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When I first heard of Bose’s audio sunglasses, the Frames, I was skeptical of their usefulness. Why wear a pair of sunglasses with built-in speakers when a pair of headphones would do?
However, I find wearing headphones while training can be frustrating at times. The headphones work well until one suddenly falls off as you cross the street and you have to scramble to pick it up before a car flattens it. You don’t even need to exercise – I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve knocked out one of my headphones recently while removing my face mask.
So instead you try a pair of in-ear headphones, which are fine until you want to wear a pair of sunglasses and / or a hat. Now the former is uncomfortably stuck to the side of your head, while also trying to get the latter under your headphones. And in either case, the more you sweat, the more irritating it is to have these headphones in or on your ears.
With these frustrations in mind, I was a little more willing to try out Bose’s sports audio sunglasses, the Tempo of executives. These glasses promised to be practical to use and to wear, with a quality audio experience. While I wasn’t sure about them at first, after adding them to my workout routine and wearing them every time I’m outside, I finally got the call.
How it works?
The Bose Frames TempoThe mini speakers are located on the arm of the sunglasses, just outside your ears, and are designed to play music directly into your ears. The Tempo is the sporty model of the Frames line, but there is also the Tenor and Soprano models that have a more casual fashion design.
Setting up and using Frames is particularly easy. The sunglasses pair with your phone or other devices via Bluetooth and play a short audio clip letting you know they’re connected. Once done, you are ready to run.
A touch bar on the right arm lets you adjust the volume by sliding your finger back and forth while keeping your finger pressed on this pad to activate your phone’s voice assistant. There is a single button that you use to turn on the speakers, pause your music, answer a phone call, etc. You can change the button settings for audio and phone calls through a companion app, but I found the basic settings to be more than adequate (one press for play / pause, two for next song, three for next song). previous song).
In terms of battery life, the Tempo will give you around eight hours of playback and can be recharged via a USB-C cable.
This simple setup and use is exactly what I wanted for a device like this. Just let me put on my glasses and start playing my music with no problem. I liked the convenience of being able to skip a track with the push of a button, instead of breaking my stride while pulling my phone out of my pocket.
How well are they adapting?
Despite its big arms, I found the Bose Frames Tempo light to wear. I was not bothered by them after wearing them for a long period of time, and they fitted well, so I was not afraid that they would accidentally fly off while jogging.
Depending on the size of your head, you might have to deal with some initial discomfort when you put them on for the first time. During the first few times I wore the frames, the arms would dig into my temples, so I would constantly play them to try and move them to a more comfortable position. Despite this initial issue, the glasses have stretched over time and now rest comfortably on my head.
From an aesthetic point of view, I like the design of the Tempo. It comes with mirror polarized lenses, but you can swap them out for others if you want (although you have to buy them separately). Even with its big arms, the Tempo doesn’t draw attention to itself and still looks like a normal pair of sunglasses.
The frame is made of TR-90 nylon and is sweat and weather resistant. I have found that you only need to quickly wipe the glasses after a particularly sweaty workout to keep them clean.
How do they sound?
Now let’s move on to the most important part of these sunglasses, the audio. Bose has a pretty solid reputation for audio quality and for what it is, the Frames Tempo sounds pretty good. There’s no option to customize the Frames EQ, so you’re stuck with just one playback parameter. While this might be an annoyance for some, I found the speakers to be fairly well balanced for the most part.
When pushed to a high volume there is some distortion, but I found myself needing to get the volume to the max. I found that high bass music would underperform more than anything else. Compact speakers just aren’t powerful enough to maintain their richness and stop sound distortion when bass songs are cranked up.
What impressed me the most was how well it maintained clarity when I was running at full speed and / or battling high winds while on the go. The playback quality was consistent, and even with the open-ear design, I never felt like I had to struggle with the sound of my surroundings. Something about being able to listen to music and hear everything around me was cool, like I had my own movie soundtrack.
The frames can also be used to take hands-free phone calls, which I had no problem with. Out of the handful of calls I made, both inside and out, I could hear loud and clear people on the other end of the phone, and vice versa.
Due to the design of these sunglasses, you will also need to ensure that your music is sometimes audible to passers-by. This audio leak is less noticeable outdoors, thanks to the constant ambient noise from your surroundings, but if your volume is turned up or you are currently in a quiet environment, other people can certainly hear what you are listening to (or at the same time). less hear a very metallic hum).
Coming home one afternoon, I ran into a neighbor in the stairwell of my apartment and noticed him giving me a funny look. It wasn’t until later that I realized they were giving me that look because they could hear the music I was listening to right now. That’s life.
This sound leak is an easily repairable problem when you apply some courtesy. Do not wear your sunglasses indoors, and do not play the Frames in close surroundings – unless you like to be That person while you are in public transport.
Should I buy a pair of Frames?
If you’re tired of headphones falling out of your ear, sweating all over your good headphones, or wanting to cut down on the amount of things you wear on your face and head while exercising, I think. that the Bose Frames Tempo would be a good addition to your workout routine.
For what they are, I think the Tempo Frames live up to the audio quality standards of other Bose products and have been extremely handy for me during training. Being able to hear cars and cyclists passing around me as I jog helped me maintain a pace that a normal helmet wouldn’t usually have, as I didn’t need to come to a complete stop to check my surroundings.
With a $ 399.95 recommended retail price, buying a pair of these audio sunglasses can be a bit difficult to validate for some. Although, if I had a dollar for every time I had to look for a headphone in bulk, I would probably have enough to buy a pair. If you enjoy spending a lot of time outdoors, both casually and during training, you’ll be using Frames enough to make them a worthwhile investment.