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Bluetooth sunglasses may seem like a novelty item, but they serve a purpose — the ability to free up your ears while listening to music or making calls.
Unlike buds, these don’t get stuffed into your ear. Instead, you wear them just like regular glasses, while a small and discreet speaker plays privately like a concert just for you. At max volume, and in a crowded space, others right next to you may be able to hear it a little, but it’s not like, say, carrying a Bluetooth speaker around with you.
And since they’re not obstructing your hearing like buds or headphones would, these are excellent for activities like jogging, cycling, talking on the phone while driving and being outside or on the beach, allowing you to hear traffic and dangers while still listening to your favorite playlist hands-free – and having a practical pair of sunglasses, too. Here’s what to look for when searching for a pair that best fits your face and your needs.
Bluetooth Sunglasses Buying Guide
Frames: No matter the pair, these are most likely going to be thicker than average frames, since they have audio technology built into them. That being said, they’re still impressively slim and comfortable for what’s inside. On some models, you can even swap in your prescription lenses, making it customized just for you.
Connection: A solid, unbroken connection to your device is crucial for uninterrupted audio, and these all use at least Bluetooth 4.0 and higher. Fire up your favorite music or navigation app, and these also have built-in mics for phone calls and your AI assistant of choice. A few pairs come with their own accompanying app too, which not only lets you control features now, but are constantly being updated by the companies with new capabilities.
Audio: They’re not meant to replace the quality of your best buds or over-the-ears headphones, but for speakers that aren’t actually in your ear, these still sound pretty nice. The disconnect of hearing music not directly being pumped into your head may take a bit to get used to, and the bass can’t match real buds, but they get loud enough where it’s clear and audible, and doesn’t disturb those around you. Some of these offer bone-conduction audio too, which transmits sound along your cheekbones rather than sending it out through the air.
Case: Regular sunglasses get lost frequently, sat on accidentally, and left at places like friends’ houses. But since these are more of an investment, a case is a huge help in keeping them protected and always in your pack. Not all of them include one, but it’s a really nice bonus for the ones that do (also often doubling as a charging base), and we recommend getting a separate one if your favorite pair doesn’t already include it.
Battery: Playtime is relatively short compared with other devices, about three or five hours before needing an hour recharge depending on how hard you’re cranking up the volume. Standby mode, however, can last longer.
Durability: Sunglasses can get rough treatment, from falling off your head onto the pavement or getting wedged between car seats. And with an investment in a pair like these, it needs to be durable. An IPX-rated pair is a good idea in case of exposure to rain, sweat or accidental falls into the sink (or worse).
Lens: UV protection and polarization, just like regular sunglasses, are important to protect your eyes from the sun. These can also come in different colors too, or even swap them out to match your outfit every day.
What Are the Best Bluetooth Sunglasses?
Keep in mind that this is still relatively new tech, and glasses’ efficiency and abilities will keep on evolving. We’ve selected our four current favorites here to keep your eyes protected and your ears free and happy.
1. Fauna Bluetooth Audio Smart Sunglasses
Fauna definitely wins the fashion show here with its sleek, stylish and modern audio glasses. The acetate-constructed frames hold up to light damage, while the included lenses provide 99 percent UVB and UVA protection, and are interchangeable with your prescriptions.
But they go way beyond just looks, as these performed well in other areas too. Unlike earbuds, these are effortlessly comfortable to wear all through the day, weighing only 1.7 ounces – impressive considering all the electronics inside. They’re also IP52 dust and water-resistant, and feature quick-pairing Bluetooth 5.0 that let you wander around 32 feet from your connected device.
Two touch pads, one on each side of the frames, look minimal from the outside but give you a full range of commands, or totally hands-free with a voice assistant. The micro speaker and woofer on each side are discreet, but positioned to pump sound directly into your ear, while still providing the space to hear your surroundings.
Taking phone calls was extremely easy, answering with just a touch, and two mics and four speakers let you hear the other person loud and clear at 80db max.
These can play for four straight hours, or 20 in standby mode, before needed a recharge from the included, durable case.
2. Bose Frames Audio Sunglasses
Adjusting the volume on these Bose glasses takes just a single touch, and then looking left or right for moving it up or down. Sound is directed to hit right into your ear, minimizing what others around you can pick up.
The frames are a little chunky towards the middle, but get slimmer as they move over your ear. For continuous playtime, these last about three to four hours, and can be ready on standby around 12 hours. A full charge takes about two hours, and the Bluetooth connectivity is strong, integrating with other wearable tech like the Apple Watch. Plus, if you already have the company’s Connect app for your other Bose gear, no need to download anything else.
These come with a carrying case, but it doesn’t have charging capability – that’s left up to a magnetic USB cable.
3. Inventiv Bluetooth Audio Sunglasses
It’s hard to even tell that these are Bluetooth audio glasses from the outside, as the design looks pretty standard to a regular pair. But don’t let looks deceive you, as these offer a whole lot more beneath their matte black surface.
Charging up is done via the mirco USB port, and having an actual command button is a nice touch to rely on something that you actually press.
The lenses offer up 100 percent UV400 protection, and are also polarized with sun glare reducing filters too. There’s also interchangeable color options to match your mood or coordinate with your favorite summer outfit.
4. Oho Bluetooth Sunglasses
Oho’s glasses are impressively slim, with open-ear speakers and a built-in mic letting you listen to music and take phone calls while keeping your hands and ears free.
These can play music on full blast for around five hours before needing a charge, and work with pretty much all your favorite music, streaming and AI services. They can also connect to two smartphones at once, fielding calls from both.
Lenses are interchangeable, and these were the most comfortable of the bunch to wear for long stretches.