REVIEW: Bose Frames Soprano Are Stylish Sunglasses With Spectacular Sound
Audio firm Bose has combined style, convenience, and a splash of fun into its suite of audio sunglasses: The Frames.
After reviewing plenty of TWS earbuds, it was an interesting novelty to try out a pair of Bose Frames Soprano – stylish cat-eye sunglasses with Bose Open Ear Technology which can shield your eyes from the sun AND play music at the same time.
Audio sunglasses are a relatively new invention and I think it’s fair to say Bose leads the charge in this pioneering category.
Bose already has a fantastic reputation in the sound market, so you know the Frames are going to have clear, rich audio despite not being directly in-ear.
I put them to the ultimate test in the windy Sydney weather to see if the Bose Frames Soprano are worth the $399 price tag.
Design + Features
Bose offers the Frames line-up in a range of styles, including a pair of fashionable cat-eye lenses and high-performance sport sunglasses.
The Bose Soprano Frames are designed to frame your face in an elegant way – they aren’t bulky or awkward and you can’t even tell two powerful little speakers are hiding right near your temple.
The stylish glossy finish make them a nice companion for any outfit.
The Frames are lightweight (they weigh just 40g) and come in a simple case for easy storage and carrying, too.
The polarised lenses mean they work just as well as a pair of sunglasses as they do headphones. And Bose has ensured the Frames are prescription ready, so just pop out the lenses and place your own in easily.
There is a button on the right-hand side for turning on connectivity and is also the play-pause function.
Meanwhile, there is a seamless capacitive touch and an integrated motion sensor on the right temple which means you can adjust volume by sliding your finger back and forth.
It is super-responsive, and I had no issue controlling the volume this way.
The touch control can conjure up your phone’s native voice assistant too.
Amazingly, the Frames automatically sense when you put them down and will turn off to save battery.
The charging port is also nicely positioned out of the way on one of the temples and it connects to the magnetic charger quite easily.
Sunglasses are traditionally very easy drop or break, but Bose has you covered with an IPX2 water-resistant rating for the frames and shatter and scratch-resistant premium plastic for the lenses.
The Bose Frames Soprano are a step-up from the original Frames model, with the audio performance a notch more impressive thanks to the integrated speakers which beam the sound right into your ears.
I was shocked at just how smooth and rich the sound was. It felt like the music was playing loud and clear in my head – like my own personal life soundtrack.
It’s not quite the same as a pair of in-ear buds or headphones, but I couldn’t believe how full the audio sounded.
Bose describes the dual-beaming-forming mic array as being able to “shield what you’re saying from wind, noise and other nearby conversations.” I found this to be true – I listened to music on the sunglasses while walking through windy, noisy North Sydney and it was like a dream.
If there’s cross-talking around you or loud noises, it doesn’t matter. The Frames won’t skip a beat and will seamlessly pour beautiful audio into your ear canals.
I used the built-in mic for a few phone calls, and while my voice was coming in loud and clear from the other end, I had to turn the volume up to 100% and it was still a tad faint.
There’s no ANC – of course – and I also noticed the music can be softly from other people even at mid-volume, but this is to be expected when it is beaming out into the world.
The battery life isn’t spectacular, just 5.5 hours on a full charge, but it’s not a major issue especially when you consider how brief your use-cases are – e.g. during a commute or a short walk.
They also charge quite quickly with just one hour needed to juice it fully.
The Bose Frames Soprano are fun, sophisticated and stylish and have a far better sound system then I could have imagined.
If this is the future of listening to music, then I am all for it.
Fantastic, clear audio
Quick easy charging
A little expensive