Three new Bose Frames bring better variety to the audio sunglasses range

(Image credit: Bose)

They were arguably a frivolous novelty when they first launched back in 2019, but we will freely admit to falling in love with the original Bose Frames. Not only were they stylish, with a design that suits many different face shapes, but these Bluetooth-enabled sunglasses were unique as well, with tiny built-in speakers that direct audio straight into your ears. However, there were just two styles to choose from... until now.

Bose has added three more options to the Frames line-up: one has a very sporty look and is called the Tempo, while the Tenor and Suprano join the older Alto and Rondo as everyday, stylish sunglasses that also happen to be wireless speakers.

Admittedly, the older models had some teething issues – battery life was a dismal three hours and background noise did make enjoying music hard in crowded environments. Bose promises that the new Frames have better performance than the Alto and Rondo, while still looking sleek and stylish.

An improved outlook

As the name suggests, Tempo has been designed specifically for outdoor activities like running, cycling and hiking. This model comes with different colored polarized lenses and a 22mm driver in each arm for sound of "the highest fidelity". That, Bose claims, should allow you to listen to your favourite tunes while you're cycling at 25mph (40kmph). The Tempo also has excellent battery life, with a promise of up to 8 hours of playback.

The Tenor and Soprano, on the other hand, are more fashion forward. The former has a more squarish frame, while the latter has a cat-eye style. They, too, have different polarized lens options but, unlike the Tempo, have 16mm drivers embedded in the arms and offer only 5.5 hours of battery per charge. Still, that's a marked improvement over the Alto and Rondo.

The Tempo gets USB-C charging, while the other two inherit the clip-on charging pins we saw in the original models. True to its sporty look, the Tempo gets IPX4 water and sweat resistance, while the Tenor and Soprano only get an IPX2 rating.

All three have an improved mic system for clearer voice calls, with a dual-beam-forming array replacing the previous single mic. This, Bose says, "shields what you’re saying from wind, noise, and other nearby conversations". They all also get a volume-optimized equalizer for better sound at lower volumes while also reducing the chance of distortion when it's louder.

The new Bose Frames range definitely sounds intriguing; we've requested a pair for testing, so watch this space for a full review at a later date. 

In the meantime, you can pre-order one right away for $250 / £240 / AU$400 from Bose – a price that (fair warning) is a good chunk higher than the original two models. They'll begin shipping from early October and are prescription-ready as well.

Sharmishta Sarkar
Managing Editor (APAC)

Sharmishta is TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor and loves all things photography, something she discovered while chasing monkeys in the wilds of India (she studied to be a primatologist but has since left monkey business behind). While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, she's also an avid reader and has become a passionate proponent of ereaders, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about the convenience of these underrated devices. When she's not testing camera kits or the latest in e-paper tablets, she's discovering the joys and foibles of smart home gizmos. She's also the Australian Managing Editor of Digital Camera World and, if that wasn't enough, she contributes to T3 and Tom's Guide, while also working on two of Future's photography print magazines Down Under.