From smart smoke detectors to smartwatches, there’s no limit to the number of smart devices on the market today. However, smart glasses represent a radical departure from existing wearable technology. By adding to what we see and hear, smart glasses can enhance our perception in exciting new ways. However, to find the right pair, it’s important to research and identify what various smart glasses bring to the table.
Buying Guide for Smart Glasses
Why buy smart glasses?
If you’re into trying out new technology, you’ll likely get a kick out of owning smart glasses. Most smart glasses pair with your smartphone via a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection so that you listen to your favorite music or podcast or even record video. Some high-tech smart glasses offer augmented reality (AR) features for a hands-free way to use your phone. Additionally, smart glasses come in a wide variety of attractive styles, with many being able to accommodate prescription lenses.
What should you look for in smart glasses?
- Features: When shopping for smart glasses, choose a product with features that cater to your needs. However, keep in mind that smart glasses that sport advanced features such as HD video recording and AR integration will cost much more than models that only come equipped with Bluetooth Audio. Also, be sure to check whether the lenses offer blue light filtering, scratch resistance, or the ability for you to use prescription lenses.
- Design: Naturally, it wouldn’t make sense to buy smart glasses if you dislike how you look while wearing them. Thankfully, smart glasses come in a wide range of styles, so you should be able to find a model that works for you. If you’re unsure which frames are right for you, it’s worth reading about how experts match frames to the shape of your face.
- Battery Life: Although smart glasses tend to be bulkier than normal, brands keep their designs as slim and sleek as possible. Unfortunately, this means that they’re unable to include a big, bulky battery so that your smart glasses can have weeks of battery life. Be sure to investigate how much life you can expect from your smart glasses’ battery and how other purchases have fared in terms of battery performance.
How do smart glasses compare to Bluetooth headphones in terms of audio performance?
If you’re looking for a product that provides you with awe-inspiring sound quality to listen to your favorite music like never before, smart glasses are probably not for you. However, if you wish to listen to audio content while at work or on the subway, most smart glasses will be able to provide you with decent sound quality while still allowing you to hear surrounding sounds. That being said, most smart glasses will be audible to people close to you when used at high volumes, so be sure to bring your wireless earbuds if privacy is a primary concern for you.
Our Picks for the Best Smart Glasses
Pros: Featuring a wide variety of sleek frame styles, Amazon’s second-generation Echo Frames can be used with prescription lenses or purchased as blue light filtering glasses or sunglasses. These lightweight frames stand out for their excellent comfort and sport optician-adjustable temple tips for a customizable fit. In terms of smart glasses offerings, these glasses are an excellent choice for those who seek integrated Alexa voice controls and above-average audio quality that is perfect for listening to audiobooks and podcasts or taking phone calls.
Cons: While the Echo Frames make it simple to take calls without touching or retrieving your smartphone, those who are always on the phone will find that this arrangement drains your smart glasses battery quicker than you’d expect. In truth, these smart glasses should probably not be the first choice for those expecting best-in-class battery life.
Bottom Line: While these smart glasses won’t impress most users in terms of battery life, their variety of sleek designs look much more natural and inviting than most other top smart glasses. Factoring in the Echo Frames’ impressive sound quality, Alexa integration, and comfort-first design, you can see why it’s one of the leading smart glasses on the market today.
Pros: If you’re the type who gets headaches from staring at screens all day, the WGP Smart Audio Glasses are a product to consider. These smart glasses sport a unique style that works great for gaming at home or being productive in the office. While they don’t offer as many features as pricier smart glasses, this product impresses in terms of its decent battery life and crystal clear audio quality. If you’re in the market for basic smart glasses that block blue light (and look good while doing it), this offering from WGP is a stellar option for work or play.
Cons: These glasses have a slightly tinted appearance. It’s also important to note that these smart glasses lack standard features, such as integrated voice controls, customizable notifications, and video recording.
Bottom Line: While these aren’t the “smartest” smart glasses you’ll ever wear, they’re definitely effective at minimizing eye strain when your daily life consists of using computers for work and looking at HD displays for fun. These WGP Smart Audio Glasses punch above their weight in terms of sound quality, making them an enticing budget pick.
Pros: Featuring lenses that minimize blue light or glare, the Razer Anzu Smart Glasses have quite a bit to offer for their budget-friendly price tag. These glasses come in different styles and sizes and include a built-in microphone and intuitive touch-enabled controls to take calls without grabbing your smartphone. Despite being a fraction of the cost of big-name smart glasses, their sound quality also competes with some big names in terms of audio clarity.
Cons: This product doesn’t feature the loudest speakers you’ll find, so it might not be an ideal choice for those who plan to use their smart glasses in a noisy office environment. Also, those seeking smart glasses that offer advanced functionality will need to up their investment instead of opting for this product.
Bottom Line: If you’re seeking a basic pair of smart glasses that won’t break the bank, this product from Razer Anzu impresses in terms of form and function. While these are just sleek, lightweight glasses with specialized frames and integrated Bluetooth audio, their sound quality and reliability outperform other products in this price range.
Pros: The Wayfarer Smart Glasses from Ray-Ban offer easy-to-use video recording and photography and an impressive battery life that outperforms most smart glasses at their price point. Unlike other smart glasses, they also come with a unique charging case that helps you keep them charged even on the go. Factor in this product’s insanely sleek design and respectable audio quality, and you can see why these are the hottest smart sunglasses on the market.
Cons: Given the Wayfarer’s advanced functionality and included charging case, many will be able to overlook its beefed-up asking price. Nevertheless, it’s safe to say this isn’t an ideal choice for those on a budget. Additionally, the product can only capture short videos, so those seeking a GoPro replacement probably won’t fall in love with these smart sunglasses.
Bottom Line: Rayban’s Wayfarer Smart Glasses are an excellent alternative to the Amazon Echo Frames, especially for those who prioritize sharing captured videos over Alexa integration. They’re also one of the most attractive smart glasses on the market and come in a wide variety of colors and styles so that you can find a model that matches your unite preference.
Pros: If you’re in the market for some smart sunglasses to wear while exercising, the OhO sunshine Audio Sunglasses’ lightweight yet durable design makes it an excellent choice. Despite this product’s affordable price tag, it also overs impressive battery life, so you can listen to Bluetooth audio for hours and hours before you need to recharge. These smart sunglasses also come equipped with nifty features such as voice dialing and polarized lens coating for UV protection, making them an excellent value. They are also sweatproof and sport a battery life that will far exceed your workout.
Cons: These smart sunglasses have one glaring drawback: their mediocre sound quality. While you can get away with listening to podcasts with this product, its tinny audio will not do your favorite musicians justice.
Bottom Line: You probably won’t want to wear expensive, ultra-advanced smart sunglasses while riding your mountain bike on rugged terrain. On the other hand, this affordable offering from OhO sunshine features a price point and design that’s tailor-made for rugged activities.
Realistically, smart glasses have a long way to go before they reach their full potential. That being said, there are plenty of exciting smart glasses that you can buy today that can be incredibly convenient during everyday life. Be sure to do your research to end up with a pair of smart glasses tailor-made for your unique lifestyle.