- 1 Top 7 Smart Glasses Compared
- 1.1 #1 Bose Frames Audio Sunglasses
- 1.2 #2 TechKen Sunglasses Headset Headphone Bluetooth Wireless Music Sunglasses
- 1.3 #3 Miota Mini Video Glasses
- 1.4 #4 OhO sunshine Waterproof 1080p Video Sunglasses
- 1.5 #5 Newwings Bluetooth Full HD 1080P Video Sunglasses
- 1.6 #6 Avviso Technologies Live Streaming Glasses
- 1.7 #7 Spectacles 2 (Nico) Smart Glasses
- 1.8 How We Decided
- 2 Smart Glasses Buying Guide
To determine the best smart glasses, we looked at connectivity, media creation, controls, and battery life. Those are some of the most important features that you’ll frequently encounter when shopping for a pair of smart glasses or sunglasses. We looked at a range of styles designed for active sports users, and indoor use.
Based on all of the above, we’ve selected the Bose Frames as our top pick. While they lack media creation, these Bluetooth smart sunglasses come with high-quality open ear speakers that are built into the frames for a low profile look. You’ll enjoy listening to music or receiving calls without earbuds, and the confidence that your music or conversation won’t disturb passers-by.
Top 7 Smart Glasses Compared
#1 Bose Frames Audio Sunglasses
Award: Top Pick
WHY WE LIKE IT: A stylish pair of UVA/UVB ray-blocking sleek sunglasses with built-in audio technology from a leader in audio playback for fashion forward users who want tech accessories that marry form and function. Open-ear speakers are designed so only the wearer can hear audio, connects via Bluetooth, and relies on a proprietary app to control while on the go.
Bose is a leader in sound quality, and for good reason. They consistently create speakers and audio playback devices that let you listen to everything from music to movies to phone calls with rich, true, crystal clear sound. Enjoy up to three and a half hours of streaming music playback. And if you’re into augmented reality, you’ll like that these glasses are Bose AR-enabled, simply update the software to access this feature.
So, it’s unsurprising that their Bose Frames are our top pick. These UVA/UVB blocking sunglasses are designed to be stylish and functional. They feature an open ear design with the speakers discretely built-in to the arms of the glasses. While you hear your music or call, you can still hear the world around you — but they won’t hear what you’re listening to. While these frames may not have voice commands, they’ll be hooked up to your phone for ease of functionality.
So, it’s unsurprising that their Bose Frames are our top pick. These UVA/UVB blocking sunglasses are designed to be stylish and functional. They feature an open ear design with the speakers discretely built-in to the arms of the glasses. While you hear your music or call, you can still hear the world around you — but they won’t hear what you’re listening to. Smart glasses aren’t as immersive as the best VR headsets, but they can help you get more done. Compare these frames to the Vuzix Blade smart glasses to determine which option is best for you.
#2 TechKen Sunglasses Headset Headphone Bluetooth Wireless Music Sunglasses
Award: Honorable Mention/Most Connectivity Options
WHY WE LIKE IT: A streamlined pair of smart sunglasses designed for the active crowd with a wide range of connected device compatibility via Bluetooth. Polarized lenses provide sun protection while built-in earbuds and controls provide a secure fit, quality sound, and the hands-free functionality you crave.
If you live an active lifestyle, you know how important it is to have accessories that can stand up to being jarred. The TechKen Bluetooth smart sunglasses feature a rugged design that’s ideal for users on the go. Whether you’re biking, hiking, or camping, you can get sun protection and quality sound in one product. These sunglasses have polarized lenses to protect you from harmful UV rays. You’ll also enjoy a long battery life that can range between seven to nine hours depending on your usage.
Connect to a wide range of devices across Samsung, Apple, Android, and Microsoft via Bluetooth. I’m not sure if they connect to the best drones though. These sunglasses come with a built-in set of earbuds for a secure fit. The added play/stop and volume controls let you listen to music, manage the volume, and answer and end calls without having to fumble with your phone. The foldable sunglasses slip easily into your pocket or in a bag pouch and are charged via USB. With these AR glasses, you’ll feel like you’re taking a step into the future.
#3 Miota Mini Video Glasses
Award: Best Simple Video Glasses
WHY WE LIKE IT: A classic pair of frames with a built-in HD 1080P camera for those who want to record POV video at 30 FPS and take pictures. Shoot continuously for up to 80 minutes and save footage directly to a 32GB micro SD card that fits in the built-in drive.
These Miota Mini Video Glasses are perfect for the person on the go who wants to create live footage of everything they see. While they don’t feature wireless connectivity, there’s a lot to love with these straightforward glasses. Easily shoot video and pictures with the built-in HD camera with a 65-degree viewing angle. Display qualities of 1080P, video output in AVI, and frames per second rate of 30 make this a solid choice.
