bold move from any audio or headphone company to produce a fashion wearable, but if anyone was going to do it, I'm glad it was Bose. The item may be missing the original packaging or protective wrapping, or may be in the original packaging but not sealed.

Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian View image in fullscreen The Bose Frames look like a regular set of sunglasses, with nylon frames and user-replaceable lenses, but hides sensors and speakers in the arms. Right after I’d connected the Frames and began listening, I shared my first impressions with a deskmate whose instant reaction was less optimistic: “Those are cool, but the applications seem pretty limited,” he replied. In fact I took delight in the look of surprise on people’s faces when I gave them the Frames and they suddenly heard my tunes blasting out as they put them on.

That would have been a handy addition, but instead the glasses are charged via a proprietary cable that connects to a part inside the right arm of the product. It’s unlikely you’ll be listening to these in too many loud locations, but when your ears are free to hear roadworks, vehicles, and even other people’s voices, it can make listening to any sort of audio too difficult to work with.

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