In June of this year, when Bose announced the termination of its AR plan, I regretted that Frames smart audio glasses would also become a swan song.
After all, in the past two years, Frames smart audio glasses are the main products released by Bose under the name of AR . In addition to the functions of sunglasses and ear speakers, it also claims to be able to use voice to provide navigation suggestions or business information to "enlarge" the reality around you.
▲Bose first-generation smart audio glasses
Unfortunately, this innovative product rich in technology and humanity has not been widely recognized by the market, so Bose had to reluctantly cut off its AR team. According to Engadget, in an interview, the representative of Bose said frankly that its products can only achieve good results in "specified situations", but failed to meet the needs of true "widespread, daily" use.
To my surprise, just three months later, Bose smart audio glasses "come back."
▲ Bose Frames Tempo
Glasses that can sing, kind of cool
Bose recently launched 3 smart audio glasses, namely Tenor, Soprano and Tempo, which translate as "tenor", "soprano" and "speed".
Just like the meaning of their names, Tenor and Soprano correspond to male and female users respectively, and their styles are more everyday. Tempo is a sporty model with a more dynamic style, designed for sports enthusiasts. Both are priced at US$249.95 and the Bank of China is priced at 1999 yuan .
It is also worth noting that the Bank of China only has Soprano (female or cat-eye) and Tempo (sports) on the shelves for the time being .
▲ Tempo sports
Although the price is the same, the configuration is not the same. The sporty Tempo seems to be more "favored", equipped with a larger drive unit with a size of 22mm. The drive unit size of Tenor and Soprano is the same as that of the previous generation, both are 16mm. In theory, the volume of Tempo will be more surging.
According to Bose, these three glasses are equipped with a "Volume Optimized Equalizer" , which can clearly present the tri-band at lower volume and prevent distortion at high volume. The microphone systems of the other three have been upgraded, using dual-beamforming array microphones to replace the previous single microphones, with better noise reduction and wind noise performance .
In addition to the larger drive unit, Tempo also supports IPX4 waterproof level, while Tenor and Soprano only have IPX2. In addition, Tempo’s battery life is longer, up to 10 hours. The other two have only 5.5 hours of battery life.
As for the charging interface, Tempo uses USB-C, which is more convenient for daily use than the original pogo-pin interface of the other two.
Larger batteries and larger drive units mean that sports glasses are also larger. Whether it is width or length, it is wider or longer than everyday styles.
However, due to the different materials and lens sizes, Bose still controlled the weight of the three glasses to about 50 grams , and there is no obvious sense of pressure when wearing them.
You are in charge of the exercise, the rest is left to it
What we got this time is a more personalized sports Tempo . In terms of wearing feeling, these glasses fit the head very well. Perhaps Bose considers it to be a sports model, so it has made some adjustments in wearing it. With TR90 structure and custom spring hinges, users will feel very firm after wearing them, and will not loosen no matter how they shake.
The glasses come with 3 sizes of silicone nose pads, which can be non-slip while being skin-friendly. Even if you sweat during exercise, there will be no slippage of the glasses.
However, the glasses fit the head too well. If the head circumference is large, they may have a "chuck" , which is not as comfortable as the previous generation of daily models.
In terms of appearance, the glasses are very dynamic to wear, and the design of the temples is very technological, like a pair of VR glasses. However, a colleague around me said that he was "a little bit ostentatious" and would not go shopping with it. Maybe the other two styles are more everyday and are suitable for "concave shape".
Returning to the essential function of this glasses, it can provide the shading effect of traditional sunglasses, and it can give a listening experience comparable to sports headphones.
In terms of the function of the sunglasses, the one I got is the standard dark-colored lens. It seems to have a silver coating on the surface, which is suitable for use in most ambient light.
▲ Lens shading effect
The official also provides some other lenses to choose from, such as 20% VLT medium light lenses, which are suitable for road driving and cycling and help reduce eye fatigue caused by bright light and glare.
▲ The effect of 20% VLT medium light lens
Another example is 28% VLT medium and low light lenses, which are used to filter shadows and shadows. It can sharpen details on uneven terrain while reducing bright light. It is ideal for trail running and mountain biking.
▲The effect of 28% VLT medium and low light lenses
If you like to train outdoors in the early morning or at night, you can also choose 77% VLT very low-light lenses, which can help brighten the scene and improve visibility in dark, cloudy or foggy environments.
▲The effect of 77% VLT very low light lens
When I first wore it, I might not have high expectations for its sound quality before, so its wonderful listening experience really surprised me. This kind of feeling is like watching a movie in a theater, and there is music in the movie. If someone next to you is talking to you, it's like it came from the movie.
In fact, the sound principle of this glasses is not bone conduction , but like two miniature speakers hanging around your ears, you can experience a very three-dimensional sound.
It can be seen from the appearance that there are speaker openings on the upper and lower sides of the two temples. After putting it on, the position of the speaker will hang precisely above the ear.
