In the coming weeks Bose is set to ship its Frames audio AR sunglasses, but if you're looking for sportier spectacles that have integrated audio, you should keep your eye on the upcoming OptiShokz Revvez bone-conduction audio sunglasses from AfterShokz.
Designed to allow cyclists, runners, hikers, golfers, skiers and others to listen to audio and make calls on the go while maintaining "ambient sound awareness," the OptiShokz Revvez are launching via an Indiegogo campaign on Feb. 19, the company announced Monday here at CES.
There are five lens options -- the lenses are interchangeable -- and early-bird pricing has been set at $99 or a 45 percent discount off the Revvez' list price of $179. Alas, there's no prescription lens option. They're due to ship around June, although delays are always possible.
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Bone-conduction headphones, which transmit sound through your cheekbones (or in this case, through the cartilage behind your ear), don't sound as good as traditional headphones, but they've improved a lot over the years and AfterShokz makes arguably the best bone-conduction headphones.
I doubt these will sound quite as good as the Bose Frames (which I've tried) but they should sound decent and be appealing to runners and bikers who want to hear traffic around them for safety reasons. Also, for those entering race events that prohibit the use of headphones that block your ears, these audio sunglasses would be a good option.
As soon as I get some hands-on time with an early unit I'll update this post with my impressions of their audio performance. Until then, here are the OptiShokz Revvez' key features:
- First sunglasses with transducers positioned to transmit sound through the cartilage behind your ear, providing the best bass response and volume.
- Bendable two-position titanium temple arms
- Water and sweat resistant (IP55 certified)
- Each pair includes three interchangeable silicone rubber nose pads to ensure a comfortable fit
- Five lenses to choose from: Polarized Grey, REVO Blue, Gradient Grey, Transparent and Bright Yellow
- Lenses are interchangeable and molded in Teijin polycarbonate (glasses come with your choice of one lens, and additional lenses are sold separately)
- Open design leaves ears open and allows you to hear the outside world while listening to audio
- 6-hour battery life
- You can charge fully in less than 2 hours
- Bluetooth 4.2
- Dual noise-canceling microphones eliminate external noise while enhancing speech volume for phone calls
- Price: $179, with early-bird pricing of $99 (no word on international pricing)
- Available around June, though no ship date has been confirmed
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