Bose Frames Tempo assessment: the specs to beat
It’s nonetheless honest to name audio sun shades a distinct segment class, however with Bose providing a number of fashions, Amazon in the sport, and counting current bulletins from Razer and JLab, it’s actually a rising one. There are individuals on the market who simply aren’t notably keen on earbuds — actually because they dislike the feeling of silicone ideas plugging up their ears. Open-style merchandise like the commonplace AirPods and Galaxy Buds Reside are one various, however then you definately nonetheless face the chance of dropping them. In case you’re operating on a path or out for an intense bike experience, it’s not an insignificant threat.
For these individuals, I can completely see the attraction of the Bose Frames Tempo, which have audio system constructed proper into their body and can keep planted on their face regardless of how strenuous out of doors exercise will get. The Tempo glasses are the sportiest mannequin of Bose’s Frames household, clearly geared at hikers, runners, cyclists, and anybody else who spends a great chunk of their time outdoors. Bose says they’ve additionally bought the finest sound efficiency of the bunch.
From the entrance, they appear to be your typical pair of Oakley, Nike, or Underneath Armour sun shades. Bose is clearly going after that very same market with the $250 Tempos. In case you’re extra fashion-forward or on the lookout for a pair of audio sun shades that don’t give the impression you’re in the center of a triathlon, you’ll need to keep on with the Tenor or Soprano kinds of Frames. These include black mirrored lenses in the field, however Bose additionally sells a few different pairs of $40 lenses that you would be able to swap in to let totally different quantities of sunshine go via. The outsized temples are the place it turns into extra apparent that these are audio sun shades.
However there’s a profit to that chunky design: not like the Tenor and Soprano Frames, which use a proprietary charger, the Tempo mannequin has an everyday USB-C connector on the left temple. Bose says the body is made out of “TR-90 nylon.” There’s not a lot give, however they really feel rugged to me, they usually’ve bought an IPX4 water and sweat resistance ranking, so in the event you get caught operating or biking in the rain, they’ll survive.
For the first couple of days sporting the Tempos, I felt a slight squeeze at the sides of my head that bought uncomfortable. Now, I’ve bought a particularly giant dome — they used to have to deliver out a special-sized helmet in Little League, mates — however fortunately, the match loosened up a bit as a result of this stress went away by the finish of the first week. The sun shades didn’t get unfastened sufficient to the place they began bobbing on my head or something; they nonetheless felt good and safe. (My buddy Theresa, who has a normal-sized head, by no means talked about any headache-inducing tightness.) Bose contains three sizes of nostril ideas in the field, and I discovered the giant to be the proper match. Even when my face was lined in sweat from a long term, the nostril ideas helped guarantee the sun shades didn’t slide round.
The controls that Bose got here up with are splendidly foolproof, which is essential while you’re making an attempt to keep targeted on different issues. You swipe throughout the proper temple to elevate or decrease the quantity, and on the underside of that temple is a small round button that you would be able to press to play / pause, double-tap to skip tracks, or triple-tap to return. Very quickly in any respect, these controls felt so pure and simple. Powering off the Frames Tempo simply takes holding down the button for a couple of seconds. Or you’ll be able to flip them over and lay them down with the high of the body on a floor. After two seconds in that orientation, they shut off. (You may disable this in settings, however I discovered it actually handy and, once more, pure.) Battery life is listed as eight hours, and that’s lined up with my expertise thus far. The sun shades take roughly an hour to cost again to 100%. Bose’s cellular app allows you to replace the sun shades’ firmware, however there aren’t any EQ controls or different choices that alter their efficiency.
Describing the sound high quality of audio sun shades may be tough. They’re nothing like headphones or earbuds since these are basically down-firing audio system pointed at your ears. However Bose stepped up its sport in contrast to the first-generation Frames, which I’ve tried once in a while. These have extra life to them throughout the complete EQ vary.
There’s a shocking quantity of separation between vocals and instrumentation, and the Frames Tempo have a pleasant readability and even-handed steadiness. There’s extra bass than earlier than, however that is the place I feel it’s most necessary to set cheap expectations: the low finish you get from any first rate pair of in-ear buds will blow these out of the water. No contest. That mentioned, Bose has not less than reached a spot the place the bass not sounds anemic or flat, which is a reputable enchancment over the first-gen Frames. It’s there and perceptible.
Sound bleed is well canceled out by on a regular basis road noise, however in the event you’re inside with the quantity turned up, individuals close by might be ready to inform that you just’re listening to music. These are sun shades, in any case, so I think about these conditions might be few and much between. The Bluetooth connection has held steady all through the overwhelming majority of my time with the Frames Tempo thus far. No complaints there.
Voice calls whereas sporting the Tempos have additionally been a pleasure. Callers say I sound almost pretty much as good as when talking instantly into my telephone, and one thing about taking calls together with your ears completely open simply feels very cool.
Even after a comparatively brief time utilizing the Frames Tempo, I get this audio glasses factor. I actually get it. It’s like Dieter lately wrote: “Not having to put in or take out headphones adjustments your relationship to audio — it’s simply at all times out there, at all times there while you need it.” Do I want I may pop clear lenses into them and put on them in all places? In idea, you guess. However this type wouldn’t actually work for that, neither is it what the Tempos are meant to be at the finish of the day. So I can’t knock Bose for the disappointment I really feel when switching again to my regular glasses, which now appear so very primitive.
The Bose Frames Tempo allow you to hear the world round you with no obstructions — with a soundtrack enjoying over all the things, whereas at the identical time giving your ears a little bit of a break in contrast to regular earbuds. At $250, they are going to be a tricky promote for some. However I’ve come to understand that audio sun shades are the precise kind of factor you gained’t ever understand you wanted. Till you place ‘em on — and rapidly, you do.
Images by Chris Welch / GadgetClock
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