Color blind glasses

Best smart glasses and audio frames of 2022

Bose Tempo Frames ($249; amazon.com and bose.com)

Who doesn’t remember the 2013 Google Glasses hype? Touted as a hands-free way to take phone calls or use Facebook (now Meta-branded) without a smartphone, it was a futuristic prototype with big ambitions. However, it didn’t last long in the market, with the $1,500 price tag and lukewarm reviews affecting sales.

While Google Glasses didn’t take off, it paved the way for other smart glasses to hit the mainstream market, like Meta and Ray-Ban partnering on new Stories glasses at a significantly more affordable price.

If you’re looking for some new tech or looking for a gift idea for that hard-to-buy tech lover, we’re breaking down some of the best new smart glasses of 2022 and ranking by style, functionality, price and opinions.

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Best overall: Ray-Ban Stories (from $299; ray-ban.com)

Ray-Ban Stories

Ray-Ban Stories | Traveler ($299; ray-ban.com)

Say what you will, but the Ray-Ban brand enjoys a certain longevity in the space that is unmatched by other tech competitors, and the number of styles, sizes and colors reflect their roots in the fashion industry. sunglasses. Ray-Ban claims fully charged glasses can last up to 6 hours of moderate use and will capture and sync up to 30 or more 30 second videosand until 500 or more pictures.

Standard features:

  • Camera: Use voice command to take hands-free, first-person photos and videos.
  • Touch control: Used to pause a song, take a photo or record a video.
  • audio: Two open-ear speakers and three built-in microphones for voice and sound quality.
  • Case: A portable charging case will provide up to three additional eyewear charges.
  • Lenses: A choice of sunglasses and clear lenses with blue light filter, brown gradient, polarized and transition lenses. Corrective lenses available.
  • Operating system: Facebook view.
  • Compatibility: iOS 13 and Android 8.1 minimum.

What we like: There are a ton of stylish design styles and colors to choose from; the three style types include Round, Wayfarer, and Meteor in colors like black, green, and blue. The open-ear speakers are much more discreet, and reviewers have noted that the sound is one of the best you’ll find among other smartglass counterparts.

What we don’t like: If you like privacy, these might not be for you. The Facebook View application, once installed, is always active.

Bose Tempo Sports Sunglasses

Bose Frames Tempo ($249; amazon.com and bose.com)

While Ray-Ban’s hallmark is its impressive array of frame and camera options, the Bose Frame is our pick for sound quality and sporty functionality.

Bose frames come in four different styles — the original Alto (on sale for $149), the sporty Tempo ($249), and the latest Tenor and Soprano looks (both $249).

Our review will focus on Tempo sports sunglasses as they offer one of the best star ratings with reviews and a clean design. Battery life is up to eight hourswith a a charging hour with a USB-C charging cable.

Standard features:

  • Touch control: For volume and voice assistance, and a button to control song, answer call and power off.
  • audio: Two open-ear speakers, two microphones.
  • Case: Comes with a protective case but no charging function.
  • Lenses: Interchangeable lenses for various lighting conditions. Mirror polarized lenses are scratch resistant. Prescriptions available through third parties.
  • Operating system: Bose Music app.
  • Compatibility: No minimum requirements.

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What we like: Interchangeable lenses mean you can swap them out to match lighting conditions, with the medium light lenses ideal for road running and cycling, the medium to low light lenses designed for shaded areas when hiking and cycling, and low-light lenses for early morning or evening training in dark environments. As they are meant to be worn during activities, the silicone pads keep the goggles from slipping and sliding on your face despite the heavier weight.

What we don’t like: Sound leakage with the Tempo is a bit higher than with the Alto, but if you’re outdoors, that might not be a deal-breaker. Other reviewers have also mentioned that the button control isn’t as responsive as desired.

Best Customizable Options: Soundcore by Anker (from $149.99; amazon.com)

Anker by Soundcore Frames

Soundcore by Anker Frames ($149.99; amazon.com)

One of the latest releases in audio frames, Anker first unveiled its Soundcore audio glasses in October 2021. Similar to the battery life of the Ray-Ban Stories, these glasses have up to 5.5 hours of listening time, and a ten minute charge will give you 1.5 hours of playback. There are 10 different frame combinations, including classic, aviator and square styles.

Standard features:

  • Controls: Include touch and voice controls that can be customized through the Soundcore app. Touch control can play and pause audio and volume control. Voice control can also control music, voice assistance and call answering.
  • audio: Four open-ear speakers with up to 7 levels of surround sound and two microphones. The frames offer a private mode to reduce sound leakage.
  • Case: Comes with a protective case, but no charging function.
  • Lenses: The lenses are detachable and replaceable; offers polarized and blue light filtering options. Soundcore does not offer corrective lenses, but third parties may fit them.
  • Operating system: Soundcore app.
  • Compatibility: No minimum requirements.

What we like: While Bose had multiple lens options, Anker Soundcore frames offer a number of interchangeable frame styles without breaking the bank. Although the audio quality is considered acceptable by most reviewers, the level of settings these frames offer is customizable from Privacy Mode (for quiet environments) to OpenSurround Mode, which is more immersive and a “like experience”. concert”.

What we don’t like: Most reviewers complained that the materials felt cheap compared to others on the market and were generally bulky around the ears. The Bluetooth connection can also be a bit spotty.

Better Alexa compatibility: Echo Frames with Alexa (from $169.99; amazon.com)

2nd Gen Echo Frames

Echo Frames (2nd Gen) ($169.99; amazon.com)

If you’re an Echo and Alexa fan, look no further than these Echo Frames. You can bundle the frames with the Echo Dot for $219.98. Apart from that, for the price range, it will otherwise be an average performance compared to other products in the market.

Battery life is four hours of uninterrupted listening, two o’clock talk time and Alexa interactions. The frames are available in four colors (black, gray, blue and tortoise).

Standard features:

  • Controls: Include touch and voice controls for volume and call answering.
  • audio: Four open-ear speakers and two microphones.
  • Case: Comes with a protective case, but no charging function.
  • Lenses: Comes with blue light filtering, transparent, mirrored and polarized sunglasses. Prescriptions available through third parties.
  • Operating system: Alexa app.
  • Compatibility: Android 9.0 or higher and iOS 13.6 or higher. The following smartphones are not compatible with Echo mobile devices.

What we like: You can use voice control to access some of your apps like TikTok, Amazon Music, Spotify, and Audible. Hands-free access to Alexa is great for taking calls, listening to texts or setting reminders.

What we don’t like: According to reviews, the sound is inferior to most other glasses, headphones or smart headphones considering the price. Just like with the Ray-Bans on this list, if privacy is an issue, know that the glasses are linked to the Alexa app if you want to get the most out of it.

Ultimately, there’s still room for improvement with the current generation of audio frameworks, but it’s definitely a step closer to the computerized lenses you see in the movies. So if you’re looking for something fun outside of traditional headphones – and especially if you want a gift to be unique and have some extra money to spend – consider one of these clever frames.

Prices are correct and items in stock at time of publication.