There are two things I can’t live without when heading to the beach: great music and even better sunglasses. If you’re like me and tend to listen to music everywhere you go, vacation is no exception. But if you’ve ever worn headphones around tons of other people, it can be isolating (unless that’s the vibe you’re going for). So when I discovered that Bose’s new Audio Sunglasses allow you to listen to your own music while still hearing your surroundings, I couldn’t wait to tell everyone about them.
Great for hiking, beach-lounging, exploring a new city, and everything in between, these sunglasses feature a miniscule, wafer-thin speaker on the inside of each arm. It’s the tiniest, thinnest, and most lightweight Bose system ever — but the sound quality is so impressive it made my mouth drop the minute I put them on. When I showed friends and family, they were equally surprised that they couldn’t hear my music at all. The listening experience is entirely made for the individual wearing the sunglasses. And while the wearer is the only one hearing the music, they can still hear their surroundings at a comfortable level, making them a safer option than wireless headphones for walking in high-traffic areas.
Related: 19 Pairs of Sunglasses for Your Next Adventure
Once you turn Bluetooth on from your phone, the sunglasses pair almost immediately via the small button on its right-hand arm. This button also connects you to voice control, which can help you communicate with Siri or Google Assistant to make calls or pause and skip songs. And for even more controls, you can download the Bose Connect smartphone app.
Both sunglass designs — the Alto (a larger frame with rectangular lenses) and the Rondo (a smaller frame with round lenses) — are unisex, but you can customize them further. Just swap out the included black, non-polarized lenses for colored, polarized mirror lenses that you can purchase as a bundle. Each style and all of the lenses are conveniently available on Amazon, meaning it’ll only take two days to get them before your next trip.
Bose Audio Sunglasses Credit: Courtesy of Bose
And while Bose could never skimp on sound quality and design, the company didn’t spare any efforts on the sunglasses’ other functions either. They weigh a mere 45 grams, and the lenses block up to 99 percent of UVA/UVB rays. While the sunglasses might be one more device to charge while you’re traveling (especially if you’ve already packed a lighted travel mirror or a portable charger), they’re guaranteed to last at least 3.5 hours at an average listening level.
To put it simply, these sunglasses are game changers. They’re the wearable tech accessory I didn’t know I needed, and now I don’t know how I ever lived without them.
Bose Frames Audio Sunglasses, Rondo
Bose Rondo Audio Sunglasses Credit: Courtesy of Bose
To buy: amazon.com, from $199
Bose Frames Audio Sunglasses, Alto
Bose Alto Audio Sunglasses Credit: Courtesy of Bose
To buy: amazon.com, from $199