By now, you’ve probably heard of Bose’s music-playing sunglasses, which adds directional speakers to the frames’ temples to pipe sound straight to your ears. It’s a great way to enjoy music privately without having to plug something in your ears. The JLab JBuds Frames lets you do the same thing, except you can use it with any eyewear you already own.
A pair of clip-on speakers, the devices attach to the temples of your prescription glasses, everyday wayfarers, or wraparound sports sunglasses, essentially turning it into one of Bose’s speaker-packing glasses. Except… you know… you can use it with any eyewear you already own, making it a much more affordable investment, all while allowing you to keep wearing the same glasses you’ve always preferred.
The JLab JBuds Frames consists of two clip-on speakers, each one housing a 16.2mm driver whose sound is directed to funnel straight into the wearer’s ears. According to the outfit, that targeted sound allows you to enjoy whatever tunes are playing without disturbing those in your immediate vicinity, although we imagine some of that sound will leak out if you turn up the volume to very high levels. Because it doesn’t cover your ears, you stay perfectly aware of your surroundings at all times, making it a more viable option for folks who want to enjoy some private listening without closing off the world around them.
Each speaker comes with two clips, so they can maintain a secure hold on the frame’s temples at all times. We’re not sure whether the clips can adjust enough to attach onto the thicker temples of many work goggles (doesn’t seem like it), although it should fit snugly for most any type of eyeglass and sunglass frames, so you can use it with most eyewear you have in your stash. In case your frame has one of those ultra-thin frames, the speakers are bundled with silicone sleeves to facilitate a more snug fit.
The JLab JBuds Frames can be used together or independently, as each one has its own Bluetooth connection, so you can use both when listening to music and stick to just one when sitting through an audiobook. Physical controls at the top of the speakers allow you to manage playback and volume without whipping out your phone, while onboard MEMS mics on each earpiece allow you to take calls and use your choice of voice assistants. It’s IPX4-rated for water-resistance, by the way, so you should be able to wear it safely even during rainy season. Do note, they weigh around 0.4 ounces each, so they will add some heft to the temples of your glasses, in case you have some qualms about those things.
Each speaker has its own integrated battery that can keep it running for up to eight hours of playback. Don’t worry, you won’t need two USB slots to charge them, as it comes with a single cable that has two magnetic pins at the end, which you can use to charge both speakers at the same time.
The JLab JBuds Frames are priced at $49.