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Looking to (literally) smarten up your eyewear game? Check out Amazon’s latest Echo Frames sunglasses.
Amazon has just released two new versions of the 2nd gen Echo Frames, delivering polarized lenses with either a mirror blue or classic dark tint. If you’re unfamiliar with the Echo Frames, they’re much more than a pair of sunglasses. The Frames are essentially wearable Echo Dots for hands-free Alexa capabilities and open-ear audio while out and about.
The new smart sunnies are available to buy now on Amazon with a $50 discount in celebration of National Sunglasses Day (June 27). Regularly $269.99+, the sunglasses and earbuds in-one are on sale for just $219.
So what makes the Echo Frames smart? Well, quite a bit. They look very similar to normal stylish sunglasses, save bulkier arms to accommodate their tech. On the side is a swipe-able touch bar, near the ears are two focused micro speakers, and under the right arm are volume controls and an action button.
Perhaps most importantly there are two beamforming microphones that let you talk to Alexa and take phone calls. The shades are also IPX4-rated, ensuring water resistance against sweat and splashes.
Using the microphone, speakers and Alexa capabilities, the Echo Frames let you hear notifications like text messages, listen to all kinds of audio, interact with other smart home devices and plenty more. Think of the shades as Alexa-connected earbuds — only undercover thanks to open-ear audio. If you need to change the volume or open a notification for Alexa to read, the Frames can be controlled by sliding a finger on the multi-function touch bar.
Granted, the Echo Frames have had their problems (the audio isn’t as good as high-quality earbuds and some find them bulky, for example). But we think the polarized sunglasses options are an advancement. Why? Because now you can use the smart glasses in situations where you might not want to use your phone or earbuds: think, lounging at the beach, driving or hiking.
If you’re shopping for smart sunglasses, it’s worth checking out other options too. Bose makes a few excellent options with high-quality sound, such as these rugged Bose Frames Tempo sport sunglasses and these sleek Bose Frames wayfarers.