12 Technologies For The Holidays: Bose Frames Need The Right Use Case
by Betsy Burton
I am realizing that I am gravitating toward technologies that can help me communicate better. In this series I wrote about both Apple AirPods and Google Pixel Buds. I think my focus is on technologies that can help me use my devices more effectively. I doubt I am alone in this search, since many of us are conducting our professional and personal lives remotely using our connected devices.
In this new search, I spotted the Bose Frames.
Despite Bluetooth Audio, Early Designs Had Limited Use
I will admit, I have been back and forth about this product several times. The first version of the frames were regular glasses with integrated Bluetooth audio and microphone. I thought, “oh that looks like fun.”
And then I started talking with people who had used them for some time. It turns out that they didn’t use them that much. If they were out walking, they found the sound quality was too low. And if they were stationary, they didn’t need the audio integrated with sunglasses.
One young gamer abandoned them because they didn’t need the sunglasses inside to play. Another customer was disappointed that they did not work with apps like Spotify.
Several customers reported that the early “Ray-Ban” style designs were too 1980s. Funny, I do agree, the Soprano, Tenor and Alto models look a bit like old Miami Vice styles. (PS: if you don’t remember Miami Vice, don’t worry about it—just think 1980s neon clothing).
The Tempo Style Changed My Mind
The latest style ‘Tempo’ does have a solid use case for sports. I can imagine bike riding or even running with the Tempo style Bose Frames. It is a light sporty style pair of glasses with the same embedded Bluetooth audio and microphone.
The style works, but so does the functionality. If I am bike riding/running/skateboarding I need to hear what is going on around me, including: traffic, sirens, and fellow riders. Using a noise-canceling earbud seems like a bad idea. The Bose Frames provide the ability to hear music and receive/make calls without blocking out the world.
They are also water resistant, but not waterproof. So, they could be used sailing…maybe even kayaking… but not paddle boarding or surfing unless you never fall in the water.
The Bose Frames would be a great gift for the right use case—an avid biker, runner, etc. There may be people who like solo hiking that would find the old models interesting, despite the 80s style. For most other use cases (gaming, sitting, work, etc.), they seem like a bit of a gimmick. You can get higher quality sound and app integration capabilities for the same, if not lower, price.