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Bose Frames 2.0 evaluation: Cool however non-essential

With the Bose Frames 2.0, the audio large continues marching onward within the extraordinarily area of interest market of audio glasses. I used to be capable of evaluation the Bose Frames Tenor which occurred to be one of many three new fashions, however at $249 a pop, do the Bose Frames provide one thing greater than being a cool pair of shades that pump out music? Allow us to discover out. 


  • It’s tremendous COOL!
  • 5.5 hours of battery life
  • Good audio high quality with clear sound
  • Comfy to put on and light-weight


  • Design appears to be like a bit low-cost for the worth
  • Proprietary charging cable is impractical
  • Unergonomic controls
  • Restricted to IPX2 certification
  • Excessive lack of bass
  • Costly value

The Bose Frames Tenor in a nutshell

Bose launched its conceptual linked audio glasses in 2019 and I truly had the privilege of reviewing the primary model once I was nonetheless working in Paris. The Bose Frames Tenor that’s on evaluation right here occurs to be one of many three new pairs that have been launched by the producer in late 2020.

On this new vary, we are going to check out the Tenor mannequin that options rectangular frames, a Soprano mannequin and its extra rounded butterfly body, in addition to the sporty model which is just often called Tempo. All three fashions are priced at $249 a pop, with the Tempo mannequin having the excellence of bigger drivers, an extended battery life, and a USB-C port for charging – factors which could affect your buy resolution.

NextPit Bose Tenor Style 2
The cool issue outweighs the worth/efficiency ratio / © NextPit

Glasses with built-in microphones and audio system, what’s to not like about it? The Bose Frames idea is each superior but additionally relegated to a particularly area of interest market. Think about true wi-fi headphones that lack bass whereas sporting an outdoor-friendly design that appears nice if you put it on. 

You find yourself with a deliberate excuse for a dispensable luxurious merchandise that you just solely pull out solely a couple of times in the summertime when the climate is sweet and dry. Bose Frames might very effectively be the wearable electronics equal of a classic convertible. Nonetheless, that does not robotically relegate it into the realm of dangerous merchandise.

We have to get away from the utilitarian method by which we choose most of our client electronics units. We’re not speaking a couple of want however a need right here, the will to be cool and to point out off with these linked glasses. And that is why I nonetheless use the primary mannequin, the Bose Frames Alto, even when which means placing it on only some weeks in a complete yr.

We are going to see on this evaluation that Bose has reproduced the qualities present in its first mannequin on this new model, though perfection has not been attained simply but.

Design: A really “plastic” look

The Bose Frames Tenor gives a extra compact and polished design than the primary era with its IPX2 water and mud certification in addition to interchangeable lenses.

What I preferred:

  • Appears to be like like regular glasses.
  • Interchangeable lenses (99% UVA/UVB safety).
  • Feels mild and comfy like regular glasses.

What I did not like:

  • Case doesn’t provide machine charging.
  • Use of low-cost plastic supplies.
  • Solely IPX2 certification.

NextPit Bose Tenor Style 1
The Tenor mannequin has an oblong design impressed by the Ray-Ban Wayfarer / © NextPit

Whenever you buy a pair of sun shades for near $300, you positively would need to put on and showcase. The issue is, the Bose Frames make such an effort to be discreet so as not to attract an excessive amount of consideration to their protruding temples (that homes all of the audio know-how), that they grow to be near a generic design that doesn’t warrant a re-examination.

Nonetheless, I have to say that the design is definitely extra meticulous than the primary era. We went from a grainy plastic coating to a smoother, extra upper-class materials that imitates the impact of lacquer or varnish which is discovered on basic glasses. Bose defined that they determined to accept nylon TR-90, a cloth that’s generally used on conventional glasses.

However once I took them in my hand, the extraordinarily light-weight kind issue, in addition to a sense of hollowness on the Bose Frames Tenor, seemed that it is a moderately low-cost pair of glasses, a minimum of one that doesn’t warrant the premium price ticket. The identical could be mentioned for its interchangeable lenses that may be unclipped whereas carrying a sticker price ticket of $39 per pair. The whole really feel that’s overwhelmingly plastic is moderately jarring. 

NextPit Bose Tenor Style 9
The well-known TR-90 nylon makes it really feel manner too low-cost / © NextPit

I discovered that this new mannequin can be a lot smaller in measurement than its predecessor. The Alto mannequin that I personal got here in two sizes, S and M/L whereas the Tenor which I reviewed has just one measurement (for comparability, the Alto M/L was 54 mm x 21 mm x 136 mm whereas the Tenor measured 55 mm x 18 mm x 136 mm). Bose lowered the width of the lenses and the area between every lens by 1 and three mm, respectively.

