If Iron Man entrusted Spider-Man with Edith then what has Bose done for us mortals?
Well, it’s not going to let you fulfil your dreams of world domination but it’ll probably let you deal with the world with nice background music. Bollywood dream? The Bose Frames are your gateway to music on the move without being shut off from the world.
Bose has built speakers right into the frames of these wayfarer-shaped shades that direct almost all of the audio towards your ears. So other people can barely tell you’re listening to music rather than paying attention to them because these have an open ear design.
So is it worth ₹22K?
Bose Frames: Design
The Bose Frames are made from lightweight plastic and the stock lens blocks out 99% of UV light. Which is fine, but the overall frame quality feels and looks cheap for something that costs ₹22K.
These only come in two shapes and a singular size option. The Alto style we got in the office is quite big and slightly heavy compared to regular sunglasses of the same size. It’s still acceptable because of all the fancy tech that Bose has managed to put in this, but the sharp angular shape on the temple gets slightly uncomfortable on the skin over an extended period of use. It would’ve been nice to have those edges rounded off.
What really irked us is that the hard protective case that comes with the Frames don’t have any charging capabilities. It charges using a proprietary cable which cripples convenience and practicality. So you have to soldier through three-or-so hours of battery life and then have the special cable around to charge this thing.
Bose Frames: Audio quality
As advertised, these do fire music right to your ears but if you turn the volume up then it does tend to leak out. In fact, if you move from a noisy environment to a quiet one, the need to adjust the volume could be a looming thought every time you wear these and move around the city.
This forces you to whip out your smartphone because there’s no dedicated volume rocker on it. There’s only one button on the right temple. A single press will play/pause audio, while double press and triple press will switch songs back and forth. If you remove the Frames in an upside-down fashion, it will automatically stop playing audio to save that precious three-hour battery life.
They sound great for something of this size but only when you’re sitting indoors, which obviously defeats the purpose. The absent bass is easily noticeable when you play Hard to Concentrate by RHCP. The soundstage is surprisingly expansive when you play Come Down by Anderson Paak but it still lacks clarity. These won’t replace your headphones and they are not meant to. For the same price, there are much better headphones for sheer audio quality. Albeit, those won’t make you look half as cool.
Bose Frames: Verdict
Bose has tried something different and we like it. It’s fun to use and very unique. In terms of audio quality, it’s not the best and at the price it’s selling for, the Bose Frames are anything but a must-have.
So why do we still like it? Because once you use them, they’re quite flavourful. Try walking on a sunny day and not bear the fatigue of wearing earphones. It’s got a microphone so you can pick up calls and the quality is astonishingly as good as a smartphone. Almost close to Edith, and Bose went a step ahead and added AR audio experiences for the sunglasses. It’s quite limited and pointless right now so we skipped dealing with it.
However, since they’re sunglasses, many things are quite situational. You can’t wear them at night, you’ll need donkey brains to sit indoors with sunglasses and noisy cities like Mumbai can really ruin the listening experience. You can change the lens and deal with the night and indoor problem altogether.