Go from light to dark at the touch of a button

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Summer is almost here and the last thing you need to worry about is getting blinded by the sun while you’re enjoying a few months of sunshine. Today’s smart sunglasses run the gamut. You have options like the Ray-Ban Stories which contain built-in cameras for video recording, as well as the modular design of the Soundcore Frames.

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Both are neat in their own way, but the Ampere Dusk presents me with something I’ve never seen before. It is the world’s first pair of electrochromic smart sunglasses with app. Meaning: Lens tint intensity can be adjusted to block out our different degrees of light.

I was intrigued by this unique feature that makes it more than just a pair of Bluetooth sunglasses. But does it really work? Find out all about this feature and sunglasses in general in my Ampere Dusk review below.

Twilight Ampere Amazon Listing

Twilight Ampere Amazon Listing

Buy: Twilight Ampere $295.00

Buy: Twilight Ampere $295.00

Ampere Dusk smart sunglasses review: Specifications

  • Dimensions: 166mm x 141mm x 18mm

  • Mass: 0.9oz / 26grams

  • Frames: Nylon TR-90 with IPX4 water resistance rating

  • Lenses: Chip and scratch resistant polarized TAC

  • Battery life: 7 days of paired hue adjustment, 4 hours of listening

  • Battery charging time: Charge 80% in 15 minutes, 100% in 45 minutes

Ampere Dusk smart sunglasses review: Included in the box

Ampere Dusk smart sunglasses review: Setup and installation

The Ampere Dusk came pre-charged out of the box and I liked that I didn’t have to connect them to my smartphone from the start in order to adjust their tint. Indeed, pressing the button along the left hinge will cycle through their four different shade levels. I found it super handy, especially while driving, as it reduces my distractions.

Ampere Dusk Smart Sunglasses Review

Ampere Dusk Smart Sunglasses Review

However, if you intend to listen to music, you will need to download the Ampere Tech app. I paired these glasses with my iPhone and then completed the setup process. The whole thing took no more than five minutes to fully set up.

Ampere Dusk smart sunglasses review: Design

What I love most about the design of the Ampere Dusk is that it resembles the Wayfarer style that Ray-Ban is known for, but that’s about it. This is because the plastic used by Ampere has a cheap and flimsy feel. Sure, I like how the matte finish resists smudges better, but it doesn’t exude a high-quality feel that would justify its price tag. Stylish look? Yes. Upscale feel? Not really.

To Ampere’s credit, though, these feature an IPX4 water-resistant build that allowed me to wear them while it was raining – something I couldn’t do with the Ray-Bans. Stories. They are also incredibly light and have a bit more flex room when worn.

I liked using the Ampere Dusk while driving because they have polarized lenses that block both UVA and UVB rays. Even better, they did a good job of reducing the glare from my windshield whenever the sun was out.

Thanks to their electrochromic lenses, I was able to see in all sorts of lighting conditions thanks to their adjustability. On the highest setting, my eyes could see comfortably on the sunniest days, while the lowest setting still allowed me to see well in the shade.

The only minor complaint I had about the electrochromic polarized lenses was that the tint intensity was not uniform across the entire lens. There were spots towards the lower area which were lighter than the central area.

Ampere Dusk smart sunglasses review: controls

Using physical buttons near its hinges, there are useful controls for accessing the Dusk’s functions. As I mentioned earlier, the button along the left hinge controls the intensity of the tint, but the one on the right is strictly for music playback functions such as pause, play, track forward and reverse. What’s missing are the volume controls.

Ampere Dusk Smart Sunglasses Review

Ampere Dusk Smart Sunglasses Review

That’s a problem because there’s no way to customize the control layout to my liking, especially when I have to rummage through my phone just to adjust the volume. It would be more convenient to do this directly through the sunglasses.

Ampere Dusk smart sunglasses review: sound

Just like other smart sunglasses, there are built-in speakers in the arms of the sunglasses for listening to music and phone conversations. The open-ear design kept me informed of my surroundings while listening to music, but it performed poorly.

I won’t deny that its volume can be incredibly loud at the highest setting, but the quality is slim and light. Quite simply, it lacks the treble and bass to give its performances the necessary substance to interest me.

Ampere Dusk smart sunglasses review: battery

True to Ampère’s claim, I was able to get about four hours of battery life from a single charge while listening to music. Obviously, you’ll get a lot more battery life by using it like a regular pair of sunglasses and browsing through its different tints.

There are pins under the right arm that are used to work with the proprietary USB charger, but Ampere also sells an optional battery charging case for $69 that adds 40 hours of extended music listening. While sitting in the case, the Ampere Dusk will continue to stay charged.

Ampere Dusk smart sunglasses review: software

This is another area that lacks substance. The only meaningful features include fine-tuning lens intensity (instead of cycling through presets) and an option for the Dusk to emit a tone if it’s been misplaced nearby.

Screenshot of the Ampere Tech app

Screenshot of the Ampere Tech app

The Dusk would benefit greatly if it had some sort of EQ customization to tweak its audio performance a bit, as well as options to customize the Dusk’s button functions. Hopefully Ampere can update the software later to bring these useful features.

Ampere Dusk smart sunglasses review: our verdict

There’s no denying the cool factor of showing people the Ampere Dusk’s electrochromic lenses, simply because you won’t find anything else like them around. Functionally, they work well as a pair of sunglasses to block the sun, but their $295 cost is still quite steep considering its audio quality and basic functions as a pair of smart sunglasses. If you don’t care about listening to music, you can save some money by buying the Dusk Lite instead at $195.

So should you buy it?

Yes, but only if audio quality is not high on your priority list.

Advantages

  • Adjustable tint levels

  • Water resistant design

  • Ideal for driving

The inconvenients

Twilight Ampere

Twilight Ampere

Buy: Twilight Ampere $295.00

Buy: Twilight Ampere $295.00

How long will they last?

Even though the build makes it a little flimsy, there’s a one-year limited warranty that covers defects.

What are some of the alternatives?

Smart sunglasses go beyond just having speakers built into the frames, and these alternatives prove it exactly.

Ray-Ban Stories

With their built-in cameras, the Ray-Ban Stories capture photos and videos from a first-person perspective, while staying fashionable with their timeless Wayfarer style.

Ray-Ban Stories Wayfarer Smart Sunglasses

Ray-Ban Stories Wayfarer Smart Sunglasses

Buy: Ray-Ban Stories $299.00

Sound frames

Don’t settle for just one style as Soundcore frames feature a modular design that allows you to interchange its frames with many different styles.

soundcore by ankerframes

soundcore by ankerframes

Buy: Soundcore Frames $149.99 (Original $158.32) 5% OFF

Bose frames

If audio is most important to you, the Bose Frames won’t disappoint with their custom audio performance that makes you feel like you’re wearing headphones.

Bose Audio Frames Dad Sunglasses

Bose Audio Frames Dad Sunglasses

Buy: Bose Frames $149.00 (original $199.00) 25% OFF

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