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Bose releases Frames Tempo — $249 sound-producing sunglasses for athletes

(Image credit: Bose)

Bose may have abandoned its sound-based AR platform but the concept of turning sunglasses into headphones lives on in three new Frames products. The audio company today announced a trio of new Frames sunglasses: the Tempo, Tenor and Soprano. 

As a reminder, Bose's Frames are sunglasses with micro speakers hidden in the arms that point toward your ear. They let you privately listen to music without the need for uncomfortable earbuds or clunky headphones.

Each of these glasses is geared toward a different user but there are some similarities. For one, they all come with polarizing lenses that block 99% of UV light. They also use Open Ear technology that Bose says will produce better sound quality than the previous models while letting you listen to music, make calls, or access a voice assistant without disturbing the people around you.

The glasses upgrade the single mic found in the previous versions with a dual-beam-forming array that blocks wind noise so your voice can be heard even when you're biking downhill.

New Bose Frames price and release date

The Tempo, Tenor and Soprano also share the same price and release date: $249 and they are available today through Bose and other retailers. 

The three new models will join, not replace, the Alto and Rondo introduced in 2018.

Bose Frames Tempo

The Tempo, a pair of sports sunglasses, is geared toward climbers, bikers, runners and other athletes. It is made of TR90, a thermoplastic nylon designed to be lightweight yet durable. Bose claims the Tempo can withstand "extreme temperatures and extreme workouts."

(Image credit: Bose)

Bose custom designed spring hinges and temple tips to ensure the Tempo doesn't slide down your nose as you work up a sweat. Also, silicone nose pads come in three different shapes so you can get the right fit. The lenses are polycarbonate with 12% visible light transmission (VLT) or you can swap those out for Road Orange (20%), Trail Blue (28%) or Twilight Yellow (77%) lenses with greater VLT. 

Although all three glasses are priced at $249, Bose claims the Tempo produces the "highest fidelity in the Frames family" using a 22mm driver embedded in each temple. The glasses should get loud enough for you to listen to music while riding a bike at 25 miles per hour. Of course, you should stay aware of your surroundings when working out outside. That's where the open design comes in; the Frames are designed to let in ambient sound so you can hear cars and nearby pedestrians. 

Bose designed the Tempo to fit under helmets and these IPX4-rated glasses are resistant to scratches, sweat and water. The battery life is estimated at 8 hours and the glasses charge via USB-C. 

Bose Frames Tenor and Soprano 

If you want more style and less sport, then consider the Tenor or Soprano. The Tenor is smaller with square-shaped frames while the Soprano has a rounded cat-eye. 

(Image credit: Bose)

Bose claims these new glasses are more durable and comfortable than the previous models. Sound is produced by 16mm speakers in each arm and is tuned to have a better bass response so you can feel those low thuds when you're jamming out to hip-hop or EDM. 

Both the Tenor and Soprano are scratch and shatter-resistant and are rated to 5.5 hours of battery life. Like the Tempo, they charge via USB-C.