When the glasses are fully charged, you can automatically save up to 80 minutes of footage directly to the mini SD card thanks to the built-in card reader. These glasses support mini SD cards of up to 32 gigabytes. Even though these glasses must be manually paired to a device through USB, it works with Apple, Windows, and Android-based devices. If you’re looking for a good starter pair of AR smart glasses, you might want to start here.
#4 OhO sunshine Waterproof 1080p Video Sunglasses
Award: Best Value
WHY WE LIKE IT: IP66 waterproof functionality combines with 1080P and 30FPS full HD recording and 32GB storage to create the perfect smart sunglasses for an adventure. Polarized lenses, a maximum recording time of 60 minutes, and one-touch controls make these perfect for people on the go.
Maybe you’re into extreme sports or feel like you live in the water. If this is you, you know that tech and water tend not to mix unless they’re rated as waterproof. These OhO sunshine Waterproof Video Sunglasses have an IP66 rating so they’re safe to take into the water. Enjoy up to 60 minutes of video recording when fully charged.
The built-in HD camera shoots video in MOV format and 1080P at 30FPS. The sunglasses can store up to 32GBof footage which can be later downloaded onto Windows and Mac platforms. One-button controls make it easy to start and stop recording or take pictures and vibrations let you know when recording has begun. These glasses are available on Amazon if you’re looking to purchase them.
#5 Newwings Bluetooth Full HD 1080P Video Sunglasses
Award: Best Low-Profile Camera
WHY WE LIKE IT: Bluetooth connectivity and a full HD 1080P camera combine in a low-profile design that’s perfect for sporty and active users. Micro SD card support, up to 90 minutes of recording time, polarized lenses, and music playback and call controls round out the top features.
There’s no reason that you should have to pay a lot to get a functional pair of smart sunglasses that’s packed with features. The Newwings Bluetooth Sunglasses offer Bluetooth connectivity that works with Apple and Android devices. This gives you the ability to control music playback or answer calls by using the built-in controls on the sunglasses. These shades come with an HD camera that’s designed to take pictures and shoot videos in 1080P.
Save images and video directly to a micro SD card with a maximum capacity of 32 gigabytes. Record continuously for up to 90 minutes when fully charged. Polarized lenses give you the UV protection you need for outdoor use.
#6 Avviso Technologies Live Streaming Glasses
Award: Best for Live Streaming
WHY WE LIKE IT: Influencers and real-time reviewers will enjoy the live streaming functionality via a proprietary app, extended battery life of up to 150 minutes (depending on activity) and a choice between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity make this pair of glasses a smart buy. Shoot footage in 1080P, with an 80-degree viewing angle at 30 FPS.
Some people can’t get enough of documenting their lives in real-time and sharing it with the world. If this sounds like you, then these Avviso Technologies Live Streaming Glasses are the perfect solution. Connect to your preferred device either via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and live stream up to one hour of footage. These glasses come with two additional battery packs, giving you a maximum usage of 150 minutes if you aren’t live streaming.
Live stream up to 30 meters from your Wi-Fi source and control the output through the proprietary app. Additional features include an 80-degree camera viewing angle, and save footage on the included 32-gigabyte mini SD card. You’ll love the low profile look of these glasses as the camera and microphone are not visible. And lastly, it includes a 2-year warranty.
#7 Spectacles 2 (Nico) Smart Glasses
Award: Best for Travel
WHY WE LIKE IT: The social media obsessed set will love that these Spectacles 2 glasses from Snap Inc (the parent company of Snapchat) allow them to seamlessly publish recorded content straight to their Snapchat accounts. Water resistant construction, Bluetooth pairing, charging on the go with the including charging case, and one-button controls make this an easy to use pair of smart glasses.
If you live by the mantra “pics or it didn’t happen”, Snapchat’s foray into the smart glasses category is the perfect solution. These smart glasses features two HD cameras at opposite ends of the front of the frame to create multiple angles and allow for 3D video creation. With the one-touch controls you can choose between shooting short 10-second videos, longer videos, or taking still photography. The included charging case means you’re less likely to run out of battery life when you’re on the go. Recharge your Spectacles up to four times before you need to recharge the case.
When fully charged, you can take and sync up to 70 videos. Syncing footage with Snapchat is easy, and you can even save them directly to your phone’s camera roll once the glasses are paired via Bluetooth. Water resistance means you can shoot videos in shallow water.
How We Decided
If you think of Google Glass when you hear the phrase “smart glasses” it’s easy to be confused by many of the more popular models that now occupy this category. When we began researching the best smart glasses, we focused on a few key features that are most important for the average consumer: connectivity, media creation, built-in controls, and battery life.