For many who have massive heads like me (not metaphorically, after all), it is a dangerous factor. The Bose Frames Tenor continues to be very comfy to put on, the place I felt as cramped in them as I did in my Calvin Klein XL slim-fit shirt that I have not managed to suit into since I used to be 19. Nonetheless, I’m nonetheless retaining that shirt in any respect prices whereas ready for the day once I whip myself into form and having a physique that even Adonis would flip resentful.

NextPit Bose Tenor Style 13
Sadly, the case doesn’t recharge the glasses / © NextPit

General, I discover the design of the Bose Frames Tenor profitable by way of the discreet integration of all of the audio know-how. Nonetheless, the look of those luxurious glasses is clearly unfit of the entry value. I do know we’re paying extra for the know-how than the supplies right here, however at $290, absolutely one can count on just a little bit greater than merely a “plastic” end.”

Cool contact controls, however not very ergonomic

The Bose Frames Tenor is just not a mere pair of sun shades, and neither are they a pair of true wi-fi headphones.
So what in regards to the sound high quality?

What I preferred:

  • Surprisingly clear sound.
  • Voices are audible.
  • Most quantity is highly effective sufficient for outside use.

What I didn’t like:

  • Stunning lack of bass.
  • Loads of reverberation.

NextPit Bose Tenor Style 8
One of many directional audio system on the Bose Frames Tenor / © NextPit

Once I reviewed the primary model, I used to be actually shocked by how a lot better the sound high quality was than I anticipated. We’re speaking about microphones that diffuse a directional sound and don’t accomplish that by way of bone conduction. Therefore, it is fairly loopy that Bose managed to provide audible sound with out turning its frames right into a Bluetooth speaker that can burst your eardrums.

Nicely, it ought to be famous instantly that the Bose Frames Tenor are sorely missing in bass. The sounds will not be percussive sufficient and lose dynamism. What I need to say is, we virtually do not care about that since 90% of the music that we get pleasure from occurs to hail from numerous components (strings, brass, voices, and many others).

The small 16 mm drivers (as a reminder, on a pair of high-end headphones, the diameter of the membranes is round 40 mm) produced surprisingly clear sound. Once I say clear, I meant that they’re audible on either side, with audiophiles declaring that it focuses extra on the mediums/high-mids and highs than different segments.

NextPit Bose Tenor Style 11
The bi-directional audio system don’t impede your ears / © NextPit

However, a defect that was within the first era of audio sun shades has not but been rectified within the new Bose Frames Tenor. Principally, there’s audio leakage, which implies no matter you might be listening to will also be heard by others round you. 

When you’re open air, no person ever checked out me the mistaken manner even once I had the quantity cranked as much as 100%. Nonetheless, when you’re indoors, you would need to watch out with the quantity stage. Once I was driving the subway, I restricted my private audio classes to a most quantity of fifty%, because the music was audible sufficient for my private enjoyment, however every time I eliminated my glasses, I might nonetheless hear some sound (the clashing of cymbals, for instance).

Within the SoundCloud playlist beneath, you’ll be able to hear what the glasses sound like indoors as I recorded myself with an expert mic whereas taking part in a music at low, medium, and excessive quantity on the Bose Frames.

The above playlist additionally included a snippet the place I recorded myself speaking indoors and open air simply to see how the Bose Frames Tenor microphones carried out. General, I discovered the standard to be common, which is the case with virtually all true wi-fi audio merchandise that I’ve reviewed to date.

Whereas the voice stays intelligible, there’s some crackling and the Bose Frames Tenor merely doesn’t do a adequate job of attenuating ambient noise and isolating voices.

General, I am nonetheless happy with the audio high quality of the Bose Frames Tenor. For glasses that one makes use of when one is outdoors strolling or driving the bicycle, I discover them to be completely balanced. It is kind of comparable in efficiency to in-ear earphones with ambient mode enabled that amplifies noise round you, whereas delivering much less punchy bass. I even discovered myself working with them, because the glasses are much more comfy than earbuds if you’re going to put on one in every of them for lengthy durations of time.

Battery life: Extra sturdy than the Airpods Professional

The Bose Frames Tenor guarantees 5.5 hours of battery life and is charged by way of a proprietary cable.

What I preferred:

  • Spectacular battery life in comparison with different high-end TWS headphones.

What I did not like:

  • Proprietary charging cable.
  • Sluggish charging time.
  • The case ought to have doubled up as a charging station.

