Sunglasses that allow you to listen to music and make phone calls? Yes, that’s exactly what’s available! It’s possible with Bose’s elegant Bluetooth sunglasses, the Bose Frames Tenor (Price not available *). The sound is advertised as featuring exclusive Bose Open Ear Audio technology. With this technology, Bose promises “sound you wouldn’t expect from sunglasses.” This promise paired with a stylish and timeless design, make the Frames Tenor a useful and chic everyday companion.
We were very interested in the concept of smart sunglasses and its implementation, so we took a closer look at the Tenor. You can find out how they performed in our practical test in the following review.
Scope of delivery
The Bose Frames Tenor reaches the buyer in a classy black box. In addition to the sunglasses themselves, a matching case is included, which is covered with a thin gray fabric from the inside. The case is made of plastic, on the back and top it was equipped with imitation leather, which makes it possible to open the lid. Closed the lid is held by a powerful magnet.
In addition to the glasses and case, the package also includes a charging cable, instruction manual and a BOSE imprinted glasses cleaning cloth.
Comfort and design
The design of the Bose Frames Tenor is characterized by an angular shape. The entire frame is kept in glossy black. This makes the glasses look very classy, but at the same time does not forgive fingerprints. The overall workmanship looks very high-quality. The hinges also make a stable impression, and they can also be closed and opened smoothly. The temples are thicker than on a normal pair of sunglasses. But that should also be clear to everyone, because the entire technology is in here. The part of the temple that is behind and on the ear is thinner and resembles the dimensions of regular sunglasses.
We feel the weight is not too heavy at just under 50 grams. The glasses are comfortable to wear and do not seem annoying even after a long time. For people with a wide head shape, the glasses could nevertheless start to pinch a bit, as they are only available in one size. If in doubt, just measure once. The width from the inside of the left temple to the inside of the right temple is about 135 mm.
Weight: 49.89 g
Total length: 155 mm
Arm length: 136 mm
Width of the lenses: 55 mm
Total width: 143 mm
Width of the bridge: 18 mm
Polarized lenses are available in a variety of colors. Black lenses are included as standard, with an additional choice of blue and silver mirrored lenses. These are available separately and have an MSRP of €44.95. The lenses are made of shatterproof and scratch-resistant plastic.
Of course, Bose has also thought of those who wear glasses. The Frames Tenor can also be configured with prescription thanks to the cooperation with the online provider for glasses with prescription Mister Spex. The price is then €319.90 for the glasses including lenses with matching prescription. The price is valid for single tinted glasses. If you want polarized lenses, you’ll have to pay an additional €29.95. A decent surcharge to the current lowest price for glasses without prescription from Price not available *.
The Bose Frames Tenor has an IPX2 protection rating. This means that it is protected against dripping water, but must not be submerged in water. It is therefore unusable for water sports.
The Tenor is charged via a special 4-pin charging cable, which is hooked on the inside of the right temple. In doing so, it holds onto the charging port by means of two small magnets.
Bose claims a battery life of up to 5.5 hours. It is fully charged within one hour. We can confirm the charging time as stated. However, the Frames Tenor did not last 5.5 hours in our tests. We achieved a battery runtime of just under 4.5 hours with normal to intensive use. The runtime is of course dependent on the usage of the respective user.
Sound and recording quality
The phrase: “a sound you wouldn’t expect from a pair of sunglasses” is completely true here. You put on the Tenor and can’t get out of your amazement. Because you really don’t expect this sound quality. Sure, you don’t get a great sound, but you wouldn’t expect that from a pair of glasses with speakers.
Two speakers on each arm are responsible for the sound. Both are located just before the taper. One is on the top and the other on the bottom of the temple. If you listen more closely, you can see that the upper speaker is more responsible for the bass. Overall, the sound quality is good, but the Tenor is a bit weaker in the bass. But that was somehow to be expected. Nevertheless, the sound of the Bose Frames Tenor convinced us!
Two microphones are responsible for audio recording, which are integrated into the inside of the right temple. The microphones have a directional microphone characteristic, which helps to emphasize one’s own voice and filter out ambient noise, and this actually works quite well. The feedback from our interlocutors was always the same. All of them agreed that they did not notice any disadvantage compared to talking via smartphone. We were easy to understand the entire time, so we cannot make any criticism here.
App and connectivity
The associated app for the glasses is the Bose Music app. The in-house app not only lets you change the volume and switch to the next song. You can also find all the settings you need for Bluetooth sunglasses here. Among other things, you can change the language or adjust the settings for motion detection. You can also specify and add different sources in the Bose Music app. The app is required for setup and offers step-by-step instructions for getting started.
The Bose Frames Tenor can also be used to control the voice assistant on your own smartphone. It doesn’t matter whether you prefer talking to Alexa, Google or Siri. In practice, this also works quite well. All commands are precisely detected and implemented.
The focal point of the controls is the button located on the bottom of the right temple. With this, the glasses can be turned on or off, the voice assistant can be activated, and you have the option to perform various multimedia functions.
What the button can so we have you here once clearly listed:
- Hold pressed: On and Off
- (Music) Press 1x: Start/Pause playback
- (Music) press 2x: Next track
- (Music) press 3x: Skip to previous track
- (Call) press 1x: Answer phone call
- (Call) press 2x: Reject phone call
- (Press call) 1x: Hang up during call
The voice assistant can be conveniently activated by pressing the function button twice.
On the outside of the right temple is an inconspicuous touch surface, through which the volume can be adjusted at will with a simple “swipe”. The Tenor also has a motion sensor that turns the sunglasses off when you take them off and turn them around at the same time. If you don’t want that, this setting can be easily revoked in the Bose app.
The sound and the workmanship of the Bose Frames Tenor could convince us. It is a nice gadget and, thanks to the angular shape, a stylish everyday companion for everyone – a real universal solution, in other words. We also noticed the microphone’s recording quality positively; we did not notice any disadvantages compared to conventional smartphone calls.
Listen to music and still perceive the surroundings. That is possible with the Bose Frames Tenor and is also really fun. The open ear audio technology from Bose works!