Out with new colors, lenses, and a few new features, we got to go hands-on with the Amazon Echo Frames. Amazon isn’t the only company to offer smart glasses, but the focus here is squarely on Alexa control. So for those who would want an easier way to control Alexa-enabled devices, the Amazon Echo Frames are very comfortable and convenient. Be sure to hit the video below to see more.
Amazon has been tweaking their Echo Frames since the wide availability just over a year ago and they now pack more features and options for color and lenses. They still carry the same hefty $250 price tag, though, which puts them considerably higher than the competition from Anker, Razer, and even Bose. But if you can snag them on sale, like they are now for just $165, they are a great way to get hands-free voice control wherever you wear them.
Amazon’s Echo Frames might be one of the most comfortable smart glasses that I’ve tried. They’re lightweight and rest comfortably on my nose without too much pressure in any one location. Larger smart glasses like the Bose Frames might sound better for audio quality, but they come at a chunky cost with a more fatiguing design. When not thinking about them and when Alexa isn’t talking to you, it can be easy to forget that the Echo Frames are even smart glasses.
Amazon Echo Frames: controls
All of the controls are located on the right arm of the Frames. On the bottom of the right arm is a multi-purpose action button, dedicated buttons for volume up and down, and the charging contacts.
The Echo Frames also have a capacitive touch button on the outside of the right arm that will accept swipe and tap inputs. This is mainly used for controlling notifications. A swipe will allow notifications to be read while a tap will dismiss the notification.
In my experience, this worked well to control notifications and silence future notifications. For instance, I was receiving notifications from my Wyze app and when I tapped the side button those were silenced and stopped coming through. Apps that are silenced can be reenabled from within the Alexa app.
Overall, I found the controls responsive and easy to use. With dedicated buttons for volume, a smart button, and the touch bar for notifications, there isn’t much concern for hitting the wrong button.
Amazon Echo Frames: Video
The big additions here are the new colors and lens options for the Echo Frames. The Frames now come in classic black, modern tortoise, pacific blue, and the quartz gray we have here.
It’s subtle with the arms of the frames still rocking the black colorway, but the colored frames add a nice pop of color if you want them.
Dynamic audio has been updated to adjust audio throughout a listening session rather than just at the start of the media. This worked pretty well in my experience and it was pretty responsive to changes in volume when testing at my desk. Just turning my speakers up and down led to smooth volume transitions from the Echo Frames.
Additionally, the Echo Frames now support a top contact that can be called easily with a long press to the touchpad.
Amazon has been adding more options for lenses as well with a nice variety now available. You can get them with clear or blue light filtering which makes them great for working at home or at the office. They also come in black or blue mirror sunglasses lenses. And, lastly, prescription lenses are available from boomerang-lenses.com as well as LensCrafters. Visit this support page for more info.
Not really intended for music
Amazon’s Echo Frames are great for using Alexa, taking calls, and listening to podcasts when you want to stay aware of your surroundings, but when it comes to music, there is a lot left to be desired. Music sounds thin and when you increase the volume, it just gets thinner. If listening to music on the go is your priority, I’d recommend the Bose Frames. Razer’s Anzu and the Soundcore Frames also sound good, but Bose’s smart glasses have the best sounding music that I’ve tried.
At $250, Amazon’s Echo Frames are on the higher end of the market. Anker’s Soundcore Frames that we looked at earlier this year come in at $200 with a huge variety of styles available. Razer’s Anzu also packs a $200 MSRP but is currently on sale for just $100.
But, just like many of Amazon’s other devices, they are often on sale for much less. Currently, you can get the Amazon Echo Frames for just $165.
While other competitors offer voice assistant control for Google and Siri, for those firmly in the Alexa ecosystem, the Echo Frames are a great addition. They offer easy-to-use hands-free access to smart control as well as receiving notifications. Comfortable for all-day use, they work well at home or at the office.If music is your top use for smart glasses, though, I’d recommend looking elsewhere.
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