The Bose Frames Tenor are sunglasses with headphones built into the frames designed so that only you can hear them. They are expensive. They are ridiculous. But they’re also a lot of fun.

You can watch my full review of the Bose Frames Tenor in this video or read on.

Hands Free

The concept of the Frames line from Bose – a series of sunglasses from casual to sport – seems indulgent but the application is thoughtful. Physically the design doesn’t reveal these are pricey sunglasses with capable speakers embedded in the frames, aside from a bit more thickness, noticeable only if you’re really looking for it. Using polarizing glass Bose didn’t cut corners on the glasses themselves which can be ordered to your prescription if needed.

The real trick of these sunglasses however are the two speakers on either frame that are positioned toward your ears.

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Surprising Sound Quality

Although there is some sound bleed – others around you can hear what you’re listening to at higher volumes, from your perspective as a wearer, the audio is clear. Bose has also included two microphones in these Frames Tenor so you can make and take calls, which sound decent, considering there’s nothing dangling anywhere near your mouth.

Bose Built Headphones Into Sunglasses And It’s Back To The Future

Touch controls and gestures in the frames themselves let you swipe up/down for volume controls, left/right for forward/back, and taps for pause and play. There’s a lot to like about the Bose Frames Tenor which don’t seem nearly as frivolous once you start using them.

Limiting Sports

There are some obvious limitations to the Frames however. First, you have to wear them in bright conditions and sunglasses might not be appropriate in a lot of places (don’t be that guy in the airport or office). The Frames also have a little noise bleed so in quiet settings they might be a bit too loud for your surroundings if you crank up the sound. On the flip side, those limitations can be assets if you look at the Bose Frames Tempo – the sporty version of the Tenor.

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On a bike or jog in bright conditions, sunglasses sit more comfortably than most earbuds when you start sweating. Also, having your ears free gives you the opportunity to hear the world around you, whether it be cars in traffic or a jogger passing you on a trial. The portability of the Frames line makes them a very interesting option for runners, bikers, and outdoorsy people in general. The Frames are also a look into the future where we might have headphones embedded in more products or even our ears.

Imaging the possibilities of portable audio Marty.