Hands-On With Bose's 'Tenor' Audio Sunglasses

Bluetooth-enabled audio sunglasses have been trending lately, and Bose recently came out with the Frames Tenor, a set of high-end sunglasses that connect to your iPhone over Bluetooth, allowing you to listen to music without needing to bother with headphones.


We thought we'd check out the $250 Tenor audio sunglasses to see whether they're worth the cost for those who might be looking for an earbuds alternative.

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Bose's audio sunglasses look like normal sunglasses, and from the outside, it's not clear at a glance that there are built-in speakers. Design wise, the frames look as attractive as other sunglasses, though the arms are thicker to accommodate the acoustics and the built-in tap and swipe gestures for music control. These frames are on the larger side and might not fit smaller faces well.

By default, these come with standard sunglass lenses, but there is a prescription option for those who need prescription sunglasses. Adding prescription lenses costs another $127 minimum, with higher prices for progressive lenses, thin and light lens material, and other upgrades.

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The Bose Frames Tenor use Bose's Open Ear Audio technology, which is meant to provide high-quality sound from the arms of the sunglasses. Like bone conducting technology, the frames aren't exactly silent to those who are around you, but audio is noticeably better than what you get from bone conducting headphones. You're not going to achieve the volume that you get with in-ear earbuds like AirPods Pro, but the sound gets loud enough.

In terms of disturbing others, the sound coming from the Frames Tenor is similar to what someone might hear from you if you were listening to music loudly through standard headphones. It's not particularly disturbing and should be near silent to those who aren't right next to you.

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Since there's nothing in the ear, with the Frames Tenor, you can still hear what's going on around you, which is ideal for situations where you need to be aware of your surroundings, such as biking or running. Since these are in fact sunglasses, they're primarily limited to outdoor use unless you fancy wearing sunglasses indoors, which is something to keep in mind. They're not as practical as earbuds that can be used both indoors and out.

The frames are comfortable to wear, and again, with nothing in the ear, there's no ear fatigue to worry about, so these have the potential to be a useful accessory for those who can't stand earbuds and headphones. With the built-in battery, the frames last for up to 5.5 hours, and thanks to an included microphone array, calls sound good. Bose included a magnetic carrying case for storage purposes.

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Most people are probably going to prefer earbud options that are either more affordable or offer better sound quality and features, but for those who want outdoor-only audio sunglasses, the Frames Tenor are high quality and offer great audio while also not distracting from outside noises. What do you think of Bose's audio sunglasses? Let us know in the comments.

Tag: Bose

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Top Rated Comments

Psychicbob Avatar
43 months ago
Ok if you built a career around doing Roy Orbison impressions
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TehFalcon Avatar
43 months ago
I got these for Christmas and I love them. Wear them everyday. They are especially awesome to wear inside a helmet on a motorcycle for some music!
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jclo Avatar
43 months ago

Too bad the lenses aren’t transition. Then they could be worn indoors, but honestly, whoever buys these will have a pair of BT earbuds anyway, so problem solved.
If you have a prescription you can get these with transitions lenses, but it's really expensive.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
schiltzs Avatar
43 months ago
I've used the Bose Sport version of these sunglasses many times while cycling and really love them. The sound is amazingly clear and the quality is far better than I would have thought. They enable me to hear everything around me while still enjoying music or audiobooks on those long rides where you are looking for a distraction. I feel perfectly safe with cars around me, as I can hear them coming from behind with no problem. The actual sunglasses themselves work fine - the polarization is excellent. I also use these when going for a run or walk - they stay secure to my head and don't bounce around or produce that 'thud' sound you hear sometimes in your ear when wearing in-ear headphones. They connect easily to both my Iphone and Apple Watch for those concerned about Apple connectivity. I typically get around 6 hours of use out of full charge.

I'd highly recommend these to anyone who wants good sound while still being able to hear their surroundings. These would probably be great for skiing for those in colder climates...
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RevTEG Avatar
43 months ago
My eye doctor carried the older models for awhile now. They can easily add prescription lens. I don’t own any yet but tried them on. They sounded great (for what they are) and I was surprised my family didn’t notice the audio. I expected the sound to be annoying to others.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple Freak Avatar
43 months ago

This is so dumb. So I can only listen to music in sunlight? Unusable at night? Lol
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)