So, you just bought a new pair of sunglasses and a friend of yours wears it on. Now imagine her/his reaction when the music starts to play, almost out of nowhere. Bose Frames arrive at a time when a growing number of individuals have begun to isolate themselves from the world around them with headphones in all shapes and forms. This gadget has the potential to change that. Does the sound quality and the promise of audio-driven AR make the Bose Frames a serious contender?
Fashion and tech haven’t always been a great blend. That’s the first hurdle Bose clears; in style. The Frames come in two variants – the Rondo (as the name suggests, a rounded frame) and the spiffy Alto that I checked out, that works better for bigger faces. The Frames can pass off for your regular pair of shades; the slightly thick arms are probably the only giveaway. ‘The smallest Bose sound system out there’ – that’s one way to describe the Frames. Two tiny speakers are concealed on both arms, while a tiny multi-functional button is integrated seamlessly into the shades and is easily accessible.
The elegant design language extends to the case too. There’s also room in the case to tuck in the cleaning cloth that doubles up as a tiny pouch for the charging cable. The charging dock is also cleverly concealed along the inside of the right arm. It’s the same practicality that extends to the sound. I’ve figured that 50-70% is the ideal volume for the Frames. It’s the optimum sound for the Frames to deliver the best quality sound and you don’t risk irking a fellow passenger on a flight with audio leaks. That’s one of the clever features of the Frames, you don’t have to worry about creating the same racket as cantankerous folks in public spaces who switch to speaker mode while chatting with their kid or watching random videos on their phones. Audio quality is good but it’s not in the league of a premium headset. The fact that you are plugged into ambient sounds makes this a minor sacrifice.
You will find most AirPods die-hards barely take them off through the day. We all go through days like that, especially when you’re in road warrior mode jumping from meetings, cabs and even flights. Bose Frames are geared for days like that where you can toggle between calls, podcasts and music. The multi-function button is both tactile and versatile. You can shuffle tracks, activate Siri, all with minimal effort. We wish Bose had added volume controls too. It’s not much fun pulling your phone out each time you need to crank up the volume. That aside, battery life is probably our only crib. We managed three to four hours of battery life (we tested this over two charging cycles) that is in line with Bose’s claims.
The Frames are not just about an innovative experience in 2019; Bose gives you a peek into the future with a dedicated AR app store. I tried Navi Guide, a cool navigation app that offers some contextual information about landmarks around you (a feature that’s not yet geared for India) and Konrad Air, a fun audio AR-enabled game that transports you back to the cold war era. Bose’s vision for audio-driven AR certainly holds a lot of promise for the immediate future.
Successful lifestyle gadgets usually find a way to blend into your daily routine or lifestyle. That’s why we’re excited about the Bose Frames; it’s a strong proposition for a concept device. This one’s not just for early adopters but also if you’re on the move a lot or to complement an active lifestyle.
The Boss Frames cost Rs 21,900/- and are available in two variants – Alto and Rondo. You can customise your Frames with interchangeable replacement lenses (Rs 1990/- for non-polarised and Rs 2,990/- for polarised) from the Bose Frames lens collection