There are a range of options for connecting smart glasses. The most common options include via USB, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. The USB connection can be ideal especially if you’re trying to upload media content that you created through your glasses. Some glasses support micro SD cards. If you buy a pair with this feature it’s more likely that the only way you can upload the content to your computer or tablet will be through a USB connection. However, there are some models — including ones featured in our list — that have proprietary apps that allow you to wirelessly share content. The version you choose is going to be dependent upon your needs and comfort level with this type of technology.
A major feature of smart glasses is that they often have built-in cameras for shooting videos and taking pictures. All of the glasses on our list that have cameras come with a built-in microphone and shoot content in 1080P with a frame rate of 30 frames per second. Some models allow you to save this footage to a micro SD card but often the card doesn’t come included with your glasses. In some cases, as with the Avviso Technologies Live Streaming Glasses, you can live stream footage thanks to the Bluetooth connection.
Another question we addressed is how you can control your glasses, and potentially other functions through your connected smart device. All of the smart glasses on our list feature actual button controls. However, some glasses have a one-touch system, whereas others have multiple buttons to control music playback, volume, and call answering. Two of the smart glasses on our list, the Bose Frames and the Avviso Technologies Live Streaming Glasses, also come with a proprietary app that is designed to support Bluetooth connections and playback controls.
And finally, we looked at battery life. While smart glasses tend to have much shorter battery capacity than other smart technologies on the market, at a minimum you should be able to find a pair of glasses that can provide up to one hour of runtime when fully charged. Through our research, the best battery life came from the Miota Bluetooth Headphones Glasses with a maximum runtime of three hours thanks to the two additional battery packs that are included.
Smart Glasses Buying Guide
The Most Important Features to Consider
One of the biggest benefits of opting for a pair of smart glasses is that they allow you to perform a range of tasks hands-free, as long as there’s a stable connection between the glasses and whichever device you choose. Some smart glasses can be paired via Bluetooth while others might rely on WiFi. Others can only be connected to a device manually via USB typically.
- Media Creation and Playback
One of the most popular features with smart glasses and sunglasses is taking pictures and shooting video. Typically, you’ll find that most glasses with this feature will shoot media in 1080P, and for video will have a frame rate of 30FPS. The video format can vary between AVI and MOV.
- Battery Life
Depending on how frequently you plan on using your smart glasses and the type of features you want to use, battery life is going to be an important consideration. While in general, battery life isn’t as long as other smart devices, at a minimum most smart glasses and sunglasses will offer at least one hour of runtime under heavy use — such as shooting video.
Just like with regular glasses, you wouldn’t buy a pair of frames for prescription lenses if they pinched your nose, were heavy or were just generally uncomfortable. So, the same should hold for a pair of smart glasses. While these glasses are typically designed to be light, with feather-weight non-prescription lenses that won’t impede your vision, you still want to make sure that the arms of the glasses, as well as the nose bridge, is comfortable.
Smart glasses are part of the wearable technology category. So, it’s important to check what applications are available, and if the pair you purchase can be integrated into smart assistant technology. Typically, smart glasses will offer these core applications: GPS, calculator, clock, calendar, activity tracker, Wi-Fi connectivity, and music. Premium features that aren’t always standard include smart assistant integration into platforms like Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant, music playback, and picture and video support.
Since smart glasses are designed to be hands-free, the question becomes “how do you control your glasses”? Premium devices will usually offer voice controls that are often easily streamlined into an existing smart assistant like Alexa or Siri. But even budget options allow for gestures or built-in button controls.
Smart glasses can be purchased either with clear or tinted lenses — depending on your needs. Outdoor enthusiasts who love to take pictures, listen to music or shoot videos while playing sports should opt for smart sunglasses. Meanwhile, clear lenses are ideal for indoor use, or the occasional outdoor recording. However, if you opt for a pair of smart sunglasses, always check to make sure that they’re designed to block UV rays. Preferably, opt for a pair of polarized lenses.
Smart Glasses FAQs
Why is the battery life so limiting for smart glasses?
When you’re used to the long run times of bigger devices such as your smartphone or even wireless headphones, smart glasses have drastically shorter battery life. This is usually because the device is smaller and can only hold a battery of a certain size. As a result, it’s common to find smart glasses or sunglasses that can only offer an hour of runtime — especially if they feature options like video recording.
I’m concerned that my smart glasses might be too heavy?
This is going to depend on the model you buy. While they’re usually designed to be lightweight and low profile, the reality is that features such as being able to take pictures or shoot video are going to add bulk to the frames. As of now, it’s impossible to integrate a camera without beefing up the frame to support the added weight and technology.
Are smart glasses always designed with clear lenses?
Not at all. Smart glasses can also come as sunglasses, making them ideal if you only want to use them while playing sports or spending time outside.
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