Audio sunglasses get an upgrade.
It was more than a year since we first reviewed the Bose Frames, and this year we’re getting a new updated version that comes with a new design. Named ‘Tempo’, this device gears towards more active users, though it wouldn’t look bad as an everyday pair as well. While it felt gimmicky at first, it did find its audience that wanted an all-in-one wearable.
The Tempo’s sporty frame is easy to wear and forms a snug fit in your head when worn. They’re lightweight, even with the built-in audio system that comes in the frame. The small speaker outputs music directly to your ear, and while they’re normally discreet there’s a good chance the person sitting next to you can hear what you’re listening to.
The temples that house the audio system are bulky, but they’re positioned in a way that doesn’t obstruct usage. The package also includes different-sized nose pad options so you can find the best fit. In my case, I think the Tempo is too small for my head since it was rather tight when I wore it. But the fit is strong enough that it didn’t fall off when I was doing my morning run.
The good thing about the Tempo is that its lens is interchangeable, and the included polarized, mirrored lenses are already great. Made from shatter-proof plastic and scratch-resistant, the lenses can also be custom-made to match your eye prescription, with the option to choose different degrees of visible light transmission (VLT). What’s more, the frame of the Tempo is made from flexible plastic and also sports IPX4 water-resistance that’s good enough to be used in the rain.
Just below the right temple, you will find a single button used for power, pairing, and playback along with answering or ending phone calls. Next to this button is a USB-C port for charging and a status LED. The outside panel of the right temple is touch-sensitive, and this is where you can control the volume by a simple swipe. Double tapping this panel also initiates your voice assistant (Siri or Google Assistant). Like all Bose devices, you would need to install the Bose Music app (available for Android and iOS) to properly set up the Tempo.
The Tempo did well with our tests, offering a sharp audio output with clear and detailed tones. The only thing missing is the sufficient bass that is expected since the speakers are quite far from your ears. I’ve also noticed slight distortions when playing in high volumes, but it wasn’t bad enough to impact your listening experience. That being said, if you’re into bass and low frequencies, the Tempo probably isn’t what you want to listen to.
Other than that the Tempo still impresses considering how sound comes out of the speakers. The music I was listening to was still very audible even while I was running by a busy street or when I was talking to someone. There’s also a two beam-forming microphone array that manages to capture my voice that’s great when I’m on a call.
Overall, the Bose Frames Tempo improves upon the first generation Frames introduced a year back. While these audio sunglasses aren’t for everyone, there is still a lot to love about this pair. The Tempo joins the Tenor and the Soprano for this year’s Frame lineup, which all costs 1,049 AED.
+ Decent audio output
+ Lenses can be changed
– Bass could be better
Final Rating: 4/5