In terms of sound quality, I went to the Bose store to compare the sound quality of the previous generation, and obviously felt that the sound quality of the new glasses is better and the fidelity is better . This is due to the larger driver unit and the newly added volume optimized equalizer.
If you want to evaluate its sound quality, you can only say that it will surprise you the first time you wear it, but it won't make you full of praise . The performance of the treble and midrange is quite good, but the bass is limited by the volume of the sound, so it is not so surging. It is worth mentioning that the sound field is very wide and the resolution is also good.
The overall sound quality experience is somewhat similar to AirPods, which are all of the "boiled water" type . But I believe that its wonderful sound will still make you feel like "cyberpunk".
After connecting to the Bose App, you can also upgrade the firmware of the glasses and enjoy more operations. However, I am more accustomed to performing operations such as switching songs and adjusting the volume through music apps.
In addition to listening to music, I also try to answer calls with glasses . This feeling is also very strange, just like the person on the other end of the phone has come to you and is talking next to you. At the same time, the two high-fidelity microphones of the glasses can also make my voice clear to the other's ears.
One of the more interesting operations is that when you take your eyes off and put them on the table, the glasses will automatically shut down. Looking forward to the follow-up can realize the function of taking off the glasses to pause the playback, I believe it can bring a better experience.
Seeing this, you may have a question. When the glasses are playing music, will people around you hear the sound? I measured it. In an office with a noise of about 50dB , I listened to music at a normal volume, and my colleagues at the next desk about 80cm away from me could not hear it. If you are at home or in a relatively quiet place, then people next to you will hear it. Like in a noisy outdoor venue, there is no need to worry about the sound reaching the ears of passersby.
Proper products of "Beizhi Honey"
After a few days of experience, to be honest, it is not a product with rich usage scenarios , because most of the time it stays in the glasses case. However, in some scenarios, I have not yet found a better product than it to meet specific needs.
In summary, it will make you feel like a fish in water when used in the following types of scenes.
One is riding. Although I am not a professional cycling enthusiast, I am a heavy bike-sharing user, and I scan the code and ride my bike almost every day at work. My riding experience tells me that if you are in a hurry, you must not wear headphones, because when the headphones are playing music, they will cover the sound of the surrounding environment and affect the safety of riding.
I usually listen to music when I'm not in a hurry, that is, when the riding speed is slow. But the earphones of the past always gave me a kind of trouble. The "stethoscope effect" caused by the friction between wired earphones and clothes or air is simply unbearable. Wireless headphones such as AirPods are worried about falling out. The wind noise brought by noise-canceling headphones also makes people wonder whether they are listening to music or the howling of the wind.
Bose's glasses can solve the problems caused by headphones to a large extent. When I wear it while riding, I can hear the music clearly and the sound of the surrounding environment without affecting the riding safety. More importantly, it performs very well in wind noise . If it is not a strong wind during daily riding, you will hardly be disturbed by wind noise.
Of course, the function of its sunglasses can also reduce eye fatigue caused by bright light and glare on the road.
The second usage scenario is outdoor running and other sports . When running, we will most likely want to listen to some music to arouse our enthusiasm for sports. Similar to riding, wearing these glasses can not only reduce eye fatigue, but also enjoy music under the open sound field, abandoning all the troubles caused by traditional headphones. At the same time, as mentioned above, its frame design allows the glasses to be firmly attached to your head, even if you are exercising.
The third use scenario is driving . Sunglasses are actually a great auxiliary tool for drivers. Clearer vision will improve driving safety. When I am driving, I would like the navigation sound to be quieter and not to disturb the passengers in the car. Then the glasses will meet this demand well.
The above three scenarios are more common in daily life. Bose's official website also gives other usage scenarios, such as cross-country, mountaineering, etc., which are very directional for outdoor enthusiasts.
Is it worth starting?
Without AR function support, does Bose glasses still have a "soul"? To be honest, its AR function has been tasteless before, and the difference between it and the absence is not very big, and its AR application is basically not available in China. So if you are struggling with this, you can be relieved.
You can think of these glasses as sunglasses + portable ear speakers. Is the price of 1999 yuan worth it? If you have the requirements for the above scenarios, then Bose glasses will bring you a great experience. Otherwise, there is no need to purchase.
In fact, some hardware products released by Bose in the past few years are quite niche. For example, Sleepbuds, the noise-shielding earplugs that focus on sleep, can only play sleep aid music in the official App, and play it at an appropriate frequency to offset the noise.
Another example is the wearable speaker Bose SoundWear, which is located between the speaker and the earphone, with strong sound directivity and not easy to noisy others. It is not closed like earphones and does not burden the ears.
However, these two are relatively niche, reflecting the fact that they did not arouse splashes on the market, but Bose's spirit of exploration is still worthy of recognition . The current smart glasses industry is in the process of rapid iteration. Bose's Frames glasses are just a phased product on the AR glasses track. After all, voice interaction is also an important field of human-computer interaction. I think Bose's divestiture of the AR department is just a dormant move. When the AR market becomes more mature, Bose will continue to "initiate an attack" in the AR field.
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