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Soundcore frames review: A look into the future?

Anker Soundcore Frames cover picture
Picture: TechnikNews
(Post picture: © 2021 TechnikNews)

With the Soundcore Frames, the Chinese manufacturer Anker has released its first glasses with speakers. TechnikNews tested them. 

A pair of glasses and a loudspeaker at the same time? This concept is not new to other companies like Angry or Razer have that for a long time. But sound core protakes a different approach with the frames. Instead of one model, there are many different ones using the same technology. We tested the glasses in everyday life.

Unboxing and initial setup

My test device is in the "Landmark" version, the glasses are available in 10 designs. Because just like with the Fossil Series 6 there is a "computer" which is used in different designs. In this case it is the bracket, which can also be exchanged. But more on that later in the text. In addition to the glasses and the temple, the charging cable, a case and a cleaning cloth are also included.

The initial setup was also very simple. The glasses had to be charged briefly, then switched on (by touching two points on the temple) and then linked to the smartphone. The first update could then be loaded directly in the app.

Design and workmanship

The frames are available in 10 designs, all glasses (but not available with medical lenses). So they are purely visually different, but the features are all the same. I personally like a classic black, but if you want more simple designs, there are also corresponding models. According to Anker, the glasses should "filter out 99% of the UVA / UVB rays" and also be resistant to breaks and scratches. It was difficult to test, but the glasses definitely felt pleasant (in the sun). Not comparable to cheap sunglasses. But since it's winter right now, I wasn't able to test for longer periods of time. There is a Soundcore logo on both sides of the glasses, this serves as an orientation for the swiping gestures, but could still have been a little more minimalistic.

The workmanship is not outstanding, but sufficient for glasses with a focus on technology. The material is noticeably plastic, but anything else would be even heavier than the technology itself.

Soundcore Frames: Comfortable to Wear

The frame is definitely thicker than that of normal sunglasses, but you only notice a big difference in wearing comfort after a few hours of use. One advantage that I learned to appreciate while using it was that the glasses work better with a hat. But of course there is no noise suppression due to the design. On the contrary, whoever sits close to you will definitely notice that you are listening to music. The glasses are therefore not suitable for the office or the train journey. Rather, the glasses could be well suited for sports or cycling, as you can still hear your surroundings.

Anker Soundcore Frames wearing comfort

The Soundcore frames fit as well as normal sunglasses (Image: TechnikNews)

Technical data

Anker installs two speakers pro Temples with one in front and one behind the ear. The two loudspeakers in front of the ear have a 25 x 8 mm driver, behind the ear the diameter of the driver is 8 mm. Microphones are also available, so you can also make phone calls or respond to voice inputs. The glasses support the SBC and the AAC codec as audio codecs. A sensor detects whether the glasses are being worn or not. The two 110 mAh batteries are charged via a magnetic cable, but these are proprietary, unfortunately no USB-C.

sound quality

The sound quality was surprisingly good. Four loudspeakers produce a loud sound, whereby the bass regions are presented rather weakly. But I didn't expect a strong bass either. It works with him Product is not about creating the best sound quality with the best noise cancellation, but about making a speaker as portable and stylish as possible. Anker has definitely succeeded in this, I can definitely imagine walking across the beach in it next summer. The Soundcore frames are not the first Product, which I will use when I want to listen to music, but when I want to consume music on the go.

But the "open" design means people around you can hear that you're listening to music. At full volume, the Frames are almost a mini speaker. So they're more for the beach that Promenade or for going for a walk than on the train or in a café. However, there is a "privacy mode" which, according to Soundcore, should throttle the sound in quiet environments without losing quality. In everyday life, however, it was only as if the volume was generally reduced.

One of the best use cases for me was making calls. It's never been so easy for me, but it shouldn't be a long conversation for the other person. The microphone quality is on the level of cheap TWS, but it shouldn't last a few minutes Probe trouble However, it is possible to make phone calls with the glasses in a very relaxed manner, since there is no need to “sit a button in the ear” or hold a mobile phone to your ear. Almost like in the James Bond film, you hear a voice "behind you" to which you can answer.

Soundcore Frames: App

In the Soundcore app there are some settings that can be made. There are different equalizer modes, of which I liked the “Bass Booster” the most. It compensates for the low bass of the small speakers a little. An individual EQ can also be set. The app also offers the battery level of the glasses as well as the "Open Surround Sound", which can be activated or deactivated. This setting provides improved stereo, but also results in less bass. In the app, the automatic detection of the glasses (stop or start music) can also be switched off, and updates can also be loaded and installed in the app.

Soundcore Frames app

The Soundcore Frames app has many setting options (image: TechnikNews)

The media can be controlled both by voice input and gesture control. Double tap to start / pause, swipe forwards or backwards from the logo, jumps one track forwards or backwards. This can be customized on both sides, for example by controlling the volume or starting the Google Assistant or Siri. The gestures worked 8/10 times in everyday life, a good rate and easy to understand. Voice input is currently only in English, with "Volume up", for example, the volume can be controlled (independently of Siri or the Google Assistant).

Battery life of the Soundcore frames

The battery life is stated by the manufacturer as 5 1/2 hours, which I can approximately confirm. I was mostly at 5 hours, but the quick charge function gives the glasses another 10 1/1 hours of music playback in 2 minutes.

Anker Soundcore Frames loading

The Soundcore frames are recharged with an in-house charger (picture: TechnikNews)

Prices and availability

The Soundcore frames are available in 10 different glasses for 199 euros RRP from the manufacturer or at Amazon.

Soundcore Frames: Conclusion

For me, the Soundcore frames are a small glimpse into the future. The publication in winter irritates me meanwhile, that Product would have been perfect for the summer. So the glasses will stay in my case for a while before I test them on the beach next summer. Because currently I have no real use for them. A person who wears glasses could not wear them because they have no option for medical glasses, so summer is the only use-case.

So you have to be very sure that you know what you are going to do with the glasses before buying. Because for 180 euros it is not a “fun purchase”, but a lot of money. The price is similar to the competition from Razer and Bose, but they do not have interchangeable lenses. I think the concept is very cool and I think it will have a future, but right now it's just too expensive for most.

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Nils Ahrensmeier

Nils has been with us since 2019 TechnikNews and very interested in smartphones, speakers, smartwatches and SmartHome. In addition to his 'Creative Business' studies, he enjoys pursuing his hobby of athletics and meeting up with friends.

Nils has already written 321 articles and made 32 comments.

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