Bluetooth Sunglasses headphones and bone conduction headphone sunglasses have been touted as the next big summer accessory. From Bose Frames to ZUNGLE sunglasses headphones, manufacturers are getting in on the action. But how do they work, and are sunglasses with headphones worth buying?
By 2019, the people of the 1900s technology would have advanced to wondrous heights. Aerial Firefighters would by flying around with batwings, flying cars would be a thing, and we would domesticate whales as transport are some predictions that haven’t come true. Instead? We have bone conduction headphones sunglasses and sunglasses with Bluetooth headphones, like Bose Frames. Not exactly spectacular, but pretty amazing nonetheless!
These mildly fashionable devices are pretty fascinating. Especially if you love listening to music on the go and want to invest in a new pair of headphones, you might be wondering if this is the way forward for you. But how do sunglasses headphones actually work? And are they actually useful to own? We’ve done the research so you don’t have to – read on to find out more.
What Are You Talking About?
It all began a few years ago, with the advent of Bluetooth sunglasses headphones. Gaining popularity through the likes of Kickstarter and Indiegogo, this kind of sunglasses with Bluetooth headphones integrated actual earbuds into the glasses frame. This was great for people who wanted portability with lesser chance of losing their headphones, as well as for people who wanted the freedom of listening to music without having anything in their ears.
But these Bluetooth sunglasses headphones weren’t always the best option, with complaints of low playback times and connection difficulties. Manufacturers like Bose were ready for the next step – getting rid of the earbuds altogether. For some, like Bose Frames, this is through using miniature speakers next to your ears. For others, like ZUNGLE sunglasses headphones, this came in the form of bone conduction sunglasses headphones.
How Do Bone Conduction Sunglasses Headphones Work?
Did you know you can hear sound without your ear drums?
There are two key ways that humans hear sound. Firstly, we can hear sounds through our bones in the form of bone-conducted or bone-transmitted vibrations. Next, and the most common form of listening via earphones, is through our eardrums and air-conducted or air-transmitted vibrations.
While most sounds are heard by our eardrums, hearing through bone conduction is becoming an increasingly popular technology. The vibrations can bypass your eardrums and head straight to your cochlea, allowing you to do things such as hear your own voice – and listen to music through your sunglasses.
In fact, this method of listening is how legendary composer Ludwig Van Beethoven managed to compose his symphonies!
What are the differences between sunglasses headphones and conventional earphones?
This… is an easier question to answer than you might think.
The bone conduction sunglasses headphones style, like ZUNGLE sunglasses headphones, use the newest technology and are often compared favorably to Google Glasses. By getting rid of the earbud, they are the natural next step forward away from True Wireless headphones.
In this sense, the key difference between sunglasses headphones and conventional earphones is that conventional earphones actually have earbuds that sit inside your ears. Plus, there’s the minor difference that sunglasses headphones are a pair of sunglasses that you have to wear to be able to listen to your music. True Wireless earbuds you can wear at any time, indoors or out!
As we’ve mentioned, the tech inside is totally different. Whilst both sets use vibrations, True Wireless earbuds work in a traditional manner rather than through bone conduction. They use tech including dynamic drivers to amplify sound whilst blocking sound with noise cancelling technology. Check out more in the table below:
|True Wireless Earbuds||Bone Conduction Sunglasses |
|Use Noise Cancellation Technology||Use Bone Conduction Technology|
|No wires – True Wireless |
|No wires – Integrated into |
|Potentially easier to lose||Potentially easier to break|
|Can wear with any sunglasses||Could wear additional headphones |
|Year-round and Indoors usage||Worn primarily on sunny days|
And Bose Frames?
Bose Frames are different from these further. Fitted into the arms of the sunglasses are some mini speakers, ready to keep your temples soothed musically. They also work with the Bose Augmented Reality app.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Obviously, sunglasses headphones can have some great advantages. Namely, that they protect your eyes from UV rays! Check out some more advantages below:
- High Quality Eye Protection: Because they’ve got to compete with sunglasses retailers as well as the headphone retailers, the best of the bone conduction sunglasses headphones should have some amazing UVA and UVB protection.
- Hands Free Communication: Most of these headphones include hands free voice call technology to keep you on the move.
- Higher Levels of Awareness: Manufacturers claim that these type of headphones can help increase awareness, as you can hear outside sounds as well as your music.
- Customizable: Most of these headphones are customizable, so you can create your perfect pair.
- 5G Tech is the Future: The trends are leaning more towards advanced, AI technology, and having this type of glasses will mean you’re leading the pack in cool gadgets.
There are some serious disadvantages to bone conduction sunglasses headphones, however:
- They’re Seasonal: You can really only use your sunglasses in, well… the summer. Unless you’re a fan of winter holidays to Australia, or you’re lucky enough to get sunshine all year round. Plus, you can’t wear them comfortably indoors!
- Price: To get these kind of sunglasses you’ve got to pay a pretty hefty fee. They can be upwards of $1000 – though you can find budget pairs on Amazon.
- They Aren’t Dedicated Headphones: This is new tech – which means there will be things that need tweaking. Plus, dedicated headphones will just always sound better.
- Heavier Than Regular Sunglasses: You’ve got to fit that tech somewhere!
- Not Always Comfortable: You’ll need to try before you buy to make sure they actually fit (with Bose Frames, this isn’t an issue as you can just head to your nearest shop)
5 Main Factors to Consider When Buying Sunglasses Headphones
Realistically, there are five things you should be considering:
- What’s the purpose of you buying them? If you need new sunnies and new headphones, then this is your answer! If you’re looking for something with all-year durability, we suggest separate headphones and sunglasses are a better bet.
- Are they comfortable? You wouldn’t buy an uncomfortable pair of sunglasses for the sake of it, especially not a pair that’s well over $100 at their cheapest. Don’t sacrifice comfort for cool when it comes to sunglasses with headphones; you can have a perfectly good pair of each without any hassle.
- Is the sound quality good? If you’re buying them as an additional pair of headphones (because they can’t really replace your headphones full time) then you’ll need to test them to make sure the audio lives up to the general hype.
- Do they protect your eyes? Safety is key, and you want to make sure that any bone conduction sunglasses you buy not only play great music, but offer adequate UVA and UVB protection for your eyes.
- Do they look good? You can pick your perfect sunglasses and headphones combo separately, so make sure that these look great before you get them. Luckily, the customization options and increasingly fashionable frame shapes make this easier!
Whether you go for Bose Frames, ZUNGLE sunglasses headphones or any other brand, the lesson to take from this blog is: try them out first. Whilst this sounds like an incredibly idea that’s light years ahead of its time, tech moves fast. If it’s not right for you just yet, it might be in a couple of years! Or even next summer.
In the meantime, TaoTronics can offer incredible audio with their True Wireless range. Listen anytime, anywhere, so you don’t have to compromise.
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4 Replies to “Sunglasses With Headphones: Should You Buy Bone Conduction Sunglasses?”
If you’re looking for a decent pair of sunglasses you can wear outdoors and still enjoy music, I think you’ll be very happy with what OptiShokz have to offer. If you’re the type to regularly jog or cycle or really just move a lot outside during the day, you really should consider bone conduction for safety and these glasses are a great place to start.
Good point Sveta, they would be good for joggers!
Just wanted to give you a shout from the valley of the sun, great information. Much appreciated.
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