In relation to battery life, Bose has executed an excellent job in retaining to their claims. I used to be at all times capable of exceed 5 hours of use earlier than having to plug the Bose Frames Tenor into a close-by energy outlet.

And that is definitely the least nice a part of the consumer expertise with this product. The proprietary charging cable was excusable for the primary mannequin, however it’s hardly acceptable for the Bose Frames Tenor, particularly when the sporty mannequin, the Tempo, comes with a USB-C port.

The charging time can be moderately gradual. Actually, it takes an hour to go from 0 to 100% and the charging cable itself is unfortunately very quick.

I anticipated a variety of progress from Bose when it got here to the charging mechanism and admittedly, I’m fairly dissatisfied. That is particularly so for the reason that battery life is spectacular. The Bose Frames Tenor can outlast many of the different high-end true wi-fi headphones available in the market. Hopefully, Bose realizes that it might be much better to have the ability to cost the Frames of their case.

Cool contact controls, however not very ergonomic

One very cool factor is the mixing of contact controls in the correct arm of the Bose Frames Tenor.

What I preferred:

  • Contact-sensitive controls.

What I did not like:

  • Contact controls will not be used usually sufficient.
  • Poor placement of the multi-function button.
  • Companion app is just not very fascinating.

NextPit Bose Tenor Style 6
Solely the correct arm of the Bose Frames Tenor has a touch-sensitive floor / © NextPit

With a purpose to modify the quantity, you’ll have to slide your finger ahead or backward alongside the arm. The touch-sensitive system is delicate sufficient, nevertheless it lacks precision. A double-touch on the identical arm means that you can activate the voice assistant.

On the whole, I feel it is a disgrace that Bose restricted the contact controls to simply adjusting the quantity. Every part else is assigned to a bodily button on the decrease fringe of the correct arm. Moreover, the controls depend upon two situations: content material consumption or telephone calls.

NextPit Bose Tenor Style 3
This little multi-function button actually takes away from the ergonomics of the controls / © NextPit

Whenever you take heed to media, a single press means that you can play/pause, whereas a double-press means that you can change the observe. Whenever you obtain an incoming name, a single press means that you can reply whereas a double-press helps you hold up. This button additionally doubles up as the ability button.

That is a minimum of 5 completely different instructions assigned to 1 little button. I’d have preferred Bose to make extra use of the tactile floor of the arms of its glasses.

Particularly since it’s inconceivable to reprogram the controls, even by way of the companion software often called Bose Music. Allow us to now discuss in regards to the companion software. I do not see the purpose of putting in this other than trying up the listing of controls simply in case you neglect how one can modify the quantity. All you’ve got within the app is a battery indicator, quantity controls, and Bluetooth units.

bose frames tenor review app
The companion app gives the naked minimal / © NextPit

Lastly, I’d have preferred that Bose was extra artistic in using its tactile floor, by integrating them within the two legs, as an illustration. As for the applying, the one benefit of it’s Bose now not requires you to create a consumer account with a purpose to entry it.


For those who’ve learn my evaluation, you’ll have the impression that I used to be moderately too harsh on this pair of audio glasses with out appreciating them. Nicely, suppose once more. I merely wished to provide the most balanced factors of view potential.

The Bose Frames Tenor are clearly imperfect. They’re additionally logically not one of the best true wi-fi audio wearable available in the market by way of audio high quality. Lively noise discount, the buzzword within the audio market since 2018, can be fully absent right here.

However actually, as flawed because the idea could also be total, it fills its area of interest market completely. If you wish to be cool and are sick of the white stems or earbuds, decide up the Bose Frames with none hesitation.

We’re not speaking a couple of product with {hardware} thrown in as an afterthought. Right here, the afterthought itself is the product. And, for as soon as, this distinctive proposition truly works in its favor. We’re not speaking a couple of barely usable Samsung 100x area zoom. The promise right here was to supply glasses that performed audible sound in your ears with out obstructing your ears. Actually, the promise has been stored from the second you unbox it.

Fact be instructed, that is truly a philosophy that’s discovered on virtually all luxurious merchandise. The rationale between a excessive value and the shortcomings of a product makes its buy so irrational within the eyes of a wise client, that the act of shopping for finally ends up as a social image. That is the equal of spending “foolish cash”.

Principally, I’ve a lot cash that I do not care if I purchase a product that’s imperfect or too costly for what it’s presupposed to do. The necessary factor is, I can afford it. Nicely, the Bose Frames Tenor would not actually match into this analogy, however the “cool” issue clearly outweighs the worth/high quality ratio.

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